Friday, May 22, 2015

Basil Mayonnaise Burger Spread


Basil Mayonnaise Burger Spread
(1 short cup)

 
Ingredients:

3/8 cup Mayonnaise
½ cup Fresh Basil, Chopped
2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and refrigerate at least 2 hours (overnight better) before serving.  Spread on one or both halves of your hamburger bun.

Note:               You can use Miracle Whip or salad dressing in place of mayonnaise.

Ideas for Future Efforts
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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mayonnaise Based Burger Spread


Mayonnaise Based Burger Spread
(1 cup plus)

 
Ingredients:

1 cup Mayonnaise
2 tbsp. Sweet Pickle Relish
2 tsp. Yellow Mustard
½ tsp. Sugar

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and then refrigerate at least 2 hours (overnight better) before serving.  Spread on one or both halves of your hamburger bun.

Note:               You can use Miracle Whip or salad dressing in place of mayonnaise.

Ideas for Future Efforts
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Burger Spread


Burger Spread
(12 servings)

 
Ingredients:

8 tbsp. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter
1 cup Vidalia Onions, sliced
5 cloves Fresh Garlic, minced
2 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
3 tbsp. Green Onion, sliced
½ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Black Pepper
1½ cup Cream Cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup Sour Cream

Directions:

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter.  Add onions and sauté until well caramelized (about 20 minutes).  Next add the garlic and sauté another 2 minutes or until fragrant.  Now deglaze pan with Worcestershire sauce and stir in green onion, salt and pepper.  Let mixture cool.  Whip the cream cheese and sour cream together.  Once blended, add cooled onion mixture until fully incorporated.  Chill finished mixture for at least 2 hours to overnight.  Remove 30 minutes before planned use.  Spread about a quarter cup on the top of bottom bun and top with cooked burger.

Note:               This spread works well on other hot sandwiches too.

Note:               You can adjust portion size based on size of bun/burger and/or personal taste.

Ideas for Future Efforts
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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Burger Spreads

"Burger Spreads," what do I mean by this title?  To me, it is one of many different types or styles of condiments that enhance your burger.  Now I'm not talking about solid condiments like cheese, tomato slices, lettuce, etc.  I'm talking a sauce of some kind.

Probably the most famous would be that "Special Sauce" on McDonald's Big Mac burger.  I'm sure it is slightly different but it looks and tastes like "Thousand Island Salad Dressing" to me.

Other simple bought sauces would include such condiments as ketchup, mustard and BBQ sauce.  But how about making your own "Burger Spread" or "Sauce" to meet your taste and impress family and friends.

You could make your own ketchup or BBQ sauce.  That would be great too.  But how about something a little more unique?  This week I'm giving you 3 recipes for different tastes.

The first one is just called "Burger Spread" and it takes a little work but is well worth it.  On Wednesday the recipe is for a "Mayonnaise Based Burger Spread" using mustard and just 2 other ingredients.  "Basil Mayonnaise Burger Spread" comes to you on Friday and is an extra recipe this week.  It is also an easy one to put together.

These are only a sampling of what is out there for you to try during this year's "Grilling Season."  One of the nice attributes of these spreads is they work on different types of burgers.  They don't just work on a beef style burger.  They taste great with chicken or turkey burgers too.  Even on portabella mushroom burgers for vegetarians.  Now some work best on a particular type of burger and not all.  But that is for you to decide as it's your taste-buds we're trying to please.

Remember, don't be afraid to experiment too.  Take some of your favorite ingredients and mix them with a base of some type.  Mayonnaise is not the only base to try for a burger spread.  Ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce and cream cheese or just a few of other possibilities out there to test.  Avocados and yogurt will work too.

I'm just trying to get you to open your mind and tastes to other opportunities to take this grilling season to the next level.  With all the family get togethers, holiday outings and plain backyard fun, here's your chance to make a statement about your cooking to family and friends.

So "Happy Cooking" and give me feedback on your successes and failures.  Please be sure to spread the word of my food blog as well as spreading your burgers.  Thanks.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Chopped Mexican Salad (GF)


Chopped Mexican Salad (GF)
(8-12 servings)

 
Ingredients:

2 ears Fresh Corn
2 large Orange Bell Peppers
2 large (1½ cups) Tomatoes, cored, seeded & ¼ to ½ inch dice
1 small (2 cups) Jicama, peeled & ¼ to ½ inch dice
2 large (2 cups) Fresh Avocados, pitted, peeled & ¼ to ½ inch dice
1 can (15 oz.) Black Beans, rinsed & drained
2 heads Romaine Lettuce, cleaned & chopped
1 clove Fresh Garlic, smashed & finely chopped
3 tbsp. Fresh Lime Juice
3 tbsp. Fresh Orange Juice
2 tsp. Shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp. Honey
¼ tsp. Ground Cumin
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
to taste Salt & Black Pepper
¼ cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped

Directions:

Grill corn until done and slightly charred.  Cool to handle and cut kernels off the cobs.  Put into a large mixing bowl.  Char peppers on the grill until skins have blackened and blistered.  Remove them to a bag, close and let sit 20 minutes.  When ready, remove skin, core, seed and cut into ¼ to ½ inch dice.  Add to the mixing bowl.  Add tomatoes, jicama, avocados and black beans to the bowl too.  To make vinaigrette, use a small bowl and add the ingredients from garlic to olive oil and whisk together.  Taste vinaigrette and adjust with salt and pepper.  Now add romaine to large bowl and gently toss ingredients.  Next add vinaigrette to mixture and gently toss once more.  Sprinkle the cilantro on top and serve.

Note:               If you are not going to serve immediately, refrigerate romaine and the other chopped salad ingredients separately.  The vinaigrette can be left at room temperature until ready to serve.  If you make vinaigrette day before, refrigerate and remove 30 minutes before serving.  Whisk again before adding to salad mixture.

Note:               You could present this salad as a Cobb salad layout.  Use a large serving platter for this display.  First put down the romaine and then working your way around the platter, place each of the salad ingredients,  sprinkle cilantro on top and drizzle with the vinaigrette.

Ideas for Future Efforts
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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Hearts of Palm Salad


Heart of Palm Salad (GF)
(8-12 servings)

 
Ingredients:

2 cups Heart of Palm (see note)
4 medium Avocados, diced
5 tbsp. Fresh Lime Juice, divided
2 cups Orange Grape Tomatoes, halved
½ cup Red Onion, diced
1 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
to taste Salt and Black Pepper

Directions:

Drain hearts of palm in a colander while you prep the remaining ingredients.  Be sure to toss the avocados with 3 tbsp. of lime juice as you wait to assemble salad.  Once drained, slice hearts of palm into ½ inch pieces.  If too thick, slice pieces in half.  Combine all ingredients but last of lime juice in a large bowl.  Gently toss and then add lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.  Toss gently just before serving and place in an appropriate serving dish.

Note:               Heart of Palm can be found in 15 oz. cans and 25 oz. jars.  Either will work.  It will take one jar or two cans to give you approximately the 2 cups needed for recipe.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

More Gluten-Free Information

I'm starting this week's blog out with the recipes of the week.  Then I'll get into the "More Gluten-Free Information" of this week's blog.  The recipes this week are for two salad dishes and are, of course, gluten-free.  Tomorrow's "Heart of Palm Salad (GF)" has a main ingredient that is probably not too familiar to you.  But it is an easy and tasty food worth your trying.  "Chopped Mexican Salad (GF)" is Thursday post.  This recipe combines Mexican flavors with the style of a chopped or cobb styled salad.  So it looks great as well as tastes great.  Please enjoy both of them.

I'm continuing with the labels on products you buy from a lot of different sources.  The other day I went in to a grocery store to buy some bone-in turkey breasts.  I have a smoker and enjoy both the smoking of food as well as the eating of smoked food.  To my surprise, the frozen bone-in turkey breast that this store had on sale contained gluten

Folks, it's meat!  There's no gluten in meat.  Well, there is in this day and age.  The turkey is injected with a liquid to help make it tender and moist.  That liquid contains gluten because they use wheat as an ingredient for some reason.

There is NO gluten in meats as long as they are just that, the meat.  But there are so many different turkey, chicken, pork and beef products being offered to consumers today.  Many of these products have injected, marinated or sauced ingredients in them that now contain gluten.

You have to be so careful today when buying groceries.  Hot dogs are another product to have their label read.  There are brands out there that are gluten-free and just as many that contain gluten.

Meats are not unique to this fact.  I have found the same with frozen hash brown potatoes.  Some brands are gluten-free and some are not.

Now when reading labels, you'll find many that you're not sure which way they go - gluten or no gluten because the company doesn't test the product.  So a label may not mention it contains gluten.  Manufacturers are not sure of the ingredients they buy through outsourcing to make their finished product.  So they can't say one way or the other on their product.

The labeling laws in the USA are changing and getting better about identifying gluten in the product.  But products produced outside the USA, each county is different as to what they require of manufacturers.  So read labels all the time.

I'll have more gluten-free information in 4 weeks as I continue my series.  Until then please continue to read my food blog each week.  I am trying to mark recipes that are gluten-free with this sign (GF) after the recipe name.  So be sure to look for it.  "Happy Cooking" until next week and continue to spread the word of my food blog to family and friends.  Thanks.