Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hot Chicken!

So many of you (again, possibly 4 readers, right?) might not be aware that Nashville has it’s own food specialty.  I’m not quite sure how it started, or who did it first, but it’s hot chicken!  I’ve lived here for 2 1/2 years and heard a lot about it, but never tried it.  When 4th of July rolled around, instead of heading out of town to visit family like usual, the gas prices plus other circumstances kept me here.  I decided it was a fine time to check out the hot chicken at the Hot Chicken Festival!

It’s a sampling of all the different establishments that make hot chicken.

All I knew was the first 500 got free samples.  My two favorite words are “free” and “food”.  The festival began at noon.  To be on the safe side, we got there around 11:30am.  Around 11:45am the line started to form.  We hopped in line.  Very quickly after that, this is what I saw behind me.

We only had to wait about 10 minutes then it was our turn!  I was VERY impressed with the size of the samples!

Everything I got, I chose “mild”.

Everything TB got was “hot”.  Except for Prince’s.  Prince’s has 100 degrees, 200 degrees, & 400 degrees.  He got the 200 degrees.

After getting through the line we high-tailed it to the Yazoo beer tent.  Thanks to Nashville’s weirdo laws, we had to stay under this crammed tent to drink the beer.  I think we paid like $5 and we could drink all we want.  I was just excited about the free cups.

Here comes the 200 degrees.

Notice the sweat.  It’s not just weather induced.

He completed the challenge barely.

Again, excited about the free cups.  I love souvenirs.

The aftermath.
Verdict: I was really surprised that they each had their own distinct flavor, taste, & texture.  Some were a very dry rub hot, some were really wet hot, some were sweet hot, and so on…  I can’t wait to go try it out at one of the restaurants!


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Trying New Things "Greek Inspired Turkey Burgers"

Well, this is it.  I’ve finally done it.  I’ve finally gotten around to starting my own blog.  I’m really excited to share my cooking adventures with the world!  (All 4 people that will end up reading this that is…)  Along the way I plan to share a little bit about myself as well.

I have a great boyfriend.  A REALLY great boyfriend!

Isn’t he dapper?

The Boy is a little wary of trying new things. I’ve really pulled him out of that shell.  But sometimes he’s still a little wary.  For instance, a couple weeks ago we decided to have turkey burgers. They were good, but he chose the one that seemed to have the fewest add-ins.  It was good, but not great.  One thing I think I really learned from that is, turkey burgers need a lot of dressing up.

I decided, we could do better!  I had made some homemade tzatziki earlier in the week, and was really wanting to make something greek with it.  I stumbled across this recipe.  And it was SO good!  I varied a little bit from it.  Here’s what I did:

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Greek Inspired Turkey Burgers

adapted from Everything Rachel Ray

Ingredients:

Burger:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, plus some for drizzling
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 small red onion chopped
1/4 red onion chopped
2 chopped garlic cloves
handful mushroom heads chopped (I eyeballed this amount, it wasn't in the original recipe)
One 10-ounce box frozen spinach, thawed
2 teaspoons dried oregano, lightly crushed in the palm (I used Mediterranean Oregano)
1 1/3 pounds ground turkey breast
1/4 pound crumbled feta cheese (I honestly just eyeballed the amount & put in what I wanted)
1 tablespoon grill seasoning, such as Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick (a palmful)

Salad Topping:
1/4 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced, plus one 2-inch length of cucumber--peeled, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 plum tomato, thinly sliced (I used roma)
1/4 red onion chopped
1/2 thinly sliced red onion
lemon juice (I used the squirt kind this time, but often use fresh, and just eyeballed the amount)

Directions:

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the EVOO (1 turn of the pan) and the butter. When the butter melts, add the chopped red onion, chopped red pepper, and chopped garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer the onion and garlic to a large bowl to cool.

Combine the sliced cucumber and tomato with the sliced red onion, & sliced red pepper. Dress with lemon juice and EVOO to taste and season with salt and pepper; reserve.

Wring the thawed spinach dry by twisting it in a clean kitchen towel over your sink. Break up the block of spinach as you add it to the cooled onion and garlic. Add the chopped mushroom. Season with 1 teaspoon of the oregano (one-third palmful).

Add the ground chicken and feta, then the grill seasoning. Mix it all together, then divide the mixture with the side of your hand into 6 equal sections. Form 6 patties, each 1 inch thick. Fire up the George Foreman, the grill, the skillet, or however you cook your burgers & cook till done. I flipped mine on the George Foreman to make pretty grill marks.

Spread the tzatziki sauce on the bottom of the bun (I toasted TB's bun, and ate mine bunless with the tzatziki on top of the burger). Then top the burger with the salad mixture.

Nom, nom, nom. He’s just glad I stopped taking pictures & just let him eat it.