Dinner Menu: Buffalo Burgers and Stuffed Acorn Squash

Buffalo became the topic of conversation a few weeks ago. I use buffalo burger frequently but have never delved into roasts or steak. The idea appeals to me and I’ll let you know how it goes. Until then, I do have a nice buffalo burger recipe…

Tonight’s menu came to be as one of my kids’ night menus, but don’t let that fool you, it’s tasty. If you haven’t had buffalo before, this is your chance to try it. If you want to start out slowly, mix it half and half with a ground beef (I’d go with an 80/20 grind, because the buffalo is so lean), or mix in ¼ lb of spicy sausage. The stuffed acorn squash is a quick, easy recipe, but let it inspire you, because you can stuff acorn squash with any number of wonderful things, from rice to couscous to fruits and nuts. It can make for a fun, decorative holiday side. For the dessert, you can usually find frozen huckleberries, but if not, you can easily substitute with blueberries or even a selection of mixed berries like blackberries, raspberries and blueberries.

On the board tonight:

  1. Buffalo Burgers
  2. Whole Grain Rolls
  3. Stuffed Acorn Squash
  4. Cherokee Huckleberry Bread

Buffalo Burgers

  • 4 oz tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • ¼ tsp ea: thyme, rosemary, marjoram
  • 1 lb ground buffalo
  • 1 tbsp oil (skip if using hamburger)

large deep skillet w/lid

Mix ingredients, except oil, together well. Divide into 4. Create patties. Heat oil in skillet, add patties. Sear for 2 minutes, each side, then reduce heat and cover. Cook for 10 minutes. Buffalo is a very lean meat, so you want to cook it slowly and avoid over cooking it. Makes 4 large burgers.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • 2 acorn squash, halved and cleaned
  • 1 box wild rice mix, prepared according to directions
  • 4-6 button mushrooms, washed and diced
  • 1 tbsp butter, quartered

9×12 Baking dish

Pour about ¼ to ½ cup broth into baking dish. Place acorn squash, cut-side down, and bake at 375 degrees until fork tender (a fork easily pierces the skin) – about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add mushroom pieces to rice mixture.Turn squash cut-side up, put a pat of butter in each half, then mound with stuffing, leaving just a rim of squash showing. Bake for additional 15 minutes, until stuffing is browned.

Cherokee Huckleberry Bread

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 cup berries (huckleberries or blueberries)
  • ½ cup butter

Loaf pan, greased

Cream eggs, butter and sugar together. Add flour, milk, and vanilla. Toss berries with a bit of flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom. Fold berries gently into mixture. Put in loaf pan, sprinkle top with a bit of sugar and bake in oven at 375 degrees for approximately 45 minutes or until done, when a knife comes out clean. Makes 1 loaf.

Shopping List:

  • 4 whole grain sandwich rolls
  • 4 oz can of tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 lb ground buffalo
  • 2 large acorn squash
  • 1 box wild rice mix
  • 4-6 button mushrooms
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 oz milk
  • 1 stick + 2 tbsp butter
  • 16 oz huckleberries, or equivalent

Also: oil, vanilla, baking powder, egg, thyme, rosemary, marjoram

Originally posted November 2010

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Thursday Recipe Exchange: A Plateful of Burgers

Photo by JeffreyW who has so many photos of burgers I had a hard time choosing.

Friends and I were out shopping last week and decided it was lunch time. We drove by a place with an intriguing name and decided to try it. To our surprise, we were their first-ever customers. They were having a soft launch and we were the first through the door. I had my reservations, but we were feeling adventurous and the experience was a success. If we’re in that neighborhood, I believe we would lunch there again.

The menu was full of tasty things, including African Ghost Spice Fries, which were perfectly spiced. I’m sorry I didn’t ask them to elaborate on what the heck “African Ghost Spice” was, because it was not something I could identify but would love to use myself. Several items had it as a feature, most tantalizing was the African Spiced Grilled Chicken. The other item on the menu that caught my eye was bison. Almost all their beef items offered a bison option instead. I was tempted, because I like bison meat, but I felt we were already in unknown territory and bison is tricky to cook properly. We all settled on various beef burgers, each very good – moist and well flavored, served on ciabatta bread.

That brought me to my idea for a two-part recipe exchange. I have a variety of burgers I make because by mid-summer grilling the same burger recipe, while tasty, lacks challenge. I thought I’d start with four tonight and conclude with several more next week.

First up: My basic burger recipe that has never failed to produce moist, flavorful burgers. I sprung it on my parents at the age of 10 and my family has used it ever since. Recipe here.

Next up: Black Bean Cheddar Burgers (recipe here) which I love, but find the frozen ones often lack, well, everything – flavor, texture, freshness. So I went hunting for a decent recipe.

Tonight’s featured recipes are Bleu Cheese Burgers and Bison Burgers.

