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Tidbits

Moar Gumbo!  This one is shrimp and crab, with the last of the dark meat turkey.  When folks ask for recipes I usually point them to NOLA Cuisine.  That is for chicken and andouille but there are links there for his Cajun/Creole recipe page.  I would encourage y’all to go there.Mrs J brought some small pet beds up from her sewing room for a quick wash and fluffing in the dryer, they will go with her to the shelter when she pulls her next shift.  The top one is called a “cuddle cup” and the other two are “pumpkin” beds.  Patterns are available online.Chicken biscuits!  These are from a recipe in the food section of the NY Times.  The biscuit recipe seems familiar:

BISCUITS:

  • 3 cups/450 grams all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons/37 grams baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 7 tablespoons/100 grams cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 ½ cups/360 milliliters whole milk

Bake in a 425 oven until they brown on the top, it took about 17 minutes in my convection oven.  They do puff up quite a bit, I cut 8 biscuits from the dough, each 3-1/2″.I could have gotten 10 or more by rolling the dough a tad thinner, the ones I made by rerolling the scraps were especially thick and nearly toppled themselves in the oven.There was a bit of dough left over even after rolling out the scraps from cutting out the biscuits.  I like to make cinnamon rolls from that.  Just roll the dough fairly thin, brush with melted butter, and cover with a thick coat of cinnamon sugar.  Roll into a long tube and slice that into little wheels, drizzle with more butter, and bake them along with the biscuits.Kroger offers these telera slider rolls as a “take-and-bake” item – they are sold par-baked and just need a finish.  They are a smaller version of these rolls.  The crispy crust holds them together very well when making sammiches that are very juicy, like sloppy joes or Italian beef.  Of course, they are good for little cheeseburgers, too.Moar kitteh!  Ollie likes ice cream.  We all like ice scream.

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Tidbits

St Francis sent a crew down to Texas with pet food and bedding to help out with the Harvey effort.  They brought back some cats and dogs to help make space for the influx the shelters down there were experiencing.  These were animals that were in the shelters pre-Harvey.  This is one of those – he has since been adopted out to a family with two boys who seem thrilled to have him.Sliders-to-be!  I’ve had the best luck by starting these on a bed of thin sliced onions.  A mandoline is perfect for this.  I add a wee splash of olive oil to the onion pile before laying the on the patty.  Cook on med-low until the onion browns a little then flip it over.  Give it a minute then add cheese and a pickle slice or two.

The swallowtail caterpillars are busy on the parsley.  I framed this shot to get the most caterpillars I could in it, there were a few more on the plant.  I don’t begrudge the loss of the parsley because I like the butterflies they turn into.Random chicken noodle soup.  I add a little sesame oil and a dash of Chinese five spice to give it a little Asian flavor.  I love love love to dip the grilled cheese into the broth – Heaven!Random shelter kitteh – this is not one of the Harvey rescues – they were still in quarantine due to a treatable but highly contagious skin condition.  This handsome boy is named Netsi, he was born in June and is available, hint hint.This is Riley, a girl born in May.  Like Netsi, she is waiting for a human to call her own.Random ribeye.  Classic steak and potato dinner with a side of roasted sprouts.  The steak was cooked sous vide and finished in a smoking hot cast iron pan.

Sammich Pr0n – Sliders

The buns are mini-ciabattas that Kroger sells out of their deli/bakery.  I buy them up whenever they have them because they work for a lot of things – nothing is better for sliders.  Taking a break from tortillas but the griddle is still out, it gave me the idea for sliders.  Nom nom nom!My sliders start out with a pile of thin sliced onions with a beef patty on top, I flip them over when the onions start showing a little char.I don’t think they are at all complete without cheese, a dill pickle, and mustard.  The dill potato salad worked pretty well, too.  This meal pairs well with a soda pop but best with sweet tea.

Sammich Pr0n – Classic Sliders

DSC_1260 (1600x1060)

Sammich Pr0n – Pulled Pork Sliders

DSC_1254 (1600x1060)These are the first go at sammiches with my latest batch of buns: Pulled pork with slaw.  I think the size is perfect and the King Arthur bun recipe really shines.  DSC_1258 (1600x1060)I made two different corn salads yesterday, one was black beans and sweet corn, the second was red beans, hominy, and sweet corn.  Both had the same dressing so there wasn’t any good reason not to combine the two when putting them away in the fridge.

Sammich Pr0n – Sliders

DSC_0342 (1600x1060)I nearly smoked us out of the kitchen while we were chowing down on these.  Forgot to turn the burners off under the griddle and didn’t really notice the gathering smoke until the alarm started to screech.  I keep experimenting with cooking methods, I made six little piles of shaved onion on the griddle and placed the raw patties atop those so they were steamed in the onion juice for a spell, and then turned over for the cheese.  When the cheese was melted in they were transferred to the buns and garnished with pickles and mustard.DSC_0344 (1600x1060)I scarfed three and could have eaten another but made do with the beans and slaw.  I think I was halfway through the number two burger when the smoke alarm sounded.  Mrs J gave me the stink eye and I was all “no harm no foul” but I’m the one who has to scrape the charcoal off the cast iron.

