Matthew Thompson's Blog (Page 4)

June 12, 2012 - 6:06am

We’re big fans of burgers here at EatingWell. And no wonder—these iconic little rounds of beef are practically vacuums for flavor. They suck up the smokiness of the grill and the savoriness of any other ingredients added to them: garlic, onion, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder. You can top them with any range of condiments, veggies or cheeses.

That’s why I love the advice meat expert, grilling aficionado and chef Bruce Aidells shared in EatingWell Magazine about his tricks to make a flavor-packed burger. His most fundamental piece of advice: start with quality ingredients. Here are some of Bruce’s top tricks for packing your burger with flavor.

Don’t Miss: Bruce Aidells's "Fajita Burger" & More Healthy Burger Recipes...

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June 5, 2012 - 12:06pm

It’s burger season! While some people will choose to simply enjoy an occasional calorie splurge without worrying about the consequences, there are many of us who are eager to find ways to indulge without ruining our diet. It’s easy to save calories when you’re hosting your own cookout; it’s a bit harder when you’re just a guest at someone else’s shindig.

Don’t Miss: What to Eat & What to Skip at a BBQ

As a sometime grill-master and EatingWell associate food editor, I thought I’d share a few simple, cookout-ready strategies—whether you’re a host or a guest—to help you save more than 400 calories from your hamburger bun, patty and toppings while still enjoying...

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May 30, 2012 - 12:07pm

I think one of the biggest obstacles people have in getting creative with their grill is not understanding the incredible range of foods that can be cooked on it. Hot dogs and burgers are great, but they only scratch the surface of what a grill can do. One of the tastiest things I ever cooked on a grill wasn’t even meat! Last summer, as part of a weekend grilling spectacular, my friends and I seared big, flat watermelon “steaks” on the grill. The results tasted great. The heat toned down the fruit’s natural sweetness, allowing the other nuances of its flavor to shine. There was a nice caramelized char all along the grill lines and a pervasive smokiness throughout. We served it with mozzarella cheese and some balsamic vinegar—fantastic!

To help inspire your backyard creativity, I thought I’d list 8 delicious,...

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May 21, 2012 - 9:57am

I love the smoky bite of a hot dog mounded with sweet and tangy toppings and the delicate, salty balance of meat with the bun. But I’m not a huge fan of the buckets of sodium and oozing fat many hot dogs contain. Still, while hot dogs are not exactly a nutritionist’s favorite food, they can shine as the calorie bargain of the barbecue: you’re better off with a 100- to 150-calorie hot dog on a bun than with a 230-calorie hamburger or a 285-calorie bratwurst.

Don’t Miss: What to Eat & What to Skip at a Cookout

That’s one of the reasons I was so excited to participate in EatingWell’s hot dog taste-test. We identified a number of brands with less than 370 mg of sodium and no more than...

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May 17, 2012 - 9:23am

A few months ago, I took on an ambitious cooking project that made my wife scratch her head. It left our kitchen a mess and the entire house smelling like smoke; it took up an entire Saturday and, worst of all, it didn’t even produce a viable meal! My poor spouse thought I was crazy: what had I gained from all that effort? But then she tasted the result.

I had created a thick, brown, butter-like paste called “beef extract”—a sort of bone-marrow jelly—by boiling beef stock into oblivion. It tasted amazing. It was earthy and deep—not salty, exactly, but with a hint of filet mignon, portobello mushrooms and homemade broth. It had a roundness and depth to it that filled your entire mouth the way the sound of a foghorn fills your chest. A teaspoon of it imparted an unspeakable savoriness to tomato sauces, added depth to...

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