Sunday, March 16, 2008

The sum greater than the parts

My Biker and I are fricken' GODS in the kitchen. He and I constitute 2 halves of one whole culinary genius.
I don't mean in terms of technique, although we have our shit down. No, I mean in terms of coming up with recipes and combinations that are absolutely excellent. I can honestly say that with very few exceptions, the best meals I have ever had have come out of my own kitchen, and the Biker was the one who made them possible.

When we started out, we both maintained separate batteries de cuisine. It was goofy. Over the years we both learned to use the others tools and quit sniffing at each others preferences and methods. That coming together just deepened over the years. We both like the same cooking shows and we both take food seriously, but we'll get completely different things out of a given episode or recipe. But those things WORK when they're combined. He'll ask me questions, I'll ask him questions, we'll plot and plan and throw out suggestions to one another. We've learned from each other, and joined forces, and...shit, I dunno. Its just been black magic.

Me, I'm the studious one; I do the research and experiment with the theory. I can prepare pretty much anything I can read about because I have a feel for the 'craft' and food as a medium. But the Biker can perfect it. The Biker is the flavor genius. He is the one who can tell what something is going to taste like simply by knowing what the prep technique is, and know where it's going-or, what the goal of the recipe is, if that makes sense. He has a memory for flavor that is uncanny. His instinct for meal combinations is inspired, and his intuition for knowing exactly which technique will get him the result he's looking for is too.

Take for example our latest triumph: the Wendy's Spicy Baconburger, improved.

OK, it isn't fois gras with shaved truffles.

This is one in a number of fast food attempts to appeal to a growing ethnic market in this part of the country. It fails miserably. I went right out and tried it, certain that the combination of jalapenos, smoked bacon, jack cheese and a burger sounded like a natural.

It isn't, not the way Wendy's does it. And thats a rare failure for Wendys. They generally put out a quality product. The Cheddar Burger they came out with awhile back was worth going out of your way for. But on this one they miss the mark.

The advertisement caught the Bikers attention this afternoon, and I explained to him where the burger falls down-too many patties with too high a fat content, canned jalapeno rings piled in an unwieldy heap in the center of the sandwich,underdone bacon thats salty and flabby; pepper jack cheese adding nothing but more fat to the equation. It's like biting into a goopy mess; hot bland candlewax with sesame seeds.

"But the combination should work," he said. "What if....the bacon was very well done, very crispy and well drained. And the number of the patties cut back to one; two is overkill." The jalapenos could be retained, but they would be chopped up and pressed into the melted cheese on top. That cheese would be cojack, which has got a little character, not pepperjack, which is too mild and loses it's identity behind the authority of the jalapeno and the bacon. No seasonings whatsoever...the flavors of the ingredients would be enough, and would 'happen', if you get my meaning, in the mouth as you chewed it. Sliced tomato and onion to add flavors, crunch, juice and a temperature difference. No lettuce, because we wanted to build on the savory flavors, and besides, lettuce wilts and would take away from the crunch. We wanted this to have the classic hamburger combination of hot and cold, crunchy and juicy, and these things have to stay separate from each other. This is a hamburger that you don't get sick of after a few bites, because every bite has just a little bit of a difference from the next one.

Have you ever though about it like that? It's true. There are a lot of different things that go into making something taste good, even something plebian like a hamburger. Temperature, resistance, mouth-feel...its interesting. The Biker has an instinct for it.

And by God, it was a revelation. It was FANTASTIC. I feel kind of bad for Wendys now. They had a really good idea, but they didn't take it far enough. If they'd had my Biker on their team they'd be making millions of dollars off this thing.


Smokin' Biker Burgers

1 small can Herdez sliced jalapenos in escabeche, chopped
hamburger, medium fat ( not extra lean or regular grade; right in the middle.)
thick sliced hickory smoked bacon, fried very crispy and well drained
sliced ripe tomato
sliced white onion
co-jack cheese
sesame buns

whatever condiments you like on your burger; i use just plain ketchup, the biker uses mayo.

cook the burgers medium well and drain.
top with chopped jalapeno,
place a slice of co-jack on top and
melt quickly under the broiler.
top with room temp bacon, broken into pieces (not crumbled.)
stack on bun with cold tomato and onion.

