Thai Tuna Burgers with Ginger-Lemon Mayonnaise

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My brother introduced me to Food and Wine magazine this past weekend because that is where he got his shrimp taco recipe from. I started to browse through their website, and became addicted pretty fast. I decided to give these burgers a try but use salmon instead. I used pretty much all the same ingredients, but added two things: bread crumbs and an egg. The salmon patties were not sticking well together when I tried to form them into burgers. So, I threw all the ingredients into a food processor with the egg and bread crumbs and that helped the burgers form better.

The pickles and onions gave the burger a nice crunch and I felt like I wasn’t eating anything fattening at all. The burger it’s self wasn’t really spicy either, and the lemon/ginger mayonnaise really complimented the burger and the onions. Just don’t put too much of it on, I did, and it was kind of a mess, but a good mess. It may seem like a lot of ingredients at first, but the only ingredients I had to pick up were the vegetables and buns, because I had everything else on hand. Mayonnaise, grated ginger, garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce etc…

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Ingredients from Food and Wine

2 Kirby cucumbers, thinly sliced
1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 Thai or serrano chile, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
1 1/2 pounds sushi-quality tuna
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
4 hamburger buns
2 tablespoons finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts


In a medium bowl, toss the cucumbers, onion, vinegar, 1 tablespoon of the sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Season with pepper and let stand for 1 hour at room temperature.

In a mortar or medium bowl, using the back of a spoon, mash the ginger with the garlic, chile and remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar to a paste. Stir in the fish sauce, cilantro and basil. On a clean cutting board, thinly slice the tuna. Stack the slices and cut into thin matchsticks. Cut the matchsticks into rough cubes, then chop until the pieces are roughly 1/8 inch. Add the tuna to the ginger paste and stir until evenly combined.

Using lightly moistened hands, shape the tuna mixture into 4 patties about 1 inch thick. Set them on a large plate lined with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the tuna burgers for 20 minutes.

Light a grill. In a small bowl, combine the vegetable oil with the sesame oil. Lightly brush the burgers and the cut sides of the buns with oil. When the fire is medium hot, brush the grate with oil. Grill the burgers for 6 minutes, turning once, for medium rare. Move the burgers away from the heat and grill the cut sides of the buns until toasted, 1 minute.

Drain the cucumber salad. Spread the Ginger-Lemon Mayonnaise on the cut sides of the buns and set the tuna burgers on the bottoms. Top with the cucumber salad and peanuts. Cover the burgers with the buns and serve.

Make Ahead The recipe can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated for up to 3 hours.

Ginger-Lemon Mayonnaise

1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallion greens
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds or toasted sesame seeds
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper

In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients.

Jamaican Jerk Burgers

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Have you ever tried grilling pineapple before? If you haven’t, you should start now. It is delicious on this burger and I like to think of it as replacing the tomato on a normal burger. This burger also has jerk seasoning, a serrano pepper, and some garlic inside of it. I thought it was plenty spicy the way it was, but Ben wanted more spice. Serve with some cheese or bacon if you like.

I have been trying to figure out how to get a flat burger for quite some time now. No matter how nicely I shape the burger it still ends up not looking like those nice patties you get at fast food restaurants. I think it’s time to invest one of those burger presses that do that for you. :) What method do you like to use to make your burgers flat?


This blue jay thought the burgers were pretty tasty also.

Jamaican Jerk Burgers

1 pound of 80/20 lean ground beef
1 1/2 tablespoons of jerk seasoning (store bought is fine)
2 garlic cloves
1/2 serrano pepper
1 pineapple
Romaine Lettuce
4 whole wheat buns


In a bowl combine the ground beef, jerk seasoning, garlic, and pepper. Mix the meat and spices together with your hands. Divide the meat into 4 equal patties.

Prepare your pineapple. Cut the sides of the pineapple off and then slice the pineapple into a circle and cut out the pits.

Grill the burgers to however well done you like them. Then grill the pineapple on each side for about 2 minutes each.

Serve the burgers with whatever you like. Buns, lettuce, cheese, mayo… etc.. Enjoy!

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Spicy Peach Glaze

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Yay, if you haven’t noticed yet… all my categories are back on the side! I had no idea what happened to them but I’m happy they’re back.

Grilled Spicy Peach chicken is a perfect dish to add to your summer grilling menu. This glaze would be good on pork and could be a sauce for dipping anything as well. IF you don’t have peach preserves on hand maybe try orange marmalade or raspberry preserves. I always have left over preserves in the fridge and this is a great way to get rid of those by making marinades!

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Recipe from Bobby Flay

Spicy Peach Glaze:

2 cups peach preserves or jam
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 small jalapeno, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 Frenched” chicken breasts
4 ripe peaches, cut in half and pitted


Combine Spicy Peach Glaze ingredients in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve 1/2 cup.

Preheat grill. Brush the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place skin-side down and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, until golden brown. Turn over and continue cooking for 5 to 6 minutes. Brush both sides with the peach glaze and continue cooking an additional 4 to 5 minutes.

Place peach halves, cut side down on the grill and grill for 2 minutes. Turn over and brush with the reserved 1/2 cup of peach glaze, grill for 3 to 4 more minutes until peaches are soft.

Per Serving: Calories: 415 ;Total Fat: 7 grams; Saturated Fat: 1 gram; Protein: 28 grams; Total carbohydrates: 61 grams; Sugar: 55 grams; Fiber: 1 gram; Cholesterol: 68 milligrams; Sodium: 255 milligrams

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Vampire Steak

Vampire steak. It’s blood red from the smoked paprika and garlicy to keep the vampires away. I saw this recipe in the July issue of Cooking Light’s magazine and decided to give it a try. Just because I like vampires. I’m a big fan of the show Vampire Diaries on the CW. That’s how I came up with the title of my blog. I just combined recipes and the word diaries together and there you have it. I do like that show a lot better than  Twighlight. In the Vampire Diaries the description of the vampire is better and there’s a lot more drama and hotter men. :) I’m really disappointed at the CW for taking away my witch show still. Hope it comes back.

Ben had the idea to put a black rose in the picture. We’ve had those black roses sitting in our bathroom since Halloween.

Flank steak is a really lean protein, and only 3 oz of this is 4 points. That’s a pretty good deal. I made some garlic mashed potatoes to go a long with it.

Calories: 166, Fat: 2.4, carbohydrates: 1.4g, Fiber: 0.4g, Protein: 24.7g

Points Plus: 4

Ingredients: from cooking light

4 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
1 (1 1/2-pound) flank steak, trimmed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray


1. Combine first 4 ingredients. Score a diamond pattern on both sides of steak; rub juice mixture evenly over both sides. Cover; refrigerate 1 hour.
2. Preheat grill to high heat.
3. Sprinkle both sides of steak evenly with salt and pepper. Place steak on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steak from grill; let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak across grain into slices.