Bison burger, homemade buns

This here buffalo meat is so lean we had'ta ackshully add fat to it. So for one pound'a buffalo meat was added one measured tablespoon'a olive oyl, and the only reason we measured it was sos we could tell'ya 'zaktly how much was added. 

Now, that pound there made three burgers. And one pound is sixteen ounces and sixteen divied up int'a three is five ounces each with one ounce left over, so if'n two burgers is equal, which they ain't, then one'a the burgers will be one ounce bigger than the other two. Or else if each burger was 'zaktly equal then each burger would be 5.333 ounces! Weeeee doggie!  Now there's some advanced cifer'n? See? That there's wutchacall fractuals


Egg white is wuts hold'n the seeds on. 


We cowboys prefer beef, I suppose on account'a it's what we growed up with.  Scientifically, the animal itself has more fat content 'specially the ones that been fattened up on corn after matur'n grazing out the open prairie. See, the differ'nce is cattle is tamed animals, relatively tamed  that is, compared to yer buffalo. Buffalo is what we call bison 'round these parts even though taxinomicly-speak'n it's incorrect. Buffalo on the other hand is completely wild and worse it's untamable. The situation is summed up like this, "There ain't no fence bin built yet that ain't nuthin' more'n a suh-ges-tin to no buffalo," and that's the natural truth. So ya ain't gonna be herd'n up no buffalos inta pens like ya do cattle. 

But every now and then we rancher types get a hanker'n for something differn't and all sos we head on out to the butcher'n shop and order us up some buffalo meat. We modern-day cow pokes don't mind a'toll pur'chisin pre-ground up buffalo wut bin packed up in little packages. What we do object to is the cost. Back in the day a feller could get 'iself an entire buffalo for the cost of a single pound today. Why, I had'ta trade a day's wages just for this one little pack. And that's a dadgum shame if not an akshawul sign of the apakalips. 

Potato salad breakfast

Song of Tubertater

Should you ask me whence this salad
With it tuberous potato
With its starchy Solanaceae
Tater of the harmful nightshade
Tuber of the Solanaceae.

Gather 'round and I shall tell you
Where two crops are grown together
Where the snake cuts through the Titons
By the bends of big Snake River.
In the valleys of the river
Fields lay by the running waters.
By the mighty running river.
Mighty big Snake running water.

Here are grown two plants together
Mustard and the tubertater
Grown together by the river
By the mighty running river. 

Golden fields of mustard yellow
Give their seeds to Hellowatha
Give their leaves to Tippytugboat
Give their roots to Idaho. 

And apple water slightly soured
Soured cider of the apples
Apple cider water soured
Vinegar of apple cider
Added to the mustard mixture

And the odor of fried bacon
Heap-big flavor of the bacon
Give its flavor give its texture
To the starchy tubertaters.

Crawl the vine of gourd cucumber
creeping vine of Cucurbitaceae.
Soaked in brine and sweetened water
Pickled in the sweetened water.
Sweetened to a pickle relish.
Contrast with the soured tubers
Soured by the cider acid
Sweetened by cucumber relish
Contrast in the tubertaters. 

This combined with leaves of parsley
And the cut-up onion bulb
Onion bulb and leaves of parsley
Finish hot potato salad. 

Thus the tale of Hellowatha
And his main squeeze Tippytugboat
Thus the tale of tubertater
Hot potato tuber salad.
With its onion bulbs and bacon
With its parsley and cucumber
And the mustard and the cider.
And the sweet scent of the valley.

Thus the tale of tater salad.

Gather round now I shall show you
Show you the same song in pictures.

3/4 cooked


Cider/mustard deglazes pan.

Pickles or pickle relish.

Cracked black pepper.

Yes, we do such things even for breakfast because our ways are different from your ways.

We native Americans like our potatoes un-peeled because we are natural that way. If we were making this for you pale-skin pimpled people then we would peel them to avoid challenging your delicate sensibilities and possible conflict. Neither would we fry the potatoes, but it is rough out here in the natural places and that is how we do things for ourselves. For you we would use chives for their color and their gentle onion flavor instead of Spanish onion which are altogether more rustic. 

