Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fast Food, Frank's Way

A couple of months ago, Frank and I were watching Everyday Foods (yes, a Martha Stewart production, but don't tell anyone I watch it). They prepared Classic Cheeseburgers which was a simple and quick recipe. Last night, Frank stopped down to prepare them for me, and they brought fond memories of what I refer to as "Short-order" hamburgers; thin, slightly salty, quickly fried, and served on a toasted bun. They were really good. We believe the key is to roll the patties thin, and don't overwork the meat. Fry them quickly in a cast iron skillet (if available). Frank suggests 1 1/2 minute a side for medium rare. 2 minutes per side yielded burgers closer to medium. This produced a slightly charred exterior with a tender and juicy interior. A true classic in my opinion and very tasty. 
Here is the recipe from the show:

Old-Fashioned Cheeseburgers

Prep: 20 minutes Total: 20 minutes

To grill the burgers, simply roll the patties slightly thicker (3/8 inch) and grill over medium-high heat, 2 minutes per side.
Serves 4.
         1 pound ground beef chuck (20 percent fat)
         4 teaspoons softened butter
         4 hamburger buns, split
         Coarse salt and ground pepper
         4 slices melting cheese, such as American or mild cheddar
         Toppings, such as shredded iceberg lettuce, pickle chips, thinly sliced red onion, mustard, ketchup, and mayonnaise

Dick's Favorite: Cheese, ketchup and tomato
Frank's Favorite: Mustard only
1.    Heat broiler. Divide beef into 4 rounds and place each between two layers of plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin, roll beef into 1/4-inch-thick patties. Butter inside of each bun. Place on a baking sheet, buttered side up, and toast under broiler. (Frank variation: Skip the butter if desired, and toast cut side down in a dry frying pay on the stove top)
2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet or griddle over high. Generously season patties on both sides with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook burgers 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and top each with cheese; cover and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Place burgers on buns and serve with desired toppings.

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