I know what you are thinking – today is Friday. Typically, we share something meatless in keeping with Friday Penance of No Meat. Big Macs, Little Macs, a Mac of any kind would not fall under that category.
Well, maybe. I’m not completely convinced that real meat is contained in most fast food burgers. Still, there is some form of meat. I’ll give you that. Today is also Carrot Cake Day. Could have avoided the whole meat issue by sharing a recipe for Carrot Cake. Frankly, I wasn’t in the mood to bake. Those of you who have been with me for a while know that I can bake, but I’m no baker. Although now that I’m thinking about it, a Carrot Cake does sound delicious. Oh well.
I know I’ve mentioned this before – so here I go again. Hubby and I recently became members of a new Parish. Not new as in recently created, Saint Joseph’s was carved out of a larger parish, Our Lady of Fatima in 1967. That first Mass was held in a Pizza Parlor before the church was completed. When Hubby and I first moved into the area, we joined another parish, smaller and closer to home. While the parish was nice enough, it was never that right fit. So we began to look elsewhere. If you are just going through the motions and God doesn’t speak to you, look elsewhere. He will guide you to where you need to be.
The first time we attended Mass at Saint Joseph was Mother’s Day. Roe-v-Wade had just been overturned. People were being told that attending Mass could be dangerous. We had already made the decision to leave our current parish. We had done our homework and wanted to get to know Saint Joseph Parish better. Mother’s Day Mass was the perfect opportunity to do so, to gather with others unafraid by recent threats. By the end of the Mass, Hubby and I knew we were home.
Throughout our Catholic Christian life, Hubby and I have been active members in our parish. Many of those activities centered around three things – helping the poor, building fellowship through social gatherings, and scouting. While Saint Joseph has all those same opportunities (although scouting no longer makes sense for us since Kiddo is an adult), their focus is more on faith. Faith is the center point, and everything the parish does is faith-driven. Education is very important. We gather as a parish to attend lectures, enrich our faith, and to give us the tools necessary to defend the church.
So what does all this have to do with these little burgers? Recently Hubby and I have been attending a lecture series, Presence The Experience of the Eucharist. It is a six-week series focused on the Eucharist, held on Wednesday evening in the Parish Hall. This series is leading up to Lent.
It means Wednesday night suppers need to be quick, satisfying and easy to clean up after. Originally for a Wednesday supper I had planned to make Oven Burger Bites, a copy-cat of White Castle Burgers. It met all the Wednesday Night criteria. But then I got to craving a Big Mac. While I do make a great copy-cat Big Mac complete with my own take on the Secret Sauce and a third bun, I thought it might be fun to play around with the Burger Bites. I’m oh so glad I did. Very filling, very satisfying. Perfect for a busy Lecture night.
Again, you don’t need to be Catholic to appreciate this take on the famous Big Mac. Enjoy!
Little Mac Oven Burger Bites
1/4 cup Miracle Whip
1 tablespoon Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Russian Salad Dressing
2 tablespoons Sweet Pickle Relish
1 tablespoon Dill Relish
Black Pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Dry Onion Flakes
Combine all ingredients for special sauce in a small bowl. Stir well to blend. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight, stirring occasionally to allow flavors to meld.
Oven Burger Bites
1/2 cup Dry Onion Flakes
2 tablespoons Beef Stock
1-1/2 lbs Ground Beef
1/3 cup Breadcrumbs
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
1/2 cup Shredded Lettuce
1 tablespoon Bitter, milted
3 slices American Cheese
1 dozen Square Dinner Rolls
1 tablespoon Sesame Seeds
12 Pickle Chips
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a microwave safe bowl, mix together the onion flakes with beef stock. Warm in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Spread onion mixture in a 10-inch by 15-inch jelly roll pan. Set aside.
Combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, and egg. Press meat mixture out over the onions. Season with salt and pepper. With a wooden spoon, prick holes through the chuck mixture for ventilation while cooking.
Bake in the heated oven until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Carefully tilt pan to drain excess grease. Blot any pooled grease from top of meat with paper towels.
While the burgers bake, shred lettuce and set aside. Melt butter in a small bowl in the microwave, set aside. Cut cheese slices into quarters to create 12 small squares, set aside.
Split dinner rolls in half to create a top and bottom bun. Place bottom buns, cut side up, on a flat surface. Spread the sauce over the bottom buns. Place cheese squares on the bottom buns. Set aside.
Note: You can make one or all the bites “cheese burgers”. It’s all a matter of choice. In our house, I make half-and-half so we can pick and choose.
Place top buns, cut side down, on a flat surface. Brush with butter, sprinkle with sesame seeds, set aside.
When ready to assemble, lift hamburger patty and place on top of the bottom buns. Top burger with pickle chips and some shredded lettuce. Place top buns over the burger bites. With a sharp knife, cut into squares. Serve and enjoy.