Score a Touchdown with the SUNDAY BEST BURGER!

Score a Touchdown with the SUNDAY BEST BURGER!

It’s GAME DAY! Time to plan a meal around the big game…. And the last-minute Christmas shopping. Bring your weekend warriors to the peace table with a grilled burger that scores a TD every time. The secret is a simple, yet flavorful patty that comes from grinding beef brisket. The special sauce elevates the favor of da burger along with lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions and perhaps a sesame seed bun!

Check out my recipe for my Sunday Best Burger to see just what happiness is made from! If you don’t want to grind the beef yourself, ask your butcher to do the grinding for you. Most grocery store meat departments will be happy to do this for no extra charge.

Merry Christmas, everyone. We don’t have long to go now!

Sunday Best Burger




1 (3-pound) beef brisket

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

6 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced, about 2 tablespoons

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

Place the shaft, blade and knife of a food grinder (or food grinder attachment) into the freezer to chill. Cut the brisket into 1-inch pieces. Lay the pieces onto a baking tray with lip and place into the freezer until the meat is firm, but not frozen, about 15 minutes. Remove the meat from the freezer and toss with olive oil. Assemble the meat grinder attachment. Push through 2 to 3 pieces of meat at a time into a bowl. After all of the meat has been through the machine, grind it all a second time.

Season the meat with Worcestershire and garlic. Form into 8 (or more) patties. Refrigerate until you are ready to grill. Just before grilling, season the burgers with salt and pepper.


Burger Sauce

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon sweet pick relish

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 tablespoon grated onion

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

½ teaspoon Kosher salt

¼ teaspoon coarse black pepper

            Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl.


Buns and Toppers

8 large burger buns, sliced

2 tablespoons butter, melted

8 (1-ounce) American cheese slices

2 large tomatoes, sliced

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1 large ripe avocado, peeled and thinly sliced

Dill pickle chips

Heat a grill over medium high heat. Brush the inside of the buns with butter. Grill the burgers on one side for 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side, until desired degree of doneness, about 4 to 5 minutes more for medium rare. Place a slice of cheese onto each burger.

Brush the buns with melted butter and lay onto the grill.  Toast for 30 to 45 seconds. Place the buns onto a platter. Lay the burgers into the buns. Slather with special sauce and offer your favorite toppers, like those suggested above.



Move over Margarita – Tequila’s meant for Shortbread

Move over Margarita – Tequila’s meant for Shortbread

It’s Friday, and what my friends in the catering biz like to call Entry Night –when the folks you love most are likely to pop over for a holiday party weekend! This fun, desserty, liquor infused recipe ensures you are ready. Any kind of tequila will do – just don’t dip into any bottles with bows on them! And speaking of Christmas gifts, have you ordered an autographed copy of SUNDAY BEST yet for the foodie in your life? My large repertoire of versatile, colorful and yummy recipes will help ensure you have a happy belly through 2018 and beyond.

But I digress…we have an incredibly fun dessert to make…

Something you must know about this DISH OF THE DAY: The fresh picked fruit is the real star here, but good old-fashioned buttermilk biscuits and fluffy whipped cream are tasty co-stars. Then again, a generous pour of tequila certainly doesn’t hurt! I advocate here for ¼ cup, but be liberal if you wanna. Stay hungry, my friends…

Tequila Spiked Berry Shortcakes



½ cup fresh blueberries

¾ cup buttermilk

1 egg

2 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon table salt

½ cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for topping

⅓ cup shortening, chilled

3 tablespoons butter

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 400°.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spill the blueberries onto a board. Use a serrated knife to roughly chop the berries, trapping them as they scatter off the board.

Whisk together the buttermilk and egg in a small bowl. Pour the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ½ cup sugar into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse once or twice to combine the ingredients.  Pinch off pieces of shortening and drop them on top of the flour. Pulse the processor until the flour and shortening begin to climb up the sides of the bowl.

With the machine running, pour the buttermilk through the feed tube into the dry ingredients. The dough will clump together immediately. Stop the machine. The dough will be soft and gooey. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured board or counter top and sprinkle a little flour over the top.

Spill the berries on top of the dough. Sprinkle a little flour over the berries. Fold the blueberries into the dough, doing your best to evenly distribute them. If the dough is too wet to work with, you can work in a little more flour, but this is meant to be sticky dough.  Gently pat the dough into a rectangle about 4 x 8-inches, about ½-inch thick. Flour a 3-inch biscuit cutter and cut the dough into 12 circles re-using the scraps. Lift the biscuits onto the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into the oven. Bake until the biscuits begin to rise and are just turning golden brown on the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes.

While the biscuits are cooking, melt the butter in a small saucepan or a microwave oven.  Stir in 2 tablespoons sugar and the nutmeg until you have a thick paste.  The sugar will not dissolve completely. Immediately brush the warm biscuits with the paste.  Cool biscuits on the pan.



6 cups fresh berries (include fresh peaches or cherries or other fresh fruit))

¼ cup Tequila

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Zest of 1 medium orange, about 1 tablespoon

2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Cut the fruit into similar size pieces. For example, cut cherries in half and strawberries into fourths. Slide the fruit into a bowl. Pour in the tequila. Stir in the sugar and orange zest. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Use an electric mixer to whip the cream with 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar until soft peaks form.

Split the biscuits in half horizontally. Layer the shortcake as half a biscuit, a scoop of ice cream, a spoonful of fruit, more biscuit, more fruit and a big plop of whipped cream.