Chef's Tips for Better Burgers Burgers might just be my favorite food. Now, there's not a thing wrong with the good old-fashioned American Cheeseburger, in fact, it's awesome, but if you feel like expanding your horizons just a bit, here are my three favorites "gourmet" burger styles, as well as some tips for cooking a better burger. All the patties for these recipes are prepped and grilled the same way, so it's easy to make a big batch of one recipe, or set up a burger-bar and let your guests choose which style they want to try. Pan-searing your burgers in a hot skillet is a great method as well!
Four “Better Burger” Tips
· 80/20 ground beef
· Chill patties 15 minutes, after forming
· Season AFTER grilling (except salt)
· Toast buns for flavor and burger stability
· I like to sear my burgers REALLY close to the fire, so I flip my top grill over so that the grates are resting directly on the coals. You can also “re-purpose” an old flat grate from another type of grill. Works great!
Tailgate parties...a great place for football fanatics to gather, or a convenient place for food fanatics to gather? Who cares? As long as you can run your taste-buds into the end zone with traditional Mexican street tacos, baby! Carne Asada is a Mexican recipe for marinated, grilled beef served in tortillas. This is not your run-o'-the-mill taco! This is a flavorful and delicious fistful of awesome that's great for any occasion, and, for my money, skirt steak is one of the best cuts of meat you can ever toss on the grill. Serves 6 to 8
2 pounds skirt or flap steak
24 corn, or 12 flour tortillas
1/2 cup tequila
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup orange juice
4 cloves garlic crushed
1 medium onion chopped
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cumin
1 cup Fresh Pepper Pico
1 cup simple guacamole
2 teaspoons hot sauce
In many parts of the country, beef brisketis BBQ. Indelibly tough and bland when cooked with conventional methods, brisket magically transforms, after a long bath in smoke, into a melt-in-your mouth, sweet, savory, smoky treat. Starting with a full 10-12 pound brisket (called a "Packer.") A “packer” brisket is made up of two parts, the flat, and the point. The "flat" runs the whole length of the brisket (slice this against the grain and serve as brisket) while the "point" is a cap that sits on top of one end. (It's this cap or "point" you want to use for your burnt ends, more on that later...)
1/4 cup sea salt
1/4 cup Hickory salt
1/3 cup coarse black pepper
1/3 cup granulated garlic
First, mix all of the rub ingredients together in a shaker bottle with large holes. One hour before smoking, pat the brisket dry, and set in on a sheet of butcher paper in a rimmed baking dish. Next, trim off as much of the hard, external fat as you can, until only about 1/4 inch remains. Next, coat both…
The holidays are, hands down, my favorite time of year, but it’s no secret that (especially for us
foodies) it can bring with it a lot of kitchen chaos and performance anxiety. So many dishes, so many people, and so many “cherished family traditions” that must be upheld, it would be well-nigh impossible to make it through the season without at least some drama. If you come from an Italian family, like mine, well… fugget
about it! So, if we can’t avoid the chaos, let’s at least try to get a rope on it, right? Here are a few tips to help you avoid enough of the crises to actually enjoy the food and family time, which, let’s face it…is really the whole point! #10 – Don’t sweat the small
stuff! Does anyone really care if the tablecloth is ironed? Does anyone really care if their napkins are shaped like swans? Or if you’ve freshly polished Great-Grandma’s silver? No, they don’t…they want to eat, and laugh, and then eat some more! If you’re low on time (uh,
who’s not?), and that cloth is…
4 Rules for Becoming a Pit-Master Chef Perry Perkins
PitMaster: One in charge of the pit. Someone who, not only has mastered the techniques to create great BBQ, but is proficient in using a variety of pits, or grill to do so.
