My weekend started on Thursday when L took me to the airport. And it is still going on right now, so I may add stuff to this list. I tried to make it go in chronological order. I may have misses some stuff from Sunday due to the sheer volume.
1. Grilled squid at Tribu Grill, San Bruno
2. Adobo rice
3. Pork sisig
4. Frozen brazo de mercedes
5. Chocolate chip cookies (homemade)
6. 2 eggs over easy, bacon and homefries at the Palace Diner, Flushing
7. Organic grapefruit purchased at Trader Joe's Santa Cruz, eaten in Kew Gardens
8. Roast pork bun at Fay Da Cafe and Bakery, Flushing
9. Taro bubble tea
10. Sweet crusted bun with kaya
11. The best frozen lemonade ever (the person who claims she made it said there was lemon zest) at the USTA Center in Flushing
That's Roger Federer in the foreground during his practice session in the Louis Armstrong Stadium at the USTA Center in Flushing, tuning up before the US Open
12. Green tea mochi from Fay Da, eaten in Kew Gardens
13. Chunks of fried pork, yellow rice and red beans at a Cuban restaurant whose name I can't remember, for the life of me, in Union City
15. Cafe con leche
16. "Greek breakfast" at Cafe Lala in the upper west side
17. Cafe au lait
18. Grilled chicken tacos I made in Edison
19. Some pico de gallo I made in Edison
20. Herr's Smoked Baby Back Ribs flavored ridged potato chips
21. Roasted Sweet Ajicito peppers I grilled up in Edison
22. Corn with butter and soy sauce I grilled up
23. Corned beef, sinangag and an egg, over easy in Edison
24. Pancit something or another
26. A bunch of beer
27. Pork bbq skewers
28. Edith's pork sisig
29. More pancit something or another
30. Dad's paella valenciana
31. Layni's chicken inasal
32. Some fried blue fish
33. Tita Oyette's empanadas
34. Edith's lumpia shanghai
35. More beer
36. Tita Patsy's mocha cake from a Filipino bakery
37. Farah's blueberry pie from Whole Foods
38. Edith's Ginataan halo halo
39. Dad's Ghirardelli chocolate brownies
40. Some plums
41. A little coffee
42. An orange cream cream ice from Rita's
43. A little coffee
44. A little pancit
45. Peeky toe crab salad at DBGB, LES
46. The tunisienne sausage, which is DB's take on the merguez
47. Iron Hill lager, which is an unpasteurized lager. It was nice and summery. But since it was unpasteurized, it still contained some live cultures of yeast. And I think it's celebrating a party in my stomach right now.
48. A little bit of Ria's tiramisu ice cream cake that she ordered at DBGB
49. A nine dollar lemon and tarragon chicken wrap on the old Virgin America.
50.... hmm. we'll see.
Damn. It's summertime already and it's time to break out the ice cream maker. In my two year relationship with my ice cream maker, I haven't ever made a non-fruit based ice cream. I've done strawberry and blueberry variations (strawberry cardamom is dynamite) and i've done peach and apricot ice creams (apricot ginger!). And I've done a pretty good mojito ice cream. That was pretty much like making a cocktail, but it was mostly fruit. And I can't believe I haven't ever done chocolate. I think mostly it was my fear of failing at the most basic of ice creams that kept me from making chocolate. Man, I love chocolate.
So this is a chocolate ice cream with chocolate chunks and a mint chocolate swirl. The recipe is a pretty basic ice cream recipe. I took a cue from Alton Brown's
-- my experience with his work has been pretty good. I think his secret is just that he keeps everything no nonsense. In his version, he uses a mix of half and half and heavy cream. I skipped the heavy cream on my take (not because I think it's too heavy, I do... but because I was absent-minded and forgot about it).
summer summer summer time!
I'm not going to reprint Brown's recipe here. Just follow his, which I think is an
chocolate ice cream recipe. I will say that I used really good quality cocoa. In this case, it was Scharffenberger unsweetened cocoa. I also used pretty good chocolate for my chunk mix-- a 71% Valrhona.
For the swirl part of this ice cream, I took two tablespoons of dark chocolate spread (kind of like Nutella without the hazelnut) and two teaspoons of mint extract and microwaved it for 15 seconds, mixing right after.
