Archive | October, 2011

South of the Border Burgers

20 Oct

We love tacos and burritos at our house! But, alas, I was completely out of tortillas when the craving hit us. I don’t know about you but around here, when a craving hits, there’s no getting rid of it… So the South of the Border Burger was born, as most things are, out of necessity. And now this burger will surely be a weeknight  staple! I hope you like it.

South of the Border Burgers

Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2
Level: Easy

2 servings of ground beef (I always pre-portion my meat once I buy it…)
1 tbsp. low sodium taco seasoning
2 whole wheat hamburger buns
1 tbsp. salsa
1 tbsp. sour cream
2 slices cheddar cheese
freshly sliced purple onions, optional

Mix ground beef and taco seasoning. Form into 2 patties. Either outside on the grill or inside in a grill pan, grill burgers until no longer pink inside, about 5 minutes on each side.

Spread salsa on one side of hamburger buns and spread sour cream on the other side. Top buns with burgers, cheddar cheese,  onions, and lettuce. Yum!


Steak and Potatoes Pizza

7 Oct

***** DISCLAMER*****

I am FULLY aware of how weird, and not so appetizing, the pictures of this pizza look. However, never judge a book by it’s cover, right?




Pizza is my fav. I love the creativity of it. You can seriously dump just about anything on top of pizza dough and it is going to turn out delicious. So far in my blogging journey, I’ve blogged about several yummy concoctions. Theres the Sloppy Joe bbq pizza, Thai pizza, BBQ pineapple pizza, a pizza using Flat Outs, Breakfast pizza, Mexican tortilla pizza, Ratatouille pizza, BBQ chicken pizza, and a Thin crust pizza.

But I’m afraid I’m going to knock your socks off with this one. Tonight, I made a Steak and Potatoes Pizza. I had thin cut eye of round in the freezer which I typically use for stir fry since they take almost no time to cook. After thawing them out and realizing I was craving a much more comforting and heartier meal, my brain automatically went to pizza, which it obviously does often.

A few minutes later…viola! Mashed potatoes, homemade gravy, marinated steak, and Parmesan cheese all came together to top a perfectly golden brown pizza crust. Comfort heaven.

The key to this pizza not taking you all night to make is timing. The recipe might sound a little confusing because so many things are going on at once but I’ll try to break it down for you here first. While your oven is preheating and your pot of water is coming to a boil, marinate the meat. While the crust is baking and the potatoes are boiling, cook the meat and make the gravy. Once the crust is done, mash the potatoes and you will be ready to load it all up in no time!

Steak and Potatoes Pizza

Servings: 4
Level: Medium
Time: 30 minutes

4 slices thinly cut eye of round
4 small Idaho potatoes, washed but not peeled
pizza dough
1 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. flour
1/2 – 1 c. gravy
1/4 c. milk
1/3 c. sour cream
1/8 tsp. minced garlic
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, shredded

Steak Marinade:

2 tbsp. Dale’s low sodium marinade
1 tbsp. Worcestershire
1 tbsp. orange juice
1/2 tbsp. honey
1/2 tbsp. spicy mustard
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. dried chopped onions
2 tbsp. water

Preheat oven to 425°. Slice meat into bite sized pieces. Mix marinade ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Add meat and allow meat to soak for 15 minutes.

Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil. Chop potatoes into small, equally sized pieces. Once water has boiled, add potatoes and boil until a fork can pierce through the potatoes easily. Stretch pizza dough out onto a non-stick baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove meat from marinade and transfer to a skillet over medium heat. Cook meat until it reaches desired doneness, about 3-5 minutes. Remove meat from skillet and reserve the liquid left in the pan. To the heated pan, add 1 tbsp. oil and 1 tbsp. flour. Whisk together to make a roux. The flour and oil will make a clumpy glob.

When this happens, add the reserved liquid back to the pan and whisk constantly. Add water (approx. 1/2-1 cup) to thin out the gravy and continue to whisk until gravy reaches a dark brown color and is as thick or as thin as you like.

Drain potatoes once they are done and add milk, sour cream, garlic, and pepper. Mash potatoes. Top the cooked pizza crust with mashed potatoes, gravy, and steak, and top with a little Parmesan cheese.

Return pizza to oven and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Yum!

– The steak marinade is delicious on all types of steaks.
– Next time, I might put the gravy on first, instead of the potatoes.

Mac n’ Cheese Bites… A Tailgate Favorite

3 Oct

Macaroni and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Most of us remember mac n’ cheese from the blue box as one of our first culinary triumphs. I remember helping when I was little and having such a feeling of accomplishment when the yellow powder melted into a creamy cheese-ish topping.

Have you had the blue box as an adult? Not as a college kid alternating between that and Ramen Noodles, but as a  real working adult? You probably think I’m going to say that in retrospect, the blue box isn’t that great and our palates should be much more sophisticated by now, but I’m not. The blue box is still pretty awesome. Nothing beats a little nostalgia here and there…

But in all seriousness, homemade mac n’ cheese is super easy and takes only a few minutes longer than the boxed stuff. Not to mention it isn’t full of ingredients you can’t pronounce and you use real cheese as opposed to a weird smelling cheese-ish powder.

Don’t let homemade mac n’ cheese intimidate you. If you whisk your sauce constantly and don’t let it burn, you’re golden.

You can make this recipe as little bites, like I’ve done, or you can just throw it all into a casserole dish and make it a family style side dish. Little bites make for the perfect party food. They are even good room temperature. Yum!

Mac N’ Cheese Bites

Time: 20-25 min.
Level: Medium
Servings: 48 mini macs

1/2 lb. elbow macaroni
1 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. milk
1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
1 c. deli-sliced American cheese, chopped
1  egg yolk
1/4 tsp. paprika

Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni about 5 minutes. Drain pasta. Spray mini muffin tins with non-stick spray. Sprinkle muffin cups with 2 tbsp. of the Parmesan.  In a large saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in  flour over medium heat for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk and cook, whisking constantly, until boiling, about 5 minutes. Add cheddar and American cheeses and whisk until melted. Take the saucepan off the heat and whisk in the egg yolk and paprika. Fold in the drained macaroni.

Spoon macaroni into muffin cups.

Sprinkle the remaining 2 tbsp. of Parmesan on top. Bake the mini macs in the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden. Let cool for 5 minutes. Yum!

– After sprinkling the cups with  Parmesan, add a small crumble of bacon for extra flavor. Ham would work well, too!
– You can make the mac n’ cheese the day before and leave it in the fridge until you are ready to bake.

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