While there's no one single accepted definition of the title, "Pit Master" (in fact, they vary wildly), I like the one above. I see someone who has "mastered" the pit, as being able to produce delicious BBQ with any number of meats, and a variety of equipment. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Here are four things that I think anyone needs, to achieve the title. 1. Practice Practice Practice!It can't be said enough (though I'll stop at three times), like anything else, the more you do it, the better you get.Chose the cut of meat you want to perfect, then keep working on it until you're doing it the best it can be done. I recommend starting with pork shoulders (the most forgiving) and working your way up to smaller, thinner cuts.Experiment with varied cook…
I’ll let you in on a little secret, but only if you promise to tell everybody… The #1 way to overcome Picky Eater Syndrome (and the parental guilt that often
accompanies it) is to teach our children how to cook. Kids a far more likely to try something new, if they prepared it themselves.It’s true! One of the things I've most enjoyed, in this grand adventure of fatherhood, is teaching my little one the joy of cooking.You see, both my father and grandfather were chefs, and though their own teaching methods were not always…stellar, I'm excited about passing this passion and enjoyment of cooking on to The Pickle, and as many other kids as I
The Secret IngredientWorking closely with under-served youth, many of whom have (literally) never boiled water before, has taught me that fear and anxiety, which most of these kids are already dealing with, only increases the likelihood of an injury, mistake, and discouragement. My personal philosophy is that the younger the child, the more praise…
This ancient Cambodian grilled chicken recipe, called Mann Oeng K’tem Sor, may look complicated, but it’s really just a series of simple steps.
The stone walls of the
Bayon temple in Cambodia, built at the end of the 12th A.D, includes an amazing series of bas-relief pictures of the army supply
trains, encampments, field kitchens, and some of the earliest depictions of
Asian barbecue. Specifically,
you'll see chicken skewered on split sticks and grilled over
pyramid-shaped fires. Nine hundred years later, you'll find the same chicken
grilled exactly as it was done during the height of the Khmer empire. This
recipe may look complicated, but it's really just a series of simple steps. Like most S.E. Asian recipes, the end result is a succulent, savory, melt-in-your-mouth delight. (Feet are optional... ;) )
For the Chicken and Marinade:
1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
5 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Shopping Tips for Bulk FoodsWhether I'm shopping for my family's dinner, or for recipes I'll use in a pop-up restaurant charity dinner, by buying the ingredients in bulk, I can save as much as 75 percent of what it would have cost to get the same amounts in pre-packaged products. Filling a shopping cart with items from the bulk food section of the grocery store is a key way to both cut food costs and reduce waste, since you can buy small amounts of foods that you don't need much of or don't use very often. Measuring out 1-1/2 cups of ground ginger I'll need for a fund-raising dinner. In the regular spice aisle, buying this much ginger would cost $15.03. In the bulk section, it cost just 98 cents. Size matters when it comes to bulk food sections. Larger bulk food sections have the largest varieties of nuts, trail mixes, rice, and sweeteners. Spices from the bulk foods section are usually a fraction of the cost of the bottled versions found in the spice aisle. And there's often quick…
I started out, many years ago, grilling with a good old fashioned Weber Kettle, the most popular
charcoal grill in American since, well...ever. 😉 Sadly, these marvels of simplicity rarely get used to their full potential. Sure, you can grill up endless burgers, dogs, and brats…and they’ll be awesome, but let’s look at some advanced (dare I sayHome Chef?) techniques to take
this old classic to the next level! I have used the Weber to make everything from jerky, to smoked salmon, to traditional Southern Pulled Pork, to authentic Texas-Style Briskets and Pork Bellies, and I’m going to show you how to, as well. Direct vs. Indirect There are two basic styles of grilling, direct & indirect. Direct Grilling Direct grilling cooks your food “directly” above the hot coals. Best for searing and charring foods that you want to grill quickly.Of course, with this higher heat, you have to be more watchful to ensure that foods, especially those with sugary marinades or glazes, don’t burn before they’re…
Good nutrition in the morning and early afternoon is vital for attention and learning, and it helps keep kids focused and alert all day. I’ve taught hundreds of youth to plan and cook for themselves, and the vast majority of them, given the opportunity, will choose healthy, nutritious foods, if
They taste good
Are offered in variety
They feel like they are allowed to choose for themselves.
Kids get bored with the same old, same old…and a variety of foods helps ensure more balanced nutrition. Here are a few of my favorite "quick & easy" tips for school lunches...
Wraps are sturdier and less messy to eat. Who wants to eat a smooshed sandwich?
Quesadillas are quick and easy to make. Ham & Cheese, Pizza, Turkey and cheddar
Vary hot and cold lunches. A thermos of their favorite soup or stew is a nice break from cold lunch, especially in winter.
A hot sandwich, wrapped in foil, will stay warm in a thermos, all day!
Pita Pockets are easy to eat, less messy, and because pita it denser than…