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Archive for the ‘hamburger’ Category

Although it was in my plans, I didn’t fix chicken last night. After catching up with my foodie blogs in the morning, cleaning up the house, running errands, grocery shopping, and planting pansies, I was more in the mood for quick hamburgers than any chicken fixin’.

The hamburgers were good. In the past, we tried to find the best type of ground meat to use for burgers. We read every article we could find on choosing the best meat, grinding it ourselves, combining types of meat, salting, seasoning, frying, grilling, broiling, and then choosing condiments. We tried lots of the suggestions with varying degrees of success. We finally settled for half ground chuck and half  ground sirloin, but we occasionally just use ground chuck. After trying various seasonings and seasoning combinations, we usually just use salt and pepper. However, rather than seasoning the individual patties, we season the all the meat before forming the patties.

One technique that is definitely worth remembering is to form the patties as loosely as possible while still having them cohere. We used to pack them tightly and press the heck out of them while they were frying in the skillet. That’s the way Momma used to do it. No wonder the burgers were dry and hard. There was nowhere for the juices to go but out into the pan. Keeping them loosely packed, and not pressing them down, leaves little spaces for the juices to hide until you bite into one and enjoy the flavor of the beef. The burgers are also much more tender.

I used to eat them rare or medium rare. I still love them that way but, unless I am grinding my own beef, I will cook them to medium. No mad cow disease for me, if I can help it. I did buy chuck roasts and grind the meat at home for a while, but it was such a pain to get the grinder out and wash all the pieces that I quit doing it. If I intended to do it myself I would buy a meat grinder instead of using the clumsy Kitchen Aid attachment to my mixer. 

Another thing we like to do is to toast the buns, sometimes buttered, sometimes just plain. I put them under the broiler for a minute or two until golden brown. It’s a little thing but I think it makes a big difference. I also do it with hot dog buns. But be sure to set a timer for a minute or two or you’ll burn them as I have once or twice.

Blue cheese burgers seem to be in vogue now. I have inserted crumbled blue cheese in the centers of burger before cooking. It’s okay, but I prefer the taste of the beef without the blue cheese. I’ll take the crumbles on my salad, thank you very much.

Tonight we are having pork chops probably with the pork seasoning that I mentioned in an earlier posting here. I have some fresh broccoli to steam and some potatoes to bake, and with a lettuce salad we’ll be all set. I do need to remember to make some dressing. Where’s the blue cheese?

By the way, check my post on Goody-Goody Sauce for hamburgers. Try it – it’s an easy recipe. Just  click on this.

Hope you enjoy your dinner tonight. We will.

Best to you,

Morgana

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When I was a child my parents would occasionally treat me to a special dinner at a nearby restaurant with carhop service.  In the days with a high hump (at least to a three- year-old) on the floor in the back, it was great fun to sit on the hump and use the backseat for a table.  The restaurant was the Goody-Goody, well known for several specialties, one of which was french fried shoestring potatoes, homemade, not frozen, not battered, and probably fried in lard.  They also served a butterscotch pie and a cream of onion soup that were wonderful.  I have not been able to come close to duplicating that soup, although I have a few great butterscotch pie recipes that are at least as good as Goody’s.

Their piece de resistance, however, was not even on the menu per se.  It was the special condiment served on their hamburgers.  Forget McDonald’s special sauce.  Forget catsup and mustard.  Goody-Goody’s hamburgers were served one way, with dill pickle slices, and their own tomato-based sauce, not really like catsup, not really like chutney, just it’s own category altogether.  When “The Goody” closed in the 70’s, many people had their gustatory hearts bent, if not broken. 

The Goody was a favorite spot for highschool sweethearts to grab a bite after a game or a movie.  The ambience was casually elegant, a Tudor building not at all what one imagines nowadays for a restaurant with carhop service.  It was truly unique.

Several years ago, our local newspaper had  articles about local cooks and one of the articles featured a gentleman who also had fond memories of The Goody-Goody.  He had experimented with various ingredients and finally arrived at his best recreation of the famous hamburger sauce.  Naturally, I tried it and found it very close. I played with it some, subtracted this and addedthat, and now it is as close as I can get it to a 30-year-old memory. 

If you want to try Goody-Goody sauce, prepare your favorite hamburger, fried, broiled, or grilled, butter and toast a good hamburger bun, add Goody sauce and a few dill pickle slices. (I sometimes use dill relish).  You must plan ahead.  The sauce needs at least 3 hours, mostly unattended, on the stove.

GOODY-GOODY HAMBURGER SAUCE

3 T. butter

15 oz. can tomatoes, whole or cut

1 t. celery seed

1/2 clove garlic, minced

1 t. pepper

1/4 t. salt

1 small onion, minced (about 1/4 c.)

1 T. lemon juice

Combine all in a small but heavy saucepan.  Cook low for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. The tomatoes will break up as they cook and will form a thick sauce.  Makes enough for about 8 hamburgers.

Happy dining.

Morgana

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Yesterday, Sunday, we decided to have cheeseburgers for dinner. After soup, cheese and crackers for lunch, we were in the mood for red meat. We decided to pay homage to Jimmy Buffet and declare the day a Cheeseburger in Paradise day.

We bought great Black Angus ground chuck at the market. Usually, we mix 1/2 pound of chuck and 1/2 pound of sirloin, add salt and pepper, maybe a dash of Worcestershire, and then make the patties. But for a change we just used the ground chuck with a little salt and pepper mixed in. Maybe we were just hungry for ‘burgers, maybe the ground chuck that day was especially good. I don’t know, but those ‘burgers were great. I swear I could have eaten two of them, and I am not a big fan of hamburgers. Too many were served in my youth, I guess. Mac loves ’em and says he could eat them three times a week. He also says that he could have pizza 3 times a week. Add a steak on the last day and he could be all set.

We backed down from the Paradise part of the meal. If you remember, the lyrics specify “lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and french fried potato, big Kosher pickle and a cold draft beer.” Also, it says, “medium rare and mustard’d be nice” and “Heaven on earth with an onion slice.” I had catsup, mustard, dill pickle relish, and lettuce. Mac had relish and Heinz 57. No onions, no tomatoes. I guess we had “Cheeseburgers in Limbo.”

Tonight we are having roast chicken again. When I get home from work, I am going to find a new way of seasoning it, saucing it, or roasting it, for something a little different. It’s hard to beat roast chicken, just plain.

I’ll check in later with the final plans.

Happy dining,
Morgana

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