Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Italiano Burger with Balsamic Aioli on a Homemade Bun

Ok, so most of you know that I am known to go all out on a fairly simple meal on more than one occasion. This evening's meal was no exception! Thisbone, however, was a collaboration between Cal and I. There are technically three parts, but only two are necessary. Using all three will achieve maximum deliciousness ;)

First, homemade hamburger buns. I highly suggest beginning here, as they must proof for an hour before you can cook them. If you aren't up for the baking process, feel free to use store bought buns.

For those of you up for the challenge, heres the recipe.

BUNS

1 cup milk
1/8 cup water
2 T butter
1/8 cup white sugar
1 package (2 1/4tsp) active yeast
1 tsp salt
3 cup bread or all purpose flour

In a small pot or microwavable container heat milk, water and butter to 110-115 degrees (F). In a meduim bowl, combine yeast and sugar. Slowly whisk liquid into yeast, until dissolved. Let sit 5 minutes, or until bubbly. Slowly add flour and salt, stirring to combine until a dough is formed. Separate into approx. 6-8 equal balls, depending on desired size. Keep in mind that buns will DOUBLE IN SIZE upon rising. Place dough balls onto a greased and flour baking sheet. Cover with damp paper towels, let rise one hour. Bake @ 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Brush tops with a small amt of oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake another 10 minutes. Let cool

Now, to prep your burgers; these are a little intense in ingredients, but the overall flavor is absolutely worth it! 

BURGERS

1/2 pound ground beef
1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
2 Tbl grated Parmesan
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley 
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flake
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbl Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbl olive or vegetable oil
1 Tbl each lemon juice and zest
2 slices Provolone cheese 

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients except Provolone. Mix well. Shape into two equally sized hamburgers. When you form hamburgers, make a small well in the center of the burger.. Just an indent... And they won't bulge as bad when you cook them :) we cooked our burgers on the grill, but feel free to cook them any method you desire. Top with slices of provolone. 

Now, I normally eat my burger medium, but because of their flavors, I strongly recommend cooking them to just well done. The added oil will help to keep them moist if you over cook them a little bit. 

Finally, we come to the Italian Balsamic Aioli; an excellent compliment to this burger.

AIOLI

1/4 cup Mayonaise
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt/pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. 

To assemble these burgers, simply slice the buns in half, spread aioli on top half of the bun. Place the burger on the bottom half. I added tomato and field greens to mine. Non-vegetable eating Cal left his plain; just burger and aioli. Bpth ways are super delish!

Well folks, that's it. It's intense, as I said from the start, but totally worth it. I hope it goes well. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Swedish Meatballs

I'm sorry that I havn't posted this week. I started a temp job and have to get used to the normal 9-5 grind (well its 8-4 but ya know lol). Today's recipe is something i've been eating forever; Swedish Meatballs! No, these aren't the frozen ones you find as you check out at Ikea, or meatballs from the grocery store. These are simple, non-time consuming greatness! Enjoy!

The recipe below makes 6 decently sized meatballs. 3 per person was good enough for us, but some people eat more. Use your judgement and double if necessary.

Meatballs

1/2 pound ground beef
1 egg
1 tbl milk
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tbl butter

In a meduim bowl combine all ingredients except for butter. Roll into 6 evenly sized meatballs. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium pan, melt butter over medi heat. saute meatballs for 3 minutes on each side. Meatballs should be browned. Do not discard drippings. Leave them in the pan you will use them later. Transfer meatballs to a small baking dish and cook until done (160 deg) about 20 minutes.

Sauce

Pan drippings
2 tbl flour
1 cup water
2 tbl milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Return pan drippings to the stove over low heat. Whisk in flour. Mixture should have a paste like consistancy. Slowly add water, whisking constantly, until heated. Whisk in milk, salt and pepper. Let reduce to sauce like consistancy.

Typically, swedish meatballs are served over egg noodles, but can be served with rice, potatoes or anything you please.

All in all this should be a 30 minute meal. Good luck and enjoy!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Italian Stuffed Pork Chops

Today's recipe is for delicious Italian Stuffed Pork Chops. These are easy to prep and cook. From prep to done I'd say they take about 45 minutes. Don't be intimidated by the long ingredient list, it really is quite simple.

Yields 2 servings

2 1" thick boneless porkchops
1/2 cup shredded Mozarella cheese
2 tablespoons Ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmeasan cheese
1/4 cup Italian Breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup pasta sauce

Cut a slit 3/4 of the way deep and 3/4 width of both pork chops. In a small bowl, combine all three cheeses, breadcrumbs and seasonings. Using your thumbs, widen the hole you cut in the pork chop. Stuff cheese mixture into the chops Leaving enough room to pull the chop closed again. Secure with a toothpick if desired. Place porkchops into a baking dish and cook in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Warm the pasta sauce in a small pot, top chops upon serving.


I served mine with some Italian seasoned rice, but you can also serve it with pasta, roasted potatos, or any other side you wish. Any questions, please ask! Enjoy!