Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Open-Faced Cheddar Burgers

The original recipe was recently in February 2011 issue of Rachael Ray's magazine. It's kind of a cross between Welsh rarebit and a burger. Now, the original called for ground sirloin, but you know I love my ground turkey. It also called for 2 lbs of said sirloin. Um yeah that makes a 1/2 lb burger per serving. Don't you think that is a little excessive? I cut it down to 1/4 lb portions and they were perfect. Also while it called for a stout beer (she recommends Guinness), I used Foster's Premium Ale since it was the darkest thing I could find in a single serving-type portion. We aren't big drinkers here, much less would we be consuming 5 additional bottles of Guinness anytime soon. Yuck! I would definitely be interested in trying it with ground sirloin and stout next time!

Photo from Rachael Ray Magazine 

Open-Faced Cheddar Burgers
adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

1 lb ground turkey
1 1/2 TBS worcestershire 
1/2 TBS dried parsley
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
2 TBS butter, plus some softened
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
4 slices 1" thick white bread (French or Italian would work well)
1 TBS flour
1/2 cup dark ale (I used Foster's)
2-3 dashes Tabasco
1 tsp ground mustard
1 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese (yellow, not white)
2 eggs, beaten

Heat a cast-iron, heavy skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. In a bowl, combine the turkey, worcestershire, salt, pepper and parsley. Form 4 patties, thinner at the center for even cooking. Spray or rub with olive oil and place in the pan. Cook for about 10-12 minutes, flipping once.

Preheat the broiler. Put the bread slices on a baking sheet. Toast the bread on each side until lightly golden. Spread the softened butter on each side once you remove it from the oven.  Leave them on the baking sheet.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 TBS butter. Add the onion and garlic. Cook until translucent and soft, about 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle flour in the pan and cook for a minute. Lower the heat to medium-low, stir in the beer, Tabasco and ground mustard. Stir in the cheese until melted. Add the eggs and stir constantly until the sauce thickens. 

Place each burger on top of a slice of toast and pour some sauce over it. Place under the broiler until the sauce browns. 


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weekly Menu - January 23-28

We are quickly approaching the end of January, but it's still snowing around here! Very unusual for us here in Tennessee. The meals this week are filling to combat the cold temps. I've also included a slow cooker meal. Tuesdays I have classes from 9am-6pm so it's a busy day and I definitely don't want to cook once I get home.  Looking forward to this week's meals!

Cilantro Lime Rice
Chicken Pot Pie
Easy White Chicken Lasagna

Italian Pot Roast

This was very easy and yummy! It was great for leftovers the next day, too. I served mine with some oven fries as I was all out of milk to make mashed potatoes. I will definitely be making this again and with no changes. It was that delicious!

Italian Pot Roast
adapted from Southern Living

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 8 hours
Servings: 4-6 

1 large Vidalia onion thinly sliced
2-3 lb boneless tender chuck roast
1 tsp pepper
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
14oz can beef broth
1/2 cup red wine (I used Merlot)
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 TBS cornstarch

Spray the inside of the crockpot with cooking spray. Place the onion in the bottom of the crockpot. Place the roast on top of the onion. Sprinkle with pepper and onion soup mix. Pour the tomato sauce, merlot and beef broth over the roast.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Remove the roast and roughly shred with forks. Keep warm.

Mix together the cornstarch and 2 TBS water. Add this mixture and the Italian seasoning into the juices in the crockpot. Turn to high and cook for 20-40 minutes.

You can either add the roast back in, pour the sauce over the roast or dip into the sauce.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Dinner Rolls

You all know that I am not good with baking or breads, but these were so easy and delicious. I had tried another roll recipe last week, but they turned out really crunch and dry. No bueno in this house. We like Bays Southern Bread's rolls - if you aren't from here then you have no clue what I am talking about, but this company makes the bread for Cracker Barrel. They have the best rolls, but I never have cash or time to go buy them. While these weren't sourdough, they were a good substitute.

Dinner Rolls
adapted from Allrecipes

Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus 2 hours rising time
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 16 rolls

1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 pkg dry active yeast

Mix together water, milk and sugar in the bowl of a KitchenAid mixer. Add the yeast and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Stir in the butter, egg and salt. Using the dough hook, begin by adding flour half a cup at a time until the dough is "cleaning" the sides. It will be slightly tacky, but not really sticky. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 45 minutes to an hour. 

Punch the dough down and divide it into 16 balls (maybe the size of tangerines?).  Place them on a baking sheet (I greased mine with a little butter), cover with a towel and let them rise another hour. 

Preheat the oven to 350. Bake the rolls for 15 minutes. When they start to turn slightly golden brown, I brush mine with a little butter. You could also do an egg wash. 


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fried Rice

This was good, but it wasn't quite right. Personally, I thought that it needed less pepper and more soy sauce. It was also a little too sticky for my tastes as I like a drier fried rice. This might have been due to the fact that I made the rice that day, rinsed it and placed it in the fridge. I was thinking that the rice might have to be made the day before or picked up from a Chinese restaurant and be refrigerated overnight. That might help suck some of the moisture out of the rice. Other than that it's great paired with the Honey-Soy Chicken Planks.

