Archive for Lunch

BLT with a Twist

This sandwich recipe is our adaptation of a BLT we’ve tried and loved. Enjoy!

BLT with a Twist

Events - 2080

 Ingredients:

  • 10 slices multi­grain bread, toasted
  • 10 slices maple bacon (or your favorite brand/flavor bacon)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 small handfuls of arugula, baby spinach, or spring mix lettuce leaves 2 avocados, sliced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • Optional: 5 slices swiss cheese

 Directions:

Cut the slices of bacon in half to make 20 pieces. Cook until browned and crispy. Set aside on a paper towel to drain excess fat.

Mix together the mayonnaise, garlic powder and green onions. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble your sandwich:

  • Spread about 1­2 tablespoons of the mayo mixture on one slice of toast. ­ Next, place four pieces of bacon.­ Add tomato slices on top of the bacon. ­ Place avocado slices on top of the tomato slices.
  • Top with a handful of arugula, baby spinach, or lettuce of choice.
  • Place one slice of cheese on top of the arugula (optional).
  • Place the second slice of bread on top of the arugula. Dig in!

*Makes 5 sandwiches 

Events - 2079

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Juicy Cheeseburgers with Baked Smothered Fries

I may be dating myself, but one of my favorite burger places to eat was Cool Spot, a quaint drive-in burger joint in Barrigada owned and operated by Josefina and Francisco Cruz.  The juicy burgers and hot-out-of-the-frier french fries were the perfect lunchtime meal when I was going to high school.

Anyone can make burgers at home, but to me, it’s about the special sauce that set these apart from ordinary.  You don’t have to use my recipe below, but give it a try.  The addition of my special sauce sets these apart from ordinary cheeseburgers.

Juicy burgers are not hard to make, but surprisingly, you’ll find that most homemade burgers use store-bought patties that turn out dry and hard.  Here are some tips to ensure moist, juicy burgers every time.

  1. Use ground beef that has at least 18-20% fat.  Beef that is too lean will make your burgers too dry.
  2. Do not over-handle the meat.  Add your seasonings to the meat then mix as little as possible.
  3. Do not–I repeat, do NOT smash the patties with your spatula!  Doing this squeezes out a lot of the meat’s natural juices that keep the meat moist.
  4. In addition to not pressing on the patties as they cook, another tip is to flip them one time only.  If you like rare burgers, cook them for 2 minutes on each side, 3 minutes on each side if you like them medium-rare, 4 minutes on each side for medium, and 5 minutes for well-done burgers.

Fantastic burgers go hand-in-hand with french fries, but no ordinary fries will do.  Try my version — potato slices (wedges are good too) that are generously seasoned then baked and topped with shredded cheese and bacon.  Yum!!

Give my recipes a try.  I think you’ll like them. 🙂

Juicy Burgers with Baked Smothered Fries

Ingredients for the Smothered Fries:

  • 2 large potatoes (russets are great for this)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (I use garlic-infused olive oil for more flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (you can add more after baking if you’d like it more salty)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese blend (I like a blend of cheddar, mozzarella, asadero and queso quesadilla)
  • 5 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced

Ingredients for the Special Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons Best Foods real mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup sweet pickle relish

Ingredients for the Burgers:

  • 3 pounds ground beef, 80-82% lean
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 slices of your favorite cheese (I used American cheese in these photos)
  • 12 sesame topped burger buns
  • Optional toppings:  romaine lettuce leaves, sliced tomates, pickles, bacon strips

Directions:

1.  Prepare the fries.

Peel the potatoes then cut them into 1/4-inch sticks.  Place them onto a large baking sheet.

Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes.  Use your impeccably clean hands to toss the potatoes to evenly distribute the oil.

Sprinkle the garlic powder, chili powder, paprika and salt over the oiled potatoes.  Toss to evenly coat the potatoes.

Bake the potatoes at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

After the fries are done, taste one and add more salt if you’d like.

Sprinkle the crumbled bacon and green onions on top of the fries.

Add the shredded cheese.

Bake for 5-10 more minutes, or just until the cheese melts.

Serve alongside the juicy burgers and ENJOY!

2.  Prepare the Special Sauce while the fries are baking.

In a small mixing bowl, place the mayo, mustard and ketchup.

Add the onion powder.

Add the Worcestershire sauce and relish.  Stir, mixing well.  Set aside.

3.  Make the burgers while the fries are baking.

In a large mixing bowl, place the ground beef, garlic, salt and black pepper.  You can also add some chopped onions (optional).  Mix together (do not over-mix) then separate into 12 balls.  Flatten each ball into patties, about 1/4-inch thick (they will shrink as they cook, so don’t make them too thick or you’ll have burgers that are much smaller than the buns).

Cook over a hot grill or skillet (see my tips above for how long to cook them).

Top each burger patty with a slice of cheese.

