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6.5 ounces of beef does a burger good!

6.5 ounces of beef does a burger good!


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For some reason, rainy days just scream "burger and fries!" And when those days happen to fall during the workweek, I find it fitting - and, why not - to also include "milkshake."

Take, for example, this past Friday: not only was it raining heavily, but the air temperature was frigid and the wind was unforgivable. So in an effort to stay put, I rummaged through my desk drawers and found enough quarters to potentially buy a couple of packaged items from the vending machine. Luckily, I became distracted by another task before the hunger pangs could get the best of me and my change. After all, I thought, what good would a bag of Sun Chips and a package of Peanut Butter M&M's do in terms of my progression towards becoming a more civilized, mature, "grown-up" eater? As you may recall, I'm currently taking a nutrition course. It was then that I reasoned with myself: a burger, fries, and a 'shake was much more of a realistic and, dare I say, nutritious lunch than the latter.Now I don't know about you, but I feel awful about ordering food when the weather is less than ideal out of concern and guilt for the delivery-men/women. Yes, I am that girl. This got me thinking: since I would be the one going out to fetch my lunch, where could I find a decent burger in close proximity to my office? I did a quick search on menupages and, bam! Goodburger, a popular local chain, was merely minutes away.

Although it's a quick serve - order at the counter - casual-type burger joint, I have to say that, visually, I was impressed with Goodburger's attractive, well-designed space: a multi-purpose white-marble bar/counter top, desserts displayed in old-fashioned glass cake stands, menus posted in highly visible areas-in addition to accessible paper menus, beer served...on tap!While Goodburger was becoming more and more crowded, the line to order food was bearable and moved relatively quickly. Upon placing my to-go order, I was asked how I wanted my burger cooked, medium or medium-well. "Really?" I asked, "You guys do that here?" After receiving a friendly nod from the employee (taking my order), I requested that mine be prepared medium.

Roughly $15 and 10-minutes later, my name was called. With brown-bag in hand, I made my way back to my desk through the dark, rainy streets of Midtown Manhattan.You can imagine the stares I received as I walked through 'cubicle-land' with my brown-bag wafting of French fry and hamburger fumes! As insanely sexy as it smelled, the real question was just how good would Goodburger deliver, taste-wise? I was about to find out:

Goodburger's Classic Burger: Goodburger recently increased the size of their meat patties from 5.5 ounces to 6.5 ounces - at no additional charge to the customer. Why? I have not a clue. How? I can't answer that one, either, except to tell you that it makes me extremely antsy and anxious when I think about what kind of ground beef I consumed. Obviously this wasn't enough to make me not eat the burger. Hell, I consumed the whole damn thing!Even though the size only differed by one ounce, I did not find the burger to be too big or overwhelming for one person to finish in its entirety. The hamburger bun, although grilled to provide more stabilization to the bulky patty and moist ingredients, still yielded a fresh and fluffy texture, as if baked that morning.

Unfortunately, the hamburger patty was overcooked. While this wasn't detrimental to my overall enjoyment of the sandwich, it certainly made me question the restaurant's interpretation of medium vs. medium well. Next time, I will know to order my burger medium rare.All in all, I have to say that, in terms of a quick-service restaurant, Goodburger makes a really good burger. I appreciate the thick patties and the fact that you *can* order your beef cooked to your liking - even if it doesn't always come out that way.

French fries: 'Fries are pretty hard to screw up, and Goodburger's were no exception. That being said, I don't find any reason to go on, at an arm's length, about how delicious they were. End of story.

Vanilla milkshake: Since I snapped all of the photos for this post with my Blackberry, I couldn't seem to get a great close-up of my vanilla milkshake. But take it from me, it was worth every last calorie. Perhaps it was the fact that I had not had dessert all week, but the intense vanilla flavor in Goodburger's shake was both enlightening and sobering to my taste buds - in the most positive sense of each word. "So this is how vanilla ice cream is supposed to taste!" I exclaimed to one of my coworkers. The consistency of the milkshake was creamy and thick and the flavor, rich and sweet enough to where I only needed a few sips to cure my Texas-sized sugar addiction.

~

Verdict? Goodburger serves hungry NY'ers an affordable, customizable, local, fast, fresh, and delicious menu with an ample variety of options.

