FATHER'S DAY BURGERS

Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers


Not for the faint of heart or appetite, our blue cheese stuffed burgers, topped with caramelized red onion and sautéed cremini mushrooms, are a hearty dinner for Dads on their special day, and anyone else who loves burgers!  The magic of this meal is the complexity of flavors created by use of spices and herbs. It's easy! Here's how we did it:

Ingredients

1 lb ground beef
1/3 c seasoned breadcrumbs
4 T crumbled blue cheese
Salt & pepper
1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 red onion, sliced very thinly
Butter and extra virgin olive oil for sautéeing
Pinch granulated sugar for caramelizing
Whole wheat hamburger rolls (optional)
Vine ripened or heirloom red tomato (optional)
Dry white wine for deglazing
Pinch each of oregano and thyme for seasoning
Onion and garlic salt for seasoning


Process
1. Mix breadcrumbs into beef. Divide into four sections.
2. Add 1 T of blue cheese into center of each patty, fold over and seal.

3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, oregano. Set aside.


4. Heat sauté pan with 1 T butter and 1 T extra virgin olive oil. Thinly slice red onion, and add to hot sauté pan. Sauté until limp, then deglaze with white wine. When wine has evaporated, lower heat, and allow to sauté gently until brown and caramelized.


5. In another sauté pan, heat 1 T butter and 1 T extra virgin olive oil. Add chopped creminis, and sauté until until soft (about 7 minutes). DO NOT ADD SALT OR PEPPER until cooking is complete. It will rob the mushrooms of their natural flavor. When mushrooms are done, sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Set aside.

6. In third sauté pan, heat 1 T butter and 1 T extra virgin olive oil and add burgers to hot pan. Sprinkle with more salt, oregano, onion salt and garlic salt. AlsSear 6 mins on one side, flip and another 5-6 minutes on the other side.

7. Serve on toasted whole wheat buns. Note: Adding tomato slices on bottom of bun will absorb juices of burger and "cook" the tomato. Absolutely delicious!

Serve with a green salad and watch them disappear!



MEMORIAL DAY DRY ROASTED RIBS 
Low-carb, almost no sugar


Our recipe for dry roasted ribs is a delicious alternative to slathering sugary, high-calorie, carb-laden sauce. Containing almost no sugar, all you need is an oven set at 300F for four hours, a little water, and the delicious ingredients that are listed below. We serve them with our Poblano Cornbread. This rub works equally well with chicken, just turn up the heat to 375F after 3 hours and roast for another 30 minutes, until brown and crispy.

Preheat oven to 300F

Ingredients

2-4 lb. rack of ribs
1 T high-quality smoky paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 T cumin, or more if desired
1 T ground chili seasoning, or more if desired
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp onion salt
Generous grind 5 pepper medley (Williams Sonoma)
2 T dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt or fleur-de-sel (Williams Sonoma)
Water

Take ribs out of refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature (about 20 minutes).

Mix spices well in bowl, rub generously into both sides of a rack of ribs. Place ribs on a sheet pan that has been fitted with alum foil to catch drippings and place ribs on a wire rack over pan with 1/4 c water beneath rack. Roast in oven 4 hours, turning every 20-30 minutes, replenishing with 1/4 c water as needed.

Here's what they will look like when they are ready. Carve and enjoy!




Mother's Day Strawberry/Blueberry Muffins



What better treat for mom on Mother's Day -- or any day -- than home baked muffins with strawberries and blueberries?

They're simple and take only minutes to mix up a batch.

Here's how:

Ingredients

1 c chopped fresh strawberries
1/2 c fresh blueberries
2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c dark brown sugar
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/8 t kosher salt
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/4 c vegetable oil
1/2 c half and half

Sanding sugar to top muffins before baking


Process

Preheat oven to 375F
Fill large muffin cups with paper liners, or coat well with melted butter.

1. Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt).
2. Mix and beat gently wet ingredients (egg, half and half, oil)
3. Add berries to dry ingredients, mix gently and coat well

4. Add wet ingredients to dry, mix well.
5. Fill muffin cups

6. Top each muffin with sanding sugar (about 1/8 t)

7. Bake for 25 -30 mins @ 375F or until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out dry.


Added tips:
1. You can use frozen blueberries, but be sure they are completely defrosted and drained well before mixing into batter.
2. You can use milk instead of half and half for a lighter muffin. We like half and half because it adds a creaminess to the muffin.
3. You can use light brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar.
4. You can add rolled oats to batter (1/3 c) to give the muffins even more heft.

What is sanding sugar?
Sanding sugar is a fancy topping for baked goods. It's clear and sparkling, comes in many colors, and doesn't melt in the oven. It adds a wonderful sweetness to every bite of your muffins (and pies). Available in most specialty food stores, or online.





Arriba! Arriba! Cinco de Mayo! Fiesta Rolls!

Spice up your Cinco de Mayo feast with these awesome veggie treats that go from the hors d'oeuvre table to the dinner table ... They take less than 30 minutes to prepare, and just need a few hours in the 'fridge before serving. Serve with your favorite spicy salsa and guacamole. Makes four rolls, approximately 32 pieces.

