Garlic-Mushroom Burger Baste

basting-burgers

This is my secret tip when I’m grilling burgers…

Note: Grilling vs. frying burgers is an existential dilemma for me. I love the smokey flavor from the grill, but I also know that a pan-seared burger is going to be juicier, and have more beef flavor.

That’s a decision that each of us must make for ourselves. 😉

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Garlic-Mushroom Burger Baste

  • 1 lb white mushrooms, cleaned
  • 1/2 lb butter
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp. porcini mushroom powder (opt)
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Chop mushrooms, garlic, and shallots.

Saute in 1/4 cup of butter in a large pan over medium heat, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook until onions are soft and garlic had just begun to color.

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Add remaining butter, and reduce heat to medium low. Keep on a low simmer for 1 hour.

For normal people:

Grill or fry burgers on one side, flip and brush cooked side with baste.

pork-belly-confit-3For the rest of us:

I like to brush one side, as shown above, and then, just before the burger is done on both sides, use a pair of tongs to dip it, completely submersing, in baste.

(Hey, I’m a cook, not a your cardiologist! Your health is not my primary concern.) 😉 

Then, return it to the grill for just a few seconds on both sides.

Lastly, if you want to really take these burgers to the next level, chill the compound butter to near freezing, stirring several time to get the mushrooms and onions off the bottom.

Butter-Burgers_4_Photo-Oct-19-11-21-52-AM_600x400Shave the frozen butter with a cheese grater, and mix (quickly) into the ground beef (1oz of butter for a 1/3rdlb burger).

You can add a little shredded asiago cheese, or crumbled bleu cheese at this point as well, if you like.

Form your patties and freeze before grilling.

Enjoy!

~Chef Perry

Best Butter Burger Recipes
A little double-smoked bacon and Gruyère cheese can’t hurt, either!

For more tips on grilling the ultimate burger, from grinding your own beef blend, to seasonings, sauces, and styles, check out my new Home Chef guidebook: Grilling!

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How to Take the Heat Out of Jalapenos (or Any Chile Pepper)

Jalepeno Pepper Bombs

I absolutely LOVE stuffed and grilled jalapenos, but due to the cruelties of time, my old gut has started rebelling at overy spicy foods. However, as I’m not willing to give up one of my favorite flavors, just because my stomach has turned traitor on me!

Naga Jolokia chili pepper
The Naga Jolokia

Jalepeno Peppers averages 2,500 – 8,000 Scoville Heat Units* (SHU), putting them somewhere between Anaheim peppers (500 ~ 2,500 SHU) and Hidalgos (6,000 ~ 17,000 SHU).

To get an idea of the scale, the average sweet bell pepper comes in at 0, and at the top of the Scoville scale: the fearsome Naga Jolokia peppers are 800,000 to over One Million  SHU’s!

Yes, that was the sound of your esophageal sphincter melting.

What Makes Chili Peppers Hot

The heat-inducing chemical in peppers is called “hydrophopic capsasium“, or what my friend Melanie would call C18H27NO3. Capsaicin and several related compounds are called capsaicinoids and are produced as secondary metabolites by chili peppers, and other vegetables as deterrents against certain mammals and fungi.

AAvH7Kn.imgHigh levels of capsasium can produce a pain-stimulated release of endorphins, causing pleasurable and even euphoric effects (You freakin’ junkies!) 😉

For spice-lovers and pepper-heads, jalapeno’s are the “hot food” equivalent of eating gummy bears, but for NORMAL people, they pack some heat.

Grilling or roasting peppers make them even hotter as you’re cooking moisture out of them, which concentrates the percentage of capsasium.

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Here are some tips we used in restaurants to make jalapenos dishes a bit more “customer friendly.”

Tips for Tongue-Friendly Jalapenos

1. Remove the seeds and membranes from the interior of the pepper. They contain the majority of the capsasium (the hot stuff). An old fashioned potato peeler, the point-end kind, works great for this.

Cleaning Jalepenos

2. Soak the cleaned peppers in an ice-water bath for 1/2 hour. This soaking method will reduce the finished heat by about 50%. To take ALL the fire out, use lemon-lime soda (not diet) instead of water, for 30-45 minutes. Really! Drain, rinse in fresh water, and pat dry.

(Chef’s note: Pour the soda you soaked the peppers in over a tall glass of ice and add a healthy shot of your favorite tequila. You’re welcome!)

Soaking Jalepenos

3. If that doesn’t tame the beast enough for you, blanch the rinsed peppers in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then place them in a (fresh) ice bath to chill, and stop the cooking process. Rinse and pat dry.

Remember, ALWAYS wear disposable gloves when working with hot peppers, and try to avoid touching your face or eyes.

Oh, and…guys? Try to remember to use the bathroom BEFORE you start your prep! 😉

~Chef Perry
chefperryperkins.com

*The Scoville unit was named for Wilbur Scoville in 1912. At the time, he worked for the pharmaceutical company, Parke-Davis, where he developed a test called the “Scoville Organoleptic Test” which is still used to measure a chili pepper’s heat.