Sammich Pr0n – Sliders and Fries

DSC_7692 (1600x1060)I am getting closer to the perfect slider.  They really need to be made on a commercial “flat top” griddle but my Lodge stove top griddle that spans two burners works pretty well.  I slice an onion really thin with a mandoline and start with little piles on onion on the greased surface with a thin beef patty atop those.  Cover with a lid of some sort so they steam themselves done, flip once and then build the sandwiches out.  Toast the buns on the griddle while the burgers cook.  I have enough room to do six of these little things at once but that’s using every square inch.

Sammich Pr0n – Cheeseburgers

DSC_6467 [1600x1200]We bought some mini onion rolls the other day and they work great for these sorta sliders.  These are mostly ground beef but there is a fair amount of my Italian sausage in there.  (Pizza leftovers)  These are not the tiny three bite sliders but they are definitely on the small side.  I used my mandoline to quickly slice a sweet Vidalia and mounded the onions in a skillet with the meat patties on top and cooked them over medium low heat with the cover on the pan, slightly ajar.  I turned them once and added a bit of cheese and covered them back until they were done.  You can just make out the onions under the cheese if you squint.  The fries are shoestrings from the frozen foods aisle.DSC_6466 [1600x1200]

Friday Recipe Exchange: Stuffed Burgers

Stuffed Burger Uncut Snap

Stuffed burgers, yum. It’s grilling season. And as much as I love a good grilled burger, I’m always looking for a way to elevate them to something beyond ordinary.  I’ll probably have several posts over the summer with different ways to dress up ordinary ground beef for the grill. Today though, I’m going to start with my new favorite, stuffed burgers with sharp cheddar and jalapenos.

Before I get to that, let’s start with my basic burger recipe, one I’ve been making since I was a kid, that makes sure even the leanest ground beef comes out moist and flavorful. That recipe is here.

Next, JeffreyW has been playing with perfecting sliders here, here and here. If you can get through those photos without your mouth watering, you’re stronger than I am.

Your turn. What’s your favorite way to prepare your burgers? Are you a turkey or veggie burger person? If so, what’s your favorite way to fix them? What is your “must have” on a burger? Ketchup? Mustard? A thick tomato slice? My must have is ketchup. Lots of it.

For tonight’s feature recipe, I’m going to take you step by step through a single burger prep. It should be easy to multiply the ingredients for as many as you’ll want to make. I’m using sharp cheddar and pickled jalapenos, but you can use blue cheese, mild cheddar, jack, swiss, or any favorite cheese. An ounce of cheese per quarter pound of ground beef is about the right ratio to keep everything from falling apart and still have a nice melted center. Add grilled onions, mushrooms or peppers to change things up. The ideas are endless.

Jalapeno-Cheddar Stuffed Hamburgers:

Stuffed Burger Final

Ingredients for each burger:

  • 4 oz ground beef
  • salt, pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed garlic (opt)
  • 1 oz sharp cheddar, sliced thin
  • 2 or more slices of pickled jalapenos

Mix salt, pepper and garlic into the ground beef. Form two, 2-oz patties. Place jalapenos on one burger, cheese on the other.

Prep2

Place the two sides together and seal the edges completely. Gently flatten the burger, but be careful because you don’t want the cheese busting out of the center.

Prep1a

The key to grilling or frying these is low and slow. Medium heat seals them and allows the cheese to melt without drying the burger out. I flipped at the 5 minute mark, but depending on the heat, 3-4 minutes may be enough to flip. They’re thin, so the beef cooks quickly, but you want to make sure the cheese melts. I would say minimum 4 minutes per side.

If cheese starts to leak out, flip and flip again as needed. DON’T press down on these burgers while you grill, you’ll have a cheesy mess.

Now the warning. Did I say WARNING? Yes I did. You’ll need to rest these burgers to let the cheese cool a bit. Otherwise you could be biting into a scalding cheese center. You’ve been WARNED.

That’s the basics, now let your imagination run wild. Maybe I should have titled this, How To Stuff A Wild Burger.

Until next week…..

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Golden Oldies – Slider Pr0n

DSC_3392 [1600x1200]I haven’t done much cooking lately, or much of anything, really.  I noticed this photo in the screen saver on my main computer just a few minutes ago.  I have the screen saver set to “slide show” and pointed it at the folder on my  NAS (network attached storage) where I keep copies of all my photos.  A quick search for “sliders” found it in a set of pictures from August of 2012.  I really like the Synology storage device I have, and recommend them highly.