Monday, June 30, 2014

THE Yankee Burger

Here is a burger that all picnics and cookouts should be aware of. This Yankee burger has been sweeping the backyards across the country for its simplicity, taste and the true flavors of New England. The Yankee Chef is proud to offer recipes, history and much more Yankee both here and on his site,

If desired, use ground sausage or even all burger, making a total of 1 pound of meat. The subtle hint of apple and the salty, pungent addition of real Vermont cheese will have you laughing the next time you see a chef on television telling you NOT to forget the salt when seasoning burgers. The Yankee Chef says, forget about it-not needed!

3/4 pound hamburger

2 links sweet or hot Italian sausage, casing removed

1 large apple, peeled and cored

3-4 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

4 hamburger rolls


Grate the apple into a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the hamburger, sausage, grated apple and black pepper. Divide the burger mixture into 8 equal size balls. Between 2 sheets of film wrap, place 1 burger ball and lay a piece of film wrap over the top. Press down to flatten. The patties will be thin but it will be perfectly suited for our purpose. Put about a half ounce of cheese on top, coming to within a 1/4-inch of the edge. Flatten another burger ball the same way as instructed, placing on top of cheese-laden patty already formed. Repeat until all the burger is pattied and cheese is used. Put in refrigerator for 15 minutes while heating your gas grill to medium.

Cook each burger for 3-4 minutes over direct flame, or until nicely charred and flip to cook an additional 3-4 minutes, or until well done. If your burger is heavier on fat content, lay your burgers slightly off the direct flame. Don't forget to toast your rolls while you're at it!

Place into hamburger rolls and serve immediatley.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Long Lost Pictures

Here are three pictures that I just found that may not be significant to anyone else but the particular families involved. As many of you know, I am a consummate Historian and a die-hard family romantic. I have most of my families oldest pictures and I treasure them as much as my great grandfathers violin.  some of you who are reading this post who live in or around the Topsfield, Princeton area of Maine may see some family members you never knew there were pictures of. hope to hear from anyone who are related.

Here is the Bailey family gathered for the 50th wedding anniversary in 1926 at Princeton for Thomas Jefferson Bailey and his wife, Clara(Breen)Bailey. I have the names of about half of these folks, including the surnames of Hold and Bailey.

Here are(without knowing who is who and only a portion of the people identified but they are Baileys. The names below is what is written on the back of the picture):

George-Guy and Son-Mary-Roy Baileys son-Aunt May-Pauline-Roy-Allan Hold-Ethel-Gram(Clara Breen Bailey) and what looks to say "Ide's wife Meddig"

During that same 50th anniversary, these ladies are identified as follows, from back row, left to right:
Ethel(Clara Ethel)Bailey-Annie(Philinda)Bailey-May(Maybelle Bailey)

Front row-Ora Bailey-Gram(Clara Bailey) and Mattie(Martha Bailey)


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

It's Grillin' Time!

Here is a quick rundown of various cuts of popular barbecue beef and a great, simple guide to help you spend less time trying to understand what you should be buying and more time in front of your grill, flipping away.

Top Round

This comes from the back leg. It is the least tender but marinating the top round before cooking helps somewhat. Slow or moist cooking methods such as stewing and braising are well represented by using top round. the term 'low and slow' are quite appropriate for this cut of meat


This is a tender cut from the lower torso and hip. In order of tenderness, the best-known sirloin steaks are; pin bone, flat bone, round bone and wedge bone. Quick cooking methods, such as grilling and broiling, as best suited for this cut.


This comes from the rib section and is very tender and naturally moist. As sirloins above, quick cooking is the best way of cooking. Try placing a peeled onion in the center of a large square of tin foil. Pour a mixture of 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1 teaspoon minced garlic in oil and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper over the top. Crease well and grill in your outdoor grill for 20 minutes over indirect heat. Carefully open and pour contents over your Rib-Eye.


This comes from center of the short loin, just behind the ribs. Very tender and flavorful with a distinctive T-shaped bone which separates the small tenderloin from the larger top loin. Treat as you would a sirloin when cooking.