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Cooking Perfect Shrimp (the easy way)

Cooking perfect shrimp the easy way

Unless I can get live shrimp, I typically use frozen. Most of the “fresh” shrimp you’ll find at a grocery store has been previously frozen anyway, so flash-frozen will typically be fresher and of better quality anyway.

If you do buy it from the seafood counter, buy it early in the day. It’s usually put in the case frozen, first thing in the morning, and allowed to slowly thaw during the day. I never buy seafood counter shrimp after 2pm.

I like to get the “easy peel” stuff, so I can cook with the shells on, which not only helps keep the shrimp from over-cooking, and getting rubbery, but also adds a lot more flavor.

Tip: look for the words “flash frozen on boat” on the packaging.

Here’s the best way I’ve found to get perfecty cooked, juicy, tender shrimp from frozen.

Bring 4 cups of salted water to a full boil.

Remove from heat, add 1 cup of frozen shrimp, and cover.

Let rest 8-10 minutes, off heat.

Remove the shrimp from water and serve immediately (for warm dishes), or transfer to a bowl of ice water to quick chill and stop cooking, for cold salads, coctails, etc.

You can heat your salted water in the microwave, as well.

You’re welcome! 😉

~Chef Perry
chefperryperkins.com

PS – If your dish calls for sauteing, or grilling, skip this method and thaw your frozen shrimp in cold, salted water overnight in the fridge.


Order The Home Chef Book

We are entering the age of the “Home Chef”, a title that’s available to nearly everyone, regardless of age, or financial standing.

 

That’s what this book is about…because something amazing has begun to happen in the last two decades, something that has never before happened in the history of cooking…instead of growing wider, the gap between the home cook and the professional chef has actually begun to narrow, and continues to narrow exponentially with each passing year.

The time when these specialized skills were limited to those who could afford the cost and time required for culinary school are quickly passing into history.

The time when the sole requirement to elevate your cooking skills to this level…passion…is emerging.

It’s an amazing time to become a Home Chef…and if you have that passion, I’ll show you how.

Welcome!

~Chef Perry

 

Sausage & Veggie Breakfast Casserole (GF)

Top with roasted mushrooms, then remaining cheese.

Cooked up a couple of breakfast casseroles for a friend this week. They turned out great! My Green Chili Egg puff requires flour, and they needed another one that was gluten-free. So I came up with this one.

It takes some steps the night before, but makes for a quick and easy breakfast the next morning.

Sausage & Veggie Breakfast Casserole

  • 1 lb bratwurst sausage (beer, or sweet Italian sausage)
  • 1 ½  cups diced sweet onion
  • 8 oz fresh sliced mushrooms, roasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups frozen shredded O’Brien hash browns, cooked crisp
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup diced red/yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2lb grape tomatoes, halved.
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions (from about 6 onions)
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

For Mikey: You can swap out the bell peppers for 2 small cans of diced green chilies, well drained. 😉

Prep:

Lightly coat a foil-lined cookie sheet with cooking spray. Spread hash-browns in a single layer, sprinkle with some salt and pepper, and bake until crisp.

Cut all veggies.

Remove sausage from casings.

Toss sliced mushrooms with 1 Tbs. of oil, a little salt and pepper, and spread on another lined cookie-sheet. Roast in oven at 350F, until the mushroom are well browned.

Assemble:

In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook sausage, onions, and garlic until sausage is no longer pink and mushrooms have given off some of their liquid, about 10 minutes.

Throughout cooking, chop to crumble sausage.  Drain the liquid.

Garden Breakfast Casserole Gluten Free

In a 9×13 pan coated with cooking spray, layer potatoes (no need to thaw), sausage mixture, then 1 cup cheese, green peppers, tomatoes, and green onions.

Garden Breakfast Casserole Gluten Free

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, parsley, salt, basil, and pepper.

Whisk thoroughly to combine, then add half of the remaining cheese and whisk again.

Garden Breakfast Casserole Gluten Free

Pour egg mixture evenly over other ingredients in baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (Alternately, you can bake this casserole immediately.)

Cook:

In the morning, top with roasted mushrooms, then remaining cheese. preheat the oven to 375°F.

Bake casserole, uncovered, for about 60-70 minutes, or until egg in middle is just set (no jiggle) and edges are lightly golden brown.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Great with a dollop of Mexican Crema, and some chopped cilantro or Italian Parsley.

Enjoy!

Chef Perry

(Hey, if you haven’t subscribed to this blog, please do so! Don’t miss a single new recipe, Chef’s tip, or technique! The link is at the top of the right-hand column.)


Order The Home Chef Book
       Click on the Cover!

We are entering the age of the “Home Chef”, a title that’s available to nearly everyone, regardless of age, or financial standing.

That’s what this book is about…because something amazing has begun to happen in the last two decades, something that has never before happened in the history of cooking…instead of growing wider, the gap between the home cook and the professional chef has actually begun to narrow, and continues to narrow exponentially with each passing year.

The time when these specialized skills were limited to those who could afford the cost and time required for culinary school are quickly passing into history.

The time when the sole requirement to elevate your cooking skills to this level…passion…is emerging.

