We fix up a treat here in the Smith household that we all just love. They are kind of like a turnover with a sloppy Joe type mixture inside. We call them hamburger funny faces.
You see back when I was a kid, I had a somewhat eccentric cousin in Portland. Actually I still do except she doesn't live in Portland anymore, unless she's moved back. She has been somewhat hard to keep track of. Anyhow, we just loved her. She was like a big sister to my brother, my little sister and I. She used to have an apartment in the downtown area of the city, and when I got old enough to get a car of my own, I would occasionally go visit. It was always exciting to go see her because that particular section of Portland where she lived was home to many colorful type people. It was the day of the hippie and my cousin's neighborhood was exclusively avant-garde third world style folks with beads, flowers and lots of hair, and my cousin was quite at home there.
My cousin was also a very good cook and she would often fix up something for us kids when she came to visit or if we had a family picnic or something. Our favorite and the most requested dish in her repertoire was hamburger funny faces. They are delicious and a fun way to get the kids to eat something other than peanut butter and jelly or hot dogs. Anyway there are a couple of different ways we can go. We can make the before or after enlightenment type hamburger funny faces. The before style my cousin used to fix before going off to college, which uses white flour for the outside bun type turnover part and ground beef on the inside. The after enlightenment recipe calls for fresh ground whole wheat on the outside and some kind of soy and veggie stuff on the inside. There is also a transitional period in my cousin's life where she had switched to the fresh ground whole wheat but was not quite to the veggie stage of her life so she had substituted ground horse meat for ground beef. However, this was just a short misguided faze she went through as the planets were in a peculiar alignment at that time.
Anyhow the white flour are the tastiest but the whole wheat with the hamburger (I have not quite reached the same level of enlightenment that my cousin has yet) are awful good too and, of course, more nutritious. The kids woof down either kind. Recipe below:
Hamburger Funny Faces
1 batch bread dough
2 lbs. hamburger
2 small cans tomato sauce
1 spaghetti packet
onion, garlic, salt and pepper, other veggies and seasonings (optional)
Mix up bread dough and set aside to rise. Brown hamburger in a little oil. I like to add some chopped onion and garlic and sauté with the hamburger. Once this meat mixture is thoroughly browned, reduce the heat and add tomato sauce and most of the seasoning packet, plus salt and pepper. Grab a roll-sized portion of bread dough and flatten into a circle shape. Place a generous spoonful of meat mixture on one end of the circle and fold over the remainder of the dough and seal the edges. Place on greased cookie sheet or pizza pan. Poke holes with a fork for the eyes and then poke holes for a smile. I made three full pizza pans full of these from one batch. Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 18 minutes until pockets are browned on the top and bottom.
For a delicious bread dough recipe that we use to make bread, pizza crust, rolls as well as hamburger funny faces, just e-mail me at Butcher@Arkessentials.com.
John Smith has been a butcher/meat cutter for 30+ years. He's written the book Confessions of a Butcher - eat steak on a hamburger budget and save$$$ You can check some of his archived articles at all-about-meat.com or post any meat related question and get it answered usually within 24 hours. John, his wife Vickie and their 8 kids live in eastern Idaho in the shadow of the Tetons.
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