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Holiday Burger Bonanza, on a Budget

Chef Kevin Roberts believes all men can cook - and no one should have to leave the house for good - greasy food.

Roberts, a native Californian with his own radio show in Southern California called "The Food Dude," is a partner and executive chef at the East Village Tavern and Bowl in San Diego. He's also the author of the greasy food Bible, "Munchies," a cookbook for men full of recipes that show non-cooks how to create their favorite greasy delights in their own kitchens. It comes to the aid of hungry men and college students everywhere.

Roberts accepted "The Early Show on Saturday Morning"'s "Chef on a Shoestring" challenge, but it was a bit different than usual.

To mark the Memorial Day holiday, we doubled our usual "Shoestring" budget to $80 - and doubled the number of people to be fed, to eight.

Kevin's blowout barbecue menu included Tavern-Style Wings, Crunchy Onion Cheeseburgers, Buffalo Burgers with Buffalo Chili Onions, a Bluecheese Burger, Pickleslaw, and for dessert, a Special Saturday Sundae Bar.


Cayenne Pepper: A hot, pungent powder made from several of various tropical CHILES that originated in French Guyana. Cayenne pepper is also called red pepper. (Source:

Worcestershire Sauce: Though this CONDIMENT was originally developed in India by the English, it takes its name from the fact that it was first bottled in Worcester, England. It's a thin, dark, rather piquant sauce used to season meats, gravies, soups and vegetable juices, and as a table condiment. It's also an essential ingredient in the popular bloody mary cocktail. Worcestershire's formula usually includes garlic, soy sauce, tamarind, onions, molasses, lime, anchovies, vinegar and various seasonings. It's widely available in supermarkets. (Source:

Sangria: The blood-red color of this beverage inspired its name, which is derived from the Spanish word for "blood." Sangría is made with red wine, fruit juices, soda water, fruit and sometimes LIQUEURS and BRANDY or COGNAC. Sangría blanco (white sangría) is made with white wine. Both are served cold over ice and make a refreshing cooler on a hot summer day. (Source:

Lychee: One of China's cherished fruits for over 2,000 years, the small (1 to 2 inches in diameter) litchi has a rough, bright red shell. The creamy white flesh is juicy, smooth and delicately sweet. It surrounds a single seed. Native to Southeast Asia, the litchi is cultivated in subtropical regions including California, Florida and Hawaii. Fresh litchis are available from June to about mid-July. Choose those with brightly colored skins free of blemishes. Place in a plastic bag and refrigerate unshelled for up to a week. Shell, seed and eat plain or as part of a fruit salad or dessert. Canned and dried litchis are available year-round. When dried they're often referred to as litchi nuts because they resemble a nut - the shell turns a dark reddish brown and the flesh becomes brown and crisp. They're eaten as a snack, much in the same way as nuts or candy. (Source:

"Early Show" Recipes Galore!


Tavern Style Wings

The trick to my tasty and healthy wings is that I boil them first in a dark beer. That knocks off a lot of the fat and makes them nice and tender, it also adds some beery flavor and gets a nice crust when grilled. Then you can throw them on the heat and get 'em nice and crispy.

1 4-pound bag of frozen or fresh chicken wings (try to get a combo of both wings and drumettes)
1/2 cup cayenne pepper sauce, Frank's Red Hot preferred
1/2 cup barbeque sauce
1 six pack of dark beer such as Guinness


Boil the wings in the dark beer in a large pot for 10 minutes. Drain water and excess fat from wings when done. Grill wings on barbecue until crispy.

Prepare sauce: Add 1/2 cup barbecue sauce to the 1/2 cup cayenne pepper sauce and mix well. Then mix the wings in the Tavern sauce and serve. Serves 4

Buffalo Burgers

A Burger is a burger until you try one of my burgers. Remember, you will want to make the patty a little bigger than the bun because the meat will shrink slightly when cooked.

Serve with your favorite toppings or have it my way, with spicy Buffalo onions and Blue cheese. It makes the burger have a terrific wing-like flavor.

1 pound of beef
Salt and pepper
Seasonings of choice-I like Old Bay or Grill Mates
4 hamburger buns
Buffalo onions (recipe above)
Crumbled Blue Cheese


Mix ground beef with salt and pepper, and, if desired, mix the meat with seasonings such as Old Bay or Grill Mates. Shape the meat into four round patties each slightly larger than a standard hamburger bun. Grill on the barbeque until desired doneness. Place the burgers on the bun, top with Buffalo onions and blue cheese.

Buffalo Chili Onions

This sauce is tangy and spicy, giving the onions you top your burger with a Tavern wing type flavor. Top the burger with blue cheese, you have a burger that anyone who likes wings will love to eat.

1/2 hot sauce, store bought, Frank's Red Hot preferred
1/2 cup of melted butter of olive oil
1/4 cup of barbeque sauce, store bought
1 tablespoon of chili powder
4 large sweet onions, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices


In a medium bowl, stir together the hot sauce, the butter, barbeque sauce and chili powder. Brush the mixture onto onion slices.

Grill the onions over medium high heat for 10 minutes, or until tender, turning and basting often with the chili mixture.


Crunchy Onion Cheeseburger

1 1/2 pounds of ground beef
2 cups (4 ounces) French Fried onions
3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
3/4 teaspoons of garlic powder
6 slices of Swiss or Muenster Cheese


Mix the beef with one cup of French Fried onions, Worcestershire and garlic powder. Shape that meat into six burgers. Grill the burgers about 10 minutes until cooked through in the center.

Top each with one slice of cheese, cook for one minute until the cheese melts. Serve the burger on rolls with lettuce and tomatoes if desired. Top each burger with the remaining French Fried Onions.

Hawaiian Burger

Some people would find it strange putting a sweet piece of fruit on a burger, but the Hawaiian and tropical flavor of this is going to make it hugely popular with anyone you are serving. Combine it with bacon, and the sweet and salty will surprise and endear this dish to everyone who tastes it.

1 pound beef
Salt and Pepper
Seasonings if desired, such as Old Bay or Grill Mates
4 slices pineapple, grilled
4 slices of cooked applewood smoked bacon
4 buns


Mix the meat with any seasonings you desire, salt and pepper. Shape the mixed meat into four round patties each slightly larger than a standard hamburger bun.

Grill on the barbecue until desired doneness or until cooked through. Place the burgers on bottom half of bun, top with slice of pineapple and slice of bacon, finish with bun tops and feast.


This is the clean version of your regular coleslaw that you can actually leave out in the sun. The pickles give it a nice tangy crunch too. I created this because usual slaw was not my favorite. But when I combined pickles and slaw, pure magic.

4 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 cup green onions, include tops
1 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup baby kosher dills, chopped
1/3 cup Italian Salad Dressing, use your store bought favorite
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


In a large mixing bowl, lightly toss together the cabbage, the green onions, chopped celery and pickles. Pour salad dressing over salad, add the salt and pepper and toss again lightly. Chill thoroughly for at least twenty minutes. But if you can't wait, I understand.

White Sangria with Lychee Fruit

1 Bottle of white wine or white grape juice
1 cup passion fruit juice
1 apple, diced
1 pear, diced
1 orange, peeled and cut in bite-size pieces
1 15-ounce can of lychee (reserve juice), diced


In a large pitcher combine wine or grapefruit juice, passion fruit juice, apple, pear, orange and the lychee and its juice. Stir until well mixed.

Cover and chill until ready to serve. Serve with or without ice.

Sundae Bar

2 gallons ice cream - Chocolate & Vanilla (or any two other flavors you prefer)
Assorted candy toppings - gummy bears, red, white & blue M & M's, chocolate covered peanuts, crushed oreos, broken Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
Whipped Cream
Chocolate Sauce


Set up all candy ingredients and cherries in bowls or platters with spoons for serving. Place the gallons of ice cream in a large bucket filled with ice, or an ice filled cooler. Place scoops out so people can serve themselves. Chocolate syrup can either be served from the bottle, or poured out to be served with a spoon.

Place whipped cream mixed with mixer out in it's mixing bowl. Put out parfait glasses, martini glasses etc (be creative!) and allow people to serve themselves.

Whipped Cream

1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar


Mix the liquid ingredients in a bowl. Mix any additional dry ingredients with the powdered sugar then mix the dry ingredient mixture with the liquid ingredients.

Whip the mixture with an electric hand mixer until raised peaks form in it and hold their shape. It should take about four minutes (or much longer if using a manual hand mixer or whisk).

Serve over your dessert and enjoy!

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