Thursday, July 26, 2007

Yes, Her Name is Hamburger

I came across this article about Zoe Hamburger while surfing. Yes, her last name really is Hamburger. At least she has a sense of humor:
When I was younger the cable company sent the bill to Bacon Double Cheeseburger instead of Peter W. Hamburger. My family thought it was hilarious. You have to have a good sense of humor if your last name is Hamburger.
And, of course, she has a recipe for her favorite burger:
Start with a half pound of freshly ground chuck quickly molded to a thickness of about an inch and a quarter. Chill it in the fridge, then season both sides with kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper, then put it on a hot, seasoned cast-iron pan with a tablespoon of butter for four and half minutes, flip it and put on a thick slab of blue cheese, like a sharp and creamy Roquefort, and cook it for barely five more minutes. The hamburger has a crunchy black outside, juicy pink center, no bun, but it is topped with sautéed onions, served on a warm plate with a pool of room temperature ketchup on the side.
While that burger sounds good, I can't say that it would be my favorite. It's missing the grilled taste.

How to cook a burger is a bit of a religious discussion -- everyone has their own beliefs and it's not worth trying to convince someone that they're wrong. Do you add "stuff" to your burger, or just go with natural beef? Cheese or no cheese? How about condiments? My wife and I disagree about mayonnaise -- I agree with Alton Brown that a thin layer of mayo should go on the bottom bun to form a fat layer to trap the juices from the burger. She finds the thought of mayo on a burger as disgusting as ketchup on a hotdog.

In North Carolina we have a topping method called "Carolina Style." That's a burger with chili, slaw, and mustard. The same way we do our hotdogs. It's good, but frankly it's a mess. I think the perfect burger can be eaten with a white shirt.

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