My photo
, Wyoming
Thanks for visiting Sauce du Jour. Feel free to share a great recipe, leave a comment, or make me dinner. I'll bring hors d' oeuvres and the wine! To visit my website go to Thanks for visiting the Sauce ~Tammi

Aug 29, 2010

Pimp My Burger

The lovely Bride-To-Be
The truth is that I am not a purest when it comes to burgers. Yes, I want the meat to be sensational and I’ll smack anyone with a spatula if they attempt to flatten, poke or overcook my fat and happy burger, but in my opinion a burger is not a burger without a piece of cheese, a sauce, and two or three vegetables on top of it. In other words, I like my burger pimped out.  

Wagyu Gold
     When The Bride To Be, (aka  Daughter #1) said she thought that we should do something easy, like grill some burgers, for the 40 or so guests that would be at the Rehearsal Dinner, all I heard were the words "Gourmet Burger Bar”, going ding, ding, ding, in my head. I can hear you now, asking, why on earth would the mother-of-the-bride want to spend the day before THE BIG DAY cooking? Well, I can give you three good reasons: 1. I love to cook for a party, 2. I am an over achiever and 3. I was over budget, so having it catered was out of the question. Pssshhh…I can do this in my sleep, I told The Bride To Be.
     First off, we had to have some killer sauces. I made a chimichurri—full of fresh parsley, oregano, a little cilantro, a lot of garlic, some lemon juice and olive oil. Then my favorite— roasted tomato ketchup, which consists of roasted Roma tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro, red onion, and some other secret ingredients. I also made a pesto aioli (with homemade pesto, mind you), and a chili aioli (the “chili” being Sambal Oelek), which in my house for the last 15 years or so, we have referred to as “Snakebite Sauce.” It’s simple and wicked good on everything from burgers to potatoes to deep fried anything to straight off your finger. I also doctored up a store bought BBQ sauce with some celery seed, white wine vinegar, and liquid smoke and finally a Marinara sauce, courtesy of Emeril.
Rubbertoe, working it
     The toppings tray was filled with sautéed garlic mushrooms, caramelized onions, bacon, pepperoni, avocado, plus the traditional stuff like lettuce, tomato, onion and mustards.
     And then there were the cheeses—oh Lordy the cheeses! Co-jack, smoked Gouda, Provolone, Swiss, Sharp Cheddar, Pepper Jack, and Blue.  And finally, the star of the Gourmet Burger Bar was 15 pounds of Wagyu ground beef that I lovingly formed into big fat beautiful patties that were grilled just until the juices started to run.
    Most of the guests had never had Wagyu beef before and they couldn’t stop raving about it! I took the opportunity to wallow in the fact that my freezer is full of 100% Wagyu gold. Everyone with a heartbeat noted the finer texture, the deeper flavor (oh my God the flavor!), and those juices! These beauties were perfectly cooked by the tag team of Rubbertoe and The Baby Daddy, and then dressed up to the hilt. Pimped out or not, these lovely patties are better than any meat that you will find on any corner. 

I usually make this chimichurri and roasted tomato ketchup to go with a marintated and grilled flank steak.  According to me and the 40 or so burger connoisseurs at the Rehearsal Dinner, these sauces were just as yummy on a burger. Go to the "Misc. Recipes" tab at the top of this page to view the recipes for these two sauces.  If you want the recipe for my Snakebite sauce, contact me and I'll give it to you.

