What’s a “Vegetarian” Burger?

There are many products out there that call themselves vegetarian burgers.  Out here, they are very popular.  You know…  Those little frozen, over seasoned hockey pucks that you just plop on the grill straight from the freezer…?  Well, I’m making my own.  It’s a black bean base with cumin, chili powder, onions and red bell pepper in the patty with some eggs and bread crumbs.  That’s grilled and served on our homemade rosemary rolls with grilled red onions, portobellos, swiss cheese and chipotle aioli.  Not a big fan of veggie burgers, but this really is very good.  I like to call it a hot vegetarian sandwich.  Delicious.

Pros and Cons of Working with a Decades Old Menu.

It’s a respectful thing to work with such a time proven menu.  Very traditional.  I am very happy I also get to have a portion of the menu that is highly seasonal and modern.  Best of both worlds.  Drawback?  Well, 30 years ago, it was chic to use what were, back then, modern ingredients.  “Exotic” herbs were dried and used as we use fresh herbs just clipped from our garden.  Broth bases were used and considered a “gourmet” item.  Times have changed.  These recipes haven’t.  So, I continue to work on ways to improve the ingredients while staying true to tradition and the dish itself.  Point in case, I have started making my own chicken base.  There are a couple recipes we use that are over 50 years old and very popular that use it.  My version contains nothing more that organic chicken from Washington.  Nothing more.  And I use it exactly the same as the processed stuff that has an ingredient list longer than this blog post.  Come by and try the difference for yourself.  I reduced 5 gallons of chicken stock to 28 ounces of “base”.  It’s amazing…

Black Bean Powder…

So, I went to grab the black pepper to grind for service and grabbed the black beans instead.  In the opaque container, they almost looked the same.  I laughed a little inside and decided to grind some beans anyway…

Black Beans in a Vita Prep

Not sure what we will use them for right now…  Some quick ideas that were throw around included black bean fried chicken (yey) or incorporating the powder in our burger buns for our new black bean burger we just started…  Pastas, gluten free breads, enrich and thicken sauces, it goes on and on…  I’m already thinking of what else I can powder…  Lentils, wild rice, barley, split peas…  Use them to crust fish and then sear, use in batters…  The list goes on…  Let’s see how some of these ideas turn out.  Can’t wait.

Spring Garden Prep

We are starting to get things ready for our spring garden.  The hibiscus plants that that were planted some 20 years ago have been removed and transplanted to allow more sunshine for the new seedlings.  We will also be expanding the garden area so we can build on our success from last season…

Hibiscus plants removed


ALL hibiscus removed.  Will be re-planted with a larger variety of edible flowers like nasturtiums.


Almost all of what you see should be expanded to garden space

Snazzy New Gear…

Okay, you asked for it.  Well, a couple of you asked for it.  Get your new Beyond the Kitchen apparel here while they last!  Hats, Hoodies and Tees.  Several items to choose from.  Feedback is always appreciated.


New Duck, Version 1.2

Here it is…  This is made with Dave Mostu’s Local Wheat Berries turned into a pistashio-cranberry pilaf, roasted beets and golden beet puree and wild huckleberry jus.  This is the same method as the sous vide duck in the older preparation…


It’s nice to be recognized for your efforts from time to time.  Here we won the Southern Oregon Magazine’s Best Fine Dining Restaurant 2 years in a row.  Great job by everyone!

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