Saturday, October 25, 2008

All American

There are many things in this world that I absolutely cannot live without, Mr. Totally Awesome (oh yes, that name is sticking), a clean house, brownies, fried chicken, goat cheese, and burgers and fries. Burgers are my guilty pleasure, I'm liable to order them whenever they're on the menu. I've even been known to patronize a Burger King or two when I'm hit with a real craving. I know, it's dirty and wrong, but I just can't help it (Burger King, not burgers in general). There's just something about the combination of juicy, flavorful hamburger, melty sharp cheddar cheese, salty bacon, tomatoes, onion, pickles...oh yum. I'll eat a specialty burger with gorgonzola and caramelized onions, or avocado, or pineapple, but nothing gets me quite like a good old fashioned all American hamburger with all the fixings.

This is one of my own recipes that I've fashioned after the way my mother made them when I was a child. These babies are moist and full of flavor, but they are a little fragile - I won't lie, they can fall apart on you. But, once you take that first bite you'll know what I mean. Nothing tastes quite like home like a burger and fries.

Tasty Juicy Burgers
Makes 4 burgers

1/4 yellow onion, chopped very fine
3/4 lb. lean hamburger
6 saltines, crushed
1 egg
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
pinch red pepper flakes

In a small skillet cook the onion until softened, remove from heat. Combine onion, hamburger and remaining ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and work together with your hands until thoroughly combined. Chill for at least two hours. Remove meat mixture from the refrigerator and let sit at room temp for 15 minutes. Shape into four patties. Grill burgers on BBQ, or pan fry over med-high heat.

The key here is to let the burgers cook for 4-5 minutes each side, only flipping once. Put the burgers in the pan/on the grill, let cook for 4-5 minutes, depending on thickness and how done you like them, then flip and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. DO NOT press down on them with a spatula or you'll ruin them. It presses all the juices out and makes a dry piece of leather. If desired throw a slice or two of cheese on the patty after flipping. When finished place on a bun and top with whatever the hell makes you happy.

Oven Baked French Fries

3 russet potatoes
vegetable oil
salt and cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 450 F (this will take at least 1/2 hour allow for that)

Slice the washed potatoes into 1/3 inch square fries. Toss in a bowl with vegetable oil, salt and pepper to taste. Lay out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Do not forget the parchment paper, if you're not going to use it just throw the potatoes in the trash because that's about all you'll accomplish. Lay out the fries in one even layer over the parchment. Bake for 40 minutes, or until crisp on the outside, tender on the inside.


Kristin @ Going Country said...

If I may make a suggestion for oven french fries . . . "Joy of Cooking" calls for a tablespoon of melted butter along with the oil for oven fries. The butter adds a nice bit of flavor.

And I'm going to try every known variable of french fry this winter. Because it's not like I have a shortage of potatoes.

Anonymous said...

lol, parchment paper is a great idea! The last time I made oven fries it was ridiculous, I could have just made mashed potatoes.

cookiecrumb said...

Well. SWOON!
Thanks for these recipes.
I once wrecked a batch of oven-baked fries... So next time, parchment paper and better spacing.

Anonymous said...

Please add us to your fan club of burgers! We totally agree with you!
The photograph is amazing too, look at that juicy masterpiece!

Sweet Bird said...

Kristin - I'll have to try out that butter idea. I'm all about adding butter to anything that'll take it.

Katie - I've so been there. It was infuriating trying to scrape them off the tray.

White on Rice Couple - Wow, thank you! A photo compliment from you two surely makes my day!