Archive | September, 2009

Dishy Dinner Party Dish

18 Sep

We’re feeling a pang for the recently departed Sheila Lukins, arbiter of 1980s food tastes, including the then-unheard-of raspberry vinegar. We recently snapped up a copy of one of the best-selling cookbooks of all time, Lukins’ Silver Palate Cookbook.
This baby holds the coveted recipe for Chicken Marbella, a culinary marvel and memory maker.

In the ’80s, you couldn’t go to a dinner party or a picnic in the park without somebody serving it. The weird-sounding blend of olives, capers and prunes was the first main-course dish to be offered at the famous New York shop. It swept like wildfire into households everywhere, and for good reason. It’s fabulous.

We’re toying with the idea of serving it as chicken wings or chicken tenders. But first, we’re going to cook it old school in homage to Lukins as we lovingly pore over her hand-drawn illustrations and bright tasting creations that remain as relevant today as ever.


Recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook

“This is good hot or at room temperature. When prepared with small drumsticks and wings, it makes a delicious hors d’oeuvre. The overnight marinating is essential to the moistness of the finished product: the chicken keeps and even improves over several days of refrigeration; it travels well and makes excellent picnic fare. Since Chicken Marbella is such a spectacular party dish, we give quantities to serve 10 to 12, but the recipe can be divided to make smaller amounts if you wish.”

4 chickens, 2 1/2 pounds each, quartered

1 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed

1/4 cup dried oregano

coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup pitted prunes

1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives

1/2 cup capers with a bit of juice

6 bay leaves

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white wine

1/4 cup Italian parsley or fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl combine chicken quarters, garlic, oregano, pepper and coarse salt to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and juice, and bay leaves. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, overnight.

Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with pan juices. Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thickest, yield clear yellow (rather than pink) juice.

With a slotted spoon transfer chicken, prunes, olives and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro. Pass remaining pan juices in a sauceboat.

To serve Chicken Marbella cold, cool to room temperature in cooking juices before transferring to a serving platter. If chicken has been covered and refrigerated, allow it to return to room temperature before serving. Spoon some of the reserved juices over chicken.


Fisher Stevens looked like a middle aged man in this ’80s Seventeen magazine recipe for Spanish chicken, but he was only 21:

fisher's famous chic 1

fisher's famous chic 2

The recipe stands the test of time. It is simple and tasty.


1/3 cup flour

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

1 medium broiler/frying chicken, cut into eighths

3 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 green and 1 red pepper, cut into strips

1/4 cup chicken broth

1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste

2 tomatoes, cut into wedges

3/4 cup small black olives, pitted

In a pie plate or shallow dish, mix flour, salt, pepper and paprika. Roll chicken parts in mixture until completely coated. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Place chicken parts in skillet; cook until golden brown on all sides. Remove chicken from skillet, and set aside. Using same skillet you browned chicken in, saute chopped onion, garlic and peppers over medium heat, stirring often until onion is soft and transparent. Add broth and tomato paste, and deglaze skillet by scraping up any browned chicken bits that remain on its surface; stir until sauce is smooth and well-blended. Return chicken to skillet, then add tomato wedges and olives. Cover, lower heat, and simmer for 25 minutes. Serves four to six.

Vintage vantage

18 Sep

What, pray tell, is this little bit of terrific?

We are so charmed by the little cocktail forks…. Our little fish dish is going to become the perfect pupu platter. Inspired by our Trader Vic’s obsession, we can picture serving rumaki or crab Rangoon with dipping sauce, or an assortment of mini grilled skewers.

Such a find!

But we wish we also had this to our inventory


This appeared on a Don the Beachcomer menu from 1941. Traditionally spiced chicken liver, water chestnuts wrapped in bacon.
But works with scallops, shrimp, smoked oysters, pineapple or stuffed olives.

