Sunday, May 31, 2009

daily burger, number thirty-one.

Lazy Burger, protein style.
Yes, the last one.
In 'n' Out Burger, Glendale, CA, 3:12PM, May 31, 2009.

daily burger, number thirty.

Super Juicy Lamburger with lemon mint yogurt. Marinated tomato salad.
Perhaps the last burger I will be cooking for my adventure. It was mighty good though!
My kitchen, DTLA, sometime in the blur that was May 30, 2009.

the ultimate ethical meat question:

Now this is a question that demands serious thought.

accompanying photo:

Thank you, London Science Center, for making my day.

les hamburgers francais

Please forgive me, but these were the cheeseburgers I found in Paris, along with many McDonalds and Quick Burgers.

Spotted at a market outside of Gard de Nord, Paris, France, 11:52PM, May 29, 2009.

I hope you'll forgive me for choosing this instead.

From a slightly touristy cafe near Notre Dame. The meat had a very nice flavor-- I think I will have to do some research about French beef quality.
Latin Quarter, Paris, France, 10:02 PM May 29, 2009.
Will still make it to 31 burgers this month though!

Friday, May 29, 2009

daily burger, number twenty-nine.

London/Belgian burger. Looks unimpressive, but quite tasty. The waitress was super great also, speaking with the chef to make sure nothing suspicious jumped into my burger.
Belgo Noord, London, England. 5:45PM, May 29, 2009.
Excellent Belgian bar with a fabulous beer selection and happy hour... The man even got this huge platter of half-price mussels. He was impressed, and he is not easily impressed.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

daily burger, number twenty-eight.

London burger, plain. Not great. Sometimes the meats just keep me going.
Sulley Pub, Covent Garden, London. 6:38PM, May 28, 2009.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

carnivore chicks who blog!

Got a super fun shout-out today from lemondrop!
Check it out here!
Thanks for the love! Love you, too.

daily burger, number twenty-seven.

Chicken burger, on the run. Wrapped in leafy lettuce.
Yes, this is chicken squeezed from a previously made sausage.
My kitchen/on the street, DTLA, 12:13PM, May 27, 2009.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

daily burger, number twenty-six.

French Onion Soup Burger; spiced 'n' candied orange slices.

like soup but sandwich
but with no bread for me please
tried to be clever!
p.s. so. good.

My kitchen, DTLA, 12:42PM, May 26, 2009.

Monday, May 25, 2009

daily burger, number twenty-five.

Bacon Buffalo Burger. Avocado sauce and tomato.
What more could you want??
My kitchen, DTLA, 12:24PM, May 25, 2009.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

daily burger, number twenty-four.

Ostrich burger with crunchy cranberry slaw.

giant bird can't fly
we first ate at summer fair
novel sure; but great!

My kitchen, DTLA, 2:38PM, May 24, 2009.

Friday, May 22, 2009

daily burger, number twenty-three.

Friday again! Guess what we ate? Oh, you know already.
$5 Mini Prime (cheese)burgers. Yes, again, that's $5 for three.
I'm still trying to figure out what makes these so good. They allegedly just use tomato juice, salt, and pepper in their burgers, but I can't seem to make a burger quite this tasty.
Morton's Steakhouse Power Hour, DTLA, CA., 6:12pm, May 22, 2009.

hamburger month sonnet.

thirty one burgers in thirty one days
each day a different new meaty treat
fancy meal planning for the month of may
spreading meat juices is quite a feat.

week one was a test, just heating the grill
and two, more creative, i'll try harder still
three more exotic but risky until
week four brought us ostrich-- 'twas really a thrill!

mint oil fresh salsa and avocado
lettuce leaf butter and iceberg romaine
herbs salt and pepper and sliced tomato
cheese brie feta swiss but mostly just plain

now london is calling and then on to france
still finish the challenge just now in advance.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

daily burger, number twenty-two.

Chimicurri Lamb Burgers. Salad with caramelized pears and parsley.

Hooked on haiku:

new zealand lamb meats
fresh herbs olives feta cheese
mouth waters for more!

My kitchen, DTLA, 7:15PM, May 21, 2009.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

betty the cow: a sonnet

eyes closed a field of green lush green i see
blue sky one cloud like sheep a fluffy cloud
chartreuse lime emerald army and kelly
some trees a few or more but not a crowd

upon this field a pasture lived a beast
a cow brown cow one spot or two or three
where sun and snacks and playtime never ceased
we called her pretty "B" short for Betty

good foods massage maybe a big TV
the best for her and often that meant beer
a couch so soft perhaps some therapy
calm life, sweet dear; she'll live here for a year

mm, meat for us one day she will provide
we'll keep her though. ah well, at least her hide.

