Review by C.J. Bunce
For most people making a hamburger, all you need to do is look to the McDonald’s basic menu to see what they’re probably grilling at home. Bun, burger, ketchup, mustard or mayo, onions and/or pickles, lettuce and cheese. The folks behind the Emmy Award-winning animated series Bob’s Burgers are trying to kick your routine up a notch with a new set of recipe cards spinning out of their successful book, The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book: Real Recipes for Joke Burgers. Series creator and producer Loren Bouchard has joined Cole Bowden, the guy behind the fansite The Bob’s Burger Experiment, to pull together a box set of burger recipes highlighting several of the joke burgers featured in the series in, The Bob’s Burgers Recipe Box: Real Recipes for Joke Burgers.
The box includes 35 recipes, each featuring a comedy burger variety Bob Belcher has featured as a “Burger of the Day” on the series, reference to the episode it was used in, a detailed recipe, and that familiar art style from the show. The surprise? The combinations of flavors throughout the recipe cards are legitimate–these are kind of ingredient combinations you’d find an iron chef putting together on the Food Network. They’ve also included five bonus cards with Bob’s Burgers animation artwork on one-side and a blank side to catalog your own recipes for yourself or future generations of eaters.
Recipes include the “The Six Scallion Dollar Man Burger,” the “Onion-tended Consequences Burger,” “Chèvre Which Way But Loose Burger,” “Onion Ring Around the Rosemary Burger,” the “It’s Fun to Eat at the Rye MCA Burger,” and dozens more. And for those who really don’t know what they’re doing, Bowden has included a starter card on how to begin.
So which burger did I try first?
I wanted to see if these recipes really stood up, so I went for what looked to me like the strangest combination of ingredients. And that was the “Shake Your Honeymaker Burger.” It includes feta cheese topping a mixture of chopped dates and garlic, with caramelized onions, and a drizzle of honey. The result? The flavors were incredibly nuanced, with thyme and cayenne pepper adding just the right finish.
Other non-traditional ingredients you can try with the burger variants from The Bob’s Burgers Recipe Box are watermelon, egg yolk, Sriracha sauce, avocado, jalapeno Havarti, blueberries, hummus, Poblano peppers, Brussels sprouts, fried pickles, radishes, and even a side of parsnips fries. Bouchard and the other series writers no doubt had no idea someone would be coming along to turn their jokes into the real thing, so it will be fun for fans to see what Bowden comes up with to match the humor.
You’ll find cheery full-color imagery on each card with show regulars Tina, Teddy, Jimmy Pesto Jr., and Aunt Gayle. And all of the recipes are easily adaptable to turkey or veggie burgers.
Fans of Bob’s Burgers (the series or the recipes) will also want to check out the other tie-ins from the series we’ve featured here at borg: The Official Bob’s Burgers Guided Journal, and The Official Bob’s Burgers Sticker Book. Plus The Official Bob’s Burgers Coloring Book and The Bob’s Burgers Recipe Book.