Bryan’s Step-Father’s Red Chile and Enchilada Casserole

Bryan and I don’t often go out of town. You might not guess because I’ve posted already this month about travelling to Northern Ontario. This time, the destination was much closer: Toronto. Bryan’s sister is currently living in Toronto and his step-father came for a visit, so we took the opportunity to finally visit. And we hope to visit his sister M again soon!!

We spent most of our day at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

I didn’t get any “good” shots of the group. Bryan and his step-father managed to make a “kissy-face” in every one! 🙂

Race time!

This is not my usual sort of activity. Honestly, I was a bit skeptical about it as well. I brought a book with me just in case I was bored. Fortunately, that was not the case. I had such a great time with Bryan and his family. They’re a lot of fun to be around!

However, I think my favourite part of the day was dinner. We went back to M and C’s place in Toronto where Bryan’s step-father taught us how to make his Red Chile and Enchilada Casserole. We all pitched in one way or another (despite the kitchen being a bit on the small side). The “kids” made guacamole while the “parent” worked on the Red Chile and Enchilada Casserole. He went through the recipe with us step-by-step, explaining what he was doing and allowing for the occasional photo-op along the way.

The master chef showing us how to fry a corn tortilla.

There was enough left over that we got to bring some of the red chile home. I’ve since made another enchilada casserole. I’m so glad we documented the process… now we can make our own red chile sauce at home!

Red Chile

Bryan’s step-father’s recipe, posted with permission

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef â€“ approximate cost $6.50
  • 3 heaping + 1 level tablespoons all-purpose flour â€“ approximate cost $0.30
  • 4 ounces (red) guajilli molido chile powder â€“ approximate cost $4.00
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder â€“ approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt â€“ approximate cost $0.05
  • Approximately 1/2 cup canola oil â€“ approximate cost $0.25
  • Water (about 6 cups)

Method

  1. Brown 1 lb ground beef in a large pot.
  2. Drain any liquid from the ground beef.
  3. Heat 1/4″ oil (approximately 1/2 cup) in a small frying pan over medium heat.
  4. Turn down the heat.
  5. Stir 3 heaping + 1 level tablespoons of flour into the oil
  6. Stir constantly until the flour dissolves.
  7. Add 4 ounces of (red) guajilli molido chile powder.
  8. Stir until it becomes a thick paste.
  9. Add chile paste to ground beef.
  10. Fill the pot to about half with water (about 6 cups).
  11. Add a teaspoon of garlic powder and a teaspoon of sea salt.
  12. Bring to boil and let the sauce thicken.
  13. Stir frequently.
  14. Remove from heat and divide into three batches.

Makes 3 batches of red chile (approximate cost: $3.73 per serving).

Red Chile Enchilada Casserole

Also Bryan’s step-father’s recipe, posted with permission

Ingredients

  • 2 cups red chile â€“ approximate cost $1.24
  • 12 yellow corn tortillas â€“ approximate cost $0.40
  • 2 cans of pinto beans (liquid reserved) â€“ approximate cost $2.20
  • 2 cups Mexican cheese blend, shredded (cheddar, mozzarealla, and american cheeses) â€“ approximate cost $4.00
  • Canola oil (for frying) â€“ approximate cost $0.25

Method

  1. Heat 1/4″ oil in a frying pan.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Very lightly fry 6 yellow corn tortillas.
  4. Place on paper towels to remove some of the oil.
  5. Pour 1/2 juice from the can of pinto beans into a 9×13 baking dish (it should coat the bottom of the dish).
  6. Distribute the fried tortillas into an even layer in the baking dish (it’s ok if they overlap).
  7. Pour the can of pinto beans (and remaining liquid) on top of the tortillas.
  8. Top with 2 ladles of chile sauce (about 1 cup).
  9. Sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded cheese.
  10. Repeat steps 3-9 to make a second layer on the enchilada casserole.
  11. Bake about 30 minutes, or until the cheese and sauce begin to bubble.
  12. Let stand on the counter for a few minutes.
  13. Serve and enjoy! (Optional: Serve with flour tortillas to soak up any extra sauce)

Makes 6 servings (approximate cost: $1.35 per serving).

