This recipe has been on my “to-make” list for a while. I picked up a used copy of Katie Lee Joel’s The Comfort Table at Half Price Books in February, and I’m just now getting around to trying some of the dishes. Katie Lee Joel is kind of a polarizing figure in the celebrity chef world. Seems like people either love her or hate her. In case you aren’t familiar with her, this NY Times feature from March is a fascinating look into how her star has risen. I’ll admit, that she rubbed me the wrong way at first. I called her “Billy Joel’s absurd child-bride” for a long time. But despite my best efforts to dislike her… she broke me down, and I now think she is just precious.
Her cookbook is full of very simple and homespun recipes. It’s heavy on salads, soups, desserts and dishes for entertaining, which is right up my alley. Father’s Day seemed like the perfect occasion to cook up some comfort foods, and this ooey gooey sandwich fit the bill perfectly.
I was so pleased with how these burgers turned out. The depression-era tradition of stretching the ground beef with grated onion and an egg, then forming very thin patties resulted in an incredibly moist and flavorful burger. I used my brand new non-stick griddle to make these, and I felt like a real live short order cook at a diner. I would be lying if I said this meal was going into heavy rotation though – the fat, calories and sodium are off the charts I’m sure. If you’re looking for a “cheat” meal, this is it!
1 pound ground beef (85 percent lean)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 medium yellow onion, half grated, the other half thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 slices white bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
12 slices American cheese, optional
In a medium bowl, combine the beef, egg, grated onion, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix until combined. Form into 6 thin patties.
Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the burgers about 3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Drain the grease from the skillet.
In the same skillet, place six slices of bread, butter side down. Top each with a slice of cheese, if desired, some onions and a burger. Top with remaining slices of cheese, if using, and bread, butter side up. Cook each sandwich until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
Serve with mustard, ketchup, pickles, or any other desired hamburger toppings