California Crazin Salad
Hamburgers are one of the all time American Classics. Unfortunately, many of us have gotten numb to burgers because of a steady diet of "fast food" McBurgers. It's about time to fix this and remind yourself just how good a home made burger is.
Super simple, fast and tasty, make this burger after work and serve it with chips. If you're really prepared, buy Coke in a glass bottle, chill it overnight to serve with the burger and have a meal that's a real bit of Americana.
Cooking for One
1/4 lb. raw. ground beef
1 hamburger bun
2 slices Roma tomato
1 leaf iceburg lettuce
4 pickel slices
2 tsp. light mayonnaise
1 tsp. ketchup
1/2 tsp. mustard
Cooking for Three or Four
3/4 lb. raw. ground beef
3 - 4 hamburger buns
1 Roma tomato, sliced thinly
4 leaves of iceburg lettuce
12 pickel slices
6 tsp. light mayonnaise
4 tsp. ketchup
3 tsp. mustard
Slice the tomato and set it aside until you are ready to assemble the burger.
Using your hands, roll about 1/4 lb. of ground beef into a ball. Squish the ball until it is a 1/2 inch thick patty (thinner if you want the burger to cook quickly). Place the burger in a hot skillet and cook it for one minute on each side to brown the burger and seal in juices. Flip the burger again to allow the meat to cook evenly. Cook until the interior of the hamburger patty is completely cooked, about 10-12 minutes on medium high heat. Test for doneness with a meat thermometer.
When the burger is almost done, toast the hamburger bun in the broiler. Pre-heat the broiler. Butter both halves of the bun, put the bun (butter side up) on a broiler pan placed on the top rack in the oven. Set the timer for 1 minute and check the bun often to avoid burning it.
Assemble the burger when the bun is toasted and the hamburger patty is completely cooked. Place the patty on the bottom half of the bun, add the mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard, lettuce, pickles and tomato slices. Top the sandwich with the other half of the hamburger bun.
Serve warm and immediately refrigerate any leftovers.
Food Safety Tips
Whenever you work with raw ground beef, make sure you:
- Use fresh meat. Grocery stores put dates on packaged meat to indicate when it was packed and when it should be used or frozen by. Pay attention to the "use by" date, if you haven't cooked the fresh meat by then, don't. If the meat smells at all odd or looks brown rather than pink, it's probably not good. When it doubt, throw it out.
- Cook it thoroughly. Some people love pink steaks, but ground beef is not steak, and should be cooked until all of the pink is gone. This kills any possible bacteria. To be positive you've cooked the hamburger enough, use a meat thermometer. Test for doneness by inserting the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the burger and holding it there until the gauge stops rising. For ground beef, the gauge should indicate 170 ° Farenheit when the burger is fully cooked.
- Wash everything that touches the raw meat. Immediately after handling raw hamburger, or any raw meat, use soap and hot water to clean the plates, utensils and your hands. This reduces the possibility of transferring bacteria around the kitchen and reduces the risk of cross-contaminating raw vegetables and other food.
Cook two hamburger patties at once and save one in the refrigerator for lunch the next day. Reheat the patty in the microwave and top it with a slice of American or Cheddar cheese to jazz it up for a quick lunch with a green salad on the side.