Right when your ice cream is almost all set (about 20 minutes into churning in the ice cream maker), toss in about 1/4 cup of rough chopped chocolate and drizzle in the mint chocolate swirl. Try to get the drizzling into the center of the mix. I miscalculated a little bit and started throwing the extra stuff into the ice cream maker before the ice cream was consistently frozen enough. Once you disturb the mix with foreign objects like chocolate bits, the temperature of the custard rises and the ice cream starts to melt. I had to quickly finish my additions or ruin the whole bunch. Unfortunately, I didn't get enough of my mint chocolate swirl in there. Perhaps next time I'll try mixing the chocolate-mint sauce first, and then toss in the solid ingredients. Next time, next time...
But the final result was delicious. I'm about to take it to a barbecue.
Last weekend was a good old time. It was graduation weekend and several of my friends came back to Santa Cruz to a) graduate, or b) celebrate with people who graduated. There were plenty of parties to go to. One of which featured the world premiere of Lindsey and my tribute to Lady Gaga at the karaoke at Coasters. That one was dedicated to our dear friend Becky, who walked the next day.
I also ran into Jim and Jessica at Jessica's reading for A New Cadence Poetry Series, which Jim facilitates. Jessica didn't read poetry. She read one of her excellent stories because this was the first installment of A New Cadence Poetry Series's A New Cadence Poetry Series Summer of Fiction. Later on, during the weekend, I met up with them at their place because our dear friend Alexis was back in town for Chris's graduation. They also gave me this:
It's a bacon press. I never knew these existed. The bacon press is a hefty piece of cast iron, with a wooden handle. Apparently, they're supposed to be placed on top of bacon on a skillet so that the bacon doesn't shrivel up while it fries. Jessica said they found it at a thrift store and thought of me when they bought it. Thanks, Jim and Jessica! Once I clean the rust up, it will be put to good use, helping me enjoy my bacon. Jim also suggested that perhaps I should start a publishing company called Bacon Press, and this can be my imprint.
And one more gift. I had a slow start to my Saturday. Had a late breakfast at 11:30. It wasn't that extravagant, so by 5PM I was pretty darn hungry. Hopped in my car and drove to my new favorite burger place in Santa Cruz, burger. Since burger. has opened, they've gotten better and better. Last night I found out that their beer license was granted and their taps are on and they have a pretty good selection of beers on tap. I predict that this place will be my favorite place this summer. And they have a few more things in store that have yet to come online-- a jukebox, movie nights, games... How exciting. Can it be that for the first time in forever, a restaurant will actually survive on the corner of Mission and Bay?
So I was sitting at the bar, having my usual Dude Burger (bacon, cheese and avocado), with garlic fries and a mint chocolate chip milkshake, when the guy behind the bar approaches and sets a plate in front of me. "I want you to try this," he said. "It's a sloppy joe."
Do they know the way to my heart or what?
Already I was kind of full from the burger and garlic fries extravaganza in front of me, but the sloppy joe was a new menu item and I had to give it a taste. I haven't had a sloppy joe since my time at P.S. 152 in Woodside, Queens. I remember that it was kind of a comfort food. Burger.'s sloppy joe was zesty. I think I tasted a little roasted red bell pepper in there, so it wasn't just a mess of meat in tomato sauce. If I hadn't already eaten 1/3 pounds of grass fed beef from Humboldt County, I would've scarfed the sloppy joe down and licked the plate. Oh man, that was good.
I then proceeded to walk around for the next four hours in food coma bliss.
Like whoah. What a great week for gifts.
To be honest, I was unaware of it (!!) when I woke up in the morning. But I did go to the Ferrel's Donuts for a little pre-work snack. They make a pretty good chocolate old fashioned and a pretty good glazed buttermilk.
That evening, spurred on by newly acquired knowledge of National Doughnut Day, I got a bunch of people together for some deep fried dough. This is the third year I celebrated NDD. In 2008, I made two kinds of beignets: one from scratch, and another from a Cafe du Monde mix. In 2009, Bettina made doughnuts using her grandmother's recipe, and I made some potato donuts from the Joy of Cooking. This year, I decided to go back to the beignets.