Poetry is not my calling.

daily burger, number twenty-one.

Rosemary-seared Venison burger from Broadleaf Game with black cherry and red wine compote. Salt and vinegar grilled potatoes; parsley.

another haiku:
venison tonight
will this wild meat excite?
tasted just alright.

My kitchen, DTLA, 7:14PM, May 20, 2009.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

open flames and pulley systems

This fun New York Times article on wood-fire grilling introduced me to an amazing new book--

From what I can gather (the book is not actually available yet, I believe the street date June 2), this may really be everything I'm looking for in a summer grilling cookbook. The New York Times article points out the fun bits, like recipes that call for a 1400-pound cow, but the chapters seem to also be filled with great recipes for the home cook, perhaps even a home cook without access to open wood fires.
Wouldn't that be great if someone could donate a copy of it to me? I promise to cook all of the recipes that I can, especially if a cow, pulley system, and field suitable for medium-sized fires are also provided.

daily burger, number twenty.

Quick and simple Lindner Bison Burger with fresh thyme/onion/tomato sauce, red onions, lettuce. Leftover brown rice.
My kitchen, DTLA, 12:13PM, May 19, 2009.

meat haiku

bison bacon beef
happy animals; my eats
healthy sav'ry treats!

smoky salty snacks
some summer-y simple steaks
sizzle simmer snap

stuffing sausages
no scraps no boots bugs raccoons
just meats spicy sweet

And in honor of the Japanese restaurant that should be appearing soon near my home:

marbled beef; massage
snacky brown cows roam freely
slice thin salt enjoy

Monday, May 18, 2009

daily burger, number nineteen.

Steak Burger from Marconda's Meats, two ways.
For the man: Vermont Cheddar, balsamic-glazed grilled onions, and sun dried tomatoes. Protein-style with toothpicks.
Lemme tellya, that burger was gone before I could say Marconda's Meats five times fast.

And for me: Doesn't need anything at all. Iceburg wedge with salsa and half of lime, on the side.
My kitchen, DTLA, 6:15PM, May 18, 2009.



Why is it worse, in the end, to see an animal's head cooked and prepared for our pleasure than a thigh or a tail or a rib? If we are going to live on other inhabitants of this world we must not bind outselves with illogical prejudices, but savor to the fullest the beasts we have killed.

People who feel that a lamb's cheek is gross and vulgar when a chop is not are like the medieval philosophers who argued about such hairsplitting problems as how many angels could dance on the poinf of a pin. If you have these prejudices, ask yourself if they are not build on what you may have been taught then you were young and unthinking, and then if you can, teach yourself to enjoy some of the parts of the animal that are not commonly prepared.

-mfk fisher, How to Carve the Wolf in How to Cook a Wolf

Sunday, May 17, 2009

daily burger, number eighteen.

Picked Pepper Pork Patty. Parsley; pluot.
My kitchen, DTLA, CA., 10:02AM, May 17, 2009.
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

daily burger, number seventeen.

Organic chicken burger with homemade (nut-free) pesto and Argentinean contraband sun dried tomatoes.
My kitchen, DTLA, CA., 2:47, May 16, 2009.

Friday, May 15, 2009

daily burger, number sixteen.

(iphone action shot. Not all food can be beautiful!)
It is Friday and we're in a rut. A tasty one though! Sometimes, a lady's gotta take a day off from cooking.
$5 Mini Prime (cheese)burgers. Yes, again, that's $5 for three.
Morton's Steakhouse Power Hour, DTLA, CA., 5:42pm, May 15, 2009.

meat tweets

No guiltier of a pleasure than bacon...
Follow me on Twitter.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

daily burger, number fifteen.

Organic hamburger, caprese-style and stuffed with prosciutto. Homemade roasted red peppers; olives.
"You put the 'ham' back in 'hamburger,'" said the man.
My kitchen, DTLA, CA., 6:55, May 14, 2009.

Thanks, Serious Eats!

For posting on my little journey. Check it out on A Hamburger Today!
Thanks, Serious Eats. You're the bestest!

meat paint

Not sure why I have yet to feature the loveliness that are Victoria Reynolds' meat paintings. Thanks to One Sheep Hill and tryharder for giving me the heads-up! So disappointed that I missed her lecture at the hammer... You know I'm always interested in what the ladies have to say about meat!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

daily burger, number fourteen.

