Tuesday, February 26, 2013

mmm... hamburgers!

I could call my kitchen long abandoned, except that wouldn't be quite right. My blog, on the other hand, has been downright ignored over the past few months; it's crazy to think pumpkin seeds were "in season" the last time I wrote here. So much has happened since then. And there has been cooking - in a number of kitchens... one in Milwaukee, where our anticipated short Christmas trip turned into a 6-week adventure after the early (and amazing) arrival of our son... two kitchens in the city of San Francisco - one in a temporary place, and the current one that I think (hope) is going to stick a bit longer than the last few have.

Given the new baby, new house, and new city (everything old is new again, right?), I thought it only fitting that my first post from the new kitch be something new, something I haven't made previously. I don't generally cook a lot of meat. Perhaps the stint in the midwest inspired me. On the menu in this post: burgers. The first time I've ever made burgers. They were really good burgers. So good, in fact, that I think Randy has convinced me to make them again this week for our out of town visitors. Here's what I did:

Adapted from this Food Network recipe
Makes 4

8 slices good quality bacon
16 oz. grass fed ground beef
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. dried onion
2 tsp. worcestershire powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 hamburger buns, split
4 slices sharp cheddar
4 slices tomatoes
romain lettuce leaves
BBQ sauce

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp, turning halfway through cooking. Remove from pan to a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve your pan of bacon fat; this is where you're going to cook your burgers.

Meanwhile, spread ground beef out on a piece of parchment paper. Season generously with salt, pepper, and other spices. Divide into 4 portions. Using hands, form each into a ball-shape by gently tossing from one hand to the other. Form each portion into a patty about 3 1/2 inches wide and 1 inch thick.

While your bacon pan is still hot (or if it has cooled, heat it over med-low for five minutes), raise heat to high and add patties and cook, turning once, until well-browned, about two minutes per side. Transfer patties to a foil-lined baking sheet and put in the preheated oven. 11 minutes yielded perfectly medium burgers for me (original recipe says 8-9 minutes for medium rare, 10-11 for medium, and 13-15 for well done). For the last 5 minutes of cooking, I topped the burgers with cheese and also toasted the buns.

Spread toasted buns with mayo and BBQ sauce. Top with cheesy burger, bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Enjoy your tasty burger.

You'll note that no burger pic accompanied this post. I actually wasn't anticipating the burgers would be good enough to blog about, so didn't take any pics. Randy snapped a couple, but none that I want to post.* Not to fret: I won't let you go with no photos at all. Because it's impossible (for me at least) to write my first post-baby cole's kitch post and not include a pic of said baby (who really is the cutest little guy on the planet), I'll leave you with this:
*Update: I found a half decent one, so now you get a picture of the burger and one of the baby!

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