Large chunks of sweet cucumber pickles would be better than pickle relish but we do not have regular sweet cucumber pickles around here for we are poor so pickle relish was substituted. 

Whole grain German style mustard is preferred but we do not have any of that either right now so we make due (do?) with what we have on hand. Such is the life close to nature and far from the convenience of grocery stores built up upon the sacred lands for the benefit of the pale-face people with their haughty attitudes and their metal baskets. With wheels. And  with your strange paper barter and plastic cards in place of wampum and where we feel unease at the unseemly spectacle  of cuts of buffalo wrapped in invisible plastic. 

Our parsley here is 50% cilantro leaves because we like that. Also, for the remainder we might toss in some chile flakes because we like that too. 

We prefer to keep the potatoes hot throughout the process because we believe it helps the Potato Spirit absorb and unify the mustard/cider vinegar dressing. Speaking of vinegar, if we were making this for you white guys with your hairy faces and your strange ways, only mentioning your disregard for the land and the water and the air, we would consider wine vinegar or something milder yet like rice vinegar. 

Veggie burger with eggs

Veggie burger described in previous post, here. 

Veggie burger win

We learn from our mistakes over here (veggie burger fail) so this attempt uses those lessons learned to persist in developing a perfect veggie burger. This track backs off from the fake cheese and does not bother cooking beans and rice as whole entities which are then processed to mush, a situation that risks burning out a perfectly good stick blender. Instead, the whole dry beans and dry rice are processed first as coffee beans are processed to granules then cooked heavily seasoned in water as polenta. Then nuts and seeds processed separately in the miniature processor that came with the replacement Kitchenaid™ immersion blender, along with tofu for moisture are added separately. The thick mixture is fried in a non-stick pan as a hamburger and topped with real cheese. It is delicious. 

I believe that any dry bean will do, any rice will do, I suppose brown rice would be best, and any combination of spices will do. I ran low on walnuts because I was munching them raw while they sat there on the countertop in a bowl and combined them with pecans because that is what I had. Then sunflower seeds processed the same way with tofu. A slice of real cheese was broken into the mixture because that is what the owner of The Spot uses at Hermosa Beach, except she uses soy-cheese to maintain her vegetarian creds. 

*  1/2 cup dry white beans (cannellini beans this time, but they can be anything) processed to powder
*  1/2 cup rice processed to powder
*  1 teaspoon madras curry powder
*  3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
*  1 teaspoon coriander powder
*  1/2 teaspoon cumin
*  1/2 teaspoon kosher salt flakes
*  1/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper

*  2 cups boiling water

The powder mixture is whisked slowly into the boiling water. Not all the powder was used. I'd say there is about 1/2 cup dry powder remaining unused. It cooks fairly immediately.

*  1/4 cup nuts processed to tiny bits
*  1/2 cup sunflower seed processed to bits with 1/3 container of tofu.
*  1 slice of cheese 

These ingredients are added to the cooked mixture. The mixture thickens considerably. The mixture is spooned onto a non-stick pan and fried to crisp the outside without drying out the interior. Topped with another slice of cheese, covered to melt. Served with any topping of your choice, here the ingredients for a guacamole unprocessed to actual guacamole, with mixed lettuce. 

Chicken pasta salad

The fried chicken made earlier is repurposed in a pasta salad. A few pieces were eaten as fried chicken, but frankly, the coating was not all that appetizing due to the temperature of the oil dropping below 300℉ / 150℃ which caused the coating to retain too much oil. The coating was picked off,  the meat picked off and chilled, the bones broken open with pliers then cooked in water for a few hours to a broth then refrigerated.

