If I tell you that good eating habits help us live longer, healthier lives, then your first reaction will probably be, “tell me something I don’t know.” We all understand the correlation between the quality and quantity of food consumption and health, but it’s one thing to acknowledge a truth intellectually, and quite another thing to take a truth to heart and apply it in practical ways.
Of course, very few people have the mental discipline to adopt and maintain “best practices” eating habits at all times. There will always be a debate over what is the best way to eat, but most would not argue with the merits of adopting a non-processed-food diet primarily consisting of fresh vegetables and lean meats. But who among us can do this at all times? I know myself well enough to admit, “not Grant.” A well-balanced approach to eating is the only way that would ever work for me, and I suspect many other people feel the same way. Here’s what I mean.
Most of the time, I eat with my health in mind. Fresh vegetables are a major component of my diet. Quite often I will grill or sauté a salmon filet for dinner. I consume fresh green juices on a daily basis. However, on occasion I prefer a meal on the opposite end of the spectrum to add some balance – that is, a meal unapologetically high in fat, sugar, or, even better, both. There is no better meal for this purpose than fried burgers, and I’m about to tell you the best way to make them. Trust me.
Grant’s Fried Burgers
1 lb. ground chuck
½ small white onion, grated and squeezed of excess juice
¼ cup fresh grated cheddar cheese (optional)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
Mayonnaise (Bama or Duke’s)
4 small bakery rolls (Publix brand water rolls work perfectly)
1. Combine the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder in a small bowl.
2. Split the rolls in half, wrap in aluminum foil, and place in 250° oven to warm up.
3. Roll out the ground chuck onto parchment paper into a large rectangle until very thin. Sprinkle the meat with the seasoning mixture and grated onion, distributing evenly. If you are feeling adventurous, sprinkle with the grated cheese as well.
4. Fold the meat in half using the parchment paper. Press the meat gently to seal in the ingredients. Use a pizza cutter to cut the meat into squares. The squares should be the same size as your rolls (obviously).
5. Fry the burgers over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side, being careful not to press the meat (pressing is bad!).
6. By this time, the buns should be warm. Remove them from the oven, spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on each side, and add the burger patty. You have my permission to add additional condiments, but may I suggest, just for this recipe, that you enjoy the fried burgers very simply adorned with mayonnaise only. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
7. Plate the burgers and serve with salt and vinegar chips (I strongly prefer Golden Flake brand potato chips, but they are a southern regional brand, so not everyone will have access to them). I would drink a Coke or a Dr. Pepper with this, but in a pinch a Mountain Dew will do.
Every once in a while, the only thing that will do is an old-fashioned fried burger. There’s something special about a fried burger that even a well-executed grilled burger can’t match. I hope you enjoy this recipe. The minimal extra efforts – internal seasoning, square shape, rolled-thin patty, and oven-warmed fresh bun – make all the difference in the world.
 Aside from a few minor variations, I admit to stealing this recipe from Alton Brown. He calls them Mini-Man Burgers.