Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Burgers: Bleu Cheese/Balsamic Sauce and Roasted Veggies

The evening began at my friend Rebecca's house with some beverages and watching Man V, Food on the travel channel.  The episode was all about burgers, big, spicy etc.  Anyways I decided I must have a burger it had been so long, while I sat there I was like ok I'm so tired I don't want to make one, but I also am needing to save money cause its the holiday season....so I decided I had no choice I must cook one up tonight, which we all know I normally love to do....but lately I've been pretty tired.  So as I went to meet up with my other lovely friend Elisa I called her and said come outside, get in my car and lets go to the store I have a vision! Once we were finally back home we began the process to success!  I will say that obviously this is a burger and we used a ton of cheese, so this is one of my fat kid recipes!!! Enjoy! Also please notice in the picture that there is cheese oozing out of the burger...yep that is because I also wanted a Juicy Lucy, and if u don't know what that is look it up:)

Makes 2 burgers

The Ingredients
4 slices of sourdough bread
2/3 pound lean ground beef
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Italian spice
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
4oz creamy bleu cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/8 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/8 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 zucchini, sliced
1 small head of broccoli, thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1 small tomato, sliced
1 cup mixed greens, (for lettuce) 

The Process
1.  Start by turning on oven to 450 degrees and in glass cooking dish toss olive oil, and some salt and pepper to taste with zucchini, red onion, broccoli, and two cloves of the minced garlic.  Put in oven and cook for about 15-20min or until roasted.

2.  Next take the balsamic vinegar and put in sauce pan over medium heat.  This will take about 20min to reduce, and you want a slow steady simmer, not boiling because then the vinegar will burn.  Stir often and just pay attention to it.

3.  Time to spice up the burger meat, in medium mixing bowl add raw beef, pepper, salt, Worcestershire sauce, chili flakes, italian spice, garlic powder, and rest of minced garlic, mix well with hands.

4.  Mix together the two grated cheeses.

5.  Heat up pan over medium-high heat and take meat mix and flatten into two thin burgers.  Add half of grated cheese mixture to the center of each burger and fold side over to look like a taco.  Then reshape each burgers slightly to make round again. Add burgers to the pan and cook each side about 4mins (because they are thin they will cook fast), or cook until done.

6.  Put sourdough bread slices in toaster and toast.

7.  Slice tomatoes and rinse mixed greens and set aside. 

8.  When balsamic vinegar is reduced add the bleu cheese and milk and whisk until smooth and blended and take off of stove.

9.  To assemble first put roasted veggies on bread, then the burger patty, then the balsamic bleu cheese sauce (lots of it), then put on tomatoes and mixed greens then other piece of bread and eat eat eat!!!

We also added our own bacon to the burger but its not necessary because the burger was so flavorful already.  There is a lot of balsamic cheese sauce so definitely dip your burger in it too.  And it is pretty awesome because I felt like I was in one of those Carl's Junior commercials with sauce dripping everywhere and big ol' burger in my hands....but it was cooler cause Carl's Junior is nasty and my burger was gourmet!!

I also wanted to give props to this hot sauce shelve in my friend Elisa's fridge because every fridge needs to have that much variety of hot sauce! I approve!!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Mom's Birthday Dinner

Success! After many emails between my father, me, and my older brother we successfully pulled off my mum's birthday meal:)  My older brother hosted the event in his lovely home in Sellwood, and my aunt, uncle and cousin joined as well.  My dad made the chicken based on a recipe I found on tastespotting.com
The chicken was apricot chili tequila chicken thighs, and they tasted sooo good:) As for the rest of the meal, I made the potato "salad" which is featured on my blog under gourmet, and I roasted green beans and a red bell pepper, with a pinot grigio vinegar based dressing.  My aunt and uncle brought an amazing chocolate mousse cake to top off the meal.  It was a perfect way to end an awesome yet exhausting weekend.  Now time to prepare for thanksgiving!!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chicken and Asparagus Taco Time

