Smashburger and tinga
A bit unconventionally, I ate a Smashburger for breakfast last Friday. While chain burger joints are not in my normal tour of Twin Cities restaurants, I was invited to attend a social media breakfast there, and since I had only tried the place once back when it opened, I accepted the invite. The breakfast coincided with National Burger Day and gave us an opportunity for some behind-the-scenes footage of how a Smashburger is, well, smashed.
I'm not sure of the orthodoxy of the "smashed" burger. The concept was designed to seal in the juices, and it was interesting to see the griddle in action. Contrary to my previous beliefs, the burgers are smashed at the very moment they hit the griddle, which wouldn't necessarily smash out the juices as I previously believed. Still, I am a bit weary of the "sealing" concept, but the burger does get a nice caramelized color from the process.
During peak hours, the entire surface will be covered in smashed patties in a methodical diagram to ensure every burger is cooked to Smash standards. Seasoning (which I was assured contains no MSG or gluten products) is added immediately after the Smash, when it is then transferred to another side of the griddle for its final sear.
To smash, or not to smash may remain a controversy, but the burger itself was tasty. Following the suggestion of my host, I ordered the unofficial "Founder's Burger, affectionately named for the preferences of Tom Ryan, founder and chief concept officer: patty, egg bun, cheddar cheese, and a fried egg with a side of rosemary-dusted Smash fries. I topped it all off with a Häagen-Dazs strawberry shake and called it a morning.
No longer working in retail or the service industry, this Memorial Day was one of the first national holidays I've been able to celebrate in the past seven years, and I made the most of it. Sitting in the backyard for 8 hours reading, soaking up the sun and drinking beer, I decided the chickens should celebrate too. In a terribly awkward teenage state, Jackie and Hermionie enjoyed an hour or so in their soon to be new digs (the coop). Once all of their feathers come in, they'll be able to enjoy the coop full time, and everyone in the Sommers household will be happier.
Inspired by my own dinner suggestion to Emily, a fellow food lover on the internet, I made one of my favorite weeknight chicken dishes, Tostadas de Tinga. Even going as far as to make my own tostadas, this is one of the most satisfying and easy meals I make on an all to infrequent basis. One day I'll even write up the recipe so one doesn't have to follow my step-by-step photo tutorial from last year's Cinco de Mayo.
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