Friday, April 16, 2010
In my house, growing up, Daddy was the sole master of the grill. Nobody else in the family touched it.
I, personally, was afraid of the thing. It arrived, unassembled, in a gi-normous box one Spring day, and Daddy vowed to put it together on the weekend. The box boasted that the grill only took about an hour (with minimal tools) to assemble.
Well, it took Daddy about six hours to put together. I remember riding my tricycle around the neighborhood and passing by our garage, and there was Daddy, counting screws, re-reading directions, throwing screwdrivers across the garage in frustration.
I'd ride into the garage on occasion, just to check on him. It was pretty swell entertainment, actually.
As dusk approached, I parked my tricycle in the garage, stood by Daddy for a few minutes and then went inside for some Hi-C.
"Is your father still out there?" Mama asked.
"Uh-huh," I said, gulping my juice.
"It's not ladylike to swill like that, Miss," Mama reminded.
"Sorry." I put down my glass. "Hey Mama?"
"What does 'Goddamnsonofabitch' mean?"
My mother put down her potato peeler and looked at me sternly. "Now just where did you hear that word, Miss?"
Wide-eyed,I pointed to the garage. "Daddy said it. He's talkin' to the barbeque."
He did, eventually, get it put together, but there were a few mysterious stray screws lying around that nettled him.
With all of the effort it took to assemble the grill, you'd think Daddy would've given more thought to his grilling technique. Alas, he never did.
Daddy would cheerfully take out a plate of juicy chops or plump burgers, plop them on the grill, and then get distracted. Even when Mama remembered to set the timer, he'd somehow manage to overcook whatever foodstuff graced that grill.
Diligently, we'd chew our way through burgers the consistency of hockey pucks, slathering on copious amounts of Heinz 57 sauce.
Daddy cooked "Puck Burgers" for most of my childhood. He's gotten better at the grilling thing with age; perhaps because he's not so easily distracted anymore. Or perhaps because he got a new grill a while back--a pre-assembled one.
Anyways, the following recipe is an old one. I'm not sure where Mama got it, but it greatly reduced the chance of us getting "Puck Burgers" for dinner. The egg, water, cheese and herbs add moisture to the meat, so even if you cook them a little South of where you like, you won't need that bottle of Heinz 57.
1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped green onion
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon ice water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Mix all ingredients together; shape into 4 patties. Grill 4 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Serve bunless, or open-faced.
Personally, I like mine topped with a little onion jam (Boar's Head) and a sprinkling of Parmesan.
* I do not know where these burgers got their name. As far as I can tell, there's nothing inherently "Brazilian" in the recipe. All of the ingredients are pretty plebian. Perhaps it's because the burger is served bunless/topless? Would a recipe dare to be that racy in the early 70's? Your guess is as good as mine.