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September 29, 2012

Chicken wild mushroom and roasted garlic sauté

The dried Porcini mushrooms give this dish a rich, earthy flavor and the tarragon adds a touch of anise flavored sweetness.It is a wonderful dish to pair with an oak aged Pinot Noir.

Serves 4
Prep time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1:45

Ingredients:

  • 1 large garlic head, roasted
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
  • ½ cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • ½ cup wine
  • 1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ½ pound assorted fresh mushrooms, such as shiitake, cremini and oyster, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chilled butter
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped

    Instructions:

    In a medium bowl, cover the dried porcini mushrooms with the wine and let stand until soft, about 20-30 minutes.

    Remove the mushrooms and coarsely chop them, reserving the soaking liquid.

    In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to skillet in a single layer. Cook over high heat until browned on both sides. Remove to a large bowl.

    Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the skillet and add the onions and cook until softened. Remove onions and add to chicken.

    Add 1 tablespoon butter to skillet and add all of the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms have browned and their liquid has evaporated. Pour in the wine soaking liquid through a sieve to remove the grit, cook to reduce by half.

    Add the chicken, onions, chicken stock, and diced tomatoes. At this point you can either reduce the heat and simmer the chicken for up to 1 hour or remove to a slow cooker and cook on low for 2-3 hours. Either way, after cooking remove most of the cooking liquid to a skillet.

    cook the cooking liquid on low for 20 minutes or until reduced by 1/3. Add roasted garlic and stir until completely blended. Stir cornstarch and water together and add to cooking liquid. Cook until thickened.

    Remove from heat and add tarragon and adjust seasonings. Swirl in the chilled butter. Serve with crusty bread.

    Cooking Wiser
    Wine is a great way to rehydrate dried mushrooms, providing additional flavor. Mushrooms are like sponges, soaking up the liquid they’re in. So avoid water using liquids that has flavor. And don't wash mushrooms in water, use instead a damp paper towel to wipe them clean.

    If a thiner sauce is preferred eliminate the cornstarch and water step

    Posted by terri at 01:08 AM | Comments (0)

    September 27, 2012

    MOREL and Beef Stroganoff

    If you love rich, you'll love this recipe. It is rich in every sense of the word. Morel mushrooms are not only rich as in pricey, they're rich with flavor too. You can use any mushrooms but for special occasions use the morel.

    Serves 4
    Prep time: 15 minutes (includes cooking pasta)
    Total time: 45 minutes

    Ingredients:

  • 1 pound pasta noodles
  • 1 pound top sirloin or tenderloin of beef (cut into thin strips)
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 ounce dried morel mushrooms or 8 ounces fresh (sliced)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/3 cup Burgundy
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
  • Chopped parsley or tarragon to garnish

    Instructions:

    Reconstitute morels if using dried. Cook noodles al dente. Meanwhile brown the beef in the oil. Remove beef, add more oil if necessary and brown the onions with the salt and pepper until onion begins to clear. In a separate skillet melt the butter and add mushrooms and cook briefly. Reduce heat to low. Deglaze pan with wine and add beef broth. Cook until reduced by half. Add sour cream slowly and stir until you have a thick creamy sauce. Add beef and beef juices, if any, from skillet. Serve over pasta. Garnish with fresh herbs.

    Posted by terri at 04:54 PM | Comments (0)

    Crab Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

    Portobello mushrooms are large enough to make a meal out of just one. Cremini mushrooms are the smaller version and also work great for this recipe. You can either grill these or roast them in the oven.

    Serves 4
    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 25 minutes + 1 hour to marinade

    Ingredients:

    Mushrooms

  • 4 Portobello mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • Kosher salt

    Stuffing

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 5 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons each chopped fresh oregano and thyme
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped and sautéed in 1 tablespoon butter until golden
    4 ounces crab meat

    Mix all ingredients together and stir to combine

    Instructions:

    Clean mushrooms and remove stems and gills. Place caps on a plate. In a small bowl, combine the oil, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Brush mixture evenly over the mushroom caps and let stand for 1 hour. Lightly salt the inside of the mushroom. Stuff mushrooms with crab mixture. Grill over medium hot grill for 10 minutes. Top with more Parmesan cheese.

