Updated: 9:36 p.m. Tuesday, June 26, 2012 | Posted: 9:34 p.m. Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Burgers, punch an easy holiday duo
Guests will love it; hosts will love being with their guests.
By Duante Beddingfield
The 4th of July is just one week away, and families and friends all over the country will gather to eat and drink in celebration. Make it easy on yourself by providing foods that are simple to make without skimping on quality and flavor, so you can enjoy spending time with the people you care about.
That’s always been my approach. I am absolutely not a trained chef, but I am passionate about food and have spent many years cooking and hosting at home.
I never enjoyed being that host who’s so busy cooking that he spends all day in the kitchen and doesn’t get to spend time with his guests, so in my kitchen, the focus is usually on meals that are rich in flavor, but easily assembled and quickly produced. The same goes for cocktails, and below I’m providing my own burger recipe and a cocktail that’s a favorite among my friends. Both draw raves at every cookout, and now you can try them out, too.
Garlic-parmesan butter burgers
Recipe courtesy of Duante Beddingfield Yield: 4 large burgers
2 lbs. beef (for optimal flavor, go with chuck or sirloin with about 20 percent fat) 4 or 5 large cloves of garlic, minced 1 tbsp. fresh thyme 2 tbsp. Worcester sauce 2 tsp .seasoning salt 2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese 1/2 cup onions, minced 4 small chunks of butter, about an inch by a half-inch Salt Pepper
1. Combine the ingredients in a large bowl, mixing thoroughly. 2. Make eight wide, flat patties. They should be about a half-inch thick. 3. With your fingers, press an indentation into the center of half the patties and place a chunk of butter inside each. 4. Take the four remaining patties and put them on top of the indented ones. Form them together, making four large burgers and sealing the butter inside. Make sure the two halves of each are completely meshed together now, or they’ll come apart during cooking and the butter will run out on the sides. 5. Grill on high, direct heat to get a good crust on the outside while keeping the inside moist. After 5 or 6 minutes (time can vary by grill), when moisture begins collecting on top of the burgers (meaning the middle is starting to cook), flip them. Flip only once, and don’t mash the patties with your spatula (that makes all the juices squish out, which will lead to dry burgers), 6. After flipping, grill for the same amount of time as before, minus a minute or two. For medium burgers, that should be 3-4 minutes, less for rare, and more for well done. During that last minute, add cheese if desired. 7. Remove burgers and put the buns on the grill for a minute or so to toast them. BUCKEYE VODKA PUNCH
Did you know there’s a top-shelf vodka made right here in Dayton? Buckeye Vodka, which bills itself as “the spirit of Ohio,” launched in spring 2011 and is produced right downtown. Last Fourth of July, Buckeye published a party punch recipe on its Facebook page that’s perfect for any fun gathering.
1 bottle Buckeye vodka 1 bottle Simply Lemonade 1 bag frozen raspberries 1 orange, sliced 1. Combine all ingredients in a pitcher. 2. Refrigerate for 24 hours. 3. Drink. It’s really that simple. Option: You can substitute other frozen fruits; just dispense with the orange. I frequently make mine with strawberries.
Duante Beddingfield is a freelance writer covering lifestyle and entertainment topics. Contact him at email@example.com
Burger tricks and tips:
The fat content of the meat is key. Ultra-lean beef makes for dry burgers.
A nice, smoky bacon goes great on top.
I use a grated blend of parmesan and romano cheeses for a little extra flavor.
My preferred seasoning salt is Essence of Emeril for its tangy mixture of
herbs and spices.
For best flavor, use fresh cracked black pepper.
I use a mixture of sea salt and garlic salt to amp the flavor a little bit
The cheese you put on top can make a huge difference. Try going beyond the
individually-wrapped American. Swiss, Muenster, Extra-sharp cheddar, and
many others are widely available in sandwich slices.
Final touch? Brush the buns with a little butter before toasting them.
If you don’t have a grill, these burgers can be made on the stove in a
large skillet at medium-high. When I make them on the stovetop, I start
by adding a half-cup of bold, salty wine and a little beef broth into
the skillet along with lots of sliced onions. When the alcohol cooks
out, I add the burgers. The liquid keeps the burgers moist and lets the
onions carmelize beautifully.