Organic Lindner Bison burger with blackberry sauce and sauteed onions on red leaf lettuce. Grilled corn, tomatoes, orange.
My kitchen, DTLA, CA., 6:42PM, May 13, 2009.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

daily burger, number thirteen.

Organic chicken burger with avocado, tomato, and homemade roasted tomatillo salsa "on the side." Chopped bell pepper salad.
My kitchen, DTLA, CA., 5:16PM, May 12, 2009.

Monday, May 11, 2009

daily burger, number twelve.

Double organic BLT burger with red onions. Iceberg wedge with fresh raspberry lime vinaigrette.
My kitchen, DTLA, CA., 5:19PM, May 11, 2009.

in case you forgot what food is...

Just a quick little update to remind you what chicken should look and taste like according to this very practical LA Times article and what it should not, via KFC:

Do they squeeze ground chicken into molds to get it to look like that? If so, where can I get a mold? Then, I could make anything look like chicken...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

ooh, science! the mysteries of dry aged beef.

I happened upon an episode of the Food Network's Food Detectives today and learned about something I've been itching to investigate-- dry aged beef. A very informative clip that I wish I could find on You Tube... but I'll do my best to sum it up.

On the program, they visit Milton Abeles, the largest supplier of prime beef in the United States, to see how dry aging works on a very large scale. Dry aging allows the breakdown of natural collagen in meat in a strictly controlled environment to restrict the growth of harmful bacteria. What they explain is the ideal conditions for dry aging- temperatures that are low but not freezing (which stops aging), proper humidity levels (so the meat doesn't dry out), and special lighting to prevent bacteria growth. Beef can be aged for various lengths of time depending on what is requested by a client, but the minimum is usually three weeks or so. Obviously, this extra aging time will make for a more expensive cut of meat, but another reason for the costliness is the amount of waste involved. Dry aging creates a thick crust on the meat that must be cut off before it is broken down into steaks for purchasing.

What is the other option? The more common practice of wet aging-- supermarket meats have typically been wet-aged for 14 days. Wet aging basically refers to a piece of meat that is slapped on a tray, wrapped in plastic, and sent off to hang out in the refrigerator until it is purchased. This process (if you can call it that), draws moisture away from meat because it is sealed in air-tight packaging. Dry aging exposes meat to the air so a natural crust can develop to seal in moisture and enhances enzymes, resulting in a "beefier" tasting and considerably tenderized piece of meat.

Gosh, what an exciting process. I'm curious to try it, but wary, particularly after seeing microscopic views of the bacteria that appeared on a chunk of meat after it was sitting out for even a short while. Guess I'll leave it to the experts at this point.

daily burger, number eleven.

Breakfast pork burger, sweet and spicy with garlic and green onions. Strawberries; 1/2 banana.
Some may call this sausage. I just call it meat.
My kitchen, DTLA, CA., 8:32AM, May 10, 2009.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

daily burger, number ten.

Mini lamburger with garlic, onion, oregano, tomato juice and mint oil. Sauteed heirloom tomatoes and grilled eggplant and zucchini.
My kitchen, DTLA, CA., 7:11PM, May 9, 2009.

daily burger, number nine.

Should've looked like this (minus the bun...):

Actual burgers looked far less appetizing. Not photo-worthy. Sent back. Round two was much better.
$5 Mini Prime (cheese)burgers. Yes, that's $5 for three.
Morton's Steakhouse Power Hour, DTLA, CA., 6:14pm, May 9, 2009.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

daily burger, number eight.

Garlicky-ground chicken burger with cranberry-cilantro relish on a gradient of bright green butter lettuce. Tomato slice.
My kitchen, DTLA, CA., 8:23PM, May 7, 2009.

san francisco: lady meat city!

San Francisco has quite the meat scene! In addition to being the home of Meatpaper, the exquisite magazine dedicated entirely to meat and Sweet-Meats, San Franciscans can also shop at Avedano's Meats, a lady-run butcher shop founded in 2007. Looks like every meat-lover's dream! Here's their mission statement:

We believe that exceptional meals start with exceptional raw materials—and with a combined 40 years experience in the food industry, we should know. We source premium products our customers can feel good about: grass-fed beef, wild-caught and responsibly farmed fish, seasonal local and organic produce, and handpicked gourmet pantry items. Our menu of prepared foods changes daily so that we can select from the freshest, best ingredients available each day. Our mission is to provide our customers with great food they can feel confident eating.

