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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

National Cheeseburger Day

We looked at the Prefect Hamburger the other day (see
tml) well today is National Cheeseburger day so without repeating how to make a great hamburger we'll take a look at a great cheeseburger.
The cheeseburger has different claims to stardom. The first and most common is that in 1926 a 16 year old fry cook at the Rite Spot restaurant (owned by his father) in Pasadena California named  Lionel Sternberger when he placed a slice of American cheese on the hamburger he was frying. Other claims came in 1934 by  Kaelin's Restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1935 Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In in Denver, Colorado received a trademark for the name "Cheeseburger" while the founder of Steak N' Shake, Gus Belt, applied for a trademark on the word in the 1930s also attempted to trademark the name.
The cheese most commonly used for the standard cheeseburger is known as American cheese, is a processed cheese which means although it may appear as a type of cheese it contains no cheese and must be sold as "cheese product or processed cheese" often labelled as American slices or singles.  A 1916 creation of J.L. Kraft, he took cheddar and pasteurized it along with other  ingredients forming it into a cheese product that could resist spoilage having a longer shelf life than common cheese of the day. The Velveeta Cheese company had a similar process in making a smooth creamy cheese by-product and was purchased by J.L. in 1927. In 1953 Kraft Foods introduce another "American cheese" product they called Cheez Whiz.
The cheese known as factory cheese or rat cheese really did gain high popularity with the American public as a cheese until 1942 when the US government imposed strict consumption of cheese as a wartime measure banning nearly all types cheese except American. The restriction was so severe it nearly destroyed the import cheese market and was removed just 3 months after it was imposed.
The ingredients listed for American cheese are milk, water, milkfat, whey, milk protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, sodium phosphate; contains less than 2% of: salt, calcium phosphate, lactic acid, sorbic acid as a preservative, sodium alginate, sodium citrate, enzymes, apocarotenal (color), annatto (color), and cheese culture (not a type of cheese). Some however also add an edible oil to the process removing the milk, trading the taste for the cost of producing it. Kraft foods remain at the top as the producer of the best American cheese.
Many cheeseburgers reflect the region's cultural influence as to where they are sold using a cheese popular or common to the area. Examples may be a Greek with Feta cheese, Argentina with chimichurri sauce and manchego cheese, Korea  topped with cheese corn and kimchee, and teriyaki sauce, Swedish lingoberries and Swiss cheese, Vancouver with sharp or old cheddar and maple onion marmalade, and so many more.
Here is a list of the best Burger joints in America:
 Check out the list and leave a comment: name the burger joints you’d have included.
In-N-Out Burger, multiple locations
Minetta Tavern, New York City
Holeman & Finch, Atlanta
Ray’s Hell Burger, Arlington, Va.
Cragie on Main, Boston
Louis’ Lunch, New Haven, Conn.
Zuni Cafe, San Francisco
Dyer’s Burgers, Memphis, Tenn.
Custom House, Chicago
Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Miami
The Spotted Pig, New York City
Gott’s Roadside (aka Taylor’s Refresher), multiple Calif. locations
Farmburger, Decatur, Ga.
Father’s Office, Los Angeles
Little Owl, New York City
Palena Café, Washington, D.C.
Ted’s, Meriden, Conn.
Miller’s Bar, Dearborn, Mich.
Green Street Grill, Boston
Healdsburg Bar & Grill, Healdsburg, Calif.
Shake Shack, New York City
Perini Ranch Steakhouse, Buffalo Gap, Texas
White Manna, Hackensack, N.J.
Duchamp, Chicago
Peter Luger, New York City
To create the best cheeseburger follow the rules.  Rule #1: There are no rules. Rule #2: see rule #1. However the guideline is top your cheeseburger with cheese that will compliment the patty, toppings and type of bun.
Choose cheese with certain factors, 1st how it melts. Such as American, Gruyère, Comté, Brie, Taleggio (my favorite), Fontina, Boursault, Brillat Savarin, Brinza, C aprice des Dieux , Chaource, Humboldt fog, Maroilles, Saint André,.
Tangy cheeses are: Tomme d'Abondance, Appenzell, Asiago (fresh), Beaufort, Caciotta, Cheshire, Edam, Emmental, Gjetost, Jarlsberg and many more.
Going wild, Roquefort or Maytag blue, Ubriaco Prosecco, Serpa,  Gruyère, Rolf Beeler,  Blu del Moncenisio, Abbaye de Belloc to name  a few.
So make your burger, top it your favorite cheese and topping and enjoy!
Photo of In & Out Burger

Sunday, September 15, 2013

National Linguine Day

The name linguine (or linguini an incorrect spelling) means "little tongues" in Italian, a long, flat, narrow type of pasta like fettuccine and trenette. It is wider than spaghetti, about 6mm to 9mm. A thinner version of linguine is called linguettine. Linguine originated in Liguria region of Italy, typically served with cream sauce or a great pesto as you would likely see in a quaint Trattoria in Genoa .

To make a great homemade pasta you can cut into linguine or any other pasta follow this recipe and then prepare any of my top 12 linguine dishes.

Homemade Pasta

1.5 cups all purpose flour
1.5 cups semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons water


Combine flours and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Create a well in the flour and add the eggs. Attach the dough hook, and turn mixer on to low speed . Let the flour and eggs mix together. Once a loose dough forms turn it all out onto a floured work surface.

Step 1 - Make pasta dough

Create an indentation in the center of the dough, add the olive oil and water. Hand knead to combine the loose flour into a large dough ball. You may need to add more water or flour if the dough seems too dry or too sticky.

Cover the dough ball with a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

Step 2- Pasta making add water and evoo, knead
Cut dough into 4 equal portions. Take one of the portions and place on a floured work surface. Cover remaining portions of dough with the damp towel until ready to use. (You don't want the dough balls to dry out, or they will be unworkable.)

Flour your rolling pin and dough well. Then, use the rolling pin to roll out the dough to 1/4" thickness.

Step 3- Roll out pasta dough

Attach the pasta roller attachment to the stand mixer. Make sure to lock the mixer into place. Rotate the knob on the attachment to setting #1, and turn the mixer on to slowest speed.

