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It has to be a Hamburger

The not-so- humble Hamburger
The not-so- humble Hamburger
Photo by Gregory Son

Hamburgers are wonderful. With all of the barbequing that goes on during this time of year, thoughts of the perfect hamburger begin to inspire all kinds of variations. There are Veggie Burgers, Chicken Burgers, Turkey Burgers, Salmon Burgers, Black Bean Burgers, Jalapeno Burgers, Asian Burgers and many more creative concoctions over which to salivate.

Sometimes, Hamburgers cause us to think back to childhood, when dads all over America thrill their kids by offering freshly made hamburgers, hot off of their barbeque grills. One remembers the enticing aroma wafting from back yards everywhere. Just the mere thought of the smoke in the air brings back that old feeling of a much simpler time. A time when the worst thing would be having to wait for Mom to bring out the condiments before trying to open our mouths wide enough to get a full bite.

In an attempt to satisfy the intense craving for a real, fresh Hamburger without actually having to fire up that back yard grill, sometimes, here in Los Angeles, we head out to our favorite Hamburger restaurant. Some people will find satisfaction from a fast food Hamburger, and others go back to their good, old favorite Hamburger places. Some of these places have actually become famous institutions. The Apple Pan is one such place. It has been serving Hickory Burgers and Steak Burgers for more than five generations. Another old favorite is Bob’s Big Boy's_Big_Boy. Order a Combo here, and you get a fantastic Hamburger with special, secret sauce, an order of freshly made French Fries, and a small salad with your choice of dressing.

There are some other, more modern restaurants that have established themselves sufficiently to have become destinations for finding good Hamburgers like Johnny Rockets, or even Hamburger Heaven There are, in fact, hundreds of really good Hamburger restaurants here in Los Angeles.

One of the very best Hamburgers is one that has been created with so much love and care, that the friends who have been lucky enough to have one request it over and over again. Here is one such Hamburger:

Denise’s Stuffed Burgers
(Serves Four)
2 Lb. ground Beef (the more fat content, the better), formed into eight thin patties
2 large, Beefsteak Tomatoes, sliced into 4 thick slices
4 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
4 Tbsp. Cilantro (leaves only), finely chopped
4 Tbsp. Sliced, pickled Jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
4 Large Onion Hamburger Buns
1 Tbsp. Canola oil
4 Tbsp. Chipotle Mayonnaise (see recipe below)

Chipotle Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. (or more or less to taste) pureed, canned Chipotle Peppers (in Adobo Sauce)
4 Tbsp. Mayonnaise
Combine and taste.

Place four beef patties on work surface. Place one thick slice of tomato on top of each patty. Put a tablespoon of chopped garlic, cilantro and jalapeno on top of each tomato slice. Put one of the remaining beef patties on top of each of the burgers, and carefully pinch the edges together to seal. Place Canola oil in sauté pan and heat. Gently, place the stuffed patties into the hot oil and cook on each side for about three minutes. Toast the onion rolls. Slather each roll with a tablespoon of the Chipotle Mayonnaise. Serve and enjoy.

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