Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Western burgers

Not long before the Mr. and I were married, we were talking about food one day (shocking to those who know us) when he said, “If you can ever find out how to make the western burgers like we used to have in our school cafeteria, that would be awesome.”
It took me a minute to get over the shock — he had home-cooked meals at his school cafeteria? Memories of my own elementary school cafeteria flooded back: the soy burgers served with ketchup (Even as a child, I was a Miracle Whip girl), the pizza so greasy you had to blot it with paper towels and all of the other frozen foods that inspired me to take my lunch.
Not long after, a friend shared the recipe via Facebook and I was so excited to be able to make one of his childhood favorites.  I’ve since adjusted the recipe to better reflect his tastes and my time constraints, but its pretty close. The jalapenos are one of my most recent additions, but feel free to leave those out if you’re not a fan or if you’re making these for kids. And, if you’re cooking for anyone who doesn’t like mustard (like me), you can prepare theirs before you add the mustard to the rest of the batch.
Here’s what you’ll need for 4 western burgers:
For the bread:
12 Rhodes frozen dinner rolls
For the meat mixture:
1 pound ground beef
Garlic pepper
8 oz grated cheddar or Mexican blend  cheese

10-12 slices of pickled jalapenos, cut into quarters
Place rolls in clumps of three on a greased baking sheet. Let rolls rise according to the fast method on the bag. It takes a little more than an hour. When there’s about 15 minutes left, you can start cooking your meat. When the rolls are done rising, remove them from the oven and preheat the oven to 400.
Cook meat, seasoned to your liking with garlic pepper, until brown. Drain meat, if needed. Add a thin line of mustard in a zig zag pattern across the pan of meat. Add cheese and jalapenos to the mixture and stir well.
Mash/knead each clump of 3 rolls together into a circle (or a shape somewhat like a circle) about the size of a large hamburger bun on the prepared cookie sheet. Repeat until you have 4 circles. Spoon the meat mixture into the center, getting it as full as you can while still having room to fold the dough up around it. Fold dough around the meat.  Repeat.
Spray the burgers with Pam or similar cooking spray to help them brown. Cook at 400 until brown —about 10-15 minutes.
They’ll look like this:

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