Saturday, October 13, 2018

Grilled Pub Burger

After 66 years on this planet, I have decided that 2018 is the year that I will no longer surrender to winter. Every year before this one, I have given up my grill to the ravages of what is winter in Minnesota. I love cooking over charcoal, but ice and snow drifts have aways made it a bridge too far.

Not this year. First, I invested in a Heat Trak snow melting mat. It measures 36" X 60" and sits right outside of the kitchen slider to my deck. When the temperature drops, the mat turns on and heats itself. It is capable of melting 2" of snow per hour. This will insure that I have a snow-free area to do my winter grilling.

Next, I bought myself an 18" Weber Smokey Joe grill with a locking, portable charcoal table. It has 3 levers which lock the grill to the table top. I can store it right outside my kitchen slider, under the eaves to protect it from the elements. When I want to cook, I can just swing it around and set it on the heated mat. Essentially, I get to stand indoors while I cook. Winter grilling at it's best!

I like my burgers served up two ways. If they are skinny burgers, I always cook them in a cast iron pan. There is nothing that works better for putting a world class sear on a burger like a cast iron pan. But skinny burgers are usually around 4-ounces....just skinny enough that you don't have to worry about the center cooking through.

Pub burgers are an entirely different story. They are typically 8-ounces, so you have to make and cook them differently. I like my pub burgers just as I like my steaks...medium rare. But you cannot do that with store bought ground beef. Store bought ground beef uses many different parts of the animal, so to be safe, you have to cook it to 165º, which is well done. A medium rare burger is 130º.

There is only one way to create a pub burger that is safe to eat. You have to grind the meat yourself. You start with whole cut of beef and use your food processor to coarsely grind the meat. Because you are the only one to have processed the meat, you know that it will be safe to eat medium rare.

To make a pub burgers, you start with a cut of beef. You can use sirloin, chuck roast or just about any cut that has about 25% fat content or greater. Fat equals flavor, so do not skimp in the fat department. My favorite cut to make pub burgers is short rib. And because we are using such a high quality meat, we don't need a bunch of seasonings to add flavor. All you need for this beef-forward pub burger is salt and pepper. As they say at Culver's...welcome to delicious!

2 pounds boneless beef short ribs
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
4 egg roll hamburger buns, sliced


  1. Prepare your grill for cooking with two zones: one for direct cooking over high heat and one for indirect cooking.
  2. Put the beef in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  3. Cut the beef into 4 chunks. Place in food processor and pulse until the beef is coarsely ground.(Note: Do not over grind the meat. You want it coarse.)
  4. With a light touch, form the beef into 4 patties. Do not compress the beef. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  5. Place burgers directly over the coals. Cover grill and cook for 4 minutes. Flip burgers, cover grill and cook for 4 more minutes. Then move burgers to indirect side of grill. Cover grill and cook for 4 more minutes.,
  6. Remove burgers from grill. Tent with foil and let them rest for 5 minutes.
  7. Place burgers on buns and serve with your favorite condiments.

Pairing: A pilsner, please.

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Monday, October 8, 2018

Slow Cooker Beef Tips with Mushroom Gravy

I'm a huge fan of slow cookers. They make meal prep a breeze and can turn pieces of a chuck roast into the most tender cuts of beef you'll ever taste. You just let the ingredients slowly cook for 8 hours and then add a little heavy cream at the end. My favorite is to serve the dish over egg noodles, but rice or mashed potatoes are also popular choices.

  • pound cremini mushrooms, halved
  • pounds beef  chuck or arm roast
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • medium yellow onion, chopped
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • cup beef broth
  • tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish (optional)


1. Place the mushrooms in a 6-quart or larger slow cooker; set aside. Trim off any large pieces of fat from the roast and cut into 2-inch pieces. Place in a large bowl, add 1/3 cup of the flour, the salt and pepper, and toss to combine.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half of the beef and sear until browned on a few sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the browned beef to the slow cooker. Repeat with the remaining oil and beef, reserving any flour left at the bottom of the bowl of beef.
3. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the reserved beef flour and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add the broth and Worcestershire, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a simmer. Pour into the slow cooker and stir to combine.
4. Cover and cook on the LOW setting until the beef is fork tender, about 8 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, whisk the cream and remaining 1 tablespoon of flour together in a measuring cup or bowl until smooth. Pour into the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 30 minutes more. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with parsley if desired and serve over egg noodles.