It’s an amazing time to become a Home Chef…and if you have that passion, I’ll show you how.

Welcome!

Chef Perry P. Perkins

 

Bacon Burgers with Creamy Bleu Sauce

Bacon Bleu Burger

A nice juicy medium-rare bacon-mushroom-swiss has always been my go-to burger, but this Bacon & Bleu might just give it a run for it’s money!

The blue-cheese sauce is amazing, and would make an ideal crudites dip, as well.

Bacon Burgers with Creamy Bleu Sauce

  • 1-1/3 pounds lean ground beef patties* (80/20% lean)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted on grill.
  • 4 romaine leaves
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced
  • Additional slices of cooked pepper bacon to add whole (optional)

*Take your burgers up a notch by using your own custom burger blend.

Here’s mine, using brisket, sirloin, and bacon!

Creamy Bleu Cheese Sauce

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup crumbled bleu cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 8 slices of thick bacon, cooked crisp and chopped

Combine the cream cheese, blue cheese and chopped, cooked bacon. Set aside at room temp.

Spread each bottom bun with mayo, and top with lettuce, then tomato.

Salt and grill the beef patties, and sprinkle each with a little garlic powder, as it comes off the grill, then place on the bottom buns, on top of the tomatoes. Spoon the bacon-cheese spread the top of grilled burger patties.

Top with remaining buns.

Get out there and grill!

~Chef Perry

PS ~ For even more BBQ and grilling articles and recipes, check out my outdoor cooking blog at www.lacajachinacooking.com


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Tips for Summer Grilling (AM Northwest)

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Hey, if you followed the link from AM Northwest, thanks for watching the show! We had a great time (as always) and (also as always) I only got halfway through my notes! 😉

Here’s an overview of what we covered, and what we didn’t have time to share, as well as some videos and links to some of my favorite (and delicious) ways to put these tips into practice!

Grill Like a Pro AM Northwest
Click here to watch the segment on AM Northwest!

Be sure to subscribe to my page (in the upper right-hand corner) to get all of my latest tips, tricks, and recipes!

~Chef Perry

Brining & Cuban Mojo Marinade Recipe

Spatch-cocking & Injecting

(Be sure to subscribe to My YouTube page, so you don’t miss a single video!

Near Room Temp Meat

In order to achieve the best results in your BBQ and grilling, you will want your meat to be near room temperature when cooking begins. You want your meat to cook evenly from edge to center. Therefore, the closer it is to its final eating temperature, the more evenly it will cook. You can increase the rate at which it warms by placing it on a highly conductive metal, like aluminum (this is also a great way to speed up the thawing process for frozen foods.

Dragon Claws Appetizer

Dragon Claws AM Northwest
Click HERE for the recipe!

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Multi-zone grilling

Click on the link to see my article on multi-zone grilling, the various configurations, and which works best for different types of BBQ & grilling.

Perfect BBQ Chicken Thighs

How to use the A-MAZE-N Smoker

Resting

See the article at this link to learn how and why resting meat before cutting can make or break your meal!

Cleaning

Clean your grill while it’s still HOT. Burn any remaining crud to carbon, brush with s stuff metal grill-brush. Cool until warm to the touch, and brush lightly with a high-heat oil, like Grape-seed.

Chimney Steaks

My personal favorite way to quick-grill a steak for maximum flavor and tenderness.

Now, get out there and grill!

~Chef Perry

PS ~ For even more BBQ and grilling articles and recipes, check out my outdoor cooking blog at www.lacajachinacooking.com


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Lovely leftovers: Pork Loin Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Aioli

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Garlic Grilled Whole Pork LoinLast week I grilled up a beautiful whole pork loin for a 4th of July party. As always, I cooked WAY more food that we could all eat, so I was able to bring a 3lb chunk that baby home with me to make my favorite tacos!

This recipe can be easily adapted to use use leftover pork shoulder, brisket, or even grilled chicken (I recommend using dark meat).

You can also kick up the heat by adding a few fresh jalapeno slices when sauteing the onions.

Pork Loin Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Aioli

  • 2 cups cooked pork loin, 1in cube
  • 2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 2 tsp. Hickory salt
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 2 cups leftover Maque Choux
  • 16oz fire-roasted diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 2oz diced green chilies

Pork Loin Tacos

Combine pork loin cubes with seasonings, and stir to coat the meat. Add to slow cooker.

Add all remaining ingredients (above) to slow cooker, mix, and cook 4 hours on low.

Taste for seasoning.

Tacos

  • 8 flour gordita-style tortillas, warmed
  • 8 Tbs fresh white onion, diced
  • 8 Tbs Cilantro Aioli

Cilantro Avocado AioliCilantro Avocado Aioli

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juice and zest
  • 1 -3 drop hot pepper sauce, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 small avocados, peeled & cubed

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, and mix until blended.

Cilantro Avocado AioliTaste for seasoning.

Chill before serving.

Note: If you chop the pork even smaller (1/4 in. dice) this would make an amazing taco dip, with warm corn tortilla chips!

Enjoy!

~Chef Perry

 


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