The boardwalk holds many, many memories for me. From the ocean-side boards of Ocean City, MD and Rehoboth, DE to the random “strip mall” type in Myrtle Beach, I love them all! The souvenir shops might all be the same and, frankly, I am amazed by what you can find with your first name emblazoned on the side! Apart from keychains and vulgar t-shirts there is the salty humid air, the sandy grit between your flip-flops and the worn planks of wood, the beach bodies (both fantastic and less than) and of course the food! Little can compare to the aroma of an ocean front pizza shop or french fry stand. You can almost see the cartoon-esque waft of food smells trailing down the beach and dragging an unsuspecting tanner by his nostrils off his towel, past the dunes and up the counter where he orders a funnel cake for no other reason then “they have funnel cake!”. So what’s the smell that gets me every time? The french fries! Erics quick tip: When used correctly, a medium boardwalk fry can be used as lunch. If you have ever been unsure about boardwalk fries and their sublime perfection, I have a small experiment for you to try. Throw one fry onto the boardwalk. Examine the frenzy of gulls as 2 dozen birds vie for just a beak-full of fried potato bliss. Now, repeat with a stem of broccoli. Record and note any differences.Of course our favorite is to lightly salt and top with a malt vinegar. This all seems very standard and routine. Then I had “The Idea”. Take a look at what you can do to transform this boardwalk snack food into a french fry feat!
Makes 6 Burgers
1 Small Boardwalk Fry (This should yield about 2 cups of chopped fries)
3lbs of Ground Beef (85/15 is all the leaner I would suggest)
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Red Onion (Sliced thin)
1/2 Cup Malt Vinegar
1 Cup Hot Tap Water
3 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Salt
First we are going to start by pickling the red onion with the malt vinegar. Mix together the vinegar, salt and sugar to a small bowl. Add the onion and tap water. Mix together and allow to cool on the counter. Once the mixture reached room temperature, refrigerate.
Next, fold together the ground beef, fries, garlic powder, eggs, salt and pepper. Lightly mix the ingredients and create a mini patty with a tablespoon of the ground meat. Microwave the patty until browned and let cool. Erics quick tip: By creating a mini patty, you can taste the meat for seasoning without ingesting raw egg or meat. When the seasoning is correct, divide the meat into 6 even pieces and form patties. Your patties should be slightly larger than your bun and have a thumb print in the center. When grilled, your hamburgers will shrink to the size of the bun and plump up in the center without becoming “football shaped”.
Grill the burgers over high heat until seared and cook to desired doneness.
I like to keep it simple and top with lettuce, tomato and ketchup. Dont forget our pickled onions!
These burgers have the great taste of the grill and the hidden treasure of fried potato inside. When paired with the malt vinegar in the onion, what you have is a food memory explosion. We served ours with charred sweet corn and a tossed salad with roasted asparagus and broccoli. Don’t have time to hit the boardwalk? No problem! All you need is your favorite (fresh cut) french fry. Check out a local restaurant chain or your freezer section.