Use your left hand to gently guide your dough through the roller. (If you rolled it out thin enough in step 3 you shouldn't need to apply any force to get the dough through the roller. If you have to force the dough through, chances are you will end up with tears or holes in the dough. You'll want to re-roll it if this happens). Use your right hand to catch the dough as it falls through the roller.

Then fold the dough into thirds, gently giving the dough a press to flatten.

Pasta Roller Setting 1

Repeat step 4, another four times on setting #1. Dough should be smooth, with no holes or tears. If it's not, keep repeating this process until you are satisfied with the texture of the dough.

Throughout this step, if dough is too sticky, add flour to both the dough and the top of the roller. Sticky dough will not pass through the roller with ease.

On the last pass through, do not fold dough into thirds. Instead, keep it flat and change the dial to setting #2. Pass through dough the roller at this setting one time.

Throughout this step, if dough is too sticky, add flour to both the dough and the top of the roller. Sticky dough will not pass through the roller with ease.

Repeat step six, but increase the dial setting after each pass through, up to setting #5. You may find that the sheet of dough is getting too long, at which point, gently cut it in half. Now, you'll have to remember to pass each half of the dough through the remaining settings (up to #5). After you reach setting #5, lay dough flat on a very well-floured surface.

Repeat steps 3 - 7 with all remaining dough balls. Then remove the pasta roller attachment and replace it with the pasta cutting attachment of your choice. Make sure it is tightly secure.

Select a dough sheet, and flour it well. You don't want to the pasta strands to stick to each other after it is cut. Turn mixer onto low speed and pass dough through the cutter, guiding with your left hand and collecting pasta strands with your right hand. Repeat with all remaining sheets of dough.

Hang pasta on a pasta rack until ready to cook (Or if you are like us, just buy some cheap hangers from the dollar store to use for pasta making.) Slightly separate the pasta strands to keep them from sticking.

To cook pasta, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt. Drop the pasta in, and stir often so that pasta strands don't stick together. Cook 3 - 4 minutes use a slotted spoon to drain immediately. Serve as your new favorite pasta dish!

Linguine With Shrimp And Bay Scallops In A Creamy Tomato Vodka Sauce


12 ounces dried linguine pasta, cooked al dente & well drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced shallots
1/2 cup vodka
1 can (14 ounce size) diced tomatoes, drained
2/3 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 pound large shrimp, shelled & deveined (thaw if using frozen)
1 pound bay scallops, rinsed & patted dry with paper towels
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or use basil
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Additional freshly ground black pepper


In a 6-quart saucepan or pasta pot, cook the linguine in salted boiling water until al dente.
In the meantime, prepare the sauce. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. In it, saute the garlic and shallots for 2-3 minutes or until shallots are softened. Add vodka, increase heat to high and simmer for 3 minutes or until the vodka is reduced by half.

Add the drained tomatoes, cream, salt, freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes and continue to simmer for 4-5 minutes or until sauce thickens.

Add the shrimp and cover and cook for 1 minute. Add the bay scallops and cover and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in the chopped parsley or basil along with the linguine. Cook, tossing the pasta for 2 minutes or until the pasta has absorbed some of the sauce. Serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and additional freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Lobster Fra Diablo


1 pound linguini pasta
2 whole lobsters cooked with meat removed
10 medium sized shrimp
1/2 cup white wine
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cups basic tomato sauce, homemade or canned
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh oregano
3 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper (or to taste!)
1/2 cup clam juice
Salt and pepper, to taste


Bring a big pot of water to boil and cook linguine until al dente. At the same time, heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Saute the shallots and garlic until translucent about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, white wine, and clam juice. Stir to blend all the ingredients.

Season with oregano, basil and crushed red pepper.

Reduce heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add the lobster and shrimp and cook for another 4-5 minutes until the shrimp are no longer translucent but white and opaque.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. When the pasta is done, make a bed of pasta on each plate, add a piece of lobster along with a few shrimp and top with sauce.

Linguine With White Clam Sauce


8 ounces uncooked linguine pasta
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bottle (8 ounce size) clam juice
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
3 cans (6.5 ounce size) chopped clams, drained
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter or margarine (optional)


Prepare linguine according to package directions; drain. Keep warm.
Saute garlic in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes. Add clam juice and crushed red pepper; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in clams and next 4 ingredients; simmer 3 minutes.

Toss with pasta and, if desired, 1 tablespoon butter. Serve immediately.

Linguine Carbonara


1 pound pancetta slices -- chopped in 1" pieces
1/2 cup clarified butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup light cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 pound spaghetti or linguine
3/4 cup chicken broth -- heated
1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Cook bacon until lightly brown. Saute' onion in margarine until onion is a light brown. In small bowl, combine cream, egg, 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, and parsley. Set aside. Cook pasta according to instructions on package. Drain. Return pasta to pot and add onion mixture, cream mixture, bacon, broth, and pepper. Serve immediately with remaining cheese.

Linguine Pesto

2 cups Fresh Basil Leaves
3 Tbsp of Pine Nuts, toasted
2 Small Cloves of Garlic
1 tsp Grated Lemon Zest
1 Tbsp of Lemon Juice
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup of Fresh Grated Parmiggiano Reggiano
Salt and Pepper, to taste
For the remaining ingredients:
1 lb of Linguine
Salt and Pepper
Freshly Grated Parmiggiano Reggiano

Fill a large pot with water and sprinkle in some salt, bring to a boil and add the linguine, cook according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the starchy pasta cooking water.

In a food processor add the basil, pine nuts, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper. Start pulsing everything together and slowly add the olive oil. Once you have everything combined add it to a bowl and stir in the parmiggiano reggiano.

Add the cooked drained pasta to the same large pot and add in the pesto and the reserved cooking water. Toss everything together until it’s all combined.

Plate in on a large platter and sprinkle over some extra cheese and some freshly grated black pepper.

Linguine With Spicy Chorizo And Goat Cheese


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 links Spanish chorizo, thinly sliced on a diagonal
1 red onion, chopped
Kosher salt
8 ounces linguine
4 cups loosely packed spinach, washed, drained, trimmed of tough stems
2 tomatoes, cored, chopped
1/4 cup dry red wine
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or marjoram
6 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chorizo and onion. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until chorizo is brown and warmed through and onion is translucent. (Note: If you're using Mexican chorizo or Italian sausage, continue to cook until sausage is done.)

