Friday, July 3, 2015


I don't know about you but when the weather gets hot, I don't care to put my oven on very much. Even though the air conditioning helps make it bearable, most of my dinners are on the grill. Its quick, easy and cleanup is a breeze. Summer isn't here for long, so might as well spend less time slaving in the kitchen and more time outdoors.

July 4th is quickly approaching, so this month's blog I decided to focus on burgers. What better way to celebrate this country's independence by grilling some thick, hot, juicy burgers.  Not only are hamburgers a summer fare but they are truly all American!  

Over the years the traditional American burger has evolved.  There are so many new variations on this classic beef patty with American cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame seed bun. The other day I went to a popular family restaurant chain and had an Asian inspired burger with chile sauce and pineapple.To some, that might be a bit unusual but I have to tell you, it was fabulous! 

So with that in mind, I think you should take a look at BOBBY FLAY'S GRILL IT!  He says he's a burger man, plain and simple but has explored the possibility of  transforming the ordinary into extraordinary. He suggests using the 80/20 combo cheaper ground beef (with some exceptions) because the higher fat content gives the burgers the juiciest, tastiest flavor. I will be making the Texas Burger but you can also try green chile cheeseburgers, blue cheese sirloin burger with red wine-onion jam, nacho burgers, buffalo burgers and many others.



1 1/4 cups BBQ Sauce (recipe follows but I chose my own store bought sauce just to make it easier you'll see why)
2 lbs ground chuck  (80% lean) 
2 Tbs canola oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
4 hamburger buns
Dill pickles, thinly sliced


3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 small white onion, grated
2 Tbs sugar
2 tsp celery seed
3 Tbs apple-cider vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small head of cabbage, cored, finely shredded
1 large carrot, finely shredded

1. To make coleslaw, whisk together the mayonnaise, onion, sugar, celery seed, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Add the cabbage and carrot and stir to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours before serving. 

2. Heat your grill on high. Divide the BBQ sauce between 2 bowls, one to use while grilling and one to use when the meat is cooked.

3. Form the meat into 4 burgers, each 1 inch thick. Brush with the oil and season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Place on the grill until golden brown and slightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Brush with half of the barbecue sauce, turn the burgers over and continue cooking to medium, about 4 minutes longer.

4. Place the burgers on the bun bottoms and spoon barbecue sauce over the burgers. Top with some of the coleslaw, a few pickles and the bun tops and serve immediately.


2 Tbs canola oil
1 large Spanish onion, couasely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
2 cups canned plum tomatoes and juices, pureed
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbs Dijon mustard
3 Tbs dark brown sugar
2 Tbs honey
1/4 cup molasses
3 Tbs ancho chile powder
3 Tbs pasilla chile powder
2 to 4 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, pureed to taste
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the onion and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and 1 cup of water, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire, mustard, brown sugar, honey, molasses, both chile powders and the chipotles and simmer, stirring occasionally for an additional 30-40 minutes, until thickened. 

2. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. The sauce will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator stored in a tightly sealed container.

There's a lot more than just burger recipes in this fully illustrated grilling book. It covers, beef, chicken, shrimp, fish and marinades. Included is a guide to the types of grills, how to stock a perfect pantry and a resource guide for supplies, accessories and ingredients.