Aug 8, 2010

Sturgis ~ Been There, Done That

     I am usually a been there, done that kind of gal, especially when it comes to things that I don’t really want to go and do again, like the Sturgis Bike Rally. No matter, I have let myself get talked into going at least 3 times in the past 25 years.
     Unless you have been living under a rock for most of this past century, you know about Bike Week in Sturgis, SD. This year marks the 70th year that scooter trash from around the world will make the pilgrimage to the Black Hills.
     The first time I went, I went willingly. The Big Guy had ridden his Harley to Sturgis, and a few days later I drove myself over. We had plans to meet up at the McDonalds and then go from there. Before you take away my certified food snob card, I'll tell you it was NOT to eat, it was just the “meeting” place. Anyway, I’m usually not one to be intimidated by big guys with tattoos wearing Harley shirts, mostly because I’m married to one, but let me just say that I was scared shitless. McDonalds was full of bad-ass looking hombres, and not one of them was my hombre. I looked very un-bikerish in my casual, cute, going-to-a-BBQ clothes—or maybe I just looked like I was from another planet, I’m not sure, but guys wearing vests and do-rags were staring. My biker man finally showed up and if I hadn’t have been so glad to see him, I would have killed him for making me wait for 30 minutes, while I felt like bear bait. Besides my clothes not fitting in, (mostly because I was wearing some) I went ahead and demonstrated the classic, novice biker, uncool move, by immediately burning my calf on the tailpipe as I got on the back of Big’s bike, which caused me to perform the next uncool biker move—scream like a girl. I don’t remember much else about that trip, but I still have the burn scar as a souvenir.
     It was 5 or 6 years later before my biker man talked me into going again. He also talked me into camping at Hog Heaven…in a tent and you know I hate camping! All night long music blared and Hell’s Angel wanna-be’s revved their engines. As if that wasn’t enough to make me want to slit my wrists, he dumped his bike over and ejected me off it. We were barely moving, so it was no big deal, but I still put a knot on his head just for the principle of it. He promised to never drink beer and ride the Harley at the same time again and I promised to stop using my brand new, pink helmet for head butting. Besides the pink helmet, I came home with chaps and a tattoo, but overall I still thought Sturgis sucked.
Sturgis finest
     It should be noted here that The Big Guy has gone to the Rally every year since 1987, with the exception of 1994, 2007, and 2009. He's a die-hard and he loves Sturgis for the Indian Tacos almost as much as he loves it for the drags (races, not queens) and for the great bands that play every night at the Buffalo Chip. Right about now you must be thinking I’m clueless to make such an idiotic statement, because Sturgis is as much about the chicks as it is the bikes. It’s kind of like saying you buy Playboy for the articles. Well, if you’ve seen one Miss Buffalo Chip, you’ve seen em all and what I learned about Sturgis after my first trip is that the girls not wearing clothes are the ones who really should be. I’ve seen better looking ladies on Hollywood Boulevard…oh wait…they were drag queens. Don’t get me wrong, there are beautiful women there, like there are everywhere, just not as many.
Yes, he is getting a tattoo
     So, every year he invites me to ride along and every year I decline. The last time I manged to hold out for about 10 years before I finally agreed to go, mostly because he promised me a hotel room and something besides an Indian Taco to eat. The Road Kill Café was not exactly what I had in mind, but hey, I can be bikerish when I have to be, so I bellied up.
Our friend, Dennis,
 riding the Needles Highway
     Truthfully, Sturgis is much more than the greatest freak show on earth. Yes you will see a lot of big, hairy guys walking around noshing on turkey legs and there are bound to be some big hairy woman street fighting. But there are also beautiful custom bikes with unbelievable paint jobs, the best rock bands in the world, and even some Playboy worthy girls. If you haven’t been there, you should go—at least once. The best part and the real reason that I have been there at least three times, is for the ride on the scenic Needles Highway and through beautiful Custer State Park. The trip wouldn’t be complete with out a ride past Mt Rushmore and Crazy Horse.
     This last time I went I got a sunburn and a fake ponytail. I was even, sorta-kinda starting to look the part. I won't admit it in a court of law, but I may have even liked Sturgis, but no need to go there this year. Been there, done that.

Grilled corn with Green Goddess Butter
and with Parm-Herb Butter
I'm not a real street food lover (unless it's from an authentic roach coach), but if I was going to do food for bikers, and sell it at Sturgis, I would make corn on the cob, with gourmet butters. Two of my favorites are Green Godess Butter (from Cuisine Magazine) and Parmesan-Herb Butter (from my own kitchen). Corn is in season now, so try it. You may never go back to plain old butter! Go to the "Soups-Salads-Sides" tab at the top of this page to view it.