Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Garden Burger

Garden Burger

     It’s summer time here in the States and what says summer more than grilling out on the grill. Nothing goes better on the grill than a juicy burger. Whether it is BBQ, spicy, lathered in cheese, or just plain, something about that odor of grilled beef wafting through the air just screams summer.

     I have many different recipes for burgers. Some of which I have started showing and posting on here. Who doesn’t love a great burger? Something about them just says a mans meal. I can eat them anyway, whether all dolled up or just a plain piece of beef on a bun. It doesn’t matter to me. They’re great.

     This recipe was inspired by the first nice day that occurs just as summer is about to arrive. You know the one. That day you are itching to go outside, fire up that grill, and hit the garden. Well most of the ingredients in this burger are inspired by just that. A combination of grilled beef with some fresh herbs and produce that remind you of that end of spring beginning of summer day. Please enjoy my Garden Burger.

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tbs special seasoning
  • Onion buns
  • Mayo
  • Dill
  • Black olives
  • Red peppers
  • Arugula
  • Smoked mozzarella or Gouda
     My mother taught me a very simple way to make a delicious burger. She never added any egg, no onion, any spices, just simple beef, salt, and pepper. She would press them out with the back of a plate and that was it. Hers always seemed very uniform and so juicy that it was amazing how simple they were.  I decided this time around to just try her simple way of making burgers.  I added my own special seasoning, which I am not going to be giving away at this time. Use any spices you feel will help flavor the meat. Combine the ground beef and seasoning together. Pull out about five equal size balls of the beef mixture. In between two slices of wax paper place the beef patty and gently press down with the backside of a plate. The mixture makes about 5 burger patties. I like to take my thumb and press a little hole into the center of the patties so that when they cook up they do not shrink.  As you are cooking the patties you can take the slices of mozzarella or Gouda and lay on top of each patty to melt.

     Now take a bit of mayo, the dill, and diced up black olives, and diced peppers and combine in a bowl. Take your onion buns and gently grill them. Spread some of the mayo mixture on one side. Lay down some fresh arugula as well. Remove your patty from the grill and position on your buns. There you go! A wonderful garden style burger with all the fresh ingredients and juiciness from the beef. This is definitely a crowd pleasure and people who are even afraid of some of the ingredients will definitely fall in love with this one.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Chicken Fricassee

Chicken Fricassee

     What is Fricassee?  I had only heard about it a few times in my life.  I Googled the dish because I wasn't positive that it was an actual French dish.  I have never really tried French food. I didn't grow up with it or anyone that was French. Actually you will not find much different styles of cuisine in small town West Virginia. According to the web Fricassee is a French word that pertains to a style of cooking meat by braising it in a sauce that is typically white based and cooked with wine.  This was really simple to make and created the most wonderful aroma that permeated my house. If this truly isn't a French dish that you would find in France, than I completely apologize. If it is I am proud to say I took my second chance at trying French cuisine and this time it succeeded.  I won’t delve into my first attempt.  It wasn't too pretty.  This dish combines the wonderful hearty combination of a mirepoix, cream, white wine, and some chicken stock.  Add in a bundle of fresh herbs and you have a wonderful comfort food for the evening. Give it a try.

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1/2 white onion diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup diced mushrooms
  • 1 tbs flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 medium bay leaves
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 cup cream
  • Parsley

      In a Dutch oven melt the butter and brown the chicken on both sides. Remove the chicken and sit aside. In same Dutch oven sauté your onion, carrot, celery, (mirepoix), and mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and continue to sauté for about another 2 minutes or until the flour has become incorporated and cooked. Pour in the broth and white wine. Bring to a simmer and place the chicken breasts back in. Take your thyme and bay leaves and stir in. Cover slightly and simmer on low for about 25 minutes.

     Meanwhile in a small bowl combine the egg and cream and mix. After your pot has been simmering for 25 minutes turn down the heat and remove 1 cup of the liquid. Slowly pour and stir it into your bowl of egg and cream so as not to scramble your egg. Now pour the egg mixture into the pot and stir. This allows the mixture to become creamy and silky.  Take your last tbs of butter and mix it into the pot. Serve this wonderful French chicken dish over some fresh rice pilaf or noodles and sprinkle with fresh parsley. I was very pleased with this dish. I am you’re your family will love it. Very hearty, very comforting, very satisfying. Serves 2.