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt. Stir in linguine. Cook for 8 to 9 minutes (or according to package directions) or until al dente.

Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water. Drain linguine. Transfer to skillet with sausage and onion.

Place skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach, tomatoes, wine and enough pasta water to make pasta slippery. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted and ingredients are warmed through.
Remove from heat. Stir in goat cheese, parsley, oregano and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Linguini Puttanesca


4 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic chopped
1 can (35 ounce size) imported Italian plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon capers
12 oil cured black olives, pitted
6 anchovy fillets
1 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound linguini pasta


Heat olive oil in large saute pan over medium high heat. Add Garlic and cook until soft. Crush tomatoes and add with juices. Add capers, olives, anchovies, oregano salt and pepper, and 1/2 cup of water.

Bring to a boil stirring often, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguini. Cook uncovered over high heat until al dente. Drain pasta, put back in pot add some of the sauce to the pot and mix it up. Dish out pasta spooning remaining sauce over top.

Beef & Tomatoes Linguine  Asian Style

1 lb flank steak
3 tomatoes, seeded, cut into wedges
1 bunch (about 10-12) green onions, sliced
1 large green pepper, cut into strips
1/2 cup oil
2 T oil
2 T soy sauce
1 piece ginger root, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon rice wine
1 tsp. Cornstarch
½ tsp. Sugar
1 T soy sauce
2/3 C chicken broth
2 T. Ketchup
1 tsp. Sesame oil
1 lb linguine pasta
Cut steak into thin strips about 2-3 inches long
Combine oil, soy sauce, ginger, black pepper, sugar and rice wine in a large bowl.
Add sliced steak to bowl and let marinate for 30 min.
Combine broth, cornstarch, soy sauce, sugar, ketchup and sesame oil in a small bowl.
Heat large fry pan with ¼ C of oil over med-high heat (wok over high heat).
Stir fry steak for 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large bowl.
Add remaining 1/4 cup of oil to fry pan and heat.
Add green pepper and onions and stir fry for 1 min.
Add tomatoes and fry 1 min.
Add broth mixture and cook until it thickens slightly, about 1 min.
Turn off heat.
Add steak and toss well.
Serve over hot linguine noodles.

Linguine With Mussels


2 medium shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 rib celery, thinly sliced
1 pound cultivated mussels,(greenshell clams) scrubbed
6 ounces linguine pasta
3 tablespoons heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Cook shallots in butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until shallots are softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir garlic, bell pepper, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until pepper and celery are just tender, about 4 minutes.

Add mussels and cook over moderately high heat, covered, until they just open, 4 to 6 minutes, checking periodically after 4 minutes and transferring mussels as opened to a bowl. (Discard any unopened mussels after 6 minutes.)

While sauce is cooking, cook linguine in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 3/4 cup cooking water and drain linguine in a colander.

Add linguine to skillet along with cream, salt, pepper, and 1/3 cup pasta cooking water and bring to a simmer. Add mussels and toss carefully, adding more cooking water if pasta seems dry. Serve immediately, sprinkled with parsley.

Linguine  Bolognese


¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 oz pancetta diced
500 g top round  minced beef
1 x 425 g can peeled tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 cups water or beef stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup Parmesan cheese
500 g linguine

Heat oil in a large saucepan. Saute onions and garlic until soft. Add the pancetta and saute for 1 minute. Add beef and brown over high heat, stirring constantly to break lumps.

Add tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste, herbs, seasonings and water or stock. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 40-60 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated and sauce is thick.

Boil and drain spaghetti and toss with a little butter. Pile onto serving bowl. Sprinkle with half the cheese.

Spoon sauce over the linguine and serve with the remainder of the cheese.

Thai Beef & Shrimp Linguine

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon mild honey
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce, divided
1 pound flank steak
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 large shallots, thinly sliced (1 cup)
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons Thai green-curry paste
1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 lb. large shrimp peeled and de-viened
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
3/4 pound dried Asian egg noodles


Mix together soy, honey, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a shallow baking dish, then add steak and turn to coat. Marinate at room temperature 20 minutes.

While steak marinades, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook shallots, stirring occasionally, until browned well, about 8 minutes. Add ginger and curry paste and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute, then add broth and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in lime juice, remaining tablespoon fish sauce, and salt to taste and keep warm, covered.

Heat grill pan over medium-high heat until hot, then lightly oil. Grill steak, turning once, about 8 minutes total (for rare). Transfer to a cutting board and let stand 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the shrimp, bell pepper and scallions with remaining tablespoon oil, then grill, turning frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

While steak stands, cook noodles in a pasta pot of boiling unsalted water until al dente, 4 to 7 minutes. Drain well, then add to vegetables and toss well. Divide noodles among 4 deep bowls and top with broth. Cut steak in half lengthwise, then thinly slice across the grain and serve on top of noodles.

Linguini Con Le Vongole Al Sugo


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs littleneck clams, scrubbed well
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large shallot, minced
2 anchovy fillets, chopped
1 (28 ounce) cans whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped ( preferably San Marzano)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 -1 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1 lb linguine
Freshly chopped basil, for garnish


Let the clams soak in very cold water with a tsp of salt and the juice of one lemon for about 1/2 hour. This will remove any sand or grit in the clams. Scrub the outer shells of the clams with a vegetable brush.

Bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil for the linguine.

In another pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat.

Add shallots and crushed red pepper and sauté until shallots are softened.

Add chopped garlic and anchovies, and saute until anchovies begin to melt into the olive oil, careful not to let the garlic get too dark.

Carefully add chopped tomatoes with their liquid.

Stir to combine, and add dried basil and oregano.

Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer sauce until ready to cook clams and linguini.
Add little neck clams to the simmering tomato sauce, stir to coat well, and cover.
While clams begin to steam in sauce, generously salt the boiling pasta water, add linguine, and cook until al dente.

As clams begin to open, I remove them to a large bowl and cover, until pasta and remaining clams are cooked.

Drain pasta, and toss with 1/3rd of the sauce, transfer to a serving bowl.

Top with remaining tomato sauce and toss with chopped fresh basil.

