Jucy Lucy – Texas Style

The Jucy Lucy was invented in Minneapolis, Minnesota, either at Matt’s Bar or the 5-8 Club, which location is still up for debate (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jucy_Lucy).

A Jucy Lucy is a cheeseburger having the cheese inside the meat patty rather than on top. A piece of cheese is surrounded by raw meat and cooked until it melts, resulting in a molten core of cheese within the patty.

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb ground bison
  • 3 tbs kosher salt
  • 3 tbs fresh ground pepper
  • 3 tbs Worcestershire sauce (Try Me – Wine & Pepper brand suggested)
  • 3 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 shots vodka (Absolut Peppar recommended)
  • 1 medium white onion finely minced
  • 4-8 finely chopped jalapenos (as needed)
  • As needed, and to taste
    • Havarati (Jalapeno or Habanero)
    • Jack (Jalapeno or Habenero)
    • Spreadable extra sharp cheddar (Black Diamond preferred)
  • 1/2 lb Cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • 8 onion buns
  • 16 slices pancetta
  • garlic butter spread

Directions:

Patties

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sirloin, pork and bison. Add onion, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, basil, cayenne, crushed red pepper, cumin seed, tomato sauce, brown sugar and vodka. Mix all ingredients thoroughly (I use my hands and just get dirty with this step). Once meat is well mixed, separate into 1/2 pound portions.

On wax paper take 1 portion of meat mixture and divide into equal parts and shape two patties. On 1 patty, preferably the larger of the two, add 2-3 tablespoons of cheese cut into small cubes approximately 3/8 inch  in size in the middle of the patty or spoon in spreadable cheese, leaving 3/4 to 1 inch to the edge of the patty. Top cheese with 2 tablespoons of minced jalapeno. Place the second patty on top of first patty, crimp edges with fingers and reshape into a single patty. Place a slice of pancetta on both sides of the patty.

Preheat grill to 375 degrees and cook patties 4-5 minutes per side.

Mushrooms

In a medium skillet, add butter, red wine and vinegar, over a medium/medium high heat until butter is melted. Once butter is melted, add mushrooms and garlic and saute until wine and vinegar are mostly reduced and mushrooms have softened. Remove and set aside for burgers.

Burger

Jucy Lucy - Texas Style

Jucy Lucy - Texas Style

Add garlic butter spread to both sides of buns and toast on grill for approximately 1 minute. Add grilled patty, sauteed mushrooms, a leaf of butter lettuce (cupping the rest of the burger). Let burger rest for 3-4 minutes before serving.

Another great alternative for this burger is simply serving with green chili sauce.

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Laura’s Mac ~n~ Cheese

Laura's Mac -n- Cheese

Laura's Mac -n- Cheese

A friend I were discussing the amount of effort I spend each night making dinner for essentially just myself. I said, “I’m a chef, what do you expect Mac -n- Cheese?”. The following recipe is my Mac -n- Cheese for Laura.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 6 slice of bacon
  • 2 Links of Hot Italian Sausage, removed from casing
  • 6 oz Armoniche Macaroni
  • 6 oz Caserecce Macaroni
  • 3-5 oz Port Salut cheese (France)
  • 3-5 oz Artisan Aged White Cheddar Cheese
  • 3-5 oz Beemster with Field Garlic Cheese
  • 3-5 oz Fume Hickory Smoked Rambol Cheese
  • 3-5 oz Danish Fontina
  • 1-2 Cups Milk (preferred whole)
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • 2 tbls butter
  • 1/2 cup Green Olives quartered
  • Finely chopped Basil for garnish
  • Finely chopped Oregano for garnish.
  • 2 oz freshly grated Mancheso al Romero cheese for garnish
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Directions:

Fry bacon until crisp, set bacon a side and retain bacon fat. In the same skillet brown sausage. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat add bacon, sausage fat and butter when butter is melted add flour and mix. Next add 1 cup milk and bring heat up to medium high. Grate or finally chop Port Salut, White Cheddar, Beemster, Rambol and Fontina and add to sauce pan. Stir cheese mixture frequently, adding milk as necessary to maintain a consistency similar to ketchup. Add a table sppon of salt and pepper to cheese sause to taste.

Armoniche and Caserecce Macaroni

Armoniche and Caserecce Macaroni

Cook pasta according to directions until aldente, 7-10 minutes. Drain pasta and add olives and cheese sauce, toss untill thourghly.

Plate and add Mancheso al Romero,basil oregano and finely chopped bacon.

Enjoy.

Variants:

Most soft or semi soft cheeses can bet suppstituted depending on the flavor profile that works for you.

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Ziti alla Carbonara

Like most recipes, the origins of the dish are obscure, and there are many legends about it. As the name is derived from the Italian word for charcoal, some believe that the dish was first made as a hearty meal for Italian charcoal workers. This theory gave rise to the term “coal miner’s spaghetti.” Others say that it was originally made over charcoal grills. Still others suggest that it is so named because the specks of bacon and pepper in the pasta look like bits of charcoal.

Usually made with Spaghetti, but occasionally Fettuccine, Rigatoni or Bucatini, I’ve used Ziti (a really big Bucatini) in this version, and keep true to the Italian preparation.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 ounces Panchetta
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 2 tablespoons freshly-grated Pecorino cheese
  • 16 oz long Ziti pasta
  • Fresh ground pepper

Directions:

Ziti ala Carbonara

Ziti ala Carbonara

Heat the oil and butter in a pan. Add pancetta and saute over medium heat until browned well. Beat together the egg yolks, cream, and cheese.

