Recipe of the Week

Main Ingredient - Beef
Created by Elizabeth Karmel

There is nothing like a burger and fries to hit the spot! And this burger and tofu fries does that classic one better! The fries are smoky and salty with a toothsome texture that comes from firm tofu that is seasoned with soy sauce and basted with olive oil before grilling over direct heat. Dipped into warmed, sweet and spicy barbecue sauce, I bet you'll eat all the fries before you even take a bite of your burger!

Created by Elizabeth Karmel

If you are into gilding the grill a little, try these Bacon and Cheddar Knockwurst Wrap-Arounds. They can be assembled in advance and grilled just before serving, making them perfect for lunch or an end-of-the-day dinner. If you aren’t familiar with Knockwurst, they are “short, thick highly seasoned sausage.” We prefer the all-beef variety and eat them just like hot dogs or other sausages grilled plainly or dressed up like this recipe. This cheddar-stuffed, bacon-wrapped recipe must be grilled over indirect heat or the cheese and bacon will burn before the “hotdog” is done. This is one recipe where your patience will definitely be rewarded.

Created by Elizabeth Karmel

There are those days that nothing will do except a bacon cheeseburger. Instead of visiting your favorite burger joint, make them at home instead. You may never order a burger out again!

Created by Elizabeth Karmel

And we are here to tell their secret; you can make them yourself at home quickly and easily! The Girls usually cut the steaks themselves because beef tenderloin sells for an average of $19.99 to $24.99 a pound, and often times the already cut filets (sold as filet mignon steaks) sell for about $5.00 more a pound. Besides, when you buy a whole or a half of a tenderloin, you can make sure that the filets you cut come from the center and not just the ends of the tenderloin!

Created by Elizabeth Karmel

If you are in the mood to combine Burgers and BBQ, try Elizabeth’s new Phat Burger. It’s a traditional ground-meat burger stuffed with barbecued brisket, cheddar cheese and pickled jalapenos!

Created by Elizabeth Karmel

Recipe using Teriyaki Marinade Mix

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Created by Elizabeth Karmel

The trick here is to pre-cook the bacon for a few minutes to get the fat rendering and then assemble the skewers. The bacon is mostly for seasoning and flavoring the filet and mushrooms as they cook, but why waste good bacon? Serve it up with the rest of the kabob ingredients.

Created by Elizabeth Karmel

When I went to cooking school in Italy a few years ago, I fell in love with their very simple technique of grilling steak. In Tuscany, they serve Chianina beef that rivals Japan’s Kobe beef in flavor and tenderness. Ask your butcher for either prime or Certified Black Angus and have the steaks hand-cut unusually thick, about 2½ inches.

Created by Elizabeth Karmel

We were talking about our favorite Butter Burger and trying to figure out how we could make it even better when Elizabeth came up with the idea of stuffing the burger with Boursin cheese instead of butter. The Boursin still gives the burger that unctuous richness that we love in a Butter Burger but the soft cheese gives us more flavor—garlic and shallots and herbs. We tried it and liked it and think you’ll like it too! You can serve this burger with the usual suspects but if you really want to gild the lily, toss out the same ole ketchup, mayo and mustard and slather the bun with the extra Boursin instead—we can’t think of anything better!

Created by Elizabeth Karmel

The real stars in this recipe are the breads, cheeses and toppings for the burger bar. This is especially useful for anyone having a drop-by cookout when your guests will be coming and going throughout the party but expecting to eat. Grill the burgers in stages so they are "hot off the grill" most of the evening.

Created by Elizabeth Karmel
Created by Elizabeth Karmel

Recipe using Gourmet Burger Spice Rub

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Created by Elizabeth Karmel

When the weather turns warm, I find myself craving the smell and taste of a great homemade burger off the grill.

So what makes a great burger? There are a few simple rules. But if you remember just one of them, it should be that less really is more. Which is to say, the less you add to your ground beef, the less you handle the meat when mixing it, and the less you flip it while grilling, the better burger you get in the end.