Love it! But what I love more is that they actually teach butchering classes for aspiring adult meat artists (or just those who want to hone their knife skills to impress their friends-- and leave with $100 worth of freshly cut meats for kitchen experimentation.) I think I've found my next step into the world of butcher-dom... Check out an article on the ladies of Avedano's here. They look pretty hardcore, don't they?


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

daily burger, number seven.

So, call me out on a technicality if you want, but here's my seventh "burger."

Ground pork burger, Asian-inspired with mushrooms, garlic, vinegar, and spicy-spices, topped with green onions, red peppers, and cilantro. Purple lettuce; yellow squash.
My kitchen, DTLA, CA., 7:11PM, May 6, 2009.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

daily burger, number six.

Organic ground beef hamburger, Cinco de Mayo style with homemade guacamole, tomatoes, and a really lot of cilantro.
My kitchen, DTLA, CA., 12:16 PM, May 5, 2009.

Monday, May 4, 2009

daily burger, number five.

Lindner Bison 100% grass fed burger with homemade barbeque sauce and carmelized onions, protein style. Grilled corn.
My kitchen, DTLA, CA., 6:41 PM, May 4, 2009.

Now this was a special burger. I've spoken with Kathy Lindner of on a previous farmers' market trip and this time we were ready to invest in some of her meat. She suggested we start with the ground meat, which worked out perfectly for this month's experiment. I purchase natural ground buffalo meat from the supermarket regularly as a beef alternative-- gosh, we even feed our dog buffalo--but this was so far superior. The color was richer, flavor deeper, and I felt confident that I could make the perfect rare-medium rare burger because I knew that the meat was fresh and trustworthy.

All in all, a wonderful experience. Next time, I'm going to try something more exotic... Kathy recommended Ossobucco to ease my way into a cut involving marrow.

unique meats!

Ventured over to Unique LA this weekend to support a friend and his fabulous t-shirt line. Boy, was I geeked to find that his booth was right across from Sweet Meats! A friend and fellow artisan clued me in to these super sweet girls who have turned their meat appreciation into a lovely craft.

The icing on the cake was the butcher paper and labels they used to wrap your meat purchase. I couldn't decide which cut to invest in, so I just grabbed up some pins and charms. So good, I can taste it.

Another fun meat find came from eEvil Ink. In card and poster-form to add a little bit of happy pork to your day.


I just love when meat and art collide.

daily burger, number four.

Lamburger with garlic, parsley, red wine vinegar, tomato juice, Laughing Cow spreadable cheese, grilled onions, red leaf lettuce, and lemon zest on toasted sourdough round. Hollywood farmers' market tomatoes. (For the man-- mine was minus the cheese and bread.)
My kitchen, DTLA, CA., 2:44pm, May 3, 2009.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

daily burger, number three.

Hamburger, Protein Style.
In 'n Out, La Mirada, CA., 5:22pm, May 2, 2009.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

my kind of holiday- national hamburger month

Did you know that May is National Hamburger Month?! I figured that sounded like a holiday worth celebrating, so, I'm going to try to eat a hamburger a day for the month of May. Well, I am going to try to eat a ground meat patty with lettuce and tomato every day! I don't think I can stick to an all-beef regimen. Hopefully, this will teach me to perfect my burger-making just in time for the summer.
We started last night with mini prime cheeseburgers at Morton's happy hour, my biggest craving of the moment. They was excellent as usual, complete with tiny lettuce medallions. Presentation is definitely key there.
And this morning, I made my first burger. (Yes, a burger for breakfast. Yes, I'm super hardcore.)

Ground buffalo burger with onions, cilantro, tomato juice, and cayenne pepper, pan-fried with a touch of olive oil. (Buffalo is super lean, so I didn't want it to burn before it cooked to a nice medium-rare.)
My kitchen, DTLA, CA., 7:25am, May 2, 2009.
Yum! It was super tasty, with just the right amount of kick. Let's see if I can make it through the month.

Friday, May 1, 2009

cashing in on the chaos

Last night, the man and I ventured to the giant Whole Foods in Pasadena (pretty much my favorite store...) to see if pig flu panic had caused pork prices to drop. Unfortunately, no such luck. Either we were a day late, or a week early.
I'll deal with the media hype if it will get me cheap ribs and tenderloin! I know it won't make me sick, so, why not?