Monday, July 26, 2010

Burgers on the Fly

The embarrassing truth: the contents of my fridge

Last night I found myself in the rare and peculiar situation of having almost nothing edible in the fridge. After coming back from an amazingly fun filled trip of visiting family in Hilton Head, working through the weekend, and preparing SB for an upcoming trip, all that was left in the fridge (as depicted above) were condiments, beer and coconut water. Now don't get me wrong, I like my chilled coronas, and you may already be familiar with my coconut water obsession - but a girl has got to eat! All the perishables had tragically perished, the can of tomato soup was not calling my name, and let's face it, there are only so many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches one can eat (although SB might beg to differ - one day I'll have to break it to him that PBJs, in fact, are not one of the 5 major food groups).

So here I was, with an empty stomach, it was too late to order and a pile of laundry was staring at me with puppy eyes - in need of dire attention. It was a new challenge: make something magically appear out of almost nothing. Fortunately, I still had about 1 lb of ground beef leftover, which I had frozen after I made Momma B's Taco Salad. I also had an onion and some garlic lurking around. Burgers it was. My goal was to make it as tasty and interesting as I could, with what I had, because I simply didn't have the staple items that normally go with a burger.

Here is what I did:
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 small - medium sized Vidalia onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (this is an approximation as I wasn't measuring precisely. Sames goes for the Maggi)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Maggi seasoning
Place the beef in a mixing bowl. Work your clove of garlic through a microplane (or very finely mince it). Finely dice 1/4 of the onion. Add the garlic and onion to the meat. Add the Worcestershire, Maggi seasoning, a pinch of salt and pepper to the meat. Mix everything together with your hands until well incorporated. Form patties and place into preheated skillet with olive oil. Cook the patties about 7 minutes on each side.

As soon as I placed the patties into the skillet I put a lid on it to prevent the oil from splattering but also to create a steam chamber. When the patties where almost ready to flip, I took the leftover onion, julienned them (cut them into thin strips), and placed them into the pan with/around the burgers. I then flipped the burgers and a few minutes before they were ready to be taken out, I removed the lid completely. After the patties had finished cooking, I set them aside and let the onions continue to caramelize in the pan for few more minutes, until they reached a golden brown color (This will happen fairly quickly). A lot of the seasoning and juices from burgers had seeped into the pan and flavored the onions wonderfully!

To serve, I spread a little bit of mayo (and ketchup for SB) on slices of sourdough bread, added the patty and the caramelized onions. YUMMY!!!! I mean not to toot my own horn, but I thought it was pretty fantastic. The seasoned patty with the caramelized onions had so much flavor that I really didn't miss any of the other staples, like the cheese or the tomato, at all. Just goes to show, delicious food does not have to be complicated at all. Kind of like life: why make it complicated when it can be simple. Ahhh and another parallel.

SB gave it 2 thumbs up (maybe even a few more, if he had more thumbs :)).

If any of you try it, let me know how it goes and if you like it!

Happy eating!!


Sometimes a fridge that looks like this is a blessing in disguise


  1. Julie, Hi! We met you at the Rutherford Hills Winery. What a great Website. We look forward to following your culinary adventures. Hope you had lots more fun in Napa! Tim & Jean Sullivan

  2. Hi Tim & Jean,

    It was very nice meeting you at Rutherford. What a beautiful winery it was!! I hope you guys had a good trip back to chi-town. Thank you so much for visiting my blog!! Your support is appreciated!




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