Tag Archives: pickle recipes

Whiskey Special Sauce for Hamburgers

There is nothing like a summer hamburger cooked to perfection on an outdoor grill.  You may want to stop there but I strongly suggest that if you want to really amp up the flavor of your grilled burger, try making your own version of special sauce. Usually, special sauce is a combination of your favorite condiments – mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup. The base of my special sauce is the same but I like to chop up bread and butter pickles for a little sweetness  along with pickled jalapenos for some spice and heat to mix into my sauce so that every bite of my burger has a combination of many tastes. I could have stopped here but decided to take my sauce up one more level of flavor.  I added to my sauce one of the best ingredients I could think of – whiskey! Whiskey really makes that special sauce a “special, special sauce”.  The whiskey enhances the salty and sweet flavors.  As for topping the burger feel free to have a slice of melted american cheese. You can also try my new favorite, freshly grated parmesan cheese generously grated over the burger like a big cloud of freshly fallen snow! It’s burger time with your own special sauce!

From by the bay, wishing you whiskey special sauce food memories!



Whiskey Special Sauce


  • 1/2 cup good quality prepared mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon whiskey
  • 3 tablespoons chopped bread and butter pickles
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapeno


In a small bowl mix all the ingredients until well combined. Place in a covered glass container and refrigerate for at least one hour below using. The sauce keep refrigerated for up to one week.

Note: You can make the special sauce without the whiskey

Best Meatloaf Recipe with Bourbon Barbecue Sauce






January is always an interesting month! It’s post all the holiday festivities and the height of the winter doldrums. It’s usually pretty cold and dreary, so I find food a good way to add a little spark to the month is with a good warm meal. I decided to kick up the flavor for classic meatloaf  by mixing some italian sausage meat to the usual ground beef and adding some additional flavors like grated pickle. That would have been enough, but then I added my rockin’ bourbon barbecue sauce with spectacular results! So jumpstart your New Year right out of the doldrums with this exciting twist on a classic dish!

From by the bay, wishing you rockin’ food memories!


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Meatloaf with Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

Serves 4 to 6 


11/2 pounds ground beef

1 pound sweet sausage meat, out of the casing

2 tablespoons shredded sour pickles ( using box grater)

1 egg

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons shredded onion  ( squeeze water out )

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

1 recipe bourbon barbecue sauce ( recipe follows)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl add all the ingredients and mix well ( your hands work best here). Place on sheet pan and form into a rectangle shaped loaf approximately 7″ by 4″. Place in oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with about 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce. Bake another 30 minutes , remove from oven and cool before serving. Meatloaf can be served with the remaining barbecue sauce at room temperature or warmed.

blog meatloaf 2

Rockin Blue Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
Makes 1 cup

1 1/2 cups Jack Daniel’s Black Label or Bourbon

1 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 tablespoons dark molasses

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

Pour 1 cup of whiskey into a saucepan. Bring the saucepan to a boil and reduce the liquid to about 2 tablespoons. Don’t let the alcohol flame.

Add 1/2 cup of the whiskey and the other ingredients. Simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes and reduce it by about 1/3. Use it immediately or bottle it and keep it in the refrigerator for a month or more.

Pickled Cucumbers with Dill and Lemon


My grandparents grew lots of cucumbers on their farm on Long Island. Come late summer my grandmother would make jars of pickles, using lots of the fresh dill from the farm.  I have to settle for buying my product at the farm stand today, but I don’t need to settle on the flavors I enjoyed from my grandmother. This is a really easy recipe for making pickled cucumbers , perfect for any weekend barbecue , as well as a  low calorie snack to enjoy anytime!  This is simply cutting a few things , boiling a few ingredients and you have pickled cucumbers to go! Impress your family and friends this weekend with this simple delicious side!

From by the bay wishing you pickled food memories!