Finally, add cooked clams over top the pasta, still in their shells.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Roquefort Blue Cheese

Always thought to be a good reason for extended life for the French by helping to guard against cardiovascular disease. Working through "Acidification" the cheese helps to prevent common inflammation such as in joints affected by arthritis or special plaque on an artery wall.

The origins can be dated back as far as 79AD, (don't eat it from then) when Pliny The Elder discovered it's flavorful creamy texture with blue and green mold lines within.  Made exclusively in the French town of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon after King Charles VI granted the rights to them in 1411 the cheese is a combination of the red Lacaune ewes milk and the mold Penicillium roqueforti it is aged a minimum of 4 months within the Combalou caves of the region giving the cheese it's special flavor and texture. Roquefort falls under the 'protected designation of origin' (PDO) provided by the European Union Law.

The recipes that follow may be made with any of my top five blue cheeses(try them all)  but they are formulated for the "King of Cheeses" Roquetfort.

Chef K's Top Five Blue Cheeses:
1) Roquefort (France)
2) Danablu (Danish Blue, Denmark)
3) Gorgonzola  (Italy)
4) May Tag Blue (America)
5) Silton (England)


4 6 Oz veal medallions, cut from tenderloin, 2 inches thick, patted dry
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups dry white wine
2 cups rich beef stock
1 1/4 cups heavy cream, whipped
3 oz Roquefort cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 cup fresh Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh crushed rosemary
6 ounces Savoy cabbage, shredded, blanched, drained
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

 Season veal with salt and freshly ground pepper. Melt the butter with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Cook veal until browned and just tender, turning over one time, about 5 minutes per side. Remove with slotted spatula; keep warm.

Degrease the skillet. Add the wine and stock. Increase heat to high and boil until reduced by 2/3, scraping up any browned bits, about 15 minutes. Add half of the whipped cream and Roquefort cheese and boil until reduced by half. Remove from heat; keep warm.

Preheat broiler. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Sauté the shallot until soft, 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until most of liquid evaporates, about 9 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and rosemary.

Transfer veal to small baking dish. Top with tomato mixture. Mix just enough of remaining whipped cream into Roquefort sauce, 1 tablespoon at a time, until sauce holds its shape. Spread some of the Roquefort sauce over the tomato mixture. Broil 6 to 8 inches from heat source until golden, watching carefully.
Spread warm cabbage on platter. Top with veal. Season remaining Roquefort sauce with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Spoon around veal and serve immediately. Serves 4.


 4 (10-ounce) veal chops
 4 tbsp vegetable oil
 2 tbsp kosher salt
 2 tbsp coarsely cracked black peppercorns
 4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, optional
 1 tsp Herbs de Provence (follows)

 Roquefort Chive Sauce
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 ounces French Roquefort cheese, crumbled (4 ounces with rind)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the butter and herbs to make a compound butter, divide in four and set aside. Can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Shaping into a log and wrapping with plastic wrap makes cutting into pieces easy when chilled.

Heat a large, well-seasoned cast iron skillet over high heat until very hot, 5 to 7 minutes.

Pat the chops dry with a paper towel and brush them lightly with vegetable oil. Combine the salt and cracked pepper on a plate and roll the steaks in the mixture, pressing lightly to evenly coat all sides.

When the skillet is ready, add the chops and sear them evenly on all sides for about 2 minutes per side, for a total of 10 minutes. Top each chop with a tablespoon of butter, if using, and place the skillet in the oven. Cook the chops until they reach 120 degrees F for rare or 125 degrees F for medium-rare on an instant-read thermometer. (To test the chops, insert the thermometer sideways to be sure you're actually testing the middle of the chops.) Remove the chops to a serving platter, cover tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Serve hot with Roquefort Chive Sauce on the side.

Roquefort Chive Sauce

Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook at a low boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has become thick and creamy, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the cheese, salt, pepper and chives and whisk rapidly until the cheese melts.

Herbs de Provence

3 Tablespoons dried marjoram
3 Tablespoons dried thyme
3 Tablespoons dried savory
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

Combine marjoram, thyme, savory, basil, rosemary, sage, and fennel. Mix well and spoon into a tightly-lidded jar. Store in a cool, dark place up to 4 months.Use herbs de Provence to season chicken, vegetables, or meat.

Yield: 3/4 cup


Serve atop and alongside Grilled Steak, Veal, Grilled Chicken, Wild Game Steaks

1 pound imported French Roquefort, softened (2 cups)
2 sticks (1 cup) Unsalted Butter, softened
3 cups dry White Wine or White Vermouth
4-6 teaspoons Freeze-Dried Green Peppercorns
2 cups Heavy Cream
6 teaspoons fresh Parsley Leaves, minced fine

In a bowl, cream the cheese and butter until smooth.
In a saucepan, boil the wine with the peppercorns until it is reduced to about 2 tablespoons, add the cream, and boil again until it is reduced by half.

Reduce the heat to moderately low, whisk in the cheese mixture, a little at a time, and then whisk in the parsley.

Remove the pan from the heat and keep the sauce warm.

Check for seasoning and add freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Do not add any salt, since Roquefort is 
quite salty on its own.


Monday, September 09, 2013

The Prefect Hamburger

Does it really take Five Guys to make a great hamburger? Named for five brothers, Five Guys began in Washington in 1986 and since expanded to more 1500 restaurants, all serving a darn good burger. Five Guys Burgers are pretty good but it really takes just you equipped with the knowledge of burgers to make a great one too.

Hamburgers are considered part of the sandwich family as they are placed within two slices of bread known as the bun. Hamburgers trace its history back centuries, the Egyptians made ground meat patties and soon spread throughout the known world. Made mostly of lamb and spices, the patties were very popular with the common poor people.  Genhis Kahn and his grandson Khubilia had special patties of ground meats that could be ate with one hand as they rode throughout Asian conquering as they went.

In the 15th century Germans from Hamburg return from trips to Russia where they introduce a ground beef specialty known as tartar. Soon the butchers of Hambrug were experimenting with all kinds of ground meat, however the most popular became known as the Hamburg Steak. As they sailed the world and trade expanded in the 18th century with USA and Germany street vendors in the port of New York began to offer German sailors "steak cooked in Hamburg style". This was more of a shredded dried beef packed together rather than ground beef but the term stuck, thus America  had the Hamburg steak. Soon the street meat was offered and in restaurants, in 1826 on New York's Delmonico's Restaurant menu a Hamburg Steak was offered at ten cents per serving.

