Archive for the ‘Blended Burger Project’ Category

2016 JBF Food Conference Opening Reception: Event Recap

The kick off to the 2016 JBF Food Conference was held Sunday, October 16th at the historic James Beard House in New York City.

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It was a deluge of Blended Burgers! The opening reception for the James Beard Foundation’s 2016 Food Conference featured the five winners of this year’s Blended Burger Project™ cooking their burgers for attendees.

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The more than 150 reception attendees – including leaders in the healthy and sustainable food movement, elected officials, fellow chefs, and media — feasted on slider versions of each of the chef’s winning recipes. The chefs’ restaurants were the top five recipients of the more than 2 million consumer votes submitted in this year’s competition that featured 350 restaurants menuing their takes on The Blend.

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Honored chefs (and their burgers):

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Michael and Laurence Gottlieb, The Wood’s Kitchen, Bloomingdale, Ga. served up a Worcestershire-glazed double mushroom burger with charred Vidalia onion on a mushroom-salted brioche bun.

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Logan Guleff, Logan’s Underground Supper Club, Memphis, Tenn. presented “The Mushroom Monster”: equal parts portobella mushrooms and ground beef, then seasoned with its own Legends seasoning blend. The burger was topped with fontina cheese, lettuce, tomato and bacon and served with a mini-milkshake.

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Toni Elkhouri, Cedar’s Café, Melbourne, Fla. featured ground beef blended with portobella, shiitake and cremini mushrooms, topped with pomegranate ketchup, banana pepper curry mustard, tahini remoulade, balsamic onion, goat cheese, bacon, spinach and avocado.

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Adrian Cruz, The Orchard Lounge, McAllen, Texas created a shiitake, chorizo and beef blend patty, topped with homemade strawberry fig jam, chipotle aioli, pickled cucumber, butter lettuce, a fried egg, bacon, tomato and string mushrooms.

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Eric Kinniburgh and Jon Lemon, Bareburger, New York City (LaGuardia Place location) topped their wild boar and sweet tamari mushroom blended burger with picked red onion, crispy mustard greens and a Sriracha vinaigrette.

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2016 Blended Burger Project Winning Chefs (L-R: Laurence Gottlieb, The Wood’s Kitchen; Jon Lemon, Bareburger; Toni Elkhouri, Cedar’s Café; Eric Kinniburgh, Bareburger; Michael Gottlieb, The Wood’s Kitchen; Logan Guleff, Logan’s Underground Supper Club; Adrian Cruz, The Orchard Lounge)

Photo Credit: Kent Miller courtesy of the James Beard Foundation.

Mexican Mushroom Meatball Soup for the Win!

Jump start soup season with a delicious blenditarian Mushroom Meatball Mexican Soup from Chez Us.

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One of the most exciting things about switching seasons from summer to fall is that it is officially soup season!  The weather is beginning to cool off, I start to unpack big wooly sweaters and blankets for the house, and comfort food – particularly soup – creeps into my mind.  We eat a lot of soup around our house once the temperatures cool off, and nothings say comfort like a big bowl of this Mexican Meatball Soup.

This recipe is not lacking in flavor or mushrooms.  Blended meatballs are made with a mixture of ground beef, pork and finely chopped mushrooms using The Blend, and then flavored with our favorite dried taco seasoning.  The broth is loaded with more mushrooms as well as heat from jalapeños.  Simmering the meatballs in the broth not only cooks them but adds so much more flavor.  All that is left is some garnish of fresh cilantro, avocado, and cheese.

Save an extra bowl for yourself to enjoy the next day at lunch, as this soup gets better over night!

 

Mexican Meatball Soup Recipe

Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound of cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup panko
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite powdered taco seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/2 jalapeño, no seeds and finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound of sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed out
  • 1 14.5 ounce can kidney beans
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro
  • a large avocado, cut into dice
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  • cilantro, garnish
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper

How To:

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the ground beef, pork and chopped mushrooms, along with the panko, egg and taco seasoning. Mix well.
  • Form into medium-sized meatballs and set aside.
  • Place a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil and onion.  Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, jalapeño and sliced mushrooms, stir and cook over medium-low heat for 7 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, stock, corn and kidney beans and stir.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, and gently place the meatballs into the hot broth.  Cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, then tear the 1/2 bunch of cilantro into the soup.  Stir.
  • Place soup into a serving bowl, top with some cheese, avocado and cilantro.  Squeeze a wedge of lime into the soup.
  • Serve.
  • Eat.

