Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dogs, cheese-stuffed burgers and spiced up fries

I thought about my childhood dog while I was making these burgers and fries. How’s that, you ask?

Our family dog, Corky, never had a very big appetite. She was one of those picky dogs that turned her nose up to dog food, but was definitely interested in whatever you had on your plate, especially if it came out of a paper sack. As the years went by, she got even pickier. Eventually, the ruse that Corky would eat dog food at all ended, and my dad started cooking her beef and chicken, among other tasty people treats. At times, to look in her bowl, you might think she was eating better than we did. Since Corky also had issues with not eating while we were on vacation, my mom started buying her hamburgers from the drive-thru as a special treat and incentive to get her to eat, with instructions to the dog sitter to give her a quarter of a burger per meal. It makes me chuckle to picture my vegetarian mother, who can barely figure out how to order at McDonald’s (true story), ordering a bag full of burgers there. It’s also why burgers remind me of Corky.

Apparently my mom’s habit of feeding dogs bad food goes waaaaaaaay (too many a’s?) back to her childhood. Their family dog, Puddles, was the recipient of just about anything she ate, including candy bars. Puddles, for his part, seemed not to be bothered by his diet of chocolate and nougat, and lived a normal dog lifespan. But the real question is this: What kind of weird kid willingly gives up her candy to the dog? I’m sure she’ll chime in…

From burgers to dogs to candy and back to burgers…that was a bit of a reach, huh?

Jalapeño Oil Steak Fries

2 russet potatoes
2-3 tablespoons jalapeno olive oil, divided use
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for seasoning

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Scrub potatoes and cut into 8 wedges each. Soak potatoes in a bowl of cold water for about 10 minutes. Remove from water and dry with a paper towel.
On a rimmed baking sheet, toss potatoes with about 1 tablespoon oil and all spices. Arrange potato wedges on the sheet so they are cut side down and not touching. Bake for about 20 minutes, then brush potatoes with extra oil and turn to other side. Brush baked side with oil, then return to oven for 20 more minutes, or until crispy on the outside and tender inside. 
Remove from oven and immediately season with extra salt as desired.

The jalapeno oil and seasoning give these just enough flavor, but don’t dominate the taste of the classic steak fries. If you want a little extra kick, drizzle a little more oil on the fries when you take them out of the oven.

And those burgers full of gooey cheese and jalapenos? Although I wouldn’t recommend these for your dog, I do highly recommend them to spice lovers.


  1. These look fabulous Karen. I am always looking for new ways to serve burgers and fries at my church Wed. service lunch. Perfect recipes, thank you!

  2. This blog post is perfect for the beginning of summer!

  3. I love the idea of spicy cheese-stuffed burgers. Will have to give them a try this weekend!

  4. Jalapeno infused olive oil. Heavenly. Using it to make French fries is even more so. Wow, what a great idea.

    I love the story about your Corky. The way your mom pampered your dog sounds so similar to what my mother-in-law does with hers, Callie. I'd love to hear the McD's ordering thing some day. :)

  5. These fries sound awesome! Now I need to find jalapeno oil :)

  6. The fries sound phenomenal! And wow, your dog was one lucky pup.

  7. Believe me, I didn't want to give Puddles any of my candy. I would go into another room and try to unwrap the candy bar without making any noise. It never worked. The dog had super hearing! He'd run in and beg and beg until he got his share. What a dog.

  8. This is a perfect lunch! I just read the burger recipe and I am getting really hungry... And the fries look beautiful and crispy - I never brushed them with oil in the middle of baking, something to try next time. Thank you for sharing!

  9. This looks awesome! I can see why Corky needs to be in on the deal too.


  10. This looks like a much more gourmet version of our typical Sunday dinner! I need to take it up a notch and use your delicious recipes!!! And I love that Corky got burgers for dinner...our Lambeau has never had trouble with her appetite,and she'd be in heaven with some McDonald's in her bowl :)

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