My last blog entry was a short audio update called “50 Ways to Improve Your Life” and it was all about eating at home, and included a fabulous recipe for hamburgers. [The audio is available here: http://www.audioacrobat.com/play/W5d4sBVQ ]
In case you have any problems listening to the update (it might be a bit slow if you’re on a dial-up internet connection), I had the update transcribed, and I wanted to include a copy of it here, so that you don’t miss out.
All best wishes,
50 ways to improve your life … and a recipe for the BEST hamburgers
This is Shelley for One Roast Chicken, welcome to your weekly update. I thought it was time to mix things up a bit and give you an audio update. And I’ve got lots of stuff to tell you about, but first I wanted to start with something I saw in a magazine that fits right in with what we’re doing here at One Roast Chicken.
The magazine is called “US News and World Report” and they recently published an article called “50 ways to improve your life.” And just guess what’s on that list?
Right there in black and white, item #4 on the “50 ways to improve your live” list: Eat at home.
The article talks about trans fats in restaurant and take-out food, and they talk about how expensive it is to eat out. One statistic that I wanted to share with you in particular: in 1970, Americans were spending 26% of their total food budget eating away from home; and by 2002 that percentage was 46%). That’s a whack of money, I think you’d agree with that.
OK, so cooking at home saves you money and the meals you make are less likely to have a lot of fat, a lot of sodium and a lot of sugar.
These are all good things, of course.
So why don’t more people eat at home? Why don’t we all cook more?
There’s lots of reasons – not enough time, poor planning, cooking for one, special diets, you’re too tired.
And sometimes restaurant and packaged food tastes better than what you can make at home.
But I want to report that that statement is only true if you’re not a very experienced or familiar cook. The more you practise at home, the better your skills get, the more you can tailor your recipes to your specific tastes.
Everyone has their own personal idiosyncratic food personalities… my sister doesn’t like orange flavoured desserts, but she likes lemon flavoured desserts. My husband doesn’t like sauces and eats his hard boiled eggs without salt. Me, my food weirdness is that I don’t really like olives, and I don’t really like having to pick them out of my food.
I can give you a really good example of the recipes that are better at home once you start to cook more at home. A good hamburger in a restaurant is hard to come by. They’re usually too big, and have too much goop on them you don’t really like. The beef is often way overcooked, it’s crappy quality, and it was a frozen patty in a previous life that’s been slapped on some grill buy a teenager making minimum wage.
After many trials, I’ve discovered a brutally simple recipe for hamburgers that are better than any (and I mean any) that I’ve had in a restaurant, ever. That includes my friend Nick, who makes his hamburgers from scratch, starting with a big hunk of really expensive red meat, and he grinds it, and he adds spices.
And I think my recipe is better. No kidding.
OK, here it is. It’s equal parts of hot Italian sausage with lean ground beef. For example, two fat sausages and 1/2 pound of ground beef = 3 hamburgers (which is enough for two for dinner, with three-bean salad on the side).
Here’s how you make the burgers: You take the sausage meat out of the casings (slit it open with a knife) and put the insides in a bowl. Add the ground beef, and mix it together with your hands.
It doesn’t get any easier than this. No eggs, no breadcrumbs. That’s it. Just these two ingredients.
We have a little two-person grill that I use to cook them, 8 minutes with the lid closed (or you can fry them, about 6-7 minutes per side).
Add in a hamburger bun, add some spicy mayo, and you’re done. These hamburgers are better than any I’ve had in a restaurant.
So anyway, if you’re thinking that eating at home is a lot of work, I want to give you some hope: once you get good at it, once it becomes more automatic for you, once cooking at home becomes a regular part of your routine, you’ll get into this great FOOD groove. You start to look forward to meals you’ve planned, because you know they’re all things that you really love…
OK, I think we’re going to have to have hamburgers tonight 🙂
Until next time, this is Shelley for One Roast Chicken, saying “bon appetit.”
Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu