Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer Burgers

There are VERY few things that I make, that anyone would feel ANY inclination to compliment. I will not lie to you. I am a terrible cook on most things I make. Really. I can make about three things VERY well(alright, maybe four), and with everything else I lean HEAVILY on the cooking talents of my Sweet Geek. So you will not get many great recipes from me (Not like Pioneer Woman), but I do have something for those people out there who cannot really cook well -or who do not cook at all. The ramblings of a fellow kitchen-challenged, NON-cook, who can get you by! For those of you who want more of a challenge, visit Pioneer Woman's site -just make sure that you come back after you see it!
(NO! Don't go away! I will try harder! I promise!)

So there are very few compliments from my kitchen (OK, now, all of you mocking me! I am WORKING on it!), but this is one that gets the thumbs up every time I make it, and my family LOVES it! These summer burgers are fast, easy and sure to please.

In addition to the raw thawed hamburger, here are the needed ingredients:
Eggs, onion(s), garlic (Fresh or minced), Lipton onion-mushroom soup mix (OK, OK! I am cheating!), Chipotle Tabasco Sauce, and bread crumbs (you could use bread stuffing in a pinch).

I think that is all.

Watch out for an ingredient drive-by!

So, first get your onion(s) ready.
Cut off the top and bottom, and peel off outer the skin. You want nothing left with any dryness or wilting. Rinsing the onions in tepid water can help you to get over your emotional issues before you cut that onion! I don't understand why, but for some reason the roughest and stiffest of men are dissolved to tears by the soft crying-shoulder an onion has! Maybe it is the warmth of the water! Maybe it is the moment for pause! Maybe it is purely mental and so am I! Anyway, you can run it under the water and it may or may not help you keep from crying. You want to dice the onion especially small. If you cut it too large, the burgers will fall apart. Cutting them small has always been a challenge for me! I just can't seem to do it very fast without my accident-prone tendencies resulting in one of many different sized injuries. So it may require patience, but be careful. OR... You can find a former chef to cut them FOR you! Look at those hands FLY! And he NEVER... Ever... Has a slip and cuts himself. Now I just think you are showing off!! I am SO jealous! Oh, to be normal and not accident prone!

This is what they should look like.
Ok, you will need to put your thawed raw hamburger in a large bowl. One bigger than it seems you will need. Trust me, you will thank me later! Ok, we were crunched for time, so I will be moving quickly. Follow closely! Or you could just read it at slowly as you want to! Doesn't matter to me!

Add one package of onion-mushroom soup mix.
Ok, add the bread crumbs. What I have here is about 1cup, but I also started with 3lbs of meat, so use a little bit of give. Start with less and then add more if the meat is mushy when everything is mixed in.

Add your eggs.
I use two eggs for every pound of meat. You want it hold together well.

Next comes the garlic. You can use fresh garlic, or if you don't like it leave it out.
I put in 1 teaspoon per pound of meat.
Give or take.

The magic add! Now I am not a huge Tabasco fan, but I love the Chipotle Tabaso, and a very small amount added to burgers gives them a touch of flavor without the kick! It is SO yummy!

If you try nothing else in your burgers, try that. Only a hint. I used less than a teaspoon with 3lbs or burger. So go easy. Better less than too much. Unless you LOVE spicy food, then crank it out! You will love the flavor!


Unexpected ingredient! (See how out of focus the picture is?! It is times like this I envy Pioneer Woman, and Ryan's cameras! But mine is better than most, so I can't complain. I just want a great lens or two. That will never happen, though. It would require me to cut back on my shoe budget, and I am not sure I could survive!)

My cook husband had an idea to add some green goddess dressing! Not a combination that I would have thought of. I have added RANCH dressing before! But that is why he is the cook, and I just drool over his food and his talent! Let's just say this: We will be adding this as a permanent ingredient of our Summer Burgers! Throw those onions in! You don't dare forget those!

Don"t forget the salt...
And Pepper... Now stop. Before you stick your hands in the bowl (And you WILL! And get all lovely and messy!), you need to take a sheet pan and just cover it with some aluminum foil. You will be simply too messy to do it later! This is also the time to tell your husband to start the grill. Then comes the FUN part! You get to kneed the ingredients together. I am sorry, but unless you have an industrial size bread machine, you are going to have to do this by hand. Have your soap ready, and dig right in! If you have never done this before, the concept is to take from the bottom and push it into the mixture. If you do this enough times, it will be mixed evenly. Like so: Grab from the side...

Pull up...

And over...

Then make a fist and press into the middle.

Turn the bowl slowly as you work the mixture.
This is the same technique used for homemade bread!
That is a recipe for another time.

So now it is time to make the patties. Take a hand-sized portion and work it into a ball, then flatten it out, and smooth the edges all around. If you work it in your hand a little, it will stick together better. I can't show you this process because I think that my Sweet Geek would be VERY upset if he had to clean hamburger mush out of the shutter button of my camera! As you finish them, well, I am SURE you can figure out what to do with them! Here is what they should look like: You will notice that there is a dent in the middle of each patty. You will want the edges to be thicker than the middle. If you don't, then the burgers will shrink more, not get done in the middle, and have charred edges.
Doesn't that sound awful?!
Unless you like that charred, undercooked meat thing -then go right ahead.

Let's get that red, American meat on the grill! I must say, it is SO nice having a big strapping COOK around to do the grilling!
He is especially
good at that! Mmmmmm! starting to sizzle! I am actually dancing with anticipation!
Don't worry! I won't subject you to a video, and I promise to stop when I am taking a picture so they are not all a blur!

Finished product! Isn't your mouth watering? Nananana-naaaa-naaaa!

Don't worry! You can make them too, and this Fourth of July you will be armed with the best burgers at the picnic or family reunion! Mmmmmmm! Then you can enjoy them without even a hint of my strangeness! Won't that be nice?!

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