And that's it. Simple, right? It's heaven.

We RULE.

21 comments:

  1. oooh, sounds good. except the jalapenos. i don't eat those. now, i'm hungry. great.

    my fave cooking invention is my roast. i put so many spices in it when i make it it tastes fantastic. and the potatoes taste even better.

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  2. I accidentally misread it that you and the Biker are cunnilingus geniuses and I was all set to call you and arrange for an invitation to dinner.

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  3. . . .
    But it's not hard to improve on burgers, you just need to actually use mince in it.
    But it sounds great.

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  4. I love japapenos, I have them on pizzas. Yum.

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  5. finally, someone who understands the divinity of cojack! rock on, mofo.

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  6. hendrix3:11 AM

    Ah ha, so Wendy's really does exist? One of the things which really disappointed F about moving to the UK was the lack of Wendy burgers -I thought he was making them up in order to cast disparagement on the take-aways here.

    Anyway - that burger sounds gorgeous. I think I'll try it for dinner tonight.

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  7. I think it was Glenn McGrath (a cricket player) who said of Shane Warne (another cricket player) "Shane's idea of a balanced meal is a hamburger in each hand."

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  8. too high a fat content, canned jalapeno rings piled in an unwieldy heap in the center of the sandwich,underdone bacon thats salty and flabby; pepper jack cheese adding nothing but more fat to the equation. It's like biting into a goopy mess; hot bland candlewax with sesame seeds.

    This is why I hate fast food. It's all too gloopy, fatty and limp.


    1 small can Hernandez sliced jalapenos in escabeche, chopped
    hamburger, medium fat ( not extra lean or regular grade; right in the middle.)
    thick sliced hickory smoked bacon, fried very crispy and well drained
    sliced ripe tomato
    sliced white onion
    co-jack cheese
    sesame buns


    Your take sounds great but I've never heard of the ingredients in bold italics.

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  9. hickory-smoked means the bacon was smoked over a fire of hickory wood. gives it a distinctive flavah.

    co-jack cheese is a marbled cheese made of colby and moterey jack. i think it's the world's most under-rated cheese.

    FN is the jalepeno expert. (I don't even know enough to put the tilde in the right spot.) She'll have to explain that one.


    *slinks away to show off on other people's blogs*

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  10. pink: ...andnow I'M hungry, dammit! I NEED THAT ROAST RECIPE! also the potato soup one you promised me. yeah, thought i'd forget, huh?

    MJ: no, you read right. when can we expect you? *waits behind door with comedy pie ready*

    noshit: mince? you can't possibly mean mincemeat, can you? (its a mixture of fruit and spice used in pies here) teach me, Sensei!

    billy: YUMMERS INDEED! they have flavor, not simply raging hotness. i like them with fried chicken best!

    cb: it's the perfect snacking cheese! and its pretty, too. hell yes! rock the cojack! (dang, i thought it was a regional thing. y'all have cojack in the midwest? 'ku!)

    hendrix: hey, we're transatlantic dinner twins! I've got a UK blogger dinner coming up with your beautiful chicken tandoori and beasts curry veggies!

    tim: that sounds pretty good to me, actually. i recall my teacher in sixth grade getting in trouble with the school board for teaching us that hamburgers provided a well-balanced snack, as long as you had plenty of vegetables on them. (well, president Reagan DID teach us that catsup is a vegetable, right? ) one weeps.

    tick: here i am to save the day! and hell yes, i went and checked out groceries UK and y'all dont have any of this good stuff. here goes:

    Herdez jalapeno peppers in escabeche
    http://www.hormelfoods.com/brands/worldFood/herdez.aspx

    Hickory smoked bacon
    http://www.heartlandham.com/store.php

    Tillamook cojack cheese
    http://www.tillamookcheese.com/OurProducts/Cheese/Colby_Jack.aspx

    ...that last link is SOLID GOLD. Tillamook products are the top of the line and absolutely worth the expense. I'm not saying that a hamburger is worth the expense of special ordering these ingredients, but then again, if you were going to, Tillamook Dairy is the one you'd want to start with!

    cb: oh thank you! (the tilde goes over the 'n'.) I was surprised when i didn't find hickory smoked bacon on sale in the UK sites! it practically hangs from the trees here (i invite you to enjoy that image with me for a moment) dang. you must miss a lot of foods that you grew up noshing here in the US. want a 'Care' package???

