It not even full-on summer yet and I’m already completely miserable in DC. I’m just not built for this kind of heat! Granted, we did have one of the hottest May’s on record last month, but still, it’s just too hot. I’m so much more comfortable in a cool climate.
I was telling my heat woes to Betsy last weekend and she reminded me that we almost moved to New Orleans instead of Colorado. In hindsight, I’m not sure I would’ve made it! I love to be outdoors but I would’ve became a complete recluse in the Southern heat.
Colorado, however, I can completely do. I’m looking forward to some moderate summers there!
I’ve been hearing that I should cook something with Rhubarb this time of year but I’ll let you all pick what I cook.
Don’t Eat This. Don’t Eat That – I’m always impressed with Darya’s ability to cut through the fat (ha!) and really get to the issue. I’ve definitely had this similar feeling when I’ve seen these segments on the today show and stuff but could never figure out how to articulate it. This is very well written, plus has tons of helpful information on healthy eating in a time crunch. (@ Summer Tomato)
Pea and Herb Stuffed Flatbread – I’m a huge fan of making flatbread at home. Since there’s no yeast in these they take only a few minutes to pull together and can add a huge amount of flavor to a dinner. I never thought about taking it to the next step and using the flatbread as a carrier for a delicious filling! Looks amazing. (@ Healthy-Delicious)
Dark Chocolate Dipped Macarons – I’ve never actually made macarons and looking at this post, I’m not sure why. They don’t appear to be that difficult and man do they look good. I don’t even have a sweet tooth, but I want a few of these! (@ Sprouted Kitchen)
I was thrilled when risotto won the poll last week. It’s really one of my favorite dishes. When made right, it’s creamy and flavorful. It can be paired well with a ton of dishes or just eaten on its own. It also rocks for leftovers.
For this version I wanted to use some old cherry tomatoes I had in my fridge as well as some really old tomatoes that I left sitting in the sun for 2 months. Just kidding. Just wanted to see if you were reading.
Anyway, the end result was really fantastic. I think the only thing I would change about this recipe is the quantity. If I make it again, I’m doubling it!
Sometimes I’m a huge geek. Want proof? Last weekend I watched a 90 minute documentary on two gentlemen battling to get the world record for highest King Kong score. I found it completely fascinating.
Betsy didn’t think it was funny when I asked her if I could purchase an old school King Kong arcade game and play it for 4-6 hours a day. She didn’t think it was funny because I’ve been known to take up crazy ventures exactly like that. In fact what you’re reading right now is one of those crazy ventures!
Don’t worry, this has a point.
The point is that I tend to get excited by what a lot of people consider lame. That’s why my biggest time suck ever is Wikipedia – especially when it comes to food. If I’m looking at something on Wikipedia I find that I click and click and click and an hour later I’m reading about something not at all related to what I was trying to research!
I guess that’s called learning. Or procrastination.
Sometimes these topics are small, but occasionally I’ll Wiki-across some huge subject that I’ve never heard of.
That’s what happened a few days ago when I was on the Wikipedia Beer page. I was reading along and then I came across the fermentation section. So… click! Now of course fermentation isn’t possible without yeast which is just a click away. And as we all know, yeast makes bread. And bread of course, develops a crust because of the Maillard Reaction.
Wait? What was that last bit?
And so I clicked on it. It turns out that this little bit of chemistry discovered by French Chemist Louis-Camille Maillard in the early 1900s is responsible for what I consider to be 90% of delicious foods and I’d never even heard of it.
I left you all hanging yesterday as to what I used those Kaiser rolls for. Well now you know. But let me back up and talk about burgers.
In my very humble opinion, a really good burger comes down to a few very simple things. You don’t need to mix in tons of spices and sauces and stuff. This is what’s really important:
Nick’s Keys To a Good Burger No Matter What
- Use good meat. It’s pretty hard to examine meat quality once it has been ground so this usually means grinding it yourself or asking the butcher to grind something that you select. This is not hard and takes seconds yet 99% of people don’t do it.
- Fat. I’m sorry, but a good burger needs fat. At least 20%, but probably 25%. Deal with it.
- A good bun. You know that fat? It’s gonna need a place to go. You want something that will hold up to the burger.
- High heat. A good burger has a seared crust.
Do those things and you can’t go wrong. Notice I didn’t say anything about doneness, cheese, toppings, or anything else. In my opinion those can all be fixed to taste.
Don’t Get me Wrong. Will I eat a burger that is missing one of my four keys of a good burger? Probably. But I seriously doubt it will be a Good burger unless it has those things.
It’s my opinion that it’s near impossible to find a really good hard roll (I call it a Kaiser roll) anywhere in DC and I imagine in many other places. Sure, I know you can find them in New York and honestly there might be a few bakeries in DC that can make them correctly, but I’m not in the mood for a scavenger hunt.
On Memorial Day weekend, I was making something delicious that needed a good hard roll. One that was crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. I looked at a few places and wasn’t impressed so I just decided to make some myself. It was a really good idea.
Without a doubt, if you take the time to make some great hard Kaiser rolls, I guarantee it will elevate your burger or sandwich to another level of deliciousness.
I remember the first bran muffin I ever had. It tasted like dirty rag but had the texture of cardboard. I was told that this thing I was eating, this cardboard thing, was very good for me. As you might guess, it didn’t matter. It was many years before I ever tried a bran muffin again.
After trying a few more over the years though, I learned that it’s completely possible to make a bran muffin that has a softer texture, one with a moist interior. What I’m trying to say is… it’s completely possible to make a bran muffin that doesn’t suck.
To counteract the dryness of the bran, you just need to up the liquid a bit. Add in another egg and, in this case, some raisins. They lend a bit of moisture to the finished muffin also.
Today is National Donut Day! So if you happen to walk by a Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts today, most of them will be giving out a free donut! There might be other donut shops doing similar things but those were the two I could think of.
I don’t really eat that many sweets honestly, but a free donut is pretty hard to pass up!
As you’re eating your donut, think about what should I cook this weekend?
And a few links…
French Tomato Tart – Is tomato season here yet? Maybe. I guess that somewhat depends on where “here” is, but it looks like it has definitely arrived in France. This looks unbelievably good. (@ David Lebovitz)
Cuban Sandwich Mac and Cheese Lasagna – What the hell just happened? That’s what I said after I read this post. Apparently turning a Cuban sandwich into Mac and Cheese wasn’t cool enough for my rival blogger. He had to then go and make a lasagna out of it. Way to set the bar really high dude. Thanks. (@ TFIMB)