Today LittleGrouch had a PB-J sandwich for lunch at his daycare. That always reminds me of my first face-to-face encounter with this American staple. I came to the US for the first time on a vacation trip when I was a teenager. My younger sister and I knew about PB-J sandwiches from American TV shows and movies. So, we were very curious to try one. We bought all the ingredients, prepared the sandwiches, took a bite, and then...... Let me tell you that that was the first and only time I have had a PB-J sandwich. We both thought it was one of the most disgusting bread-treats we'd ever tasted. Does anyone really like them for their taste and texture? Or is it just for convenience that they are so popular?
Ok, from PBJ to another American staple: Burgers. I don't like soft burger buns. Instead, I use Kaiser rolls and slightly toast them to give the burger some crunch. Also, I prepare the minced meat differently. I add bread crumbs, egg, fluid, and minced onion to lighten it up a little. Pure meat patties always seem very heavy. I like to try different kinds of burgers. This one gets some crunch from fresh cucumber and a great flavor from the garlic butter. HubbyGrouch put ketchup on his but for me that wasn't necessary.
Ingredients (for 6 burgers):
60 g (1/2 stick) soft unsalted butter
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
500 g minced beef
1 large egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1/4 ground black pepper
1 tsp thyme
2 tbsp milk
1 small onion, minced
1/4 cup sparkling water
1 big red bell pepper, quartered lengthwise, seeds removed
1 6-inch piece cucumber, thinly sliced
6 kaiser rolls, sliced horizontally
Mix together butter, garlic, and parsley. Form into a roll and refrigerate until hardened. Place the bell pepper quarters onto a broiler tray, skin side up. Broil until skin forms bubbles and blackens. Let cool slightly, then put in a ziplock bag and let cool completely. Remove skin and cut each into 3-4 pieces. Mix minced beef, egg, bread crumbs, mustard, salt, pepper, thyme, milk, and onion. Just before forming the burger patties, mix in the sparkling water. Divide meat into six portions and form each into a patty slightly bigger than the buns. Heat 1-2 tsp of oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the patties in batches, about 2-3 minutes per side. Meanwhile, lightly toast the rolls. To assemble the burger, arrange sliced cucumber and bell pepper on the bottom part of each roll. Then place one patty on top. Divide the butter among the burgers and cover the top part of roll.