Tasty Tuesday: National Hamburger Day

TASTY TUESDAY, MAY 25, 2021 – NATIONAL HAMBURGER DAY

Hamburgers are just about the most well-known American food there is – maybe second to Apple Pie! But it’s such a quick meal, fast food, or most diverse food everyone (or 99%) enjoys! I’m glad there is a National Hamburger Day to celebrate on Friday, May 28th.

Hamburgers are traditionally made from ground beef, but they certainly can be made with ground pork, ground turkey, ground chicken, vegetarian or plant mix, and more! In fact, the most flavorful ground beef is an 80/20% (meaning 80% lean protein and 20% fat).  It makes the burger more flavorful (yes, flavor is in the fat!).  You can certainly use 90/20 or 85/15 or any combination you prefer.

As for condiments? Well, that is up to your preference. Personally, I prefer yellow mustard, dill pickle, onion, beef, and usually a slice of American cheese. BUT, I often mix it up, depending on my taste buds for the day.

Did you know the flat hamburger as we know it today started out as a meatball? The White Castle Hamburger Shop in Wichita, Kansas is given credit for “inventing” the hamburger patty. The cook was trying to fry meatballs for a lunch crowd in their little establishment when a few customers kept complaining it was taking too long. They were hungry, had only 30 minutes for lunch and were going to be late getting back to work. The cook got angry actually and smashed the meatball with his wide spatula to flatten it. The ground meat had more surface area and was much thinner, so it cooked much quicker! The customer was happy, and the cook learned a new recipe – the hamburger. White bread was more expensive than small dinner rolls so he cut a dinner roll and served the small meat patty on the roll. Voilà – the hamburger bun was born! It all started because a customer was upset and hungry! You just never know!

Here is my basic take on the hamburger! Why not celebrate National Hamburger Day with a delicious hamburger or cheeseburger with some fries for lunch or dinner? ENJOY!

HAMBURGER (CHEESEBURGER)

Ingredients

Ground beef or your preference of protein – tradition says ¼ pound of ground meat for each burger, but feel free to use as much as you prefer.

Salt and Pepper

Cheese for cheeseburgers – American is traditional, but any sliced cheese is delicious, and I often use whatever is in my refrigerator. Should be a good melting cheese.

Buns for the number of burgers you are preparing.

Condiments – depending on your preferences. Some examples include mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, sandwich spread, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion and peppers.

Instructions

  1. Use a skillet or grill (either outside or stove top grill.) Just remember, if you are using a low-fat protein to make your hamburgers, use a little oil to keep the burger from sticking to the hot pan/grill.
  2. With clean hands, prepare the burgers – a little larger than the bun size as they do shrink a little especially if there is fat in the protein.
  3. Using your thumb, put a little indent in the center of the patty.  Especially with ground beef, when it cooks it expands in the center. Hamburgers should be rather flat when they are put on the bun – it makes them easier to eat.
  4. Cook about 3 minutes in fry pan or on grill, turn and cook another 5 minutes for medium rare beef patty. If in doubt, use a thermometer to check internal temperature. If you like it a little more or less done, adjust second cooking time.
    Rare: 120-125 F temp
    Medium Rare: 130-135 F temp
    Medium: 140-145 F temp
    Medium Well: 150-155 F temp
    Well Done: 160-165 F temp
    Minimum safe temperature is 160 F
  5. You can put together to serve or you can let your diners build their own.

ENJOY! I ALWAYS enjoy a good hamburger/cheeseburger – sometimes more than apple pie!

CHEF’S NOTES:

Just remember, if you use a less fat percent of meat/protein, you’ll need some vegetable or canola oil in the pan or grill to keep the patty from sticking.

Don’t be afraid to make thin burgers and make double burgers – using 2 or maybe 3 hamburger patties for each burger.

Buns can be fresh from the package or toasted on a griddle to warm and crisp.

I prefer medium to medium well – I don’t like my burgers “moo-ing”.

The condiments – lettuce in bun sized pieces, sliced tomatoes, sliced pickles whether dill pickles or bread and butter pickles, sliced thin onions or even grilled or fried onions are delicious!  Cheeses I prefer a little melting on the patty, but you can make them a condiment and serve slices of a variety of cheeses.

The sauces – a variety of mustards, ketchup, mayonnaise, a flavored aioli and my dad always liked a sauce similar to the “McDonald’s Big Mac sauce” – it’s simply mayonnaise, ketchup, and sweet pickle relish! Any sauce – for the protein you are using – is totally acceptable.

These are quick, easy, deliciously tasty, and can be as inexpensive or as expensive as you can afford or want – generally, children prefer the basic burger – and some adults, but some adults like to add deep fried onion rings or avocado, artichokes, any variety of additions.  ALL are great, I just enjoy a great basic hamburger/cheeseburger. ENJOY! 😊

Bon Appetite’ and Love always,

Granni K

To download this recipe, click here.