Thursday, September 13, 2018

Mike, Gina & Zoe's Home Cookin' Episode 6: Green Chile Burgers

My name is Zoe. I am a part of the Little family. The Small One likes to say that I'm the, "Littlest Little".

Here I am with The Small One. When I am hungry and she refills my bowl of Hill's Science Diet, I call her "Food Bestower". When we are having moments like the one above, I call her by her secret cat name, "A Ray of Sunshine". All these names would sound like "Meow" to the untrained ear.

Today's recipe is Green Chile Burgers...

I heard them both say that they really enjoyed the green chile burgers that they had at Bun Hugger's in Flagstaff, Arizona. 

I looked up their menu and found out that there was also pepper jack on the Fiesta Burgers they ordered. They used sharp cheddar in this recipe, but pepper jack would be a good substitute. 

This recipe is inspired by the recipe in The Great American Burger Book by George Motz

The Small One found a bag of Frieda's Hatch Chiles at Trader Joe's.


2lbs Hatch Green Chiles
Beef Broth
Big Marty's Buns
Grapeseed Oil
Cracker Cut Sharp Cheddar
Big Marty's Buns
80/20 Hamburger

On a foil lined cookie sheet, oil your Hatch Green Chiles with Grapeseed Oil. Sprinkle a twist or two of salt evenly across your Chiles. 

The recipe was not clear in the book how long and at what temperature to cook the Chiles to achieve the charred skin look.

That's not quite it.

Much better. After some trial and error it was determined that you need to cook the Hatch Green Chiles on the top rack for 30 minutes at 425 and 10 minutes at 475 in order to get the desired effect.

You'll want to cover the pan with a dish towel. This will create steam and make peeling easier. 5-10 minutes ought to do it.

The charred skin should peel off easily at this point. 

Slice the Chiles lengthwise.

Use a spoon to remove the desired portion of seeds. The more seeds you remove the milder the end product will be. If you like your food spicy hot, leave a larger portion of seeds. 

Chop your Chiles up and put them in a saucepan. 

Add beef broth, but don't overdo it or you will end up with a soupy consistency. Just enough to cover ought to do it. 

Simmer and reduce. 

Now on to the burgers...

The Large Hairy One considers himself a, "Meat Master". 

I consider most of this sort of talk to be braggadocio. He is competent and has honed his skills over the years, but he is no Aaron Franklin

Add a pat of butter to a hot cast iron skillet.

Patties should be even sized for cooking consistency. Do not season until they are in the pan. The burgers should make a loud sizzling sound when they hit the cast iron. If your cat flees the room, you are at the right temperature.

Leave them alone for about 3-4 minutes. You'll know when to flip when you see juices bubbling up on  the surface.

Make sure to season both sides with salt and pepper.

Immediately after flipping, add a piece of Cracker Cut Sharp Cheddar to each patty and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. What you want is a crunchy crust and nice tender medium temp inside. This is difficult to achieve and may take several attempts before you achieve True Burger Perfection. 

I watched The Large Hairy One as the pan sizzled as if it were being licked on the underside by the fires of hell itself. The fan was on full blast and The Small One was standing with the door open. Great clouds of smoke billowed. The Large Hairy One slid on grease that had splattered onto the floor like a deranged ice skater. He would let out periodic yelps as hot grease splattered his arms. His brow furrowed as he had one eye on the clock and one eye on the smoking cacophony before him. It is a few days later and I am still licking the taste of hamburger out of my fur. 

Butter your buns and toast in a frying pan.

This is what you want at this stage. Melty cheese. The burgers rested on a paper towel for about 5 minutes, so they are not greasy. The buns are toasted golden brown. Only one thing left...

Add a generous helping of your Hatch Green Chile concoction. 

Pro Tip: Roll a lemon on the counter, slice in half and squeeze a few drops onto your Green Chile Burgers right before chowing down. This bright note of acid will elevate the dish. Add nothing else. The Hatch Green Chile is such a lovely and treasured ingredient that you don't want anything else interfering with it.

