What do all of these things have in common? I got up close and personal with each of them this weekend. Yes, Thursday my dear friend, Becky Yauger, and I set out from Texas (Can you say road-trip?!!) and journeyed to Mississippi for a long weekend with Susie May Warren at her Kiss and Tell Retreat. An entire weekend devoted entirely to writing romance. LOVE it! Susie is such a great teacher, not to mention an amazing writer, and my poor blond brain learned almost more than it could hold.
But, alas, all good things must come to an end, so that meant we had to make the 8+ hour journey back home again. And, of course, my family was so thrilled to see me. The first words uttered were, "What's for dinner?"
Seriously? I drive 8 hours and you expect me to fix dinner?
So after a sufficient amount of whining and complaining (mine, of course), I did just that. Nothing fancy, just hamburgers. Great tasting, juicy hamburgers, just the way they like 'em, that they never could have made themselves:-)
And while hamburgers are easy, there is an art. Here are some of my secrets.
You'll want to start with some 85/15 ground beef. Trust me here. I've made them from leaner beef, but they aren't as tender. And since I usually cook them on the grill, either outdoors or my George Foreman, most of the fat drains off anyway.
So here I have 3 pounds of ground beef. To that I add about a teaspoon of kosher salt and 1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce. You can also add a bit of ground pepper, if you like.
Work that all together with your hands. (I actually use two hands, but one was taking the pic :-)
Now make your patties. Some folks prefer their patties thick, others like them thin. Around my house, I have people that like both varieties, so I do them every which way.
The patties are formed, so now comes my secret weapon--McCormick's Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning. My guys love that stuff. Sprinkle both sides of the raw patties.
Now it's time to cook them. Like I said, I generally use our gas grill or my George Foreman. Once in a while I'll cook them in a skillet, but that's rare. Whatever your preference, be sure the surface is good and hot when you put your burgers on to cook. This creates those nice, crispy edges. If you're using the grill, don't let the flames scorch the meat. Off set the patties away from the flame, if necessary, and only flip them once. Oh, and don't press them with your turning spatula. That just squishes out all the juices.
I recommend 4-7 minutes on the first side, flip, then another 4-7 minutes. Add a toasted bun and voila! Dinner is served. Tender and juicy. With no complaints from my men.
And I always make more than we need for one meal. That way, they can grab, heat, and eat whenever they want. Which means I have more time to write. And that's always a good thing.