There’s nothing that says “God Bless America” like firing up the ol’ grill, making some thick, juicy, burgers and watching some fireworks. After all, it’s how we celebrate all our secular holidays in America — Grilling! But not those stupid hockey pucks of frozen, pre-formed meat one buys in a sleave at the local WalMart. The Angry Men know how to grill… and this 4th of July, we’re throwing on our angry chef hats and revealing our BBQ secrets for you, our loyal readers.
Angry New Mexican
The New Mexibuger is best made by mixing a little green chile (or red chile salsa, if you prefer that way) into the ground beef during prep, as well as an egg for binder. You’ll need something to soak up some of the fluids from the chile, so breadcrumbs or oatmeal are de rigeur. Melt a bit of Monterrey Jack cheese on top during the last few minutes of cooking and serve on a warm, toasted bun topped with some salsa and freshly made guacamole. Now that’s eating New Mexico style!
Angry Diesel Engineer
My burger of choice is made as follows:
Mix 2 parts ground beef with 1 part ground turkey. Yes, I know, turkey is less manly than beef, but it is Americanized by being put through a food grinder. Besides, the turkey helps to maintain the lightness of the patty. Mix your dead animal together in a mixing bowl together with the secret ingredient – 1 packet of Lipton’s (or similar) onion soup mix powder per 2 pounds of meat.
Form 1/4 to 3/8 pound patties, and press your thumb into the middle to get a little dimple to collect the delicious dead animal juice which will ooze out upon cooking.
Charcoal grills are superior in all aspects to propane if you have the patience and know-how to use them. Keep the charcoal piled mostly in the middle. Put the patties on the hot part of the grill for about 3 minutes on each side to sear the outside, then transfer them to a cooler part of the grill, and put the lid on! The lid is crucial, as it helps cook the meat through radiant heat transfer rather than just the convection from the coals, and it prevents grease fires from turning your delicious meat patties into little scorched fritters.
These burgers cooked to your done-ness preference can then be served on french freedom bread to bring out the lightness in the meat and the oniony goodness.
Angry Political Optimist
I thought I’d chime in here with a little something for those who abhor red meet (not me). The APO salmon burger. You will need:
- Salmon fillets
- 1 c Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise
- 1/4 c Kalamatta olives
- 2 tsp capers
- fennel, rosemary, marjoram
- olive oil
- Old Bay seasoning
- Some fresh burger rolls/buns
- Slices of pepperjack cheese
First prepare the condiment. Use about 3/4 to 1 cup Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise. Place in mixing bowl. Take some Kalamatta olives (without pits, or remove the pits) and chop them up – about 1/4 cup will do. Fold into the Mayonnaise until evenly distributed. Add some capers. Use the smaller kind. Blend these in. Add pinches of the spices (fennel, marjoram and rosemary). Set aside.
Peel and slice up a cucumber into 1/8-3/16 inch slices. Set aside.
Start with a nice fillet of salmon. I always broil the fillet first with the skin side against the heat, or up if you are using an oven broiler, for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and gently peel the skin from the meat. Use a fork to separate it. Broiling it makes this easy. Then using a fillet knife, slice the section of salmon so as to reduce the thickness in half. You want the resultant fillet to be even and about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Place the thinned fillets on some foil and apply olive oil over the salmon rubbing it evenly over the fish. Then sprinkle Old Bay seasoning and rub that in. Place them over the fire and cook evenly. After the edges turn from bright pink to white-ish, remove from the heat and flip over. Rub olive oil and Old Bay on that side also. Place back on the fire. After a couple of minutes, lay the slices of pepperjack cheese over the fillets so that they begin to melt. Do this at the end of the cooking so that the cheese is soft but not melted. (For those who can’t tell, the cheese should look like a limp slice, not a lava flow).
The trick here is to get the salmon cooked just enough. The olive oil helps preserve the juice. Under-cooking is not that bad (think sushi). I always split the rolls and throw them on the grill to toast them. By the time you place the last roll on the grill the first one can come off.
Now take your toasty rolls and slab on some condiment. Place the salmon fillet and cheese on the prepared roll and add three or four slices of cucumber. Close that sucker up and present them warm to your friends.
Warning: These can easily lead to you being the designated cook for your next get together.