Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chicken Burgers Deluxe

Husband has been craving a burger for at least a week now; since he can't have beef very often, it's a real commitment to go somewhere for a burger ... will it live up to the craving?, y'know.

So, yesterday at Stop & Shop I bought everything for deluxe chicken burgers.

Serves 4
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 4 "Miami onion" rolls (they were like challah/egg bread inside, with onions and poppy seeds rolled in the outside of the dough)
  • Finely chopped onion* and peppers, about 1/2 cup
  • Butter
  • Special sauce: Mayo, Ketchup, Sweet Relish
  • Thick slices of Boar's Head cheddar cheese (1 per burger)
  • Ripe tomato slices (yay, the tomatoes on the vine were on sale!)
  • Thin slices of onion*
  • Salt and pepper
* I usually only have yellow onions.

Combine meat and chopped pepper-onion mix. Divide into 4 and place on Foreman grill at 400 degrees for 7 minutes.

Toast rolls, and butter them.

Make Special Sauce: Mix about equal parts mayo and ketchup in a small dish. Add relish if desired. Layer sauce on the top half of each toasted bun.

When meat is cooked, place burgers on buns and immediately add cheese if desired.
Add thin-sliced onion, tomato, and salt and pepper. Top with special-sauced bun tops.

I also made Sweet Potato fries but didn't look up a recipe, so they were good if somewhat soggy.

Our 2010 Great Hot Dog Cookoff Entry

We didn't win any prizes at The Great Hot Dog Cookoff this year, , but got lots of compliments about the balance of sweetness, heat, creaminess, and meatiness in our dog.

Plus we got some awesome stuff like a Sigg bottle and (at the event) samples of a really delicious Adirondack Creamery ice cream that DuckyBoy wants instead of cake at his birthday party. (why do I open my big mouth and suggest things like that? What are the odds that the 2 stores in Queens that carry the brand will have the mint chocolate chip?) Anyway I've also really been enjoying the Brooklyn-made Early Bird Granola ("Farmhand's Choice" has lots of seeds, yum!) and I've stashed away our Wusthof paring knife for someday...)

We called our entry "The Last Dogbender" because it has the 4 universal elements:
  • Bacon from what we called “an earthy creature,”plus onions
  • Fiery jalapenos
  • The liquid of life … cheese sauce
  • Honey from the bees of the air.
The Last Dogbender
Here are the ingredients per dog:
  • 1 hot dog bun
  • 1 hot dog, cooked (preferably grilled)
  • 1 oz honey
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked
  • French’s French Fried Onions
  • About a tablespoon of Cheese Sauce (see below)
Cheese Sauce ingredients:
  • Cubes of Velveeta cheese
  • Chopped jalapenos as desired (we used a lot more than we expected -- the Velveeta really cuts the heat.)
  • Whole milk (or whatever kind of milk you'd like. Husband used whole.)
  • Small amount of corn starch or flour

Cook the bacon till crispy. Set aside to drain.

Make the cheese sauce: Melt the Velveeta in a saucepan. Add milk and stir until smooth. Add flour a little at a time to thicken. Remove from heat and add jalapenos. Set side.

Open the bun and drizzle the honey inside.
Add bacon. Sandwich the hot dog in between the 2 slices.

Top with about a tablespoon of cheese sauce.

Sprinkle a handful of French's onions on top.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Classy Coffee Station

This photo is from BlogHer '10 at the Hilton NY.

Mom and Dad and DuckyBoy have been making iced coffee
for Journey Queens every Sunday this summer,
and what to do with the half-and-half and milk
is always something to ponder.

This would be a cool solution!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Our Version of Guy Fieri's Mozzarella Sticks

I can't find the recipe for this but we saw it a couple of weeks ago. Guy Fieri made these with his son Hunter, who has long hair like DB. Husband and DB made these a few days later.

Guy adds a slice of prosciutto to his, inside the wonton and wrapped around the cheese, but we left that out -- and they're still awesome. So awesome, I've had them for dinner, for lunch, and for breakfast. And I can't wait to have a party to make tons more. And I'll try to get a picture, too.