Kosher? Vegetarian? Don't let the word "goodburger" fool or intimidate you - there's something on the menu for everyone. Come and see for yourself!

~~~

Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


How Much Ground Beef to Buy per Person for Your Next Event

When serving a crowd, it can be a struggle to determine how much food to make. You may be putting together your shopping list and not know how many pounds of ground beef to buy to serve 25 or 30 mouths. Let us help you the next time you need to serve sloppy joes or burgers to a big group.

When hosting a gathering (or taking food to one) the biggest hangup tends to be how much to make. Should you double a recipe? Triple it? What if you don&apost know how many people will be there? See, it&aposs already overwhelming. Try this party drinks calculator and appetizer calculator to determine how much of those items to make, but what about recipes with ground beef? Burgers, sloppy joes, and meatballs are go-to dishes to serve a large group. To help figure out how much ground beef per person you&aposll need, use these guidelines.


Food Fight: Turkey Burger vs. Beef Burger

Ground turkey has a reputation for being a very lean meat, but that's only the case if you choose ground turkey breast. Unless otherwise specified, the dark turkey meat and skin gets mixed in with the light making it fattier than you may think.

A 4-ounce cooked turkey burger (made from a combo of dark and light meat) has 193 calories, 11 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat and 22 grams of protein. It's an excellent source of niacin and selenium and a good source of vitamin B6, phosphorus and zinc. Choosing ground turkey made from only breast will have 150 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, and 0 grams saturated fat. Since it's so lean, it can end up being too dry and not-so-tasty.

Undercooked ground turkey has been associated with salmonella, so make sure your turkey burger is safe to eat by cooking it to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Check that the proper temperature is reached by using a thermometer.

You can definitely find lean cuts of ground beef on market shelves. Look for ground sirloin or ground beef that is 90% lean. For a 4-ounce cooked lean beef burger you'll take in around 225 calories, 12 grams of fat, 5 gram of saturated fat and 27 grams of protein. It's an excellent source of niacin, vitamin B12, zinc and selenium and a good source of vitamin B6, iron and phosphorus. Fattier ground beef is all over store shelves, so be sure to read labels carefully.

Undercooked ground beef has been associated with the bacteria E. Coli, so make sure your beef burger is safe to eat by cooking it to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is a good time to choose a whole-grain bun to help meet the USDA's Dietary Guidelines to make half your daily grains whole. Choose a whole wheat bun, or if you're trying to cut calories go for half a bun, English muffin or wrap your burger in a lettuce leaf.

Pile high the veggie toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, and onions or add some extra flavor by grilling onions and mushrooms in a teaspoon of oil. If you're a cheeseburger lover, stick with one slice of cheese or you'll send the calories and sodium through the roof. Also be mindful with condiments like catchup, mayo, and barbecue sauce because of the extra fat and sugar and keep portions to 1 tablespoon.

Healthy Eats Winner: A cookout just wouldn't be the same without a good old beef burger. The calories between the two burgers aren't significantly different. Buying turkey can be tricky and if you aren't careful, it can actually have much higher fat and calories than you think. Whichever type of burger you choose, keep cooked patties at 4-ounces with modestly portioned toppings to make it healthy eats.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »


Recipe Summary

  • 1 (1-pound) flat-cut beef brisket, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 (1/2-ounce) cheddar cheese slices
  • 8 teaspoons canola mayonnaise
  • 4 (1 1/2-ounce) hamburger buns or water rolls, toasted
  • 4 green leaf lettuce leaves
  • 4 (1/8-inch-thick) tomato slices

To prepare grinder, place feed shaft, blade, and 1/4-inch die plate in freezer 30 minutes or until well chilled. Assemble grinder just before grinding.

Arrange meat in a single layer on jelly-roll pan, leaving space between each piece. Freeze 15 minutes or until meat is firm but not frozen. Combine meat and oil in large bowl, and toss to combine. Pass meat through meat grinder completely. Immediately pass meat through grinder a second time. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, gently shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Press a nickel-sized indentation in the center of each patty. Cover and chill until ready to grill.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Sprinkle patties with salt and pepper. Place on a grill rack coated with cooking spray grill 2 minutes or until grill marks appear. Carefully turn patties grill 3 minutes. Top each patty with 1 cheese slice grill 1 minute or until cheese melts and beef reaches desired degree of doneness. Place 1 patty on bottom half of each bun top each serving with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 tomato slice, and top half of bun.

There's no question: Fresh-ground beef, lamb, or turkey yields a superior, juicier burger. That includes meat you've had ground to order in a butcher shop or at a supermarket and loosely wrapped (tight wraps compress the meat). At home, a grinder attachment for your stand mixer is ideal, or an old-fashioned hand grinder. Or you can use your food processor in that case, be sure to work in small batches, pulsing the meat 8 to 10 times or until the meat is finely chopped but not pureed.