Beignets with hearts
After having two Ferrel's donuts in the morning and a bunch of beignets in the evening, I needed to go for a long bike ride on Saturday.
This was the first half of my bike ride. And then my phone ran out of batteries, so the GPS couldn't track the rest of the ride. We went up about 50-100 more feet in altitude, and about 2 hours longer in time.
Here's an approximate map of our route (taken from an earlier ride).
View Wilder Loop in a larger map
Of course, all of that work went down the drain after doing a little drinky drinky pre-Pride celebration later that evening at the 529 Madhouse. Oh well.
Yes. It is the final day of National Burger Month. Once again, I cannot wait to not have to come up with a burger-like thingie every night, after having eaten burgers or burger-like thingies for much of the month. Oh, but we had some good times. I liked breaking out the classics again, like the Juicy Lucy. And I liked playing dress-up with food that would otherwise not be in burger form, pretending to be burgers for an evening.... Steamed halibut burger, I shall miss you dearly. Spam Musubi burger, au revoir. As Julio Iglesias once sang, "To all the grills I've loved before... they travel in and out my door..."
I wanted to finish out the month with something kind of traditional, but with a twist. My favorite burger blog, A Hamburger Today, first published their Hamburger Fatty Melt a couple of years ago. Their version was just two grilled cheese sandwiches sandwiching a burger patty. They stuck it pretty traditional: white bread, Kraft singles and a burger. They have since updated their creation with the introduction of the Bacon Burger Fatty Melt. That's a nice burger. The Bacon Fatty Melt is a tribute to excess. I think they went with multiple layers there. They stack as follows:
- Bacon-stuffed grilled cheese sandwich as bun top
- Four-ounce beef patty
- Bacon-stuffed grilled cheese sandwich as interstitial bun (a nod to the Big Mac)
- Four-ounce beef patty
- Bacon-stuffed grilled cheese sandwich as bun bottom
My stack goes:
- Sourdough grilled cheese sandwich with cheddar cheese, mayo and tomato
- Four-ounce beef patty with 1/2 tsp minced shallot, salt, pepper, and a few drops of Tabasco
- Sourdough grilled cheese sandwich with cheddar cheese
It's not that I have something against Kraft singles. I find them useful for specific applications. And I'm not a food snob since I am not averse to white bread. But I think sourdough went so well with good extra sharp New York Cheddar. And they do make a good sourdough here in the SF Bay Area. The burger itself, with the shallot (inspired by the steak tartare burger), was so fragrant, so moist. I also cut rounds out of grilled cheese sandwiches so the bread to burger ration wasn't wack.
So there it was. Oh yes, I used mayo inside the grilled cheese. Some people are dogmatic about grilled cheese sandwiches. But this burger isn't about burger dogma. None of this month was, so I think changing up the grilled cheese part of the puzzle was apt. I think that tossing a slice of tomato and spreading some mayo on at least one of the pieces of bread makes the grilled cheese sandwich so much creamier and fuller.
This was definitely one of the highlights of the month. I think it could've been the best burger I made all month. It was simple. It wasn't too fancy. And it was comfort food on top of comfort food (literally). The resulting sandwich was so juicy, so tasty. I sat there, post-burger, thinking that I couldn't have ended burger month better.
K. I'm done with this month. I'm Audi 5000.
Sirloin tartare burger. Anchovy is key.
Back in the kitchen again. I can't keep on eating out for my burgers, and I really need to close out National Burger Month with some that I cook at home.
A few days ago, I remarked that I love it when Mark Bittman does his thing with burgers. I am a Bittman fan, and I am trying to cook every single thing in his awesome, awesome work, How to Cook Everything, which I feel is the contemporary equivalent to Irma Rombauer, Marion Becker and Ethan Becker's Joy of Cooking. It is the cookbook to own if you need to own a single cookbook.
In a recent New York Times piece, Bittman writes his version of the steak tartare, in burger form. My burger tonight is a faithful recreation of Bittman's recipe.
