Burgers…Again??

So it’s that time of the year to go crazy and make all different sorts of burgers as seen here, here, and even here. So as you can tell, when it comes to summertime cooking, burgers are my go-to staple.

In this particular case I went a tad above and beyond and even made the rolls- a combination of plain flour and whole wheat flour and topped with roasted sesame seeds and sea salt.

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And then there’s the burger. A wonderful combination of beef and seasonings all packed together and grilled to perfection. In this instance, I went with the smoked bacon I had made a while back (sad to say as I am writing this I am all out and will have to make another batch), some fresh sliced avocado, and a nice semi-fried egg ready to ooze out after that first bite. All this with a side of Polish pickles and some homemade potato salad- don’t ask how to make that, it seems like everytime I whip up a new batch I am always adding different ingredients.

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Enjoy.

Been a Tad Crazy Around Here… Here’s Some Sushi.

Sorry for the bit of delay with posting (got a bunch which will be coming up throughout the week, but things have either been a tad crazy (i.e. work) or like the past 2 weekends I have not been around (one weekend to my brother down in Maryland and this past Father’s Day weekend we had visited my parents up in Northern New Jersey).

In the meantime, I had 2 separate attempts within the past week and a half of making some sushi. A combination of tuna, salmon, scallops, and a few other white fish.

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Enjoy.

Summertime Grilling: Burgers Part One

A while back in the winter time I had originally posted an “indoor” version of a burger which can be seen here.

Now that the weather is warm and the grill can be fired up, it is time to have some fun and experiment with different variations of burger concepts and toppings. Today I will present two wonderful ideas and as the summer progresses, there will be many more to come.

Before I get into the main jist of things, I’ll quickly go through the making of the patties. I am not typically one to add a whole lot fo stuff into the burger itself or jump on the tv craze of “stuffed” burgers. I am somewhat agreeable with chef Bobby Flay in that the burger itself should be simple and that adding additional flavors and elements should be in the roll, toppings, etc.

The patties I created I used 90% ground beef. I take a few strips of uncooked bacon and dice them up into a mush and mix well into the beef. I know a lot of people may utilize seasonings such as onion/garlic salt, but I prefer to finely dice up both vegetables themselves and add them into the mix. I then utilize some sweet paprika and a touch of sage and then make the patties by hand (no tools required).

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The first version I attempted was a nice little bit of sweet and spicy. Along with grilling the burgers, I had also cut up slices of fresh pineapple and some orange habaneros and tossed them on the grill as well. In a small skillet I had fried up and then used breadcrumbs to coat and make some crispy onion straws. I had also fried up some bacon which I added some fresh peppercorn for a little kick.

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When the burgers were close to being fully done, I tossed some Colby cheese onto the patties and let it melt on top (about 4-5 minutes).

The final product was as follows: Bottom layer of roll, Romaine lettuce, burger with Colby cheese, grilled pineapple, onion straws, bacon, and finally the orange habanero.

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And, now on to the second version.

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In this instance I decided to go with more natural and “woodsy” flavors as opposed to sweet and spicy combinations.

As in the previous instance, as the burger was almost done I had added on the cheese to melt a little. I chose a nice 3 year aged cheddar to top. After the cheddar, I cut up a fresh avocado and threw on a nice slice of that. I had some dried lobster mushrooms which I had re-hydrated in some water and then sauteed in a little oil. Now with my birthday just happening, one of the gifts I received was the Polyscience Smoking Gun. What better way to test was to cook up a few slices of bacon and then add some applewood smokiness to them? This was all served on a ciabatta roll with some red leaf lettuce and a side of polish pickles and some chips.

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Enjoy.

A mixed variety day stemming from breakfast foods to snacks to Risotto

With the way rotating shift schedule is in the lab this happened to be the week where I have the “midweek weekend” while next week I will have a 3-day weekend. So on the second day of being off, I was getting a little too bored and started some extra meal/meal planning.

The midday point started off with making some muffins. I figure with the way the work schedule is (and the fact that until I move in October I have an hour or so commute) quick foods are the best bet and nothing is quite like homemade muffins (can also be frozen for future usage).

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I first started off with some blueberry-strawberry muffins with some added honey to the batter which turned out quite tasty (the berries inside were moist and juicy when first out of the oven. The second type I made was more of “hmm, what do I have lying around from other projects, snacks, etc.” so I gathered some bananas, some walnuts, and a white chocolate bar and made a muffin batter with said ingredients as well as some spices and boy were they tasty.

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On to the next food creation of the day. While at Wegman’s, I was in the mood for a good craft beer so I picked up some Ommegang Hennepin (highly recommended, awesome for this time of year with the spices of coriander, ginger, and orange peel. An all-around amazing Saison). So what would go good with this? How about some homemade salsa.

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I kept it simple yet amazing. I utilized some nice heirloom tomatoes, some red onion, scallions, cilantro, lemon juice, fresh avocado, and some poblano peppers (added a nice kick but not too strong as to offset the flavors of all the other fresh herbs and vegetables). A nice afternoon pairing with the ale.

Somewhere in between all of this I made up some homemade buffalo sauce with some very hot chilis (hotter than jalapenos and some mango) but that post will come when i actually make the wings (currently frozen drenched with sauce).

So on to the main course. At first I wasn’t sure what I wanted to add to this, but after a few purchases, I decided to go with a bit of a seafood combination. So the risotto I made had shrimp, squid, asparagus, and shiitake mushrooms (initially sauteed in oil, garlic, and lemon juice).

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The arborio rice was initially put in the deep skillet and slightly heated. For my first liquid addition I did a combination of a white wine/ stock blend (had a homemade chicken stock from a while back chilling in the freezer). I then stirred while it simmered. Overall you do this a cup at a time with the stock until around 5 cups (it takes somewhere around 20 minutes or so to go through that process. Towards the end, I added in the blend of vegetables and seafood and let simmer a few minutes longer as to incorporate all of the flavors.

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Enjoy.