Food memories are powerful things and I can remember more than a few occasions throughout my childhood when my mom’s busy schedule would prevent her from turning out an elaborate family-style dinner on a Wednesday night. When time got the better of her, if we didn’t head into town to eat in a fast food restaurant, my dad would head straight to the nearest drive-thru on his way back from the office. He would arrive home clutching piping hot Big Macs and greasy fries for all four of us; fast food meals were a genuine treat when I was kid and we all appreciated the relaxed vibe of fast food fare brought to our family table.
May is national Hamburger month and I cannot think of a better reason to whip up a homemade version of a fast food classic in the coming weeks. Go on and savor the flavor of being a kid again!
Juicy Lucy Style Mac with “Special” Memory Sauce- makes four burgers
For the Memory Sauce:
- ½ Cup mayonnaise
- ¼ Cup French dressing
- 2 Tablespoons ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons minced white onion
- 1 Tablespoon sweet pickle relish
- ¼ teaspoon coarse black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Healthy dash of hot sauce
For the Juicy Lucy:
- 1 ½ Pound ground chuck
- Salt and pepper
- 8 slices American cheese
- 4-Sesame seed buns
- Hamburger dill slices
- Minced white onion
- Shredded iceberg lettuce
Prepare the sauce by whisking together the mayonnaise, French dressing and ketchup. Fold in the onion, relish, pepper, salt and hot sauce. Set the sauce aside until ready to assemble the burger. Can be made one day ahead; refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the burgers divide the ground chuck into four equal pieces (six ounces each). Divide one section into two equal pieces (about 3 ounces each) and shape each section into a 1/4” thick patty. Fold two cheese slice into quarters and place in the center of one patty. Top with a second patty and seal the edges tightly to encapsulate the cheese slices. Repeat with the remaining beef and cheese slices until you have four equal cheese-filled patties. Season the burgers with salt and pepper on both sides.
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat or prepare a medium-hot outdoor grill until very hot. Cook the burgers for 3 minutes on one side without disturbing and then flip. Cook burgers on the second side for three additional minutes or until well browned on both sides. Cheese will be melted in the center.
Serve each patty on a sesame seed bun speread with the memory sauce and topped with diced onion, pickles and shredded lettuce.