John Adams Burger

I have it on good authority that the founding fathers would like you to eat a burger for the Fourth of July celebration. It's like eating a burritotacoenchilada for Cinco de Mayo. It is the American thing to do!

Oh say, can you see? THIS burger will cause [tastebud] bombs bursting in air. It will give proof through the night that your esophagus is still there.

Wait a minute...hold the song! That doesn't sound like a good endorsement.

My homemade burger thee
Heinz ketchup liberty
Of thee I sing.
Lands, may my belly thrill
With onion rings until
I can no longer see my heels
Let freedom ring!

Ok. Enough. Can you see why I wasn't asked to write the National Anthem?

Now on to the business at hand. Do you want to make a burger that will spark fireworks and carry you away into burgergasmic heaven?

Although you must forewarned: Once you serve it to your family and friends, you will never again be free on the Fourth of July. How ironic is that? You will not be free because you will be demanded, yea even held at gunpoint if necessary, to make these burgers every year from now on. So serve at your own risk, and know that I warned you.

The stars of this burger are the tender homemade bun, the spicy chipotle ketchup and the crispy onion straws. Then throw in some iceburg lettuce, a crisp quality pickle, a creamy slice of Gouda or Gruyere cheese, a piece of smoky bacon cooked just short of crispness so it doesn't shatter in your mouth and....

Sorry. I had to leave for a minute. I drooled over my keyboard and had to stop to clean it up.

Without further adieu, my fellow Americans: may I introduce you to the classical All-American John Adams hamburger. So aptly named because it is about the same height as President Adams and just as spicy!


Beef (since it is a holiday, ask the butcher to grind 2 3/4 pounds of prime chuck (10% to 15% fat) with 4 to 6 ounces of prime sirloin fat (the combination should have 20% to 28% fat total). Mash broken pieces of quality white bread (crusts removed) with some milk. Mix that into meat. This will help hold the meat together and allow you to cook it well-done without drying out. For flavor, mix A-1 steak sauce also into the meat. 

Cemita roll (standing in today as a hamburger bun)
From the Homesick Texan
Makes 8 small buns

2 cups (9 oz.) flour
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of yeast
2 eggs at room temperature
½ cup of buttermilk
¼ cup of canola oil
1 tablespoon of milk
1 tablespoon of water
¼ cup of sesame seeds

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Whisk the eggs together with the oil.Heat the buttermilk on low until it’s warm (110 degrees if you want to use a thermometer). Do not let it come to a boil!

Stir into the dry ingredients the warm buttermilk, eggs and oil. Mix until the liquid is incorporated and then let it rest for 15 minutes.

After it’s rested, knead the dough on a floured-surface until it’s smooth, though note that it will still be a bit sticky. That’s OK.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it and let it rise until it’s doubled in size, about an hour and a half.

Depending on how large you want your rolls to be, divide the dough into eight or four balls and let them rest, covered for 15 minutes.

To shape the rolls, take each ball and then flatten it so it looks like a disc.

Place each roll a few inches apart on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet and let the rolls rise for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

When rolls have risen, mix the milk and water and brush the top of each roll with the wash. then sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Bake the rolls for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
Note: Bread only lasts a day, but freezes well.


Onion Straws
chipotle ketchup (recipe below)
ripe avocados
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons snipped chives
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large, ripe heirloom tomato
Gruyere, Cheddar or Gouda cheese
Iceberg lettuce leaves, each about 5 inches wide
Dijon mustard, smooth and coarse-grained

Chipotle Ketchup

Adapted from the Homesick Texan

1 medium-sized sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
28-ounce can of diced tomatoes (the fire-roasted ones are great!)
½ cup of apple cider vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon molasses
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 chipotle pepper in adobo
Salt to taste

On medium low heat, cook the diced onion in the olive oil in a medium-sized pot just until the onions start to brown a bit on the ends.

Add the tomatoes and their juice to the pot, crushing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon.

Stir in the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil and then simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.

After an hour, puree the mixture, and then continue to cook on low heat until it reaches your desired thickness.

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