This comes from the short loin behind the ribs and contains meat from both the tenderloin and top loin. Also contains a T-shaped bone but more tenderloin meat than the T-bone steak. One of the best-tasting and most expensive steaks on the market. Treat as you would a sirloin when cooking. My favorite way of serving porterhouse is simply broiling, or grilling, with blackened, grilled vegetables served with it. Plain and simple!


This oblong-shaped cut spans the shot loin and the sirloin and is found beneath the ribs, next to the backbone. From the butt end to the tail, this cut does very little work, therefore it is the most tender part of the beef. Cut into filet mignons, roasts and steaks, they are expensive but worth that special gift to oneself.

For those of you who want to know just a little more and want to cook like a true barbecue aficionado, here is some more info to get you going this summer.

The brisket comes from the breast or lower chest area of the cow. It is considered one of the primal cuts. The brisket supports more than 60 percent of the entire weight of the cow which, in turn, produces more connective tissue. This results in meat that must be cooked 'low and slow and over indirect heat. During this type of cooking, the collagen(the connective tissue)gelatinizes, resulting in superior meat that everyone raves about in all barbecues.

Short ribs is very popular among BBQ enthusiasts as well. They are larger and packs more meat than its' cousin, Pork Spare Ribs. A full slab of short ribs is about 10-12 inches in length and about 3-5 inches thick. With about 4-5 ribs, thicker on one end and gradually thinning to the opposite end, I prefer to cut the ribs separately in order to cook consistently tender ribs. Country-Style short ribs is a cheaper version, which I prefer. They are actually a cut from the chuck eye roll, so not technically 'short ribs', but none-the-less, a great alternative to true Short Ribs.

Spare ribs come in both beef and pork. They are the most inexpensive of cuts and and found in the lower portion, around the belly and breastbone. They have a meat covering on top as well as in between. They are more meatier than Back Ribs.

Beef Back Ribs are basically the bones removed from the prime rib and are found as the next day specials in restaurants who have had a prime rib special the previous night. They are delicious but very little meat for the price. The term 'baby' indicates that the cuts are from market-ready hogs(roughly 250-pounds) rather than adult 500-pound hogs. The two most popular cuts of spare ribs are the St. Louis style, which has the sternum bone, cartilage and rib tips removed. Kansas City style ribs are meatier, but fattier, than the St. Louis cut and also have the bone removed. I honestly believe, however, that the terms St. Louis and Kansas City predominantly refer to the cooking methods and barbecue sauce flavors involved in the actual cooking.

I need to address one question that seems to be asked over and over again. Do you remove the skin. barbecue experts the world over have their own way of addressing this question, with the outcome being about 50/50. I believe that removing the skin helps the smoke flavor penetrate evenly throughout any rib, but some barbecue champs say that this makes the rib fall apart too easily. Well, my answer to that is quite simple! that is exactly what i want. Certainly they fall apart more readily BUT they don't fall apart to the point that are unmanageable and they seldom separate while cooking. To skin your ribs, simply loosen one corner of it from the meat with a slender utensil(even a flat-head screwdriver men) and grab a hold of it with a paper towel. Yank it and peel it off in one continuous pull. Use a clean pair of pliers if it is too slippery. If you don't want to deal with this skin, any butcher in any supermarket will remove it for you.

A brief telling of grades.

A Prime grade designation is such that a particular cut of meat is from young, well-fed cattle and has a lot of marbling. This marbling ensures great tenderness and flavor.

A Choice grade is high quality as well but has less marbling than the Prime designation. These cuts are best braised, which is roasted in a small amount of liquid in a closed pan in a 'slow' oven.

The Select grade is much leaner than the previous two grades. Generally tender in its own right, but because of even less marbling it lacks the punch of flavor of Prime and Choice. Marinating is perfect for this grade before cooking.

