For dinner tonight I’m making mouth wateringly tart burgers topped with onions, tomatoes and Moneterey Jack cheese, served with a side of crispy potato wedges with rosemary and chilly flakes. In the last five years Pali Hill, the neighborhood I live in, has become a major expat place. The newest additions to Pali Hill are Brazilian models. They’re here to find work in the film industry. Pali Market reflects our new residents. Shops selling all kinds of cheeses, wines, produce and meats are open for business. We usually opt for local things, but I’ve thrown caution to the wind for the experience of perfectly melting cheese.
My dad loves burgers. Though he’s spent most of his working life in Bombay, most of his jobs have taken him traveling around the world. He spent years commuting from Bombay to New York. During those years Dad discovered the joys of diner food. Especially delicious, juicy beef burgers. Those are what he misses the most.
For the Burgers
1/2 Kilo Minced Beef
1/2 Onion Sliced
2 Cloves Garlic Chopped
3 or 4 Splashes Balsamic Vinegar
Splash of Vegetable Oil to Bind
Sliced Monterey Jack Cheese
Condiments of All Sorts (especially a sharp mustard)
N.B- This is not a minimalist affair. I’m thinking sharp mustard + tabasco + balsamic adds the perfect cheek-aching tang to every bite.
1. Marinate the minced beef with sliced onion, garlic, salt, pepper, oil and balsamic vinegar. Use your hands to bring the minced meat together. But don’t overwork the mixture. Place in a bowl, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 1-6 hours. The balsamic gives the meat a nice kick. You could add chilly flakes for extra heat. (I’ll just add tabasco to my burger 🙂
2. Slice tomatoes and onion; rinse and dry lettuce; and prepare a tray of assorted condiments for serving.
3. I’m making these on the stove. Heat a griddle on high heat for 3 minutes. When hot, turn the flame down to medium. Form the patties by molding the beef into palm-sized disks. Melt slices of cheese onto the patty just before taking it off the griddle.
4. Cook for 3 minutes on each side for a rare burger; and 8 minutes on each side to have it well-done.
5. Serve with a side of rosemary and chilly potato wedges and (if you’re like me) a tray of assorted condiments–especially tabasco sauce for a dash of heat.
6. Thank your stars for your good fortune and for the existence of burgers.