Wine pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Spoon and Stable Pot Roast

Click to enlarge

Gavin Kaysen opened Spoon and Stable in the historic warehouse district of Minneapolis back in November of 2014. This restaurant knocked it right out of the park. Kaysen was able to adorn his neck with the coveted James Beard Award and just this year, "Food and Wine" magazine named it one of the most important restaurants of the last 40 years....quite a feat given that it did not exist for 36 of those years.

Kaysen has a special place on the menu reserved for his grandmother's pot roast. I made it last Wednesday for dinner and it was exceptional...but I found a way to make it even better. After dinner, Becky just put the Dutch oven into the refrigerator. I had leftovers the next day and they were even tastier than the freshly cooked roast. Letting all of the incredible root vegetables, wine and broth chill for an extra day...the flavors melded and it was absolutely amazing. So do yourself a favor...cook it a day ahead of time...let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours...then reheat and serve with a warm loaf of sourdough bread.

3 pound boneless beef chuck roast
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
2 medium red onions, quartered
4 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into 12-16 pieces (about 1 pound)
8 cremini mushrooms, halved
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 head of garlic, peeled down to individual cloves
6 ounces tomato paste
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs rosemary
1-1/2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon
4 cups beef broth


  1. Preheat oven to 340 degrees.
  2. Season meat generously with salt and pepper. On the stove top, heat oil in a large Dutch oven, or other heavy roasting pan with a lid, over medium-high heat. Sear the meat until a dark crust forms, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove meat to a plate.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add butter to the pan. Melt the butter and add the whole head of peeled garlic and all vegetables, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pot, until the vegetables start to color, 8 to 10 minutes. 
  4. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until it darkens slightly, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add bay leaves, rosemary and wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to a thick gravy consistency, 5 to 7 minutes. 
  6. Return meat to the pot. Add broth, then cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours 20 minutes.
  7. Let roast sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes. Remove meat to a cutting board to slice. Discard bay leaves and rosemary stems. Serve slices of meat in shallow bowls along with the vegetables and a generous amount of cooking liquid ladled over top.

Wine pairing: Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Pan Seared Pork Chops with Lemon-Mustard Sauce

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At last....the first day of fall is here. I am tired and bored with summer meals, and now that the calendar and the weather are in unison, I can move on to heartier fare. Pasta. Roasted meats. Casseroles. And pan searing with my beloved and ancient cast iron pan.

This Claire Saffitz recipe is perfect for mid-week dinners, as it can easily come together in less than 20 minutes. And the sauce is beyond extraordinary blend of lemon juice, garlic, mustard, oregano, cumin and cilantro.

4, 1/2-inch pork chops
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon sugar, divided
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon: 1 teaspoon zest and 2 tablespoons fresh juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano (Turkish preferred)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 bunch cilantro, stems and leaves chopped

  1. Pat pork chops dry with paper towel. Season pork chops generously on one side with salt and pepper. Turn and season other side generously, then sprinkle evenly with ½ teaspoon sugar. 
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully add chops, sugared side down and cook, gently shaking skillet occasionally but not disturbing pork, until underside is caramelized and chops are deeply browned all over, about 5 minutes. Turn chops and reduce heat to low. Cook just until second side is opaque, about 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat and let chops rest 10 minutes in skillet (the cooking will carry over and finish the chops while they rest). 
  3. Meanwhile, whisk lemon zest and juice, garlic, mustard, oregano, cumin, and remaining ½ teaspoon sugar in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in remaining ¼ cup oil until emulsified. Fold in cilantro and season with salt and lots of pepper. 
  4. Transfer chops to serving plates then whisk any juices that have accumulated in skillet into remaining dressing. Spoon dressing over top of pork chops. Swipe pork through dressing as you eat.

