Burger Essentials

Burger essentials

Burger Essentials

The warmer weather is finally starting to appear and with that comes thoughts of flowers, the smell of fresh cut grass and of course….. BBQ’S. 

Now everyone has their favourite food to make on the BBQ and I’m no different but for those days that are really busy and I want something tasty my fall back is Burgers and as I have said before for every person who makes burgers from scratch there are different recipe ingredients but what is often overlooked are the utensils used to make the patties.

This then is my take on the three most important implements/utensils needed to make burgers from scratch.

First:  A good old fashioned Ice Cream Scoop. Over the years I have found that your normal everyday ice cream scoop holds an ideal 5 ounces of burger meat which means you don’t require a scale.

Second:  Patty Paper is one of those things that are generally only used in restaurants when making burgers however they are just as important to the home cook for the simple reason that the paper makes it easier to thaw and separate the patties come cooking time.

and……

Third:  A Patty Maker saves time and aids in forming patties of equal size and thickness which makes for more even cooking.

There you have it another “Simple but awesome tip from my kitchen to yours.”

Until next time………

                            Bon Appetit

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Hash

 

Breakfast hash

Hash

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Was out of town visiting friends for the weekend when the Canadian weather decided it was going to dump a surprise on us….. Freezing Rain. Now for those of you who are not familiar with this phenomenon it simply means that the rain freezes on the ground and turns everything into a skating rink thereby making travel of any kind rather treacherous but it also means that if you have not made it to the grocery store you could be limited to meal ideas and since hash is simply a base of potatoes and onions together with whatever else you want to add it is a quick and easy solution to breakfast or dinner.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • Yukon Gold potatoes – diced
  • 1 small Yellow Onion – diced
  • 1 small Yellow Pepper – diced
  • 1 small Red Pepper – Diced
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
  • Fresh ground Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • Parsley for garnish

Putting it all together: 

  1. In a medium pot of water par boil the potatoes until just fork tender, about 10 mins. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a fry pan and add the onions and peppers and cook for 3 mins. Add the potatoes and mix well.
  3. Add in the seasonings and Worcestershire and cook for about 5 mins more turning it over once.
  4. Top with the over easy eggs, garnish with the parsley and enjoy.

Cooks note: There is an old line cooks trick for making over easy eggs. Once the eggs have been cracked in the pan or on the flat top cover them with a pot lid until cooked.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…….

                           Bon Appetit 

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French Toast

French Toast

French Toast

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

I’m not much of a morning person and so when it comes to breakfast for me it’s usually just toast or a quick fried egg sandwich however for the rest of my family I do things differently.

This particular breakfast was for my wife and I thought I would surprise her with something she has not had in a while….. French Toast.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 3 slices of White bread
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large bowl mix together the eggs, cinnamon and vanilla.
  2. Soak each piece of bread, one at a time, in the egg mix and fry until brown turning once.
  3. Top with berries and powdered sugar.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……

                          Bon Appetit

 

 

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Beef and Lentil Stew

Beef and Lentil Stew

 

Beef and Lentil Stew

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Cold season has hit my household and it looks like everyone, save yours truly, has caught one but it is entirely possible, if not probable, that I will sooner or later catch one. Until that time I will continue to look after my guys and so with that in mind I have made them some comfort food that will hopefully help them feel a little better.

Now I have “billed” this one as a stew however from what I can see the only difference between a soup and a stew is the thickness of the broth, except in the case of a Chowder which is thick anyways so if you wanted to make this a soup just thin out the broth.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds Sirloin Steak  Tails – cut into bite sized chunks
  • 3 Celery stalks- chopped
  • 2 Carrots – peeled and chopped
  • 1 Yellow Onion – diced
  • 3 small Leeks, whites only – chopped
  • 6 cups Beef broth
  • 1 28 ounce can Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons Oregano
  • 4 teaspoons Granulated Garlic
  • 2 cups Lentils
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Season the beef with salt and pepper and brown in batches removing to a separate bowl.
  3. Add the onion and saute until translucent.
  4. Add back the beef and the remaining ingredients bringing to a boil. Cover and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes.
  5. Adjust the seasoning and enjoy.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…….

                            Bon Appetit

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Chocolate Cherry Cake

Chocolate Cherry Cake

Chocolate Cherry Cake

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Was going through my dry goods cupboard making a grocery list and came across a tin of Cherry Pie Filling that I forgot I had and figured no time but the present to make something with it.

Now since I am not that proficient at making pie crusts I decided I would use it in a cake and what better combination  than Chocolate and Cherries?

I present to you my Chocolate and Cherries Cake.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 cup All Purpose flour – sifted
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 18 ounce can Cherry Pie filling
  • 9×13 Cake pan

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. In a large non reactive bowl mix together all the dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. In another large non reactive bowl mix together the remaining ingredients except the cherry pie filling.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and, using a rubber spatula, mix the ingredients together until smooth. Add the cherry pie filling and mix until a batter forms.
  5. Spray the cake pan with a vegetable oil spray and dust with flour.
  6. Pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…..

