Archive for the ‘ Burger ’ Category

HOMEMADE SESAME SEED BUNS

If you’re at all like me, you absolutely loathe the crappy, mass-produced, light-as-air hamburger buns that they have on hand at most major supermarkets.  I’m talking about the ones that you throw your hot, juicy burger onto, that in turn dissolves into a condiment-laden sponge within minutes.  Last Summer, I’d finally had enough and decided to try making some of own.

While significantly more substantial than those found at most fast food establishments, these little guys are still very tender and delicate, retaining a resiliency that not many sesame seed buns can boast.  Unlike those at the grocery store, these will not melt or crumble in your hands.  They can stand up to a good amount of juices and have a flavor infinitely more complex than your typical factory-made variety.

With Memorial Day hours away, grilling season is finally upon us. Do yourself a favor this summer and try making these buns from scratch at least once.  I promise, your burgers will thank you.

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HOME-STYLE SLOPPY JOES

Sloppy Joes

I didn’t eat many sloppy joes growing up. Maybe my parents ate one too many soggy renditions during their own childhood, but for whatever reason this was an item that was rarely seen on the dinner menu at my house.  It turns out that my lack of experience with these saucy, loose meat burgers puts me in a minority among friends who all recount fond memories of eating them on a near weekly basis. For me, sloppy joes have always represented your typical lunch counter fodder: a half simmering pot of reddish-brown mystery meat smashed between a sodden, dissolve-on-contact bun. For them, Mom cracking open a can of Manwich stood out as a true suppertime treat in a lineup of otherwise dismal home-cooked fare.

It wasn’t until I came across a recipe for this iconic American sandwich in a recent issue of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine that I decided to give sloppy joes another look.  As usual, it looked as though the editors had found a few ways to rid the dish of it’s usual shortcomings and breath new life into an old favorite.  So, with a pound of ground beef sitting in the freezer and few extra homemade buns lying around from my fried chicken sandwiches, I set out to see what I’d been missing all these years.

The results were nothing short of spectacular.  Robust and beefy with a pleasant brightness coming from the addition of tomato puree, these joes were unlike anything I’d tasted in the past.  Gone was the typical grainy, greasy texture, replaced with a consistency that was pleasantly thick, yet saucy enough to blend seamlessly with the tender, pillow-soft bun.

Now to convince my parents to give them a shot.

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