Bacon Jam Burger



Bacon Jam:

  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 bunch roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons pepper
  • Grapeseed oil, for cooking the burger
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 4 slices Cheddar
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup arugula


For the bacon jam: Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp and the fat has rendered out. Allow to cool, then chop the bacon.

In the same pan with the bacon drippings, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened. Add the brown sugar, vinegar and thyme; bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the mixture has thickened to a jam-like consistency, about 20 minutes. Stir in the bacon; remove from the heat.

For the burger: Divide the beef into 4 equal portions and form into burger patties. Sprinkle both sides of each patty with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a pan or griddle over high heat. Cook the patties until golden brown and slightly charred on the first side, about 3 minutes. Flip over the patties and cook until golden brown and slightly charred on the second side or to the desired degree of doneness, about 4 minutes for medium-rare. Add 1 slice of American cheese and 1 slice of Cheddar to the top of each patty during the last minute of cooking, then top the pan with a basting cover or tent the patties with aluminum foil to melt the cheese.

Coat the bottom of the buns with mayo. Put the patties on the mayo-coated buns and top with the arugula and bacon jam. Sandwich the burger together with the tops of the buns and serve immediately. 

Guava Bread Pudding with Marshmallow Sauce


Guava Bread Pudding:

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter

1 loaf brioche bread, cut into cubes

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
2 cups milk
5 large eggs
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup guava paste
Marshmallow-Vanilla Cream Sauce:

1 cup marshmallows

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the guava bread pudding: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan with the butter.
In a large bowl, combine the brioche, 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, and the white sugar, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, milk, eggs, golden raisins and guava paste. Mix well. Transfer to the prepared baking pan.
Bake until brown on top, about 45 minutes. Cool on a rack.
For the marshmallow-vanilla cream sauce: Meanwhile, melt the marshmallows in a nonstick skillet over low heat. Add the heavy cream, confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Continue to cook over low heat, stirring, until the sauce comes together.
To serve, invert the bread pudding onto plate and spoon some sauce over the top

Mac and Cheese Egg Rolls



1/2 pound elbow macaroni

3 tablespoons kosher salt, plus additional for salting water and seasoning egg rolls

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar

1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
3 teaspoons ground black pepper, plus additional for seasoning egg rolls
8 square egg roll wrappers
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Oil, for frying

2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 bunch fresh chives

Special equipment: a deep-frying thermometer
Boil noodles to al dente in salted water. Set aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan until hot, then add the flour and cook, whisking, until light blonde in color. Add cream to roux and whisk to combine, then add Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. Add garlic powder and onion powder.
Mix sauce with macaroni and add salt and pepper.
Add 2 tablespoons macaroni to a egg roll wrapper Tuck in each side, then roll up, sealing shut with some egg wash.

Heat several inches of oil in a Dutch oven until it registers 350 degrees F on a deep-frying thermometer. 
Fry the egg rolls in batches, turning occasionally to brown evenly, until golden brown and crispy, 4 to 5 minutes.
Place egg rolls on paper towels and sprinkle with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Cut egg rolls in half and garnish with chives and additional smoked paprika.

Fiesta Burger

1 pound ground beef
4 ounces chorizo sausage, casing removed
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin, plus 1 teaspoon for sauce
Salt and pepper
1 cup grated aged Cheddar
1 cup queso blanco
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup
1 lime, zested and juiced
6 slider buns, split

In a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef, chorizo, onion powder, cumin and 2 teaspoons each salt and pepper. Form the mixture into palm-size balls.

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the balls on the griddle and smash with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Cook, flipping once, until cooked through. Divide the Cheddar and queso blanco among the burgers and let melt. Remove the burgers to a plate.

Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup and lime zest and juice in a bowl; mix to blend. Add cumin, salt and pepper to taste.

Toast the slider buns on the griddle. Serve the burgers on the buns, topped with some rosada sauce. 

Teriyaki Chicken with Coconut Rice


Chicken Or Any Protein (marinade)
1lb chicken thighs bone in
1 cup of Soy Sauce
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 Tbsp of Garlic
2 Tsp of ginger (fresh preferred or ground Double )
1 tbsp honey
4 green onions diced
1 tbsp of sesame seeds for garnish

Combine marinade with chicken let marinate for at least 30 minutes, but for optimal flavor overnight in the refrigerator is best.

Grill Chicken thighs for 2 minutes on each side and finish off in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or till internal temp of 165. Garnish with sesame seeds
Coconut Rice
2 cups of Coconut Milk
1 cup of Jasmine rice
1/2 cup of coconut shreds
1 Tbsp of Butter

Place Coconut milk in a saucepan on high heat with coconut shred and butter. Allow milk to heat till almost boil (WATCH OUT FOR BOILOVER WITH MILK). Add in Rice stir bring down to low heat and cover and cook for 30 minutes till done.

9 Questions with Manny Washington, New Food Network Star Finalist


Manny, 30, prides himself as being a food-loving firefighter, regularly cooking up meals for his colleagues. Originally from Miami, Manny was exposed at a young age to different cuisines, including Caribbean, Cuban and Haitian, which he incorporates into his recipes. Manny’s goal is to make food fun again, while sharing his unique culinary point of view with the world. Manny has the experience, personality and desire to become the next Food Network Star!

Describe your culinary POV in one sentence.
American cuisine with Southern and Caribbean influences.

What made you fall in love with food?
Growing up in my family. Cooking what how I got close with my grandmother, and my mom was cooking so it all fell into place, and it just grew from there. And then when I came to the fire department, cooking was one thing I excelled at, so I took it, and it felt good cooking for all the firefighters. It was something I fell in love with.

What technical kitchen skill are you best at?
Grilling. When I go to the station, I buying at least 10-14 pounds of meat, so I get pretty well versed in carving, grilling and putting large amount of food.

What's your signature dish?
Churrasco steak with chimichurri sauce, and cilantro-lime rice, black beans and caramelized sweet plantains.

What do you say to people who think they can't learn how to cook?
I’m a firefighter cook, but I’m also a teacher. I also teach chemistry to firefighters. Just like chemistry, cooking can be very intimidating. I think all about the delivery of what I teach. One of the greatest things I learned is that sometimes the greatest chemist or the greatest cook is not necessarily the best teacher of things. I may not be the best cook by any means, but I feel I’m a very good teacher. I think I could teach people to simplify things to make them fun and interesting so they learn about cooking.

Let's say it's a regular Tuesday night and you're at home. What's for dinner?
It depends what’s in the refrigerator. I’ll take some chicken do a chipotle chicken and put it over a bed of greens with a homemade vinaigrette dressing.

Who's your food/chef spirit animal?
Alton Brown is my biggest spirit animal, because I love the science of food. And Alton Brown loves to break down things so they’re fun and more interesting to people.

What's something very few people know about you?
Most people don’t know I tap dance. I still do it once in a while.

Food pics in restaurants: yay or nay. Why?
Yay. People put a lot of work into what they cook, and that’s my way of celebrating and showing people that chefs made great food. That’s my way of showing off their hard work.

Dinner Idea: Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

Sunday Dinner Idea!!!! Make a Red Wine Braised Short Rib. Put it on some garlic parmesan potatoes, topped with some bacon brussel sprouts. To make Marinade Take some salt/pepper/ garlic powder/sweet onion/ carrots/celery/red wine cabernet sauvignon/Worcestershire sauce. Allow them to marinate for at least 3 hours preferably overnight.