1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon sugar

Combine soy sauce, ginger, sherry and sugar in a small bowl. Add the chicken livers and water chestnut pieces and marinate them in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour.
Place 1 chicken liver piece and 1 chestnut piece in the center of each bacon-half, wrap, and secure with a toothpick. Tuck in green onion if you wish.
Place the Rumaki on a broiler pan or shallow baking pan and broil, about 5 or 6 inches from the heat, until the bacon is crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Or, you can bake the appetizers in a 375° oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Mythical New York never fades…

17 Sep

Tavern on the Green is closing.

From its perch in Central Park west, the elegant, multi-chandeliered Manhattan institution is said to have been in steady decline after peaking in the 1980s.

Its reputation as overpriced with mediocre service and cuisine were its ruin. Even the fabulous Jeremiah Tower couldn’t save it.

We strolled past one perfectly misty October afternoon and have always regretted not popping in for a cup of tea and dessert or a stiff drink. But, hey, we’re no sucker and we’re glad we saved our dough for Nobu.

But still. To imagine Tavern in its former glory… sigh. We especially like this New York Times reader’s comment:

“A family celebration and Mr. Woody Allen in a room next door. We discussed the pronunciation of Moet. All I could think was that he would ask me to play in his band as a ten-year old clarinetist.” — Kavi

The taste of a place you’ve never been to — leafy green trees in summer or polka dotted with white lights during winter, sparkling crystal, porcelain tea pots, a wealthy, elderly relation treating you after a matinee. Close your eyes. Invent some memories. Cook these recipes:

Tavern on the Green’s Maine Lobster Bisque

2 ½ cups dry white wine

10 cups fish stock

2 -1 ½ lb. lobsters

4 oz. butter

8oz onions, chopped

4oz carrots, chopped

4oz celery, chopped

10 oz. tomatoes, chopped

3oz. brandy

1 bay leaf

1 oz. tarragon

pinch cayane pepper

2/3 tsp. paprika

1 clove garlic, chopped

4oz roux

heavy cream

creme fraiche

salt and pepper to taste

Poach lobsters in rapidly boiling wine and fish stock for 6 minutes.

When cool enough to handle, remove meat from shell, discard coral and tomally, reserve shell and cooking liquid. Refrigerate meat and coarsley chop the shells.

In a separate stock pot, melt 4 oz. butter. Add onions, carrots, celery and tomatoes. Cook til tender.

Add the shells and cook til red. Add brandy and flambe. When flames go out, add 2 cups white wine, bay leaf, tarragon, a pinch of cayane pepper, paprika and garlic.

Saute mixture for approx. 2 minutes. Add reserved cooking liquid and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Add 4oz roux and cook 30 mins. more. Puree contents in a blender or food processor, strain well. Return soup to stock pot and add chopped lobster meat, heavy cream, salt and pepper.

Finish soup with creme fraiche mixed with tarragon and serve.

Tavern on the Green’s Chicken Francais

4 (6-oz. ea) boneless skinless chicken breasts
flour, for dredging
2 ounces clarified butter
1 cup white wine
2 small shallots, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and white pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons Dijon-style whole grain mustard
1/2 cup heavy cream

Pound chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap to make uniform thickness for even cooking. Dredge chicken breasts in flour, shaking off excess. Heat clarified butter in saute skillet over medium-high heat. Place chicken in pan and saute until cooked halfway through, about three minutes. Reduce heat to medium.

Turn over chicken and add minced shallots and garlic, cooking one minute until you can smell the aroma of garlic. Add wine to deglaze pan. Season with salt and pepper. Add mustard and stir into sauce. Let sauce cook for two minutes to reduce, then add heavy cream. Let sauce cook for another two minutes to thicken sauce slightly.

Serve with chardonnay.

Mark Sewall, Tavern on the Green, Inn at Silver Lakes, Helendale

Tavern on the Green Cheesecake
Servings: 6-8

1 b Cream Cheese

1 cup sugar

¼ tsp salt

2 cups sour cream

5 egg yolks

¼ cup heavy cream

½ cup milk

1 tbsp each orange and lemon zest


Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.