In 1885 "Hamburger Charlie" is most likely the first to sell what we have come to know as the common hamburger. His real name was Charlie Nagreen from Seymour, Wisconsin where at age 15 he began to sell flattened meatballs placed between to slices of bread from an Ox cart at the Outagamie County Fair. On May 9, 2007, members of the Wisconsin legislature declared  Seymour, Wisconsin, as the home of the hamburger:

"Whereas, Seymour, Wisconsin, is the right home of the hamburger; and, Whereas, other accounts of the origination of the hamburger trace back only so far as the 1880s, while Seymour’s claim can be traced to 1885; and, Whereas, Charles Nagreen, also known as Hamburger Charlie, of Seymour, Wisconsin, began calling ground beef patties in a bun “hamburgers” in 1885; and,Whereas, Hamburger Charlie first sold his world-famous hamburgers at age 15 at the first Seymour Fair in 1885, and later at the Brown and Outagamie county fairs; and, Whereas, Hamburger Charlie employed as many as eight people at his famous hamburger tent, selling 150 pounds of hamburgers on some days; and,Whereas, the hamburger has since become an American classic, enjoyed by families and backyard grills alike; now, therefore, be it Resolved by the assembly, the senate concurring, That the members of the Wisconsin legislature declare Seymour, Wisconsin, the Original Home of the Hamburger."

Soon however others would spring forth with the version we know today, a patty in a bun. Oscar Weber Bilby claims the first-known hamburger on a bun was served on Grandpa Oscar's farm just west of Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1891. Patties served on his wife's secret yeast raised roll's.

The hamburger needed a bigger stage to get the attention to make it it huge in America and that came at 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, also known as the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition, Fletcher Davis (1864-1941), also known as “Old Dave” of Athens, in Henderson County, Texas, is said to have offered the sandwich at the fair with a thick slice of onion placed between two slices of toasted bread.

Walter Anderson from Wichita, Kansas, a fry cook, developed buns to accommodate the hamburger patties. The dough he selected was formed it into small, square shapes that were just big enough for one of his hamburgers. He quit his job as a cook and used his life savings to purchase an old trolley car and developed it into a diner featuring his hamburgers. In 1921, Anderson co-founded the White Castle Hamburger with Edgar Waldo "Billy" Ingram, an insurance executive, in Wichita, Kansas. It is the oldest hamburger chain. The steam-fried hamburgers count 18 per pound (.8 of an ounce) of fresh ground beef, cooked on a bed of chopped onions, and sold for a nickel, much more today.

In 1931 "I'd gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today." Said Wimpy a cartoon character from the comic strip "Popeye" Always at a diner desiring the sandwich but never with the dime to pay for it. The popularity the character Wimpy saw a successful chain of  hamburger restaurants called Wimpy's, that flourished for over a decade. This burger went for the upscale market at 10 cents a burger. In keeping with the founder's wishes, all 1,500 restaurants were closed down when he died in 1978.  

By the late 1930's, Bob Wain of Bob's Big Boy, introduced the first double patty burger. Variety in Hamburgers were beginning and like White Castle the Big Boy found a lot of imitators. But it wasn't until 1948 when the first McDonald’s opened that the modern fast food Hamburger was set to revolutionize the way we eat. This first McDonald's didn't sell Hamburger's though; it was a Hot Dog stand. Ray Kroc, who would create the McDonald's empire. Ray believed that feeding the masses something they could afford, exactly the same way in every unit would be a global concept, it was and as of today McDonalds has served enough hamburgers so that every person in the world could have three.

To make your own great hamburger, frist know the meat, feel the meat, eat the meat. A great hamburger must have an ideal meat to fat ratio, most believe that ratio to be 80-20, providing  a tasty meaty and juicy burger. The use of straight cuts of beef may also be a mistake, combining different cuts will result in a highly flavorful meaty tasting sandwich.

Ground Chuck
Ground chuck is the type of ground beef that comes from the shoulder of a cow. The amount of fat in ground chuck varies between roughly 15 and 20 percent, but the flavor is very rich. When cooked in dishes, it has a very tender and moist texture. Ground chuck is the best type of meat to use for hamburgers. Ground beef (and hamburgers) is allowed up to 30 percent fat by the USDA. Ground chuck has a high fat content (20 to 25 percent), so it makes the juiciest hamburgers.

Ground Sirloin
Ground sirloin is the type of ground beef that comes from the middle of an animal, usually around the hips of the cow. The amount of fat in ground sirloin varies between roughly 7 and 10 percent, making it a less than ideal choice for hamburgers. The flavor in hamburgers is very good, but the texture ends up being a little dry. Ground sirloin is an excellent ground beef to use in meat sauces. Ground sirloin is lean but it’s more flavorful than ground brisket. An ideal percentage of fat is about 20 percent; under 15 percent will give you a dry and tasteless burger.

Ground Brisket
Ground brisket is the type of ground beef that comes from the rump and rear upper leg of the cow. Its fat content typically ranges from between 15-20 percent. Ground brisket isn’t nearly as flavorful as ground sirloin and ground chuck, and its texture is rough, almost grisly. While it can be used to advantage in hamburgers it should not be used as a stand alone ground beef.

Usually you cannot obtain a good mixture of the above from your supermarket so find a local butcher and have him or her mix you a combination of 40% chuck, 30% sirloin and 30% brisket. This is the wow factor in meaty flavorful ground beef and will create a fantastic hamburger, great meatloaf or meatball, in fact anywhere you need ground beef use this mixture I like to call Chef K's mixture.

Hamburgers are best as pure beef, adding of eggs, binders and fillers and even spices is to create a meatloaf rather than a hamburger. Salt and pepper during cooking should be all the seasoning you require as you what the taste of the meat and not that of the other ingredients. You get those other flavors from what you place on top of the patty between the buns crown and heel, be sure to toast the bun to prevent a juicy patty making the bun soggy.

Form your patties to the desired size, place a small indentation in the center of the patty which will assist in even cooking, the center cooks in equal time to the sides.It indentation prevents what is known as bloating of the patty.