The foundation of my backyard burger is a 50-50 combination of sirloin and chuck. I love mixing the leaner and cleaner ground sirloin with the rich beefiness of ground chuck. A patty that is 100 percent sirloin is too lean, and 100 percent chuck is too fatty.

If I am close to a good butcher, I also love to make a custom grind. You can ask the butcher to grind the odd pieces of brisket, short rib, skirt and hanger steak, and add it to a lean and clean base of sirloin for a top notch burger. The key is a mix of lean and fatty meat, freshly ground.

Beyond the meat itself, you don’t want to add too many other ingredients, particularly wet ones. You don’t want to compete with the flavor of the beef, or leave it too watery. I limit myself to a sprinkle of salt and pepper, plus just a bit of dry mustard and Worcestershire sauce. The last two amp the savory flavors of the burger without competing with it.

Once the meat is seasoned, I lightly mix everything together and divide it into equal portions. I generally use 2 pounds of meat to make six burgers. This step can be done up to a day in advance. If prepping in ahead, refrigerate the patties and make sure they are well covered to minimize the oxidation (discoloration) of the meat.

Before the burgers go on the grill, be sure to press your thumb into the center of each patty, pushing it halfway down. This is the real secret to a perfect backyard burger. This is because as the meat cooks, the fibers expand and they inflate the burger, turning it into a ball. If you make the depression with your thumb, the meat expands to fill the hole, leaving the burger flat.

A hot grill also is important to getting a great burger. Be sure to heat it with all burners on high (or wait until the charcoal is covered with a gray ash), then clean the heated cooking grates with a brass-bristle brush. Reduce the heat to a medium just before placing the burgers on the grill. You should hear a satisfying sizzle when the meat hits the grates! Cover the grill and flip the burgers just once halfway through the cooking time.

The meat will initially stick to the grill grates. But as it cooks, it will naturally release itself. This is true of many foods and all protein, whether you are grilling or sauteing it. This is why it is so important not to flip the burgers more than once, as well as why so many burgers end up falling apart when they are flipped too early. And it should also go without saying that pressing down on the burgers with a spatula is a no-no, too!

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Created by Elizabeth Karmel

Host a Bring your Own Cook-Out this weekend, but make the Jack and Diane Butter for the crowd! The Cowboy Steak Jack and Diane is the recipe Elizabeth created for the Chef Cook-Off that she was a part of in Dallas a few months back. The compound butter adds that cheffy touch to the simple grilled steak (similar to the French dish, Steak Diane) and pays homage to Jack Daniels (Remember, Elizabeth says, everything tastes better with Bourbon—or Jack!) But be forewarned, The Girls can’t help but start humming that famous ditty about Jack and Diane courtesy of John Mellencamp every time we make this recipe! And we bet that might just happen to you too!

Created by Elizabeth Karmel

It used to be that men of leisure would go to clubs to track the horse races and eat richly seasoned steak tartare. Since the girls like the flavors but prefer their chopped steak grilled, we’ve married the two and created a burger worthy of the Kentucky Derby.

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Created by Elizabeth Karmel
Created by Elizabeth Karmel

We think one pot meals are the coziest form of winter meals and pot roast is a universal favorite. Searing the meat on the grill before finishing by braising, deepens the flavor and adds a well-caramelized crust making this the best pot roast you've ever had.

Created by Elizabeth Karmel

Flank steak should be served medium rare and cut across the grain for maximum tenderness. This recipe can be served on small slices of baguette for a substantial cocktail party appetizer, on hearty whole-grain bread for a Dagwood sandwich or sliced and drizzled with the Chimichurri sauce and roasted new potatoes for a main course.

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hi elizabeth3
a food fanatic and the Grill Girl from North Carolina who has seasoned, basted and tasted my way across the country. Please join me on my non-stop, culinary journey...


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