Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Even Julia Child Had Her Bad Days

YamburgersI fail to understand why I can be creative with pastas, soups, sandwiches, desserts or meats but not hamburgers. It's as if there's this solemn commandment in our home that says "Thou shalt not tamper with the perfection that is ground beef between bread."

I can come up with all sorts of interesting and tasty fusion cuisine but if I serve up anything beyond the basic all-American patio classic I'm doomed--do you hear me? Doomed!

Now don't laugh when you read this but I was looking through one of my cookbooks on burgers and saw this recipe for sweet potato burgers that looked really good.

I happen to like sweet potatoes and I also happen to get very, very tired of the same old chopped meat on a bun so I thought I'd branch out and give this one a try. I made fancy homemade buns, homemade mayonnaise and the best, most fresh ingredients and went to work.

"Now don't think of this as a hamburger exactly . . . " I started to say as I brought out the platter of neat little packages. "It's not something to compete with your precious hamburgers, think of it more as a sandwich. A different kind of sandwich. A sandwich that I'm sure you'll like if you just give it a try. . . . " Which of course was my fatal mistake.

No weakness. No suggestion that they may not like it or that it's different from the norm. No hint that there are vegetables of any kind passing for processed meat because any of that and the jig is up. The war is over and I've lost.

"So what are these? Yamburgers??"

"Yamburgers??? You've made us yamburgers??" Pretty soon the cry was coming at me from every angle and everyone was round-eyed and white with terror and I might as well have thrown the plate out on the back deck right then and there.

Yes, they tasted just fine. Not as good as hamburgers--even I have the brains to admit that--but still . . . couldn't they have given them just the ghost of a chance? Maybe I should have dyed them browner and covered them in barbecue sauce and melted, processed cheese.

However I'm pretty sure I could convince them to try a few of these luscious links:

Shaker Pie from Smitten Kitchen

Barbecue Chicken Pizza Soup from Picky Palate

Redskin Pie from Big Red Kitchen

What's your biggest failure in the kitchen? I need support here.

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Robin said...

Hummus Pizza, based on some ancient Nabatean concoction.

Don't ask.

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Peruby said...

Oh, I don't think there is enough room in the comments for my kitchen nightmares.

What comes to mind? Hmmm, let's see. Just this week-end I marinaded pork chops in beer. That didn't work out well. At all.

I'm sure there are more. I just can't think of them right now. I probably blocked them out of my memory because of the trauma.

Tammy said...

I made a pasta dish with pumpkin and sweet italian chicken sausage. http://whatadayitis.blogspot.com/2008/02/pickles-cleanse-palette.html

All I can say is it was GROSS. Good thing we had pickles to follow it up! I didn't think I'd ever get that smell out of my head.

Mrs. Organic said...

Without question Oatburgers. Or may be Sunburgers.

Green does not bode well for a hamburger substitutes.

Melissa said...

There have been a few.
I tried a recipe that involved rice and a slow cooker that did not end well.
I tried to make a clone of Popeye's Cajun Rice, but adjusted some of the seasonings. My boys are very sad to see the leftovers now because they claim the dish is too spicy.
I have tried to make my own hot dogs buns, but that was a royal failure. Care to share your hamburger bun recipe? Or is it already on your blog?

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I'm a recipe-follower not a recipe-creator. So I haven't had many disasters.

But I vaguely remember a recipe for creamed peas and tuna I found in a cookbook for couples my Mom had from when she first got married (1960s era). As you might guess, it had peas and tuna and other random vegetables in a white sauce flavored with random spices. I like creamed beef on toast. But this? It was noxious. We couldn't even eat it.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Oh dear. I've been tempted once in awhile to make black bean burgers or whatever, but have decided that it's just silly to mess with a classic. You can dress it up with pesto or chilis (I remember when you did that), or you can mix in ranch dressing mix (we like that), or you can even use ground turkey or lamb (lamb is good with some cumin mixed in), but if you're not going to at least use meat, don't bother calling it a burger. ;)

My biggest disaster? Not sure. I've had so many, I think I have to go lay down for a bit.

momneverstops said...

Great idea - hamburgers can get very boring and change is good

Lori said...

I love the word "Yamburgers" I have to figure out a way to make them just to have an excuse to say it.

Last night I made turkey meatloaf and since my 2yo son loves burgers I put his on a bun. Little did he know he was having mushrooms, carrots and quinoa with his burger!

Anonymous said...

I love sweet potatoes. I would've appreciated them, I swear! :)

page2 said...

My husband is such a purist with hamburgers too. I think it would be fun to try something new, but last time I tried he acted so disappointed. Because it's the same old thing everytime I just don't serve them very often anymore.

Allie in Tok said...

The BYU station on DirecTV is showing the Anne of Green Gables miniseries from the 80's on Friday and Saturday. Oh how I loved the books and the show!!!

Summer said...

My husband makes incredible burgers. Inspiration for new ones is always forthcoming.

I think one of my very favorites is his beef and chorizo sausage burger with chipotle mayonnaise. The other divine thing about his burgers is that he uses our food processor to grind up chuck for the meat. The texture is so much better than store processed ground beef.

~3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

LOL I know you and I have had these conversations before - you have to sneak them in ground up and gradually - like 1/2 hamburger 1/2 yams. I promise I would have eaten them too and loved them.

CountessLaurie said...

Yamburgers!! That is a totally awesome word.

Don't know if I would have eaten it though. I am not THAT enlightened.