Author Archive

Chefs’ Secrets to Better Burgers

BurgersThink the best burgers are all about the beef?

Not necessarily.

James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project promotes healthy and more-sustainable cooking by blending beef with mushrooms to decrease the meat content of the patties. This summer, Miami’s The Pubbelly Restaurant Group is spreading the word by inviting local chefs to dream up their own spins on the concept.

While they were at it, we asked the pros to help improve the standard summer grill-out with their expert takes on better burgers:

 

Master the Moisture
Ingrid Hoffmann is a master of sneaking vegetables into her patties. “I like adding moisture to the patty by using shredded onions, zucchinis and mushrooms,” she says. “Creating a barrier on the bread with a good mayo or avocado-based sauce also helps the bread not get soggy.” Even her condiments are far from standard, as Hoffmann uses pulled pork, mushrooms and jicama slaw to spice up her combinations. And once burgers are on the brain, not even stormy weather can get in her way: “If bad weather prevents you from grilling outdoors, one of my tricks is to take a large-size Pyrex, line the bottom with a layer of bread bottoms, then do layers of meat, cheese and other desired ingredients, place the tops of bread buns last and bake in the oven; easy for a one-dish wonder.”

 

Flip Out
Jose Mendin, Founding Partner and Chef of The Pubbelly Restaurant Group recommends an 85-15 ratio of meat to fat. “I like to use fatty meats in my blend such as brisket, chuck and sirloin,” he says. “Flip once; that way, the juices stay in the middle of burger. If you flip the burger too many times, you will end up with a messy, dried-out burger.”

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Raise the Steaks

Cowboy steak

Beef up your meat routine with a few easy updates to standard steaks.

  • Don’t have a grill? Opt for filet mignons. Tiffani’s easy filet mignon recipe lets the meat be the main ingredient, with roasted shallots and garlic, and a hint of Worcesthershire.
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Summer-Worthy Fruit Finales

Fruit Pizza

Step away from the store-bought sweets. Win the potluck this summer with Cooking Channel’s best recipes for summer desserts.

 

Blueberry cobbler

Plan a cast-iron blueberry cobbler that looks cool and tastes like a quick visit to Maine. The hulking scoop of vanilla ice cream is entirely optional.

Switch up the classic pie routine with Kelsey’s crowd-elating fruit pizza on a sugar cookie crust (pictured up top). The recipe calls for blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, kiwi and nectarines, but use apricots, pitted cherries, blackberries or whatever you have on hand to create tantalizing tangy designs over the lemony cream cheese base.

Peach PieOr plan to end the meal with classic key lime pie, strawberry pie, mile-high peach pie or one of these other easy, beautiful takes on summer’s best bounty.

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Get Excited for Ramps

ramps

 

Fleeting, wild and desperately coveted, ramps are the spring allium equivalent of a teenage summer romance. Plucked by foragers throughout the East Coast and Midwest, ramps are a two-for-one bonanza of pickle-worthy bulbs and sauté-ready leaves.

If you happen to come across a bunch at an area farmers’ market, grab it and try these springy takes:

 

More of the ramp-age:

25 Ways to Use Ramps
In Season: Ramps

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Why We’re Stalking Rhubarb

Rhubarb Pie

Step aside, strawberries. The start of spring belongs to rhubarb. It may be a semi-tough stalk that needs a lot of time to stew, but rhubarb yields a tart, sweet result that is so much better than the usual seasonal superstars.

If you plan to land a few ’barbs in your kitchen, here’s where to start:

12 Ways to Sweeten Those Stalks of Rhubarb

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Make Food Fireworks for the Fourth

Tequila Lemonade

Baby, you may not be a firework, but your July 4th meal can be.

Add some holiday fireworks to your party menu with firecracker-themed food and drinks.

First, the food. Get the firecracker power with a hefty dose of spice. Spike classic guacamole with punchy serranos in Bobby’s Spicy Guacamole. Or actual Firecracker Shrimp (with chile mayo).

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Cheers to Chili: Wine Pairings for Big-Game Foods

Cheers to Chili

 

Beer and football go together like Clydesdales and puppies, but what is the right drink if you prefer stemware to steins?

Bryan Jones, executive chef of St. Francis Winery in Sonoma, spends a lot of time thinking about wine-and-food pairings. Jones runs the winery’s dining program, which means that he essentially is the opposite of a sommelier, cooking up just the right dish to pair with the estate’s classic California wines, like peppery Zinfandel (It’s meatloaf with a tomato-garlic-chile ketchup, if you were curious).

So we picked his brain to figure out what he’d serve at a Super Bowl party.

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31 Days of Cookies: Meyer Lemon Cardamom Crinkle Cookies

Much a we complain that nothing is in season during brutal winter months, that isn’t the case at all. Citrus, including perky meyer lemon, is best in chilly months. So for the 26th day of cookies, we’re celebrating vitamin C with 5-star meyer lemon cookies, spiced with cardamom and ideal for a calm post-party tea session.

Click here for the Meyer Lemon Cardamom Crinkle Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

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31 Days of Cookies: The White House’s Molasses Spice Cookies

For the 13th day of cookies, we’re bringing you some gingersnaps with the presidential seal of approval. These molasses cookies — from former White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses — are chockfull of ginger flavor. A roll in granulated sugar before baking helps balance the zippy spice.

The White House's Molasses Spice Cookies

Click here for the White House’s Molasses Spice Cookies “Gingersnaps” recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

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31 Days of Cookies: Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Want to know something absolutely bananas? Kelsey Nixon’s banana chocolate chip cookies. Add two overripe mashed bananas to a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe for a soft, sweet batch that you can kind of pull off as healthy. They’re our pick for the 11th day of cookies.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Click here for the Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe.

More cookies:
Cooking Channel’s All-Star Cookie Swap
50 All-Star Holiday Cookies
Unique Cookie Recipes
Food Network’s 12 Days of Cookies

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