Ultimate Burgers and Grilling Perfect Steak
There’s nothing more American than a classic burger, and now there’s a fun new cookbook out called “The Burger” with a over 100 recipes from the traditional beef burgers and “showstopers” to vegetarian, seafood and tofu burgers, plus accompaniments including sauces, relishes, and chutneys . We’ve got the scoop on where the burger was invented and a classic cheeseburger recipe and a tofu burger courtesty of “The Burger”.
The History of the Burger
excerpt from The Burger: An Action Packed Delicous adventure.
Not surprisingly, more than one person has taken credit for inventing the hamburger. While humans have been eating ground beef patties for centuries, the term “hamburger steak” started popping up in the United States in the 1800s, supposedly named for the German immigrants who ordered them in restaurants. However, the question of who started putting these ground beef “steaks” between slices of bread is where the controversy lies.
It might have been in 1885, at a county fair in Seymour, Wisconsin, where Charles Nagreen served hamburger steaks between pieces of bread for ease of carrying. Or it could have been in 1892 at another county fair in Akron, Ohio, when Frank Mensches was said to run out of sausage and decided to ground fresh beef for sandwiches instead. The third theory is that Louis Lassen invented the burger in his small diner in New Haven, Connecticut, at around the same time.
Here are two fun recipes from the book.
The Best Cheeseburger
prep time: 10 minutes cook time: 12 minutes
- 11/2 pounds fresh ground beef
- 1 beef bouillon cube
- 1 tablespoon ground dried onion
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1–2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 1/2 cup shredded American or cheddar cheese
- lettuce leaves
- 4 hamburger buns, halved
- tomato slices
- Place the beef in a large mixing bowl. Crumble the bouillon cube over the meat, add the dried onion and water, and mix well. Divide the meat into four equal portions, shape each into a ball, then flatten slightly to make a patty of your preferred thickness.
- Place a ridged grill pan or skillet over medium–high heat. Lightly brush the burgers with oil and cook for 5–6 minutes. Turn the burgers, sprinkle the cheese over the cooked side, and cook for an additional 5–6 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.
- Place the lettuce leaves on the bottom halves of the buns and top with the burgers. Place a couple of tomato slices on top and add the lids. Serve immediately with fries.
prep time: 15 minutes, plus marinating cook time: 6 minutes
A standard 8-ounce package of tofu makes enough for about three burgers, but you can easily double the recipe.
- 8 ounces firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 8 small fresh cilantro sprigs, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise3 hamburger buns, halved
- red onion slices
- lettuce leaves
- Preheat the broiler to high and place the rack about 6 inches below the heat. Line the broiler pan with aluminum foil.
- Drain the tofu and pat dry. Slice into 1/2-inch thick slabs that will roughly fit in the buns and drain on paper towels.
- Combine the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, half the garlic, and the crushed red pepper in a shallow dish wide enough to fit the tofu in a single layer. Place the tofu in the mixture, then turn to coat on both sides. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 15 minutes or for up to 3 hours.
- Put the cilantro and the remaining garlic into a small food processor or blender and puree. Add the mayonnaise and mix until smooth.
- Transfer the tofu to the prepared broiler pan. Cook under the preheated broiler for 3 minutes on each side, or until brown.
- Spread the cilantro–garlic mayonnaise on both halves of the buns, then add one-third of the tofu to each of the bun bottoms. Add some onion and lettuce, finish with the top halves of the buns, slice in half, and serve immediately.