No matter what grinding tool you use, it's important to keep the meat and the grinding equipment as cold as possible. If the meat gets too warm, it will begin to smear rather than grind cleanly, giving the finished product a nasty mashed texture. Putting the meat and grinding equipment in the freezer for 15 minutes beforehand helps guarantee optimum results.

No time? In a pinch, you can of course use preground beef, lamb, or turkey for these recipes. The spices and condiments will still produce a better, lighter burger.


Homemade Hamburger Calories

Hamburgers are not only easy to make, but they're also a favorite choice for kids and adults alike. The basic recipe calls for a ground beef patty, which can be either grilled, pan-fried, flame-broiled or baked in an oven, and nestled between two hamburger buns. Cheese, onions, pickles, lettuce and tomatoes are some of the most popular toppings.

When considering hamburger calories, beware that toppings do add up. Let's start with the most important part of the hamburger — the meat.

A typical burger contains about 4 ounces of ground beef, which, according to the USDA, is 375 calories. For those who like bigger burgers, add on an additional 94 calories for each ounce. A 6-ounce burger, for example, will have 563 calories just from the beef. A traditional white hamburger bun will add 145 calories.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the ground beef in a burger is a good source of protein (16 grams in 4 ounces), niacin, vitamin B12, selenium and zinc. On the downside, beef hamburgers contain high levels of cholesterol (88 grams) and saturated fats (13 grams).

The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than 13 grams of saturated fat per day. You would reach this limit with just one hamburger per day. Saturated fats increase the amount of cholesterol in your blood, which in turn, may increase your risk of stroke and heart disease.


Different Variations

Making homemade hamburger patties can be changed up and you can add or change different things. Here are a few ideas:

  • Additional Spices &ndash You can add more spices to your burgers like Montreal steak seasoning.
  • Breadcrumbs &ndash Some people like to add breadcrumbs to their burgers to help hold the meat together.
  • Turkey Burger &ndash Use ground turkey, but keep in mind it&rsquos a very lean type of meat and will be a lot dryer than beef.
  • Mexican Burger &ndash Add 1 tsp of taco seasoning.
  • Replace the cheddar cheese with American, pepper jack, provolone, blue cheese, or your favorite.
  • Instead of using hamburger buns replace them with low carb hamburger buns, English muffins, ciabatta, or your favorite bread.

Newest, most modern plant west of the Mississippi.

Our new plant manufactures 250 SKUs of retail and foodservice products. It processes individually quick-frozen (IQF) and fresh patties in different shapes, lean/fat ratios and value-added products for both Jensen and private-label brands.

Production / Distribution

Currently, 80 percent of products produced are frozen and 20 percent are fresh/refrigerated. All products are distributed west of the Mississippi and consist of 65% retail products, 20% food distribution products and 15% restaurant products.

The Jensen Label

Fifty percent of our retail products are under the Jensen label. The company plans to increase the Jensen branded business during the next year. The plant also processes a small percentage of turkey and pork sausage under the Jensen label.

New Products

Newer Jensen-brand products include Bacon and Cheddar patties, Jalapeño patties, Swiss and Mushroom patties, Chipotle and Monterey patties.


How much fat drips off your burger?

Every cook knows about grill shrinkage—the tendency of burgers to lose juice and fat as they approach perfection. But we wondered: Do fattier cuts lose a higher percentage of their fat over heat, since fat melts and combusts easily? And if so, does a fattier grind of beef—say, the usually cheaper 80/20𠅎nd up close to the 90/10 grind that we usually recommend?

To find out, we sent samples, raw and grilled, to the lab for analysis. From the raw samples, we wanted to know if the fat-ratio labels were even accurate. The answer there was "sort of." All grinds had slightly less fat than labeled our 90/10 was actually 93/7. From the grilled samples, we wanted to know: How much gets lost over a fire? See answers below.

80/20 fattiest grind Raw (4 ounces): 21.2g total fat, 9g sat fatGrilled (2.6 ounces): 14.2g total fat, 6.1g sat fatShrinkage: 34% weight loss, 33% fat loss

This grade indeed lost the most fat, but the resulting burger was still left with almost double the fat of the leanest grind.

85/15 Raw (4 ounces): 16.8g total fat, 6.9g sat fatGrilled (2.7 ounces): 12.4g total fat, 5.1g sat fatShrinkage: 33% weight loss (wow!), 26% fat loss

90/10 leanest grind Raw (4 ounces): 8.3g total fat, 3.5g sat fatGrilled (3.1 ounces): 7.5g total fat, 3.2g sat fatShrinkage: 22% weight loss, 10% fat loss

* Still our recommended grade—just as tasty but with much less fat. Less shrinkage, too. What the Ratios Mean: The ratio is percentage by weight. Fat is higher in calories than protein, so a 4-ounce raw 80/20 beef patty has 285 calories, versus a 90/10 patty, which has 200 calories. And the 90/10 has 12.9 fewer grams of total fat.


Food Q&A: Meat shrinkage

