Monday, December 14, 2009

Nigella's High Speed Hamburger with Fast Fries


What kind of foods did you grow up eating? For me, there were several staples that my Mom cooked often: spaghetti and meatballs, pork chops, meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, stuffed peppers, fried chicken, various casseroles, and of course burgers and fries.

Burgers and fries was always a family favorite. I would sit in the kitchen and watch my Mom cut up long sticks of potatoes to fry while she lectured me about the perils of cooking with hot oil. Every couple minutes my Dad would pop in and tell her to cut more potatoes and make more fries. He was always worried that there wouldn't be enough, and he had good reason because they always went fast.

It's really no wonder that Nigella's high-speed hamburger with fast fries has always caught my attention. To me, burgers and fries at home is one of life's simplest pleasures. It reminds me of times when burgers and fries were something you ate at home and not at a fast food restaurant.

Nowadays, burgers and fries are still a family affair. Everyone sits in the kitchen knowing that dinner is only minutes away. Toppings are gathered and buns are toasted and naturally someone is screamed at for getting near the hot oil, only it isn't me for once!

High-Speed Hamburger with Fast Fries- adapted from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson
Burgers:
8 oz extra lean ground beef **I used 95% lean Hereford Beef which is excellent**
1 tablespoon caramelized onions from a jar **couldn't find them in a jar, used my own**
1-1/2 teaspoons buttermilk or plain yogurt
1-1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
good grinding of pepper
vegetable oil for brushing

Mix the ground beef with the onions, buttermilk, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Season with pepper, then divide in two and form into two patties, either using a press or by hand. Heat a ridge griddle and lightly brush the burgers with oil. Cook the burgers for 2 minutes on the first side, and then flip them and cook them for another minute. Remove and let stand for a minute or two; this will give you medium-rare burgers. Serve with the fast fries and sandwich in a toasted bun, if you wish, and add lettuce, melted blue cheese, and bacon or a fried, poached, or squished soft-boiled egg, as you like.

Fast Fries:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
9 oz new potatoes, cleaned and scrubbed

Place the potatoes in a freezer bag and hit them with a rolling pin until they are broken into pieces. Heat a frying pan with the oil until hot, then add the potatoes and cook for 5-6 minutes a side with the pan partially covered. Remove the potatoes to a plate lined with paper towels.

Notes/Results: I bought the 95% lean Hereford beef and really loved it. The burger was extremely juicy and you would never know you were eating lean beef. I will be replacing all my ground beef with the Hereford beef from now on. I have never thought to put soy sauce in my burger, but both my husband and I loved the flavor of it. I decided to top my burger with blue cheese and bacon and it was delicious. If you haven't tried blue cheese on your burger, you are missing out. You only need the slightest bit of cheese to add immense flavor. The fries were a lot of fun to make. I smashed up some new potatoes with a heavy bottomed pan and shallow fried them on the stove while I lectured my kids about staying away from the hot oil - LOL! They were the cutest little fries. A real blast from the past!

This week is potluck week over at I Heart Cooking Clubs, which means that any recipe is game. Head on over there this week to check out all the different recipes that will be shared. Better yet, pick any Nigella recipe and cook along with us!

What are some of your favorite childhood foods?

33 comments:

  1. What a fab looking burger!
    As a kid, my mom wasn't a huge cook. We used to eat spaghetti a lot, fried fish, and shake n' bake chicken. So i guess those were my favs. Oh, and ice cream, most definitely ice cream.

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  2. Looks like a perfect burger! Sounds like a fun tradition to pass on!

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  3. Mmmm, the perfect burger and fries - sounds wonderful! It is lunch time here and you have made me totally hungry!

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  4. I love fried potatoes (well, fried anything, really) and that method sounds like a great tension releaser. You know, when the kids are driving me batty!

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  5. Burgers and fries was always considered treat night at my house, and this would be a real treat!

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  6. Wow homemade fries? Your mom is a genius! :) The burger and fries look wonderful!

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  7. Love those smashed potato fries and the burger looks wonderful. I like to stuff my burgers with blue cheese--it is so could with beef.

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  8. Looks wonderful! Not a fan of the bleu cheese, but I'd be willing to give it a try since it's covered with bacon ;) The fries look great too; what a treat for your family! We never had those kinds of meals at home--burger & fries usually meant McDonald's for us, so ya'll are very lucky!

