Monday, 15 October 2012

Pocket Kings Burger

I got this recipe off a website of a winery called "Aces", it was originally called the "Seven Deuce" burger, after their red wine blend of the same name.

It intrigued me but I decided to make a bunch of changes and improve upon the recipe....I made so many changes to it that I am comfortable changing the name of the recipe. I've chosen "Pocket Kings" after their high-end red blend, which is simply fabulous, and will pair brilliantly with this burger.


1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1/4 cup mushrooms (wild Morel mushrooms or basic button mushrooms work fine)
Handful of mixed greens
1/4 large sweet onion
3 tablespoons balsamic vineagar
1/8 cup fresh chopped dill
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 clove fresh garlic
slices of strong cheese (extra old cheddar is the best, havarti works too)
Hamburger buns (artisan crusty buns or fresh Calabrese buns are also excellent)


1/8 cup fresh chopped dill
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)

1. Thinly slice sweet onion; in bowl, combine onion with vinegar, honey, maple syrup and fresh dill. Let stand 1-2 hours.

2. Combine burger seasoning ingredients in a bowl and mix into ground beef. Form into 4 patties.

3. Saute mushrooms in pan with butter and garlic until lightly browned.

4. Grill burgers. Add cheese to burgers near completion of cooking.

5. Prepare bun (grill it if you like that, rub with a little butter and garlic)

6. Place some of the marinated sweet onion on the bottom bun, then the burger, mushrooms, greens, and top of the bun.


This is a brilliant, flavorful burger....keep in mind it may not necessarily go with your "normal" burger accompaniments (in other words, keep the mustard and ketchup to yourselves). Mayonnaise goes fine with it.

As I said, this pairs brilliantly with a bottle of Aces Pocket Kings ($35) red wine; if you want a cheaper, but excellent alternative, their Seven-Deuce Red ($20ish) is also very good. If you are a wine afficianado, you'll want to try the Kings.

Mozza Stuffed Hamburgers

Full credit for this recipe goes to Chef Dez (, this recipe comes right out of one of his cookbooks and I didn't change a thing, except for some minor options that I will present at the bottom. It's a damn good burger.

1 kg extra lean ground beef
8 crushed garlic cloves
1 egg
2/3 cup cornflake crumbs
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, oil packed, drained and chopped
1/4 cup berry jam (raspberry/strawberry/blueberry work fine, even grape jelly)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons sambal oelek (chinese chili paste, in the Asian section of your market)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon pepper
100g mozzerella cheese, cut into 8 small chunks

1. Mix all the ingredients together (except for the cheese) in a large bowl
2. Portion into 8 equal sized balls
3. Flatten each ball into your hand and enxase a chunk of mozzerella in the middle by shaping it into a large patty, wrapping the meat around the cheese

I know what you are saying....JAM in a hamburger? Shut up and taste it. Trust me.

**with the cheese in the middle of the patty, the burger will be quite thick (if you flatten it down too much, the cheese will fall out). If you like your burgers thick, go for it. Personally, I leave the cheese out, flatten the patties down into thinner burgers, and place a slice of the cheese on top when they are almost done being grilled. Either way, you will have an excellent burger.

Want a variation?

Add 1 cup of fresh blueberries to the mix, and prepare as normal. This recipe, cleverly called "Mozza stuffed blueberry hamburgers" was in his second cookbook. It's just as yummy as the original, with a "gourmet" flair.

Jam AND blueberries in a hamburger? Dean, you have clearly lost your mind. That's what you are all saying. Didn't your mothers tell you not to knock something until you've tried it?? Listen to your mothers, people.

Makes eight medium sized hamburgers.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Got turkey leftovers? Try this recipe

This is a fabulous recipe that will use up lots of your turkey leftovers and everyone will love it.

I adapted this from a recipe in a Weight Watchers cookbook, hence the fat free ingredients. If you don't worry about fat and calories, by all means you can change to regular ingredients.

This works perfectly fine with deli turkey meat, but it is even better with "real" turkey breast right off the bone!

Cheesy Turkey Tacos

1 cup shredded cooked turkey breast
2 tablespoons diced jalapeno pepper
4 teaspoons fat-free mayonnaise
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (to taste)
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
juice from 1 lime
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 cup yellow or red cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/4 cup reduced-fat old/extra old cheddar cheese
1/4 cup monterey jack cheese
4 (6-inch) tortillas (flour, corn, whole wheat)

Any kind of lettuce will be fine. I prefer the crispiness of iceberg but if you prefer another kind, go for it.

1. Combine the turkey, jalapeno, mayonnaise, cilantro, lime zest and juice in a medium bowl.

2. Set a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the tortillas, one at a time, and cook until crispy and brown in spots, about 1 minute on each side.

3. Top each tortilla with 1/4 cup of the turkey mixture. Top with 1/4 cup of the lettues, about 1/4 cup of the tomatoes, and 2 tablespoons of the cheese. Fold into a taco shape or roll into burrito shape if you prefer.

Servings: 2 (2 tacos per serving)

For those of you who may be on the Weight Watchers plan, this recipe is 10 PointsPlus per serving.