Everyday Food, featured the making of a basic cheeseburger. How odd it seemed to us when the cook demonstrated how she made her perfect cheeseburger: She rolled the beef between two pieces of plastic wrap into a flat disk. It wasn't pretty, or perfectly round, or even slightly thick. It was a thin, uneven, flattened round of beef that'd never win a burger beauty contest. She dropped it onto a hot skillet and that's when things got interesting. She let it cook on that hot pan for about two-and-a-half minutes, and when she flipped it over, that ugly duckling of a burger took on a beautiful new persona. It was lusciously browned and crispy, and once flipped she added a slice of cheddar cheese. It cooked an additional two-and-a-half minutes at which point she placed it on a toasted (buttered and broiled) sliced bun with lettuce, thin slices of onion, and pickles. On the inside of the top bun she spread some mayonnaise and swirled a little bit of mustard and ketchup, creating her own instant sauce. The cook used 80% beef and full-fat cheese, insisting that you have to have the fat to create the most flavorful burger. That may be, but.... I thought, well, I could make that burger, a healthier version, using my 90% beef, a Cabot 75% fat-free cheddar slice, and a Thomas's healthy English muffin, just toasted (high fiber, 100-calories)..
So I did. I rolled 4 oz. of 90% beef between two squares of parchment paper until it was about 3/8-inch thick and about five inches round, uneven edges and all. I cooked it just the same way as Martha's chef with my less-indulgent ingredients, and it was one of the very best burgers I've ever had, and only 7 Weight Watchers Points.
I rolled the other 3 portions of beef between parchment paper and stacked them, bagged 'em up, and placed them in my freezer for that burger craving that will surely take over one evening, and I'll be prepared to have my burger, almost unaware that it's not so bad for me, now and then.
Photo credit: http://www.pbs.org/everydayfood/recipes/old-fashioned-cheeseburgers.html