Alabama On My Mind

Today is National Alabama Day. I love exploring different places, picking up new tidbits and expanding what Hubby refers to as “my useless information” that fills my head. Oh but what fun it is to know a lot about nothing. Just look at what I’ve discovered about Alabama.

In 1540, Spanish were the first Europeans to reach Alabama. While they did have a look around, they did not stay. It was the French who first settled in the area. They established the oldest city in the state, Mobile, in 1702. While nothing remains of the first structures and Mobile itself has been relocated, the French-Louisiana influence remains.

While we think New Orleans when we think of Mardi Gras, Mobile is actually the birthplace of Mardi Gras in America. Mardi Gras was celebrated by the French settlers of Mobile in 1703. In 1711, Mobile was ravaged by a plague. So the people picked up and rebuilt the city on its present location. In 1723, the French moved their Louisiana Capital to New Orleans, taking Mardi Gras headquarters with them. That never stopped Mobile from holding their own, although less well known, Mardi Gras celebration that continue even today.

The next time you use your windshield wipers on a rainy day, be sure to thank Mary Anderson of Birmingham, Alabama. She came up with the idea of “a window cleaning device for electric cars and other such vehicles to remove snow, ice or sleet from the window.” When granted her patent in 1903, Mary tried to sell it to a Canadian manufacturing firm, but the company refused. As far as they were concerned, the device had no practical value, so it was deemed worthless. By 1913, after her patent had expires, windshield wipers were offered as an upgrade option on most passenger cars. In 1922, Cadillac was the first to adapt wipers as standard safety equipment on their cars.

In 1836, Alabama was the first state to declare Christmas as an official holiday. Oklahoma followed suit. Christmas wasn’t declared a recognized Federal Holiday until June 26, 1870.

In Alabama, it’s a Class-B felony to wrestle a bear. So don’t do it. But it does beg the question – can a bear wrestle a bear in Alabama or are they jailed, too? It’s also illegal to play dominos on Sunday. Go figure.

During the pandemic’s lockdown, the folks in Alabama seemed to have one thing on their minds – and that was recipes for a good burger. It was the number one search in the state. In honor of Alabama’s quest for the best burger, and in keeping with my Tijuana Tuesday traditions; I give to you one amazing spicy burger.

Before we get starter, here are a few quick tips that will make it easier to assemble this awesome burger:

  • Prepare the onion petals first. That will give more than enough time to chill petals in the refrigerator before frying.
  • Form the hamburger patties while the onion petals chill. Let the patties warm a bit for even cooking.
  • Fry the onion BEFORE cooking the burgers. Frying the onion petals requires full attention, so get that out of the way first. Just keep them warm in the oven until ready to assemble.
  • Gather all the ingredients and have everything prepared. No stress and more fun when you’re organized.

Sizzling Pepper Jack Bacon Burgers
Onion Petals
1 Egg
1 cup Milk
1 cup Flour
1 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon dried Thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried Oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground Cumin
1 medium Onion

To Make Onion Petals
Beat egg and combine it with milk in a bowl large enough to hold the onion; set aside.

In another bowl, combine flour, salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, and cumin; set aside.

Cut about 3/4 to 1-inch off of the top and bottom of the onion, remove skin. Using a large, sharp knife, slice down the center of the onion about 3/4 of the way down, until you have 16 sections. Go back and cut all the way through.

Dip the onion petals in the milk mixture, and then coat well with the flour mixture. Once you have coated all of the petals well, dip it into the milk and into the flour mixture again. Place the bowl with the petals in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.

Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Fry the petals in the oil for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oil and let drain. Keep warm until ready to use.

Note: Place the fried petals on a wire rack over a baking pan. Hold in a warm oven (about 275 degrees) until ready to build the burgers. The petals will remain hot and crisp with warm air circulating around them.

Sizzling Sauce
4-1/2 tablespoons packed Brown Sugar
4-1/2 tablespoons Ketchup
3 tablespoons Yellow Mustard
1-1/2 tablespoon Louisiana Hot Sauce
3 teaspoons Mayonnaise
3/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
3/4 teaspoon Chili Powder

Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Chill until ready to use.

Note: Just as with the onion petals, this is more than enough sauce for the burgers. Great to drizzle the extra sauce over the extra onion petals sort of like a blooming onion on the side.

Sizzling Burgers
8 slices Bacon
4 Sesame Seed Buns, toasted
1 1/3 lbs Ground Chuck
4 slices Pepper Jack Cheese
Jalapeno Pepper slices, as desired
1 Beef Tomato, sliced
4 Green Leaf Lettuce Leaves

Fry bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels and keep warm.

Brush buns with a little butter or olive oil. Toast on a griddle pan until golden. Wrap in foil and keep warm until ready to build burger.

While the buns are toasting, divide the ground beef into four equal balls. Flatten into third-pound patties. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Heat a flat griddle to medium heat, about 300 degrees. Cook hamburger patties on griddle for about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Place sliced cheese on top of the patties, turn off the heat and allow the cheese to melt.

While the burgers are cooking, gather up the rest of your fixings. The cheese will melt on the burgers a little easier if its allowed to come to room temperature for a few minutes.

To Build an Angry Burger

  • Bottom Bun brushed with Sizzling Sauce
  • Hamburger Patty
  • Jalapeno Pepper slices as desired
  • 2 strips of Bacon per burger
  • Onion Petals as desired
  • 1 Tomato slice per burger
  • 1 Lettuce Leaf per burger
  • Top Bun brushed with Sizzling Sauce

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

3 thoughts on “Alabama On My Mind”

  1. Hi, from a current Alabamian. Your article was interesting. I knew about the original Mardi Gras but none of the other facts, including National Alabama day! Thanks for the info.
    The recipe looks yummy!


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