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Slow-Cooked Beef Brisket Sliders

It was starting to look like spring around here. Most of the snow had melted and the weather was warm enough that I put away my heavy winter jacket in favour of a lighter spring jacket. Then, without warning, winter returned… Temperatures dropped back down to -9 degrees Celsius! And it snowed again.

With the return of colder weather, I decided to make some comfort food. So, I picked up some beef brisket and made sliders!

This was more than enough for the two of us. So, the next day, we served the leftovers to some friends that stopped by around dinner time. They reheated nicely in the oven and were just as delicious the next day!

Slow-Cooked Beef Brisket Sliders

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil â€“ approximate cost $0.05
  • 2 onions, sliced â€“ approximate cost $0.80
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced â€“ approximate cost $0.50
  • 2 pounds of beef brisket â€“ approximate cost $10.00
  • 1 bottle of light beer (we used Bud Light Lime) â€“ approximate cost $1.25
  • 1 teaspoon paprika â€“ approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder â€“ approximate cost $0.10
  • ½ teaspoon cumin â€“ approximate cost $0.05
  • 3 dashes natural hickory liquid smoke â€“ approximate cost $0.10
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon â€“ approximate cost $0.10
  • 2 bay leaves â€“ approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper â€“ approximate cost $0.05
  • ½ cup Carolina-style barbecue sauce â€“ approximate cost $1.30
  • 12 slider hamburger buns â€“ approximate cost $2.50

Method

  1. Preheat a frying pan and the grapeseed oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion slices when the oil is hot.
  3. Cook the onion for about 7 minutes, or until softened.
  4. Add the garlic to the onions and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add the cooked onions and garlic and beef brisket to the slow cooker.
  6. Combine the beer, paprika, chili, cumin, liquid smoke, bay leaves, and beef bouillon in a large measuring cup.
  7. Mix well.
  8. Pour the beer and spice mixture over the beef brisket.
  9. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until beef is cooked through and tender.
  10. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  11. Remove the brisket and onions from the slow cooker.
  12. Shred the brisket into thin pieces.
  13. Place the shredded brisket and onions into a large baking dish.
  14. Cover with Carolina-style barbecue sauce.
  15. Mix well until the meat is thoroughly coated with the sauce.
  16. Bake for about 15 minutes so the sauce is warm and there are a few crusty pieces.
  17. Place the brisket on slider hamburger buns.
  18. Serve and enjoy!

Makes about 12 sliders or 6 large sandwiches (approximate cost $1.42 per slider or $2.84 per sandwich).

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Improv Challenge: Peas and Carrots (Shepherd’s Pie)

I’m excited to once again be participating in the Improv Challenge hosted by Kristen from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker! This month, the challenge ingredients are peas and carrots. So far, I’ve shared:

For this month’s Improv Challenge, I made Shepherd’s Pie! When I heard the challenge ingredients were peas and carrots, I knew exactly what I would be making (It happens to be one of Bryan’s favourite meals). I changed up the recipe a bit from the usual… I added some crimini mushrooms and cut the amount of mashed potatoes in half. The mushrooms were a great addition. I missed the extra potatoes (Bryan seemed to enjoy it more this way)! If you love mashed potatoes… DOUBLE the amount called for in this recipe.

Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil – approximate cost $0.05
  • 4 onions, sliced – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1 bunch (9 small) carrots, sliced – approximate cost $2.00
  • 250 grams crimini mushrooms, sliced – approximate cost $1.50
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced – approximate cost $0.50
  • 2 pounds learn ground beef – approximate cost $9.00
  • 2 284 milliliter cans of beef broth (+ 2 cans of water) – approximate cost $2.40
  • 500 grams green peas – approximate cost $3.00
  • 3 pounds potatoes, diced – approximate cost $3.00
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch – approximate cost $0.10
  • 2 teaspoons paprika – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 cup milk – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1/2 cup butter – approximate cost $1.00