The new replacement Kitchenaid™ immersion blender arrived today. It was purchased through Amazon using their Prime member offering with its two day delivery. The blender is the 300 watt, the largest made by Kitchenaid. They also offer a 200w and a 100w version, but I figured since I burned out two by expecting too much of them, I might as well get the sturdiest they offer. The kit comes with the full array of attachments, blender, whisk, processing bowl with base, blending beaker, lids, and unexpectedly, a washable storage bag with pockets for all of that.

The blender whipped up a mayonnaise like that *snap* using the whisk attachment, not the blending attachment.

*  one egg yolk whisked by holding the blender beaker at an angle
*  1/2 cup olive oil drizzled exceedingly slowly at first, then less slowly. 
*  2 tablespoons rice vinegar
*  1 rounded tablespoon mustard
*  1/2 teaspoon powder ginger
*  1/2 teaspoon powder garlic
*  1 teaspoon refined white sugar
*  salt and pepper

8 oz pipe rigate  pasta (large elbow with one end smashed), the second half of a 1LB box was boiled to al dente then chilled with cold water to halt the cooking.

For the salad, all ingredients combined, chicken bits, pasta, homemade mayonnaise along with three celery stalks, four discs of onion diced, about eight diced kalamata olives, feta cheese, one grapefruit with its segments halved. 

Fried chicken

One Bell and Evans whole chicken is cut into pieces and brined for about three hours. The pieces are dried, dredged in seasoned flour, drenched in seasoned egg wash, then dredged again in the same seasoned flour. The pieces are deep fried under 7 LBS pressure in two batches dark meat first then white meat. 

The salad shown is pre-washed greens with oil and vinegar dressing.

Flour coating:

*  2 cups all purpose flour
*  1 teaspoon garlic powder
*  1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
*  1/2 teaspoon sea salt
*  1 teaspoon pepper
*  1 teaspoon powdered ginger
*  1 teaspoon ground fennel seed

Egg drench

*  three eggs 
*  1/4 cup milk
*  all the same seasoning as the flour. 

Using the pressure cooker was a daring experiment. It speeded things dramatically. The dark meat cooked in 8 minutes, the white meat cooked in 7 minutes. 

The problem with using the pressure cooker, apart from the scary danger, is that the heat of the oil inside the pot is unknown. The cook can hear what is going on inside the pot but the temperature of the oil remains a mystery. For the crust to be crispy the oil must be maintained at 350℉ / 175℃ as closely as possible. If the temperature of the oil drops significantly then the crust will be soggy with oil. The advantage of pressure pots is that they increase the temperature of cooking water thus speed cooking. To release the pressure so that the lid can be removed involves cooling the air above the liquid. If the liquid stays hot then so too does the air between the liquid and the lid tend to stay hot. It was not possible to release the pressure as long as the oil stayed hot. The pot must be removed from the burner in order for pressure to cease being produced within the pot. To release the seal before the pressure drops inside the pot would disastrously spray hot oil throughout the cooking area. I tried to keep up the temperature of the oil and still reduce the pressure so that the lid could be removed but it simply was not possible. For both batches, the temperature of the oil after the lid was safely removed was 250℉ / 120℃, too low for excellently crisped crust. The crust of this chicken suffered due to the impossibility of removing the lid while the oil is still hot. Apart from the incompletely crispy crust, the chicken itself is delicious and cooked perfectly. Presently I do not have a solution for the lid-removal-while-still-hot problem. 

Veggie burger fail

This post describes a veggie burger fail. Here is a veggie burger win

I caught a portion of a segment on the Travel Channel about veggie burgers. The customers that are featured in the video shot at The Spot located in Hermosa Beach, apparently a well-known location, rave about all the items on the menu. But the Travel Channel is not the only place one can see reviews of The Spot and its menu. Yelp reviewers are less enthusiastic. The TC video can be seen here. In the video one sees the owner say that the burgers are made of:

* beans
* rice
* nuts
* seeds

The camera speeds across bowls of ingredients, but one can make out white beans, and regular rice, walnuts, and sunflower seeds. The magic ingredient that brings it together is

* soy cheese. 

