Sassy Blue Cheese Burgers

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hey all, caught up in a lot of book and wedding stuff right now, as well as recovering from a rather bad case of dehydration. I'm going to be a bit behind in posting this week and possibly next so I'm throwing up one of my first and still most favorite recipes. This was originally posted in 2006. ~Garrett

-Because blue cheese is the sassiest of all the cheeses.-

I'm not much of a griller to be honest with you. I have a tendency to burn thing rather easily, I often forget to grease the grill leaving me a clean up job I'd rather simply avoid, and more than once have I set myself on fire.

Leave me inside to prep the meat, brine the chicken breasts, or craft a sauce. I'm good with that. Let someone else stand over the flames in the withering heat. I'm all good with a pitcher of sangria and a knife in my hand, thank you.

Still, there are times when you're required to sit at the grill. Often this involves triple digit weather, beer, and a company of friends. During these times it's best to have a good game plan.

Mine involves blue cheese. Always, blue cheese.

These blue cheese burgers always get a warm reception for their creamy and spicy profile. Use a fine, piquant blue cheese that'll stand out; something creamy, but with an almost nefarious amount of veining such as Stilton, Valdeon, or Cabrales. A milder blue such as Dolcelatte or Point Reyes Original Blue won't steer you wrong either. The biggest clove of garlic you can find in a must, as is a smashing Dijon or homemade mustard.

Now, some people like to stuff blue cheese in the middle of their burgers. That's adorable. More so when you bit into the middle and molten cheese sends your tongue to the doctor for skin grafts. If you allow the burger to cool - something that seems like a rather obvious problem in an of itself - then then outer edges of the burger have no cheese and the middle is just only cheese.

Burger fail.

No, rather mix the crumbled cheese in with the meat. The cheese is distributed into every bite. The ones in the middle get warm and melty while the cheese on the outside that makes contact with the grill gets melted into cheesey, crispy bits making for a sassy salty bite.

These burgers are delightful smeared with a bit of buffalo sauce or perhaps some just-whisked-together aioli.

Sassy Blue Cheese Burgers
makes 6 burgers

1 pound ground hamburger (16%-20%)
1 tablespoon of Dijon, spicy, or homemade mustard (not yellow, for god's sake)
1 clove garlic, minced very finely
2 green onions, diced finely
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese (about 1/2 cup)
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
pinch freshly cracked pepper
pinch kosher salt

1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Get your hands in there and feel the squish until it's all well mixed. Form balls of the meat into patties about 1/2 to 1-inch thick and allow to rest in the fridge for about 15 minutes. While the meat rests grease and heat the grill and allow it to come to a nice medium-high heat.

2. Give the burgers about 5 minutes on each side, or to taste. Be sure not to press on the burgers as this will forces the juices out (why do people insist on pressing them?). After the burgers are done allow them to rest for about 1-2 minutes so the meat reabsorbs those hauntingly good juices. Serve on buns and garnish as desired.

Vintage Recipe: Oreo Cream Pie

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

-I love how 1970's that photo is. Who want's to bet that the whipped cream is actually shaving cream?-

So a few weeks ago I was moderating a panel at BlogHer discussing the topic of vintage food, its value, and how to modernize it. Sounds nebulous, no? The best designers in the world can barely agree on whether a brass, claw footed lamp is, “Holy shit, that’s awesome!” or, “Holy shit, let’s burn it.” How then are food writers supposed to come to agreement on a jell-o salad? Cool or cliché? The term vintage is about to breathlessly collapse like a starving model due to running between every individual’s idea of what it is.

This isn’t to take into consideration the various aspects of vintage food that bloggers may want to consider: Does it affect SEO? Does blogging vintage food make you boring? Does tweaking or modernizing something make you a sellout or just creative? Do advertisers want to see retro or revamp?

It was a rather ornery beast to wrangle within 75 minutes and I’m not sure that I and the two distinguished panelists I got to work with were able to give a lot of answers except that there is intrinsic value in vintage.

Heck, we couldn’t really even agree on a definition of vintage due to the very subjective nature of the subject.

-Instagram, I gotta hand it to you on making vintage-style pics.-

So, then, allow me to provide you a situation to consider:

29: Almond Joy Ice Cream

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

-Almost the end of an era.-


I know that doesn't generate a lot of sympathy for those of you who have already seen this number come and go. You've made your peace with your twenties. They were swell, you had a shitty apartment and your older friends bought the drinks. You made a few bad decisions that - with luck and a bit of hindsight - hopefully haven't been repeated in your thirties-plus. I'm sure you think your twenties were nice and you have some great memories, but who would want to go back to that?

But bear with me for a bit. Remember that once it was suddenly the last year of your twenties. How suddenly that number had the gravity to yank you down to actualized adulthood. Think of how the next blank-9 birthday of your own is coming up and how another decade in your life will be closing so fast that if you turn to look at the days gone by you'll risk way-back whiplash.

A few years ago - heck, at 28 - the looming possibility of 30 seemed so abstract. It was a number. Something far, far away. Way over there and so distant you needed binoculars to get a fuzzy view of it. Little did you know it was charging in your direction like a pissed-off menstrual rhino.

We all poo-poo'ed our friends who turned 29. "It's just a number, after all. Who cares? Don't stress," we said so haughtily.

Then, sweet Georgia Ann, it's your turn. What the hell did you know a year ago and how did your older friends not backhand the shit out of you every time you opened your dismissive maw with another age joke or half-handed condolence? You're a god damn twenty-something anyways. What do YOU know about life?!

Names: Riesling Roasted Apricots

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

-What's in a name?-

It's rare that I ever get hit with a wave of panic in the middle of a good book and Caesar salad, but then again my mother had always been rather unpredictable. The phone began blaring at me in the middle of the cafe patio and not in a place or with reason to ignore the call, I picked up.

"Hey mom," I said without giving away the fact that I was still reading my kindle. "What's up?"

"Are you planning on changing your name?"

"What?" the tone was enough to make me stop reading but the question is what arrested me. "Name? What do you mean?" I said knowing full well what she meant.

"Are you changing your last name after the wedding?" she reiterated knowing that I knew what she meant.

-My thinly veiled ploys rarely work with her anyways.-

I had been giving a lot of thought to the subject recently. My name and my identity and whether I was ready or even willing to change it. It doesn't seem like much of a matter at first, it's just a name after all and the names of bridges, people, and places change all the time. Look at Ceylon and Stefani Joanna Angelina Germanotta. I mean, they changed their names and they seem do be doing much better for it.

Yet, just like that old pair of jeans you've had since college and you swear every season you're going to replace when it comes time to toss them out a name, you realize, is something you've been with far too long. You've worn it in. It fits you not just right, but perfectly. It's a skin. Part of who you are to the world. You can't possibly imagine parting with it.

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