Are you burger fan? What’s your favorite way to prepare them? If you’re vegetarian, do you have a favorite substitute? I’m always looking for something beyond black bean burgers for meatless nights. Next week there will be flavors from around the globe to continue the theme.

Bison Burgers

You can substitute bison in almost any burger recipe, but it’s very lean, so you may want to add ground beef to it, or cheeses or additional olive oil, in order to cook a moist burger.  This recipe uses tomato sauce to keep the burgers moist.

  • 4 oz tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs or 1 slice fresh bread, crust removed
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • ¼ tsp ea: thyme, rosemary, marjoram
  • 1 to 1-1/2 lbs ground bison
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil

large deep skillet w/lid

Mix all ingredients, except oil, until well combined. Divide into 4 patties.

Heat oil in skillet, add patties. Sear for 2 minutes, each side, then reduce heat and cover. Cook for 10 minutes. Bison is a very lean meat, so you want to cook it slowly and avoid over cooking it. You can grill them, but you’ll want to do in on a very low heat on a well oiled surface and you might want to go 50/50 with lean hamburger.

Bleu Cheese Burgers

  • 1 to 1-1/2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp hot wing sauce
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 4 oz blue cheese, divided into 1 oz crumbles

bowl

In bowl, combine all ingredients, except bleu cheese and mix well. Form into 8 thin patties, place 1 oz of cheese between two burgers, seal edges and gently flatten, so burger surrounds cheese. Grill or broil until cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Serve on onion rolls or focaccia bread.

Burger week continues…

Thursday Night Menu: Pre-Holiday Edition

Happy Thursday before Thanksgiving! A little housekeeping. First there will be no Thursday Night Menu next week. Hopefully most of you will be too full by that time to even think about food. For my Canadian, Australian and Thai friends (how cool is the internet) I sincerely apologize. Second, I usually spend the week before Thanksgiving posting all kinds of holiday recipes, but I’m travelling this year, and won’t be able to do that. If you click on Thanksgiving in the categories, it will bring up 6 or 7  holiday recipes, including a great Apple-Cranberry-Walnut Crisp.

Tonight’s menu came to be as one of my kids’ night menus, but don’t let that fool you, it’s tasty. If you haven’t had buffalo before, this is your chance to try it. If you want to start out slowly, mix it half and half with a ground beef (I’d go with an 80/20 grind, because the buffalo is so lean), or mix in ¼ lb of spicy sausage. The stuffed acorn squash is a quick, easy recipe, but let it inspire you, because you can stuff acorn squash with any number of wonderful things, from rice to couscous to fruits and nuts. It can make for a fun, decorative holiday side. For the dessert, you can usually find frozen huckleberries, but if not, you can easily substitute with blueberries or even a selection of mixed berries like blackberries, raspberries and blueberries.

On the board tonight:

  1. Buffalo Burgers
  2. Whole Grain Rolls
  3. Stuffed Acorn Squash
  4. Cherokee Huckleberry Bread

Buffalo Burgers

  • 4 oz tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • ¼ tsp ea: thyme, rosemary, marjoram
  • 1 lb ground buffalo
  • 1 tbsp oil (skip if using hamburger)

large deep skillet w/lid

Mix ingredients, except oil, together well. Divide into 4. Create patties. Heat oil in skillet, add patties. Sear for 2 minutes, each side, then reduce heat and cover. Cook for 10 minutes. Buffalo is a very lean meat, so you want to cook it slowly and avoid over cooking it. Makes 4 large burgers.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • 2 acorn squash, halved and cleaned
  • 1 box stuffing mix
  • 4-6 button mushrooms, washed and diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp butter, quartered

9×12 Baking dish

Pour about ¼ to ½ cup broth into baking dish. Place acorn squash, cut-side down, and bake at 375 degrees until fork tender (a fork easily pierces the skin) – about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Prepare stuffing according to package directions, substituting broth for water, add mushroom pieces. Turn squash cut-side up, put a pat of butter in each half, then mound with stuffing, leaving just a rim of squash showing. Bake for additional 15 minutes, until stuffing is browned.

Cherokee Huckleberry Bread

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 cup berries (huckleberries or blueberries)
  • ½ cup butter

Loaf pan, greased

    Cream eggs, butter and sugar together. Add flour, milk, and vanilla. Toss berries with a bit of flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom. Fold berries gently into mixture. Put in loaf pan, sprinkle top with a bit of sugar and bake in oven at 375 degrees for approximately 45 minutes or until done, when a knife comes out clean. Makes 1 loaf.

    Shopping List:

    • 4 whole grain sandwich rolls
    • 4 oz can of tomato sauce
    • ¼ cup Italian bread crumbs
    • 1 small onion
    • 1 lb ground buffalo
    • 2 large acorn squash
    • 1 box stuffing mix
    • 4-6 button mushrooms
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 8 oz milk
    • 1 stick + 2 tbsp butter
    • 16 oz huckleberries, or equivalent

    Also: oil, vanilla, baking powder, egg, thyme, rosemary, marjoram