Monthly Archives: April 2011

When is a Burger Not a Burger?

Exhibit D: Burger Sushi, ‘Burgushi’ at The Cowfish

By: The Charlotte Burger Blog’s Hereford & Angus

The Charlotte Burger Blog chronicles two guys’ quest to eat hamburgers at every place they are served in Charlotte and the surrounding areas. It is written pseudonymously by two regular guys who call themselves Hereford and Angus. Starting in November of 2010 they began visiting burger restaurants around town, carrying with them a scale and a tape measure so that they can document their findings. They then rate their experience based on taste, service, atmosphere, theme, and beer selection. It is an amusing, and oddly specific, account of dining out here in the Queen City.

Hereford: We love hamburgers. After all, we spend a good part of each week eating them and writing about them. But, chances are that you love them too. According to the USDA, Americans eat over 25 billion pounds of ground beef a year, most of it in the form of hamburgers.

Apparently, though, that’s still not enough burger for us as a nation. It seems that we crave burgers even as we eat other foods, such as pizza, or omelets, or even sushi. To accommodate this craving, many restaurants are offering an integration of burgers with their other foods. We like to call these culinary combinations Burger Mergers

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Tony Coturri at Atherton Market

Atherton Market at South End

Wine lover?  No plans this weekend?  You’re in luck!  Tony Coturri of Coturri Winery will be at Atherton Market on Saturday evening.  He’ll be joined by local chefs who will be preparing foods to pair with Coturri wines.  Full details over here.

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Chasing Chiles

On Thursday, Charlotte Talks explored our love for all things spicy. Podcast the show or listen back here.

Here in the South we like our spicy food. Whether it be hot wings, chili, ethnic food, or just sprinkling Tabasco sauce on just about anything, Southerners like to spice things up. Chef Kurt Friese was so interested in what makes spicy food hot, he followed the chili trail into many parts of the world including the Deep South and Mexico. He wrote a book about his experience called Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail. We’ll look at the world of spicy food, what some of the hottest chili’s in the world are, what the sensation of spicy/hot does for our food palate and share some great spicy food recipes when Charlotte Talks spices things up.
Peter Reinhart
– Chef-on-Assignment, Johnson and Wales
Chef Kurt Friese – Co-Author, Chasing Chiles: Host Spots Along the Pepper Trail
Frank Scibelli – Owner of Cantina 1511, Mama Ricotta’s and Big Daddy’s

Recipe for Iowa City Chili ‘below the fold.’

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‘The Sound of Poets Cooking’: A Culinary Conversation

“Write down five of your favorite fruits or vegetables,” Richard Krawiec instructed the group of about 80. “Now, turn to the person sitting next to you. Together you are going to write an ‘Ode’ to one of them.”

Richard Krawiec

Maybe it was the lure of heaping platters of cheeses, fruits and brownies nearby, but amid the laughter, the students quickly got to work.

Pomegranates, peaches…and poetry?

Yes, insists the energetic Krawiec , who conceived and edited the book The Sound of Poets Cooking. “What makes a poem a poem is information from your five senses.”

It was all part of the recent Sensoria Celebration of the Arts, presented annually by Central Piedmont Community College.

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A Dish For Spring: Veggie Ricotta Pasta

Spring is my favorite time of year.  I love watching life blossom back into view and bring the promise of warmer days.  Leaves make themselves visible, flowers open their petals to drink in the springtime sunshine and birds start to look for the perfect nesting area to expand their family.  I feel as though we wake up a bit too.  We shed our extra layers, spend more time outside enjoying the warming days, and begin to put away our hearty soups and stews in exchange for lighter fare.

This dish was inspired by my adoration of the changing season.  With fresh basil, spinach, and tomatoes all present and swirled around the pleasurable taste of ricotta cheese, a bite of this meal makes me instantly blithe to say goodbye to winter and hello to the warmer months ahead.

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Purslane: Weed It Or Eat It?

Purslane is technically a weed, but an edible and delicious one.

If you are one of those people, huffing and puffing while you weed your yard and wishing those weeds would just die, stop and look again. You might have an edible weed garden in your backyard, waiting to be discovered! And one of those nasty suckers resisting your efforts might be my long lost friend, purslane.

Have you ever heard of purslane?

In other parts of the world, purslane has been used in cooking and medicinal applications for centuries. In the States, it’s usually considered an invasive weed. This explains why I haven’t been able to find it here for a long time. Recently, I was thrilled to find that Compare Foods sells purslane under the name “Verdolaga.”

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The Avett Brothers In Sandwich Form

Pretty Girl. Prosciutto, Fresh Mozzarella, Fresh Basil, Horseradish Sauce on Cranberry Walnut Bread. (Laurel Market.)

Ever wonder what The Avett Brothers taste like? (Whoa, easy ladies…that’s not what I meant.) Well, the Laurel Market has turned three of their songs into sandwiches, available for a limited time. Created by the band’s cellist Joe Kwon, you can enjoy “Gimmeakiss,” “Kick Drum Heart” and “Pretty Girl” while listening to the songs that inspired them. The Avett Brothers will play a sold out show in Charlotte on Saturday.

The Avett Brothers

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