Friday, July 17, 2009


Okay, so what if I didn't know who Tyler Florence was before reading the July issue of Sunset magazine? Big deal!

Actually, it is a big deal - Tyler Florence, that smartypants whippersnapper of a TV celeb chef, taught me how to make hamburgers. I've made hamburgers all my life - he just taught me how to make them truly delicious.

Use brisket. That's all you have to do, he said. I will admit to some initial skepticism but I bought one
on his advice (by the way, that's one giant cut of meat!), the smallest one I could find, and lugged it home to cut into five one-pound portions and froze the other four. Hauled out my ancient but reliable Cuisinart and whacked up the unfrozen portion, shaped it quickly into patties (no salt, no pepper, no nothing else) and left it for a few minutes to rest. I'm not sure why meat benefits so much from that but I've been known to enjoy a nap myself from time to time so why the heck not?

Tyler Florence maintains that the meat-to-fat ratio of brisket is perfect for hamburgers. I have to admit that I trimmed the fat on mine just a bit before chopping it for the Cuisinart - it looked just a little bit too rich, even for me.

I decided to pan fry the burgers this first time, just to see how they performed in the simplest preparation. "We'll just see about this whizkid's credentials, now, won't we?," I thought. First, I sautéed some sliced mushrooms in the pan and set them aside while I gave the burgers a quick sear in the same pan to caramelize the top and bottom but leaving the inner reaches still pink and moist.

The first bite swept away any reservations I may have harbored and convinced me for all time. It was simply the best hamburger I've ever tasted and My Beloved rolled his expressive blue eyes to heaven, a sure indication of hamburger nirvana from him.

Okay, so the younger generation may have a thing or two to teach me after all. At least now I know who Tyler Florence is so I don't look quite so clueless at cocktail parties.

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Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Great initiation! Also, sounds fabutastic, but I wonder why you can't salt the meat *justalittle* while it rests; it's such a good effect.
Anyhoo. Did you know Tyler Florence is supposed (was supposed) to open a restaurant in the Vertigo Hotel in SF this summer? Haven't heard a damn thing about it.
OTOH, he opened a kitchen wares store in Mill Valley. My dentist is in Mill Valley, and Rob wandered off while I was in the chair. He returned with a Tyler Florence shopping bag and my eyes rolled, not in the MB Nirvana way. What the heck did he drip serious bucks on?
A plastic popsicle mold! Yayyy.

Saturday, July 18, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, I think you could add salt and pepper (it was not verboten according the the directions), I just didn't that time.

What flavors of popsicles have you made in Cranky's mold? I haven't seen those on your blog and I'll bet you'd make really good ones with your oranges or whatever!

Saturday, July 18, 2009  
Anonymous jananvan said...

His store in Mill Valley is quite nice to walk through. Nicely appointed reading section in the back with all kinds of cook books. I think that you'd enjoy it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Ooh, we haven't made any pops yet; he just bought the mold last Wednesday. I'm thinking fruit juice and yogurt. There are only a half-dozen or so oranges left on the tree, so they wouldn't go far, but we've got beautiful plums ripening!
I gotta get on that.

Sunday, July 19, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Jananvan, I've been meaning to get over there, just haven't quite made it yet. Thanks for the reminder.

Cookiecrumb, I'll look forward to whatever you two decide - how about some herb-flavored yogurt like thyme yogurt or lavender - oooh, or mint! Now I'm getting excited!

Monday, July 20, 2009  

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