    Cooking Wiser:

    When using portobello mushrooms it is important that you remove the inside gills. The gills turn dark and release a dark liquid that makes the dish look nasty. Use a grapefruit spoon to easily remove the gills.

    Don’t wash the mushrooms, they are like sponges and will soak up the water making them soggy and tasteless. Wipe them off with a damp paper towel

    Salt the mushrooms prior to cooking, never add salt to the marinade. It will pull the moisture out of the mushroom ruining the texture.

    To decrease fat and calories, substitute chicken broth for the butter in the stuffing and use low fat cheese

    Make homemade breadcrumbs from left over bread or buns

    If it is raining and you don't feel like lighting up the grill, roast these in a 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.

    To save time you can decrease the marinating time to as little as 5 minutes

    Make it your own
    Change the flavor of the mushrooms by changing the herbs; use rosemary or tarragon

    Make appetizer size portions with smaller mushrooms

    Posted by terri at 04:50 PM | Comments (0)

    Food and Wine Dinner Club

    Food and wine dinner clubs are a fantastic way to experience new wines and food with friends and family. Our group meets every third Saturday of the month.

    Having a consistent time helps everyone to plan their calendar in advance. The host usually selects a theme, such as a French dinner with French wines or Zinfandel wines with appetizers. I’ve found that I have learned more from these dinners than I ever dreamed possible. You can study wine and food pairing out of a book for years and never gain the knowledge you can from actually tasting. After all it is a matter of personal taste; what one person likes may not be the same for someone else. To learn what those tastes are you have to experience them.
    Our most recent dinner was a “free for all, no theme” dinner. The guidelines were for everyone to bring a wine of their choice and a matching dish. It was fantastic. We had a great variety of food and tried several new wines.

    Many of our recipes and wine pairings come from Food and Wine magazine. A summary of our dinner included the following

    Chicken wild mushroom and roasted garlic sauté
    We paired this dish with an earthy, rich Pinot Noir. To make it a little more interesting we also tried this dish with a Pinot Noir that was aged in Stainless Steele. Some liked the chicken with the rich, oak aged Pinot Noir and some liked it with the lighter Stainless Steele Pinot Noir. I liked them both but preferred the bigger flavor created with the oak aged Pinot.

    Both of the Pinot Noir wines were from Chamisal winery in Edna Valley CA. The Califa selection, 2007 Pinot Noir has a rich flavor that blended perfectly with the earthy mushrooms and flavorful sauce. The 2009 Stainless Pinot Noir was also good with the chicken bringing out more of the tomato flavors in the dish. This wine is light and full of cherry and plum fruit flavors.

    The second dish was Roasted Lamb with mushroom and it was also paired with a Pinot Noir, but this time one from Napa Valley, CA, a 2007 Bouchaine. The grapes ripen early in this area so the wine is a little less complex but still loaded in typical Pinot Noir black cherry and spicy flavor. Again Pinot Noir is the right wine to serve with mushrooms any day, any way.The dish was made with garlic, wine and herbs du Provence

    The next pairing was excellent. Often times a good pairing results when the wine is used to decrease the intensity of a characteristic, such as a very spicy food and a slightly sweet wine. But in the case of this pairing, the spice in the Malbec created a bridge of flavor with the spice in the Bolognese Stuffed Bell Peppers. It was wonderful. The 2010 Malbec was from J. Rickards winery in Alexander Valley, Sonoma County. The Malbec was blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, creating jammy characteristics with spice on the finish.

    I always look forward to the cheese course and one of my favorites is a Spanish wine and cheese pairing. Tonight’s wine was a Resalte Crianza 2005 from Ribera del Duero, Spain. The ripe fruit and smooth toasted oak in this 100% Tempranillo wine created a perfect balance with goat, sheep and cow cheese. I personally thought the pairing was best with the Naked Goat cheese; creating a creamy mouth feel with rich flavors. The Mahon cow and Manchego cheeses were also quite nice.

