Let me first say that I love recipes. LOVE them. Slavishly devoted to following them exactly in most cases. Anything I have ever made that was really really good, was probably somebody else’s recipe. Some people like to “tweak” recipes, and that’s fine as long as your intentions are pure. Most of the time I find that “tweaking” something comes from some sense of self-aggrandizement instead of a desire to make the food better, and I do have a problem with that.
But if you did want to start developing your own recipes, a good place to start is something that is about combining flavors without messing around with the internal chemistry of a dish. Messing around with a hollandaise recipe requires knowing how the chemistry of that dish works, and that’s a 200 level course at least. But things like stews and chilis are easier because you just concentrate on flavor. Or burgers.
As long as you aren’t messing around with the internal structure of the patty, burger recipes are all about putting flavors together. Anybody can do that! Even, say.. a ridiculously bright and adorable 10 year old! Like say, oh I dunno, my daughter!
The Wisconsin Guys radio show and Quaker Steak and Lube had a Burger Cook Off, that my daughter entered. And she got in the Finals! And then she and her mom left for Montana to visit her relatives and I got stuck making the darn thing. It was a close battle, and her entry ended up getting Second Place, only 6 points behind the winner! I have to think that if she was there charming the judges instead of me pandering with her picture, we would have taken it hands-down. So now, in her own words (but my spelling), Citizen Chef Jr’s recipe:
Jade’s Awesome Blue Cheese Burger
Put 3 strips of bacon in microwave for 1 1/2 min, crumble when cool. Mix bacon and hamburger meat. Make into patties then grill. Mush up one avocado in a bowl. Slice the other one. Spread mushed up one on bun (top only!). Apply blue cheese. Slice tomato. Put patty on bun with tomato and avocado.
The finished product, with and without pandering cute child photo: