This is a “flex” for CSM but I could not figure out any other way to say “Happy Birthday” to Christopher Meloni, who turns 62 today and looks great,
especially while photographed working out naked.
Everyone’s favorite New York City detective didn’t exactly have a rough and tumble childhood. He is the youngest son of a DC endocrinologist, attended a private school in Alexandria, VA (I have a friend who went to the same school, but alas not the same class), and studied acting at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
I think we know the major milestones of his career. He was Julia Roberts’s fiancé in Runaway Bride, played hot-headed prisoner Chris Keller on Oz, found widespread fame as hot-headed Det. Eliot Stabler on Law & Order: SVU, left that in 2011 over a contract dispute (presumably Dick Wolf, who must be one of the richest men in Hollywood at this point, wouldn’t cough up), but now he’s back on yet another L&O spinoff called, Law & Order: Organized Crime.
But what you may not know, as I did not, is that his interior designer wife’s maiden name is Sherman Williams (that would be like me marrying a guy named Benjamin or Benedict Moore) and speaking of gay marriage, was a very vocal advocate for gay marriage and other LGBTQ+ causes, to the point where he got the 2006 Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Award and in 2011 appeared in videos urging the state of New York to adopt marriage equality. Happily married himself, at the end of 2014 he bought the old Ozzie & Harriet house, which is almost just too much:
Nowadays he is a frequent profile subject in men’s health and fitness magazines, which is why my quest for a Chris Meloni recipe was so frustrating. I felt for sure that somewhere out there would be a super-healthy Chris Meloni smoothie recipe, or at least a description of his diet I could work in somehow (“Chris Meloni eats 14 eggs a day and here’s a way to make a dozen scrambled eggs with spinach and chèvre in one huge skillet…”) but nada.
So I returned to my old friend Rachael Ray, whom we heard from recently. Chris has been on Rach’s show a few times and one time she made Spicy Bloody Mary Cheeseburgers for him. This, friends, will have to do.
Rachael Ray’s Spicy Bloody Mary Cheeseburgers that She Fed to Chris Meloni
For the Burgers
1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 rounded tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
A small handful celery tops and leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup Heinz organic ketchup or Heinz chili sauce
1/2 cup Ritz cracker crumbs or fine breadcrumbs
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
4 brioche burger rolls, split
For the Sauce
3/4 cup Heinz ketchup
1 rounded tablespoon horseradish
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons minced celery tops
Coarse black pepper, to taste
Place beef in mixing bowl, season liberally with kosher salt and lots of black pepper. Add Worcestershire, horseradish, Tabasco, celery tops and leaves, ketchup or chili sauce, cracker crumbs and egg yolk. Combine and form 4 large patties that are thinner at the center than the edges for even cooking.
Combine sauce ingredients in small bowl.
Heat cast-iron skillet or griddle pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and wipe around pan — it will smoke up a bit. Add burgers and cook 8-10 minutes, turning once. Top with cheese in last minute or 2 of your cooking time. Serve on brioche rolls topped with special sauce.