Ingredients
One package of large ("burrito size") flour tortillas
Two containers (approx. 10 oz each) red pepper hummus
One green bell pepper, minced finely*
One yellow or red sweet pepper, minced finely*
One medium sweet onion, minced finely*
3 carrots, minced finely*
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced finely*

*Can be processed (separately) in food processor; drain of any water before mixing together

Process
1. After mincing/draining veggies, measure out same amount of each ingredient and mix together.

2. Spread hummus thinly on large tortilla (approximately 1-2 tbsp. per tortilla)

3. Sprinkle with vegetable mixture.

4. Roll tightly.

5. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2-3 hours.
6. Unwrap, cut on diagonal.
7. Serve with your favorite Mexican tomato salsa. Delicioso!

Cinco de Mayo Muffins


Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with these easy muffins. Here's how:

Preheat oven to 400F.

Ingredients

1 package Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
3 T chopped red pimiento pepper
1/2 c Mexican cheddar cheese
1/3 c whole kernel corn
1/4 t red pepper flakes or 1 T chopped jalapeño pepper
1/3 c half and half
1 large egg, slightly beaten

Process

1. Mix the half and half and egg, add the corn muffin mix.
2. Add the pimiento, corn kernels, cheese and jalapeño.
3. Mix until just blended.
4. Bake in lined muffin cups for 20-23 minutes or until golden brown.
5. Top and serve with butter for an extra creamy texture.









Whole and Hearty Asparagus Pizza

This delicious whole wheat pizza is a wonderful addition to your spring menu, and works equally well as an hors d'oeuvre or entrée.  It's also a savory, healthy alternative to store-bought pizzas that are loaded with preservatives, sodium and additives. Make it a wonderful, heart-healthy vegetarian pizza by eliminating the bacon; you will still retain depth and complexity of flavor. It gets its name from using whole wheat pizza dough, and its hearty list of ingredients: mushrooms, onions, two cheeses and roasted fresh asparagus spears.  4-6 servings, or more for hors d'oeuvre.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 lb fresh asparagus
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large sweet onion
  • 4 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms
  • Whole wheat or white pizza dough
  • Olive oil
  • 5 slices bacon, cooked and cut into small pieces (optional)
  • 6 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tbsp grated or shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Process
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Spread fresh asparagus on baking sheet with sides. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Mix well, using hands. Spread out in single layer. Bake 10 minutes.

3. While asparagus is roasting, slice sweet onion thinly and saute in 1 tbsp of butter until caramelized, about 10 minutes, then set aside.

4. Slice mushrooms; saute in 1 tbsp of the butter until they give up their liquid and are browned, about 10 minutes; set aside. 
5. Prepare the pizza dough by rolling out on a floured surface, transfer to pizza baking sheet brushed lightly with a little olive oil, and brush dough lightly with more olive oil.



6. Cut cooled asparagus into 1-2 inch pieces. Layer ingredients onto dough in this order: caramelized onions, bacon pieces, mushrooms, asparagus (in a pinwheel arrangement, if desired), mozzarella and Parmigiano Reggiano.

7. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees, until dough is crusty and browned on edges, and cheese has melted.

Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before serving. Goes really well with a crisp Pinto Grigio or Reisling!
 

Chicken Soup for a Winter that Won't End

"Snow is cold, rain is wet, chills my soul right to the marrow ..." Carole King




If you're suffering the slings and arrows of an outrageous spring, with snow and wind and weather that resembles January rather than April, here's a way to warm it up inside. Put on a pot of chicken soup! It is a perfect dinner, rich and delicious lunch, pairs perfectly with crusty bread, white wine and pasta/noodles. It's easy (easier than it looks!) and can serve six or more. Just put it into the pot and let it simmer! Top with grated parmagianno reggiano or your favorite oyster crackers.

Total cooking time – about 3-4 hours including prep

 Ingredients

1 whole air-cooled or air chilled chicken (about 3 lbs)

1 large onion, quartered

3 stalks celery, cut in half lengthwise and then into 3” pieces

1 lb. carrots, cut into 3” pieces (or get the small ones in bag)

1-1/2 cups College Inn chicken broth

3-4 chicken bouillon cubes

6 cups water (be sure the water is warm or hot before you add it to the pot – I use cold water out of the tap, put the bouillon cubes with the water in a measuring cup, and microwave it for a minute or two, then add to the pot)

Salt and pepper (I use French Sel de Mer and freshly ground pepper)

2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. high quality organic olive oil

Bouquet garni – 6 cloves garlic, 10 sprigs fresh parsley, 4 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried thyme), 1 tsp. herbes de provence – wrapped up tightly in cheesecloth


Process

1. Into a large stock pot, heat butter and olive oil.

2. Salt and pepper chicken, and place whole chicken upside down in butter/olive oil,

3. Sear until browned. Turn chicken and sear on the other side.

4. Add onion, celery, carrots, broth, water, bouillon cubes, bouquet garni. Be sure the liquid covers the chicken almost completely.

5. Simmer on medium for about three hours. Watch the pot, maybe put a lid askew on it so that all the steam does not escape.

6. As it is simmering, you might want to add a little dried thyme to the top of the chicken and/or more salt and pepper.

If you use the air cooled chicken, there is (magically!) no scum to skim!! The best chicken ever!

7. When the soup is done, remove the chicken from the pot and debone it. Throw away the bones and put the chicken back into the pot. 

Serve piping hot with bread, buttered noodles, salad or just by itself. 










-->