King Kamehameha’s Revenge

I blog post from Brad!?  Hath hell frozen over?  Nah.  I just made a kick butt burger and I don’t want to forget what I did.  This burger was created for the first annual Nunes’ Yard Knife Fight burger contest.  I huge shout out to the Johnson’s for stepping up with their Little Nero slider/caesar combo.  Everyone ate well so we are all winners.

Yield 8 large burgers

The patties

  • 600g grnd pork
  • 600g grnd beef
  • 1 egg
  • breadcrumbs (opt)
  • 3 table spoons Epicure Asian Stir Fry seasoning
  • 2 table spoons of soy sauce
  • salt & peppers

The rest

  • large Hawaiian sweet rolls (or other bun)
  • 8 pineapple rings
  • 8 thin slices of Spam
  • 2 med onions
  • ~8 large mushrooms
  • 1.5oz of Canadian Rye Whiskey (I recommend Crown Royal)
  • Teriyaki sauce (~1 tsp per burger)
  • Mayo
  • Butter
  • Pepper Jack Cheese (or other spicy mild gooey/melty cheese)
  • Siracha

Combine all the fixings for the burgers in a large bowl and mix well.  You your hands.  Get right in there and squeeze that flesh.  Go right savage.  Add breadcrumbs if your mixture is a little too wet/loose.  You want it to form up into nice balls.

Roll out 16 ~200g balls of meat.  Press them flat and then place a small chunk of the pepper jack cheese on 8 of them.  Use the remaining 8 as toppers and seal that chunk-o-cheese in the burger.

Set your Sous-vide machine to 140F and…  WHAT!?  You don’t have a sous-vide machine?  Why is Brad going all French when he just took French 11 so he could go on the sweet ski trip (props to putting up with me Mdm. Park)?  Anyway I’m not going to go into it but google sous-vide and then go buy a unit.  It will change your life.  Anyway sous-vide the burgers at 140 for 90 minutes.

While your burgers are getting all frisky.  slice the onions and the mushrooms and cook them slowly over medium heat with a lot of butter (2-4 tbsps) for at least 30 minutes, longer if you aren’t burning them.  Low and slow makes the best onions.  I recommend doing this in a cast iron skillet for reasons soon to be revealed.

Don’t forget to start your charcoal grill (because propane is for chumps!) when your burgers at at the 45 minute mark.

Once the grill is at temp you can grill your Spam and pineapple, leaving it at the corner of the grill to stay warm.

When there is 5 minutes left on your sous-vide, toss the whiskey into the onions/mushrooms and ignite to flambe them.  This legit works so well in imparting that nice sweet rye flavor into the onion/mushroom mix and adding some really nice char flavors.  It really elevates the onions.  I call them Royal Onions (because Crown Royal).  I guess they could be Club Onions or Alberta Premium Onions if you are desperate.  Anyway light it up.  Your guest will be impressed (if you don’t burn anything down.  Do this step outside with a hose nearby for safety).  Anyway keep those beauties warm.

Toast your buns before you put the burgers on the grill you want them set up and ready to go.  Throw some mayo on both the top and bottom bun.

Once your burgers are done sous-vide grill them on the hottest part of the grill for about 60 seconds per side.  Move quickly.  Drop burger on the grill, slather a little teriyaki sauce on it and get ready with a second slice of pepper jack.  After no more than 60 seconds flip, slather again and throw that cheese on.  Keep the slice thin so it melts.  Remember there is cheese in the burger so you don’t need much more.

Just before the burger comes off, throw some of your royal onion/mushroom on the bottom bun.  Then hit it with your burger.  Then the grilled pineapple and the Spam.  Now drizzle (for shizzle) the Siracha over the mess and top with the final bun.

Now I recommend serving this with some sweet potato fries and Siracha mayo.  Throw a drink umbrella in it and try (unsuccessfully) to convince your wife to serve it in a grass skirt and coconut bikini.  You also have to do a perfect cross section and show off the cheese oozing out of it.

So why the name?  Well clearly it is Hawaiian themed.  I also wanted the cheese to kinda be like lava flowing.  And the revenge is because it has a little heat to it.  It really isn’t that hot.  You could crank it up with a hotter hot sauce if you wanted to but this is a real nice mild heat.

So there you have it.  Enjoy and maybe I’ll post more things here.

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Mini Pita Pizzas

So I totally stole this from my brother-in-law.  He made them for us one evening and they are stellar.

Serves 4

4 8inch Whole Wheat Pitas

4 tbsp Pesto

8 tbsp Pizza Sauce

2 BBQed Chicken Breasts (diced)

1/2 Package Turkey Bacon

2 Cup Diced Spinach

1 Green Pepper (diced)

1/2 Medium Onion (diced)

2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese (Grated)

Preheat your oven to 350F.  Spoon a tbsp of pesto on each pita.  Spread evenly.  Spoon 2 tbsp pizza sauce on each pita.  Spread evenly.  Now top the pizza with a portion of the chicken, bacon, onion, peppers and spinach.  Finish it off with the cheese.  Bake the pizzas right on the rack for about 10 minutes.

Super simple and super tasty.  But wait!  You like pineapple on your pizza!?  Ok.  Put some on!  You can swap out whatever you want.  Just don’t over-top the pizzas or they won’t cook properly.  Also, because of the short cook time, pre-cook all meat and if you want softer veggies, pre-cook them a little as well.  Another neat tip is you can prep a lot of topping and have it a few times in a week.  Then all you have to do it top and cook.

Once again thank to Josh and Sonia for the great recipe.  Comment below with your own pizza topping ideas!

