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About Dan Toombs

Dan Toombs has been a member since February 10th 2011, and has created 632 posts from scratch.

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Tandoori Pheasant Roast

Tandoori Pheasant

So much more flavour than chicken!

 

I love this time of year. I work at home so I usually take the dog out for a long walk and then return to build a fire before getting on with whatever I need to do that day. The crisp cold mornings are made even nicer when one of my neighbours leaves a box of pheasants outside my front door from the weekly game shoot in our village. Food doesn’t get any fresher than that.

So today I decided to skive a bit and spent an hour or so plucking four pheasants before whipping up a tandoori marinade. I rubbed the marinade into the pheasants and let them rest for eight hours.

I would normally recommend marinating the meat for at least 24 hours but I just couldn’t wait that long.

Around 3pm I fired up our wood-burning oven in the garden and waited the two hours it takes for the oven to come up to heat.

Then in went the birds and the last of our potatoes from the garden. Tandoori pheasant is a real favourite around our house. I hope you like this one too. It’s so easy to make in a conventional oven. Personally I think that tandoori pheasant is a lot better than chicken.

pheasants

Pheasants ready for plucking. It’s a lot of work.

Tandoori pheasant

Tandoori pheasant in the oven

 

Tandoori Pheasant Roast
Author: 
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 - 6
 
Ingredients
  • 4 pheasants
  • 300ml plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon citric acid (optional)
  • 2 green chilli peppers
  • Juice of two limes
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 x 2” piece of ginger – chopped
  • 1 small bunch of fresh coriander
Instructions
  1. Start by making your marinade.
  2. Place all of the marinade ingredients in a blender and blend until you have a smooth and tasty paste.
  3. Cover the pheasants, inside and out with the marinade and allow to marinate for eight to 24 hours.
  4. When ready to cook, pre-heat your oven to 200c (400f) and roast the pheasants for about 30 minutes until the juice runs clear when you stick a knife in.
  5. Let rest outside the oven for about ten minutes and then serve with a little more lime juice or your favourite raita.
  6. You might like to double the marinade ingredients. The marinade is a delicious raita on its own.

 

How To Make A Bob’s Big Boy Double Deck Cheeseburger

Bob's Big Boy Double Deck Cheeseburger

Bob’s Big Boy Double Deck Cheeseburger

As burgers go, this one is quite simple but delicious.

My dad asked my mom to marry him 50 years ago over a burger just like this one at the Bob’s Big Boy Restaurant on Riverside Drive in Burbank, California. The restaurant is the oldest remaining Bob’s Big Boy in the US and a must try place if you ever find yourself in Burbank. My parents used to take my sister and me there whenever we vacationed in LA while we were growing up. Last time I was in California, I took my kids there and purchased about ten burgers so that I could copy the recipe. Eating all those burgers was difficult work but it had to be done.

You might think that the Bob’s Big Boy Double Deck Cheeseburger looks like a copy of that other famous double decker. The fact is, this was the first double decker burger ever. The Big Mac arrived on the scene three decades later.

The Bob’s Big Boy Double Decker Cheeseburger actually started as a joke. In February 1937, members of the Glendale High School Orchestra who frequented the Glendale restaurant and asked the owner, Bob Wian if he could cook up something a little different. He intended this burger to ‘look rediculous, like a leaning tower’. The kids loved it and it became his signature burger.

The red sauce on top is one of the things that makes the burger. If you can get your hands on some Heinz Chilli Sauce and Heinz Sweet Pickle relish you will achieve the famous flavour. If you live in an area where these products aren’t available, choose any tomato based chilli sauce and finely chop some sweet pickles. It will be close enough.

Tip: For best results, ask your butcher for a 80% meat 20% fat ground beef mix.

Bob's Big Boy Double Deck Cheeseburger

Bob's Big Boy Double Deck Cheeseburger

Bob's Big Boy Double Deck Cheeseburger

Bob's Big Boy Double Deck Cheeseburger

The Bob's Big Boy Double Deck Cheeseburger (copycat recipe)

 

How To Make A Bob's Big Boy Double Deck Cheeseburger
Author: 
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ pound ground beef - Divided into two equal very thin patties
  • 1 sesame seed bun and one additional bottom bun sliced on both sides
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • Shredded lettuce
  • 1 slice processed American cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Heinz Chilli Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Heinz Sweet Pickle Relish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat a frying pan over high heat and toast your burger buns. Set aside.
  2. Place the burger patties in the pan and cook for about 3 minutes per side. Be sure to season both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, spread mayonnaise over the bottom and centre bun.
  4. Top the bottom bun with the shredded lettuce and a slice of American cheese.
  5. When your patties are cooked through, place one on top of the cheese and then place the centre bun on top of the beef patty.
  6. Top the centre bun with the other patty.
  7. Mix the chilli sauce and pickle relish and then spoon it over the top, followed by the top bun.

