Saturday, January 3, 2009

Guy Fieri, on Holiday Comfort Food and Burgers

Ultimate holiday comfort food? I had thirty six people. I was camping with my dirt bikes and my kids, my wife, my buddies, and all of that stuff. I had to cook dinner for thirty people in a Weber on a mountain in the cold.

Turkey: I did three different turkeys this year, but I brined the turkey. I did a maple syrup/bourbon brine turkey. I am telling you, it tasted just like ham. It was out of this world. So me, what’s my favorite turkey or holiday food? To me it’s rolling it out and doing something different.

Gravy: I took all of the legs and wings off of my turkeys, because no one ever eats them, and made all of my gravy out of them. I made two gallons of "gravy a la gravy". I made so much gravy you could have gravy as soup.

Christmas: I did a twenty eight day aged prime rib for Christmas this time. I dry aged it in fridge in my garage, so I had about a thirty percent loss. But you want to talk about incredible.

Healthier comfort food? Well, here’s my belief on that, and I think that’s right on point. It’s the same thing with alcohol. It’s not quantity, it’s quality. So I don’t really think you should cheat the mac and cheese. Mac and cheese needs killer cheese; it needs some cream, you know. It needs good pasta.

Portions: ... maybe we just don’t eat ten ounces of it; maybe we’re only getting four of it this time. So I would rather go to a smaller portion and stay with quality than go to a larger portion and not have the quality in it. I think it’s quality not quantity. And let’s just realize this: chicken fried steak is probably not the healthiest thing that you can enjoy, but in moderation it is what it is.

The ultimate burger? Well, I think using great meat, seasoning properly and cooking with high heat.

Meat: The first thing I would have to say is really good meat, fresh ground meat. I think it makes the difference of a lifetime. You know, it’s funny. People say, ‘We don’t want all of the fat’ that’s used in ten grind, you know, ten percent meat and ninety percent fat, and then they slather on mayonnaise. It’s kind of going backwards.

Seasoning: I think over seasoning a burger, like putting too many components to it can also be the issue.

Heat: I think cooking the burger and messing with the burger is probably the biggest flaw. Anytime you hear sizzling, that’s usually juice or fat or some liquid coming out of it, which creates this opportunity for it to be dry.

But I really believe a dynamite, a really well made burger needs a fantastic bun, a fresh tomato, a nice big slice of some red onion, some good crunchy romaine lettuce, maybe a little bit of a whole grain mustard and that’s it, baby! It has all of its own flavor in there.

Interview by Troy Rogers, The Deadbolt

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