I used grassfed sirloin for my burger. I think the best part of this was the anchovy. The anchovy gave the steak tartare burger so much more dimension. The capers were a nice touch, and the medium boiled egg to garnish was also okay. But the anchovy pushed this burger from good to superb. I cooked my burger to medium, but I kind of wish I cooked it medium rare so I could appreciate the quality beef even more.
Also, from now on minced shallot shall replace my traditional grated onion whenever I have this option. The shallot made the burger so much more fragrant.
The burgers were actually delicious. I had the American Classic Cheeseburger, while Leslie ordered the Peppercorn burger. I think hers was better because it was slightly more flavorful. To be fair, the American Classic Cheeseburger was a good burger. It was perfectly cooked medium. The meat was juicy and delicious. The greens were fresh, and the cheddar was cheddar. But it would've been just okay if it weren't for the truffle sauce I ordered extra as a side, with which I doused the sandwich. The truffle sauce was perfectly salty, perfectly earthy and gave my otherwise just okay burger a strong anchor and kicked the burger up to good.
American Classic Cheeseburger, cracked wide open
In hindsight, perhaps I would've better been served by ordering Hubert's Favorite buffalo burger.
Leslie's Peppercorn burger was delicious. It was nicely crusted with red, black and white peppercorns, and like the Classic American was cooked to a pretty medium. On the side was a little cup of Keller's mustard spiced sauce. I think compared to the Classic American burger, which tastes quite like a classic American burger, this Peppercorn burger was a little more exciting. Without getting too gimmicky, the burger offered something more than the basic burger. The mustard sauce was piquant but not overwhelming. This was a very good burger.
Peppercorn Burger at Keller's Burger Bar
We skipped the cute little dessert burgers because I was beginning to feel like that Monty Python skit with the big eater.
So knowing that I was going to do some crawfish extravaganza de amor that evening, I went ahead and checked out how burger. was for lunch. If you remember, I went to this place before and really, truly liked their burgers. It's the real deal and I have since updated my Yelp review and said they have the best burgers in Santa Cruz. On this day I had their special of the day, the Don Ho. The Don Ho was three sliders/mini-burgers over fries (your choice of sweet potato or regular potato), with pineapple and a "Hawaiian" aioli. The sauce and the pineapple made the burger pop with flavor. But the problem with cooking sliders is that cooks don't always adjust the fry time to accommodate the lower meat content. I know-- it's a challenge. I've tried. I've been to plenty of places that say they have sliders. And it' okay, it's forgiveable that most sliders I eat are dry. The only places I know that have successfully made sliders to my liking (which means, small and juicy) are the Red in Santa Cruz, and White Castle's. The Red cooks em to perfection, medium. White Castle's is sort of steamed on the griddle. So unless burger. fixes their slider timing, stick to their regular burgers, which are excellent.
The other highlight of my lunch at burger. was the company I involuntarily had. I sat down on the shared long bench next to these two UCSC undergrads. I love UCSC undergrads. They remind me of a time when I once looked upon the world with a twinkle of optimism in my eyes. Their unbridled idealism makes me feel warm and fuzzy, as I do when I look at a cute welsh corgi puppy. But this day, I sat next to someone who was recounting to her friend all the drama in one of the ethnic student associations on campus. I mean I didn't want to listen, but she wasn't all hush hush about all the gossip, so I was an involuntary listener. And I listen well. My friends like to talk to me because I listen well, so I did my best this time around. Apparently, there are four people involved here. The storyteller, Minami, Hikari and James. James is in Tokyo now. I think Minami is going out with James. Storyteller was skyping with James. Hikari comes in and says "James, I'm sorry I was hating on you. I think you're okay guy." Hikari leaves, and James tells Minami "I knew Hikari hated me!" So storyteller was all up in arms about how Minami might be all plastic because how can she be hating on somebody and coming to her for advice about her own relationship with the guy she hates when she knows that the storyteller is in between everybody? Anyway, it's good that she's the kind of person she is, to be able to navigate the rocky communications between Minami, Hikari and James.
That evening, we had four pounds of crawfish and two dungeness crabs between four people at Boiling Crab in San Jose. The wait was three hours, but it was well worth it. Thank goodness for the Target across the parking lot, for us to waste time in. My fingers smelled like crawfish well into the next day. I guess we could've gone to Crawdaddy a few miles away (and only 30 minutes wait), but the Whole Shabang at Boiling Crab is it. Plus, the servers had cool piercings.