Fried Rice
adapted from

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8-10

2 eggs
2 TBS water
2 TBS butter
2 TBS vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
4 cups cooked white rice, cold
6 TBS soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper (this was a little too much for us)

In a bowl, beat together the eggs and water. Melt butter over medium heat and add the eggs. Leave it flat until cooked. Slide onto a plate and slice it into shreds or bite sized pieces. Set aside.

Heat oil in the same skillet. Add the onion and saute until translucent and soft. Add the remaining ingredients (except for the egg) and cook for 5 minutes. Add the egg and mix together. Cook for 2-3 minutes more. 


Monday, January 10, 2011

Honey-Soy Chicken Planks

These were so delicious! They were flavorful and crunchy without being high in fat. I don't often make Chinese-type food as stir-fry often contains the dreaded vegetables. I found a recipe from Rachael Ray for some honey mustard chicken planks and became inspired for something more Chinese-y. These were also great paired with the Fried Rice

Honey Soy Chicken Planks
adapted from multiple recipes

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus 3 hours for marinating
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4-6

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 TBS vegetable oil
1 TBS sesame oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 TBS chopped ginger
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2-3 TBS toasted sesame seeds

In a bowl, mix together the oils, honey, soy sauce, garlic and ginger. Cut the chicken breasts into 2 1/2 -3 " wide strips (about 1/2" thick) and put in the honey-soy sauce marinade. Let it sit for 3-4 hours.

Remove the chicken from the fridge and let it come to room temperature. 

Preheat the oven to 425. Place a baking rack on a baking sheet with a rim and coat the rack with cooking spray.

In a shallow pan, mix together the panko and sesame seeds. Remove the strips from the marinade, shake off excess liquid and place them in the breading. Press the breading lightly into each side. Place the chicken on the rack and lightly coat with cooking spray. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. 


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Weekly Menu - January 8-14

School starts back this week! Tuesday nights will most likely be our slow cooker nights as I have class from 9am-6pm. I will just have to remember to get the food in the crockpot before I leave for class. Short list this week as we are having soup and grilled cheese one night and my sister-in-law is making us dinner another night. 

Honey-Soy Chicken Planks
Sweet Dinner Rolls

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Stovetop Lasagna

Hubby and my niece chowed down on this. My niece was almost finished with her plate before we made it to the table. Hubby didn't know there were veggies in it until my niece mentioned something about "salad" being in it. She had helped me make the puree and saw the spinach. We kept trying to shush her, but it eventually came out. Of course, weird faces were made after that and it tasted "different". This was all from hubby, not my 4 year old niece. Rule of thumb for the future - make the puree ahead of time and don't let hubby know! I also apologize for the picture - we started serving before I took a pic so it looks like a hot mess.

Stovetop Lasagna
adapted from The Sneaky Chef

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6-8

1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion (1/2 of a medium onion)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground turkey
3/4 cup Green Puree (<---Click the link for the recipe)
6 oz can tomato paste
1/4 cup oat bran 
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
9 oz box of lasagna noodles, broken 
24 oz jar of pasta sauce (I like Prego traditional)
1-1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, deep skillet that had a lid. Saute the onions until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic in the last few minutes of cooking. Add the turkey and cook until no longer pink.

In a bowl, combine the puree and tomato paste. It will turn an unappetizing brown color, but don't be alarmed! Add it to the skillet and mix. 

Stir in the oat bran, basil and oregano. Top the mixture with the lasagna noodles. Pour tomato sauce over the noodles. Add 2 1/2 cups of water to the pan and stir into the sauce.

Bring it to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. 

Top with cheese and cover for about 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. 


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hot Ham & Cheese Slices

These were so yummy! Hubby raved about them. It's a great twist on hot sandwiches and they are very easy to make. You could even change it up with the types of meat and cheese. I used swiss slices, but they didn't melt too well. Next time, I will be trying it with shredded swiss and patting the ham down to reduce some of the moisture.

Hot Ham and Cheese Slices
adapted from Taste of Home

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes
Servings: 4

1 TBS Dijon mustard
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/4 to 1/3 lb of thinly sliced ham
1/4 to 1/3 lb sliced Swiss cheese

Preheat the oven to 400.

Unfold the pastry sheet and roll it out until it's thin. Almost paper thin, but not so thin that it's completely transparent and ripping. 

Spread the mustard all over the dough. On half of the sheet, put down a layer of cheese, top with ham and then additional cheese. Fold the other half of the sheet over the cheese and ham and seal the edges. I sort of rolled and then pinched my edges together. 

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I wouldn't recommend foil unless it's the non-stick kind. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes and then slice with a serrated knife. 


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Weekly Menu - January 1-7

It's been a while since I updated with a weekly menu. It's been a wild and crazy few weeks here, but I'm finally getting back into a routine. Next week school starts back and I'm strangely excited. I think it's part of that whole "routine" thing again. A few new things this week, hubby has made a resolution to incorporate veggies, but he HATES them. Being the "good" wife that I am, I am going to try some recipes from The Sneaky Chef in an attempt to help him out. He won't know that there are veggies in it though. This should be very interesting...

Hot Ham & Cheese Slices
Sesame Chicken Planks 
Cold Sesame Noodles (Sneaky Chef)
Speedy Stovetop Lasagna (Sneaky Chef)