    The perfect finish to this wine dinner was Chocolate and Zinfandel. The Zinfandel was a 2010 Seghesio from Sonoma CA, a rich and delicious Zin we paired with chocolate brownies. And as a special treat, a 2009 Toro De Piedra from Chili. This wine is a blend of Carmenere and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Carmenere grape is like a rustic Italian grape, slightly spicy with hints of dark fruit and toasted oak, a very nice wine with chocolate.


    Posted by terri at 02:45 AM | Comments (0)

    September 24, 2012

    Stuffed Tomatoes

    Tomatoes should be in season for this recipe. You can add other vegetables like peas, chopped onions or bell peppers. Rice, couscous or quinoa is the base for the stuffing. Quinoa is a seed from a plant that is very high in protein.

    Serves 4
    Prep time: 20 minutes(includes cooking the Quinoa
    Total time:40-44 minutes

    Ingredients:

  • 4 medium size tomatoes
  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • ½ cup quinoa, cooked according to directions
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese (reserve half for topping)
  • ½ cup low fat mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

    Instructions:

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees
    Cut the tops off of the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds and discard. Leave the thick tomato wall in tact making sure not to pierce through the skin.
    In a medium sized mixing bowl combine, herbs, quinoa, cheeses, and pepper to taste. Mix ingredients together until mixed evenly. Place the tomatoes into a baking and fill each with the quinoa mixture. Top off with cheese and a sprinkle of olive oil. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

    Make it your own
    Use rice or couscous to replace the quinoa
    Add other vegetables to the mixture, for example
    1/4 cup peas, corn or carrots
    2 tablespoons cooked, minced onion, green or red bell peppers

    Posted by terri at 09:08 PM | Comments (0)

    Stuffed Butternut Squash

    Butternut squash is a winter squash that adds vibrant orange color and a sweet, nutty flavor to this dish. There many ways to prepare this squash but roasting enhances the wonderful flavors.

    Serves 4

    Ingredients:

  • 2 butternut squash (1 to 1.5 lb each)
  • 1 ½ cups of cooked grain, such as quinoa or brown rice
  • ½ pound ground turkey sausage
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced

    Instructions:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise, then scoop out and discard the seeds. Put squash halves, cut side down, on a pan and roast uncovered, for 40 minutes.

    While the squash is roasting, brown the turkey in a skillet over medium heat with the thyme, cayenne, garlic, salt and pepper for ten minutes or until done.

    Scoop turkey into a large bowl. Add oil to hot skillet and cook the onion over medium heat. When done, scoop into same bowl with turkey.

    Remove squash from oven (don’t turn oven off yet). When squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the pulp, leaving about a ½ inch layer inside the skin. Put the pulp into the bowl with the turkey & onion.

    Add the cooked grain to the bowl with the other ingredients. Mix together thoroughly and then refill the squash halves.
    Place filled halves cut side up back on the pan and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until the squash is tender.

    Vegetarian option:

    Omit turkey, increase grain to 2 cups, use 1 cup minced scallions (green onions) to replace onions, add ½ tablespoon chopped ginger and 1 teaspoon fresh chopped tarragon or cilantro to replace the thyme.
    Follow above instructions.

    Posted by terri at 09:07 PM | Comments (0)

    Prosciutto-Wrapped Scallops with Romesco Sauce

    Romesco is a popular sauce in Spain. It consists of finely ground tomatoes, usually sundried, red bell peppers, onion, garlic, almonds and olive oil. It is usually served with grilled fish or poultry.

    Makes 24
    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 24 minutes

    Romesco Sauce

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 sun dried tomato halves packed in oil, drained
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/4 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup whole almonds
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt to taste

    Scallops

  • 8 paper thin slices prosciutto, each slice cut lengthwise into 3 strips
  • 12 sea scallops, halved horizontally
  • olive oil
  • coarse kosher salt
  • fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

    Instructions:

    Romesco Sauce: Combine wine, tomatoes, and garlic in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

    Reduce heat and simmer until wine is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

    Transfer tomato mixture to a food processor. Add peppers, almonds, and oil and blend until a coarse puree forms. Transfer to a small bowl.

    Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made up to two days ahead.) Cover and chill. Let come to room temperature before using (about 1 hour).

    Scallops: Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

    Wrap 1 prosciutto strip around the center of each scallop half, pressing ends together to seal. Arrange scallops on prepared sheet. (May be done up to 4 hours ahead.) Cover and chill.

    Preheat broiler. Brush scallops lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

    Broil scallops until opaque in the center and prosciutto is almost crisp, turning scallops half-way through, typically 1-2 minutes a side, depending on scallop size.

    Arrange scallops on a platter and top each with a small dollop of Romesco sauce and a few thyme leaves.

    Posted by terri at 08:56 PM | Comments (0)

    Baked Mashed White and SweetPotatoes

    New side dishes for your Thanksgiving Dinner
    If you can’t decide which to make- Mashed garlic Potatoes or Sweet Potato Casserole, then try this recipe to solve your holiday cooking dilemma.

    Serves 6

    Ingredients:

  • garlic head, with top removed
  • 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over garlic, place in a small ovenproof dish (ramekin), cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

    Cool, peel garlic.

    Brush a 9 inch square baking dish with remaining olive oil.

    Place chicken broth into a large pot and add potatoes. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes. Drain reserving one cup of the cooking liquid.

    Return the potatoes to the pot. Add cream, butter, rosemary and roasted garlic to potatoes.

    Mash with potato masher until smooth adding reserved cooking liquid to reach desired consistency.

    Mix in half of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

    Spoon into prepared dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake until heated through and golden on top.

    Posted by terri at 08:54 PM | Comments (0)

    Maui Style Fish Tacos with Chipotle Slaw

    The sweet pineapple cools down the chipotle slaw and creates a creative take on one of my favorite taco recipes. I like the fish grilled it can also be pan sautéed.

    Serves 4

    Ingredients:

  • 1 small pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced into rings, lightly brushed with hot sauce (tabasco)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless mahi mahi fillets (or other white fish)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ tablespoon sea salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 4 medium size wheat tortillas
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced onions

    For the slaw:

  • ½ head cabbage, shredded
  • ½ cup low fat mayonnaise
  • 1 lime, zest and juiced
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded

    Instructions:

    Prepare a charcoal grill. Grill the pineapple over low heat until browned and caramelized. Cut the pineapple rings into small wedges and set aside.

    Combine mayonnaise, lime zest and juice, chili powder, cabbage and carrots together. Mix well. Salt and pepper to taste before serving.

    Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the oil, pepper and lime juice and marinate the fish for 5 minutes. Grill the fish over medium high heat until cooked through. Remove from the grill and slice into strips.

    To serve build your own style: provide cabbage slaw, diced tomatoes, onins, fish, tortilla and additional slices of lime for people to create their own taco.

    Posted by terri at 08:49 PM | Comments (0)

    September 17, 2012

    Pizza Bar

    Setting up a pizza bar for a party or other special event is a great way to get guests involved in preparing the food. Plus it a ton of fun and everyone gets to create their favorite pizza.

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients:

  • 2- 12 inch pizza crusts, cut into to fourth or six 5 inch individual pizza crusts
  • 16 ounces marinara sauce
  • 8 ounces Alfredo sauce
  • 16 ounces Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 4-6 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4-6 ounces cheddar cheese, grated

    Variety of other toppings:

    Pesto, fresh basil or Italian blend of dry herbs
    Sliced onions, green peppers, red bell peppers
    Sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, sun dried tomatoes, spinach Black olives, green olives, pineapple tidbits
    Pepperoni, Italian sausage, diced ham, ground beef

    Set up the station for making the pizza:

    Have several pizza pans available for cooking
    Place ready-made crusts on each pan
    Line up toppings buffet style
    Guests will take their crusts through the buffet of toppings applying their favorite items as they go
    Cook pizzas at 350 degrees F until pizza crust is golden.