Method

  1. Prepare the meat and vegetable mixture.
    1. Preheat the grapeseed oil in a large pot over medium heat.
    2. Add the onion slices.
    3. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the onion is soft.
    4. Add the minced garlic.
    5. Cook until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes).
    6. Remove the onion and garlic mixture and set aside in a mixing bowl.
    7. Add the ground beef to the cooking pot.
    8. Brown the ground beef.
    9. Use a wooden spoon to break the ground beef into small pieces.
    10. Return the onion and garlic mixture to the pot.
    11. Add the carrot, mushrooms, and green peas.
    12. Mix well.
    13. Add the beef broth and water.
    14. Bring the pot to a boil.
    15. Cook for about 5 minutes.
    16. Add the paprika, rosemary, and black pepper.
    17. Mix the cornstarch with about 1/4 cup cold water.
    18. Stir the cornstarch into the broth slowly.
    19. Stir frequently until thickened.
  2. Prepare the mashed potatoes.
    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
    2. Optional: Peel the potatoes. (We dice them right away, leaving the skin on)
    3. Dice the potatoes.
    4. Boil the potatoes until tender (about 10-15 minutes).
    5. Drain the potatoes.
    6. Add the milk and butter to the potatoes.
    7. Use a potatoes masher to mash the potatoes.
  3. Put it all together!
    1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2. Divide the meat and vegetable mixture evenly between two 9×13 baking dishes.
    3. Top with an even layer of mashed potatoes.
    4. Bake the Shepherd’s Pie for about an hour and a half.
  4. Remove the shepherd’s pie from the oven.
  5. Let it sit on the counter for about 10 minutes.
  6. Serve and enjoy! (Makes fantastic leftovers)

Makes 16 servings (approximate cost: $1.58 per serving).



Peppery Beef Heart Burgers

Eat your heart out!

Tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day and I’ve been planning our special meal for about a week now. We’re staying home and cooking dinner and will probably watch a movie or play video games together afterward. I’m looking forward to a quiet evening at home.

Much of the menu is still up in the air as I write this post, but one thing is for sure… Beef heart burgers will be making an appearance at our table!

We’ve been making jokes/puns about hearts for a few days now. Such as the one with which I began this post and other cheesy lines. We’re very amused at the idea of eating a heart while we celebrate the occasion. Some friends have told me it’s morbid. Others have laughed at the irony of the meal. I hope you find this post amusing!

I’m very excited to feature these burgers as well because they are something that Bryan and I worked on making together. We rarely spend time together in the kitchen! Because it’s a messy job and we were making a large batch of burgers, I enlisted his help.

I mixed, portioned, and pressed the burgers. Bryan kept my workspace clean, wrapped the burger patties, sorted them into perfect portions for freezing, and fended off a curious kitty who wanted to see what we were up to. I was very glad for the help!

Of course, we had to cook two burgers immediately to make sure they were as delicious as they looked. We topped the burgers with a slice of cheddar cheese and an egg, cooked over-easy. They were delicious! (We made the burgers about a week ago and only have about 6 left in the freezer)

What will you be doing to celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Peppery Beef Heart Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 beef heart (about 1.9 kg), ground – approximate cost $12.00
  • 0.9 kg of fatty beef brisket, ground – approximate cost $10.00
  • 5 teaspoons finely ground sea salt – approximate cost $0.25
  • 2 teaspoons finely ground black pepper – approximate cost $0.10
  • 12 hamburger buns – approximate cost $3.00
  • Grapeseed oil for cooking – approximate cost $0.25

Optional toppings

  • Egg (cooked over-easy)
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Guacamole
  • Bacon
  • Sweet onion
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomato
  • Avocado
  • Dill pickle
  • Lettuce

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Work with your hands until the ingredients are well-mixed.
  3. Divide the meat into approximately ½ pound portions (12 burgers).
  4. Use your hands to shape each portion into a very large, tightly-packed meatball.
  5. Press the meatballs into burgers (you can use your hands or a burger press).
  6. Keep the burgers separate by placing a piece of waxed paper between each patty.
  7. Preheat a frying pan with a small amount of grapeseed oil over medium heat.
  8. Place burger patties in the frying pan (being careful not to overcrowd the pan).
  9. Cook for about 8-10 minutes.
  10. Flip the burger patty.
  11. Cook for an additional 8-10 minutes (or until cooked to desired done-ness, my burgers were medium, with a very small amount of pink still in the center of the burger).
  12. Serve on a bun with desired toppings.