 

How To Make A 5 Guys Burger

CopyCat Five Guys Burger

CopyCat Five Guys Burger

I can’t begin to tell you how happy I was when I happened upon a 5 Guys Burger restaurant in Covent Garden last time I was in London. I hadn’t had a 5 Guys burger for at least five years.

I was even happier to find that they are now opening restaurants all over the UK!

Over the past few weeks I have been writing copycat recipes of some of my favourite American burgers and no burger series would be complete without a 5 Guys burger.

I’m telling you, they are melt in the mouth gorgeous.

This is down to the fact that they use only the freshest ingredients. 5 Guys may be a big burger chain but they don’t skimp when it comes to freshness.

So today I made a 5 Guys style burger. Believe me, it is just as good as the real thing. I even used my own homemade burger buns right out of the oven. How’s that for fresh!

5 Guys don’t season their burgers with salt and pepper. At least not that I could notice. Instead they use the finest quality ground beef and let the beef do the talking.

Just like other popular burgers from famous restaurants, 5 Guys have a precise way of stacking their ingredients. The idea is to ensure you get a nice dose of each flavour in every bite.

Here I have used 28 day aged ground chuck and skirt steak, 80% meat and 20% fat. If you can have your butcher grind the meat for you it will be better than anything you can get at a supermarket.

You will need three pieces of grease proof paper.

CopyCat Five Guys Burger

CopyCat Five Guys Burger

CopyCat Five Guys Burger. Smashing the patty down

 

CopyCat Five Guys Burger. Frying the burgers, onions and buns

 

CopyCat Five Guys Burger. Melting the cheese

CopyCat Five Guys Burger. Preparing the buns

 

CopyCat Five Guys Burger. Preparing the buns

 

CopyCat Five Guys Burger. Preparing the buns

 

CopyCat Five Guys Burger. Preparing the buns

 

CopyCat Five Guys Burger. Wrapping the burger

 

CopyCat Five Guys Burger.

 

How To Make A 5 Guys Burger
Author: 
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 7oz (Approx 200g) ground beef divided equally into two balls
  • 1 fresh sesame seed bun
  • 2 pieces of deli Cheddar slices (Not processed cheese)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ white onion – roughly chopped
  • 2 tomato slices
  • 5 dill pickle slices
  • 3 pieces of iceberg lettuce – about the size of the bun
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonaise
  • Yellow Mustard
Instructions
  1. At 5 Guys they flatten the burger balls by stacking them between pieces of grease proof paper and then pressing them all down with a flat hamburger press. Place one burger ball on top of a piece of grease proof paper and then top with another piece of paper, the other burger ball and another piece of paper. Squash it all down with a hamburger press or spatula.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat.
  3. Place your burger patties in the pan along with the chopped onions. Fry the burgers for about two minutes per side, stirring the onions in the meantime so that they fry evenly.
  4. Place two pieces of deli style Cheddar cheese on one of the patties.
  5. While the cheese melts, build your burger.
  6. Make three rings of ketchup and two rings of mustard on the bottom but and spread mayonnaise over the top bun.
  7. Cover the bottom bun with the fried onions and then top with the patty with the cheese first and then the patty without cheese.
  8. Cover the top bun with the lettuce and then the five pickle slices followed by the two tomato slices.
  9. Carefully place the top half over the bottom half and wrap tightly in silver foil to serve.

 

How To Make The Oklahoma Onion Burger From Sid’s Diner

The Oklahoma Onion Burger

The Oklahoma Onion Burger

 

As burgers go, this is a simple one. But I can assure you it is delicious. I first went to the famous Sid’s Diner in Oklahoma while in high school. I was travelling with a drum and bugle corp and we stopped at Sid’s for lunch. After days of eating pretty bad camp food, Sid’s Diner was a real treat.

A few months ago I visited with my wife and kids again. It was just as good as I remembered. While there, I watched how it was all done and now I’d like to show you too.

This recipe may not be exact but it tastes pretty damn close.

The idea of the Olkahoma Onion Burger stems from the Depression. They added lots of onions to the burger as meat was expensive and hard to come by. There was no need to change the recipe when times got better. This one is a real winner and worth a try.

Be sure to slice your onions paper thin. I use a food processor to get them as thin as possible.

