Saturday, June 29, 2013

Chorizo Burgers with Buffalo Corn on the Cob

Chorizo is an extraordinary pork sausage that originated on the Iberian Peninsula of Spain. While it can be found fresh, that is not what we are going to use for this recipe. True Spanish chorizo is a fermented, cured, smoked sausage. Spanish chorizo has an intense smokiness and a deep red color which it gets from dried, smoked red peppers, also known as smoked paprika or pimentón.

Spanish smoked paprika is an incredible gift to humanity. It is unique in the spice world. The downside is that it is incredibly expensive. Accordingly, there is another chorizo out there known as Mexican chorizo. While it is certainly cheaper, it tastes completely different as it is made with  the common Mexican chili pepper. Mexican chorizo also uses vinegar instead of the white wine used in Spanish chorizo. Therefore, do not try to get by on the cheap when making this recipe.

So head to your favorite grocery store and buy yourself a nicely cured Spanish chorizo. You'll only need six ounces, for we are going to chop it up and mix it with the ground beef. This burger recipe, which serves four, is from Jamie Purviance. The Buffalo Corn on the Cob recipe is from The Food Network.


For the Burgers

1¼ pounds ground chuck (80% lean)
6 ounces cured Spanish chorizo sausage, finely chopped
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 large beefsteak tomato, cut crosswise into 4 slices

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 thin slices sharp cheddar cheese
4 hamburger buns, split
4 leaves lettuce

For the Burger Sauce

½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon prepared chili powder
¼ teaspoon chipotle chile powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

For the Buffalo Corn on the Cob

 4 ears of corn, husked
Olive or vegetable oil
6 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons Buffalo Wing sauce (Frank's Red Hot recommended)
Celery salt


For the Burgers

  1. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat (400° to 500°F).
  2. In a small bowl whisk the sauce ingredients.
  3. In a medium bowl gently mix the patty ingredients. With wet hands, form four patties of equal size, each about ¾ inch thick. Don’t compact the meat too much or the patties will be tough. With your thumb or the back of a spoon, make a shallow indentation about 1 inch wide in the center of each patty. This will help the patties cook evenly and prevent them from puffing on the grill. Brush the tomato slices on both sides with the oil.
  4. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the patties over direct medium-high heat, with the lid closed, until they are cooked to medium doneness, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once when the patties release easily from the grate without sticking. During the last 4 minutes of grilling time, grill the tomato slices over direct medium-high heat until warmed through and tender, turning once. During the last minute of grilling time, place a slice of cheese on each patty to melt and toast the buns, cut side down, over direct heat. Build each burger on a toasted bun with a patty, lettuce, grilled tomato, and sauce. Serve.
For the Buffalo Corn on the Cob
  1. Combine melted butter and hot sauce. Whisk to mix.
  2. Brush corn with oil
  3. Grill over high heat for 8-10 minutes, turning until most kernels are lightly charred.
  4. Brush the ears with the butter/buffalo sauce and sprinkle with celery salt. Serve.

Pairing: An ice cold pilsner beer (El Pacifico recommended)

Spanish Chorizo

Sunday, June 23, 2013

India Pale Ale Corn on the Cob

It's the time of year when some pretty darn good corn from Florida starts to show up at your favorite grocery store. While it's not as good as the stuff we'll get from Iowa and Minnesota later in the summer, it's great accompaniment for those brats you're cooking up on the grill.

While I've got a million ways to cook corn, this is one of my very favorite methods. It's really simple. You just need a big pot, some India Pale Ale and some Old Bay Seasoning. Ten minutes later you are ready to smear your corn with butter, toss on a little salt and dig in.

4 ears of fresh corn, husked
2, 12-ounce bottles of India Pale Ale
2 cups water
2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
1 teaspoon salt


  1. In a large pot, combine ale, water, Old Bay Seasoning and salt. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add corn to pot and boil for 10 minutes. Then serve, with butter and salt on the side.