    Cooking Wiser:

  • Sausage and ground beef should be pre-cooked
  • If a crispy crust is desired, add cheese toward the end of the cooking process to avoid overcooking
  • There are a variety of ready-made pizza crusts available but you could also make your pizza dough in advance and let people roll out their own shapes.
  • Drizzle olive oil infused with garlic over the top of the pizza immediately after removing from the oven

    Make it your own:

    The Man Pizza: Marinara sauce, pesto, pepperoni, Italian sausage, sautéed mushrooms, onions, red bell pepper all topped with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese

    Carol’s special: Alfredo sauce, sun dried tomatoes, spinach, sautéed mushrooms, Mozzarella cheese

    Posted by terri at 03:15 AM | Comments (0)

    September 13, 2012

    Lemon Bars

    Lemon is a great flavor enhancer. In this recipe you will get a sweet and sour effect.

    Makes 18-24 bars

    Crust

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 cup cream cheese

    Topping

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 tablespoons fresh
    lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest, freshly grated
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • powdered sugar for sprinkling

    Instructions:

    For crust, mix together flour, sugar, and cheese until crumbly.
    Pat into bottom and 1/4-inch up sides of a buttered 9x13 inch baking pan. Bake in a 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
    Meanwhile prepare topping. Beat eggs slightly. In a separate bowl, stir together sugar and flour. Add to eggs. Beat well. Add lemon juice, peel, baking powder, and salt. Beat until smooth. Pour over baked crust. Return to oven and bake 25-30 minutes longer, or until just set. Sprinkle with powdered sugar while hot. Let cool and cut into bars.

    Cooking Wiser
    Save calories by using low fat cream cheese
    Cut cholesterol by using only 3 eggs
    Add a little more garnish by adding lemon peel curls on top
    Or dress it up by sprinkling powder sugar over a paper dollie for designs
    See cooking tips for handling eggs

    Posted by terri at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)

    Home Canning

    More and more people are growing their own fruits and vegetables. Canning is a great way to preserve the fruts of your labor. There's just something special about opening your own can of beans for Thanksgiving dinner. Here are a few tips to help with the process.

    The Process

    Canning is a way to preserve food where it is packed in jars and immersed in either a waterbath or pressure cooker. Heat and pressure must be maintained for a specific amount of time to prevent harmful organisms and bacteria from causing food spoilage and health concerns. It also cooks the foods and pushes the air from the jars, creating a vacuum seal. The process involves equipment, time and pressure

    Equipment- includes a pressure cooker or canner, glass jars, metal band and flat lids. All must be in good condition to create a good vacuum seal.

  • Wash jars, lids and bands.
  • You will also need a good towel, jar lifter and funnel.
    Time- follow guide book for particular food
  • Usually tomatoes take 15 minutes and beans take 20-25 minutes for quart jars
    Pressure- follow your product’s manufacturer owner’s manual and read all safety instructions
    Knoxville is little less than 1000 altitude so use about 10 pounds of pressure
    The Food
  • Actually preparing the food is the first step
  • Follow directions in manual or specific recipe
  • The type of food will dictate the type of process
  • High acid foods such as tomatoes and fruit will take less time and pressure than low acid foods like beans and corn
  • Salt, sugar and vinegar act as preservatives
    Filling the Jars
  • Pack fruits or vegetables into jars
  • Add salt to vegetables (1/4 teaspoon/pint; ½ teaspoon to quart)
  • When adding water, it should be boiling
  • Fill jars leaving about 1-2 inch headspace at top, this is about the same as the rim on jars
  • Remove air pockets with a spatula
  • Cooked foods should be hot when filling jars
  • Wipe tops clean with paper towel
  • Tighten lids on jars
    Processing (READ THE Complete MANUEL before you begin)
  • Check canner lid to ensure that air hole is free of debris
  • Place rack in canner to prevent jars from breaking
  • Add jars
  • Add about 3 quarts of water when processing 7 quart jars
  • Tighten processor lid securely
  • Begin heating and start timing after vent closes
  • Regulate the heat under the canner to maintain a steady pressure at, or slightly above, the correct gauge pressure
  • Check the manufacturer’s directions for pressure gauge (jiggle or rock)
  • After process is complete, remove from heat and allow to cool before removing jars
  • If there are any jars that don’t seal after cooling, check for bad jar and lid and reprocess or refrigerate and eat within a 1-2 days
    Storing
  • Label top of lid with date and anything you want to add for identifying food
  • Store in dark, cool place
  • Rotate by date to make certain you use older canned products first
  • Discard any jars that may have lost their seal