This is the "before" shot. I would post an "after" shot but the after just looks like a pile of empty crawfish shells.
Thursday the 27th was one of them, making it two days in a row that no burgers were eaten by me. Wednesday night, we stopped at a sukiyaki/shabu shabu place in Japantown in SF called Shabusen. I'm typically wary of shabu shabu places because even though I love a good hot pot, there are too many bad hot pot places. We were split on whether to go to Mums Home of Shabu Shabu or this place. In the end, we chose Shabusen because despite Mums looking trendier and cooler, at least externally, Shabusen had sukiyaki, which I really do love. Shabusen's sukiyaki wasn't bad. I was confused by the rules they had: 90 minutes to eat an all-you-can eat dinner; if one person around the table ordered the all-you-can eat, then everybody has to order all-you-can-eat; you must address the person next to you as brougham; no sharing and no wasting food (I made one of these rules up... guess). But we finally figured out that we didn't have to order the all-you-can-eat because the regular dinner was all we could eat anyway. The scallops were fresh and delicious, and the meat was good. It was a bit pricy though.
No real burger content on the 27th. But there was this:
Thanks to the Santosi for my burgertimer. All the rest of the burgers for burgermonth were timed with the burgertimer.
But first, here are some cupcakes I made some time ago:
I took a vanilla cupcake recipe, and then I took a chocolate cupcake recipe and then I stuck them together with some buttercream icing that I saturated with primary colors. More of my cupcakes can be found here.
Today's New York Times has Mark Bittman's newest take on burgers. He's done this in the past and I loved all his burger recipes. Even did a couple the last time I did this Burger Month thing.
This year, he goes beyond the basic burger with recipes for a pork fennel burger, a beef tartare burger, a curry lamb burger, and a pork shumai burger.
I think the pork shumai burger looks familiar. Not saying I came up with it first or I'm the original or anything... just saying, you know, we come up with good stuff in our kitchen too (though the prawns in his recipe are a masterstroke). I think I shall be trying the curry lamb and the beef tartare sometime. Perhaps before the end of this month?
in yer tummy, everything is soup anyway
I heard about cheeseburger soup a long time ago. I don't remember where. On the way home from jury duty today (I wasn't selected as a juror for reasons I shall not get into here) I got drenched in a rain storm and I really craved a nice hot soup for dinner. Cheeseburger Soup was a way for me to continue with my theme without really compromising on the soup part of my craving. This recipe is not based on any recipe in particular, but all the common ingredients found in the various online recipe sources are in here. There's a burger component, there's a bun component, and there's even a french fries component. But I haven't been literal with my burger treatments all month anyway, so this is probably okay.
1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 potato diced
1/2 onion chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
1 carrot grated
1 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp parsley chopped
2 cups chicken soup
1 cup cheddar diced (use Velveeta if you don't want it as oily as I had mine... cheddar gets oily when it melts)
2 tbsp cream cheese
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
Salt-n-Pepa say push it really good
Melt 1 tbsp butter in large pot. Toss in the beef, the celery, the carrot and the onion. Sauté and brown the beef. Once it's brown, toss in the parsley and the basil and stir fry a little bit more. Then toss in the chicken broth and the potatoes. Put a lid on it foo'.
While waiting to boil, make a béchamel sauce by melting the remaining butter in a sauce pan over low to medium heat. Mix in the flour. Finally, gradually stir in the milk until the mixture is smooth like béchamel.
Once the soup has boiled, gradually fold in the béchamel. Simmer. Then toss in the cheese cubes and stir until melted. Turn down the heat and stir in the sour cream. That is it. Oh and salt and pepper to taste.
It tastes like... cheese soup with veggies. Don't ask me where the cheeseburger part is. The deconstruction is po-mo and all, and I appreciate that because I like post-modern foodstuffs, but it takes a stretch of imagination that most people don't have. It is kind of yummy on a cold, wet day though.
