Fri, 31 May 2013
Recipe of the week: Beef Burger with Chile Butter Core, Dressed with Chipotle and Roasted Garlic Mayo and Guacamole
Makes 4 large burgers
Disclaimer: This isn’t a simple recipe and it involves quite a bit of prep work. The chile butter and mayo need to be made in advance, so a little planning is necessary. Stuffing a disc of flavored butter into the burger patties takes a little practice, but the result will blow your guests away. Be sure not to turn the burgers until they’ve started to get firm, and keep an eye out for flare-ups.
Note: Warn your guests that the burgers have a molten filling or they could be in for a shock! In any case, have plenty of napkins at the ready. These are very juicy burgers.
For the chile butter:
1/2 lb | 250 g butter
2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 Tbsp | 25 mL ancho chile powder
1 head roasted garlic (see recipe below)
1/2 tsp | 2 mL salt
For the guacamole:
2 large, ripe, but still firm avocados
2 ripe tomatoes
2 Tbsp | 25 mL lime or lemon juice
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 Tbsp | 25 mL chopped cilantro
3 tinned green chiles, rinsed, seeded, and chopped
1 finely minced jalapeño or serrano chile (optional)
For the burgers:
11/2 to 2 lb | 750 g to 1 kg ground beef,
(20 percent fat)
1/4 cup | 50 mL cold water
1/2 tsp | 2 mL garlic salt
1/2 tsp | 2 mL onion salt
1 Tbsp | 15 mL prepared mustard
Your favorite grilling rub
1/4 cup | 50 mL Margie’s Chipotle and Roasted Garlic Mayo (see recipe below)
4 slices Jack cheese (optional)
4 hamburger buns
To make the chile butter, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend them together until they’re smooth. Transfer the butter onto a sheet of plastic wrap and shape it into a tube 11⁄2 inches | 4 cm in diameter. Twist the ends of the tube to close it, and place it in the freezer for at least 2 hours, and preferably overnight. (It’s a good idea to make the mayo at the same time as you make the chile butter, as both improve when you let the flavors marry.)
The guacamole doesn’t keep well and should be made no more than an hour before you put the burgers on the grill. To make it, peel the avocados and remove the pits. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and avocados. (You can mash the avocados as much as you like, but I prefer
Combine the ground beef, water, garlic salt, and onion salt in a large nonreactive bowl. Mix the ingredients lightly with your hands, being careful not to overwork the beef. Split it into 4 equal portions and roll it into balls. Take the chile butter out of the freezer and slice off four 1⁄4-inch | 0.5 cm discs. Poke your thumb in the middle of each ball to create a hole and insert the disc of chile butter. Encase the butter in the burger as you shape it into a classic burger shape about 3⁄4-inch | 1.2 cm thick, ensuring that there are no openings where molten butter could run out. Set the rest of the chile butter aside to soften.
Coat the burger patties lightly with the mustard and sprinkle them with a light coating of granulated garlic, then a light coating of the rub.
Preheat the grill on medium-high for 5–10 minutes, or until the chamber temperature rises above 500°F | 260°C. Place the burgers on the grill, close the cover, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook them for about 5 minutes, keeping an eye out for flare-ups. Turn them carefully, and cook them for another 5–8 minutes, or until the patties become firm, but not hard, to the touch. If you want to add cheese, place a slice on top of each patty about 2 minutes before you plan to take them off the grill.
Transfer the burgers from the grill to a serving plate. Tent the burgers with foil and let them rest for 2–3 minutes. In the meantime, coat the cut side of each half of the buns with some softened chile butter, sprinkle them with a little granulated garlic, and toast them for 30–60 seconds on the grill.
Dress the buns with a generous slather of chipotle mayo. Place the burgers on the buns and top each burger with a big dollop of guacamole. Cover the patties with the top half of the buns and serve.
Here’s a great kitchen staple that works well baked in the oven or planked on the grill. Roasted garlic is as versatile as it is delicious. Use it as a flavor enhancer in mayo, an enricher of mashed potatoes, and a flavor note in soups and sauces—or just spread it on a piece of toasted French bread.
Preheat the oven to 350°F | 175°C (or preheat your grill in preparation for plank-cooking). With a sharp knife, slice off the top of a garlic bulb, just enough to expose the tops of the cloves. Drizzle it with a little olive oil, season it with salt and pepper, and wrap the bulb tightly in foil. Place it in the oven (or on a soaked, preheated? plank in your grill with the heat turned down to low), cut side up, and roast it for about an hour, or until the garlic is soft and lightly browned. Once it’s cool enough to handle, you can squeeze the head and the roasted garlic comes out like toothpaste.
Margie’s Chipotle and Roasted Garlic Mayo
This invention of Calgary caterer Margie Gibb is particularly good as a dip for pieces of smoked or grilled sausage, but it’s also great on just about anything.
11/2 cups | 375 mL mayonnaise
1 whole head roasted garlic, cloves squeezed
out of their skins
1 tsp | 5 mL finely ground cumin (preferably made
from toasted cumin seeds)
1 Tbsp | 15 mL chopped chipotles in adobo sauce
(add more chipotle if you like it hot)
Whiz everything together in a food processor or blender and it's ready to eat. Store it in the fridge in a covered container. It gets better after a day or two.
Category:grilling -- posted at: 3:46pm PST
Fri, 24 May 2013
Makes 4 servings
Ian “Big Daddy” Baird is a sometime member of The Butt Shredders barbecue team who has traveled in Asia. He tells me that one of the best pieces of meat he’s ever eaten was a whole chicken thigh and drumstick he purchased from a street vendor out the window of a train as he waited to cross the Thai/Malaysian border. He tried numerous times to re-create it himself, but it wasn’t until he married this recipe with real barbeque technique that he came close. Serve this chicken with some steamed rice, grilled veggies and cold beer.