Wine pairing: Try a Columbia Crest Merlot @ just $7 a bottle

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Sesame Salt and Pepper Steak

Seven years ago I wrote about on of my favorite steak recipes, Tuscan Steak. You can check it out here: The reason I love it so much is for it's simplicity. You simply grill a steak with salt and pepper and then drizzle it with olive oil and lemon juice

Cynthia Chen McTernan's recipe is in the exact same vein, but draws on her Chinese heritage. Again, you just grill the steak with salt and pepper and then just drizzle it with sesame oil. Simple, quick and delicious. Add steamed rice or cooked rice noodles and dinner is done.

1 flank steak, about 1-1/2 pounds
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
3 tablespoons pure sesame oil (not toasted)


  1. Prepare a grill for direct cooking over high heat.
  2. Season steak with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill steak for 4 to 5 minutes per side (for medium rare) with the grill covered.
  4. Remove steak from grill and tent with foil. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
  5. While the steak is resting, whisk together 1 tablespoon of salt, 1-1/2 teaspoons black pepper and the sesame oil until well blended (note: the salt and pepper will not dissolve, but they will be well coated/moistened with the oil).
  6. Slice the steak thinly against the grain and drizzle the oil mixture over the slices. Serve.

Wine pairing: Merlot. A Rombauer, if you are lucky.

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Sheet Pan Tarragon Chicken with Sherry Vinegar Onions

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My favorite things all contain copious amounts of vinegar: Claussen Hearty Garlic Pickles; Gulden's Spicy Brown Mustard; Heinz Ketchup; Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce and Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce. If any of those hit a spark for you, then you would also like foods flavored with vinegar.

This Melissa Clark recipe is very special as it creates it's own flavor ecosystem in your oven. The chicken is marinated in tarragon and garlic, then quickly roasted over a bed of onions. While the chicken pieces roast, the fat renders and coats the onions...which in turn steam and the vapors flavor the chicken. And when it's done? The chicken is served. As are the roasted onions with a drizzle of sublime sherry vinegar.

[Note: If you prefer white meat, swap out the thighs with bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts.]

1/2 cup chopped fresh tarragon leaves, plus 4 sprigs
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 large onions, peeled and sliced
4 thyme sprigs
Sherry vinegar, to taste


  1. In a large bowl, stir together tarragon, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Add chicken thighs and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 6 hours, and up to overnight.
  2. Heat oven to 425º. Spread onions out on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss well. Clear spaces on the baking pan, then place chicken pieces in the cleared spaces so the onions surround the chicken. Strew thyme and tarragon sprigs over onions and chicken.
  3. Roast, tossing the onions after 15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and the onions tender, 25 to 35 minutes. If the chicken skin or onions are not as brown as you’d like, run pan under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes at the end of cooking.
  4. Place chicken on a platter. Drizzle onions with sherry vinegar and more salt and pepper if needed. Spoon onions around the chicken and serve.

Wine Pairing
If you prefer whites, an oaky Chardonnay.
If reds are your thing, a big fruity Sangiovese.

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, September 1, 2018


This is sushi for carnivores. Thinly sliced flank steak rolled around deliciously grassy scallions. The end product looks like sushi, but it's steak! If you are not up for all of the work in this recipe, you can use the same ingredients. Just grill up the steak, char the scallions over your fire and then just serve them on top. But the presentation of rolled Negimaki is extraordinary...a culinary and visual delight. This is a Cook's Illustrated recipe.

1, 2-pound flank steak
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons mirin
3 tablespoons sake
16 scallions, trimmed and halved crosswise
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds


  1. Place steak on large plate and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
  2. Bring soy sauce, sugar, mirin and sake to simmer in small saucepan over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium and cook until slightly syrupy and reduced to ½ cup, 3 to 5 minutes. Divide evenly between 2 bowls and let cool. Cover 1 bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for serving.
  3. Place steak on cutting board. Starting at narrow, tapered end, slice steak ⅜-inch thick on bias against grain until width of steak is 7 inches (depending on size of steak, you will need to remove 2 to 3 slices until steak measures 7 inches across). Cut steak in half lengthwise. Continue to slice each half on bias against grain. You should have at least 24 slices. Pound each slice to 3/16-inch thickness between 2 sheets of plastic.
  4. Arrange 3 slices on cutting board with short side of slices facing you, overlapping slices by ¼ inch and alternating tapered ends as needed, to form rough rectangle that measures 4 to 6 inches wide and at least 4 inches long. Place 4 scallion halves along edge of rectangle nearest to edge of counter, with white tips slightly hanging over edges of steak on either side. Starting from bottom edge and rolling away from you, roll into tight cylinder. Insert 3 equally spaced toothpicks into end flaps and through center of roll. Transfer roll to platter and repeat with remaining steak and scallions. (Assembled rolls can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)
  5. Prepare a grill for direct cooking over high heat.
  6. Place rolls on grill and cook until first side is beginning to char, 4 to 6 minutes. Flip rolls, brush cooked side with glaze and cook until second side is beginning to char, 4 to 6 minutes. Cook remaining 2 sides, glazing after each turn, until all 4 sides of rolls are evenly charred. Transfer rolls to cutting board, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Discard remaining glaze.
  7. Remove toothpicks from rolls and cut rolls crosswise into ¾-inch-long pieces. Arrange rolls cut side down on clean platter, drizzle with 2 tablespoons reserved glaze, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve, passing remaining reserved glaze separately.

Wine pairing: A Rombauer Zinfandel

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, August 25, 2018

BLT Tacos

Either you like bacon
or you are wrong.

Click to enlarge

1 pound thick cut bacon (applewood smoked)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Kosher salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Cholula hot sauce
8, 6-inch flour tortillas
Romaine lettuce leaves, torn into bite size pieces


    1. Heat oven to 400º. Lay bacon in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until browned and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and let cool.
    2. While bacon is cooking, toss together tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro, 1 tablespoon lime juice and a large pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Taste and add more lime juice and salt, if needed.
    3. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and hot sauce.
    4. Serve, letting people make their own tacos by layering bacon, salsa, lettuce and  spicy mayonnaise on tortillas. Top with more hot sauce, if desired.

    Pairing: Ice cold cerveza!

    Grogs and Goldie, 1956

    Saturday, August 18, 2018

    Corn Nut Steak Wraps

    Click to enlarge

    Corn Nuts! Shout it out!

    I have always been attracted to salty snacks. Growing up in Edina in the early 60's, Ray's Dairy Store was a favorite destination of mine. That's because Ray sold my two favorite snacks....Corn Nuts and Roasted Sunflower Seeds. Each cost just a nickel per bag. So if I was lucky enough to find a dime in my pocket, I'd ride my bike the eight blocks to 54th and France and splurge on Corn Nuts and Sunflower Seeds.

    I was looking at the latest issue of Bon Appetit yesterday and came across a recipe that combined two of my favorite ingredients on earth....steak and corn nuts. What's not to love about steak....and then throw in the fabulous, salty crunch of corn nuts....and life becomes just about as perfect as it gets.

    2 garlic cloves, crushed in a garlic press
    1-1/4 teaspoon sugar
    3 tablespoons of minced chipotles in adobo sauce
    3 tablespoons lime juice, divided
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    1 skirt steak
    Kosher salt
    Fresh ground black pepper
    3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
    1 large head of iceberg lettuce, leaves separated
    6 radishes, thinly sliced
    Cilantro leaves and lime wedges (for garnish)
    1/2 cup lightly crushed corn nuts


      1. Whisk garlic, sugar, 2 tablespoons minced chipotle in adobo, 2 tablespoons lime juice and 2 tablespoons oil in a small bowl to combine. Season steak with salt and pepper and place in a large resealable plastic bag; add marinade. Seal bag and massage steak to coat. Let sit at room temperature 15 minutes, or chill, turning bag occasionally, up to 4 hours.
      2. Whisk yogurt, remaining 1 tablespoon chipotles in adobo, remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice, and ¾ teaspoon of salt in a small bowl; set aside for serving.
      3. Prepare grill for direct cooking over high heat.
      4. Remove steak from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Cook steak over coals for 3 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer steak to cutting board and tent with foil. Let steak rest for 5 minutes, then slice thinly across the grain.
      5. Arrange steak, lettuce, radishes, cilantro, and lime wedges on a platter or a couple of plates so that each component is visible and easily accessible. Place corn nuts in a small bowl. Serve with reserved spicy yogurt for spooning into wraps.