  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Regular bread crumbs (Guy used Italian but we used plain because that's what we already had)
  • Mozzarella sticks (or block of mozz.)
  • Egg
  • Milk
  • Wonton wrappers (hint: they were in the vegetables aile at our supermarket, with the tofu and the precut veggies and the veggie juice drinks and all that stuff)
  • Oil for frying
1. Cut the sticks in half or cut the block of cheese into 1/2-ounce sticks.
2. Mix 1/2 of each kind of bread crumb in a shallow bowl. Mix 1 egg with 1/4 cup or so of milk in a shallow bowl.
3. On a cutting board or other flat surface, lay out a wonton wrapper.
4. Place 1 piece of your mozzarella at one side edge of the wonton, and roll it around once. Fold in the sides, then roll the rest of the way.
5. Dip the wrapped cheese in egg mix, then breadcrumbs.
6. Heat oil to 350 degrees F.
7. Fry your wrapped cheese sticks for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Drain and serve.

Calories: We figured about 160 calories apiece.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Real American Winner

I'm very excited that Rick Bayless won the first season of Top Chef Masters. His video is adorable. What a low-key guy!

It was interesting to have watched the series and root for the finalists; I would have been OK with either Bayless or Hubert Keller winning, but the previous couple of episodes Michael Chiarello came off like, well, a jerk, so I wasn't rooting for him. Particularly in the episode where the finalists had to interview former Top Chef contestants, he made them scramble to chop stuff for him, and asked everyone how to pronounce his name. Degrading interivew questions! The other 2 chefs treated the TC-ers more respectfully, both in the interviews and during the ensuing challenge.

Oh, and in the video Bravo calls his "exit interview" he says he "could have manipulated the outcome" of the finale by choosing a different dish! What an egomaniac. He's a good-looking guy but did not deserve to win.

I also think it was fitting Bayless won because his is a true American cuisine; Keller cooks from a French background; Chiarello from Italian roots; but Bayless has Oklahome BBQ roots and specilizes in Mexican cuisine, which is also North American.

I also want to say that I like that Kelly Choi hosted the Masters episodes; we watched her on her NYC-cable channel days and it's nice to see her on a bigger stage.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lamb Burgers

This is adapted from this Lamb Burgers recipe, but of course, we made it our own using what we had.

* 3/4-1 lb. lamb shoulder, chopped fine (we used our Oscar mini chopper, which had the advantage over hand chopping in that we were able to pull the sinewy strings out whole)
* 2 TB chopped fresh parsley
* 1 TB dried oregano
* 1 TB garlic, chopped
* 1 tsp. white vinegar
* 1 tsp. honey
* 1 tsp. ground cumin
* 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
* 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Place the lamb in a large bowl and mix with the parsley, oregano, garlic, vinegar, and honey.
Season with cumin, allspice, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.

Shape into 3 or 4 patties.

Coat the bottom of a large saute pan with olive oil and heat. Add lamb burgers and cook until well done. Place on rolls and eat!

Oh, and we had a raita/tzaziki sauce: Mix together 1 c. plain yogurt, 1/2 finely shredded cucumber (without the seedy inside part), 1 tsp. garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt, pepper to taste.

Husband and I think these would be even better with some tomato and lettuce on top; as it were, with the rosemary ciabbata rolls we put them on, it was really filling. But tasty!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Shrimp in Veggie Broth, a la CSA

This is adapted from a recipe in the Feb 2009 issue of Bon Appetit, which did not have zucchini or broccoli stems.

Serves 4:

4 Cippolini onions, chopped
Broccoli stems, peeled, and small leaves from 2 or 3 bunches, chopped
2 medium zucchini, peeled and halved and cut into 1/8-inch rounds
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 TB paprika
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, we used with jalapeno
2 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 8-oz bottle clam juice
3 c water
4 small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut in 1/8 inch slices; I cut the bigger ones in half so the size would be similar.
1 lb. peeled, deveined medium shrimp

1. Heat oil in large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until almost tender. Add broccoli, zucchini and saute until just tender.

2. Add garlic and paprika; stir 2 minutes.

3. Stir in tomatoes and juice and cook until liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently (about 15 minutes). Toward the end, stir in rosemary and red pepper.

4. Stir in clam juice, then water, and bring to a boil.

5. Add potatoes; simmer until they are almost tender, about 5 minutes.

6. Add shrimp; simmer until just cooked through, about 5 minutes.

7. Remove from heat and cooking pan immediately (to avoid overcooking the shrimp). Season with salt and pepper.