Tuesday, December 10, 2013

German Burgers w/ Beer Onions

Hey all!  It's been a while since I've blogged but I was really missing it so I'm back with this delicious burger!  

Let me start by saying that my husband LOVES burgers -- I really like them but I could take it or leave it -- in my quest to eat healthy, they sometimes just don't fit into my diet.  But lately we have been taking our burgers to the next level by grinding our own meat.  If you haven't done this yet, you simply MUST!  Grinding your own meat allows you to pick and choose which types of beef you'd like, how lean you like it and you can go ahead and grind in anything with the meat such as onion or...BACON {a personal fav of husband}.  Plus when you grind your own meat, you get this fresh and pure flavor that just cannot be achieved using pre-ground packaged meat from the store.  

We have been testing different combinations of meat for our burgers and last night we used a 50/50 mix of short rib and sirloin.  When choosing a combination, make sure to pick one meat that has a bit of marbling to it {fat} so that you don't end up with dry burgers.  If your meat doesn't have a lot of fat {like if you are grinding  pork loin or chicken} go ahead and grind in a couple strips of bacon.  

So this particular burger was delicious for a few reasons: 1. fresh ground beef, 2. bacon-cheddar cheese, 3. pretzel buns, 4. beer caramelized onions.  My mouth just filled up with saliva reliving this....  Here comes the recipe!

German Burgers w/ Beer Onions (makes 2 gluttonous burgers w/ double patties or 4 burgers for normal human beings)

For Burger Patties:

1/2 lb beef short rib meat, cubed
1/2 lb beef sirloin, cubed
salt and pepper

For Onions:

1 medium sized onion, sliced
olive oil
salt and pepper
dash of worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. of beer 

Assembly and toppings:

2 or 4 pretzel buns {found mine at Trader Joe's}
Shaved Bacon-Cheddar cheese {also Trader Joe's}
deli mustard

1.  Start with the onions by heating up some olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add your onions and season with salt and pepper, cook, stirring often, until they begin to caramelize {about 7 to 10 minutes}.  Add worcestershire sauce and beer and stir to combine.  Cook until the liquid is reduced, about 5 more minutes.  Set aside.

2.  Grind your meat!  I used the meat grinder attachment on my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer -- so happy that I can get EVEN MORE use out of this kitchen appliance.  Season meat with salt and pepper and form into 4 thin patties.  Preheat a cast iron skillet or griddle over medium high heat.  Add a little olive oil to the pan then throw on your burgers.  Cook for about 5 minutes {let them get a nice crust}.  Flip burgers, top with cheese and cover with a lid so the cheese melts.  Remove burger patties to a plate.

3.  Butter those pretzel buns and give them a quick toast on your skillet or griddle now get ready to assemble the burgers: bottom bun, mustard, lettuce, patties {double them if you are really splurging like we did}, beer onions, pickles, top of bun!  Now there's nothing left to do but eat...

Monday, September 2, 2013

Spicy Cajun Chicken Pittsburgh-Style Sandwich

Ok, I may not have been born and raised in Pittsburgh....and I sure as heck am not a Steeler fan {sorry...eek!} but I am a huge huge fan of the Pittsburgh food scene, and really the city in general!  I attended college in the Steel City and I will never forget the first time I ordered a salad that came topped with fries, or had "cat on a stick" on the streets of the South Side while bar hopping, or ate the best slice of pizza I have ever eaten...

...but no food memory comes close to the first time I bit into a Primanti Bros sandwich.  You know the type of sandwich I'm talking about... the kind that you can't put down once you pick it up ... literally ... not only because it's so good but also because you can't figure out how to put it down without it falling apart since it's stuffed with so much goodness.  

Primanti Bros sandwiches are prepared on soft Italian bread, packed with meat and cheese, fried eggs, sausages -- then the whole thing is topped with tomatoes, a vinegar based coleslaw and fresh cut french fries.  And don't even think about asking for a sandwich without the proper toppings....  I've seen it attempted and it didn't go well...  {however I do seem to remember a certain beautiful friend of mine who always got her sandwich without coleslaw -- she always knows how to break the rules ;) }  

So after spending the weekend in Pittsburgh {and shamefully unable to enjoy a PB sandwich} I just had to make some at home. My husband declared these sandwiches as delicious as the original -- it all comes down to the slaw and the bread.  Also, we used frozen and baked french fries out of pure laziness. :)

Spicy Cajun Chicken Pittsburgh-Style Sandwiches (makes 2)


1 large chicken breast, pounded to 1/4 inch thin
EVOO, for drizzling
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder


1/2 small head of cabbage, shredded
1/8 c. sugar
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper


4 thick slices soft italian bread
4 slices tomato
4 slices provolone or american cheese
2 handfuls hot french fries

Start with coleslaw: (may be made up to 24 hours in advance) In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper until sugar dissolves.  Add shredded cabbage, toss to combine with dressing and place in refrigerator for at least an hour.  

Drizzle chicken with EVOO on both sides then sprinkle each side with spices.  Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to marinate.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and cook chicken breast until no longer pink, 8-12 minutes.  

Assemble sandwiches: place one slice of bread on plate, top with cheese, chicken, tomato, coleslaw and french fries.  Top with another slice of bread and press down as you cut in half.  Enjoy with hot sauce and many beers.  

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tomato Gazpacho w/ Croutons

There are some days when I wake up and realize how incredibly lazy I am going to be.  I know it as soon as my feet hit the floor.  These are the days I usually transport myself from my bed directly to the couch where I lounge all day, catching up on my DVR.  Now just because I'm lazy, doesn't mean I'm not hungry....and this gazpacho is really a fantastic lazy day end of summer meal .. {especially because it's low in calories -- lazy usually equals no workouts}.

This chilled soup is also one of those things that demands good quality ingredients -- there's nothing to hide the fact that you used less than stellar tomatoes -- you will taste it in every bite.  So use fresh ingredients and make sure to give the soup time to chill. {I popped mine in the freezer for about 45 minutes.}  If you are in a crazy-lazy mood, feel free to use store bought croutons in place of home made....but the home made croutons make a world of difference... {it's just toasted bread, people...how lazy are you?}

Tomato Gazpacho w/ Croutons

5 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup cucumber, seeded and diced
4-5 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped (more whole leaves for garnish)
fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 small loaf of italian bread, cut into cubes
cooking spray

Place the tomatoes and tomato juice in a blender and process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl.
Add the chopped bell pepper, celery, red onion, garlic, cucumber, basil and black pepper to the soup and stir well. Cover and chill in the fridge overnight. This allows for the flavors to meld. Or place soup in freezer for 45 minutes or until chilled. 

Preheat oven to 425.  Toss bread cubes with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper.  Bake until the bread cubes begin to brown.  
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with whole basil leaves and croutons. 


©ChowGals - Designed by BDD