Event Recap: FEAST Smoked!

The pouring rain and soggy grass didn’t stop Portlanders from wanting a taste of Chef Hugh Acheson’s blended burger at FEAST Smoked! this year. Smoked!, the only FEAST event to solely focus on grilled meats and vegetables, is a foodie dream. Some of the best chefs from Portland and beyond set up shop at The Fields Park in The Pearl District for the northwest’s famous culinary event. Featuring everything from smoked sweet breads and duck-heart kebabs to goat tacos, there was no shortage of adventurous eats.

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The crowd favorite? The Top Chef Judge’s Cremini-Lamb Burger with charred scallions, Boursin Cheese, pickles and fresh tomato. The line was wrapped around the corner as Hugh and his team busily served the freshly-made burgers to hungry patrons. One bite of this juicy, umami-packed burger and they were hooked.hugh-2

Big thanks to Hugh Acheson and his team for making this an event to remember!

Didn’t get enough of the Cremini-Lamb Burger at FEAST? Click here for the recipe!

Chef Spotlight: Michael Gottlieb, Wood’s Kitchen

Meet Michael Gottlieb, co-chef at Wood’s Kitchen in Bloomingdale, GA and one of five winners of the 2016 James Beard Foundation Blended Burger Project. He is a part of our Chef Spotlight series, which offers a behind-the-kitchen look at the inspiration behind chef-created blended burgers.

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Born into a food family that’s been operating in Georgia since 1870, Chef Michael Gottlieb and his brother, Laurence Gottlieb are co-chefs at Wood’s Kitchen, a southern-rooted BBQ restaurant with Gullah and Cajun/Creole inspirations.

His motivation for participating in this year’s James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project? “It was an opportunity to bring something a little healthier to our menu and educate our customers how eating a touch healthier can still be fun!” They had a great experience right out if the gate and really loved how their community supported them and their blended burger from start to finish.

Their blended burger is a mouth-watering Worcestershire Glazed Double Mushroom Burger with Charred Vidalia Onions served on a Mushroom Salted Brioche Bun. The burger uses Hunter Cattle “Wood’s Blend” ground beef, a rich earthy local beef, and cremini mushrooms.

Michael and his brother enjoy cooking with mushrooms given the flavor and textures differ from variety to variety. “We love cooking with chanterelle, morels, and Hen of the Woods – but they are all so good it’s hard to pick a favorite.”

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Chef Spotlight: Adrian Cruz, The Orchard Lounge

Meet Chef Adrian Cruz, one of five winners of the 2016 James Beard Foundation Blended Burger Project. He is the third in a series of Chef Spotlights, which offer a behind-the-kitchen look at the inspiration behind chef-created blended burgers.

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“The Concha Burger is the new kid on the block,” says Chef de Cuisine Adrian Cruz of The Orchard Lounge in McAllen, Texas.

New kid on the block, indeed. What makes Cruz’s blended burger so unique? Aside from its delicious toppings like homemade strawberry-fig jam and Applewood bacon, the burger is sandwiched between a Concha bun – a sweet yeast bread roll that can be found in many Mexican markets. As a child, Cruz spent summers at his grandparents’ house in Texas, and would purchase Concha every morning from a bakery truck that was parked across the street. Sharing Concha with his mom and brother over a steaming cup of coffee is one of Cruz’s favorite childhood memories.

Inspired to mimic the sweet and savory flavor profile of Concha dipped in coffee, Cruz decided to experiment with the idea of using Concha as the bun for his blended burger – and it was a hit. For the burger, he uses a blend of beef, pork chorizo and shiitake mushrooms, then tops it with the strawberry-fig jam, chipotle aioli, pickled cucumber, butter lettuce, a duck-fat fried egg, applewood smoked bacon, tomatoes and string mushrooms. What intrigued Cruz most about joining the Blended Burger Project? The opportunity to create a healthier burger with some of his favorite ingredients. He loves the flavor and texture that mushrooms bring to a traditional patty.

“Participating in James Beard’s Blended Burger Project isn’t about becoming famous, it’s about inspiring other chefs and proving that dreams do come true,” says Cruz. He grew up cooking in his mother’s kitchen at the age of 12, and has honed his skills while training at various restaurants in the Rio Grande Valley. Cruz is excited to show off his chops at the James Beard House this October, or has he calls it, “painting on plates.”

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