A few things to mention

It has been quite some time since I last posted and this post will be a bit of a mixed bag.  I can tell by the piles of emails and comments that my throng of devoted readers has missed my postings but fear not, I will try to do a little more.

First off a quick D&D update.  Our heroes defeated the Sharn, snagged another one of the legendary weapons and headed back to the university.  Once there they got word that the Bard’s home town was under siege by the undead (yes, them again!) so they traveled to the Dalelands.  After training up some recruits, the town was again besieged by the walking aberrations.  The heroes classed in the streets and drove back the dark forces.  We leave them preparing retaliation.

I am taking a break from my D&D posts because our group is taking a break from my campaign.  One of the other fellows wants to try his hand at DMing and I really don’t mind just sitting back and playing for a while.  I may do something either here or on another site to review the goings on of his adventures.  I might do something interesting and write it like a journal of my character.  Anyway just some ideas.

Back to the real world.  I really haven’t done much new stuff in the way of cooking.  That is to say I haven’t done any of my own stuff.  I have been trying a few things but they have been from recipes so I don’t feel I can take any real credit for them.  I will, however, shout out to this recipe for butter chicken.

http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipes/Main/Chicken/recipe.html?dishid=8423

It was really neat to cook because the flavour really doesn’t come together until the end.  It turned out super tasty.

The other really quick recipe I want to share is something Tam has started drinking.  Just take a can of club soda and add a lemon wedge and a lime wedge.  It is very low calorie and extremely refreshing.  Also, if you add a shot of vodka it becomes a great little summer drink.  It is so much better for you then Sprite.

The last think I want to touch on is I am getting really into photography.  Tam got a Canon EOS Rebel T1i for Christmas.  I did most of the research on the camera before we got it so in my learning I got very interested in the whole process.  So I am starting this new hobby and I will be making posts about it.  You can catch some of my updates on Facebook and Twitter as well as my Flickr account.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nimrod108/

I am really open to any feedback as I am really just starting out.  I hope to improve and slowly upgrade my gear.  I will also post stuff shot by Tam as she has a great eye for things.

Thanks again to my loyal readers.  I guess this is happy new year!

Hawaiian style stuffed pork chops

These are tasty chops that are great on the grill.

6 boneless pork chops
1 small tin pinaple (pieces)
6 slices of mozzarella cheese
teriyaki sauce
soy sauce

Start by making a pocket in the pork chops.  Using a small, sharp knife, stab into the side of the pork chop.  Slide the knife back and forth without cutting through the other side of the chop.  You don’t want to butterfly the chop.

Once you have made a pocket, stuff the cheese and a few pieces of pineapple into each chop.  Put the chops in a marinating dish.  drizzle some soy sauce on the chops.  Pour a generous amount of teriyaki sauce on the chops.  Pour the pineapple juice from the tin on the chops.  Let them sit for at least 1 hour, turning after 30.  You can have them marinate for up to 8 hours.  The longer the better.

Grill the chops on medium high heat for about 4-5 minutes a turn (that means 8-10 mins per side).  For more information on how to turn your meat on the BBQ, see my post on how to cook a steak here.  When you first put the chops on the grill brush with some of the marinate.  Brush again after each turn.

Pull the chops off the grill, cover with tin foil and let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.  You can use the leftover pineapple for fruit salad.  You can ask the Lady of the Lake for her fruit salad recipe.

Post your comments below.

Simple strawberry spinach salad

This is a recipe we learned from a friend of ours. I added the almonds and onions for a little extra something something.

1 bag fresh spinach
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
½ cup sliced almonds
½ red onion
raspberry vinaigrette

Wash and dry the spinach and place in a salad bow. Slice the strawberries into nice flat pieces and toss into the bowl. Slice the onion so you have nice long thin pieces of onion. The thinner the better. If the onion is very large only use ¼ of the onion. Throw the onion into the bowl. Toss in the almonds. Dress with about ¼ cup of dressing to start with. Toss the salad and taste. Adjust dressing to taste. Serve!

As always please leave comments and suggestions.

Chillin' and grillin'

I have recently become obsessed with deal website, especially ones that offer freebies. I have all manor of samples and tee-shirt showing up in the mail. Recently I found a great freebie download. It is a grilling guide from Martha ‘Hardtime’ Stewart. It is from her satellite radio show and has recopies from her and other gust chefs. You can grab it at:

http://www.sirius.com/marthastewartlivingradio

I tried the Whole Chicken Spatchcock and I will never roast a chicken on the grill any other way. The other recipes sound really good as well and I can’t wait to try them.

With this chicken I cooked it with the recommended wood chips for smoke. I did have a little trouble with the indirect heating on my grill. I figured out that the trick is to leave the off side on full heat and then keep your food side on low heat until the BBQ reaches temp. Make sure you turn your food side back on low after each time you open the lid to glaze. This is also the first time I used a meat thermometer for cooking and it is a great investment. I am always worried about underdone chicken and this removed all the guesswork without cutting into the bird.

Anyway I am super stoked about grilling season and this was a great way to really kick it off. Please leave comments and if you have a great recipe you want to share let me know and I can throw it up as a guest post.

Fresh salsa

Nothing is better with a nice light beer sitting on the patio.  This makes a good batch of salsa.

2 cups diced tomatoes (I use roma)
1 small onion (diced)
3 cloves minced garlic
1 jalapeño pepper de-seeded and finely diced
1 tbsp diced fresh cilantro
juice from 1 lemon
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper

combine all the ingredients and refrigerate for about 10 minutes.  Taste it and adjust salt and lemon as desired.  Mix well one more time and serve with some blue corn chips (just because I like to be fancy.  It works great with any tortilla chips).  Goes great with some homemade guacamole!