Let me tell you something that I do quite frequently. Because I am a thrifty Yankee, I often purchase select grades of meat to cook outside. I just cook these steaks over indirect heat, low and slow. Once cooked through(this works only if you want your steaks well done)I move it over to the direct heat to give it that charred effect and taste.

Find some great outdoor recipes on my site,

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Work For a Cause, Not Applause!

I absolutely live by those words and have not divulged my true passions until just a few months ago. My pink chefs coat AND my passion(besides my columns and cookbook) are the two examples.
Let's start with my chefs coat. it has only been a short time that I have told anyone why I wear pink.
Certainly I love the color(hence this blog and my website) but because my biological mother is no longer with us, I keep her close because she succumbed to breast cancer. Not only is it a way of carrying her legacy with me every step of my culinary adventure, but it gives me strength beyond compare. If my Mom, and others afflicted with this malady, can go through life with a smile and have the backbone to overcome anything that stands in their way while they await that heavenly decision, than I certainly can subdue minor "irritations" that seem to pop up in my life. I cannot overemphasize how truly blessed I am to be alive and to want to help others. Hence the second equation of this post below. Bless all of you who are dealing with Breast Cancer and especially those who have children. I will never be able to fully understand what you are going through but I can give you my heart, devotion and, at the very least, due recognition.

My other passion is helping those who cannot help themselves. Be it knowledge of preparation, finances, employee moral and consideration or simply a helping hand, I have been and always will be, there. Yanked isn't simply a term I use for recipes, but for those troubled food-related establishments that need that extra 'kick in the pants'.

I watched those shows on television where certain celebrity chefs holler, swear, ridicule and completely and morally trash personal and owners of certain restaurants in order to make them understand what is right or wrong.

There is one chef who shall remain nameless that I have watched repeatedly in the past(but cannot even tolerate him for even one minute now) that 'out-bullies' them all. The beginning credits show him walking into a restaurant with a sledge hammer. I have repeatedly watched him stand in the middle of a dining room and literally holler and ridicule staff and management to the point of tears, at the same time catching him turning to make sure the camera is on him.

Now I can already hear some of you saying "But they are famous, rich and very VERY smart. You have nothing on them!" Get over it already and give me just a little more time, my day is coming but my attitude will always be the same. I wasn't intimidated when I was a boxer, magician or anything else I strove to do to the best of my ability, and I certainly am no different now.

To put it mildly and as politically correct as I can..........nahhh....STOP IT ALREADY!!! The days of X management is over. I went through it and it simply doesn't do a thing. Now mind you, I don't disagree of laying the hammer down at times, but ratings or self-ego is NOT the reason.
I grew up under X management from my Dad, the second Yankee Chef. And if anyone thinks that there is anyone more stern, straight to the point and straight-forward than a true Yankee, you are truly wrong! But is done when the time is right, IF that time ever occurs.

I started in the restaurant of my fathers at the age of 12. I have known nothing but hard work all my life. I have always told everyone that "If I can do it, you can!". I don't believe in not earning your pay. I don't believe in doddling or just biding your time till quitting time. I don't believe in laziness and I especially don't believe in grandstanding.

My focus, however, is also different than other television chefs.
It is the Mom and Pop diners, the struggling eateries in truck stops or gas stations or simply that little out of the way greasy spoon that need help the most. They are the back bone of culinary comfort and it is those I focus my attention and expertise. I also avail myself of higher end restaurants that are struggling but show them that "dumbing down" is the heart of American feel good food and that Yanking their food not only saves them money, time and energy but brings about a happier, more content staff that can readily promote the menu and easily answer any questions a customer may need answered.

By Yanking a restaurants menu, staff and concept that isn't working, their bottom line is enhanced, their customers will come back again and again, word of mouth increases and employee loyalty, efficiency and happiness is multiplied.

So that is what I have been doing between judging, writing and being a Dad. That is also the concept that I have been working to publicize on a more broad scale nationally. My style is unmatched, my attitude is dry, my personality is comforting, my tenacity is bullish and my heart is part of it all.

It's Just That Simple!™