      Pairing: Pacifico, por favor.

      Grogs and Goldie, 1956

      Saturday, August 11, 2018

      Brisket with Sweet and Sour Onions

      Cheap and easy. Those are two admirable adjectives when it comes to a creating a meal. If you shop at Costco, brisket is essentially the same price as hamburger. That makes it cheap. As far as prep for this meal, you are just tossing everything in a dutch oven and walking away. That makes it easy. This brisket recipe is from Jessamyn Rodriguez, the founder and CEO of Hot Bread Kitchen, the NY-based social enterprise that helps immigrant women launch careers and food businesses. It serves 10.

      One, 5-pound beef brisket
      Kosher salt
      4 onions, sliced into 1/4-inch rings
      1/4 cup ketchup
      2 tablespoons tomato paste
      1 tablespoon soy sauce
      1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
      4 garlic cloves, minced
      Cilantro sprigs, for garnish


      1. Preheat the oven to 300°. Season the brisket generously with salt and pepper. In a large dutch oven, spread the onions in a single layer and lay the brisket on top. In a small bowl, whisk the ketchup with the tomato paste, soy sauce, brown sugar and garlic. Spread the sauce all over the brisket.
      2. Cover the casserole and transfer 
to the oven. Braise the brisket for about 3 hours, until the meat is very tender. Uncover and continue cooking for 1 hour, until the sauce has thickened. Remove from oven and let 
the brisket cool, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
      3. Transfer the brisket to a work surface and slice across the grain. Arrange the slices on a platter and spoon some of the sauce over the top. Garnish with cilantro and serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

      Wine pairing: Pinot Noir. And not just any Pinot Noir, a Benza Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley. Ron Benza was my boss at Bozell Worldwide from 1988 to 1993. We both departed Bozell in to start my own business and Ron to run the San Francisco office of ad behemoth McCann Erickson.

      Once Ron landed in San Francisco, he started talking about his dream of opening a winery. It never happened in California because work got in the way. Ron and I hooked back up together in 2002. We were working together on a small Los Gatos start-up called Netflix. They had a DVD by mail business with 2 million subscribers and wanted our help to reach their goal of 6 million subscribers.

      For the next 8 years we worked together on the account....and by the time we reached 2010, Netflix had 7.5 million subscribers to their DVD by mail and streaming business. In 2010, I decided to retire and Ron decided to switch careers, which caused him to cross paths with Trish, who would later become his wife. (And Netflix apparently did just fine without us....they now have 130 million subscribers.)

      Trish got a huge job offer from Intel, so Ron and Trish departed California and, low and behold, a dream became a reality when they bought a vineyard in the famous Willamette Valley in Oregon. Ron and Trish just started marketing their first releases of wine. I ordered up a half case of his Pinot Noir.....and Becky and I were in absolute heaven. It is a spectacular Pinot Noir and quite a bargain at just $29. You can catch up with what Ron and Trish are doing by visiting

      It's a really interesting website. They have two releases out now, the Pinot Noir and an Estate Pinot Gris. Get yourself some! And there are another 5 varieties in the pipeline. Good things happen to good people. And Ron and Trish are two of the goodest.  :-)

      Grogs and Goldie, 1956

      Saturday, August 4, 2018

      Grilled Cajun Shrimp

      I started shopping on Amazon in 1999. I hate shopping, so the idea of being able to browse and buy from the comfort of home was very appealing to me. No need to get in car and drive to buy stuff. So fast forward to 2018 and I am here to tell you that almost 100% of my purchases are made online.

      There are two exceptions. There are two places I love to go shop. Costco and grocery stores. I want to see and touch the food I'm going to prepare. So it's a once a week trip to Costco that is pure joy. So is my daily trip to a grocery store.