Chances are, you've been there: You buy several pounds of meat to cook for a crowd only to take it out of the oven and find a cut that it looks much smaller than the cut you bought at the store. What?!

The good news is that this phenomena is not all in your head. Meat and other animal proteins such as poultry and fish do shrink while they cook. Here's what you need to know to cut back on kitchen surprises and track SmartPoints® with accuracy when following the WW program.

Q: What causes meat to shrink?

A: When animal protein is heated, it releases juices that cause the protein to shrink. The amount the protein-containing food shrinks depends upon how fatty it is and how much moisture it contains. It also depends on how long the food is cooked and at what temperature.

Q: How do you keep meat from shrinking?

Typically, higher cooking temperatures result in greater shrinkage. So cooking animal proteins at a lower temperature can reduce moisture loss to some extent.

Q: How much does meat shrink when cooked?

In general, meat, poultry and fish will shrink about 25 percent when cooked. Sixteen ounces (1 pound) of raw boneless, skinless chicken breast will therefore yield about 12 ounces of cooked chicken.

To help understand the 25 percent shrinkage rate, compare the calories of 4 ounces of raw chicken breast (134 calories) to 3 ounces of cooked chicken breast (139 calories). As you can see, 4 ounces raw is comparable to 3 ounces cooked calorically.

Make sure to take the shrinkage into consideration when purchasing raw meat. If you want to end up with four 4-ounce burgers for example, you’ll need to buy 20 ounces of raw meat.


Ingredients

Divide beef into 4 equal pieces. Using both hands, work meat into smooth spheres, compacting very lightly.

Place a large sheet of parchment paper, plastic wrap, or foil on your work surface. Place balls on top, spacing evenly. Place another piece of parchment (or whatever you’re using) over and press down to flatten each ball into a patty 5" in diameter.

Peel back top sheet and use your fingertips to press a shallow, 2"-wide depression into the center of each patty. The meat will contract and push up in the center as the patties cook making this little divot helps to keep the burgers flat.

Season meat generously with salt. Drizzle patties with 1 Tbsp. oil, dividing evenly.

Gently flip patties on parchment and season the other side with salt. Drizzle with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil.

Using the back of a spoon, spread 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise over both cut sides of all buns, dividing evenly and spreading all around.

Heat a large skillet over medium-low and cook half of buns, mayonnaise side down, until golden and crisp around the edges, 2–3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cook remaining buns set them aside and increase heat to medium-high.

Peel 2 patties off of parchment paper and press down gently into skillet, spacing evenly apart. Cook, without any touching or fussing, until edges are browned and you can see juices pooling in the center of patties, about 5 minutes.

Slide a thin metal spatula, preferably a flexible one like a fish spatula, underneath patties and flip them over.

Place a slice of cheese over each patty, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover skillet. Cook until cheese is melted, about 1 minute.

Transfer patties to a plate. Let rest about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, wipe out skillet with paper towel and repeat cooking process with remaining patties.

While burgers are resting, make your secret sauce. Stir ketchup, relish, hot sauce, and remaining ½ cup mayonnaise in a small bowl to combine, then season generously with salt and pepper.

Start to build your burger. Stack 2–3 pieces of lettuce on bottom halves of buns. Place several slices of onion on top of lettuce.

Smear a couple of tablespoons of secret sauce on top halves of buns.

Place burgers on top of onions, close burgers with top bun, and serve!

How would you rate The Basically Burger?

I've tried every imaginable burger recipe to find my go to burger recipe: smash burgers, burgers with egg mixed in, burgers with wet ingredients mixed in, burgers with dry ingredients mixed in, smoked and reversed seared burgers, etc. But this takes the prize. The only thing I changed was the cooking method (grilled at 400 deg. over lump charcoal until around 145 internal temp). Simple, juicy, and flavorful without the spices getting in the way of the beef flavor.

Enjoyed these burgers. First time making diner-style burgers from start to finish. Great Sunday night/Monday night meal. Served with "Basically" oven-baked fries and red wine.

Really delicious, juicy burger recipe. Would have hoped for a better cheese choice from BA, I subbed Muenster for American, which has the same melty quality without the highly processed, fake cheese flavor you get from American. I will say the amount of sauce this recipe yields is way too much for 4 burgers, but it is a good sauce, so I kept it in a jar and am saving it to dip fries in.

I made 12 burgers so multiplied recipe by 3 (although special sauce for 1 recipe would be enough). Served at block party and they went pretty quickly. Got great reviews. After making them once I might try to add a little something to the meat to give it some more flavor but that’s a small critique. It’s a very good recipe and I learned a lot about making burgers.

Omg.. Proper dressing of a burger demands that lettuce and onions be on separate sides of the meat. Pickles with the onions on the cheese side,tomato with the lettuce. Mayo with tomato, mustard with cheese.