Sunday, June 8, 2014

Steamed Hams

22 Short Films About Springfield is a pretty unique episode from Season 7 (episode 21 to be exact). It showcases the everyday stories of several residents of Springfield.
The idea for the episode was inspired by the short clip at the end of  "The Front" (season 4 episode 19). It's entitled "The Adventures of Ned Flanders." They really only added it because the episode was too short.
The theme song goes:

Hens love roosters, geese love ganders, everyone else loves Ned Flanders! 
(Homer): Not me! 
Everyone who counts loves Ned Flanders!

So all the writers wrote down their 3 favorite characters, and they wrote little stories for each one. Honestly, there aren't even close to 22 stories, but the characters who are featured include Apu, Lisa, Smithers, Mr.Burns, Dr.Nick Riviera, Moe, Homer, Maggie, Chief Wiggum, Bumble Bee Man, Snake, Flanders, Rev. Lovejoy, Cletus, Comic Book Guy, and Nelson. Marge, Lionel Hutz, and Krusty's stories were cut.
My favorite of all the featured stories is Principal Skinner and Super Nintendo Chalmers. Skinner invites Chalmers over for an unforgettable luncheon. When Skinner burns the roast, rather than fess up, he climbs out his kitchen window, buys fast food from Krusty Burger, and disguises it as his own cooking. Chalmers walks into the kitchen and questions why there is so much smoke coming from the oven. "That's not smoke!" says Skinner. "It's steam, from the steamed clams we're having. Mmmm! Steamed clams!"
Then when Skinner walks into the dining room with a tray full of mouthwatering hamburgers, Chalmers questions what happened to the steamed clams. "Oh no! I said 'Steamed Hams!'" explains Skinner, because that's what he calls hamburgers. It's a regional dialect. What region? Upstate New York.
Chalmers is from Utica and he's never heard the term, but that's because it's strictly an Albany expression.

The burning roast then causes Skinner's entire kitchen to catch on fire. When Chalmers sees the flames, Skinner explains it's the Aurora Borealis. At this time of year. At this time of day. In this part of the country. Localized entirely within his kitchen. And no, Chalmers can't see it.

I guess technically this recipe should just involve sneaking out of a window, buying hamburgers at McDonald's, and telling people they're your own patented recipe, but I think it's more fun to make the burgers yourself. I'm not going for anything real gourmet here, but they should be obviously grilled, despite the fact they're called Steamed Hams.

Steamed Hams

Makes 2

No-So-Secret Ingredients:

For the "Secret Sauce:"
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon ketchup or catsup
  • 1/2 Tablespoon sweet pickle relish

    For the burger:
    • 1/2 lb ground beef
    • 2 dashes liquid smoke
    • 3 dashes Worcestershire
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • 2 Hamburger buns
    • vegetable oil
    • Mustard
    • 2 slices cheddar cheese
    • 2 Pieces of Lettuce
    • 2 Slices of tomato
    • 6 sliced pickles
    • 2 Tablespoons diced onions
    • squirt of ketchup
    • squirt of mustard
    • 2 orders large french fries

    Real Life Instructions:

    1. In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, ketchup, and relish. Set aside.
    2. Heat up a grill or grill pan on medium-high.
    3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix ground beef with liquid smoke, Worcestershire, a sprinkle of salt and a sprinkle of pepper.
    4. Divide into 2 equal portions.
    5. Roll each portion into a ball and shape into a patty using a hamburger press. Or you can just put the meat between two pieces of wax paper, and shape it using the heel of your hand. Set aside.
    6. Toast your buns face-down on the grill, or in the dry pan for about a minute.
    7. Remove the buns, and spread each bun with a healthy amount of the mayonnaise mixture.
    8. Lightly brush the grill with vegetable oil.
    9. Place the patties on the grill, and brush the top of each with mustard.
    10. Grill your patties for about 5 minutes.
    11. Flip them over (mustard-side down), and grill for another 3 minutes,.
    12. Top each patty with a slice of cheese during the last minute on the grill.
    13. Place each cooked patty (cheese-side up) on top of the bottom bun.
    14. Top each with a slice of lettuce, and a slice of tomato.
    15. Add pickles, diced onions, ketchup, more mustard, and the top bun.
    16. Serve on a bed of fries and/or lies.
    17. Enjoy while witnessing the Northern Lights.

      This recipe is NOT Lisa Friendly

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