I needed to eat something veggie so I made tonight's burger a veggie burger. I found this recipe for potato veggie burgers that are really similar to latkes. Any chance I get to use the shredder/grater attachment of my food processor I take, so I hopped on this recipe. The only difference I made was I decreased the potato and increased the spice.
And I added bacon... which turns gourmet into gourm-yay.
Into a grater:
1 cup corn
1 cup black beans (mashed)
4 scallions, chopped
Mix the stuff.
salt, to taste
pepper, ground, to taste
1 tbsp garlic powder
Mix. Form patties. Fry for about 5 minutes per side over oil on medium-hot pan.
Top with bacon, a couple of strips
And cheese, cheddar
This one fits into the other kinds of food pretending to be a burger series.
SPAM is so misunderstood by Americans. It is a thing of wonder, and not a thing to laugh at. Oh if only they knew that half the world survives on SPAM.
I've made SPAM musubi in the past. SPAM musubi is basically SPAM pretending to be sushi. So this particular dish I cooked up is SPAM pretending to be sushi pretending to be a burger. How po-mo.
I briefly talked about SPAM Rice Burgers when I made halibut burgers. There's a restaurant in Japan called Freshness Burger that makes a SPAM Rice Burger using a slab of SPAM and a "bun" made of rice. At first I thought this was genius until I figured out that their idea of a SPAM burger is really just a slice of SPAM sandwiched in a bun with few veggies tossed in. So when I first decided to do SPAM burger, I knew that I needed to mince the stuff to get the texture I wanted. This particular burger-like sandwich is based on the SPAM musubi.
1/2 can of SPAM, chopped up.
some steamed rice, shaped into buns and made into onigiri-yaki (recipe here)
2 sheets of nori cut into 2 inch strips
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp furikake
Mix together the soy sauce and the sugar. Set aside.
Mix together the chopped SPAM (I prefer SPAM Lite), eggs and breadcrumbs. Form these into buns and fry them over medium heat at about 3-4 minutes a side. Take your onigiri-yaki and sprinkle some furikake on it. Wrap each onigiri-yaki bun in the cut nori. Use the sugar-soy sauce mixture to "glue" the seaweed ends together. Lay your SPAM burgers onto the buns. That's pretty much it. It might be nice to brush some of the soy-sugar sauce on the SPAMburgers before putting the top bun on.
I like it. It was great paired with a cocktail made from Mount Gay Rum, pineapple juice and muddled mint.
On the way to SF. Detoured to my favorite burger stop in Daly City. In a rush.
There are numerous recipes that purport to be KFC's original recipe fried chicken. The initial idea tonight was to remake the KFC original recipe into a chicken burger. But I looked at some of them and they were so totally complex and would've taken me forever to get the secret spices together.
So I searched instead for just "southern fried chicken" and found Paula Deen's recipe. I typically never watched Deen but I appreciated that all she ever had shows about was bacon and butter and bacon and butter. I figured I could trust her expertise in that matter so I adapted her recipe for my use. I wanted to make coleslaw too, but when it took until 9PM to gather all my ingredients, I figured I had to drop that part of the plan so that we could eat before 11. I did make mashed potatoes as a side.
Paula Deen's spice mix:
1/4 cup black pepper, ground
1/4 cup powdered garlic
1/2 cup salt
Southern Fried Chicken Burger Stuff:
1 lb organic chicken breast, chopped, almost minced
2 eggs, beaten
Enough Tabasco sauce to turn the beaten egg orange
1/2 cup self rising flour
Black pepper, ground
Combine the beaten egg and the Tabasco and let the chicken sit in this hot tub of spice for about 10 minutes. Mix the flour and the pepper. Form patties out of the chicken, squeezing out excess liquid. Spice the chicken with the spice mix-- both sides, and all around. Drag the chicken carefully through the self rising flour.
Lay the chicken patties on a hot skillet, where about 3 or so tablespoons of canola oil has been glistening. I'd say medium to medium high heat. About 4 minutes per side. We used francese rolls for buns.
It was actually pretty good. Tasted like fried chicken. I was pretty satisfied and we were able to eat before 11.
And now Cibo Matto:
Like a serpent in wait, the cornmeal encrusted catfish laps at the air with its slithery tongue, ready to strike when the time is right.