These tacos were inspired by what was in my fridge and the awesome hot paprika that my lovely friend Jovan brought back for me from Germany.  Plus who doesn't love tacos? No one I know.  Anyways this is also my one fun thing I'm letting myself do today (writing this post) because otherwise I have a crazy amount of school work to do.  I have three papers due in the next two weeks with one due tomorrow and one on sunday.....yes it is intense, but that is graduate school right? Right?....well I think so.  Anyways on to the tacos these are very healthy and yes spicy but as we all know you can control your own amount of spice, but be warned if you follow these directions expect spicy:) And once again this recipe is by yours truly:)

Serves 2-3


1 large chicken breast, cubed

1 bunch of asparagus, chopped in two inch pieces

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon hot paprika or cayanne

1/8 teaspoon cumin

1/8 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon nature's seasoning (optional)

1 tablespoon Tapatio sauce

3 tablespoons plain yogurt

3 tablespoons salsa

Pepper and salt to taste

Olive oil

Small corn tortillas

Extra sharp cheddar, shredded

The Process
1.  Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat, when hot add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

2.  Begin steaming asparagus, steam for 2-3 minutes (al dente).

3.  After 1 minute add chicken to skillet and turn heat up to medium-high, cook for about 5 minutes.

4.  Drain asparagus and add to skillet, turn heat back down to a low-medium.

5.  Add to skillet: hot paprika, cumin, garlic salt, nature's seasoning, chili powder, Tapatio sauce, plain yogurt, salsa and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for 2 more minutes or until mixture is hot and chicken is cooked through.

6.  In the mean time warm up tortillas.

7.  Assemble: tortilla, cheese, hot mixture of chicken and asparagus then top with more plain yogurt, salsa, and Tapatio.

8.  Eat!

I know it seems odd to have asparagus in tacos, but it is surprisingly and wonderfully delicious:)  Also note that I realize extra sharp cheddar is fattening but when you use extra sharp cheddar you can use a small amount because the flavor is so big, so keep that in mind.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lamb and Blood

No I did not make this delicious meal...wish I was that good at gravy and sauceness.  On sunday evening, halloween, I decided to go up to my parents house to have a family dinner and watch scary movies.  My dad just invested in 20lbs of lamb that his friend raised and butchered.  We don't eat much lamb but it is nice to have variety.  This was a leg of the lamb and it was sooo amazing!  Completely infused with garlic and more.  Not to mention the gravy....oh my god the gravy.  I'm not sure my dad has ever made a gravy this good, we were all sitting at the table dousing our meat in it and trying not to drool. 

Now to the blood part of this post.  We ended up watching the movie my bloody valentine.  It was a bad movie don't watch it.  There was tons of blood which doesn't bother me but it was a little awkward to watch with my parents haha.  Anyways all in all awesome evening with motivation to have my dad teach me the ways of sauce.

Thai Beef Salad

This was absolutely amazing, probably my favorite as of recent.  Though a word of warning it is gnarly the next day because the cucumbers have so much water in them that it waters down the whole salad blarg!  Anyways I also forgot to take a picture so I will just not have one, but imagine lovely green with the contrast of rare red beef:) Yum!  I made this one for my wonderful friend Brittany, she came over and it was one of those nights when you hardly remember to turn on music (which is rare for me) because you are both talking about life in depth. Twas lovely.  Alright on to the recipe.

Servings 4
From NPR

1 pound sirloin steak
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1 hot red thai chili, chopped
2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup mint, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper

The Process
1. Preheat oven to broil.  Rub steak with garlic powder and a little salt and pepper.  Place in greased pan and broil each side 3-4 minutes for medium rare.

2.  Remove steak from oven and put in fridge for one hour.

3.  In the meantime, chop up and add to large bowl the cucumbers, shallots, cilantro and mint.

4.  To make dressing whisk together in small bowl fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, hot chili and a little pepper.

5.  When steak is done cooling thinly slice and add to the large bowl, then add dressing and mix all together and eat.

It is a wonderful low fat meal that is refreshing and tastes good even on a cold day.  But like I said it does not keep well, so make sure and eat it all up!