Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Schlow Burger

By Paul Briand

I expect more from a hamburger than just cheese, ketchup, mustard and relish.

I want some life, some pizazz, some razzle-dazzle.

Not too long ago, the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal in its cooking and eating section (yes, that Wall Street Journal … it’s come a long way, baby) featured “Burgers To Flip For.”

The story included the recipes for a variety of burgers that kick it up several notches.

This particular burger -- the Schlow Burger -- is named for its creator, chef Michael Schlow at the Radius restaurant in Boston.

I didn’t concentrate on the burger itself, which he makes with beef chuck, brisket and hanger steak.

Instead, I concentrated on his toppings -- a lemon and horseradish mayo and crispy onions.

For the lemon and horseradish mayo:
½ cup mayonnaise
4 teaspoons prepared white horseradish
Juice of 1 lemon
For the crispy onions:
2 large white onions, slice thinly
2 ½ cups canola oil (or enough to cover the onions)

1. Combine the mayo, horseradish and lemon juice into a bowl and season with black pepper;
2. Combine onions in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring to a boil;
3. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until onions are golden brown;
4. Remove onions and let drain and cool in a single layer on paper towels;
5. To assemble, with burger on bottom half of a toasted bun, spread plenty of mayo on the patty so that it drips down the sides then add a mound a heap of crispy onions;
6. Top with bun and serve.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Grilled Citrus Glazed Salmon

By Paul Briand

I think my wife Jane was a grizzly bear in a past life. She loves salmon, so anything that I can do with salmon makes me a hero.

This recipe was included in a coupon book that I received from the Shaw’s supermarket where I normally shop for groceries.

Note: This recipe calls for flipping the salmon. I don’t do that. I grill it skin side down with the grill cover closed. It’s done when it flakes. The skin chars and peels away easily.

Four 6-ounce portions, skin-on salmon (about 1 ½ pounds)
? cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place the brown sugar, lemon zest, salt and pepper into a bowl and mix with a wire whisk until well combined;
2. Evenly spread the mixture onto the salmon and allow to sit for 25 to 30 minutes at room temperature;
3. Pre-heat the grill;
4. Once grill is hot, oil the grate to prevent sticking, then place salmon on grill, skin side down and cook until salmon releases from grill grate;
5. Flip the salmon and cook until the thickest part of the fish reaches an internal temperature of 131 degrees;
6. Remove salmon from grill and allow to rest uncovered for 5 minutes before serving.

I served this topped with the Tomato Salsa recipe featured last week, along with a dollop of guacamole.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tomato Salsa

By Paul Briand

I consider salsa and chips one of the major food groups.

This recipe from AARP the Magazine provided me with a tasty salsa that was easy to prepare, if you don’t mind all the slicing and dicing that is necessary.

I liked the alchemy of mixing all these ingredients, to the point that it was easy to slip in another ingredient -- in my case some leftover watermelon -- without affecting the overall flavor. I also mixed in a chopped yellow bell pepper.

I served this salsa with a dollop of guacamole as a topping to a salmon fillet that I grilled with a brown sugar/lemon zest rub (more on that recipe next week).

2 cups seeded, chopped tomatoes (variety of red, yellow and orange suggested, if you can find them)
¼ cup diced red onion (I mixed in some sweet Vidalia onion for good measure)
½ teaspoon of minced garlic
¾ teaspoon freshly ground cumin (I used the cumin from my spice rack)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 banana pepper, stemmed and diced (I used jarred hot and sweet banana peppers)
¼ cup diced green mango (optional … I substituted the watermelon here)
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup minced cilantro leaves for garnish (I mixed in some cilantro for taste)

1. Combine the first seven ingredients into a large bowl along with the mango (if using, or other ingredients as necessary);
2. Season to taste with salt and pepper;
3. Refrigerate to let all those varying tastes marry up;
4. Garnish with cilantro just before serving.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Zesty Flank Steak

By Paul Briand

I didn’t have to look beyond my refrigerator to find this recipe, specifically the squeeze bottle of French’s Brown Mustard there on the door shelf.

It’s a combination marinade/topping for the steak that I also used to cook hamburger sliced Vidalia onions, red peppers and green peppers, all on the grill.

1 cup balsamic salad dressing
1/3 cup French’s Spicy Brown Mustard
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 pounds flank steak

1. Mix the dressing, mustard and garlic together in a bowl, reserving a third of the mixture;
2. Place steak and remaining marinade in leak-proof zip-tight storage bag and let sit in the refrigerator for up to three hours, a minimum of a half hour;
3. Over medium-high heat, grill steak to preferred doneness;
4. Let steak rest for three minutes, then cut in slices against the bias, drizzle some of the reserved sauce over the slices and serve.

For the vegetables, use a brush to lightly coat the vegetables with the marinade on each side as they grill. Remove from heat as each side begins to blister.

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