                           Bon Appetit

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Sausage and Peppers Sandwich

Sausage and Pepper Sandwich

Sausage and Peppers Sandwich

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Quick and easy lunches and dinners can sometimes be elusive simply because we don’t have that much time to think about it. This particular recipe comes in very handy for just those occasions as there are not that many ingredients and the time from start to finish is short.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 package of six Italian sausage
  • 6 slices Provolone cheese
  • 6 Panini buns
  • 2 medium Red Pepper – sliced
  • 2 medium Green pepper – sliced
  • 2 medium yellow Onions – sliced
  • 2 tablespoons dried  Oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried Basil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large pot of water par boil the sausage until just firm.
  2. In a large saute pan saute the peppers and onions until just soft and add the herbs and salt and pepper
  3. Slice the peppers down the middle and flatten.
  4. Place the peppers in a large frying pan and top with some of the onion and pepper mix. Top with the Provolone and cover with a pot lid until the cheese has melted.
  5. While the cheese is melting lightly toast the panini buns.
  6. Place the sausage and peppers in the bun, slice on the bias and enjoy.

Cooks note:  Par boiling the sausage will make it easier to slice them down the middle and will stop them from falling apart.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                           Bon Appetit

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Surf N Turf

Surf N Turf

Surf N Turf

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Surf N Turf is one of those menu items that usually means an 8 – 10 ounce N Y Strip and a 8 ounce Lobster tail that comes with a price tag that crashes the $50.00 mark but it also means most working class people can’t afford it and that includes me so I came up with an alternative in this cost efficient version….. 4 people for less than $50.00.

Cooks note: The skewers are best when done on a grill however if you don’t have one or the weather won’t let you then the oven is perfectly fine.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 1/2 pounds Sirloin Steak tails – cubed into bite sized pieces.
  • 1 package 31 – 40 Shrimp – peeled, deveigned and tail off.
  • 3 tablespoons Garlic butter
  • 1/4 cup Soya sauce
  • 1/4 Fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Sambal
  • 1/8 cup Oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar
  • 4 Scallions – rough chopped for garnish
  • 12 Bamboo skewers 

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°
  2. Place the steak pieces into a large non reactive bowl. Mix together the soya sauce, fish sauce, Sambal, oyster sauce and sugar and pour over the steak pieces. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. Soak the skewers for at least 30 mins before using so they don’t burn.
  4. Thread the steak on the skewers and place on a sheet tray. Put in the oven for 20 minutes, turning half way.
  5. While the skewers are cooking quick fry the shrimp in the garlic butter until pink.
  6. Serve as an appetizer or as the main for your favourite side dish.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                           Bon Appetit

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Mini Banana Bread Loaves

Banana Bread loaves IV

Mini Banana Bread Loaves

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

In my ever continuing quest to become a baker I have decided to practice with very easy baking formulas and ones that I have had some success with before therefore I have chosen this one as it is super easy and even I can’t mess it up….. well I can but not this time.

I decided to use my mini loaf pan for this as the results are the perfect after school snack size and they can go in my grandsons lunch for school.

Cooks note: I have referred to this as a “formula” because I was taught in culinary school that Baker’s use formulas and Cooks/Chefs use recipes and it kind of stuck in my mind. 

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 cups smashed overripe Bananas
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Pam® Olive Oil spray

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the bananas, eggs and the remaining wet ingredients.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
  5. Spray the loaf pan with the Pam and pour the batter into each loaf slot.
  6. Bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the loaves comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time………

                             Bon Appetit

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Avocado Toast

Avocado toast III

Avocado Toast

  • Servings: 2 - 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

When it comes to snack food most people think of potato chips, popcorn and that kind of thing and I admit that I do the same thing however I wanted something different and healthy this time so in searching the pantry I found some Avocados and decided they would be perfect in a snack and they were.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 Ripe Avocados – pitted and removed from the skin
  • 3 Garlic cloves – finely diced
  • 2 small Shallots – diced
  • 4 Cherry Tomatoes – sliced
  • 2 ounces of Capers
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Small Baguette – sliced on the bias

Putting it all together:

  1. In a medium non reactive bowl mash the Avocado with a fork until just slightly chunky.
  2. Mix in the garlic and shallots and season with the salt and pepper. Cover and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  3. Toast the baguette slices and lightly brush them with the Canola oil, spread on the Avocado and top with the tomatoes and capers.
  4. Enjoy.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……

                           Bon Appetit 

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Ground Beef Stuffed Shells

 

Ground Beef Stuffed Shells II

Ground Beef Stuffed Shells

  • Servings: 8 - 10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

This is a recipe I have wanted to try for some time now but for some reason I just never got around to it until today.

Now since I have never made this one before I am borrowing a recipe from Taste of Home Magazine but of course I will be adding my own little flair to it.

Cooks Note: This recipe is a bit labour intensive so give yourself adequate time to prepare it. 

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 package Jumbo Pasta Shells
  • 3 tbsp Canola Oil.
  • 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1 Medium Sweet Onion – diced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves – chopped
  • 5 cups Baby Spinach
  • 15 ounces Ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 8 ounce jar Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
  • 1 jar Spaghetti Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • chopped Parsley for garnish.

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. In a large pot of salted water cook the shells according to the package instructions. When cooked run under cold water.
  3. While the pasta is cooking brown the  ground beef in a large pan, drain and remove to a bowl.
  4. Return the ground beef to the pan and add in the onion, garlic, spinach, pesto, salt and pepper and simmer for about ten minutes.
  5. In a separate bowl mix the Ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 cups Parmesan and egg.
  6. Mix half the beef mixture with the cheese.
  7. In a greased 13×9 baking dish spread 3/4 cup of pasta sauce. Stuff the shells with the beef and cheese mix and place in the dish.
  8. Mix the remaining pasta sauce in with the remaining half of the ground beef and pour over the stuffed shells.
  9. Top with Parmesan and Italian blend and bake until cheese has melted and is bubbly, about 15 mins.
  10. Garnish with Parsley and enjoy.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                            Bon Appetit

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