Makes 12 servings (approximate cost: $2.13 per serving + optional topping).

We’ve had these burgers a few times already and it’s gone well with all of our favourite toppings. Bryan’s favourite set of toppings was an egg – over easy – and a slice of cheddar. Mine is guacamole and a slice of bacon.

These burgers are VERY filling and just one is enough even for those with a hearty appetite. I’ve yet to finish an entire burger myself (but got very close).

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Guest Posting on Lady Behind the Curtain

Today, I’m guest posting on Lady Behind the Curtain!!! I’m very excited that Sheryl invited me to post on her lovely blog. Sheryl is the host of the Cast Party Wednesday blog hop, which I began participating in over the summer. I love Sheryl’s blog because it focuses on delicious recipes, but also features party and gift DIY ideas. A few of my favourite recipe posts on Sheryl’s blog are:

Head on over to Sheryl’s blog, Lady Behind the Curtain, and check out my Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf recipe!

Spicy, Slow-Cooked Beef Chili

Things have been crazy busy since I returned to school. Between readings, projects, group meetings, scholarship applications, and whatnot, I feel like I’ve barely had time to cook. To address this, I make big meals on Sunday evening and pack it up into portions that we enjoy throughout the week for lunch and dinner.

One of my go-to favourites is chili. I love chili because it’s hearty, because it’s so versatile, and because I can put it in the slow cooker and come home to a delicious warm meal. I can add just about everything in my pantry and it will still be a yummy chili. Last winter, I made what Bryan calls Texas-style chili. To me, it’s just chili. For the Improv Challenge in August, I made a soup with tomatoes and Anaheim chile peppers, this is more along the lines of what Bryan thinks of as chile. Despite our differing definitions, we both very much enjoy chili (despite that I always slip some chickpeas into the mix, one of Bryan’s least favourite foods, he never complains, what a great guy.).

I went a bit overboard when making chili the other week. I had forgotten just how many servings it makes and added wayyy more herbs and spices than usual. I wanted something different from my usual chili. Unfortunately, our freezer is very full, so there was no rooms to save the leftovers for later. So we ate chili, at least once per day, for nearly a week. Next time, I’ll cut this recipe in half. Or make sure I have plenty of freezer space to save some for another time.

What’s your favourite meal to make in the slow-cooker during the fall months?

Spicy, Slow-Cooked Beef Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds stewing beef, cut into 1/2 inch cubes – approximate cost $8.00
  • 2 cups beef stock – approximate cost $1.50
  • 1 12 ounce can of tomato paste – approximate cost $1.25
  • 1 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes, diced and liquid reserved – approximate cost $1.25
  • 1 cup dried red kidney beans – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 cup dried white kidney beans – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas beans – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced – approximate cost $0.75
  • 400 grams crimini mushrooms, chopped – approximate cost $2.00
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced – approximate cost $0.40
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder – approximate cost $0.40
  • 1 tablespoon cumin – approximate cost $0.20
  • 1 tablespoon paprika – approximate cost $0.20
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (less if you want to tone down the spiciness) – approximate cost $0.20
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning – approximate cost $0.20
  • 1 tablespoon dried cilantro – approximate cost $0.20
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper – approximate cost $0.20
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (about 1/4 cup to top each serving) – approximate cost $1.50
  • Baguette (for serving) – approximate cost $2.00

Method

  1. Soak the dried beans.
    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
    2. Add dried beans.
    3. Let cook for 5 minutes.
    4. Turn the stove off.
    5. Put a lid on the pot.
    6. Remove pot from the burner.
    7. Allow the beans soak for at least 1 hour.
  2. Prepare the beef, garlic, and onion.
    1. Heat the grapeseed oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
    2. Sautee the minced garlic for 1 minute.
    3. Add the onion to the frying pan and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes. or until the onion softens.
    4. Add the stewing beef and cook until browned.
  3. Putting it all together in the slow cooker.
    1. Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes (and liquid), chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, Italian Seasoning, cilantro, sea salt, black pepper to the slow cooker first.
    2. Stir well so the flavours mix well with the liquid.
    3. Add the browned stewing beef mixture, soaked beans, crimini mushrooms.
    4. Mix again.
    5. There should be enough liquid to cover the chili. If not, add more beef stock.
    6. Cook at low temperature for about 6 hours (or high temperature for about 4 hours).
  4. Serve topped with shredded cheese and baguette on the side.

