Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Move over Big Mac, here comes the Big Mother.

Now if you're a fan of my food blog, you've seen me write, on occasion, about where I now live which is Monticello, Utah.  If you're new to my writings, put Monticello into the Search box on my blog and bring up the previous posts about it.   Since moving here in May 2009, I have been one of the residents pushing for development whether by writing letters to appear in the San Juan Record, or here in my food blog.  I'm not in a minority for development, but it seems when it comes to actual decision making, our voices keep getting ignored.  The point of all this is that Monticello, Utah's all time residents want to keep the town in the 1840's when it was founded.  However, they also want the sales tax coffers to be full and pay for all their needs without having businesses that locals and tourists can take advantage of.  The gist of it is, you cannot have it both ways, and if there is anyone reading this that wants to bring development to Monticello, Utah, especially a big business that will attract tourists......COME ON IN!!!!!!

During the spring, it came to my attention via three reliable sources that McDonald's would be setting up shop here.  Not even Blanding, only a 30 minute drive south towards Monument Valley, has a fast food business such as McDonald's.  The nearest is either in Moab, Utah or Cortez, Colorado; either is an hour drive from Monticello.  So when anyone here sees a commercial for a Big Mac, Chicken McNuggets, or even a Happy Meal for their kids; it's not going to be purchased unless they want to take that one hour drive.  Such was my mood yesterday, saw the commercial, wanted the Big Mac, wasn't going to drive an hour to get one.  Did I sit and sulk?  Heck no, I made my own and call it the Big Mother; there's another version for the husband, the Big Daddy.  So enough about Monticello and its need for coming into the 21st century, lets get to cooking up some burgers.

The Big Mother Burger
2 quarter pound all beef burgers (90% lean)
Seasoning Mixture: dash each of ground black pepper, salt and onion powder on each side of the burgers.
3 slices English Muffin bread
1/4 cup chopped lettuce
3 slices American cheese
2 thin slices tomato
4 pickle ovals (Claussen brand is best)
1/4 diced onions
Special Sauce: 1/4 cup each ketchup and mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp. each yellow mustard and sweet pickle relish, 2 dashes hot sauce, 1 tsp. minced roasted red bell peppers
Normally I would grill the burgers, but it being 10 degrees outside made me say, "oh hell no!".  I don't like frying burgers for the most part, all that grease is a turn off; so I put the Seasoning Mixture on each side of the burgers, and bake mine in the oven at 400F until medium-well.  Then I put on the broiler to high and give them a little cookoff for one minute on each side.  Again I'm using the English Muffin bread; the toasted texture gives crunch without allowing the bread to fall apart like those untoasted sesame seed buns do.  Could I toast up a sesame seed bun?  Sure, but once moisture from vegetables and condiments get onto them, they seem to get mushy and fall apart anyway.  The thin slices of tomato will give you that nice, sweet tomato flavor, but not be so thick that it's moving all over your sandwich.  Don't you just hate when it does that!?!
So the burgers are cooked and the bread is toasted; lets put the Big Mother together.  Oh, you will need a thin, wooden skewer to hold it all together once it's built; it is four inches high!
This will basically be a building plan.
Slice of toasted bread.
Slice of cheese.
Generous spread of Special Sauce.
2 pickels.
Half the diced onions.
Slice of toasted bread.
Slice of cheese.
Remaining pickels.
Remaining onions.
Tomato slices.
Slice of cheese.
Final slice of toasted bread with generous spread of Special Sauce.
Skewer down the center to hold it all together. 

Pressing down slightly, the sandwich is still three inches high; and I cut it in half to make for easier eating.  Even then, I was only able to eat half of a half before I started to feel full.  To say it's a mouthful is an understatement indeed.

The Big Daddy Burger for my husband is basically the same kind of sandwich as The Big Mother, but with a few substitutions.  Instead of a Special Sauce, I use a zesty barbecue sauce; instead of diced onion, I use sauteed onions and mushrooms; and here's the kicker, I add 3 slices of crispy, thick cut bacon on top of each burger patty (that's 6 in total!) and 2 slices of my brown sugar/maple glazed baked ham.  Does my husband adore me?  Oh yes he does!!!
Craving a Big Mac, the heck with that...make yourself a Big Mother or a Big Daddy.  Enjoy!
Mary Cokenour

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