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  9. i grew up with hawaiin haystacks, and a lot of the dishes you mentioned. it's so nice to get a dose of warm memories through old family favorites. i love the look of those burgers, and i'm with you, blue cheese and bacon all the way...my mouth is watering!

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  10. My mom never made burgers, but I love them. I've been putting Worcestershire sauce in mine, but will try a bit of soy sauce, too, next time. I'm with you, Debbie, I love stuffed burgers, though I prefer sharp cheddar in mine. Those fries look tasty, but fried things don't sit well with me these days. Thank goodness I ate my share of fries in high school.

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  11. This looks mouth-watering delicious! I haven't eaten a burger in so long. Blue cheese sounds divine on it. I grew up with a lot of the same - meatloaf, spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, baked ziti, (lots of Italian American food), mac 'n' cheese, lots of comfort food!

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  12. My two childhood favorites both come from Elizabethtown, NC where I used to visit my grandparents. It's where I had my first read BBQ, pork shoulder made as a fund raiser for the local volunteer fire dept. It's what made me want to cook, even as a kid. The best burger ever was the local pool hall's "all the way burger" at Melvins. To this day I have not had a better burger.

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  13. That one has me interested too. Favorite childhood foods…hmmmm…I’d have to say hoagies and cheese steaks. I grew up outside Philadelphia in the southeast corner of PA. You just can’t get a cheese steak like they make there. I heard it’s the bread.

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  14. I love the real burgers. People forget that burgers are not just fast food. Delicious! The fries are also grand and so wonderfully real. I grew up Italian - favorite foods - pasta! And fast food - never!

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  15. Kim.. what a delicious burger... so love the sound of the juiciness and the ease.

    We grew up with lots of pierogies, pasta, and london broils.. my mom wasnt a great cook, she is Polish, and worked with what she knew.:)

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  16. These days I only put really strong cheese on my burger - either feta or gorgonzola - because it's the only time I can really taste it! Cheddar just hasn't been doing it for me. These sound like great burgers!

    My favorite childhood food was definitely my mom's mac and cheese. Homemade heaven that I still have yet to recreate.

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  17. My mom loved to make meat loaf and stroganoff, neither of which I can stand as an adult. :) I'm normally not a big fan of hamburgers, but your version looks divine!

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  18. My whole family love burgers. Any kind of burgers especially fish & chicken! Yours look amazing with the fried potatoes. Salivating LOL!

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  19. I love hamburgers!That one looks and sounds fantastic,Kim!

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  20. What a fun idea with the potatoes! I can't wait to try that :)

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  21. You can't beat a good burger and this looks great.
    I love stories of kitchen memories.... Your dad "popping in" made me smile.

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  22. That sounds totally delicious! No joke, one of my childhood faves is still tuna noodle casserole. Mmmmmmmm

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  23. Yum-i. One memory that popped in my head while reading this post was my babysitter, Heather something, making french fries in my moms kitchen. Mom always made the frozen sticks. Heather (who I saw kiss her bf when she was supposed to be watching me) made them with real potatoes and she even left the skin on! I was in heaven. I didn't even tell my parents what a floozie she was :0)

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  24. Kim, that burger looks great. I want to make it with chicken or turkey, though. We are eating less and less beef. I love the soy sauce added. Soy sauce is an ingredient, I throw into everything so how come, I have not used it with a hamburger.

    Time to defrost the chopped chicken.

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  25. Ohh burgers and fries were a staple growing up for me too--mostly in the summer though when we'd all BBQ!! Yours look like they turned out fabulous! Other childhood favorites would have to be my mom's stellar tuna salad, big breakfasts for dinner, roast w/potatoes n carrots in the crock, homemade pizzas, and lots of chicken dishes.

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  26. Isn't Nigella great?? Those kids of hers have no idea how lucky they are! Childhood favs are my grandma's roast chicken, her spaghetti and my mom's roast leg of lamb :D

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  27. Buttermilk in a burger? What a great idea! Everything is better with buttermilk!

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  28. LOL!! Seriously, homemade burgers were something we always ate as kids, too!! My parents always made them...we rarely ate out. And spaghetti, too! These burgers & fries sound so good :D

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  29. Wow Kim - this burger looks delicious! Have you ever thought of creating a burger recipe for Sutter Home's Build a Better Burger? You can compete to win $100,000. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/betterburger or facebook.com/buildabetterburger for more information.

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