The meat I used was a 80% meat, 20% fat mix of quality Angus beef. Talk about gorgeous.

At Sid’s, the meat is placed on the grill in a ball and then pressed down into a flat patty. The resulting burger is nicely charred on one side with caramelised onion on the other.

If you are ever in El Reno Oklahoma, Sid’s Diner is a place you’ve got to try. If not, you can now try a burger that is very similar at home.

Enjoy!

Oklahoma Onion Burger sids2a sids3a sids4a sids5a sids6a sids7a sids8a sids9a sids11a

How To Make The Oklahoma Onion Burger From Sid's Diner
Author: 
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • ⅓ pound (150g) good quality ground beef
  • 1 white onion - sliced paper thin
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dill pickle slices
  • French's yellow mustard
  • 1 fresh hamburger bun
Instructions
  1. Heat your grill or frying pan over medium high heat.
  2. When hot, grab about ⅓ pound of ground beef and form into a ball.
  3. Oil your pan and place the meatball on top.
  4. Smash this down into a nice round patty.
  5. Season generously with salt and pepper can fry for about four minutes.
  6. Top with a nice big mound of sliced onion.
  7. While the burger is cooking, toast your buns.
  8. Flip the burger over and fry on the onion side until the meat is cooked to your liking. I prefer mine to be nice and pink inside. Only serve rare like this if you have purchased good quality mince from a butcher.
  9. Place the bottom bun on a clean surface and top with the patty so that the onion is facing upward.
  10. Squirt with mustard and top with pickles and the top bun.
  11. Eat.

 

CopyCat Recipe of the Holeman and Finch Double Cheeseburger

Holeman and Finch Double Cheeseburger

Holeman and Finch Double Cheeseburger – CopyCat!

If you’re looking for the best burger in America, you might just find it at Holeman & Finch Public House in Atlanta Georgia. As burgers go, it is quite basic but what it lacks in toppings it makes up for in quality. I visited Holman & Finch Public House a few months ago and was very impressed.

I’d like to say I got to eat one whole burger to myself but that wasn’t the case. My wife Caroline and I split it with two relatives from Toombs County Georgia. We got the last burger of the evening.

At Holeman & Finch they only make 24 burgers every day and those burgers are usually ordered well in advance of them being served at 10.00 pm. If you go on a Sunday, however they are served all day.

The secret to the spectacular flavour is in the grass fed chuck and brisket ground meat combo and also the freshly made burger buns. I decided to recreate this masterpiece and home and now you can too. I promise you, this recipe is as close to the real thing as you’re going to get.

If you are in the US, use Kraft American cheese slices just like they do at the restaurant. Here in the UK where Kraft slices are quite difficult to find, I used Deli Cheddar slices that worked spectacularly well.

I’ll be sharing my homemade burger bun recipe in my upcoming ebook “American Burger” but for now just try to find the freshest buns you can find. Yes, that is a freshly baked burger bun you see in that photo and it does make all the difference.

I used a combo of 50% chuck and 50% brisket. There was a 80% meat to 20% fat ratio and it tasted gorgeous. You could grind your own but I asked my butcher to do it which was a lot easier.

Holeman and Finch Double Cheeseburger

 

Holeman and Finch Double Cheeseburger

Lots of delicious mayo!

 

Holeman and Finch Double Cheeseburger

If you can’t get to Holeman and Finch, here’s the next best thing.

CopyCat Recipe of the Holeman and Finch Double Cheeseburger
Author: 
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 freshly made hamburger bun
  • 2 x ¼ pound (113g) burger patties
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter for toasting the bun
  • 1 half handful of shredded red onion
  • 2 Kraft American Cheese slices or the cheese of you choice
  • Ketchup, French’s mustard, mayonnaise and dill pickle slices
Instructions
  1. Place a frying pan over high heat.
  2. Butter your bun halves lightly and toast in the pan. Set aside.
  3. Flatten your burger patties with a flat spatula until they are just slightly larger than the bun.
  4. Season generously with salt and pepper and place in the pan.
  5. Fry for four minutes until the patties are starting to cook through, then flip over.
  6. Cover one of the patties with the shredded red onion and then top each with a slice of cheese.
  7. Allow the cheese to melt and your burger will be ready. I do like mine a bit pink in the centre but feel free to cook for longer if you prefer.
  8. Cover the bottom bun with mayonnaise to taste and then top first with the patty with the onion and cheese and then the other.
  9. Place the top bun on the burger and serve with ketchup, mustard and pickles.

Note: At Holeman & Finch they make their own ketchup. You could use your favourite brand and you won’t be disappointed.