Pairing: One must only drink ice cold, India Pale Ale when using this recipe.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Bacon Slaw

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and
 bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.
Doug Larson

This will wrap up my three part series on slaws. And I'm ending it on a high note, as in bacon, for this bacon slaw goes with anything you can slap on a grill. And of utmost importance, I must point out to you that this slaw is made with bacon, the gods' greatest gift to our taste buds.

The original recipe called for four strips of bacon. Far too weenie, IMHO. It left me wanting. I felt unfulfilled. So then I tried it with eight strips. Better, but it was not the complete trip through the epicurean orgasmatron. Now I will be accused of wretched excess, but I did not find complete satisfaction until I used a full pound of bacon in the recipe. Yes, a full stinkin' pound. Excess, on occasion, is exhilarating.

So you can use four or eight strips, or the full pound. Make it your own. But do make it.

1 pound of bacon, diced into 1/2 inch strips
2 tablespoons of bacon drippings
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1/3 cup sour cream
10 cups shredded cabbage (about 1 large head)*

*I buy the pre-washed, pre-shredded bags of tri-color slaw (red cabbage, green cabbage and carrot). Each bag is 5 cups, so you'll need two bags to make this recipe.


  1. Cook bacon until crisp. Move bacon to a paper towel to drain.
  2. In a small bowl, add the bacon drippings, olive oil, vinegar, mustard, celery seeds and sour cream. Whisk until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Put the cabbage in a large salad bowl. Pour the dressing over the cabbage, add in the bacon and toss thoroughly. Serve.

Wine pairing: Pinot Noir and bacon are BFF's.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Thai Slaw

I love slaw. It's the perfect side dish for summer grilling. It's incredibly easy to make. You don't need a flux capacitor to put a bowl of slaw're basically just tossing stuff together. Slaw is incredibly rich in vitamins and nutrients. And nothing cleans out your colon like a huge helping of cabbage-based slaw.

For 20 years, one of my favorite recipes for grilling has been Thai New York Strip Steak . It is, without a doubt, one of the world's greatest ways to grill a steak. In the early days I would serve it with basmati rice. But since my immersion in the cult that is CrossFit, I mostly eat Paleo. I have found that this Thai Slaw is the perfect accompaniment to the Thai New York Strip Steak.

Just like last week's recipe, I buy the pre-washed, pre-shredded bags of tri-color slaw (red cabbage, green cabbage and carrot). Each bag is 5 cups, so you'll need two bags to make this recipe.


For the dressing
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
Juice of 2 fresh squeezed limes
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce

For the slaw
10 cups shredded cabbage (about 1 large head)
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped (stems and leaves)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 bunch of mint, leaves only
1/2 cup sliced scallions (green and white parts)
1/2 cup peanuts


  1. In a food processor or blender, puree dressing ingredients.
  2. In a large non-reactive bowl, combine all slaw ingredients. Toss to mix.
  3. Pour dressing over slaw mix. Toss thoroughly and serve. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Lime Slaw with Jalapeño and Cilantro

It's the time of year for grilling and BBQ. It's always a challenge to find a side or salad to pair with the big, bold flavors that come off the grill and out of the smoker. This is a favorite of mine as the heat of the jalapeño and the bright acidity of the lime and orange juice pairs perfectly with any grilled or smoked meat.

I like to cheat with this recipe. While the original recipe called for using a large head of cabbage, I prefer to buy the pre-washed and pre-sliced cabbage available in bags in the produce section. I buy the tri-color slaw, which contains red and green cabbage along with carrot. A bag holds five cups, so two bags gets the job done for this recipe.


For the salad
10 cups thinly sliced cabbage (about one large head)
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (stems and all)
2 medium jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  1. Toss cabbage, jalapeño and cilantro together in a big bowl.
  2. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together the lime juice, orange juice, and olive oil. Keep the cabbage, dressing, and salt and pepper all separate until just before serving.
  3. When ready to serve, combine all and toss (do this final step too early and the salt will pull water out of the cabbage, making for a watery slaw). Taste a forkful to see if it needs any more oil, citrus juice, or salt.