Bonus: There was enough of the mixture left over to make Green Chile Eggs the next morning.


Sunday, September 9, 2018

Mike, Gina & Zoe's Home Cookin' Episode 5: Shrimp Boil

My name is Zoe...

I am originally from Valrico, Florida. The Large Hairy One is from Phoenix, Arizona and The Small One is from New York. I was told that they met at a Barnes & Noble where The Large Hairy One works, although he didn't work there when they met. They got married on September 9, 2007. I came to live with them on April 29th of this year. I am 5 years old.

This is our family version of a Lowcountry Boil.


3 Clementines
4 Lemons
Sausage or Kielbasa
Old Bay Seasoning
Red Pepper Flakes
Bay Leaves
Grapeseed Oil (not pictured)
1 stick of Butter
Chili Oil
Hot Sauce
1 Onion
8 Garlic Cloves
Corn (not pictured)
1/2 Bag of Fingerling Potatoes

Fill a large stock pot up 2/3 of the way with water. 

Turn burner on high. Tip: Your water will boil faster if you add hot water rather than cold.

Add 3 ounces of Old Bay Seasoning. If you buy the 6 ounce container, use half. 

Add 4 peeled clementines.

Zest 4 lemons and then add the zest and the zested lemons.

Add 1/4 cup peppercorns.

Add 6 bay leaves.

Add 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes.

Add 1/4 ounce bag of marjoram.

Add 1 tablespoon thyme.

Add 1 teaspoon clove.

Add 8 cloves garlic.

Add 1 tablespoon chili oil.

Chop 4 stalks celery.

Chop 1 whole Vidalia onion.

Put the chopped celery and onion into a food processor and blitz.

Act like the onion and celery mix is a rebel traitor scum and put it in.


Pardon that last bit. I had retired to the bedroom for a cat nap and when I awoke I caught The Large Hairy One at my computer desk. There will be no more Star Trek references throughout the rest of this blog post. 

Add 1/2 bag of fingerling potatoes.


That was The Large Hairy One again. I was indisposed in the litterbox.

The potatoes need to be at a rolling boil for at least 30 minutes.

Oil your cast iron skillet. Use grapeseed oil. Do not use olive oil as it will smoke. Turn the burner on medium high.

Cut 2 packages of sausages into bite sized pieces

Heat in skillet until you have some nice caramelized bits. Sit on a paper towel when done. No, not you. The sausages. Do not add to boiling mixture. Add when plating.

Add mushrooms.

Cut 2 full cobs of corn into 6 pieces. Be careful with your knife skills. I knew a cat once who lost his right front paw to a short tempered badger. We called him Lefty. The corn needs to be at a rolling boil for 20 minutes. To time it right, add it in 10 minutes after the potatoes. Remember: The potatoes need to be at a rolling boil for 30 minutes.

Once the timer is up on the potatoes and corn, shut the heat off. This is important because you don't want your shrimp to overcook and turn into an expensive bag of rubber squeak toys. 

Add 1 stick of butter to a sauce pan. This does not have to be at a high temperature. You want your butter to melt, not scorch.

Add fresh dill.

Skim as much of the foam off as you can. Finish with a touch of lemon. You should end up with liquid gold.


Apparently a cat can't step away for a minute to get a few mouthfuls of Hill's Science Diet without The Large Hairy One adding a GIF.

Add your shrimp to the hot water. It should no longer be boiling. It should only take a couple of minutes. Have a colander ready in the sink. You might want to have at least two glass pans on standby as well. Be careful of the hot liquid and steam. There was this one cat... nevermind. Best not to dwell on morbid subjects.

In the end, you should have quite a bountiful feast. By the looks of the newspaper, it looks like A Warm Place To Sleep and A Ray of Sunshine are a couple of Lefties. I wonder if they had a disagreement with a short tempered badger as well?

Meow for now!