Sunday, July 1, 2012

American Fare Remix

I spend copious amounts of time perusing recipes on the Internet.  Perhaps I should say I spend copious amounts of times “cruising” recipes on the web because there is a certain lustfulness to it.  The indefiniteness of web-based recipes… it makes my heart race a little.  I can never get bored of it.  And my own relentlessness combined with the infinite abyss of the Internet lead me to the Juicy Lucy.
The Juicy Lucy is a burger stuffed with cheese.  As I am in the midst of romancing my new grill, the Juicy Lucy was an obvious next step in our courtship.  It’s actually rather simple:  two very wide, thin burger patties are joined together with a core of sliced cheese, and grilled.  Brilliant.  If you are very lucky, rivulets of cheese will peak through the patty as it is being cooked, hinting at the molten cheese just beneath the surface.  Use American cheese, a good quality, deli-sliced American cheese.  It’s excellent on burgers, and it melts and oozes beautifully.
The Juicy Lucy was fabulous.  As you can see, I had a minor problem with the meat sticking to the grill.  However, problems are relative; once I saw the molten cheese peaking out of the edges, my dismay melted away.
I was also, oddly, craving potato salad.  And thus, I whipped some up in 98-degree heat.  I felt the need to boil a huge pot of potatoes in my AC-absent apartment.  It had better be good.  What I produced, I am calling “dressed-up American potato salad.”  It contains mayonnaise for the requisite American richness, as well as coarsely chopped hardboiled eggs, but its flavor and texture are augmented by vinaigrette-like ingredients: fresh lemon juice, white wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, fresh herbs.  Delicious.  Capers would also be excellent in this.
The potato salad, the burger, and a random avocado lingering in my refrigerator apparently had a meeting with destiny.  On my burger, you will notice a green, creamy substance on the bottom bun.  Smashed avocado?  Yes, but it’s even better.  It’s smashed avocado spritzed with lemon juice and mixed with about a tablespoon of the dressing for the potato salad: mayonnaise, olive oil, Dijon, lemon, white wine vinegar, and copious amounts of salt and pepper.  I’d call that a perfect storm, and it made my burger compliment the potato salad oh-so-nicely.  The Juicy Lucy would also be fabulous simply adorned with pickles.
Juicy Lucy (based on the recipe from

For each burger:
1/4-1/3 lb. ground beef (85% lean)
1 sliced American cheese
Lawry’s seasoned salt
Sesame seed hamburger bun
Sliced pickles or avocado spread for garnish

-       Break the slice of cheese into 4 equal pieces by folding it in half, then folding it in half again.  Set aside
-       For each burger, divide the meat in half.  Use a broad plate (lightly oiled, if desired) to carefully press the meat into two flat, wide circles, approximately one inch in diameter wider than your hamburger bun.
-       Place cheese in the middle of one patty and carefully lay the other one on top.  Mold the edges together, and roll the edge of the jumbo, cheese stuffed patty against the palm of your hand to help to come together and have a circular shape.
-       Preheat a grill to medium and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes, flipping once.  Allow burgers to rest for 5 minutes to all juices and cheese to evenly distribute; add desired toppings and enjoy.

Potato Salad

For the dressing:

2-3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Juice from half a lemon
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4-1/3 cup mayonnaise (I like the kind made with olive oil)
1/4-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

-       Whisk together all ingredients to taste.  You should have about 1 cup of dressing when you’re done.  I made it in a large measuring cup to make my life easier.

For the Salad: 

3 scallions, minced
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
3 rib of celery, diced finely
2 hard boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
2 1/2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, skin left on, chopped in 11/2 inch chunks.
Kosher salt and pepper

-       Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with cold water.
-       Place on high heat and add 1-2 tablespoons of salt to the water.
-       Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are fork tender but not mushy.
-       Drain in a large colander, and then cover with a clean dish towel for 10 minutes to allow potatoes to finish cooking in their own steam.  This will allow for even cooking without over cooking.
-       Transfer potatoes to a large bowl and add dressing and other ingredients until you achieve your desired consistency.  Eat warm or refrigerate.  Reserve any leftover dressing because the consistency/seasoning may be different once the potato salad is cold.

1 comment:

  1. i think i will be trying a juicy lucy this 4th -- a yum and a yum and a yum yum yum!!!!!!!!! thanks psycho - you peruse the internet so the rest of us can get fat