4.  Assemble the burgers.

Spread some of the Special Sauce onto each sesame bun half.  Top the bottom bun with a juicy burger patty, pickles, tomato slices, bacon strips and romaine lettuce.  Place the top bun on the assembled burger, serve with a side of Smothered Fries and ENJOY!

 

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Hannah’s Carne Asada Tacos

My daughter loves to cook as much as I do, and she loves to experiment with new dishes.  This is her take on Carne Asada Tacos, complete with her recipes for the Marinade, Guacamole, and Pico de Gallo.

Give her recipes a try.  I think you’ll like them. 🙂

Hannah’s Carne Asada Tacos

carne asada tacos

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds skirt steak, with excess fat trimmed off
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Pico de gallo
  • Shredded Mexican cheese blend

Hannah’s Carne Asada Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • The juice of 2 oranges
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup of chopped cilantro

Hannah’s Pico de Gallo:

  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • The juice of 2 limes
  • Salt, to taste
  • Optional: chopped hot peppers

Hannah’s Guacamole:

  • 3 large avocados, peeled, seeded, and cut into small pieces
  • 1 small red onion, finely minced
  • The juice of 3-4 limes
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Optional: 1 medium tomato, diced (the guac pictured here doesn’t have any tomatoes since I made pico de gallo)
  • Optional: diced hot peppers, like jalapenos

1.  MARINADE AND GRILLING DIRECTIONS:

Mix all marinade ingredients together. Pour over the skirt steak (I recommend marinating the steak in a ziplock bag). Let the steak marinate for at least 2 hours. Grill until done to your liking. Slice the meat against the grain (so that it isn’t tough when you bite into it). 

2.  PICO DE GALLO DIRECTIONS:

Mix all the Pico de Gallo ingredients together. Let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. Serve with your carne asada tacos.

3.  GUACAMOLE DIRECTIONS:

Mix all the guacamole ingredients together. I like to gently stir my guacamole so that you still have chunks of avocado. If you prefer, you can mash the avocados with a fork for a smooth texture. Serve with your carne asada tacos or with chips.

4.  TACO ASSEMBLY:

Grill a tortilla until warmed. Fill with slices of carne asada, some guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream and cheese. Enjoy!

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Hannah’s Teriyaki Burgers

My daughter is quite the budding chef.  She whipped these burgers up from some ingredients she found in the fridge and pantry.  She calls them “Hannah’s Teriyaki Burgers” — I must say, they are yummy! Pair it with a side salad and hot rice and you’ve got yourself a fantastic meal!

HANNAH’S TERIYAKI BURGERS

Teriyaki Burgers

Mix together:

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup teriyaki sauce (I used Yoshida brand sauce)
  • 1 small bell pepper, diced small
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons Dashida seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

Form into patties and pan-fry over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes on each side (for medium well burgers). These also taste great served on toasted hamburger buns. Makes 14 small or 7 large burgers.

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Ahi Tuna Poke

Poke is a Hawaiian dish traditionally served as an appetizer, but it can also be a main dish when served with rice or corn titiyas.

Modern versions of poke can vary depending on the ingredients you have on hand.  Poke is typically made with cubed ahi tuna marinated with soy sauce (some use sea salt), ground kukui nut (the meat in the inside, though, not the entire nut), sesame oil, ogo seaweed, and hot chili peppers.  You can also use fresh salmon or octopus instead of ahi.

Living in Colorado, I don’t have access to a lot of the traditional ingredients like ogo seaweed and kukui nuts, so I created a different version of poke that my family — especially my 11 year old daughter — loves.

It’s a simple recipe that you can take to entirely new levels by adding the other optional ingredients I listed below.

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Poke

Poki - 07

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ahi tuna
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons kimchee base
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 6 stalks green onions, thinly sliced
  Optional Ingredients:
  • 1 small cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small sweet onion (Maui onions are good), diced
  • 2 tablespoons furikake seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons ground macadamia nuts (if you can’t find or don’t have access to kukui nuts)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Hot chili peppers or Sambal Oelek chili sauce, to taste
  • You can also substitute the tuna with salmon or octopus

Directions:

1.  Cut the ahi into small cubes.  I find it’s easier to slice the ahi when it’s partially frozen.

Poki - 01 Poki - 02

2.  Add the sesame oil.

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3.  Add the kimchee base (you can use a chili sauce like Sambal Oelek if you can’t find kimchee base).

Poki - 04

4.  Add the soy sauce.

Poki - 05

5.  Add the green onions.

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6.  Stir to combine.  Let the poke sit for at least 30 minutes (refrigerated) to allow the flavors to meld.

Poki - 07

7.  Serve with hot white rice or freshly made corn titiyas (tortillas).  The photo below shows the ahi tuna poke (on the bottom right of the plate) and ahi tuna sashimi (that’s another recipe, to be posted soon) on the bottom left.

ENJOY!!

Poki - 08

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