Friday, August 21, 2009

A Real American Winner

I'm very excited that Rick Bayless won the first season of Top Chef Masters. His video is adorable. What a low-key guy!

It was interesting to have watched the series and root for the finalists; I would have been OK with either Bayless or Hubert Keller winning, but the previous couple of episodes Michael Chiarello came off like, well, a jerk, so I wasn't rooting for him. Particularly in the episode where the finalists had to interview former Top Chef contestants, he made them scramble to chop stuff for him, and asked everyone how to pronounce his name. Degrading interivew questions! The other 2 chefs treated the TC-ers more respectfully, both in the interviews and during the ensuing challenge.

Oh, and in the video Bravo calls his "exit interview" he says he "could have manipulated the outcome" of the finale by choosing a different dish! What an egomaniac. He's a good-looking guy but did not deserve to win.

I also think it was fitting Bayless won because his is a true American cuisine; Keller cooks from a French background; Chiarello from Italian roots; but Bayless has Oklahome BBQ roots and specilizes in Mexican cuisine, which is also North American.

I also want to say that I like that Kelly Choi hosted the Masters episodes; we watched her on her NYC-cable channel days and it's nice to see her on a bigger stage.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lamb Burgers

This is adapted from this Lamb Burgers recipe, but of course, we made it our own using what we had.

* 3/4-1 lb. lamb shoulder, chopped fine (we used our Oscar mini chopper, which had the advantage over hand chopping in that we were able to pull the sinewy strings out whole)
* 2 TB chopped fresh parsley
* 1 TB dried oregano
* 1 TB garlic, chopped
* 1 tsp. white vinegar
* 1 tsp. honey
* 1 tsp. ground cumin
* 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
* 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Place the lamb in a large bowl and mix with the parsley, oregano, garlic, vinegar, and honey.
Season with cumin, allspice, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.

Shape into 3 or 4 patties.

Coat the bottom of a large saute pan with olive oil and heat. Add lamb burgers and cook until well done. Place on rolls and eat!

Oh, and we had a raita/tzaziki sauce: Mix together 1 c. plain yogurt, 1/2 finely shredded cucumber (without the seedy inside part), 1 tsp. garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt, pepper to taste.

Husband and I think these would be even better with some tomato and lettuce on top; as it were, with the rosemary ciabbata rolls we put them on, it was really filling. But tasty!