Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Squid Cooks: Pan-Cooked, Seasoned Burgers

I have been given Tuesdays.  My wife cooks dinner nearly every evening, mostly because she's better at it but also because she finds it relaxing after work, or so she claims.  But Tuesdays have become complicated.  Our daughter's clarinet lessons have been moved an hour later, so ideally we should eat before we leave.  The best solution for making that work: dad cooks.  I welcome the idea.  It's a fine opportunity to hone some of the quicker recipes I have already tried in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything: The Basics and also implement the food choice thinking I've been doing in my weight loss efforts.

I asked my daughter if any of my recent efforts were especially appealing for her.  Burgers were her choice (see post here) so I tried not one but two of Bittman's suggested variations: pan-cooked and seasoned.  In all honesty, though, I took the pan option without thinking about it, simply being my more usual choice for hamburgers.  Next time, I might go back to the broiler, though with a shorter cooking time.  I like the crust on the outside but I also like the juicy middle - delicate balance.

As for seasoning, I tried two: oregano and basil.  I first had oregano in a burger at the St. Clair Broiler in St. Paul, Minnesota.  I lived in St. Paul for a year after college and the Broiler was a decent dinner option within walking distance of my apartment.  The place closed in 2017 after 61 years in business.  I haven't been to Minnesota in over 20 years but I've never forgotten those burgers.  I simply mix it in with the meat and onions before cooking.  We had some fresh oregano which I'd never cooked with before - worked just fine.  The basil was a new wrinkle, suggested by Bittman.  At my wife's urging, I added it fresh at the end rather than cooking it with the rest.   I wouldn't say it added much, at least not in competition with the oregano.  I think I might try curry powder next time.

Squid on the Vine

Domaine du Somail, Le Vin de Plume Minervois Red Blend, 2017
My Rating: 8.0
A little of the cat pee smell - yes, I know that sounds gross but it's actually a common description for a young wine.
Tart apple
Sacramental finish
My wife presented it as one that might appeal to me in my quest for the idea (see here).  It certainly opened with promise but then didn't take me very far.  Good.  Not great.


  1. aww...you and yours consume fresh and healthy food at least every evening.

    Thank you for sharing "Squid on the Vine."

  2. "Cat pee" kills it for me! Oregano in the burger! It sounds delicious.

  3. Sounds like you guys had a meal that made you all happy. :) I used to love burgers- but haven't had one in years (I'm a vegetarian now). I do love plant based burgers- like Impossible, Beyond, or other meat free versions. Hope the next wine us better. :)

    1. Vegetarianism... I admire you for it. I know I should make an effort to at least cut back on my meat consumption. But it's just so good!

  4. This sounds like a good idea to have Dad cooks Tuesday. Your burger looks wonderful.

  5. Those burgers look good!


  6. X went through a phase when he "cooked" once a week. His cooking method was to go to the grocery store to buy very expensive items that only needed to be heated. His meals probably cost 10 times more than meals I actually cooked. I don't really cook now. I no longer have to do so.


    1. Well sure, I could cook like that, I suppose... This is cheaper and more fun. I can't say that I'm exactly quick yet but I'm assuming that will come with practice.

  7. I generally stick with garlic with my burgers, but I don't really experiment much with them anymore since everyone likes the way I make them.
    (And they're way better than anything you can get around here (especially since the best burger place in the area just cut the quality on their burgers by a LOT)

    I guess I don't smell my wine enough. I've never noticed a cat pee smell.

    1. It's funny but I never do garlic in burgers. And I love garlic! Maybe I should try that.

      Everyone seems pretty happy with my recipe, too, but I'm still keen to try somethings. The curry is intriguing, though I realize curried beef would be sacrilege for several hundred million people. I won't pretend I keep kosher, either.