Sunday, November 25, 2012

Best Burger Ever

Have you ever had someone ask you a question like, "If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?"  Well my answer would be hamburgers.  My husband teases me that I always get a burger when we go out to eat.  I just like a good burger, a moist and flavorful burger.  This recipe makes a good, moist and flavorful burger.  It's best cooked inside (see notes below), so it's great for this time of year.
Recipe and photo from Little Miss Momma.

Best Burger Ever with Secret Sauce
  • 2 lbs ground beef 85/15
  • sesame seed buns
  • ½ cup of grated Monterrey jack cheese
  • ¼ cup BBQ sauce
  • season salt to taste
  • cracked black pepper
  • onion powder
Secret Sauce
  • ¾ cup of mayo
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup relish
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire
  • seasoned salt
  1. Combine the ground beef, grated cheese, bbq sauce, and seasonings. Shape patties that are about 1 inch thick.
  2. Then it is very important to push a ½ inch indent into the center of the patty–this is what prevents the patty from becoming a dome. These burgers stay extra moist because the bbq sauce and cheese are mixed in with the meat.
  3. Wait for the skillet to get super hot and then apply a very thin layer of butter to the pan. Place the patties on the pan, indent side up.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and allow this side of the patty to cook for about 4-6 minutes, but make sure it doesn’t burn. Then flip the burger over and cook until done.
  5. For the sauce: Combine all ingredients and whisk until well mixed. Taste and adjust ingredients to your liking.
  6. Assemble the burgers and serve with avocado, lettuce or your choice of toppings!
I also butter and toast the buns on a skillet Pioneer Woman style. Something about a sesame seed bun makes the burger seem more legit. 
Many of you have had trouble with the burgers falling apart. For some reason, I have made these burgers many times and this has not yet happened to me. But for those who are experiencing this, here are a few of my suggestions. 1. I don’t ever put this type of burger on the grill because it is too moist and will fall through the grates–which is why I use a grill pan. 2. I wait to flip the burger until one side is very thoroughly cooked, so that it holds together better before flipping. 3. If you are worried about them falling apart still, perhaps use less BBQ sauce than what I have listed in the recipe (try 2 tablespoons instead). 4. Some commenters have suggested adding some bread crumbs. I hope these tips help. These really do have a yummy flavor, sorry for those having trouble.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Creamy Garlic Pasta

I've never had this pasta from Olive Garden, but I've heard this recipe is just as delicious!  I believe it's served with Italian sausage, but we used it as a side dish with grilled pork chops (if I remember correctly).
My tips:  I used roasted garlic (that I make myself).  You can cut down the olive oil and just diffuse your butter with the roasted garlic.  (Did you know that adding oil to butter in a pan will help keep the butter from burning?)  And I add a little extra chicken broth to thin it out just before serving because it thickens up more than I prefer.  I've also learned you have to cover the pan while cooking the noodles because the broth doesn't cover the pasta well enough to cook thoroughly.  I might also add . . . it's not as good reheated.
One of my latest Pinterest finds . . . ENJOY!

Creamy Garlic Pasta

2 tsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
3 cups chicken stock
½ lb spaghetti or angel hair pasta (I use angel hair)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
¾ cup heavy cream (I use 2% milk or skim)
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I used 1 Tsp dry parsley)
In a pot, bring the olive oil to medium-low heat. Add the garlic and stir, allowing it to cook for 1-2 minutes. Mix in the butter until melted. Add the salt, pepper and chicken stock. Raise the heat to high and let it come to a boil.
Once it is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook for as long as the box’s directions indicate. Reduce the stove to medium heat and mix in the parmesan until completely melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream and parsley. Serve immediately.

For a direct link to the recipe, click here.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Taco Ring

Another submitted recipe!! Notes have been made by submitter.  You can choose to make original recipe or with changes noted.  Enjoy!
Taco Ring
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 package (1.25 oz) taco seasoning mix
  • 1 c. (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 T. water* (I omitted - see explanation below)
  • 2 8-oz packages refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 medium green bell pepper (optional)
  • 1 c. salsa (optional)
  • 3 c. lettuce, shredded (we used more -- ¾ a head)
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • ¼ c. onion, chopped
  • ½ c. pitted ripe olives
  • sour cream
Preheat oven to 375°. Brown the ground beef, then drain. The directions say to add in the taco seasoning mix, cheese, and 2 T. water.

Instead, I cooked the beef and seasoning in the pan according to the taco seasoning directions, and since it was still moist from the water called for on the package, I omitted the 2T. water. I added the cheese, and stirred to get it melted. The cheese sort of helps hold the meat together.
Unroll the crescent dough; separate into triangles. Arrange triangles in a circle on a pizza pan with the wide ends toward the center of the pan, overlapping each other. It will look like a large sun with the points hanging half off the pan.

There should be a 5 or 6 inch opening in the center. Spoon the meat mixture evenly onto widest end of each triangle. Bring points of triangles up over filling and tuck under wide ends of dough. (Filling will not be completely covered). Bake 18-22 minutes or until golden brown.

(I didn't do this next part -- I just made more salad to put into the center.)

Cut off the top of the bell pepper. Discard top, membrane, and seeds. Fill pepper with the salsa.

Shred lettuce, and dice tomato and onions. Slice the olives. Place the bell pepper in the center of the taco ring, and arrange other salad items around the green pepper.