Fry the burgers in a cast iron skillet to your desired temperature but a medium (145F) burger is best and safest to eat. Frying is preferred by me over grilling as the patties cook in their own fat which is lost on the grill they also form a desirable crust locking in he moisture (something easily lost on a grill). But for those who love the grill follow these simple rules:

1) Keep your patties cold until you're ready to cook them.
2) Be sure you begin with a clean grill. Have a dual fire on the grill, one side very hot to get the sear on the meat then a cooler side to finish the cooking and prevent flare up which often happens with an 80-20 burger mix.
3) Give the patties a light brush of melted butter or olive oil, this helps prevent grill stick and will add a little flavor too.
4) Never ever press the burger as it cooks, not only do you press out fat but valuable moisture as well, result, dry burger.
5) The goal is to turn it over once, two minutes on the grill and give the burger a quarter turn, another two minutes and now it's time to turn it over. Repeat two minutes, quarter turn, two minutes and you're ready to remove it from the grill. Your burgers should read 145F for medium, 160F for well done, it is never recommended to serve rare or medium rare burgers even if you grind the beef yourself.
6) The 30% rule always applies, be sure there is at least 30% of the grill free of any burgers. This gives space to move the burgers around as it is needful.
7) Allow the burgers to rest for two minutes before serving, this allows the meat to retain its moisture resulting in the best bites ever.
8) Now your ready to be creative with your topping, just go anyway you like, or try one of the following.

  Big Hawaii Burger: Pineapple slice sandwiched between two thin beef patties and topped with grilled ham and swiss cheese.
    Maryland Crab Burger: Beef patty stuffed with jumbo lump crab meat, seasoned with Chef K Seafood Seasoning and topped with grilled onions and smothered with melted provolone cheese.
    Honey Goat Special: Lamb burger with  a generous layer of Goats cheese drizzled with honey, all sitting on lettuce.
    Black & Bleu Burger: 8 oz. Black Angus Burger with cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, and a mixture of cream cheese, blue cheese & Parmesan cheese.
    Gyro Burger: 8 oz. Black Angus with provolone cheese, sliced tomato, thin sliced yellow onion, and Gyro sauce. Served with grilled pita bread.
    The tropical: grilled pineapple, papaya, melted pepper jack cheese, and a mango chili glaze.
    Surf & Turf: Sauteed shrimp scampi and lump crab meat light bread crumb action with Mayonnaise and Chef K Seafood spice to hold it all together..
    Aussie Burger: Pineapple, red beets, a fried egg then smothered in BBQ sauce.
    The Indian Burger: Mix some curry (sauce, paste or powder) into your patties before grilling, serve with mango chutney, spicy peppers and baby greens.
    The Bavarian Burger: Cheddar cheese, mustard, and sauerkraut served on potato bread.
    The Hot Wing Burger: Melted bleu cheese crumbles, hot wing sauce, and veggies of your choice atop a patty.
    The Burguesa: Two beef patties, two slices of cheese, ham, avocado, refried beans, crunchy tostada, lettuce, & burger sauce. Serve with a pickled jalapeño on the side.
    Pesto Burger: Cooked spinach, Mozzarella cheese and pesto sauce.
    Mediterranean Burger: Beef patty seasoned with Mediterranean spices (hot paprika, garlic, cumin, oregano leaves, mint leaves), grilled and served with Greek yogurt sauce in pita bread.
    Bagel Burger: Lean ground beef patty served with tomato and onion on a fresh bagel with flavored cream cheese.
    Jalapeño Burger Topper: Lots of pickled jalapeño peppers topped with melted cheddar and cream cheese.
    Baby Burger: Grilled hamburger with ketchup only, no mustard, no pickles, no onions. Cut in half to serve.
    Brie Burger: Herb crusted Brie, warmed and placed over granny smith apples atop a lean ground beef burger with a hint of mustard.
    Egg Burger: One fried egg and black pepper.
    Blue Cheese Salad Burger: Topped with crumbled Bleu cheese, lettuce and tomato.
    Chilli Burger: Hearty beef burger hidden beneath your favorite homemade chilli and shredded cheese.
    Mexi-Burger: Bean dip, guacamole and sour cream.
    Anchovy Pizza Burger: Anchovies, Mozzarella cheese and pizza sauce stuffed into a grilled hamburger.
    Wild Mushroom Burger: Grilled ground beef stuffed with a wild mushroom sauce featuring Shiitake, Chanterelle, oyster and hedgehog mushrooms.
    Cajun Burger: Seasoned ground beef grilled with Cajun spices and spiced up with Jalapeño cheese, chili mayonnaise and pico de gallo sauce.
    Double Decker Pizza Burger: Cheddar cheese and pizza sauce between two thin beef patties.
    Pineapple-Gruyère Burger: Topped with grilled fresh pineapple and smoked Gruyère cheese.
    Tex-Mex Burger: Grilled ground beef piled with guacamole, onions and bacon.
    Horseradish-Garlic Burger: Topped with onions, garlic and horseradish.
    Burger Italia: Grilled beef burger layered with roasted red bell peppers, red pesto, and Mozzarella cheese, served on focaccia bread.
    Spicy Burger: Jack cheese melted on a lean ground beef burger with jalapeño peppers and onions.
    Euro Burger: Ground beef patty beneath a layer of sliced ham, Swiss cheese and Dijon mustard.
    Burger Al Forno: Ground beef seasoned with robust Italian seasoning’s, fresh garlic served with a golden Parmesan crust.
    Garlic Burger: Garlic powder mixed into ground beef, grilled, topped with garlic cheese and a dollop of garlic mayonnaise.
    Corny Burger: Tangy corn relish (red pepper, corn, white vinegar, ground red pepper, salt and green onions atop a beef patty.
    Taco Burger: Topped with shredded lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and sliced jalapeños.
    Breakfast Omelette Burger: Grilled ground beef patty piled high with diced ham, Cheddar cheese, mushrooms and green peppers, served on a toasted English muffin.
    German Classic: Grilled burger with aged Cheddar cheese and mustard.
    Cheesy Pizza Burger: Lean burger covered with pizza sauce, Provolone, sharp Cheddar and Mozzarella cheeses.
    Gorgonzola Burger: Hamburger stuffed with Gorgonzola cheese, grilled and spread with sweet mustard.
    Smokey Burger: Beef burger topped with roasted balsamic onions, smoked bacon and smoked cheese.
    Worcestershire Burger: Hamburger covered with mushrooms sautéed in Worcestershire sauce.
    Parisian Burger: Topped with crumbled Bleu cheese, marinated red onions and tomatoes served on a croissant.
    Tough Texan Burger: Ground beef seasoned with hot sauce and dried red peppers, smothered with cheese and barbecue sauce.
    Hawaiian Supreme: Ground beef patty stuffed with crushed pineapple, topped with a candied apple slice and sweet & sour sauce.
    Tortilla Burger: Load a soft tortilla with sour cream, salsa, jalapeños and melted cheese.
    The Islander Burger: Beef patty smothered with Thousand Island dressing, with lettuce, tomato and pickle.
    Potato Chip Burger: Potato chips, ketchup and mustard.
    Alpine Burger: Lean ground beef smothered in sautéed mushrooms and Swiss cheese.
    Caribbean Burger: Season with jerk seasoning, pickled hot peppers and mango chutney.
    Fajita Beef Burger: Patty mixed with fajita seasoning, and wrapped with guacamole, sour cream, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and salsa, served in a flour tortilla.
    Bruschetta Burger: Italian seasoned ground beef with fresh tomato and basil, served on toasted garlic French bread.
    Bistro Burger: Ground beef covered with caramelized onions, Brie cheese and crisp bacon, served on a walnut bun.
    Cheese Crunch Burger: Crumbled crisps covered in melted cheese.
    Cowboy Burger: Grilled mushrooms, grilled onion, bacon and Monterey Jack cheese on a flavorful beef patty.
    Chicago Burger: Grilled beef burger with sweet relish, chopped onion, ketchup, mustard and hot peppers.
    French Bistro Burger: Hamburger adorned with Gruyère cheese and garlic mustard mayonnaise, on a French roll.
    Sticky Burger: Grilled burger spread with peanut butter, bacon and cheese.
    Five-Spice Burger: Ground beef seasoned with Chinese five-spice, grilled, and served with a soy-ginger sauce.
    Olive Pizza Burger: Beef burger stuffed with mozzarella cheese and pizza sauce covered with sliced black and green olives.
    Pepperoni Pizza Burger: Pepperoni, Mozzarella cheese and pizza sauce.
    Classic Burger: Hamburger with ketchup, mustard and pickles.
    Greek Burger: Topped with herbs, Feta cheese, black olives and onions.
    Meat-o-Rama Pizza Burger: Ground beef patty stuffed with Mozzarella cheese, diced tomatoes and pizza sauce, and topped with pepperoni and bacon.
    Caesar Burger: Caesar dressing, romaine lettuce and avocado slices.
    Barbecue Burger: Ground beef grilled with a tangy barbecue sauce and hot peppers.
    Onion Burger: Grilled ground beef seasoned with dried onion soup mix, and blanketed with fried and raw onions.
    Breakfast Burger: Fried egg, a hash brown, fried tomato and fried mushrooms.
    Beef LT: Burger prepared BLT style — bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise on grilled bread.

