The Jucy Lucy – Island Style

Having always lived in west, I have ventured only a handful of times to the east coast  and sadly, to the mid west fewer still.  When I finally get around to making THE road trip:  ‘Around America for an Unspecified Amount of Time and Purpose’ (maybe a new title?) I will be sure to stop in Minnesota for a full throttle Jucy Lucy exploration.  Minneapolis is the undisputed birthplace of this twist on the cheese burger ( it’s creator is not without controversy) and many variations from the original.  Some restaurants have even taken this unpretentious dish to other levels by changing out the American cheese for Gruyere or blue or Swiss, others are using Kobe beef! Thumbs up for experimentation I say.  Mixedsoup’s version is a combo of original Jucy Lucy and a ‘regular’ burger.  The  Jucy Lucy does not come with lettuce or tomato like a regular burger or with any condiments.  I like the flavors and textures of lettuce and tomato and all the ketchup, mustard etc. so I’ve included them.  The cooking method is up to you, however I used a cast iron skillet this time.

serves 4

1 1/2 pounds ground beef, about 80% to 86% lean

1 teaspoon coarse salt, or more to taste

1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper, or more to taste

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

4 slices American cheese

4 lettuce leaves, washed and dried

4 tomato slices

4 potato hamburger buns, toasted

the works:  pickle slices, ketchup, mustard, mayo …

Make patties about 1/4 inch thick and about 4 1/2 inches in diameter.  Thicker patties are difficult to cook through before the cheese has reached volcanic properties.  Place the patties in the refrigerator for about 1/2 hour.    Take each piece of cheese and divide it into fours, then stack them into a pile four pieces high.  Repeat with the other slices.

Season each side of the patties with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Take the four stacks of cheese and place each in the center of four patties.  Take the other patties without the cheese and place them on top of the patties with the cheese stacks making a seal so that cheese doesn’t escape while cooking.  One reason for using American cheese is it’s melting quality, although other cheeses may work well with a different effect.

Preheat your pan over medium heat.  Place the burgers in the pan and cover with a lid.  After approximately 4 minutes turn the burgers and cover for another 4 minutes.  If the patties begin to puff with moisture, prick with a skewer or toothpick to allow the steam to escape.  Test for temperature using a instant read thermometer.  Continue flipping and cooking until desired doneness.  Let the burger rest for a few minutes before cutting or eating as the cheese may be molten.  Grab lots of napkins!

Island Style Jucy Lucy


Perfumed Sea Scallops

fresh and delicate

Scallops have such a mild flavor, it often gets lost when paired with heavy accoutrements such as bacon. Goodness knows I love bacon, but I think a lighter hand with this bivalve is the best approach.  When more robust flavors are incorporated the scallop becomes more like tofu or a cracker where it’s just a vehicle for less subtle elements.



serves 4 appetizer portions


12 sea scallops

1 teaspoon basil, chopped

1 teaspoon mint, chopped

1 teaspoon lemon thyme, chopped

1 teaspoon chives, chopped

1 teaspoon tarragon, chopped

1/4 teaspoon culinary lavender, chopped

extra virgin olive oil, about 2-3 tablespoons (the good stuff)

coarse salt

black pepper, fine grind

agave nectar

Squeeze of fresh lemon

8 metal skewers


Dry the scallops with a paper towel.  Place scallops, herbs, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix until combined.  Let marinate in the refrigerator for about 1/2 hour to an hour.  Meanwhile prepare grill for medium heat.  For every three scallops thread two skewers, leaving a bit of space between the scallops for more even cooking.  Lightly drizzle both sides of the skewered scallops with agave nectar.  Rub grill with more oil to prevent sticking.  Cook for about 2 minutes per side.  Try to get a light caramelization without overcooking the scallops.  Give a quick and light squeeze of lemon over the top.


Ruby’s Herb Laced Lamb Chops

Sulking in the Horshoe Pit

Our little Ruby has been down in the dumps the past few days.  Very uncharacteristic of our happy go lucky Brit.  Most days she tends to go on lengthy adventures throughout our farm and neighboring fields, mostly sniffing, sometimes hunting and eating who knows what.  She doesn’t have a very discriminating palate.  I could relate some pretty disgusting stories…but being a G rated food type blog, we’ll keep it more chipper.  One thing that does get Ruby back in the saddle are chops!  When we barbecue lamb chops, she knows there is likely a little treat in it for her.  So here’s to you Ruby girl.

parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

Although it may be sweltering in some parts of our world, here on the island in the Pacific Northwest it’s barely breaking 70° during the day, and in the evening we’re dropping down to the 40’s.   Sometimes it’s difficult to whip together a light, summery meal for dinner when we are in our flannel PJ’s and putting wood in the stove.

serves 4

8 lamb loin chops about 1″ thick, trimmed of excess fat

1/4 cup each of chopped parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

1/4 cup of canola oil (or other high temp oil)

Salt and pepper

Prepare or preheat barbecue for a medium-high heat, about 350°.  In a small bowl blend oil and herbs.  Salt and pepper chops and rub the herb mixture on all sides.  When the grill is to temp, sear both sides of the chops about 2-3 minutes.  Continue cooking until desired doneness.

