“Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”” Robin Williams

First burger of the seasonThere it is! It’s over! The fat lady has sung!……Hopefully?

There’s an anomaly that happens on my street. There is maybe one foot of ice and snow left in my backyard along one fence. I can see what will be grass in the next few weeks. The spring smell of damp decaying leaves and plants that were omitted from the fall racking has hit my olfactory and the raccoon that has been living under the tarp at the back of my yard is having his eviction notice served. Yet when I look in my neighbours backyard they still have fence to fence snow and ice. Maybe the gods smile on me and not them or maybe I have a military stockpile of nuclear weapons buried there. I don’t know why but it makes me smile.

The covers have never been on the BBQs all winter. Smoke and fire has been offered to the gods on a regular basis and my neighbours jealously drool a few times a week. The best part of spring is here, the start!

So the big decision you have is What’s First? What am I going to create?

Remember your last meal outside last fall? Did you love it? Would you change it up? Would you try something new and exciting? What’s your favourite thing to do on your grill?

Though burgers are mainstream and everybody does them, I took the lead from my kids and went for the obvious. However, my burgers aren’t the frozen hockey pucks from the local grocery store. Medium ground mixed with Italian sausage meat, onions, and roasted garlic topped with old cheddar and bacon.

I roasted off red pepper rings and used them as a border for some homemade guacamole. All this on my granite grilling stones. Take a look and try not to drool!

There are some great tips on the internet about how to clean and prep your grills for the start of the season. If you’ve been using it like me all winter, then you clean and wipe it down on a regular basis. If it’s been sitting since your last burger in the fall, take some time with it. Check the lines, check the plenums, check for anything that has decided to take residence in it, and give it a good clean.

So start your grills my friends. The season is here.

Be well and eat well.

Scott
Burgers on the stones

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“The mere thought hadn’t even begun to speculate about the merest possibility of crossing my mind.” Douglas Adams

You try, you do, and you hope that someone is listening or at least paying attention. Then you realize that you are the only one doing it and everyone else is on a cerebral vacation from reality. Life is funny, but someone has to be serious. Never thought it would be me?

Burgers are the combination of effort, taste, and love. Buying a frozen ready-made patty and throwing it on an assembly line bun is not a burger. That’s why the condiment companies make so much money. People try and hide the flavor.

My favourite go to burger is a mixture of lean ground beef and Italian sausage. The pork and the seasoning bring a new taste and adds some juiciness to the burger. You definitely need a napkin with them. Grilled mushrooms, red pepper, crisped pancetta, and some melted Havarti topped them off.

The burgers were plated with a warm potato and radish salad with a yogurt and Dijon base, sweetened with honey.

It takes only a few minute more to go artisanal than mass produced. It’s worth it!

I have 2 friends for dinner tomorrow night so the BGE will be smoking.

Be well and eat well

Scott

When the meat hits the grill like a big dollar bill...That's amore. OK, I tried.

When the meat hits the grill like a big dollar bill…That’s amore. OK, I tried.

“It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.” Douglas Adams

So did everybody celebrate Towel Day 2013? Does everybody know what Towel Day is?  Are you a Frood or a Strag? Do you enjoy Vogon poetry? (Nobody enjoys Vogon poetry) Do you even know what I’m talking about or are beginning to think I’m a little off?

Towel Day is an international celebration of Douglas Adams and his works. Adams wrote the definitive “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” in addition to other wonderful pieces. He was an author, humorist, and dramatist as well as a contributor to Monty Python and Doctor Who.  If you haven’t read any of his works I highly recommend it.

Back to food and the weekend.

It was a little cold in Toronto but once again the warmth and love of family and friend surpassed the chill. It was Vicky birthday and her request was Blue Cheeseburgers and sweet potato fries. It was a mix of lean beef and pork seasoned with pepper, garlic, and onion stuffed with knobs of wonderfully pungent blue cheese. While on the grill I finished with more blue on top to melt and cascade down the sides.

I have stopped adding bread crumbs to burgers and meatloaf opting to use the bread and milk option. I de-crust whatever bread I have on hand. Usually 3 slices. Cube and soak in milk, Worcestershire sauce, and whatever dry herbs I choose.  Taking the soaked bread in hand I squeeze all the liquid out until there is just a paste left. Adding this instead of bread crumbs adds a binding agent to the meat and also a whole bunch more juiciness.

Be well and be nice to the Strags!

Scott

Smokey Blue Cheeseburger.

Smokey Blue Cheeseburger.

I need to bring my Big Green Egg too!
I need to bring my Big Green Egg too!