Thursday, July 26, 2007

Punk'd by a damn burger!

I was gonna come up here and write about something else, which I was forming in my mind as I made myself something to eat: a 2/3-3/4lb hamburger, fried. Growing up around my mother's kitchen, I developed a rebellion against the blandness she tends to prefer. In other words, I spice the hell outta my cooking. My favorites include the crushed red pepper, garlic powder, black pepper, Italian seasoning (in small doses)... oh yeah, and Tabasco sauce.

I've fried burgers before, never did too well, until we started getting "logs" of ground beef from both Food Lion and Harris Teeter. It's real easy, cut off how much you want, put the slice flatways on your cutting board, and pound into a patty, rounding the edges with your hands. I could never get this right from ground beef in the trays, and it's actually cheaper this way if you catch the sales - I've gotten 2lb. logs for $2.98. You can't beat that.

Anyway, back to my burger. I've got at least 2/3lb of meat, but not much more than 3/4lb, if that. I hammer it out, and put my usual seasoning mix on the patty. I drop it facedown into the skillet, and then season the other side.

I walk away - no, not like that. I wasn't gone long, not at all. I think my problem was having the heat on too high. It wasn't on High, but it was close enough, and for a patty that thick, you gotta cook it longer, lower. That and maybe the Italian seasoning and/or minced onions, which I don't think I've put on a burger before. Either way, this terrible, horrible smell and there's more smoke than you'd believe coming off the skillet. The fan was on (leads directly outside) but it wasn't pulling enough.

So I run and get our spare fan, a piece of crap I got for under $5. It can push some air, but it won't keep ya cool. Got that set up to aid the wall fan - didn't do much, the smoke detector goes off. So I pull the smoke detector, toss it on the bed in the spare bedroom, and go get the main fan we have in the bedroom, opening the back door along the way. I put it by the front door, opened that too, had to prop it open with my cooler. And I turned the stove off.

Believe it or not, I plan on eating that burger. I don't think there's anything wrong with the meat itself, but I expect with the combination of spices, it may taste funky. Anyway, I checked the burger, put the slices of cheese on it, was about to take it, but thought twice. I cut it clean in half - red and bleeding in the middle. Now some folks would eat it like that, but not me. I don't like my cow to moo when I bite into it, y'know? Now it's cooking again - and not smoking near as much.

Update... It's done, and... Bloody hell, I forgot to put the fries on! I am going to call this the "Hell Burger". It was hell to make and it's gonna be hell to eat, too. And I'm pissed as hell I don't got my fries with it.

Another update, having taken a couple bites... It's not bad. A little chewy because the top and bottom got burned. I see a little pink in the middle, but that isn't bad. As long as meat's medium well - which this is - it's fine. But medium to rare or less cooked, and I just wouldn't be able to hold it down. I think my stomach will reject food that isn't cooked all the way (or maybe it's just a mental thing).

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