Makes about 12 servings (approximate cost: $1.83 per serving).

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Improv Challenge: Tomatoes and Peppers

I’m excited to be participating in another Improv Challenge hosted by Kristen from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker (my fourth month participating)! Each month I strive to come up with something a bit more exciting or creative than the last.

So far, I’ve shared:

This month, the challenge ingredients are tomatoes and peppers.

This month is the first time that I’m not sharing the dish I had initially made for the challenge. Over the weekend, I made a curry-like dish with chicken, peppers, and tomatoes. It was good, but tasted a bit more like Mexican food than Indian food. I was a bit disappointed by this because it didn’t pair very well with naan bread. Also, it was wayyyy too spicy for me! I ate half a bowl. Even Bryan mentioned that it was spicy (his tolerance level is much higher than mine). He was able to finish, but was surprised I made it as far through the meal as I did. Because I was unsatisfied with the results, I haven’t have much inspiration to write about the experience, nor did I want to share the recipe as part of the Improv Challenge (I may share it in a week or so).

Instead, I made a last minute trip to the grocery store on Tuesday while running other errands to pick up more peppers and tomatoes so I could try again. Earlier in the day, I had been reading a blog post series on Chiles at MJ’s Kitchen. The posts were very informative, explaining that “the green chile pepper [is] called by many names – New Mexico chile, Anaheim pepper, California chile, Hatch, Big Jim, Rio Grande and Sandia – to name a few” (MJ’s Kitchen). I’d never heard it called California pepper, Big Jim, Rio Grande or Sandia! I was even a bit skeptical that an Anaheim pepper would be the same, though I’ve heard the peppers called by that name before.

Reminiscing about the amazing food in the Southwest US. I wanted green chiles afterwards, but that’s not something that’s regularly sold around here. In fact, the only Hatch Chiles I’ve seen are dried red chiles sold at specialty stores with a fairly high price tag. It’s always good, but not quite the same as green chiles.

Very much to my surprise, there was a large basket of “Anaheim Peppers” at the grocery store this week. I had to have them. The price was also surprisingly reasonable. Here’s hoping that they will start to carry these chile peppers regularly!

I’ve never really cooked with green chiles. My experience with them has mostly been meals someone else has cooked or take-out. So, for this Improv Challenge, I’m sharing one of Bryan’s recipes that I’ve adapted. This is one of the few things he would cook for me when we first met!

Green Chile Pepper and Tomato Soup

Adapted from Bryan’s recipe (I think he said he learned this from his family?)

Ingredients

  • 500 grams lean (or extra lean) ground beef – approximate cost $5.50
  • 10 fresh green chile peppers (New Mexico chile, Anaheim pepper, California chile, Hatch chile, Big Jim chile, Rio Grandechile or Sandia chile) – approximate cost $3.50
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced – approximate cost $0.20
  • 1 can diced tomatoes – approximate cost $1.25
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1/2 cup water

Method

  1. Roast the chile peppers, making sure all sides are roasted (so the skins will peel away easily later).
  2. Set the roasted chile peppers in the fridge to cool.
  3. Remove the cooled chile peppers from the fridge.
  4. Roll each of the chile peppers to loosen the seeds.
  5. Cut off the tops of the chile peppers.
  6. Pour out as many seeds as possible.
    1. If you want the soup spicy, reserve a few of the seeds.
    2. If you want the soup mild, gently wash the inside of the peppers with cold water to remove the remaining seeds.
  7. Wash your hands very well with lots of soap and avoid rubbing your eyes for a while to ensure the chile peppers will not burn you.
  8. Peel the roasted skin away from the chile pepper.
  9. Discard the skin.
  10. Dice the chile peppers.
  11. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot.
  12. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  13. Add the ground beef.
  14. Break the beef into pieces using a wooden spoon.
  15. Brown the beef (there shouldn’t be any more pink).
  16. Add the chile peppers.
  17. Mix well.
  18. Add the diced tomatoes (as well as the liquid from the can).
  19. Mix well.
  20. Add half cup water (the beef mixture should be just covered by the liquid.
  21. Bring to a boil.
  22. Add the sea salt.
  23. Taste the broth and add more salt if necessary.
  24. Remove from heat.
  25. Serve hot in soup bowls.