      Kirkland raw, tail-on shrimp is a favorite item for me. A 2-pound bag sells for $17.79. That makes Costco shrimp a bargain...$8.90 a pound versus $11.99 at most grocery stores. When Becky and I want shrimp for dinner, I just take a dozen out and thaw them out in the fridge overnight.

      Cajun shrimp is one of our favorites. It's a great choice for a weeknight dinner because it only needs to cook for 4 minutes...2 minutes per side. I typically serve the shrimp with rice pilaf, which helps to mitigate the heat of the Cajun spices. 

      1 garlic clove
      1 teaspoon Kosher salt
      1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
      1 teaspoon smoked paprika
      1 tablespoon lemon juice
      2 tablespoons olive oil
      Lots of fresh ground black pepper
      1-1/2-pounds peeled shrimp
      Lemon wedges for garnish

      1. Prepare a grill for direct cooking over high heat.
      2. Mash garlic with salt until it forms a paste.
      3. To the paste, add cayenne, paprika, lemon juice, olive oil and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
      4. Rub paste all over shrimp.
      5. Thread shrimp on skewers and grill for 2 minutes on each side.
      6. Serve with lemon wedges.

      Pairing: Only one thing goes with grilled Cajun food. Beer!

      Grogs and Goldie, 1956

      Saturday, July 28, 2018

      Grilled Vietnamese Flank Steak

      Flank steak. It's cheap. Has a huge beef flavor. Grills up in just a few minutes. About the only way to improve upon it is to marinate it. In this case, we are going to borrow the flavors of Vietnam. I have two suggestions before you jump into the recipe. First, marinate the steak for only 1 hour.. The lime juice is quite acidic and it will make the meat tough if you marinate for any longer. Second, I would strongly urge you to pair this with a cucumber salad. The crisp vinegar flavors are perfect with this flavorful, grilled steak.
       See here:

      1/2 cup fish sauce
      1 tablespoon lime zest
      1/3 cup lime juice (juice of 3 limes)
      2 tablespoons brown sugar
      2 garlic cloves, minced
      1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
      1 flank steak, about 1-1/2 pounds


        1. In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, lime zest, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic and jalapeño. Pour 1/2 of the mixture over the flank steak and let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour. 
        2. Prepare a grill for direct cooking over high heat.
        3. Pat steak dry with paper towels. Then, cook steak on a covered grill for 4 minutes on each side (medium rare).
        4. Transfer steak to cutting board and tent with foil. Let steak rest 5 to 10 minutes.
        5. Thinly slice the steak across the grain and serve with the remaining marinade as a sauce.

        Wine pairing: A big, fruity Zinfandel

        Grogs and Goldie, 1956

        Saturday, July 21, 2018

        Stuffed Bacon and Jalapeño Popper Burgers

        There is nothing earth shattering here. It's simply taking two of the greatest tasting things on earth...bacon and jalapeño popper dip...and stuffing them into another one of the greatest tasting things on earth...the hamburger. 1+1+1=10.

        4 ounces cream cheese, softened
        1/2 cup shredded cheddar
        1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
        2 jalapeños, minced
        Kosher salt
        Fresh ground black pepper
        6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
        1 teaspoon chili powder
        1-1/2 pounds ground beef (at least 20% fat)
        4 burger buns


        1.  Make the filling: In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, cheddar, mozzarella and jalapeños. Season with salt and pepper and then fold in bacon.
        2. Form ground beef into 8 thin patties. Spoon 1/4 cup of filling mixture on to one patty, then place a second patty on top. Pinch edges to seal burger. Repeat with remaining patties.
        3. Prepare a grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat. Season burgers on both sides with chili powder, salt and pepper. Place on grill and cook for 5 minutes per side.
        4. Remove burgers from grill, place in buns and serve.

        Pairing: It's July and it's grilled burgers. A really cold beer, please.

        Grogs and Goldie, 1956

        Saturday, July 14, 2018

        Black Pepper Shrimp with Cucumber & Tomato Salad

        July is proving to be cruel month. It is so miserably hot and humid outside that I find myself in the same predicament as I do in January...I don't want to go outside to grill. The last three night's dinners have all been prepared on my stove top. But I don't mind. The food is good. I stay cool. And thanks to chef Floyd Cordoza, this is what I will be making tonight.