Mix the cream cheese, sugar, salt and sour cream. When it is smooth, add the egg yolks, one at a time, the heavy cream and milk. Stir in the lemon and orange zest. Mix until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a prepared 10-inch cake mould. Set in a larger pan and surround with one inch of very hot water. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Who you calling chicken?

17 Sep

omg. Why it took this long to make turkey chili is beyond us. Especially since we’ve been busting to rock out with Trader Joe’s hatch green chiles and green tomatillo salsa. Our crockpot doesn’t get much of a workout beyond its chili duty, but we are mighty glad to have it for this. NOTE: Crockpot is optional — we now whip this up on the stovetop within 25 minutes and it was delicious.

Whole Foods has a similar recipe which adds diced green peppers, oregano and bay leaf, which sounds lovely.


turkey chili 1


1 tbsp butter or olive oil
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey (2 packages)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 or more garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 jar (over 1 cup) tomatillo salsa (we like Herdez and Presidents Choice, in a pinch las palmas green enchilada sauce)
1 carton of chicken stock or broth


1 little can fire roasted green chiles (optional)
1 cup or more white corn
1 (15-ounce) can white kidney or Romano beans (not fully drained)

For serving: any combo of limes, sour cream/greek yogurt, avocado, shredded cheese, cilantro

Melt butter in large dutch oven. Add spices and fry to wake them up. Add diced white onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and turkey meat and fry until mostly not pink.

Add green tomatillo salsa and can of beans if using. Add chicken stock.

We are in the habit of throwing in a handful of cornmeal or crushing tortilla chips into the broth, which thickens it slightly and imparts great flavour.

Sweet jesus — it is beautiful. The salsa is so tangy, and the chiles have a great, smokey bite. The turkey is absolutely gorgeous, and because I was too lazy to worry it with a wooden spoon, it remained clumped into tiny meatballs. So good.



Now and then

11 Sep


We would never dream of monkeying with our recipe for spaghetti carbonara. How chopped bacon and onion have their slippery way with noodles, the creamy egg yolk and parmesan coating every strand, the gorgeous grassy bites of fresh parsley. Perfection. True, we’ve slipped in a dash of red pepper flakes and a weensy bite of garlic, but they are truly unnecessary. We astonished our younger self making this for a family dinner after clipping ripping it from Seventeen Magazine (circa 1980-something-embarrassing, see below). So simple. So perfect.

After hearing us moan on and on about this hoarded cherished recipe, our betrothed took his first crack at this recently. And wouldn’t you know it. It turned out perfectly. Sigh. Is there anything that man can’t do?

Spaghetti Carbonara

Recipe adapted from Seventeen Magazine
UPDATE: We like one egg and 1/4 pound or 113ish grams 4 oz) of pasta per person, so just multiply that for a group. If you’re boiling a pound/454 grams/16 oz, that’s for four so use four eggs. We also now beat the eggs and mix in the cheese, minced parsley, black pepper (a splash of heavy cream if we have it). Makes stirring into hot noodles coated with bacon-ey goodness that much easier


8cf3eefd-6be4-44d2-a9ee-560333bb7b98a1c81474-f833-42c6-99ab-0c3cc9ca112c4 quarts water

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 lb bacon

1/2 medium onion, chopped

16 oz thin spaghetti (we served three people using 3/4 of a box)

2 tbsp butter

1/4 cup chicken broth

3 eggs

1/2 cup chopped parsley

3/4 cup grated Parmesan

Bring water to boil. In the meantime, chop bacon into 1 inch pieces, chop onion, parsley. Brown bacon and remove, draining all but 2 tbsp fat. Add onion to pan and saute until soft. Add bacon again. When spaghetti is cooked, drain but reserve some starchy water. Pour chicken broth into pan and scrape up browned bits. Add spaghetti and toss in butter, stirring until butter melts.

Remove skillet from heat. Add three raw eggs and stir quickly to blend. The heat from the noodles will cook them nicely; leaving the skillet on the stove would scramble them. The noodles should be loose enough to stir easily. If they are too tight, add reserved water to loosen.

