What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Foodstuff Redefined: Hand-Packed Burgers! For a hamburger worthy of a gourmet chef, begin with a low-fat lean meat. Divide the ground beef or sirloin into four equal portions. Form each one a little wider than the bottom bun to allow for shrinkage during grilling. Press your thumb into the center to create a small well, or dimple. If you’re a perfectionist, choose a jar lid slightly larger than the hamburger bun. Line the lid with plastic wrap, press the meat into the shape, flip the patty, and continue on to the next one. That’s way cheaper than buying a hamburger press. The secret’s out. Now you choose.
1 pound ground sirloin or lean ground beef
1 beef bouillon cube
1-2 tablespoons water
1/8 teaspoon steak seasoning mix
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sesame Seed Buns
Cheese of choice
Heat water to boiling. Add beef bouillon cube. Stir to dissolve. Fold into ground beef. Sprinkle steak seasoning into meat. With clean hands, mix gently until all ingredients are combined. Divide into quarter-pounders. Hand-pack ground beef into equal size patties. Rub both sides with olive oil. Refrigerate one hour before grilling. To cook, preheat gas grill on High heat. Place burgers directly on grate; cook for 4-5 minutes; flip and cook 4 minutes longer for medium doneness. Do not press on burger to flatten because it will release all those flavorful juices. Transfer to a platter. Immediately top with cheese of choice. Add sliced onions, tomatoes, and romaine lettuce leaves. Dress up with ketchup, mustard, and mayo. You’ve just made the best backyard burger!
Dining Outside the Home: The Cabana Bar & Grill in Koloa, Kauai! Word is getting around that an open-air restaurant, with a backyard of Poipu Beach, is the place to go if you’re looking for a good time. Delicious food and tropical cocktails make this hotspot part restaurant, part beach bar. At The Cabana Bar & Grill seafood offerings and humongous burgers promise to make your mouth water as soon as the plate hits the table. No worries. There’s plenty of time to savor every bite as you sip the time away. After all, you’re in paradise and you’re not homesick. It doesn’t get any better than this.
Dining Outside the Home: Brenneke’s Beach Broiler in Poipu, Kauai! Across the road from Poipu Beach, pull up a chair at Brenneke’s second floor restaurant for a casual meal with an open-air view of beachfront action. Rain or shine, it’s a pretty decent hangout for Happy Hour cocktails and Kauai-Style Pupus. Fresh Mahi Mahi, Ono, and Sashimi Grade Ahi prove the fishermen like Brenneke’s as much as the customers. If big beach burgers are your thing, no worries. They’ve got ‘em. Feed the entire family; a Keiki menu offers finger foods and dinner entrees. Drop by and stay awhile, you’re on island time now.
Dining Outside the Home: Luke Bryan’s 32 Bridge in Nashville, Tennessee! Check out this popular watering hole named after a bridge that goes over the Flint River and holds special memories for Luke Bryan. As you stroll along iconic Broadway street in Music City, step through these doors where everyone becomes a friend and sunny optimism is a darn fine quality. Raise your glass to live music when single artists and talented bands give their all. Hungry for an afternoon bite? Lukes’s Elk Burger satisfies those pangs with ground elk, red dragon cheese, garlic aioli, pickle, and tomato. It’s mouth-watering goodness in every bite. From starters to sushi, steaks to dessert, Luke’s 32 Bridge has it all.
Dining Outside the Home: Hell’s Kitchen in Las Vegas, Nevada. Not every meal has to be an extravagant dinner. Lunchtime can be special, too. After all, Las Vegas is a city that seldom sleeps. And you gotta eat, right? That’s when nothing short of a burger will hit the spot. Choose between the Hell’s Kitchen Burger and the Standard Burger. Both have the to-die-for beef with all the fixings plus seasoned fries. Executive Chef, Michelle Tribble, winner of Season 17 Hell’s Kitchen, can be seen keeping everything in tiptop shape for a dining experience you will long remember. Her professional attitude and friendly demeanor are reason enough to come back for more. And then there’s the food, which you can judge for yourself.
Dining Outside the Home: House of Blues in Las Vegas, Nevada! They’ve got soul. It’s fairly evident by the authentic folk art and funky decor. Perch yourself on a barstool for an up close and personal glimpse of slow pours and crafted cocktails. Good ole southern dishes are tried and true, which is why people keep coming back for more. Voodoo Shrimp, Jambalaya and Gumbo, Baby Back Ribs, and BBQ Bacon Burger are just a sampling of tasty options. Blues music is the best cure for whatever life throws at you. Whether you’re rocking a win or relaxing between casinos, House of Blues gets the good times rolling.
Dining Outside the Home: Kenji Burger in Kapaa, Kauai. It’s always good advertising when a sign boasts: “We use 100% Kauai grass fed beef,” especially if you prefer a fusion diet of healthy meats and vegetables. Grass fed beef translates into leaner burgers. At Kenji Burger, the Japanese mix of Asian cuisine with American favorites provides a taste extravaganza that’ll leave your head spinning. Think outside the box. Teriyaki burgers, misoyaki fish sammies, spicy poke bowls, loaded sushi burritos, and furikake fries. This is not your ordinary burger joint. See the maneki-neko Japanese cat figurine, with its paw raised, perched on the counter? It definitely brings good luck. Perhaps you’ll give them a try. Kenji Burger is spot on.
Dining Outside the Home: Nom Kauai in Kapaa, Kauai. When your husband wants breakfast and you’re ready for lunch, head over to Nom Kauai where you get the best of both worlds. It’s not uncommon to see other couples doing the same thing. Perhaps that’s the secret to a popular eatery with Southern roots: Keeping the peace. The burgers, like the Hella Hottie, are made with locally sourced beef, stacked a mile high with fresh ingredients, and then sandwiched between buttery toasted brioche buns. Go ahead and poke the egg. Who can resist a runny yolk? Golden Belgian waffles, served with pineapple-bourbon butter, can be ordered with buttermilk fried chicken and maple syrup. Because things are made from scratch, menu items are available until sold out. You know what that means. Come back again tomorrow.
Dining Outside the Home: LVB Burger in Las Vegas , Nevada. Where can you go to get a two-handed burger and an adult-friendly milkshake? LVB Burger at The Mirage knows no bounds. Slide into a booth. Every gastronomic burger is stuffed with delicious ingredients between a sesame brioche bun. Go classic with the O.S.B. (Old School Burger) or B.C.B. (Bacon Cheese Burger). If beef is not your thing, go with the W.T.F. (What The Flock) turkey burger. The cheese choices are as gourmet as the condiment list. Finger food sides are the perfect add on. Spiked milkshakes are as yummy as they come: Birthday Cake, Chocolate Caramel, or Churro. But the list goes on. Better add this joint to your Bucket List.