Long Ziti Pasta

Long Ziti Pasta

Cook the Ziti until just a! dente. Drain the Ziti well, and move to a serving dish. Working quickly, pour the pancetta mixture, then the beaten egg mixture over the Ziti. Toss quickly to coat the strands with the sause. The eggs will cook in the heat of the pasta. Top with fresh ground pepper and serve immediately while still hot.

Variants:

The following are frequently done in American preparations. Substitute bacon for panchetta, omit cream, or cook eggs and cheese for 30 seconds with panchetta (or similar).

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Un Piatto Della Pasta per Murszewski

Originally, I was going to use Campanelle pasta for this dish as it was one of the pastas suggested on the Hungry 4 More Facebook Fan Site. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any after two different stores. So, Candice here’s your pasta dish.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 oz. Broccoli Rabe, stems trimmed off, leaves and florets rinsed well
  • 4 oz. Quadrefiore pasta (1 1/2 cup)
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3-1/2 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage, removed from casing
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed Red Pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup Chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon Zest
  • 1/3 cup Pecorino Romano, freshly grated, plus extra for garnish
  • Dried Basil for garnish
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Have a bowl of ice water ready. Add the broccoli rabe and cook until bright green and tender, approximately 2 min. Transfer broccoli rabe to the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain well and gently pat dry with paper towels to remove excess water.

Quadrefiore Pasta Dish

Quadrefiore Pasta Dish

Return the water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook according to package directions, and drain.

While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking it up. Cook until the sausage is browned and almost cooked through, approximately 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook until the garlic is lightly golden, about 1 min. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the broth is reduced by about half, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe, Kalamata olives, and lemon zest. Cook stirring until hot for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the pasta and Pecorino Romano and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with additional Pecorino Romano and basil.

Variations:

Try Campanelle as a substitute for the pasta as I originally planed.

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Definition: Grades of Olive Oil

Over 750 million olive trees are cultivated worldwide, 95% of which are in the Mediterranean region. Most of global production comes from Southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

The grades of oil extracted from the olive fruit can be classified as:

  • Virgin means the oil was produced by the use of physical means and no chemical treatment. The term virgin oil referring to production is different from Virgin Oil on a retail label.
  • Refined means that the oil has been chemically treated to neutralize strong tastes (characterized as defects) and neutralize the acid content (free fatty acids). Refined oil is commonly regarded as lower quality than virgin oil; the retail labels extra-virgin olive oil and virgin olive oil cannot contain any refined oil.
  • Pomace olive oil means oil extracted from the pomace using chemical solvents, mostly hexane, and by heat.

Grades of Olive Oil

  • Extra-virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, contains no more than 0.8% acidity, and is judged to have a superior taste.
  • Virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, has an acidity less than 2%, and is judged to have a good taste.
  • Pure olive oil. Oils labeled as Pure olive oil or Olive oil are usually a blend of refined and virgin production oil.
  • Olive oil is a blend of virgin and refined production oil, of no more than 1.5% acidity. It commonly lacks a strong flavor.
  • Olive-pomace oil is refined pomace olive production oil possibly blended with some virgin production oil. It is fit for consumption, but may not be described simply as olive oil. Olive-pomace oil is rarely sold at retail; it is often used for certain kinds of cooking in restaurants.
  • Lampante oil is olive oil not suitable as food; lampante comes from olive oil’s long-standing use in oil-burning lamps. Lampante oil is mostly used in the industrial market.

Label wording

Olive oil vendors choose the wording on their labels very carefully.

  • “100% Pure Olive Oil” is often the lowest quality available in a retail store: better grades would have “virgin” on the label.
  • “Made from refined olive oils” means that the taste and acidity were chemically controlled.
  • “Light olive oil” means refined olive oil, with less flavour. All olive oil has 120 kcal/tbsp. (34 kJ/ml).
  • “From hand-picked olives” implies that the oil is of better quality, since producers harvesting olives by mechanical methods are inclined to leave olives to over-ripen in order to increase yield.
  • “First cold press” is generally a purely commercial wording with no factual meaning. It suggests that the oil in bottles with this label is the “first oil that came from the first press” of the olives and that no heat is used. This is not correct.
    First of all, “cold” does not define any precise temperature. A certain exception is made for the European regulation which requires that the processing temperature be below 27 °C in order to be named “cold pressed”. In cooler regions like Tuscany or Liguria the olives collected in November and ground often at night are too cold to be processed efficiently without heating. The paste is regularly heated above the environmental temperatures, which may be as low as 10-15 °C, in order to extract the oil efficiently with only physical means. Olives pressed in warm regions like Southern Italy or Northern Africa may be pressed at significantly higher temperatures although not heated. While it is important that the pressing temperatures be as low as possible (generally below 35 °C) there is no international reliable definition of “cold pressed”.
    Furthermore there is no “second” press of virgin oil, so the term “first press” is meaningless.
  • The label may indicate that the oil was bottled or packed in a stated country. This does not necessarily mean that the oil was produced there. The origin of the oil may sometimes be marked elsewhere on the label; it may be a mixture of oils from more than one country

Retail grades in the United States from the USDA

As the United States is not a member, the IOOC retail grades have no legal meaning in that country; terms such as “extra virgin” may be used without legal restrictions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) currently lists four grades of olive oil. These grades were established in 1948, and are based on acidity, absence of defects, odor and flavor:

  • U.S. Grade A or U.S. Fancy possesses a free fatty acid content of not more than 1.4% and is “free from defects”;
  • U.S. Grade B or U.S. Choice possesses a free fatty acid content of not more than 2.5% and is “reasonably free from defects”;
  • U.S. Grade C or U.S. Standard possesses a free fatty acid content of not more than 3.0% and is “fairly free from defects”;
  • U.S. Grade D or U.S. Substandard possesses a free fatty acid content greater than 3.0% and “fails to meet the requirements of U.S. Grade C”.

source

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