I really enjoy taking popular dishes and adding my own twist on it. My double patty, double cheese Salami and Chee-eeseburger is an example of that. The classic diner burger with lettuce, tomato, ketchup and onions has been part of Americana for years. I've taken and updated it for today's burger lover's appetite. Baby Arugula has replaced lettuce. Tangy whiskey BBQ sauce takes the place of ketchup. I've added pepper-jack cheese but kept American cheese. What really shakes this up are slices of salami, hot and crispy matched with cold, crunchy kosher pickle slices. Napkins to the ready!
1For the burgers:
Crumble the meat into a large bowl. Add 1-1/2 teaspoons of the salt and the remaining burger ingredients and combine thoroughly. Don't over mix. Divide into 6 portions and then divide again forming 12 thin patties the size of the buns. Set on a plate using parchment paper to divide the layers. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.
2For the Barbeque sauce:
Sauté the chopped shallots in a small pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes until starting to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the barbeque sauce (your favorite). Continue cooking for 4 to 5 minutes until it's starting to bubble. Add the whiskey, stir and cook on medium-low until slightly thickened. Turn the heat to simmer and keep warm.
3For the onions:
Peel the onion, cut in half, end to end and cut into thin slices. Add to a medium sized sauté pan with the olive oil on medium heat. Sprinkle on the remaining salt. Stir. Cover and cook on medium low for 10 to 15 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.
4For the salami: Heat the slices in a hot skillet or any flat cooking surface until hot and the edges are starting to become crisp. Remove from the heat and set aside.
5Split the buns, spread a little olive oil on each half and toast for 2 to 3 minutes until lightly toasted. Set aside.
6Cooking the Burgers:
(I prefer to use a griddle or cast iron pan for these burgers to allow the patties to cook in the fat that renders out) Heat your cooking surface to medium-high, spread on a little oil or spray the surface, press an indentation into the top of each patty with your thumb, and put on the patties. Cook for 2 minutes. Turn and cook an additional minute. Turn the heat to low and add 1 slice of cheese per burger, half with Pepper-Jack, American on the remaining patties and allow to melt for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let them rest while assembling the burgers.
7Assembling the sandwiches:
Divide the arugula between the bun bottoms followed by a slice of tomato on each. Add the patties with the pepper-jack cheese. Divide the salami between the patties, folding each slice in half and then add 2 pickle slices each. On top of that place the remaining patties. Divide the onions between the burgers. Spread 1 tablespoon of the barbeque sauce on the top half of the buns, cover and serve.