Burgers

1 lb to 1.25 lbs ground turkey (about 7% fat) or ground beef
salt & pepper
oil for the pan
thin slices of cheese (optional)

Using your hands, on a cutting board, shape the ground meat into 3 or 4 round or oval patties of equal thickness.  Sprinkle the tops with salt and pepper.  Wash your hands and the cutting board with soap and hot water.

Heat the cast iron skillet over medium heat (#6).  After a few minutes, place your hand over the pan, a couple of inches from the surface.  If it feels hot, pour in about 2 teaspoons of oil (canola or olive).  Give that a minute to warm up, then use the metal pancake turner to spread the oil evenly in the pan, then use the pancake turner to place the turkey patties in the skillet, salt-and-pepper side down, making sure to leave space between them.  Salt and pepper the other side of the patties (which are now on top).  Cook for  6-7 minutes, until crusty brown on the bottom and cooked about half-way up the sides.  Rotate them half-way through cooking if it looks like the center of the pan is cooking faster than the edges.

Turn over carefully and cook the other side.  Top with cheese, if you like, which will melt as the burger finishes cooking.  Wash the pancake turner with soap and hot water.  Cook for about 4 more minutes, until the patty is tender but not squishy when you lightly press the center.

Use the clean pancake turner to remove the burgers from the pan onto plates and serve.

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Published in: on February 18, 2017 at 6:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fish & Rice with Onions & Bacon

Serves 3-4

1 package frozen Cod (small pieces) from Trader Joe’s, thawed
1/2 large onion, diced small
3 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
olive oil
salt & pepper
cooked rice (Trader Joe’s quick-cooking brown basmati is nice)
butter

In a medium skillet with a lid, saute the onion and 1/4 of the bacon pieces over medium-low heat until soft.  Season with salt and pepper.  Top with the fish pieces, keeping them in an even layer.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover with the lid and cook for about 10 minutes until the fish is done.

Put some rice in the center of your plate, top with the onions and fish from the pan, dot with butter and sprinkle with reserved bacon.

Sam yes
Anna yes
Ma yes

Published in: on November 5, 2016 at 6:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tapas Salad

1 large russet potato
1 jar marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained, patted dry on paper towels, and halved
4 large handfuls of arugula
pitted olives of your choice, sliced
10 grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced or halved
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 handful parsley leaves
2 Tablespoons sliced almonds, optional

Dressing:  Stir together 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise, 1-2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, minced/crushed garlic to taste, ground chipotle pepper to taste

Poke the potato several times with a fork and microwave for 4 minutes.  Let cool slightly, then cut into 1/2″ cubes, or 1/3″ batons.  Heat olive oil in a nonstick or cast iron pan until hot, and cook the potatoes until brown and crisp.  In another skillet cook the artichoke hearts until crisp on both sides.  Drain potatoes on paper towels.

Divide the arugula between two plates.  Top with the olives, tomatoes, potatoes, artichoke hearts, feta, parsley, almonds and dressing.

Published in: on September 3, 2016 at 6:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ground Beef & Green Beans

From Jane Brody’s Good Food Book

Sauce:
2 tsp cornstarch
1/3 cup broth (not hot)
1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp dry sherry or water
1 tsp cider vinegar

Main Ingredients
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 lb green beans, Frenched
2 tsp minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1/2 lb lean ground beef

Optional:
sliced mushrooms, sauteed
julienne broccoli
cooked rice or noodles

In a small bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients.  Make sure the cornstarch is completely dissolved.  Set the mixture aside.

In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil for 30 seconds over high heat, and add the green beans.  Stir-fry the green beans for about 4 minutes – the beans should be tender-crisp and lightly charred in spots.  Remove the green beans with a slotted spoon, and set them aside.  (For Sean, add water and steam until softer.)

Do the same with the broccoli, if using.

Add the ginger and garlic to the pan, cook them for 30 seconds, and then add the pepper flakes and beef, crumbling the meat with a spatula.  Stir-fry the mixture just until the beef loses its pinkness.  Drain off all the excess fat from the pan.

Stir the reserved sauce once more, and add it to the meat.  Cook the mixture stirring it, for a few minutes until the sauce thickens.  Fold in the reserved green beans (and broccoli and mushrooms, if using), heat the mixture for 1 minute, and serve.

Published in: on July 21, 2016 at 4:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

To Try: Cauliflower Tabbouleh

from You’ve Got it Made by Ellie Krieger

http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/home-and-family/recipes/cauliflower-tabbouleh

Serves 6

  • 1⁄2 Head Cauliflower
  • 1 Pint Grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1⁄2 Large English cucumber, seeded and diced (about 2 Cups)
  • 2 Cups chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1⁄2 Cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1⁄4 Cup olive oil
  • 1⁄2 Cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3⁄4 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1⁄4 tsp salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

 

1. Cut the cauliflower into two or three large pieces, each with some stem attached. Holding each piece by the steam, grate the top part of the cauliflower on the large holes of a box grater to form rice-like pieces, until you have about 3 cups. Alternatively, you can cut the cauliflower into florets, removing as much of the stem as possible, and grate the florets in the food processor using the grater attachment. Save the stems and any remaining cauliflower of another use.

2. In a large bowl, toss together the grated cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, onion, and mint leaves.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, cumin, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the cauliflower mixture and toss well to combine. Cover tightly and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

Published in: on July 20, 2016 at 3:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pasta with Italian Sausage and Broccoli

Super easy, delicious, quick, and inexpensive!  What more could you ask?

