Sunday, August 9, 2020

Hamburger, Olive You!

I am a Hoosier from Indiana, but I'm no stranger to Michigan. For years and years, I’ve spent time every summer at our family cottage on Elk Lake. My grandparent bought it when I was very small  and now I share it with my sister and brother. After all this time, how could I have missed olive burgers?

It wasn’t until this summer that I kept noticing them on menus every time we ate out. Sometimes the green pimento studded little guys were tucked under a blanket of melted cheese. Sometimes the olives were in a salty mayonnaise sauce. Both versions are pretty good, but an internet search revealed that the sauce version is the original. Apparently, the first olive burgers were served in Flint at a chain called Kewpee - and then the burger’s popularity spread  to Lancing and beyond. 

Here’s my version of the saucy style of  olive burgers. It turns out it tastes yummy as a potato chip dip as well.

Ingredients for Four Olive Burgers:

1 pound ground beef
4 hamburger buns
Kosher salt for seasoning burgers
1/2 cup mayonnaise 
1/4 cup sliced pimento stuffed green olives
2 tablespoons brine (liquid) from jar of olives
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce such as Franks
Lettuce, tomato and red onion slices

Divide the pound of ground beef into fourths. Form each fourth into a ball and shape each one into a patty by hand or smash it town with a metal spatula.  Sprinkle both sides each patty with Kosher salt. 
Heat grill or pan to medium heat and cook on each side About 5 to 7 minutes according to how well done desired. 

Toast the buns on the grill or oven during the last 2 or 3 minutes of cooking. Not necessary, but a nice touch. Keep an eye on them though- they can go from toasty brown to burnt black in a matter of seconds!

While the burgers are sizzling, make the sauce.
Just whisk together the mayo, olives, brine liquid from jar, Worcestershire, garlic powder, pepper and hot sauce. 

 Assemble by placing a burger in each bun. Top with a couple tablespoons of olive sauce. Place lettuce, tomato and red onion slices on top.