Black Bean Burgers
    2 cans of black beans (rinsed, drained and divided)
    1/2 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
    2 tablespoons of cilantro leaves, freshly chopped
    1 tablespoon of garlic, chopped
    2 teaspoons of parsley leaves, freshly chopped
    2 eggs
    1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
    3/4 cup of bread crumbs
    Salt and black ground pepper
    Hamburger rolls

Mix onion and garlic together using a food processor and add a can of black beans. Also add the cilantro, parsley, eggs and red pepper flakes and mix them thoroughly.
Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl. Add another can of black beans, bread crumbs, salt and pepper and mix everything thoroughly to evenly combine the flavors.
Once combined, divide and shape mixture into patties. Make sure not to make the patty too thick so the inside can be cooked easily. Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium-low heat.
Once combined, divide and shape mixture into patties. Make sure not to make the patty too thick so the inside can be cooked easily. Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium-low heat.
Once hot, cook the patties for around six minutes per side, or until you know the inside has been heated through.
Make sure to use a spatula to flip the patties over to avoid the patties from breaking apart. They will bind more strongly once they are cooked. Flatten the patties on the pan with the spatula every once in a while.
Toast the burger buns on the grill, too. When they’re hot enough, place the patty on the bun and dress with ketchup, tomato and lettuce. Place another bun on top and serve.

Double Cheese Turkey Burgers
    1 pound ground turkey
    8 ounces fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
    1 onion, finely chopped
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese
    4 slices American Cheese
    Preheat grill for high heat.
    In a medium bowl, mix together the ground turkey, mushrooms, onion, and soy sauce. Season with kosher salt and pepper.
    Form into 4 burger patties.
    Lightly oil the grill grate. Place patties on the prepared grill, and cook for 10 minutes per side, or until well done.
    Top with bleu & American cheese during the last few minutes.
Moist and delicious, yet not full of the fat. 

Venison Burgers
6 slices bacon, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 shallots, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground venison
8 oz ground pork
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten to mix
6 hamburger buns

    Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until browned and crispy.
    Pour bacon and grease into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool.
    Heat olive oil in skillet then add garlic and shallots. Cook and stir until softened, then add to bacon.
    When cool, mix in venison, pork, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, salt, pepper, and egg until evenly combined.
    Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Shape into 6 patties and grill to desired wellness. but at least 145F internal temperature.
The venison burgers go great on wheat or deli buns with a touch of Mayonnaise, some lettuce, tomato, onion and mustard.

Spicy Vietnamese Burger
1 ½ lb  Chef K Burger Mix
¼ cup finely chopped fresh coriander
2  cloves garlic, minced
2  green onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp  EACH salt, finely grated lemon rind and minced ginger root
¼ tbsp hot chili pepper flakes
1 narrow baguette, cut into quarters and split in half lengthwise
  Mayonnaise, shredded nappa cabbage or lettuce, thinly sliced English cucumber
  Spicy Carrot Slaw (recipe follows)

    Combine ground sirloin, coriander, garlic, green onions, salt, lemon rind, ginger and chili pepper flakes, using light hand for the most tender burgers. Form into four 3/4-inch (2 cm) thick even-sized patties.
    Grill patties using medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes per side, until digital rapid-read thermometer inserted sideways into centre of each patty reads 160°F (71°C). Meanwhile, grill cut sides of baguette until lightly golden.
    Spread each baguette piece with mayonnaise. Top each bottom piece with cabbage and patty. Top patties with cucumber, Spicy Carrot Slaw and baguette top.

