Monday, September 29, 2014

An Oldie But Goodie....
Jo's Hamburger on French Bread...Marty Style!

Back in the days of marriage, children, mortgages and car payments, stretching a buck was very important, and my wife was GREAT at it.  Me?  Not so much.  We must never speak of it. One of my all-time favorite dishes, other than her lasagna (which should be a food group) is her Hamburger on French Bread.  It was very simple.  Sliced french bread, hamburger smooshed over the top of it and broiled.  I always topped it with mustard and hot sauce and loved it.  Being on pantry meals (using what you have on hand as going to the store is out of the question) this month, I used frozen french bread, hamburger and cherry tomatoes and a little sopressata, and some scallions left over from my second version of my When Pasta Met Garlic dish.  Anywho...This meal is for any college student, any single or any uber busy family working hard to make all of those payments and who struggle to get kids to eat in between extracurricular activities and homework.  I'm a teacher, I know these things well. 

Let's get started.  

1 pound of ground beef (the leaner the better)
2 scallions, chopped angularly
2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped, separated in half
half a pint of yellow and red tomatoes (but who cares what color they are, right?), halved 
sliced french bread
salt and pepper
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, separated
1/2 cup white zinfandel, chardonnay or sauvingnon blanc vino 

Options:  four-six slices of salami, sliced chorizo or sopressata, slivered;
one scallion, finely chopped; parmesan cheese, grated, 3/4 cup; half a red onion, finely chopped

 Add the ground beef to a large bowl along with anything else you would like to add to it.  I added a little red onion, about two tablespoons parmesan cheese and a clove of grated garlic. Incorporate well without overmixing and set aside.  

 Meanwhile, brush or drizzle extra virgin olive oil atop the french bread slices and top that with a little blanket of parmesan cheese and bake until the cheese just begins to melt, about five minuets.  Remove and set aside. 

When the bread has cooled, use your hands, which are your best kitchen tools, to spread hamburger thinly, about 1/4 inch thick, atop the bread.  

 You should be able to fit 6 french bread slices on a baking pan.
Place under the broiler about eight minutes, but not on the top rack, until the meat begins to crust and brown.  The bread crust may begin to burn.  You may need to turn the baking pan around to avoid further crust burning.  

For a very flavorful topper, other than the mustard I enjoyed on mine in the old days, the following is an elegant and grown up idea.  In a non-stick skillet, add the remaining extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.  When the oil begins to ripple, add the halved cherry tomatoes and the remainder of the grated garlic.  Add a little salt and pepper.  Bring the heat up to medium-high and add the wine.  When the wine boils and sizzles, reduce the heat to a simmer.  Allow the tomatoes to simmer for twenty minutes, until the wine has cooked out.  The flavors will be incredible. 

Plate your Hamburger on French Bread and top it with your hot tomato reduction.  Scatter scallions atop the reduction, along with a little parmesan and some fried sopressata, if you have that.  This adds color and texture and flavor.  You will love it. Trust me. This is a singles or a family winning dish. 

Thanks, again, for your time and viewership!  
Hope you really like this one!