Sunday, April 1, 2007

Cheeseburgers with Potato Wedges

Lord but did I need a cheeseburger yesterday. Possibly because my brother forwarded a site that effectively kept me procrastinating all day,

In any case, I am pretty sure that it's a good idea to consume a cheeseburger every once in a while. There is, for me, almost no better comfort food on the planet. It was like the Hamburger People said, "You know, this is really delicious. It just doesn't get any better than this!" And then the Cheese People came in wearing slinkly outfits and high heels and were like, "Oh, really...?"

I have figured out at long last how to a) make a healthy hamburger without using tofu or other crappy substitutions (yeesh -- don't even talk to me about the time I tried to use ground turkey and grated zucchini instead of beef...suffice to say that Stephen nearly throttled me for such trickery)and b) how to still serve my husband a "normal" cheeseburger, keeping him happy. I was inspired by a Weight Watchers recipe from their online site, and I've been making fries in this baked way for years -- they're so much better for you.

Cheeseburgers with Potato Wedges
First perheat your oven to 450 and spray a bake sheet with cook spray.

You'll need:
6 small potatoes
3/4 t. Mrs Dash, 1/2 t. cayenne (or regular black pepper), 1 1/2 t. Kosher salt

Cut the potatoes into fries or wedges, and then microwave them for 6 -- 9 minutes, letting them get tender. Place them on the bake sheet and sprinkle both sides of them with seasonings, then spray with cook spray again. Cook for 15 minutes and then flip them over. Cook another 15 minutes or until crisp and golden. Leave the oven on.

1 lb. X-tra Lean gound beef (like 96/4 if you can get it)
1/2 C. breadcrumbs (seasoned or regular, it doesn't matter)
3 minced garlic cloves
1/4 C. chopped Italian parsely (the flat leaf kind)
Several drops of Liquid Smoke (if on hand, if not, use a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce)
1 T. Good Seasons (I really do love these packets -- right next to salad dressing in the store)
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 small red onion, chopped very fine.
3 T. onion soup mix (I like the Lipton brand)
3 T. low-fat chedder (I usually mix with a little freshly grated parmesan), and slices of regular chedder cheese for any guests who aren't watching their waist-line.
6 WhiteWheat rolls (I love this brand -- they're low calorie and high in fiber, plus they taste like real white rolls)
Slices of lettuce, tomato, plus condiments

Combine: beef, parsley, liquid smoke, Good Seasons, crumbs and egg whites. Use your hands and get them really well mixed. This is where I divide the mix in half. In my half, I add in the red onions, and into Stephen's I add the soup mix.* Form each half into 3 patties (making 6 total). Cook the patties in a large skillet over medium heat, about 5 min. on each side, until cooked through. With cooking burgers, I live by two cardinal rules: 1. Never press on the burgers with a spatula or otherwise, this squeezes precious, delicious juices out of them. 2. Only turn them once, it helps them cook evenly and lessens your chance of losing juice or having the burger crumble apart on you. Now top your burgers with the respective cheeses. For the low-fat cheese, I like to grate it, rather than slice it, because then I can easily combine it with the parmesan cheese. Place all 6 topped burgers on a bake pan and stick back in your hot oven for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is all melty and bubbly. Serve on rolls with lettuce, tomato, condiments and the potatoes. They come out so juicy and delicious. And if you have access to a grill (read: your husband will allow you to play with fire outdoors) then so much the better. You can grill them instead of pan-cooking them.

Total calories for entire meal (cheeseburgers, fries, rolls, etc.): 450 -- not bad for a full meal. Serves 6.

Cheesy Listening:
"Cheeseburger in Paradise" by Jimmy Buffet (if you're into that sort of thing. Jimmy Buffet tends to grate on my nerves, but this song is rather an obvious choice)
"Walk this Way" by Run D MC (Walk this Way into my craving, Cheeseburger)
"At the Hop" by Danny and the Juniors (There is something about a cheeseburger that really puts me in mind of those great 50s and 60s soda-shop songs)

* He doesn't like hunks of onions in his food. Something to do with his mother traumatizing him with them by the bowlful as a child. Not like me -- I can eat them raw, just crunching into them like apples. I also have some kind of freakish disorder, because I can slice them for hours, days, years, and they don't make me cry.

No comments: