Crazy Loot

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A friend who knows my pecuniary ways, kindly bestowed the flotsam and jetsam of his kitchen to me before embarking on a long trip. This odd lot includes:

-3 lbs. frozen ground beef
-3 frozen pie crusts
-2 lbs. frozen blue corn tortillas
-1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
-3 15 oz. cans black beans
-2 half used bags of pasta
-1 envelope of Lipton Onion Soup mix
-1 13 oz. can pickled jalapeno
-1 14 oz. jar pizza sauce
-1 quart chicken stock
-random chocolates
-boxes of tea

Fact of the matter, The Littlest Kitchen can barely hold all this new loot, the freezer door barely closes! So I have to tackle the most perishable item first – the ground beef. Where better to start than hamburgers?

True confession, I’ve never made a hamburger before. I’ve helped out at barbecues, and have certainly ate my fair share of them at restaurants, but I’ve never made them in my own kitchen. I consulted Cook’s Illustrated and Mark Bittman for my maiden voyage into the burger arena. I know it’s not brain surgery, but I’d like to get it right the first time. Surprisingly, they both go into lengthy detail about quality of meat and grinding your own with a food processor, an appealing idea for the future when I actually get a food processor. For now, I have pre-ground supermarket chuck. Essentially, it’s a a good amount of salt and pepper and four minutes on each side in a hot pan for a medium burger. I toy with the idea of mixing in the Lipton’s onion soup mix, but for my virgin attempt, I want to keep it simple. The key is to resist the urge to squish down the burger while it’s cooking because it will release its precious juices. By peacefully letting it cook, it will form a nice crust to contrast its juicy inside. The smoke created by hot grease in a hot pan set off my smoke detector, but the char is worth it.

In the assembly of the burger, I like a toasted bun (already had some in the fridge, getting old, but not looking old), a schmear of mayonnaise to prevent the bun from getting soggy, lettuce and tomato (left over from my house sitter friend). Excellent for the first time around, and surely again and again.

2 Responses to “Crazy Loot”

  1. Chili dinner party « The Littlest Kitchen Says:

    […] it before it becomes something altogether undesirable. Utilizing many of the hand me downs from crazy loot, the best thing was to make chili which would incorporate the meat, crushed tomatoes, and beans. […]

  2. Pain et Chocolat « The Littlest Kitchen Says:

    […] with a good part of a baguette and some dark chocolate from crazy loot, I tried the much touted chocolate sandwich. Profoundly easy, it required tucking a few pieces of […]

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