Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dynasty Burger with Spicy Hoison Barbecue Sauce

By Paul Briand

This is the third in a series of three articles on dogs and burgers ... specifically new takes on the grilling favorites.

We started with Pesto-Parmesan-Topped Burgers, then moved on to Kielbasa Chili Dogs. Today it's back to burgers, but with an Asian influence, courtesy of Martin Yan of "Yan Can Cook" fame.

For Yan, this burger recipe is not only about the flavor but also about the textures.

"I am so passionate about this homemade burger recipe that I have spent my entire life trying to perfect it — and I am still working on it!" he said in an e-mail to the Associated Press, which wrote a story about this burger. "I'm using chopped fresh vegetables and herbs and incorporating Asian seasonings/spices, trying to find the right combination/proportion of ingredients to bring the flavor to a new level."

For the hoisin barbecue sauce:
1/4 cup prepared barbecue sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

For the burger:
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 hamburger buns
4 leaves lettuce
1 large tomato, sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1. To make the barbecue sauce, in a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Set aside;
2. To prepare the burgers, in a medium bowl, combine the beef, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and pepper. Mix well, then form the meat into 4 patties, each about 4 inches round;
3. Heat a grill or grill pan to high;
4. Add the patties and cook for 3 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Allow the burgers to rest off the heat for 2 to 3 minutes;
5. Place each burger on the bottom half of a bun. Top each with some of the barbecue sauce, then arrange a piece of lettuce, and slices of tomato and red onion slices on each.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kielbasa Chili Dogs

By Paul Briand

This is the second of three entries about burgers and dogs. Today we'll look at chili dogs, but a new take on the American staple.

We still have the chili, but we don't have the dog as you might think. The hot dog here is replaced with kielbasa, a Polish sausage made from beef or turkey or pork. And the hot dog bun is replaced with a roll.

The recipe comes from Rachael Ray. I was at the gym, running on a treadmill, listening to music on my iPod, and watching her daytime talk show on one of the TV screens in front of me. She was doing an old school vs. new school show and this was a new school recipe she made on the classic chili dog.

There are a lot of moving parts to this recipe, which means a lot going on in the kitchen at one time ... I had three skillets going. I enjoy that kind of multi-tasking in the kitchen and we sure enjoyed the results.

2 tablespoons butter
2 onions
1 ring kielbasa or turkey kielbasa
Extra Virgin Olive Oil or vegetable oil, for drizzling
3/4 pound ground sirloin or lean ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
3 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped pimiento or roasted red pepper
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 generous tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup beef stock or broth for beef chili sauce or chicken stock for turkey chili sauce
4 potato rolls, split
Chopped fresh dill, for garnish
Sour cream, for garnish

1. Melt butter in small skillet over medium heat. Peel and halve the onions. Thinly slice 1 1/2 onions and add to butter. Sauté until sweet and caramelized, 20-25 minutes;
2. Meanwhile, place the kielbasa ring in a few inches of water and simmer at low boil to heat through, 7-8 minutes;
3. Heat a drizzle of oil in a small pot or skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground meat and brown, 5-6 minutes, crumbling it as it cooks;
4. Grate the remaining half of onion into the meat with a handheld or box grater;
5. Add garlic and pimiento or peppers, smoked paprika and chili powder into the meat, cook 5 minutes more then add tomato paste. Cook half a minute then stir in stock or broth and reduce heat to low;
6. Cut the kielbasa ring into 4 pieces. Halve the kielbasa pieces lengthwise. Heat a drizzle of oil in large, nonstick skillet or griddle pan over medium-high heat. Crisp up the kielbasa pieces on both sides;
7. Place 2 pieces of crispy kielbasa across the bottom half of the rolls. Top with chili sauce, some caramelized onions, dill, a small dollop of sour cream and the bun tops.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Pesto-Parmesan-Topped Burgers

By Paul Briand

I'm going to go on a burgers and dogs rant for the next few weeks. It's been ideal grilling weather, and I've been looking for new takes on the traditional grilling fare of hot dogs and hamburgers.

Today's burger comes from the "Flat Belly Diet for Men" book that I've written about in the past. Making use of the diet's recommendations and using many of the recipes in the book, including this one, I've lost more than 20 pounds since March. Read about it here.

What intrigued me about this recipe was the topping: pesto, which gave the whole eating experience a nutty quality to it.

1 pound extra-lean ground beef
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
4 Portuguese rolls, split and toasted
4 Boston lettuce leaves
1/2 tomato, cut into 4 slices
1/4 cup pesto
1/2 red onion, cut into 4 slices

1. Heat the grill to medium high heat
2. Combine the beef and pepper and form into four patties;
3. Set the burgers on the grill rack coated with cooking spray and grill 4 minutes, turn the burgers, grill another 4 minutes and top with Parmesan. Grill about 2 minutes longer, until the cheese melts, then remove from grill and set aside;
4. Set the roll bottoms on a work surface, top each with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 tomato slice, 1 tablespoon of pesto, 1 onion slice and 1 burger. Complete the burger with the top half of the bun and enjoy.

Some notes: I grilled my red onion slices first, giving them a nice bit of carmelization. I used a lot more Parmesan than what was called for, and I used fresh Parmesan, not the stuff out of the can ... what a difference.

Next week: Kielbasa Chili Dogs

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