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  11. Yes, you rock. Now to fire up that grill again . .

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  12. ok I don't eat meat -- but I do cook and I do have a husband who can cook. We tend to split the dishes up. IN other words the man is a pie genius -- so I do not even attempt pie.
    Anyone who is that in to their taste buds is someone I want to hang out with though.Biker is a sensual man -- that is clear on several levels.

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  13. nice! biker burgers! why hasnt that caught on with the rest of the friggin country? i wonder who would do the comercials?!?!? hahahahaaa... sounds great though and stoked to hear yer man likes to be in the kitchen. i have a few recipes up my sleave as well.

    *walks away laughing to himself and slightly twitching*

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  14. Why are they called hamburgers when they are made out of beef???

    This might interest you:-

    http://www.hairybikers.com/

    *sniggers* - perhaps you and biker can present the American version?

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  15. joeVegas: *blush* aw garsh.

    mutha: have you stopped blogging? where in the hell have you been chickie???!!! pie genius seems to be a male thing, doesn't it? the Biker can throw down a pie without even thinking about it. me? no, grasshopper.

    voices: yeah i know you do. you eat pretty damn well up there on the Sur. where are you getting the boar from? are you taking it off your land???

    frobi: because the cattle come from germany? hell, i dunno.
    you know, i have a site bookmarked that has nearly the same title, but the content is SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT than this one...though no less delicious for that. thanks! I'll be looking around there. nothing sexier than a bear who cooks!!

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  16. oh, woman, i would love a care package. except that the things i miss the most are too heavy to ship. Like Miracle Whip! And real root beer! And real bacon! (the bacon over here is wierd. the fat doesn't melt off when you cook it, it just gets all hard and white and rubbery. So all my recipes, like German potatoe* salad, that require cooking something in bacon drippings, i can't make!!!) Also distilled vinegar, can't get that here either. Or grape anything. All the purple food here is blackcurrent, even the skittles. God, what I wouldn't give for a grilled bagel with cream cheese and grape jam. Food of the gods.
    There's more that I miss. I think I'll have to write a post about it so I don't take up any more space in your comments box.

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  17. it mostly comes off the land near here. i dont hunt myself as i believe that one must harvest his own meat from the kill. and cutting somethings butthole out and dragging all the rest of in down and out makes me a little queasy. ive seen it done lots, just couldnt bring myself to do it. so i resign myself to shooting clay pigeons and cans and stuff that doest have a heartbeat... most of the game meat does come from the sur, my friends hunt and when ever they get something new, i ask for whats been in the freezer longest. (usually less then a month with some of these guys.) and love making bomb ass stuff that most people dont even have acces to the ingredients. still biker burgers sounds really good!!!

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  18. I think the UK solution is to find some European alternative for your ingredients.
    Hell, I don't think we even have Wendy's bars here anymore although I remember visiting one in London about 15 years ago

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  19. cb: you may get an edible wedding present!

    voices: see, i don't have a problem with killing and butchering. its interesting. stinky, but interesting. but isn't it fantastic to have friends that hunt? and I am trippin that you have wild boar in cali!

    tick: then you'd want a nice fatty slice of ham fried, drained and broken into pieces... some chopped green bell pepper, some mild cheddar and a few sprinkles of very hot chili powder on top. that would get you close.

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  20. What the buggerin bejaysus is co-jack cheese.

    I see MJ is offering her fish burger !!!

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  21. I haven't read this post for obvious reasons

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