OK, so I’m a little behind the times, but better late than never, right? For the 4th last Friday Nick invited some students who are doing a Summer program in Paris over for some good old-fashioned cheeseburgers. He bought freshly ground beef from the butcher while I procured potatoes and appetizer fixins.
When I got home from work I started a batch of brioche dough with which to make hamburger buns. Nick made his famous potato salad – with a few changes. Usually he uses Russet potatoes, but starchy-type potatoes are thin on the ground over here, so this time they were red. We also made the mayonnaise from scratch, and the sweet pickle relish that often goes into the salad was absent. But it tasted like home nonetheless.
For the apéro, I decided that onion dip would be suitably Classic American Cookout to serve at our 4th of July party. My friend Pete recently told me about his onion dip, made with bacon, caramelized onions, and sour cream. I loved the idea, so I did just that, with the minor substitution of crème fraîche for sour cream. No one complained. In fact, the entire batch (500 g crème fraîche, 4 small onions, and a few ounces of bacon) was gone by the end of the night. We will definitely be making that one again.
Having found a fairly reliable source for cheddar, we knew exactly what to put on our burgers. That, along with some sliced tomato, red onion, and lettuce leaves, and we were in business. (We realized just slightly too late that we had neglected to purchase ketchup – d’oh!)
And of course, we washed it down with some All-American beer. (Although these particular beers were brewed in Spain and they have to shorten the name in Europe because some Czech brewery got the name first…)
Happy 4th, everyone! (Or 8th, or whatever.)