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Hey guys! Alicia here with more recipes from my ancestry. This month I decided to do American food, as in The United States of America. My ancestors have been here for a long time from many other countries throughout Europe. It's been difficult to find purely American foods, because the great thing about this country is it's a melting pot of people and cultures. And in fact today we have a meal that is an blend of foods from other countries, that when together makes a quintessential American meal.
Hamburgers, Fries, and a Milkshake
Hamburgers, were minced Hamburg beef steaks made in Hamburg, Germany. They were usually very expensive. When Germans came to the USA, they made a version of the Hamburg steak here. These steaks were passed out to factory workers during the Industrial revolution, but proved difficult to eat standing up. This was until one chef put the patty between to slices of bread. This popularized the hamburger across the country. And I'm so glad!
I love hamburgers. To make mine, I usually just make a patty with ground beef (80/20 or higher). Sometimes I mix in spices like pepper, garlic, thyme, or onion powder. Then as I put them on the charcoal grill, I salt them. When they're cooked through, and just about done, I add a slice of cheese. Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Swiss...to me all cheese has a place on a burger, it just depends on what else you're topping it with. For our burgers this time we used cheddar cheese, bacon, tomato, lettuce, and onion. All on a lightly grilled sesame seed bun. It was so delicious. I don't have a recipe for you because hamburgers are the perfect food to experiment with. There are so many delicious combinations. The bacon cheeseburger like we made is an American classic, But I also love Swiss cheese and sautéed onions.
To go with hamburgers, the classic way here in the USA is with French Fries. While named French fries, they're actually from Belgium! During World War I, American soldiers in Belgium tried these delicious fried potatoes (that date back to the 1600's in Belgium). Because of the language spoken in that part of the country, the soldiers called them French Fries and the name has stuck (except for that very brief moment in time where we changed it to Freedom Fries in one of the most hilarious forms of animosity between countries). Fries are eaten all over the world now and in different ways. In Canada they use them to make Poutine. In the UK they're called chips and eaten with fried fish. No matter how you eat them, they are delicious.
To make my fries I peel russet potatoes, and then slice them into long thin rectangular prisms (not exactly since the potatoes are round). Then I soak them in water or blanch them. I feel like this helps them to get plump up and be crispy when they are done frying (instead of soggy). I fry them in my 10 inch frying pan with about an inch of oil. As soon as they come out of the oil I put them on a plate with a paper towel and salt them. You can also bake them, just coat them in oil and salt first.
To finish off the meal, is a milkshake! From my research it seems milkshakes are an American invention. Now we don't always have milkshakes with fries and burgers or even for dinner. Usually it's an after dinner treat! But we made an exception for this meal. Milkshakes are easy to make. Get your favorite ice cream, put it in a blender, add some milk and blend it up. It's so so simple and so delicious! You can make it as liquid as you want. We like to be able to drink ours through a straw but many people eat theirs with a spoon. Sorry I don't have a good picture of our milkshake. We drank it too fast.
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Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!