Serves 3

1/3 to 1/2 lb rigatoni or other shaped pasta
3 cups small broccoli florets
1 or 2 Italian sausage links (I like chicken sweet Italian)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Parmesan, ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes, for serving

Set a large skillet over medium-high heat, remove sausage from casing, and crumble into the skillet.  Brown well, stirring as needed, breaking into bite-sized pieces.  Drain any excess fat and keep warm in the skillet over low heat.

Meanwhile:

Method 1) Fill a large pot half-full of water, add a teaspoon of table salt and the pasta, set over high heat, and cover.  When the pasta is almost done, add the broccoli, and continue to cook until the broccoli is the way you like it. Drain the pasta and broccoli and finish the dish.

Method 2) If you have a pot with a pasta insert, try it this way:
Use the new method of putting the pasta in the pot, cover with 1″ of water, add salt, and set on the stove on high.  When the water has started to boil, add the pasta insert with your broccoli in it and cook until the broccoli is done to your taste.  Then remove the pasta insert and broccoli and cover the broccoli with ice cubes if you want to stop the cooking sooner than later.  When the pasta is done to your liking, drain it (not completely) and finish the dish.

To finish:

When the sausage is fully cooked, add the pasta and broccoli to the skillet , along with the garlic powder and olive oil.  Stir well until the pasta is coated with oil.  Serve with Parmesan, ground black pepper and red pepper flakes.

 

 

Published in: on July 13, 2016 at 5:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Broccoli Beef

1 steak, cooked, and thinly sliced across the grain
8 oz button mushrooms, quartered, and sauteed
1 bunch broccoli, cut into spears and blanched, then stems chopped and flowerettes sliced

Mix up sauce:

Combine over medium heat and serve over rice.

 

Published in: on July 5, 2016 at 5:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Slightly adapted from a recipe from Meal Makeover Moms’ “No Whine With Dinner”

Makes 8 Servings

  • 2½ pounds pork loin, trimmed of fat and cut into 3 pieces
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half across the equator and sliced into 1/4-inch strips
  • 6 oz barbecue sauce
  • 8 whole wheat hamburger buns, lightly toasted
  1. Put the pork, carrot, red bell pepper, onion, and barbecue sauce in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low until the pork is tender, 6 to 8 hours.
  2. When the meat is done, drain off juice as desired. Use two forks to pull the meat into shreds.  Stir until well combined, adding more sauce as desired.  Divide the pork mixture evenly between the hamburger buns and serve.

Ma  yes
Sam  so-so
Anna  so-so
Da   yes

Published in: on May 19, 2016 at 5:56 pm  Comments (1)  

Meatball Soup with Rice & Cilantro

from the America’s Test Kitchen book The Best Mexican Recipes

Needs some tweaking.  The meatballs are a bit tough/dense, even though I used 85% lean ground beef. Had to cook soup longer than directed to get the rice in the meatballs soft enough.  Too many meatballs for amount of broth.

Serves 6-8

1 cup long-grain white rice
8 oz 90% lean ground beef
8 oz lean ground pork
3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro
1 large egg
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 14 oz can chopped tomatoes, undrained
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
1/2 jalapeno chile, stemmed, halved, and seeded
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 cups chicken broth
1 carrot, peeled and diced 1/4″
1 small zucchini, diced 1/4″

Bring 4 cups water to boil in a Dutch oven.  Add rice and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes.  Drain rice through fine-mesh strainer, rinse with cold water, and drain again.

Using your hands, mix half of parcooked rice, ground beef, ground pork, 3 tablespoons cilantro, egg, 1/3 of garlic, oregano, cumin, 1 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a large bowl. Pinch off and roll mixture into 1-tablespoon-size meatballs (about 40 total) and arrange on rimmed baking sheet.

Process tomatoes, onion, jalapeno and remaining garlic in food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.  heat oil in now-empty pot over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add tomato-onion mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture has darkened in color and liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.

Stir in broth and carrots, scraping up any browned bits, and bring to simmer.  Cook until carrots are almost tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in zucchini and remaining parcooked rice, then gently add meatballs and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 12 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve.

Sam  yes
Anna  yes but a bit too spicy
Ma  yes
Sean  no

Published in: on May 9, 2016 at 5:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Vegetarian Tamale Pie

from “Simply Satisfying” by Jeanne Lemlin

Serves 4-6

3 Tablespoons olive and/or canola oil
2 medium onions, diced
1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1/2″ dice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
16 oz can diced tomatoes, well drained (1 cup pulp)
16 oz can chili beans, drained
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 teaspoon salt
ground pepper

CRUST
2 1/2 cups cold water
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (4 oz) grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 tablespoon butter, cut into bits

In a large skillet heat the oil over mediu mheat.  Add the onions and green pepper and cook until tender yet still crunchy, about 10 minutes.

Add the chili powder, cumin, tomatoes, and beans, and toss well.  Cook for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is heated through and begins to get dry.

Add the corn, salt, and pepper and cook 1 minutes more.  Remove from the heat.  May be prepared to this point and chilled up to 24 hours in advance.  Bring to room temperature before proceeding with the next step.

To make the crust: Butter a 9″ pie plate. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Place the water, cornmeal, chili powder and salt in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and whisk frequently with a wire whisk (I use a flat whisk) until smooth and thick.  As it begins to thicken whisk constantly.  When the mixture begins to tear away from the sides of the pan, it is ready, about 5 minutes.

Immediately spread 2/3 of the cornmeal on the bottom and sides of the pie plate.  Smooth over with a rubber spatula. Top with the bean mixture and smooth over the top.  Evenly spinkle on the cheese.  Top with the remaining cornmeal mixture by dropping on small spoonfulls, and use your fingers to spread it out.  Top with the butter.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until lightly golden.  Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Ma:  yes
Sam: doesn’t like the crust
Anna: will eat the crust

Published in: on May 4, 2016 at 7:17 pm  Leave a Comment