    Posted by terri at 09:50 PM | Comments (0)

    Gruyere and Smoked Bacon stuffed Burgers

    This delicious variation on the classic cheeseburger is stuffed with Gruyere (Swiss) cheese and smoked bacon, then topped with sauté mushrooms and grilled onions. This is my favorite burger, good any time of the year but especially during the summer when you are taking it outside to the grill. Enjoy with a bottle of Zinfandel with pepper and berry flavors. Zinfandel pairs well with both the beef burger and the Swiss cheese.

    Serves 6
    Prep time: 10 minutes
    Total time: 30 minutes


    Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef chuck
  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef sirloin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 ounces Gruyere cheese, cut into 6 pieces
  • 6 slices smoked bacon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 6 hamburger buns, split and toasted
  • Lettuce, enough for each burger (optional)
  • 6 slices tomatoes, in season (optional)
  • 6 slices red onion

    Mushrooms:

  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms, cremino, portabella, button and shitake, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup sherry
  • Salt to taste

    Tarragon Russian Dressing

    Mix together ½ cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup ketchup, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon grated onion, 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped

    Instructions:

    Burgers: In a medium bowl, mix the beef together with parsley, salt and pepper. Form the meat into 12 disks. Place a piece of cheese and a slice of bacon on top of six disks. Top each of those with the other disks and form into six patties about 1 ¼ inch thick. Pinch edges of burgers to seal. Brush with butter and grill over high heat for 3 minutes, turning over to sear the other side. Move to medium heat and cook another 8- 10 minutes or until done. Place onions on the grill and cook until nicely brown on both sides.
    Mushrooms: Melt butter in a non reactive sauté pan on medium heat. Add mushrooms, garlic and salt. Cook until soft. Deglaze the pan with sherry and continue to cook until reduced.

    To serve: Spread the bottom half of the bun with the dressing and top with the burger. Add the lettuce, tomato, mushrooms and onions. Top with bun and serve right away.

    Cooking Wiser:
    Sometimes the cheese will melt and run out of the burger and this can be so frustrating. So try this tip to keep the cheese inside, freeze the cheese the night before and place on burger patty right before sealing it up

    Make it your own
    Use your favorite cheese, smoked gouda, cheddar, Monterey Jack or spice it up with Pepper Jack

    Posted by terri at 09:42 PM | Comments (0)

    September 12, 2012

    Lemon Glaze

    Lemon glaze is so easy to make and requires no cooking. It makes a great topping for breads, cakes or cookies. I especially like to glaze banana blueberry bread for a burst of flavor

    Makes about ¾ cup

    Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar

    Instructions:

    To make the Glaze, in a medium bowl, combine lemon juice and confectioners' sugar. Stir until well blended. Add more sugar or lemon juice to adjust the consistency. The glaze should be easy to spread.

    Cooking Wiser:
    For best results, add glaze to warm breads, cakes or cookies

    Posted by terri at 03:14 AM | Comments (0)

    September 09, 2012

    Citrus Marinated Mushrooms

    I couldn't find just the right recipe for marinated mushrooms so I created this one in my test kitchen. I used button mushrooms for this recipe but baby portobellas would work as well. See how you can make it your own by changing the herbs.

    Serves 8-10
    Prep time: 10 minutes
    Total time: 20 minutes plus 1-2 days to marinate

    Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces mushrooms of your choice, wiped clean and sliced in half
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary, or 2 tablespoons dried
  • 2 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 orange, juice and zest
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

    Instructions

    Combine mushrooms, thyme, rosemary, lemon and orange juice, lemon and orange zest, vinegar, garlic, oil and pepper in a medium bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days, stirring several times. Toss in green onions 1 hour before serving.

    Cooking Wiser:
    Save time, use small whole button mushrooms

    Make it your own:
    Use cilantro or basil, these herbs compliment the citrus juice very well

    Posted by terri at 02:41 AM | Comments (0)

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