Saturday, May 31, 2008

James Beard Burgers & Cool and Creamy Cucumber Salad

There will be no photos of the absolutely delicious burgers that we had for dinner last night because my camera was not in the mood to cooperate. It had been on the charging station, like it always is when not in use, and the green "go" light was on, but when I tried to use it to take a photo of my luscious, moist & juicy burgers ....I got nuttin'. The lens would not retract, yet the power light was on. I surmised that it was the battery and ran to Circuit City to get another one long after we all had devoured the burgers and cukes. So no photo of the burger and a not so great one of the cukes that sat a little too long to be properly photographed. Just trust me that the James Beard burger is one of the best burgers I have ever made. Who would have thought that one tablespoon of heavy cream would make such a difference?

James Beard’s Favorite Hamburger
Printable recipe
2 pounds chopped beef chuck or round
1 onion
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
Unsalted butter
Vegetable oil, as needed
Kosher salt, to taste

Spread the meat out on a board and grate 2 to 3 tablespoons of onion into it—use a fairly fine grater so you get just the juice and very finely grated raw onion. Now mix in about a tablespoon of heavy cream and some freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Form into patties--a 6 to 8-ounce patty for an average serving.

Using a black iron skillet or your best copper one or your pet aluminum frying pan, Teflon-coated or not (with a Teflon coating you won't need much fat, just a little bit for flavor), and cook the hamburgers in the butter and oil over fairly high heat, giving it 4 to 5 minutes a side, depending on how well done you like it. Salt this creamy, oniony, peppery hamburger before serving it on a buttered bun or English muffin, or as a main course with sliced tomatoes and onions or some home-fried potatoes.

We cooked ours on the grill, cause...well it's grill season. My friend Brandon advised me to work with a simple two-zone fire. Sear it hot so it gets a nice char/crust and then finish it over the cooler section of the grill until it's the way you like it. I take mine medium well thank you. We topped the burgers with sauteed mushrooms, cheese, and onions and pickles. Evan had a hard time getting his mouth around his and only finished half a burger. I almost finished all of mine, but couldn't get that last bite in. Man they were good.




The Creamy Cucumber Salad was just perfect too, and the ginger-soy dressing, it's outta this world. This recipe is from my friends Todd & Diane at White On Rice Couple. If you want the recipe visit them
here. You will also get to see gorgeous photos of how the cucumber salad should really look. By the time I got home from the store and took of photo of the cukes, they just weren't as perky and crispy as they should have been. What I love most about his recipe was the delicious dressing. I think I added more ginger than the recipe called for, but I am a ginger fiend, so all was good.
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