Thursday, July 2, 2009

Kitchen Klutz: The Revolution will not be grilled

**Check back Monday for this recipe!

By Michèle De Meglio

It’s the Fourth of July. That means M-80s going off in the street and burgers being burned in the backyard.

Oh, that’s just my backyard.

To celebrate America’s birthday I, the Kitchen Klutz, set out to...wait for it...barbecue!

Picture it: my clueless self attempting to navigate a grill. With hot coals. And flames up to my shoulders. Yeah, that’s a great idea!

Whether it was dumb or not (Hello! I’m afraid of my toaster oven!), I bought a modest-sized barbecue and came up with my own recipe for Honey BBQ Hamburgers.

Yep, you read right. The Kitchen Klutz created her very first recipe! (Could my accomplishment be going to my head now that I’m talking about myself in the third person? Hmm...)

Here’s what I did — I filled a mixing bowl with ground beef, chopped red peppers and onions, and BBQ sauce.

I attempted to make my own sauce by combining equal parts of honey, molasses and worcestershire sauce. It was disgusting. Terribly, horrifically disgusting.

So instead, I poured Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Barbecue Sauce into the mixing bowl and combined all the ingredients using my bare hands. That was totally GROSS!

It only got better (not!) when I put the patties on the grill and they fell through to the bottom. Geez!

Since this was a real BBQ, there were a few dishes that had to be on my red and white checked tablecloth.

For one, chips and dip are necessary while my pals impatiently wait for their burnt burgers. So I made French onion dip from scratch. Okay, I admit that all I did was combine a Lipton packet with sour cream but hey, stirring is hard!

But I really, truly made coleslaw from scratch. First, I shredded cabbage with my trusty grater. That was really annoying so I switched to a food processor.

Sadly, both techniques provided the same results — itty-bitty pieces of minced cabbage. Not what coleslaw usually looks like.

I added sliced carrots, mayonnaise and white wine vinegar. Apparently, too much vinegar. I guess it’s important to use a measuring cup and not just tip the bottle into the bowl.

Since the dish was completely inedible, I followed a friend’s advice and minced an apple (so it would resemble the disintegrated cabbage) and tossed it in.

All I could do now was pray.

Verdict: The burgers looked like dog food. Since only two made it off the grill intact, the other six were piled high into one giant mess. (A smart colleague thinks the burgers would have stayed together if they were refrigerated before hitting the grill. Good idea!)

Well, they may have looked yucky but they were still tasty! With the red pepper, onion and Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce, they were more flavorful than any Fourth of July burger I’ve ever had!

Maybe I can be a chef after all!

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Kitchen Klutz follows 20-something Michèle De Meglio as she burns casseroles and her fingers, all in hope of trading frozen dinners for home cooking.


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