Category Archives: Comfort Food

Ancho chilli sliders

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I had an epiphany of sorts. Either that our I just caught up to the rest of society.

I grew up in cattle country.  A place where farmers loved their cows almost as much as their wives and beef was the staple of every household for pretty much every meal. Those day’s are fast disappearing, replaced by industrialized food and the promise of fortune. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing in and of itself, people have to make a living, but what I am saying, is that I grew up on beef more so than kids do nowadays. We would get our beef from the neighbour farmer and have it butchered at the local abattoir. There was no PETA because you knew where your cow stood in the field and what it ate. All this to say,  hamburger was what you did with all the meat that was leftover after everything else was cut into usable steaks and roasts. I never understood the allure of boring burgers. That is to say until now. A byproduct of spending years in Europe is that I have embraced the sausage culture. I can’t get enough of them. I thought to myself, why don’t I experiment and use basic sausage making principles and apply them to what seems to be the patron saint of summertime. Hamburgers. Now a good sausage is a combination of five key ingredients. Ground meat, spices, fat, salt and liquid. Say goodbye to frozen cardboard discs and say hello to the best burger you will have this summer. This particular recipe is loosely based off a recipe for Mexican chorizo. Enjoy.

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 What you need:

  • 500g (1 lb) of your favourite quality ground beef (this does not have to be super extra ultra lean, in fact regular is preferred)
  • 20g coarse kosher sea salt
  • 20g ancho chillies chopped finely or pulsed in a food processor
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic smashed and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 10g dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (or even better bacon fat)
  • 50 ml cold tequila, whiskey or dark rum, not all, just one! (you can substitute water, wine, or  vinegar)
  • Freshly ground pepper (to your taste)
  • Optional, crushed chillies added to your desired heat level

How it’s done:

  • Add all the ingredients except for the liquor in a large mixing bowl
  • Using your hands hands mix well, squishing and working the meat to evenly distribute the spices
  • Keep working until the meat mixture gets sticky and begins to adhere to itself (this will make sense when you see it happen)
  • Put the mixture in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to cool down
  • Add the liquor and mix again until all the liquid is incorporated and the meat is sticky
  • Shape into desired patties and BBQ over low-med heat. (otherwise you will flare up due to the higher fat content)
  • Serve on a great sourdough bun and slather with your favourite toppings

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highway 61 revisited (or in this case Canada)

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In the annals of blog consistency, I suck. Much has changed from when I last posted until now. Change sucks. From then until now I have built a 3d printer, visited Paris for the first time, changed jobs, moved continents, set up new house and home, gained 20 pounds, lost 7, built a custom gas grill, rediscovered hamburgers and gained more weight. The one constant in my life during this tumultuous time (other than the weight gain)  has been Bob and my favourite vinyl album. One thing I have learned from my recent return to Canada, is that a blog about DIY healthy cooking is very much needed…I was pretty much in the fetal position drooling on the floor the first time I went to the super market after I returned. Too much choice, too much processed crap. I was overwhelmed and it left me with a culinary lobotomy. You should have seen me in the tooth paste aisle! All that to say, as I re-integrate back into Canadian life, I will document my cooking adventures and sort out how to cook creatively and healthy in a pathetic food product world.

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Cabernet Braised Oxtail

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Cowboy Toast

Of all the senses, smell has the unique ability to travel time and to bring you to events long past. The smell of eggs and cooking bacon, always reminds me of my grandfather. I am particularly fond of the stories he would tell of his early days as a cowboy working the ranch. As a young… continue reading

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Probability and Murphy’s Law

Ok I have to confess I am not infallible. I strive for perfection but alas at this point in my life I still have much to learn and I make many mistakes. (just ask my family) When you spend the amount of time in a kitchen as I do, combined with the shear volume of… continue reading

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Chicken Giouvetsi

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Three Bean Bake

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Butternut Squash Gnocchi

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Chicken Red Curry

I love a good curry. There is something deeply weird and satisfying about eating food that makes your whole body break into a sweat. Now I realize that not all curries do that, but in my experience the ones that do are usually the best. So in the spirit of spring and with the abundance… continue reading

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A Really Good Spring Risotto

As spring slowly fades into summer, everything is at it’s best. Late spring veggies collide with sweet summer fruits producing almost an orgy of choice. If you can say it that way. As I walked through the market one purveyor caught my attention…. I couldn’t help noticing because he was screaming at the top of… continue reading

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