Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pasta & Meatball Meat Loaf

Can't decide between Italian or meat loaf  for dinner tonight? Do both! Our totally delicious combination features garlic butter and toasted bread crumbs for a topper you can't resist.


·         1 ½ pounds ground beef
·         ½ cup dried mini penne pasta (2 ounces)
·         3 long individual ciabatta rolls or hoagie rolls
·         1 medium onion, chopped
·         ½ cup chopped yellow or red sweet pepper
·         3 cloves garlic, minced
·         1 tablespoon olive oil
·         2 eggs, lightly beaten
·         ¾ cup milk
·         Toasted Bread Crumbs
·         ½ teaspoon salt
·         2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, crushed
·         ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
·         Garlic Butter
·         1 cup bottled pasta sauce, warmed
·         Shaved Parmesan cheese
·         Fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley


1.       Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse and cool completely. Halve rolls lengthwise; set aside.

2.       In a large skillet cook onion, sweet pepper, and garlic in hot oil over medium heat for 5 minutes or until tender.

3.       In a large bowl combine eggs, milk, 2/3 cup of the Toasted Bread Crumbs, the salt, and Italian seasoning. Using your hands, fold in ground beef, cooked pasta, the 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and cooked vegetables. Form into six 6x3-inch oblong loaves (loaves will appear bumpy rather than smooth). Place in a shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of loaves reads 160 degrees F.

4.       Spread split rolls with Garlic Butter. Bake about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Top each toasted roll half with warm pasta sauce and a mini loaf. Sprinkle with shaved Parmesan cheese, remaining Toasted Bread Crumbs, and snipped fresh parsley.

Happy Cooking

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Big Cheese

I started with a half-pound patty stuffed with feta cheese. I added grilled tabouli salad on top to the cooked patty and topped with melted provolone and cheddar cheese. All it needed was a little fresh hummus on the bun and it became The Big Cheese!


·         2 lb. ground beef
·         ¼ c diced onions
·         1 T dried mint
·         1 T fresh chopped garlic
·         2 t salt
·         1 t black pepper
·         ½ lb. feta cheese, crumbled
·         16 oz. tabouli salad
·         8 oz. hummus
·         4 ea. toasted buns
·         ½ lb. provolone cheese, sliced
·         ¼ lb. cheddar cheese, grate


1.       Combine the first six ingredients and mix well.

2.       Divide into eight equal parts and press into patties.

3.       On top of four of the patties, add feta cheese crumbles to the middle and top with the four remaining patties pressed together.

4.       Place patties on grill; cook until done.

5.       While patties are cooking, grill tabouli salad and hummus on flat grill.

6.       Spread the warm hummus on the bottom of toasted bun. Place the grilled tabouli salad on top of the cooked patty, cover with a slice of provolone cheese and sprinkle grated cheddar on top. Cover with a lid to steam and melt all of the goodness together. Place on hot hummus and top with bun.

Happy Cooking

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Soft Beef Tacos

These hearty beef tacos will be a welcome addition to your family's "Taco Night”.

Reminiscent of the classic "taco dinner in a box," this version leaves room for improvisation. Add more or less chili powder or spice things up with a dash of hot sauce, a pinch of cayenne or more jalapenos.


·         1 pound ground beef
·         1 tablespoon olive oil
·         1 teaspoon white vinegar
·         1 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 a medium onion)
·         8 small flour tortillas, warmed
·         1 garlic clove, minced
·         1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
·         Shredded iceberg lettuce, for the topping
·         3 tablespoons tomato paste
·         3 tablespoons chili powder
·         2 teaspoons dried oregano
·         1/3 cup water
·         Salsa, for the topping
·         Cilantro, for the topping
·         Sliced radishes, for the topping
·         Avocado, for the topping
·         Sour cream, for the topping
·         Shredded cheese, for the topping


1.       Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high. Add onion, garlic, jalapeno and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 4 minutes (do not let brown). Crumble in the beef and cook, using a wooden spoon to break up lumps, until meat is no longer pink, about 6 minutes.

2.       Add tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, salt and water. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to medium low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until taco filling is heated through. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.

3.       Spoon a scant 1/3 cup taco filling into each tortilla and serve with desired toppings.

Happy Cooking

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Bacon Cheeseburger Salad

OMG, is this ever good. All the goodness of a juicy bacon cheeseburger in salad form.  But this is…different. It’s awesomely, crazy good. You’ll want to eat the meat mixture alone right out of the skillet. You’ll wonder where it’s been all your life.