Alternatively, preheat oven to 400°.   In a heavy bottom – oven proof pan, sear chops on both sides until browned, about 3 minutes a side.  Place in oven for an additional 5-8 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145° for medium rare.


Ruby Tuesday

Songwriters: Jagger, Mick;Richards, Keith

She would never say where she came from
Yesterday don't matter if it's gone
While the sun is bright or in the darkest night
No one knows, she comes and goes

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
When you change with ev'ry new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

Don't question why she needs to be so free
She'll tell you it's the only way to be
She just can't be chained to a life where nothing's gained
And nothing's lost, at such a cost

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
When you change with ev'ry new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

"There's no time to lose", I hear her say
Cash your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time lose your dreams and you
Will lose your mind, ain't life unkind?

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
When you change with ev'ry new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you
When you change with ev'ry new day
Still I'm gonna miss you


Upright & Outtasite Cornish Game Hen

'juiced' and ready to cook


Crispy on the Outside & Juicy on the Inside

Beer Can Chicken has been around for a while and is still very popular – the reason being it’s a fantastic way to prepare the humble bird or it’s relation the cornish game hen.  We use game hens when we cook for two.  The method is the same with only a few tweaks.  The most obvious one being the size of the can that the bird ‘sits’ on.  A normal beer or soda can is perfect for most chickens, but we found a smaller can such as an energy drink or cold coffee drink can works well with the smaller game hens.


serves 2


1 cornish game hen, cleaned inside and out

1 can sized to fit the bottom hole of the bird

2 tablespoons light olive oil

1 tablespoon herbs de provence

2 teaspoons coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 350° or prepare grill with lid to 350°.  If using an oven, move the rack low enough to accommodate the upright (and Outtasite) bird on the can.  Drain the liquid from the can and rinse.  Fill the can only halfway with water, beer, or soda.  The flavor of the liquid is pretty much indiscernible after cooking.  Place the can on a small sheet pan. Dry the hen inside and out with paper towels and tuck the wingtips behind the back.  Rub oil on the outside and season with herbs and spices.  Carefully mount the bird on top of the half filled can.  For the oven, keep the bird on the sheet pan to cook.  For the grill, place the hen with the can directly on the BBQ grill and cover with a lid.

Roast or grill for approximately 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°.


Spicy Mango Wings & Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

A few bottled products are used for these dishes, not necessarily as shortcuts-although welcome, but because they add a truly unique flavor boost!


serves 4 as main or 6 as appetizer

For the Wings:

8 chicken wings

5 ounces of PickaPeppa Spicy Mango Sauce (not so spicy actually)

1 teaspoon coarse salt

Preheat (toaster) oven to 350°. Place wings in a sealable container, add sauce and salt and mix thouroughly.  Let marinate for 1-3 hours in the refrigerator. Spray a sheet pan with non-stick spray and line with foil.  Spray the top of the foil with non-stick spray as well.  Place the wings on the sheet pan so they don’t touch.  Bake wings for about 3o minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare or preheat the BBQ for a 2 station area – one at about 300° and the other about 350°.  Your shrimp will cook over the 300° and your chicken will brown over the 350° area.


For the Shrimp:

8 extra large or jumbo shrimp (26/30 or 21/25)

8 strips of bacon, thick cut

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

salt and pepper

8 toothpicks, soaked in water


Preheat (toaster) oven to 400°.  Place a wire rack into a rimmed pan and lay the strips of bacon on the rack.  Bake the bacon for 10 minutes.  Remove pan from oven.  Add a grind or two of pepper.  Turn bacon over and brush with maple syrup, adding more pepper.  Bake for another 3 minutes. Place bacon maple side up on paper towels.  The bacon should be soft, pliable and just about cooked through.  Cool.

Remove the shells and de-vine shrimp.  Season with salt and pepper.  Wrap each shrimp with maple bacon and secure with a soaked toothpick.


When your BBQ is ready, place the wings over your hotter station and the shrimp on the cooler one.  Watch, and turn each piece so that it browns but doesn’t burn, moving if necessary.  Cook for about 5-10 minutes.  Use Patak’s® Medium Mango Relish as a dip for both the wings and the shrimp.

far tastier than it appears! Patak's Mango

The Patak’s® Mango Relish medium is actually pretty darn spicy so a little can go a long way.  It’s intense and very unique flavor adds an amazing dimension to many dishes.