        Actually, his recipe works if you are using a cast iron pan or a grill. In lieu of suffering 70º dew points, I'll be using cast iron on the stove top. This recipe is from his restaurant, The Bombay Bread Bar in SoHo and it serves four. The cucumber and tomato salad is the perfect complement to the main dish and he includes a lime-yogurt sauce for dipping your shrimp. He recommends cooking the shrimp in their shells for the most moist and tender results.

        2 tablespoons fresh ground black peppercorns
        2 tablespoons ground coriander seed
        7 tablespoons olive oil
        24 shrimp, preferably with tails and shells intact
        2 cups thinly sliced cucumber
        2 cups halved cherry tomatoes or diced heirloom tomatoes
        ¼ cup sliced sweet onion
        ½ cup torn mint leaves
        Zest and juice of 1-½ limes
        Pinch of sugar
        Kosher salt
        ½ cup whole-milk yogurt


        1. In a large bowl, stir together pepper and coriander with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Pat shrimp dry. Add shrimp to bowl and toss with seasonings until well coated. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 20 minutes. (Shrimp can marinate up to 24 hours.)
        2. In a large bowl, toss together cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and mint. Season salad with ⅓ of the lime zest and juice, 2 tablespoons oil, sugar and salt to taste.
        3. In a small bowl, stir together yogurt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with lime juice, lime zest and salt to taste.
        4. Heat a grill to medium-high or set a large cast-iron pan on stove over medium-high heat. Brush pan or grill with remaining oil. Season shrimp with a pinch of salt. When cooking surface is hot but not smoking, cook shrimp until opaque and curled into a “C,” 2-3 minutes per side. Remove shrimp from heat and season with lime juice. Serve with tomato salad and yogurt sauce on the side.

        Wine pairing: For this meal, you want a big, oaky Chardonnay. Try a Talley, Rombauer or Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve.

        Grogs and Goldie, 1956

        Saturday, July 7, 2018

        Sriracha Glazed Short Rib Kebabs

        If you want a big, beefy taste for not much money, head to Costco and snarf up their boneless short ribs. Day in and day out, they've got them in the meat section for almost always less than $5.00 per pound.

        Short ribs are an anomaly in the beef world. It is the only cut of beef that I can think of that can be cooked low and slow for melt-in-your-mouth tenderness....or cooked quickly over a hot bed of coals and ready to chow down on in just minutes.

        When I grill short ribs, I like to cut them into 1-inch cubes as it greatly increases the surface area for a really good, all-over char. The sriracha glaze adds a perfect amount of heat and the short time over the fire insures that the meat stays nice and moist. I always cook the kebabs with meat only....adding things like vegetables just means that something will not cook to the correct temperature. This recipe serves four.

        1-1/2 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1-inch cubes
        1 teaspoon kosher salt
        3 tablespoons brown sugar
        2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
        1 teaspoon cornstarch
        Vegetable oil spray
        1/4 cup minced cilantro


        1. Toss beef and salt together in large bowl and let sit for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk sugar, Sriracha and cornstarch together in bowl. Set aside 1-1/2 tablespoons Sriracha mixture.
        2. Add remaining Sriracha mixture to beef and toss to coat. Thread beef onto four 12-inch metal skewers, leaving 1/4-inch between pieces. Spray both sides of meat generously with oil spray.
        3. Prepare a grill for direct cooking over high heat.
        4. When coals are hot, place skewers directly over coals. Cover grill and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until beef is well charred.
        5. Flip skewers, brush with reserved Sriracha mixture. Cover grill and cook for 3 to 4 more minutes. 
        6. Transfer to serving platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

        Pairing: If you insist on drinking wine with this dish, I would choose a very fruity Zinfandel. But given the heat of that great Thai hot sauce, Sriracha...I would always reach for an ice cold beer. And why not Thailand's most popular beer...Singha!

        Grogs and Goldie, 1956