A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

Smash Cheeseburgers Yield: 4 burgers. 1½ pounds ground chuck ½ teaspoon seasoning salt 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce ½ teaspoon ground black pepper 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 4 slices American cheese

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

Smash Cheeseburgers Yield: 4 burgers. 1½ pounds ground chuck ½ teaspoon seasoning salt 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce ½ teaspoon ground black pepper 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 4 slices American cheese

Smash Cheeseburgers & Peppered Crinkle-Cut Fries

Smash cheeseburgers and pepper crinkle cut fries on a tray

Smash Cheeseburgers

Yield: 4 burgers.

1½ pounds ground chuck
½ teaspoon seasoning salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 slices American cheese
4 hamburger buns, buttered and lightly toasted
4 to 8 dill pickle slices

Special Sauce:
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
2 teaspoons dried minced onions
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon granulated sugar

In a large bowl, combine beef, seasoning salt, Worcestershire, and pepper. Using your hands, mix ingredients together until well combined. Form the mixture into 4 large meatballs (6 ounces each).

Heat a 12-inch cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to the hot pan, making sure it is evenly distributed. When skillet has just begun to smoke, add meatballs and firmly smash them flat, about ¼-inch thick, with a heavy metal spatula. Let cook for about 2 minutes, until a crust forms on the bottom.

Flip patties and top with cheese; cook for another 2 minutes for medium-rare to medium burgers, or 3 minutes for medium to medium-well burgers (internal temperature should reach 160°).

Place patties on toasted buns and serve with special sauce and pickle slices.

For the sauce: Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk until well incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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photograph by Matt Hulsman

Peppered Crinkle-Cut Fries

Yield: 4 servings.

4 large russet potatoes, peeled and washed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a crinkle cutter, slice potatoes, then cut into individual fries.

Place fries on a paper towel; pat dry. Transfer them to a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Using your hands, massage oil into fries until well coated.

Lay fries flat on baking sheets, making sure there is space between them. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt overtop.

Bake fries for 15 minutes. Turn fries over and continue baking for 10 minutes or until golden.

Remove fries from oven and place in a large, clean bowl. Sprinkle remaining salt and pepper overtop; toss until evenly coated. Serve immediately with your favorite dip.

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This story was published on Jun 12, 2024

Lynn Wells

Lynn Wells is a personal chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and hospitality industry and a degree in Nutrition Management from UNCG.