·         2 pounds Ground Beef
·         1/4  pound bacon (cooked the way you like it)
·         1/3  cup Ketchup
·         1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
·         2 Tablespoons Barbecue Sauce
·         4 whole Hamburger Buns
·         1 stick Butter
·         2 heads Romaine Lettuce, Torn
·         1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
·         4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
·         8 whole Dill Pickle Spears, Cubed
·         1 whole Red Onion, Sliced


1.       Brown meat in a large skillet over medium heat. Then remove it from the heat and drain off the fat. Add ketchup, mustard, cooked bacon and barbecue sauce to the meat and stir to combine. Taste and add more of whatever you think it needs. Keep warm.

2.       Cut hamburger buns into 1-inch cubes. Melt 1/4 stick of butter in a separate skillet over low heat, then add the bread cubes and toss to coat. Toast the croutons in the skillet over low heat for about 10 -12 minutes, adding 1/4 stick of butter every couple of minutes until you've used the whole stick. (This will ensure all the croutons soak up the butter and toast nicely.)

3.       To assemble each salad, pile torn lettuce on a plate. Pile on a good quantity of the meat mixture, then top with plenty of grated cheddar. Add diced tomato, chunks of pickles and slices of red onion over the top. Then sprinkle warm croutons all around the plate.

Serve immediately.

Happy Cooking

Sunday, March 3, 2013

How to Cook Ground Beef Safely

Whether you grind your own beef at home or buy your ground beef at the grocery store, it's important to cook ground beef thoroughly. This is because undercooked ground beef can harbor dangerous bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella.

Foods become contaminated with bacteria in any number of ways. In the case of meat, it can happen anywhere along the supply chain, from the farm where the beef are raised to the grocery store or butcher shop where you buy it. You might even contaminate it yourself at home via your utensils or a cutting board, by not washing your hands or whatever.

For the most part, though, these bacteria die when you cook them. Temperatures of 165°F or higher are sufficient to wipe out foodborne bacteria, and that's the magic temperature that we shoot for.

Ground Beef Should be Cooked Well Done

When it comes to cooking ground beef, 165°F means well-done. That means that you should never see any pink in the middle of your burger. That's right; the days when it was safe to eat a medium-rare hamburger are sadly behind us.

The way to achieve well-done burgers is by cooking them for three to four minutes per side, depending on how thick they are and how hot your grill or pan is. You can use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature to make sure. But once you've cooked your burgers this way a few times you'll get the hang of it.

The way you get confident is by cooking your ground beef to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F. That way, you can be certain to kill the bacteria on the surface as well as any inside the burger.

Cooking ground beef to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F will help you avoid a case of food poisoning from your burgers.

Happy Cooking

Friday, March 1, 2013

Muffin Pan Tamale Pies

A great finger food that’s tasty and easy to make.
We all loved this recipe not only is it fun, the proportions are perfect.


For the crust:
·         1 1/2 cups masa harina
·         1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
·         1/3 cup vegetable oil

For the filling:
·         1 tablespoon vegetable oil
·         1 pound ground beef
·         1 medium yellow onion, small dice (about 1 cup)
·         2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
·         1 teaspoon paprika
·         1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
·         1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
·         1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
·         1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
·         1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
·         1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
·         1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

To assemble:
·         1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)
·         1/4 cup sour cream
·         1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh cilantro


For the crust:

1.       Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.

2.       Place all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well with your hands until combined (the dough should hold together when squeezed in your hand).

3.       Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside.

For the filling:

1.       Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the beef, season with salt and pepper, and break the meat into small pieces with a spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a medium bowl and set aside.

2.       Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 4 minutes.

3.       Sprinkle in the paprika, oregano, cumin, and cayenne and stir until incorporated. Cook until the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute.

4.       Return the beef to the pan, add the tomatoes, broth, and measured salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Cook until the mixture simmers, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 7 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat, taste, and season with additional salt and pepper as needed; set aside.

To assemble:

1.       Remove the plastic wrap from the bowl of masa. Divide the masa evenly among the wells of a 12-well muffin pan (about 1 rounded tablespoon per well). Using your fingers, press the masa evenly into a thin layer on the bottom and up the sides of each well (the mixture may feel dry to the touch).

2.       Evenly divide the filling among the masa-lined wells.

3.       Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and evenly sprinkle the shredded cheese over the filling. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the filling is bubbling, about 10 minutes more.

4.       Remove the pan to a wire rack and let it cool for 5 minutes. Run a small knife around the perimeter of each well to loosen and remove the pies. Top each tamale pie with a dollop of sour cream, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve.

Happy Cooking
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...