Can you be homesick for a place you have never called home? I miss Australia. I miss the smell of the air, the sounds of the voices, the quality of the sunlight, and the amazing wildlife. To try and assuage my longing a bit, I decided to make a very Australian version of an everyday food: the humble hamburger.
An Australian hamburger has several key elements that differ from the typical American variety: sliced, cooked beets, fried eggs, and capsicum, a condiment made from bell peppers and spices that is used as a sandwich spread. Also, rocket, a play on the French rocquette or arugula, is typical rather than lettuce, at least in restaurants. I wasn’t able to find any capsicum on short notice, but the beets, egg, and arugula were enough to bring a cozily reminiscent taste to the meal.
Of course, every burger needs a fry, just ask my husband. His food wish is my command, so here are two recipes for the price of one.
Oven Thyme Fries
2 med.-lg. russet potatoes, cleaned (and peeled if not organic), and cut in 1/4 to 1/3″ thick stick, or wedges, or whatever you like
fresh or dried thyme
Preheat oven to 450. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss cut potatoes with olive oil, salt and thyme. Cook in oven, turning over gently once, until goldeny brown or done to your liking. Check at 15 minutes and again every 5 minutes after.
1+ lb. ground beef (or turkey or your meat substitute)
kosher salt and pepper
bacon optional (a really, really good option)
1 cooked beet (canned or boil it yourself with water and a touch of vinegar), sliced
1 egg per person
capsicum (or condiments of your choice)
Heat cast iron pan on medium heat. Separate ground meat into four equal portions and, manipulating it as little as possible, form into patties. Salt and pepper the outside of the meat. Place on hot pan and cook to desired doneness. Fry eggs in a bit of olive oil or butter (just a touch). Layer on your goodies and enjoy this, perhaps unusual, treat!