A Burger with Everything on Top

My husband knows that an easy present for me is a cookbook. Most people like to read a mystery, a romance novel, or the latest selection from Oprah's Book Club. But not me. I like to read cookbooks. They are more exciting to me because on the next page may be a recipe I have never seen. I travel all over the world as I read a cookbook. Wow. That sounds really sappy. I have been getting Bon Appetite for 20 years and finally threw out 10 years of magazines after moving them across the country twice in 2 different moves. I've got the Internet now instead of my magazines. Every recipe I have ever seen in BA is at my fingertips. But, I still long to just thumb through those old issues.

One of my cookbook presents from my husband was Home Cookin' with Dave's Mom. This cookbook came out a little after David Letterman sent his Mom to cover the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer in 1994 for The Late Show. I grew up in Illinois so this cookbook actually intrigued me because Dave's Mom was practically my neighbor. She lives in Indiana. The recipe that I keep coming back to for the past 10 years is for her Hamburgers. It is a straightforward recipe and it is the best on I have come across. I've changed it only a little. We always have oven roasted fries with them. One of my daughter's likes to pile them on her burger. Thanks Dorothy!! Here's her recipe:

Just a Great Burger

makes 8 burgers

2 slices bread
about 1/4 cup milk
2 pounds ground beef

Use 85% ground beef, the fat makes the burgers juicy. If you live in Minnesota, I recommend you get your beef from Golden Oaks Beef.

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

for serving
8 buns
ketchup, mustard, sliced tomatoes and onions, lettuce

Place the bread in a bowl and pour milk over it. After the bread has soaked up as much of the milk as it will, squeeze out the excess. Combine the soaked bread and the remaining ingredients (except for the buns and your toppings of course) in a large bowl and combine. Form into about 8 burgers and cook over a hot grill until desired doneness. Anything other than medium rare is a crime. Serve on toasted buns with everything on top.

Oven Roasted Fries

about 2 pounds of any potato you have
olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Slice the potatoes into thick looking fries. I leave on the skins. Soak in a big bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes to remove some of the starch. This will make them crispier. Drain and lay out on a dishtowel. Dry off as much water as you can. Put potatoes on a large cookie sheet and drizzle with about 2 tablespoons olive oil. sprinkle generously with salt. Bake about 20 - 25 minutes. Flip over potatoes and cook for another 15 - 20 minutes until nice and crisp. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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