Just another WordPress.com weblog

Archive for March, 2012

Bacon cheeseburger meatballs

Yum! I served with my favorite salad, french fry salad. The dressing was a good dipping sauce for the meatballs but I found myself craving good old ketchup. I used the same seasonings/mix ins as the Juicy Lucy. However, I used 13 oz of beef and two slices of bacon, minced in food processor. I was debating if I should precook the bacon a little. I decided to treat the bacon like ground pork and stir the ground bacon into the meat. I cut small squares of cheddar to stuff inside. I made the meatballs pretty small, the size of my rounded mini cookie scoop. They baked in a 400 oven for about 10 minutes. I put them on a greased cooling rack in the oven so the heat could circulate.



Spinach artichoke dip with alfredo sauce

I referred to recipes that used a mix of cream cheese and alfredo sauce. And of course, I made my own alfredo! Leftover alfredo went into Chicken Alfredo sandwiches. 🙂



Vanilla bean ice cream



Strawberry balsamic pizza on sourdough crust

This pizza was kind of “out there.” I omitted the chicken and fresh strawberries. Instead of cilantro, I used chopped parsley and thyme for the topping. I did use the bacon and caramelized onions though! I used most of the cheeses in my fridge, which at this time included: mozzarella, gruyere, fontina, parmesan, and feta. I wasn’t a huge fan of the strawberry balsamic sriracha sauce. I love balsamic drizzles on pizzas though. I made a sourdough pizza crust that I found on King Arthur flour’s website. It uses unfed starter straight from the fridge. My total rising time was 4-5 hours in a warn kitchen. My second rise was only an hour. I made one half of the recipe and spread the dough into a 9×13 oiled baking sheet. The one hour rise time created a perfectly medium thick crust with good air pockets. It tasted great, and Jacob declared it the best crust ever. 🙂 He even liked the sauce/cheese/topping combo a lot and said he would request it again! Maybe fig jam instead as the sauce, and a balsamic drizzle on top? Hmm…



Cajun mac and cheese

I combined a yummy cajun chicken alfredo recipe with my favorite way to cook mac and cheese. This made more than four servings. I made my own Cajun Seasoning from a recipe on All Recipes, but it was a little heavy on the salt. I used 2 oz cheddar, 2 oz fontina, and 1 oz parmesan.

  • 6 0z pasta (I used a fun looking orichette)
  • 1 link andouille sausage, uncooked, casings removed
  • 1 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 chicken thighs, cooked and chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk/cream mixed
  • 5 oz cheese, plus a little for on top
  • Cajun seasoning

Make the cheese sauce after cooking and crumbling the sausage in the pot. Check the seasoning and get a good consistency, then stir in sausage, chicken, sun dried tomatoes, green onions, and cajun seasoning, and pasta. Sprinkle cheese and/or buttered topping, then place under broiler for 2 ish minutes.






Clam chowder

I mainly followed Thomas Keller’s recipe for Clam Chowder. I used a quick method for cleaning the clams, because I didn’t want to wait 8 hours. My plan was to fry some clam strips for garnish, but the amount of meat from 2 pounds of clams didn’t really leave enough to spare. Here are my ingredients/quantities. 
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 russet potato, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 10 peppercorns, 2 sprigs thyme, 1 bay leaf, 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups seafood stock
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 tbsp butter 
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 lbs littleneck clams
  • 3 tbsp green onions, chopped


Chicken picatta burgers

My burger obsession continues! My goal is to turn simples dishes that I would probably never make at home into a burger. Today it was chicken picatta. I might increase the amount of bread crumbs or use dried next time. My burgers hold together great in the skillet but when cutting/biting pieces crumble off. The texture is inconsistent. Partly because I didn’t process/mix the chicken as much as I could. It’s important to put only one or two small pieces in the food processor at a time, or you are left with chicken chunks.

For the burger:

  • 2 chicken thighs, bone and skin removed (It ended up being 13 oz I think)
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon garlic chive mayo
  • 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs (I might increase or use dried, if I want the burgers to be a little firmer)
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper, plus some for sides when cooking

For the mushrooms:

  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 splash white wine or dry sherry
  • Fresh thyme

Lemon garlic chive mayo:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • Salt, pepper

For my sandwiches, I made a panini in the skillet at the same time as the burgers. I used small pieces of sourdough bread, buttered and salted. I filled with sautéed mushrooms, fontina cheese, the mayo, and capers. The burger took about 8 ish minutes to hit the 160s. I squeezed some lemon juice over the patties while cooking. When the panini and burger were done, I served patty melt style. 🙂