Sunday, May 8, 2011

Not just for guys Burgers and fries

I seem to be on a huge summertime/crappy food kick lately! That's pretty rare for me. Normally my body is very much in tune with its evolutionary seasonal changes. During the winter I want lots of comfort food and to pack on the pounds to hibernate, and during the summer I want sushi and fruit to feel lighter and less hot. For some reason, lately, though, all I want is pizza and burgers. Very weird.

Anywhoo, when I can't be lazy and go to The Counter for a burger that's just the way I like it, I make my own sliders and fries. Here's my recipe:


You need:
- 1 lb ground beef or bison beef
- smoked gouda cheese
- a handful of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- Smoked Maple Chipotle Sauce from Bittersweet Herb Farm
- olive oil (only if you're not grilling)
- mini ciabatta rolls

1. Make sure the meat is room temperature. Turn on the skillet you'll be cooking in and add a little bit of olive oil.
2. Add the egg, bread crumbs, and meat all in a bowl. Then add cheese (it should be grated, you can add as much as you want, I usually do about 1/3 of a cup. And 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce.
3. Mix together, do not over mix or the burgers will dry out. If you need some more bread crumbs you can add a little bit, but again not too many because the burgers will dry out.
4. Separate into slider sized patties (should be 5-7 depending on the size you want). Do not mush them down with anything, again, you'll dry them out.
5. Add to pan, don't over crowd it. Cook a few minutes on each side until they start to brown up or blood comes through the other side. If you want them well done, keep flipping ever couple of minutes to make sure they don't burn. You can also cover the pan as well.
6. Toast your buns if you are so inclined!
7. Depending on the cheese you want to put on top, during the last minute or so of cooking add the cheese on top of the burger to get it melty. I think these burgers taste best with more smoked gouda (which requires some melting) or blue cheese (which does not). With both of these cheeses, adding some caramelized onions or sweet onion marmalade makes the perfect burger in my opinion.

French Fries

You need:
- Potatoes (I really like fingerling or medium/large sized Yukon Gold)
- Oil
- Salt
- Slotted spoon
- Paper towels

1. If you don't have a fryer heat oil in a large and deep pot.
2. While the oil is heating up, wash and slide potatoes into fry sized pieces.
3. When the oil is moving around you'll know it's hot enough. Add the potatoes and cook until they just brown a bit on the edges.
4. Now here is the key step! Take out the potatoes and let them cool off for 15-20 minutes on some paper towels. Salt generously.
5. Start reheating the oil. When it's hot enough again (and it should be screaming hot), add the potatoes back in and cook until they are brown enough for your liking.
6. Salt again if you'd like when they're done.

The double fry method lets the potatoes cook a bit the first time so that it's thoroughly cooked, and then just cooks the outside the second time. If done right (and this largely depends on the potato you use and the size you cut it into) you get a nice crunchy outside and a softer inside.

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