This attempt is fail because I used way too much soy cheese, worse, the ersatz cheese I used was rice-cheese and not soy-cheese, worse worse, I used way too much so my burgers spread out while baking. The burgers, if you can call mine burgers, taste fine but their structure and their texture need some work. 

In the video, the beans and rice are already cooked. The ratios are not clear, but I should have known not to use the whole package of rice-cheese. Truth is, I wanted it to go away. Again, it doesn't taste bad, it's just weird, and I didn't want to store it. Had I used less then my burgers might have stood a chance of holding together. 

For some reason unknown even to myself I decided to soak the rice overnight along with the dry beans. I do not recommend doing this.

After soaking, the rice and beans cooked up with 25 minutes steaming plus 10 minutes more covered but off the heat. 

Here's the tragedy, when I blended the cooked rice and beans loosened with olive oil and fairly heavily seasoned, resembling humus, it proved to be too much for the immersion blender and the motor burned out just as I was finishing. This is the second heavy-duty immersion blender that I burned out by overworking the poor things. They do have their limitations. When will I learn? I do not know when, maybe this time, maybe never. The stick blender is indispensable for the things I do. Since I've been through this before I know the unit cannot be opened and fixed so I went online and ordered another one. The new one will be here in two days. The new one will be the third immersion blender. The good thing is that I end up with quite a good collection of attachments which means they don't have to be cleaned immediately. This probably teaches me not to bog down the machine by overworking it with thick sludge, but we'll see how well I learned that lesson. 

I like these alternatives to meat. I've been in the habit already of mixing grain with meat, not to stretch it but rather to make it less beefy or less lamb-y. I like mixtures a lot. My next attempts will not be to emulate of what I see other people do on TV but rather expand on what I already do. In the video the beans and the rice were pre-cooked separately. I did not see the point of that. Why not cook them together? Now that my burgers have spread out like cookies from too much fake cheese, and now that I burned out another blender by overworking it, I realize I could have turned the beans and rice to powder first in the coffee mill then cooked them together like polenta, and then add nuts and seeds to suit the cooked mixture that results. I also learned that maybe soy cheese might or might not be the way to go. I could try adding tofu directly which can add silkiness and moisture, and I can also try adding nutritional yeast, which apparently tastes like cheese, or so some people claim. So there are still a lot of things for me to try to attain a tasty and moist veggie burger -- the best veggie burger ever! I am not against meat, but long the way I might discover new ways to extend meat mixtures so that they are not so thickly heavily clunky pure ground meat with all that animal fat and bones and blood that make me a little bit sad. And maybe I'll like it so much that I abandon meat burgers altogether. All I know right now is that I do not object to this, even though it's fail it made a very enjoyable sandwich and no animals were harmed in its production.

Well maybe one animal was harmed. I added a slice of regular cheese and maybe the cows involved in that didn't appreciate having their nipples rudely yanked on all over the place by a milking machine. Then again, maybe it did appreciate it considering it was most likely purposefully bred specifically for the obscene overproduction of milk, a situation that does not occur in nature. 


Unrelated to veggie burgers and mechanically milking cows, I am reminded somehow of the scene in the movie Dune where on the planet Geidi Prime, Baron Harkonnen and his nephew Feyed Rayutha (Sting) are instructing their captive mentat Thufir Hawat that he must inject himself daily with an antidote for the poison they've given him, or die. Thufir is a mess. The Baron shows Thufir the organic contraption from which the antidote is derived, milked actually, a rat piggybacked onto a cat with tubing and tape, neither of which can freely move.

In Herbert's book, all the reader knows is that Thufir has been given a heart-plug like every other non-royal on the planet, along with a poison which he must treat himself, so this cat/rat thing is entirely Lynch's conceptualization. Ask him why he felt it necessary, if not only to be perverse. In the book, Thufir uses his (spice enhanced) mental prowess to formulate a plan whereby the various enemies destroy themselves, while he is in that woeful predicament, an important subplot in the book but this cat/rat thing is all you have from Lynch in substitution for all of that.

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