Continuing on with the food holiday theme this month, and tipping my hat to National Hamburger Day on July 28th. How do you make a really great burger? Grind your own meat. How do you make it taste even better? Make your own hamburger buns. And how do you really take it over the top? Fill it with a little homemade pimento cheese and slather some of that delicious southern spread on the bun as well. That’s right, multiple recipes in this post for the ultimate summer grilling sandwich.
In the bonus post for this month (subscribe to receive!) I was talking about all the great attachments that come with the Meat Mincer Complete package that have nothing to do with grinding meat or making sausages. It got me thinking about ways to make this attachment appealing to someone that doesn’t eat a lot of meat, like me. So then I was determined to make a vegetarian burger using the meat grinder. Sacrilegious, I know. But the former vegetarian in me got a laugh out of it. Now, I have nothing against eating meat and use the grinder all the time for tasty burgers, meatballs, etc. It is an awesome meat grinder, but it also makes a pretty fabulous mushroom burger too.
As we reach the height of summer here in Georgia, the tomatoes are turning from green to a beautiful bright red and childhood memories start pouring in. I set out to create this post as one of our bonus posts for subscribers only. As I tested recipes I realized it was much more than just bonus material. This post began to morph into three actual recipes. A basic ketchup recipe, a “fancy” ketchup recipe and a basic pizza sauce. The “fancy” recipe is a bit of a cross between ketchup and bbq sauce and the pizza sauce will have a bit more of a feature in September when we dedicate an entire post to pizza!
Now, the really funny part about this post being one that I created, is the fact that I really don’t like tomatoes. I like ketchup just okay, I’m pretty picky about pizza sauce, not really a fan of marinara, and I absolutely can not eat a tomato raw! My husband actually laughed when I told him my subject for this post. My dislike for tomatoes goes pretty far back into my childhood. I believe I was around 13 or 14 years old and though my parents had always planted a garden each year, this particular summer, my dad decided to plant 96 tomato plants. Yes, you read that correctly. 96 TOMATO PLANTS! My parents had four new dehydrators and they were playing around with the idea of slicing the tomatoes, dehydrating them for several days until they were dry and crispy, and then they would blend the dehydrated tomatoes in a food processor making a tomato powder. It was pretty ingenious as they were able to put up 800 tomatoes that summer in just 8 quart-size jars. My mom was then able to use that powder in soups, stews, re-hydrate with just a bit of water to make her own tomato paste and even added the tomato powder to tortilla and pasta dough. All of that was wonderful but to a teenage girl who already didn’t care for this particular piece of produce, the act of picking several 6 gallon buckets of tomatoes, slicing and laying them in the dehydrator just to repeat the entire process three days later was not my idea of a fun summer activity. With all that said, I actually enjoyed testing these recipes and I hope you enjoy them as well.