Mix in parsley, and sprinkle with Parmesan. Toss well until cheese is evenly distributed. Serve immdiately. Makes four servings.

Mario Batali’s

  • 1/2 pound guanciale (or pancetta or good bacon)
  • Salt
  • 1 pound dry spaghetti
  • 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • Black pepper, freshly ground
  1. In a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan, render and cook the guanciale until it is crispy and golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Do not drain the fat from pan and set aside.
  2. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. Cook the spaghetti, until tender yet al dente. Drain the spaghetti, reserving the pasta cooking water.
  3. Reheat the guanciale in the pan with the fat and add approximately 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water. Toss in the cooked spaghetti and heat, shaking the pan, until warmed through, about 1 minute. Add the grated cheese, egg whites and black pepper and toss until fully incorporated. Divide the pasta among 4 warmed serving bowls. Make a nest in the center for the egg yolk. Gently drop an egg yolk into each serving, season with more freshly ground black pepper and grate additional cheese over the top. Serve immediately.


Since preparing carbonara in our teenhood, we’ve adapted a signature way of preparing other baconish pasta. Our favourite on-the-fly pasta (a spicy tomato clam dish) begins with adding olive oil to a hot pan, followed by a sprinkling of sea salt, crushed red pepper flakes, and… wait for it… a few slices of pepperoni. We routinely save some thin rounds in freezer bags for such emergencies. Sliced into matchsticks, the pepperoni fat and flavour melts into the oil, making it positively dreamy. Once things are sizzling and smelling like heaven, we add a drained can of clams and some fresh garlic. True story. When they’ve had a good bath, we pour in a can of diced tomatoes with their juice and let the whole thing simmer. We’ve dared to add a splash of wine, a shot of vodka, or a splosh of beer to the bubbling mix as we allow it to reduce ever so slightly.

A sprinkling of fresh parsley and a bit of parmesan as you’re serving, and you’re done. Yum!

It’s a versatile dish. You can forgo said clams in favour of shrimp, salmon chunks, or anything else you can think of.

Vintage finds…

10 Sep

We have a weakness for 50s and 60s kitchen ware, and we spend far too much time skulking around thrift shops. Trouble is, we are a magnet for fabulous finds. Take for instance, this little gem:

It’s a ceramic caquelon (fondue pot) by Landert, made in Switzerland. The pot, a handsome ochre yellow which holds 1 1/2 quarts,  is stamped Landert 22 near the handle. These darlings are made to go from stove top to table. We spotted this baby a week or so ago and resisted it, but lo and behold upon our return, it was still sitting there, unloved by those unable to recognize its true purpose in life: to fill our bellies with molten cheese! We scored it for $7.99.

Just Peachy…

7 Sep
Wah… we don’t want summer to end. You can taste the season in this amazing peach chutney. We love this silky, sweet, spicy, puckery spread atop creamy goat cheese and toasted flatbread. More recently we’ve made prosciutto cups filled with goat cheese mousse and topped with a spoonful of peach chutney. Perfect with a glass of wine and a summery sunset…

UPDATE: Our brother-in-law has renamed this Peach Mambo. Who’s to argue?

O Magazine
  • 1 large shallot , cut in half
  • 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger , peeled
  • 1 clove garlic , peeled
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar (benefits from more)
  • 2 large peaches , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green scallions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
In a small food processor, combine shallot, ginger and garlic. Pulse until finely chopped.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté shallot mixture until tender and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Continue cooking 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt, if needed. Let cool to room temperature. Serve with flatbread and goat cheese or with roasted or grilled meats.

(Chutney can be made 1 to 2 days in advance and refrigerated. Bring back to room temperature before serving.)

Recommended technique: To peel a peach easily, quickly plunge it into boiling water for 5 seconds, remove it, submerge it in ice water, then peel.

Oh. So. Saucy.

7 Sep

True to our name, we are saucy. We also have an ongoing tie for best burger sauce. And we have a recipe for neither.

We still swoon over the dynamite green apple barbecue sauce served atop our burgers at Victoria, B.C.’s Blue Fox Cafe.