For the chicken:
10 to 12 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
6 Tbsp | 90 mL fresh lime juice
1/4 cup | 50 mL fresh orange juice
1/4 cup | 50 mL Thai fish sauce
1/4 cup | 50 mL peanut or canola oil
1/4 cup | 50 mL raw sugar or
lightly packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp | 15 mL Asian chili sauce
2 Tbsp | 25 mL finely minced ginger
5 to 10 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup | 50 mL minced fresh basil
1/4 cup | 50 mL green onions
1/4 cup | 50 mL cilantro
For the basting mixture:
1/2 cup | 125 mL peanut oil
1 Tbsp | 15 mL lime juice
Trim the chicken thighs of excess fat. Mix all the remaining ingredients together and put them in a resealable plastic bag. Place the chicken in the bag, remove the air, and seal it. Marinate the chicken at least
If you’re using a gas or charcoal grill, prepare it for low to medium indirect cooking. (That’s where you turn off one or two burners completely and put whatever you’re cooking on that part of the grill, so your kind of baking rather than grilling. If you’re using a smoker, bring the temperature up to 200–220˚F | 95–100˚C. Make the basting mixture by combining the oil and lime juice in a bowl.
Discard the marinade and cook the chicken on a covered grill for about an hour, turning it every 15 minute or so, or in the smoker for 21/2 hours, turning and basting it every hour. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to check the temperature of the meat – it’s done when it reaches 160F at the thickest part next to the bone. If you wish, give the skin side a quick 30 seconds on a hot grill to really crisp the skin before you take it off the heat. Let it rest, tented with foil, for 5 minutes before serving.
Category:general -- posted at: 5:54pm PST
Fri, 17 May 2013
These little cylinders of tender, juicy pork are a staple of Chinese cooking and are wonderful on the grill, and they’re also ideally suited to planking. They have just the right amount of surface area to cook quickly without losing moisture. They go with all flavors of smoke, from cedar to mesquite. And they take to marinades and rubs extremely well. Here are some basic techniques and a little collection of ideas for how to flavor pork tenderloin, but use your imagination and experiment with your favorite rubs, marinades, and basting sauces.
Marinate and/or rub the tenderloin and have it ready to go before you start the grill. (Three small tenderloins are usually enough for 4 servings.) I like to drizzle a little olive oil or vegetable oil on them just before putting them on the grill.
Preheat the grill on medium-high for 5–10 minutes, or until the chamber temperature rises above 500°F | 260°C.
If you’re cooking the tenderloins on a gas or charcoal grill, it couldn’t be more simple. Make sure your cooking grate is clean (use a wire brush; I prefer to scrape the grate after the grill has been preheated), When your grill is preheated, just place the meat over direct heat and cover the grill. Use a pair of tongs to turn the tenderloins every few minutes, and cook until the temperature in the thickest part is 140F. (This will give you juicy pork cooked to a medium doneness. The internal temperature will come up slightly when you let the meat rest.) Take the meat off the grill and let it rest, tented loosely in foil, for about five minutes.
If you’re cooking the tenderloins on a plank, be sure to soak the plank in cold water for at least a couple of hours or overnight. Preheat the grill as described above. Place the soaked plank on the cooking grate. Cover the grill and heat the plank for 4–5 minutes, or until it starts to throw off a bit of smoke and crackles lightly. Reduce the heat to medium and place the tenderloins on the plank (you can fit three or four on a plank, depending on the size of the tenderloins and the plank. Cook for 10 minutes, turn the meat, and cook for another 5–10 minutes, basting if you like, until the pork is springy to the touch or reaches an internal temperature of 140°F | 60°C. If you like, just before the tenderloins are ready, you can move the tenderloin from the plank onto the cooking grate and char the outside, or caramelize it if it’s coated with barbecue sauce
Finishing the Tenderloins
When they’re ready, take the tenderloins out of the grill, tent it in foil, and let it rest for a few minutes before serving it. Carve the tenderloin into 1⁄2- to 1-inch | 1 to 2.5 cm medallions and apply whatever sauce or garnish is called for.
Here are some wonderful ways to treat pork tenderloin, one of the most versatile and delicious meats:
Classic Barbecue: Coat the pork with ballpark mustard, then sprinkle it with your favorite barbecue rub. Cook it on a hickory or fruitwood plank till it’s nearly done and finish it with a light glaze of barbecue sauce. Serve more sauce on the side.
Easy Asian: Marinate the pork with soy or teryaki sauce and finish it with a coating of hoi sin sauce, plum sauce or an Asian-flavoured barbecue sauce.
Spice-Crusted: Season the pork with salt and pepper, drizzle it with oil, and coat it with minced garlic, toasted fennel and cumin seeds, and a little cinnamon. Serve it with chopped cilantro and your favorite chutney.
Balsamic: Coat the pork with balsamic reduction and, if you plan ahead, marinate it overnight. Before cooking, sprinkle on some chopped fresh rosemary and granulated garlic. Serve the pork with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, a further drizzle of the balsamic reduction and some chopped fresh mint.
Harvest Time: Season the pork with salt and pepper and coat it with a rub made with light brown sugar, powdered ginger, a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg, a pinch of clove, and a little cayenne pepper. Baste it with melted apple jelly and serve it with baked apples or apple slices that have been fried in butter with a sprinkle of brown sugar added at the last minute.
Southwestern: Flavor the pork with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano and granulated onion and serve it with wedges of lime, some salsa and cornbread or corn tortillas.
Category:grilling -- posted at: 2:44pm PST