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Pickled Cucumbers with Dill and Lemon

Makes 1 quart


  • 1 pound kirby cucumbers
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 springs dill
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns


Have ready a 1 quart size glass container such as a mason jar. Trim the ends off of the kirby cucumbers and slice in 1/4 inch rounds. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Peel and crush the garlic cloves. Take the glass jar and layer the cucumbers, then shallots , garlic and dill. Repeat until you have layered all your ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients into a saucepan and bring to simmer.  Remove from heat and pour over the cucumbers. Let cool to room temperature. Seal tightly and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. The pickled cucumbers will last about 2 weeks stored in the refrigerator.




Cubano Burger


Summer is almost here! The pool is open. The lounge chairs and umbrellas are set up. Blue skies and bright sun are overhead. I can walk into my backyard and imagine I’m on vacation, hmmm the South of France, Southern California, I think today feels like South Beach, Miami. South Beach is my inspiration for this Cubano Burger. Poolside dining doesn’t get better than this american twist on the cuban sandwich. I make my burger with ground pork mixed with fresh citrus, then  accented with ham, cheese and roasted garlic. Try this burger and whisk yourself and your guests off to South Beach too!
From by the bay, wishing you South Beach food memories!
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Cubano Burger
Serves Six
1 head of garlic
1/2 teaspoon olive oil, plus more for brushing the grill
2 pounds ground pork
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons orange juice
6 ciabatta rolls
12 slices baby swiss cheese
12 dill pickle slices
6 slices boiled ham
1/2 cup store bought mayonnaise
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Rub olive oil on head of garlic and wrap garlic in aluminum foil. Place on baking sheet roast for 30 to 35 minutes until garlic feels soft, then remove from oven and cool. Cut top off garlic head and squeeze garlic cloves out of skin and into a bowl. Mash garlic and then add mayonnaise and mix well. Cover and place into refrigerator until ready to use. In a mixing bowl add the ground pork, pepper, cumin and citrus juices. Mix well with your hands and form 6 patties. Fire up the grill. Brush grill with olive oil and cook patties approximately 15 minutes per side, until pork is cooked through. Once ready, cut rolls in half, place on baking sheets and top each side with a slice of swiss cheese. Remove from oven once the cheese starts to melt. To assemble : take one half of bun with cheese, place burger on top, spread garlic mayonnaise on burger, add slice of ham, then pickle slices and top with other half of the bun. Repeat to make the remaining burgers. Serve immediately.

From by the bay wishing all my readers a Happy Memorial Day!

Pickled Grapes with Rosemary and Chiles

Ever since my trip to Nashville, I’ve been inspired to discover more about the exciting food movement happening with southern cuisine. Along the way I discovered the Lee Brothers. Matt Lee  and Ted Lee are founders of “The Lee Bros. Boiled Peanuts Catalogue,” a mail-order catalog for southern pantry staples. They are also food and travel journalists whose work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, GQ, The New York Times and Martha Stewart Living. Together they authored The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook and Simple Fresh Southern, which is a fantastic cookbook. This is one of the first recipes I made from the book. So easy to make but with a delicious sweet and sour taste , with an added kick of heat. It’s perfect to serve with your favorite cocktail.
From by the bay, wishing you pickled food memories!
blog pickle grapes
Pickled Grapes with Rosemary and Chiles
6 cups stemmed mixed red and green seedless grapes (about 2 pounds)
2 cups distilled white vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
Leaves from 1 four-inch sprig rosemary
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried red chile flakes
Pack the grapes into 3 pint-size glass containers with lids. Pour the vinegar and 1 cup water into a saucepan, set it over medium-high heat, and add the salt, sugar, garlic, rosemary, and chile flakes. When the mixture starts to simmer, remove the pan from the heat and divide the hot brine among the pints of grapes. Cover loosely and let cool to room temperature. Cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour before serving. The pickles will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.
Reprinted from The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern: Knockout Dishes with Down-Home Flavor by Matt and Ted Lee. Copyright © 2009 Published by Clarkson Potter
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Yield: Makes 1 1/2 quarts