Need some last-minute flair for Mardi Gras? Just follow the lead of Lenny Martinsen, executive chef with Centerplate at New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the Smoothie King Center.
“When you come to a Centerplate venue, you’re getting the real local flavor of that city and a piece of what makes the city tick,” he says.
The king cake burger “epitomizes New Orleans,” Martinsen adds. This sweet-and-savory burger was created for Mardi Gras this week, but the response has been so positive that it will remain on the menu indefinitely, keeping the good times rolling.
It’s simple to create the same effect on your own burgers: buy or make a king cake, and shape it into buns! As a bonus, the smoky bacon-onion-chipotle spread can be used on any burger, not just for a Fat Tuesday-themed burger.
King cake burger with bacon-onion-chipotle spread
YIELD: 8 burgers
8 beef or turkey burgers, grilled
enough king cake to make 8 buns
4 cups cooked, crumbled bacon
4 cups caramelized onions, rough chopped
¼ cup chipotle peppers, chopped
¼ cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. Montreal steak seasoning
½ Tbsp. cinnamon
1 cup cream cheese, softened
¼ cup water
Shredded lettuce and tomato, as needed
- Combine bacon, onions and peppers. Cook in pan over medium heat to bring flavors together. Add brown sugar, steak seasoning and cinnamon. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Blend in cream cheese (in mixing bowl or food processor). When blended, add a little water to make mixture more spreadable.
- Assemble burgers: Spread bacon mixture on both buns, top with burger, lettuce and tomato and sprinkle with extra green or purple Mardi Gras sugar if desired.
Photo and recipe: Centerplate