Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
 / Updated 

Celebrate Memorial Day by chowing down on an American favorite: burgers. Billy Dec, owner of Rockit Burger Bar in Chicago, is sharing three burger recipes that are worthy of holiday celebrations. 

Bacon grilled cheese patty melt burger

  • 4 4-ounce black Angus beef patties
  • 4 slices gruyere cheese
  • 1 cup yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 slices thick cut applewood smoked bacon, cooked
  • 8 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 slices soft ½” sliced white loaf bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Salt & ground black pepper

Heat a medium sauté pan to high heat and add in about a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add in the onions and lightly season with salt and pepper. Stir onions occasionally until golden, reduce heat slightly and continue to cook until onions are very golden and tender. Remove from heat.

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Be sure the grill is clean. Lightly season each burger patty with salt and pepper. Place patties on grill and cook for approximately two minutes per side or until desired doneness. Add one slice of gruyere to each patty.

Heat a large non-stick pan or griddle to medium heat. Add about half of the butter. Add the bread slices (do in batches if not enough space to lay out all 8 pieces). Top each slice of bread with a slice of cheddar cheese. Allow for bread to toast and cheese to melt. Lay a piece of bacon on four of the slices. Top with the other slices of bread to build the grilled cheese sandwiches. Add more butter and flip sandwiches until evenly toasted.

To assemble, place patty on top of a grilled cheese sandwich. Top with half of the caramelized onions. Top with the second patty and then with another grilled cheese sandwich. Cut burger in half. Repeat with remaining set up and serve!

Chicken enchilada burger

  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 10-inch flour tortillas
  • 8 slices for chihuahua cheese
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
  • 8 slices of tomato, vine ripened
  • 1 cup queso freso, crumbled
  • 4 tablespoons ancho mole sauce (your favorite recipe/store purchased mole)

For the burger patties: 
Combine the ground chicken, bread crumbs and eggs in a large bowl and mix well. Fold in the garlic and scallions. Add in kosher salt and mix well. Divide into four balls and form into patties, about 4 inches in diameter. Chill for 30 minutes, up to 24 hours in advance.

For assembly:
Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a large non-stick sauté pan to medium-high heat. Add in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add in the chicken burger patties. Sear on both sides until golden in color. Place patties onto a baking sheet and cook in the oven until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, about 8-10 minutes.

Heat a non-stick griddle or sauté pan to medium heat. Working with one at a time, warm tortilla over griddle for a few seconds so that it is easier to fold. Place one slice of chihuahua cheese in the center of tortilla and begin to fold the sides to the center forming a pentagon-like shape. Set aside. Fold side down and continue with remainder of tortillas and cheese to form a total of 8 quesadillas. Brush griddle or pan with oil and begin to sear and toast both sides of each quesadilla, starting with the folded side first.

To build the burger: 
Set one quesadilla on plate, folded side up. Top with shredded lettuce and a slice of tomato, then chicken patty. Drizzle mole sauce over patty and sprinkle crumbled queso fresco. Top with another quesadilla bun, folded side facing down on the burger.

Smoky pork burger with maple bourbon chipotle glaze

For the burger:

  • 2 pound ground pork
  • ½ pound caul fat, rinsed in cold water, drained and lay flat on towel
  • ¼ cup maple bourbon chipotle glaze (recipe below)
  • 1 cup grated smoked gouda cheese
  • ¼ cup grated cheddar jack cheese
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ pound applewood smoked bacon, cooked and chopped
  • ½ pound cooked cavatappi pasta
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced paper thin
  • 1 cup wondra flour
  • Oil for frying
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 each soft butter buns

For the maple bourbon chipotle glaze:

  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (your favorite sweet, thick BBQ sauce)
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle puree (from canned with adobo sauce)

To make the burger:

Divide the ground pork into four portions and flatten to about 4 inches in diameter. Spread out the caul fat and cut four pieces in large squares. Take each pork patty and wrap in the fat, folding all the sides and edges to one side. Chill patties for 30 minutes up to 24 hours in advance.

Heat oil for frying to 350 degrees. Toss sliced onions in the flour and lightly season with salt and pepper. Shake off excess flour and fry until crispy, drain on paper towels and lightly season with more salt.

Heat a large sauté pan, add the heavy cream and begin reducing by a quarter. Add in the cheeses and stir until melted. Add in the pasta and toss to coat and lightly season with salt and black pepper. Fold in the chopped bacon. Set aside.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly season each pork patty with salt and black pepper. Heat a large non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. Add in vegetable oil. Add each pork patty and sear on both sides until golden brown. Transfer patties to a baking sheet and finish cooking through in the oven until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, about 10-12 minutes.

Warm or toast buns. Place a small amount of crispy onions on each bottom bun. Place pork patty on top. Spoon about a tablespoon of the maple bourbon chipotle glaze over each patty. Top with the smoked gouda-bacon mac and cheese.

To make the glaze:

Combine all three items in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium heat and simmer for about 12 minutes, until alcohol cooks out slightly. Remove from heat and chill. Can be kept refrigerated for one week.