Glorious Grass-Fed, Pastured Beef Makes the Best Hamburger

Sometimes I wake up craving a hamburger. Such was life yesterday. Luckily, my local grocery store carries 90/10 ground beef I really like.

Also, thankfully, my boyfriend is a wonderful baker. On top of being a full-time grad student who teaches two sections of college composition, he finds time to make buns like these:

A perfect burger was just the right thing to do. And I never have to convince John (baker boyfriend) to have a hamburger, so it was GAME ON. First thing’s first: make the patties. The package of meat is exactly 16 ounces, so I divided it into three equalish portions (plus a tiny one for the puppy). I seasoned them with Montreal seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika) and a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce.

I then cut up the toppings: Swiss cheese, local, vine-ripe tomato, romaine lettuce, Vidalia onion, and pickled jalapeños (I often use these in place of pickles). And because I recently had a grill “incident” in which a minor flare up may or may not have singed my bangs, I had John preheat the grill. We use propane, much to his dismay, but charcoal would work fine, too. You could even sear these in a skillet using a bit of butter on medium-high heat if you want. Skillet burgers made Steak and Shake famous. Anyhow…

Slice the buns in half, brush them with melted butter, grab the seasoned patties and cheese, and head outside. By the way, keep the prepped veggies in the fridge, so they’ll stay nice and cold.
I grill burgers over a medium flame. I also only use one of two burners because the eco-nerd in me likes to conserve when possible. Three burgers don’t take up much room. Slap them on the grill.

I do three minutes on each side for medium with the lid closed andonly flip them once. And, for the love of all that’s good in the world, don’t press the patties down with the spatula! All of the juice will come dripping out and you’ll have an old boot to eat instead of a juicy burger. I use the last 30 seconds or so to add cheese to the burgers.
Remove from the grill and let them rest. Now, grill the buttered buns. This should only take a minute.

Time to assemble these beasts. John likes cheese. He’s some sort of purist.

I opted for everything but…

Happy eating, and enjoy the rest of grilling season while it lasts!


Today’s Impromptu Lunch: The “Not in Public” Turkey Burger

After a morning of running around, I got home, opened the fridge, and realized I had an abnormal amount of leftovers. This could only mean one thing: I wasn’t going to be making anything new until I cleaned out some of the weekend’s goodies. (side note: My grandmother never said “leftovers.” She called them “pre-cooked meals.)

I was in the mood for some sort of sandwich. After all, my honey made delicious Italian herb bread. But I wasn’t in the mood for ham or tuna. Then I spotted the turkey burgers. But I didn’t have buns. Could I? Could I possibly? Could I possibly put the burger patty on bread? I’m a lover of good buns (haha), so eating a patty on bread is nearly sacrilege. But I decided to give it a whirl. I toasted the bread, slathered both sides with full fat Hellmann’s mayo, added the patty, got out the leftover salad, used the lettuce, tomato, and onion, put on some pickled jalapeños, added some ketchup and mustard, and voila! Look, I’m aware this was a sloppy sandwich with maybe far too many condiments, but since i was already using bread, I figured wild accoutrement abandon was in order. And this is why I’ve named this beast the “not in public” turkey burger. If you saw my face after just one bite, the name would make perfect sense. 🙂


The Best Chicken Sandwich EVER…on Basil Balsamic Bread

Today’s glorious sandwich is garlic and herb chicken on basil balsamic bread…

Oh, the sandwich. Sandwiches are perhaps the most versatile way to eat amazing combinations of food while using up tasty leftovers. I love them. I eat them all the time. I’m not tired of them at all…especially when I enjoy the filling on artisan bread with garden-fresh veggies and mayo!.

The bread is a balsamic and basil bread that’s got the texture of a fluffy sponge. It’s amazing. We love our Zojirushi bread maker!

The veggies include heirloom lettuce varieties (Southern Exposure Seeds…I posted about the lettuce mix a couple of weeks ago), tomato from the garden, Vidalia onion, and pickled jalapeño.



For the chicken:

We eat a ton of chicken. It’s as versatile as the sandwich. Chicken + sandwich = convenient no-brainier. This sammy features chicken breast that has a garlic herb seasoning on it. It’s been seared in a skillet with a bit of organic salted butter and sliced thin.

Sandwich time:

To make the sandwich, grill the bread with butter in a skillet. Do this before you assemble it. You don’t want hot, wilted, veggies! Only grill one side of the bread; leave the soft side for the middle. Let the bread cool for a minute and spread both ungrilled sides with mayonnaise. I recommend Duke’s or Hellman’s. Pile up some cooled, sliced chicken, add your veggies, some cheese (we used Dubliner Irish cheddar), leftover bacon if you’ve got it, and seal the deal with the top piece of grilled bread.


And, if you really want to get crazy, you can serve the sammy with our amazingly tasty roasted red potatoes. These are appallingly simple to make.

For the potatoes:

Take as many red creamer potatoes as you’d like and cut them into quarters. Toss them with olive oil, garlic powder, sea salt, and cracked black pepper. Toss them in a baking pan or on a cookie sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove them and make sure they’re softening and browning. Then, and this is the big secret, toss them with a small bit of your favorite Italian dressing (store bought is fine) and put them back in the oven. Roast at 400 for another 20 minutes or until they’re browned to your liking. There! That’s it.