I have many childhood memories from both my mom and my dad in relation to food. Let me give you a mini-ride down memory lane.
In regard to my mom I tend to remember -
1. Salmon Croquettes. Refer to this. You need to, seriously.
2. Potato Salad. She referred to hers as “German” potato salad, which includes lots of mayo, bacon and green olives, amongst other things, and is the only potato salad I will eat. Not sure if it’s actually German, but it’s something that’s so ingrained in my head I’ve yet to question if it’s actually a foreign recipe or if she just says that for the hell of it.
3. Southern Dressing. Yes, dressing, not stuffing. Here in the South, we don’t do stuffing. Honestly, stuffing isn’t a good thing unless you’re using it in a recipe that has absolutely nothing to do with Thanksgiving. When my mother makes dressing, the consistency requires a rather large spoon, i.e. not a knife. Again, that wouldn’t be normal. We need to spoon it out and pour on an obscene amount of cream of chicken soup. That’s the Southern way.
As far as my dad -
1. Fried Shrimp. If the man were still alive this would be the first in his arsenal I would have picked his brain for. I know he breaded them in cornmeal but I’ve yet to be able to re-create this recipe. His shrimp were crispy, but tender and the flavor was amazing. They will forever stand out in my mind. He always made these with what he referred to as “Indian” salad…this was actually a Greek salad for all intents and purposes. Again, another one of those things I wonder about now that I’m grown.
2. Smoked Sausage Baskets. Simple, but yet something that I remember him making on a regular basis. He would make smoked sausage, cut the links up and put them in napkin lined baskets with sharp cheddar cheese. It’s a flavor combination I can taste as I type this; and as a matter of fact I can’t help but to think of watching Miami Vice on those ’80′s Friday nights.
3. Burgers. Burger night has stuck with me as far as I can remember. I do remember my mom having a part in making these, but one of the things that stands out in my memory is after frying the burgers in a pan, they would remove them and dip the inside of the buns in the burger grease. I have a feeling that made magical burgers. I also had to have every condiment I could get my hands on, including lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, mustard, ketchup, etc. But the most critical part of this meal was Fritos dipped in cottage cheese.
You see, burgers combined with Frito’s and cottage cheese go hand-in-hand. They. just. do. Try it one time and you’ll be hooked. Just don’t get that fat free crap.
Now, here’s a burger you need to grill soon. I’ve been meaning to make onion strings for months, and finally got around to making them this weekend – and at the same time creating a pretty amazing burger.
Bacon Burger with Muenster, Onion Strings and Buffalo Mayo
1 lb ground round
2 tbsp bread crumbs
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp seasoned salt, like Lawry’s
1/2 cup mayo
1 tbsp buffalo hot sauce, or more depending on your heat tolerance
4 onion rolls
4 slices Muenster cheese
1/2 lb. sliced bacon, cooked
Onion strings - this is a very easy recipe for these
Combine the ground round through seasoned salt; form into patties and put in the fridge for 30 minutes. I have discovered this makes grilling so much easier because they tend not to fall apart.
Grill the burgers until desired temp, then top with cheese and close the grill for about a minute; remove and cover with foil.
Mix the mayo and hot sauce together, then slather some on the top part of each bun. Place the burger on bottom bun, then top with bacon and onion strings, then top bun.
Please have Frito’s and cottage cheese with this.