#mce_temp_url#

#mce_temp_url#

Asian Inspired Flank Steak with Mandarin, Almond Salad


from Kit and Gary Maestretti


This simple dish hits on just about every flavor point, sweet and sour from the mandarin oranges and dressing, salt and savory from the flank steak, crunch from the almonds and squishy-juicy from both the fruit and the meat.


serves 4

For the Flank Steak:

1   two pound flank steak

2   garlic cloves

1    one inch chunk of fresh ginger

1    cup soy

1 1/2  cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon agave nectar


For the Mandarin, Almond Salad:

1 head of butter lettuce

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1  four inch piece of cucumber

1 fifteen ounce can of mandarin oranges, liquid reserved

1/4 cup of light oil, such as canola

1 tablespoon reserved mandarin juice from the can

1 teaspoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons light vinegar, such as rice or white balsamic

pinch of sugar, salt and pepper


1. For the Flank Steak: Peel the ginger with a spoon or vegetable peeler and slice into approximately 4 pieces.  Peel and smash the garlic into slightly broken cloves.  Place both ginger and garlic into a re-sealable bag.  Pour wine, soy and agave nectar into the bag.  Shake vigorously, then add the flank steak.  Marinate for about an hour.

2. Build your fire or pre-heat your gas grill.  If using  coal let the heat reduce to a 3 second hand fire (about 375°). This is a hot and fast cooking method as the flank steak has little fat and is normally fairly thin.  Grill about 3 minutes a side.  When steak has reached  145° internal temperature, slice thinly across the grain.

3. For the Salad:  Chop, rinse and dry the lettuce.  In a small pan, toast the almonds to a light brown and let cool.  Peel the cucumber and slice thinly.  Place 1 tablespoon of the reserved mandarin orange juice into a cruet or bowl.  Add the oil, vinegar, soy, sugar, salt and pepper and shake or whisk vigorously until fully incorporated.  Toss the lettuce, cucumber and mandarin oranges with the dressing and place in four bowls.  Garnish with toasted almonds.

A helpful BBQ link #mce_temp_url#


Camerons Stove Top Smoked Baby Back Ribs

This dish is more easily accomplished with a manufactured stove top smoker, although you could probably assemble something similar using cookware and foil.  The essential item for the success of the stove top smoking are the wood chips.  For both the smoker and the chips, we highly recommend Camerons #mce_temp_url#.

No, we don’t have stock in the company… but it is an idea

specially made wood chips







This recipe is essentially from the pamphlet that comes with the smoker.

serves 2-4

3  to 4 pound rack of baby back ribs

2 teaspoons coarse salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup barbeque sauce

2 tablespoons smoking chips, such as pecan, hickory, oak, or any combination

non-stick spray

foil



1. Cut the rack of ribs in half so that the two halves fit in your pan or smoker.  Season both sides of each rack with salt, garlic powder and pepper.  Position the base of the smoker over a burner.  Place the wood chips in the center of the smoker.

pecan and oak chips in the base









2. Wrap a sheet of foil on the drip pan (optional – for easy clean up) and slowly lower the drip pan into the base taking care not to smash the wood chips.  Put the wire rack on top of the drip pan and spray smoker interior with non-stick spray.

3. Position the ribs on the wire rack that will allow for good airflow.  Slide the lid over the ribs or seal tightly with foil.  Turn the heat to medium or medium low, depending on your stovetop.  This is another ‘low and slow’ cooking method.  High heat will over cook the meat and make it tough.  Just as the first puffs of smoke are visible (about 3 minutes), start your timer. Camerons suggests 45 minutes a pound – we opt for about 30 minutes a pound, regardless 160° internal temperature is suggested.

ready for smoking!

sneaky smoke


4. Preheat your (toaster) oven to 450°. Line a sheet pan with foil (optional) that will accommodate the ribs as well as fit in the oven. Once your ribs have smoked, place the racks on the foil lined sheet pan and baste both sides of each rack lightly with barbeque sauce.  Bake the ribs for about 12-15 minutes, just enough to get a bit of crispiness.


We served this with a fantastic Savoy Lime and Cilantro Coleslaw straight from Food Network magazine Jul/Aug 2010 – the best coleslaw I’ve eaten.  Not traditional, but very tasty! See recipe below.

Pigs have been used as livestock as far back as 5000 B.C. and are one of the most commonly consumed meats around the world.  Unlike many other livestock, the pig is omnivorous, making it easier in countries with less grazing land to farm.

According to Ann Johnson, contributor of eHow: Pork became popular around 4000 B.C., when the emperor of ancient China made a royal edict, commanding his people to breed hogs. Hernando de Soto introduced pork to North America when he brought 13 hogs to Florida in 1525 A.D. In the 1760s George Washington imported hogs for special breeding. According to historians, pork was a regular on the menu of early American Revolutionists.

Read more: About Baby-Back Ribs | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_4565099_babyback-ribs.html#ixzz0tnd0maZ3


Food Network’s Tyler Florence Savoy, Lime and Cilantro Coleslaw

serves 4-6


1 head Savoy cabbage                      1/2 cup mayonnaise

4 scallions                                         1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, torn        2 limes

1/2 cup sour cream                           Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Shave cabbage with a sharp knife or mandoline so you have thin ribbons.  Cut the scallions long and on the bias so you have pieces similar to the cabbage.  Toss the cabbage, scallions and cilantro in a large salad bowl.

2. Make dressing by combining the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar and the zest of the limes in a medium bowl.  Season with salt and pepper and finish with a squeeze of lime juice.  Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to combine.