09/18/13

Happy National Cheeseburger Day

This is my all-time favorite, over-the-top, wear-an-old-shirt cheeseburger!

We make these monsters every year (and you probably shouldn’t have them much more often that that) for our family camp-out, and they’re always a hit!

(Note: These are “thin burgers”, designed to maximize the char of the grill, while keeping the burger, and all the fixin’s, reasonably eatable within the limits of the normal mouth size.)

Fully Awesome Burger

THE Fully Awe-some Burger (serves 6)

The Patty
2lbs ground beef (15/85 fat)
1 lg sweet onion, diced fine
2 Tbs Montreal steak seasoning
2 Tbs fresh minced garlic
1 Tbs coarse sea salt
1 Tbs coarse black pepper

The Rest
6 Whole wheat burger buns (or your favorite)
1 cup simple guacamole (see below)
6 Tbs mayo
12 oz aged smoked white-cheddar cheese, grated or sliced
9 strips sliced bacon (I like maple) cooked and halved. (Kept warm)
Red onion, sliced
6 slices leaf lettuce

Simple Guacamole
3 medium Haas avocados, ripe. Peeled and diced.
1 Tbs lime juice
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste.

Directions
Mix all “patty” ingredients together, form into six equal balls and fridge 4 hours – or overnight, covered. Press into rounds slightly larger that the buns and chill for another 1-2 hours between maxed paper. You want to keep that fat as cold as possible. Here’s why.

Make simple guacamole (simply mix all ingredients) and keep chilled.

Start coals or gas grill and heat to high, lightly grill buns (cut side only) and remove, then throw a small handful of oak chips on the fire, if you have them.

Cook bacon in pan, drain on paper towels and wrap in foil. These can be set on the back of the grill to re-heat just before using.

When grill is hot, place patties evenly on surface and close the lid. Check occasionally for flare-up (these are high fat burgers) and perhaps have a spray bottle of water handy to keep the flames down. Cook 3-5 minutes.

Meanwhile, prep buns (see below.)

Flip burgers and place 2oz of grated or sliced cheese on top of each. Cover and cook 2 minutes. Check to see if cheese has melted, if so, place three half-strips of bacon on each patty and remove from grill.

Assembly
Spread 1 Tbs of mayo on each bottom bun, and 2 Tbs of guacamole on each top bun.

Place bacon cheese-burger patty between them, add onion and lettuce, and serve immediately. (Best if patties are taken directly from grill and placed on waiting buns.)

Notes
A simple coleslaw and some cubed, chilled watermelon go very nicely with this dish.

For big eaters, use the same about of meat to make 4 patties. Change ingredients to:

4 oversized burger buns (your favorite)
2/3 cup simple guacamole (see below)
4 Tbs mayo
8 ounces smoked white cheddar cheese, grated
6 strips thick sliced bacon (I like maple) cooked and halved. (Kept warm)
2 medium Haas avocados, ripe. Peeled and diced.
2 tsp lime juice
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste.

Rhino2

FYI…Vic dubbed these, “Fully Awe-some Burgers”, as we were watching Bolt at the time, lol.

-Chef Perry

08/4/13

National Oyster Day! Our twice-grilled oysters (and a little history)

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If you know me at all, you know I have a passion for oysters that borders on obsession. I’ve written two novels and a cookbook centered around the tasty bi-valves, and have whiled away many a happy afternoon in the oysterbeds and markets of Oysterville doing “research”.

That said…I, of course, have to share one of my very favorite recipes with you on National Oyster Day!

A little history

Chinook Indians gathered for centuries along Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula to harvest oysters and other seafood.

They called it “tsako-te~hahsh-eetl” or “place of the red-topped grasses.”

In 1854, while thousands were streaming into California in hope of finding gold, a young sailor named R.H. Espy was searching for his own treasure far up the northern coast. He became lost while navigating Washington’s then uncharted Shoalwater Bay and, in a heavy fog, Espy and his men feared they would paddle out to sea and never be seen again.

Lucky for them, the local Indian Chief spotted them and led them safely to shore.

On that shore, Espy found his treasure…in the form of vast clusters of native oysters, growing along the unclaimed mudflats of the bay. In San Francisco, hungry treasure-hunters paid fifty-dollars a plate for oysters, and soon Espy staked his claim and hit his mother-lode.

The oystermen were paid in gold, and Oysterville became the second richest city on the West Coast.

Today, tiny Oysterville is a National Historic District, and fresh oysters can still be found in Shoalwater (now Willapa) Bay.

A number of small, family owned farms spurn the use of dredging a pesticides used by the larger corporations, and harvest fresh, deliciously organic oysters daily.

My family and I visit Oysterville often, and we love everything about this tiny town that time forgot. So much so, in fact, that two of my novels are based there. We get our oysters, hand-harvested, directly from the bay.

Here’s a favorite recipe of mine for those who truly love oysters…

Twice Grilled Oysters

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2 dz med-small fresh oysters, in shell
¼ cup Tillamook butter
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp lemon pepper

Combine butter, garlic, and lemon pepper in pan.

Heat until simmering, stirring often, remove from heat and set aside.

Heat grill to med-high and scrub oysters under cold water with a wire brush.

Place oysters, cup side down*, on grill and close the lid.

Cook oysters 5-8 minutes, checking periodically. When an oyster has “popped” (the lid of the shell has opened, remove the oyster from the grill and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Reduce heat to med-low.

Remove the lid of each shell, cutting the oyster loose if necessary, and place cooked oyster in cup of shell, with about ½ of the remaining liquor.

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Drizzle on teaspoon of seasoned butter over each oyster and return to the grill. Cover and allow to cook 10-15 minutes.

Finished oysters will be a deep grey with browned and blackened edges.

Remove from grill and allow to cool until the shells can be handled.

Serve.

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Notes:

Re-grilling the oysters at a low heat with butter infuses them with a rich, nutty flavor that is completely unlike the taste of a “once cooked” oyster.

Tip: To make a unique and delicious spread, use chilled slow grilled oysters in your favorite cream-cheese based oyster spread recipe.

*To keep oysters upright on the grill, roll tinfoil into 1-inch diameter tubes and make a ring for each oyster to set in.

Enjoy!

Chef Perry
hautemealz.com

07/6/12

Crispy Grilled Chicken and Tomatoes with Strawberry-Spinach Salad

Here’s a freebie for you…my favorite recipe from this week’s hautemealz.com menu…Crispy Grilled Chicken and Tomatoes with Strawberry-Spinach Salad.

Enjoy!

-Perry

Crispy Grilled Chicken and Tomatoes

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