    Spicy Carrot Slaw: Heat 1/4 cup (50 mL) rice vinegar to boiling; pour over 1/2 cup (125 mL) shredded carrot. Stir in 1/2 tsp (2 mL) granulated sugar and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) hot chili pepper flakes; let stand for 5 minutes. Drain, reserving carrot; use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Stir in some chopped fresh coriander just before serving if desired.

Jerk Burgers with Mango Salsa
1   tablespoon cooking oil
1  cup finely chopped green sweet pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped red sweet pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 medium mango, seeded, peeled, and chopped
1/4 cup apple jelly
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3  cup bottled jerk sauce
1/4  cup fine dry bread crumbs
1  pound Chef K Burger Mix
4  ciabatta rolls or hamburger buns, split
1  cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add sweet peppers, onion, and ginger; cook and stir for 3 minutes. Add mango, jelly, lime juice, and salt; cook and stir until jelly is melted. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine egg, 1/4 cup of the jerk sauce, and the bread crumbs. Add ground beef; mix well. Shape mixture into four 1/2-inch-thick patties.

For a charcoal grill, place patties on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals. Grill for 10 to 13 minutes or until done (160 degrees F), turning and brushing once with the remaining jerk sauce halfway through grilling. If desired, toast ciabatta rolls on the grill. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place patties, then ciabatta rolls [if desired] on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above.)

Divide cheese among the bottoms of rolls. Serve burgers in rolls with some of the salsa. Pass the remaining salsa

Chimichurri Burgers with Grilled Plantains
2  teaspoons whole cumin seed, freshly ground, or 1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
1  cup lightly packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
2  tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1  teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2  teaspoon sea salt or coarse salt
1/4 cup canola oil
2  pounds Chef K Burger Mix
1/4  teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
6  Mexican bolitos or burger rolls, split and toasted
Sliced tomatoes and onions
Grilled Plantains (optional)

Cover the bottom of a small skillet with the cumin; cook and stir over low heat for 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove from heat. For chimichurri, combine the cumin, cilantro, parsley, vinegar, red pepper, and sea salt or coarse salt in a blender container. Cover and blend on lowest speed, slowly adding the oil.

Combine ground beef, the 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the ground red pepper in a large mixing bowl. Shape into 12 patties 3-1/2 inches in diameter. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the chimichurri mixture in the center of each of 6 of the patties. Place remaining patties on top and seal edges.

Place burger patties on the lightly oiled rack of the grill directly over medium heat. Grill for 18 to 22 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in centers registers 160 degree F, turning once halfway through grilling. Brush rolls with some of the chimichurri sauce. Top with burgers, remaining sauce, and tomatoes and onions. Serve with Grilled Plantains, if desired. Makes 6 burgers.

Grilled Plantains::
To make the Grilled Plantains, bias-slice peeled plantains into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Brush with peanut oil. Grill directly over medium heat for 8 minutes or until centers are just soft, turning once. Drain on clean paper towels. Serve warm.

Shumai Burger Recipe Chef K's Favorite

2 ½ lbs ground pork
1 cup shrimp, minced
2 cups water chestnuts, minced
5 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 cup onion, minced
1 cup carrots, minced
1 ½ cups white mushroom, minced
¼ cup scallions, minced
2 tbsp salt
Teriyaki sauce as follows
Oriental coleslaw follows

Combine all the ingredients, except the Teryaki, coleslaw and the buns. Heat a large skillet over medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes, then add the patties; cook undisturbed, for about 4 minutes, then turn and cook for a total of 8 to 10 minutes, or until nicely browned and cooked through. Place on buns, add Teriyaki sauce.

Top with oriental coleslaw.

Oriental Coleslaw
    1/4 c + 2 tbsp peanut butter
    3 tbsp fresh lime juice
    3 tbsp Asian Fish Sauce
    3 tbsp water
    3 tbsp sugar
    3 garlic cloves minced
    1 tbsp Chili Sauce
   1 bag of coleslaw shredded veggies
Put bag of cole slaw shredded veggies in a big bowl. Blend the rest of the ingredients in a blender and then toss with cole slaw shredded veggies.

Teriyaki  Sauce
        1/4 cup soy sauce
        1 cup water
        1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
        1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
        5 tablespoons packed brown sugar
        1 -2 tablespoon honey
        2 tablespoons cornstarch
        1/4 cup cold water

    Mix all but cornstarch and 1/4c water in a saucepan and begin heating.
    Mix cornstarch and cold water in a cup and dissolve. Add to sauce in pan.
    Heat until sauce thickens to desired thickness.
    Add water to thin if you over-thick it :).

Hamburger Buns
2 tbsp (30 ml) granulated sugar
1 cup (250 ml) warm water
1 pkg active dry yeast, (or 2-1/4 tsp/11 ml)
1 cup (250 ml) milk
2 tbsp (30 ml) butter
1-1/2 tsp salt
5 cups (1.25 L) all-purpose flour, approx
Bread dough enhancer, see the recipe
1 egg yolk
Sesame seeds, (optional)

In large bowl, dissolve 1 tsp (5 ml) of the sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over top; let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in saucepan, heat milk, remaining sugar, butter and salt over low heat just until butter is melted; let cool to lukewarm. Add to yeast mixture.
Mix the flour with the dough enhancer.
Using electric mixer, beat in 3 cups (750 ml) of the flour, 1 cup (250 ml) at a time, until smooth. Using wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make stiff dough.
Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead, adding more flour if necessary to prevent sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
Punch down dough; turn out onto lightly floured surface. Roll into a log and divide into 16 pieces; shape each into a ball, stretching and pinching dough underneath to smooth tops. Place, 2 inches (5 cm) apart, on greased baking sheet; flatten slightly. Cover and let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 30 to 60 minutes.
Whisk egg yolk with 1 tbsp (15 ml) water; brush gently over tops; sprinkle with sesame seeds (if using). Bake in center of 400°F (200°C) oven until golden and buns sound hollow when tapped on the bottoms, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to rack; let cool