I usually make cornmeal encrusted catfish when I am exhausted for ideas about what to cook. It's a fast dinner, it's easy, and catfish is pretty easy to get. This time around I didn't have any buttermilk to give the fish subtle tang. But that wouldn't have worked anyway since the fish chunks wouldn't have held together if I used it instead of eggs. I could've added a bit more salt or citrus, though. Next time, next time...
1 pound catfish filet, minced
1 egg beaten
1 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp sriracha hot sauce
salt and pepper
Just mix everything together. Let it sit for a little bit so the fish can absorb the sriracha flavor.
Oh well. This is a bad week for burgers.
So cool to watch Dave Zabriskie win it. We went back home later to watch the whole stage on my DVR and found that the stupid VS Network cut the broadcast with about 4km left in the race to jump to a stupid fluff piece pre-game show for the NHL conference finals!!! How stupid! Even Lance "McOneball" Armstrong agreed. Here's his tweet:
Who's the dumbass @versustv that cut off @AmgenTourofCali coverage w/ a mile to go for pregame hockey?? #patheticAnd we also found out that the VS network camera cut away from where we were standing on the street corner just as we would've been shown. Bettina thought that it caught some part of our legs.
Anyway, we went home and I made a little grupetto (cycling terms are apt) of Juicy Lucies at Kate's request.
Oh and I should post this picture of Jonathan Vaughters, DS at Team Garmin-Transitions, signing this weirdo's manboob. I hope the guy with the manboobs was able to at least say hi to Dave Zabriskie because he sure was dedicated to getting all the autographs from team Garmin.
Clockwise from right: steamedporkbunburger, sr., his lover bokchoy with oyster sauce, and their lovechild steamedporkbunburger, jr.)
I don't know if I can call this a burger either. It's certainly more burger-like than last night's sushi. But this is, like some of my other burgers, a not hamburger pretending to be a hamburger.
This was two days in the making. The initial plan was to turn a Chinese steamed pork bun into a burger. So I started looking for recipes all over the place for steamed pork buns. I found a bunch but was reminded during my search of the wonderful pork buns that David Chang serves at his Momofuku Noodle Bar. I knew that I couldn't do the actual pork belly, and I know I will have to save that for another day-- oh, to have Chang's tender buns in my mouth again. (hahaha)
So I thought I would at least copy that whole folded bun and some cucumber fixins thing and I found this recipe. I at least had the steamed bun part down, or so I thought. My dough was an utter failure at first. It just didn't rise. As the dinner hour approached, I became more despondent. Bettina and Leslie both told me not to be so stressed out about this. In the end, I went and had sushi. When i came back, I found that my dough had finally risen. After a test case using the flat folded bun method, I realized it was best if I just steamed whole chunks of bun without flattening them per the recipe because my test cases were utter failures. Just slice off chunks of dough, about 2 inches high and about 3 inches in diameter and steam these suckers for about five minutes. Reassured that my project hadn't failed yet, I waited another day. And in case my personal attempt fell apart, Leslie went ahead and made her own versions of the buns just to see if those would work differently than mine.
The burger was adapted from this recipe for something called Chinese lion's head pork. It's pretty much the Chinese minced pork recipe version of Vince Carter (can play the small forward and shooting guard positions), or the Chinese minced pork recipe version of Miley Cyrus (triple threat: can sing, can act, and can dance). I mean to say that this lion's head pork thing is a recipe that might work well with any number of dishes-- in soups, dumplings, steamed pork buns, or in this case, steamed pork buns disguised as burgers.
1/2 pound ground pork
1 scallion chopped
1/2 tsp ginger, finely minced
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp rice wine (I actually used sake)
1/4 tsp sesame oil
3/8 tsp salt
1/2 of a beaten egg
2 tbsp corn starch
pepper to taste
1 tbsp oil to fry in
Just mix everything together. The cornstarch dries it up a little and pulls things together. It probably will get stickymushy but thats fine. As long as you form a couple of patties, that's great. Heat the oil up in a pan and get it to around medium. Fry the patties in the pan about 3--4 minutes each side, or until it gets a little golden.
Slice the steamed buns and make burgers.
They kind of tasted like good, fresh steamed pork buns.