foodie 1

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bacon Bit and Smoked Gouda Burgers with Steakhouse Onions

This is not the greatest picture, but it is a fabulous recipe! I found it first in one of Rachael Ray's cookbooks, but then found it in an issue of her magazine as well. Even though I had made it from the cookbook, I typically use the magazine cut-out since it's smaller and now filed in my recipe collection. Smoked Gouda, caramelized onions, bacon, what isn't there to love?? These three ingredients are also the base of our favorite mac and cheese recipe, also from an issue of EveryDay with Rachael Ray.

Bacon Bit and Smoked Gouda Burgers with Steakhouse Onions
6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 yellow onions, 1/4 finely chopped and 1 3/4 thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon grill seasoning
4 crusty rolls
4 slices smoked Gouda cheese
1/4 cup steak sauce

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the bacon and a drizzle of olive oil and cook until the bacon is crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate and drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the skillet.
  • Return the skillet to medium-low heat and sweat the finely chopped onion in the bacon fat for 2 to 3 minutes. Combine the onion with the reserved bacon in a small bowl and let cool.
  • In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. When the olive oil is hot, add the thinly sliced onions and cover them with a lid that fits inside the skillet. Cook until browned, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the onions are cooking, place the sirloin in a large bowl and top with the Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and grill seasoning. Stir in the cooled chopped onions and bacon until evenly combined. Divide the meat into 4 even sections and form 4 large patties.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the burgers and cook for 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare and 6 minutes on each side for medium-well.
  • Toast the split rolls. Place the patties on the bun bottoms and top with the smoked Gouda. Stir the steak sauce into the smothered onions. Top the burgers with the onions and set the bun tops in place. Transfer to plates and serve.

In the cookbook version of the recipe, it also includes a quick spinach salad. I used the salad dressing recipe and used the other salad fixings we wanted. It's basically 1/4 cup of steak sauce whisked with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and then a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Quick and easy!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Jenna Dip

My family calls this Jenna Dip. I think it's actualy name is Tiger Sauce Dip. We call it Jenna Dip because the recipe came from my sister's friend Jenna. It started as people asking, "Hey, can you make that dip that Jenna made?" and quickly evolved into just, "Hey, let's make Jenna Dip." It's delicious and gets better as it sits. I'd recommend making it at least 24-48 hours before serving. There's always a lot of liquid left over, which makes a great salad dressing.  My grocery store has Tiger Sauce in the ketchup section.

Jenna Dip

1 can shoepeg corn
1 can blackeyed peas
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 medium onion
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons tiger sauce

  • Drain and rinse corn and black eyed peas.
  • Dice peppers and onion.
  • Whisk together sugar, oil, vinegar and tiger sauce. 
  • Combine everything in one bowl.  

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ranch Crackers

These are a party staple in my family. My mom has been making them for years for every family gathering. Well, I'd say most of the years if I was home I was the one baking them. They are so yummy and totally addictive. I don't even have the recipe in my possession, I have it memorized. I'm pretty sure it first came from an advertisement for Hidden Valley Ranch. I found this one on their website, but it is not the one I remember learning. The original, as I remember it, included garlic powder and dill weed. Since mastering the basic recipe I've modified it over and over again to fit our tastes. This is my most common variation.

Ranch Crackers
adapted from Hidden Valley Ranch

1 bag oyster crackers
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 packet ranch salad dressing mix
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Pour oyster crackers in a 13x9 pan.
  • Whisk together oil, dressing mix and garlic powder.
  • Pour over crackers and mix well, coating all crackers.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through.

Seriously, could it get any easier? I also usually throw in a few shakes of either a seasoned salt or Goya's Adobo seasoning. If I'm craving some spice, just one shake of cayenne pepper.

Gonzo Garbanzos

This is a great party snack. I found the recipe in EveryDay with Rachael Ray and have been making it several times a year ever since. It makes an appearance at most friend and family gatherings. The trick with these is getting the baking time just right -- you want them to be hard and crispy, not mushy. This requires frequent sampling when in the final segment of baking -- hey, I'm willing to make that sacrifice!

Gonzo Garbanzos
EveryDay with Rachael Ray, December/January 2007

Makes 2 3/4 cups
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 35 Minutes

Two 15.5 ounce cans chickpeas -- drained, rinsed and patted dry
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 cup shelled pistachios (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 400.
  • Place the chickpeas in a medium bowl and discard any loose skins. Toss with the olive oil, salt, black pepper, cumin and cayenne pepper until evenly coated.
  • Spread the chickpeas on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, about 25 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and quickly stir in the thyme and pistachios, if using. Bake until crunchy, about 10 minutes more.
  • Let cool and serve at room temperature.