New York’s Shake Shack has a secret sauce, but we have yet to successfully replicate its velvety goodness. Oh well, at least we knicked their tomato-simmered onions recipe, below.


The Fake Shack (or the Shack Burger at Home) by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt who posted at A Hamburger Today

– makes about 3/4 cup sauce –

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
4 slices kosher dill pickle
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
pinch cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth, scraping down sides of blender with rubber spatula as necessary.


Shake Shack Tomato-Simmered Onions
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
1/3 cup champagne vinegar
1/2 cup tomato puree
salt to taste
In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add onions and season with a large pinch of salt. Cook until very soft but not browned, about 15 minutes. Add vinegar to pan and simmer  for 10 minutes. Add tomato puree and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and serve over hot dog and burgers.

Todd Wilbur’s In-n-Out sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons finely minced white onion
1 1/2 tablespoons finely minced dill pickle relish
3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon salt
Deluxe Mayonnaise
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp barbecue sauce

Big Mac Special Sauce
• 1/3 cup mayonnaise
• 2 tsp pickle relish
• 2 tsp ketchup
• 2 tsp sugar
• 2 tsp yellow mustard
• 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of finely chopped onion
Stir all ingredients together and refrigerate.

another version:
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of French dressing
4 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon finely minced white onion
1 teaspoon of white vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. stir well.
Place sauce in a covered container and refrigerate for 4 hours (or overnight), so that the flavors blend.

Stir the sauce a couple of times as it chills.
Makes about ¾ cup

Labour Day, burger day

7 Sep

Labour Day gives us the last kick at the cat for summer long weekend burger barbecues.

We love our restaurant recipes down below, but this burger combines flavours from pub favourites. You can coast on this one all year round. We formed these into mini patties. The perfect mini bun to go with? In a pinch, hot dog buns sliced into thirds. Voila!

1 lb ground chicken

4 hot Italian sausages

1/3 cup either barbecue sauce, or Franks Red Hot Sauce blended with melted butter

Squeeze sausage out of casings and mix with chicken. Add sauce and gently mix together with your hands. Shape into patties (either six large or as many mini as you can stand making.) To prevent the burgers from puffing up, make a shallow depression using your thumb in the centre. We pan fry ours.

We have bathed our mini patties in extra doctored hot sauce to give them a buttery glaze. Just heat the combo (or barbecue sauce) in a sauce pan and take the patties in for a swim.

Other famous local burgers:

The Living Room

Unusual additions, such as miso, capers and sweet gherkins, give the burgers a complex, full flavour.

Servings: 4

1 egg

1/4 cup (50 mL) dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup (50 mL) finely chopped sweet gherkin pickles

2 shallots, finely chopped, or 1 small onion, grated

2 tbsp (25 mL) capers

2 tbsp (25 mL) light-colour miso

2 tbsp (25 mL) dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp (10 mL) minced gingerroot

2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh thyme

1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper

1 lb (500 g) lean ground beef

4 Onion or hamburger buns

2/3 cup (150 ml) crumbled blue cheese

Half small red onion, thinly sliced

In bowl, beat egg. Stir in bread crumbs, pickles, shallots, capers, miso, mustard, garlic, ginger, thyme, salt and pepper; mix in beef. Shape into four 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick patties. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Or layer between waxed paper in airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month; thaw in refrigerator.) Place patties on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and cook, turning once, until no longer pink inside, about 10 minutes. Cut buns in half; place, cut sides down, on grill and toast until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Layer burgers, blue cheese then red onion on bottoms; sandwich with tops.

Buchanan’s Burger

Buchanan’s uses lean Alberta AAA sirloin, coarsely ground, for their burgers.