Makes 4 servings (approximate cost: $2.65 per serving).



Beef Burgers with Bacon and Red Onion

These burgers are from a few weeks ago. I delayed posting them because I didn’t want all of my posts to be about burgers. I didn’t want you to get bored… and I didn’t want to get bored of writing about burgers. I’ve been making a lot of burgers in the last few months. I make burgers at work and then come home and make more burgers (mind you, mine are a bit more fun because I can put all kinds of ingredients in them).

These burgers in particular were not planned. They were a last minute “you’re leaving at what time and need burgers!?” creation. I was going to roast some Anaheim peppers and add them to the mixture, but there just wasn’t enough time. I hadn’t panned on adding bacon or onion for that matter. I wasn’t very happy with the burger mixture because I had to make last minute changes. Despite that, they were very good. Bryan took two over to a friend’s place to cook for dinner… he tells me everyone else thought they looked and smelled amazing.

I kept two at home for us. I was much less disappointed with the burgers once they were cooked and served for dinner.

Have you ever had to make an unplanned meal in a hurry? How did it turn out?

Beef Burgers with Bacon and Red Onion

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef – approximate cost $4.50
  • 1 egg – approximate cost $0.35
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs – approximate cost $0.75
  • 4 slices of bacon – approximate cost $1.00
  • 1/2 red onion – approximate cost $0.30
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 8 slices of old cheddar cheese (about 200 grams) – approximate cost $2.00
  • 4 cheese buns – approximate cost $2.00

Method

  1. Cook the bacon (I baked it in the oven).
  2. Grate the red onion.
  3. Crumble the bacon.
  4. Combine the ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, onion, bacon, Italian seasoning, sea salt and black pepper in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Mix thoroughly using your hands (but be careful not to over-work the meat, that will make it tough).
  6. Divide the beef mixture into 4 portions.
  7. Shape each portion into a burger patty.
  8. Cook the burger patties any way you like!
    1. Barbecue the burgers until cooked through and slightly toast the buns.
    2. Fry the burgers over medium-high heat.
    3. Grill the burgers on a counter-top grill.
    4. Broil the burgers in the oven, turning once to cook both sides.
  9. Serve on cheese buns with two slices of old cheddar cheese and your favourite toppings!

Serving Suggestions

Serve with slices of your favourite vegetables and condiments.

Vegetables

  • Red onion
  • Spanish onion
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Avocado

Condiments

  • Barbecue sauce
  • Mayo
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Relish
  • Dill relish

Makes 4 servings (approximate cost: $2.79 per serving + toppings and condiments).

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Mouthwatering Mondays

Beef Burgers with Asian-Inspired Flavours

One of my blogging goals I set for myself is to post three times per week (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays), except on those really busy weeks when I can’t meet those goals. To help me continue motivating myself and working towards my blogging goals, I’ve decided to start participating in What’s Cooking Wednesday – a weekly blog hop/link party hosted by The King’s Court IV, Turning The Clock Back, and Confessions of an Overworked Mom. I’m excited to be participating!


As you can probably tell, I’ve been making a lot of burgers lately. Earlier this week, I shared the chicken burgers with smoked paprika and rosemary that my brother and I prepared for mom’s birthday.

Bryan visits a friend on weekends who owns a barbecue. The get-together is of the ‘bring your own food to throw on the grill’ sort. So, I’ve used this as an opportunity to play with adding various seasonings to burgers. This burger with Asian-inspired flavours is his favourite so far.

I kept a few at home to try myself and it is quite tasty! I especially like it topped with avocado mayo. I would have preferred avocado slices, but none of the avocados at the grocery store were ripe and I didn’t have time to wait for them to ripen.