3 lbs (1.5 kg) coarsely ground sirloin

1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt

1/2 tsp (2 mL) onion powder

1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground white pepper

1/4 tsp (1 mL) garlic powder

1/4 cup (50 mL) ketchup

1 egg, lightly beaten

Vegetable oil, to oil patties or grill

Cheddar slices

8 hamburger buns, sliced open and toasted

Burger sauce (recipe follows) Preheat barbecue to medium high. Break up ground sirloin in a large stainless steel or glass bowl. Thoroughly mix next four ingredients together in a small bowl and then mix into sirloin. Stir in ketchup thoroughly. Mix in egg, being careful not to over mix. Divide meat mixture into 8 equal portions and form into 1- to 1 1/4-inch-thick (2.5- to 3-cm-thick) patties. Spray patties or brush preheated grill with vegetable oil to prevent burgers from sticking. Cook patties on the preheated, covered grill for 5 minutes. Flip each patty with a spatula and/or a pair of tongs and cook 3 more minutes. Top each patty with cheddar slices and cook another 2 minutes, or until patties are cooked through. While burgers are cooking, spread burger sauce on toasted buns. Add cooked patties and your favourite toppings (e.g., cooked bacon, roasted onion) to buns. Serve straight from the barbecue. Serves 8.

Cook’s Notes: Ground meat should be kept as close to refrigerator temperature as possible until the patties are placed on the barbecue to cook. If you overmix the meat mixture when you add the egg, the meat will become gluey and stick to your hands when you form the patties.

Variation: Spicy Burgers. Add 1/2 tsp (2 mL) paprika, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) chili powder and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne to the salt, onion powder, white pepper and garlic powder, and set this seasoning mixture aside. Follow instructions for adding the ketchup and egg, but do not add any of the seasoning mixture yet. Form patties as directed; with a pair of tongs, dip raw, unseasoned patties into seasoning mixture to coat. Proceed as directed, but replace the cheddar with a medium jack-jalapeno cheese. The cooked patties will have a blackened crust. For an even crustier burger, cook them in a skillet (remember to either spray the patties with vegetable oil or brush the cooking surface with vegetable oil.) Burger Sauce Mix together equal parts mayonnaise, seeded mustard, sweet pickle relish and chili sauce. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.


The Fake Shack (or the Shack Burger at Home)
Posted by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt at A Hamburger Today

– makes 4 burgers –

8 ounces beef sirloin, trimmed of gristle, and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 ounces well-marbled beef chuck, trimmed of gristle, and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 ounces well-marbled beef brisket, fat cap intact, trimmed of gristle, and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 Martin’s Sandwich Rolls
4 tablespoons Shack Sauce (recipe follows)
4 leaves of green-leaf lettuce, clipped
8 center-cut slices ripe plum tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper
4 slices yellow American cheese

1. Place feed shaft, blade, and 1/4-inch die of meat grinder in freezer until well-chilled. Meanwhile, place meat chunks on rimmed baking sheet, leaving space between each piece and place in freezer for 10 minutes until meat is firm, but not frozen.

2. Combine meat in large bowl and toss to combine. Pass meat through grinder twice. Form into four disks, about 2-inches tall, and 2.5-inches wide. Refrigerate until ready for use.

3. Open buns but do not split hinge. Brush lightly with butter, then place under broiler or in toaster oven until golden brown, about 1 minute. Spread 1 tablespoon Shack Sauce on top half of each bun (for true authenticity, squirt out of squeeze bottle into three lines, three passes on each line). Place 1 leaf lettuce and 2 slices tomato on top half of each bun.

4. Using wadded-up paper towel, rub inside of heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet with vegetable oil, then place over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke. Season beef pucks on top side with salt and pepper, then place, seasoned side down, in skillet. Using back of heavy, flat spatula, press down on beef pucks firmly to form 4-inch round patties, being careful not to let it stick to bottom of spatula. Season top side with salt and pepper. Cook until crisp brown crust has formed, about 2-minutes.

5. Carefully scrape patties from skillet, and flip. Top each patty with 1 slice American cheese. Cook until cheese is melted, about 1 minute longer. Transfer patties to burger bun bottoms, close sandwiches, and serve.

Shack Sauce

– makes about 3/4 cup sauce –

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
4 slices kosher dill pickle
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
pinch cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth, scraping down sides of blender with rubber spatula as necessary.