Bryan has asked me to make this again (even though he ate them just the other week). While I enjoyed these as well, I declined so I can experiment with a few more types of burgers. Surprisingly, he is ok with this (I was half expecting that he would be disappointed). Instead, I was pleasantly surprised when he complimented my saying he loves when I experiment while dreaming up what we will have for dinner.

What are your favourite flavours to add to (beef) burger patties?

Beef Burgers with Asian-Inspired Flavours

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef – approximate cost $4.50
  • 1 egg – approximate cost $0.35
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs – approximate cost $0.75
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce – approximate cost $0.10
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (or white wine) – approximate cost $0.25
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice – approximate cost $0.10
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil – approximate cost $0.20
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (more if you’d like it spicy) – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper – approximate cost $0.10
  • 4 hamburger buns – approximate cost $1.00

Method

  1. Combine the ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, dark soy sauce, mirin (or white wine), lemon juice, chili flakes, sesame oil and black pepper in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix thoroughly using your hands (but be careful not to over-work the meat, that will make it tough).
  3. Divide the beef mixture into 4 portions.
  4. Shape each portion into a burger patty.
  5. Cook the burger patties any way you like!
    1. Barbecue the burgers until cooked through and slightly toast the buns.
    2. Fry the burgers over medium-high heat.
    3. Grill the burgers on a counter-top grill.
    4. Broil the burgers in the oven, turning once to cook both sides.
  6. Serve on hamburger buns with your favourite toppings!

Serving Suggestions

Serve with slices of your favourite vegetables and condiments.

Vegetables

  • Red onion
  • Green onions
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Avocado

Condiments

  • Mayo
  • Japanese mayo
  • Avocado mayo
  • Ketchup

Makes 4 servings (approximate cost: $1.85 per serving + toppings and condiments).

Hanger Steak

Last week I mentioned that I’ve been working at a butcher shop the last few months. I’ve learned so much already. I’ve quickly learned to identify and recommend cuts of meat. I’ve learned a few things about cooking. Yet, there’s much more to learn.

Today, I’m featuring a steak that I brought home last week: the hanger steak. Why? Because it’s quite unique. I hadn’t heard of a hanger steak before starting my job. I’m told it’s a piece that’s not frequently sold (many butchers will reserve it for themselves because there is only one).

The hanger steak (which, as its name implies, hangs) comes from just below the ribs. It’s known for being a bit tougher than a rib-eye or striploin steak, but has a stronger flavour.

What’s so great about a hanger steak you ask? Why would you buy it over another steak? It’s got a lot of flavour. Even though it has a strong grain running through it, the steak is quite tender (that is, as long as you prepare it carefully and slice it correctly). Also, it seemed like an interesting challenge for me. Hanger steaks become tough if over-cooked. So they must be rare or medium-rare when served. You also have to slice them against the grain, again, because cutting with the grain makes the meat tougher.

This hanger steak did not disappoint! It had so much flavour and we didn’t find it tough in the slightest. I enjoyed mine with steak sauce. Bryan ate his plain (the browned butter flavour was very nice with the sauce!). We will definitely buy this again!

What is your favourite cut of steak?

Hanger Steak with Homemade Steak Sauce

Steak Sauce recipe credit to Bryan

Ingredients

  • 1 hanger steak (ours was about 700 grams and was enough for two people) – approximate cost $8.00
  • 2 tablespoons butter – approximate cost $0.25
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil – approximate cost $0.07
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce – approximate cost $0.15

Method

  1. Prepare the steak.
    1. In a frying pan, heat the butter over medium-high heat until it is melted and begins to brown.
    2. Add the olive oil and continue to heat.
    3. Place the hanger steak in the frying pan.
    4. Cook for 5-7 minutes (depending on the thickness of the steak and the desired done-ness).
    5. Turn and continue to cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.
    6. Remove steak from the frying pan and allow to rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes.
    7. Slice the steak into thin pieces against the grain.
  2. Prepare the steak sauce in a small bowl.
    1. Add ketchup and Worcestershire sauce  to the bowl.
    2. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  3. Serve steak plain with the sauce on the side and your favourite side dishes.

We served this with a side of Jasmine rice and a tomato and cucumber salad. Yum!

Makes 2 servings (approximate cost: $4.29 per serving).

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