Sunday, September 19, 2010

Asiago-Onion Stuffed BBQ Burgers

This was such a tasty combo of ingredients that I want to write it down before I forget!

1 1/2 lb ground hamburger
2 T. teriyaki sauce
3 T. Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce
1 t. grill or steak seasoning
1/2 t. Tony's Cajun Seasoning
1 t. liquid smoke

Mix thoroughly. Form into 10 equal size "meatballs" and smash them flat with your hand or spatula. Sprinkle the ingredients below into the center of 5 of the thin hamburger patties, then top with another thin patty and seal the edges.

2/3 c. chopped onions
1 c. grated asiago cheese (you can use any good firm cheese, but asiago -- which tastes like a cross between mozzarella and Parmesan cheese worked especially well for these)

Cook on both sides in a medium hot skillet until done. Serve alone, or in a bun with traditional hamburger fixings. Serve with extra Baby Ray's BBQ sauce if desired.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Manderin Orange Chicken Salad w/ Ginger-Lime Dressing

This is one of our favorite salads and a wonderfully healthy way to use up left over bits of rotisserie chicken.

For two big salads (a full meal in itself) divide the following into 2 big bowls in layers:

3 cups baby spinach (may use other lettuce, chopped, or a mixture of several)

1 c. diced or shredded cooked chicken (I prefer the rotisserie chicken as it is more flavorful and moist. You can omit or substitute edamame if you want to go vegan!)

Optional: About 1 c. sauteed vegies. This good place to use up left overs as well. Tonight I sauteed a sliced portabello mushroom, 1/2 red onion, and 1/4 yellow pepper in olive oil. (I tossed a smashed whole garlic clove in with the vegies but then removed before serving. This flavors the oil and vegies without coming on too strong.)

1 small can Mandarin oranges drained
Slivered or sliced almonds (may also use chopped peanuts)
Chinese Rice Noodles (the fried kind, in a can)

Ginger-Lime Dressing
1/4 c. teriyaki sauce
1/4 c. fresh squeezed lime juice
2 T. Sweet Thai Chili sauce
1/4 c. olive oil
1 T. sesame oil
1 "inch" of fresh ginger finely grated (I keep ginger in the freezer in a Ziploc bag always to use in recipes or to make ginger tea for uneasy tummies or sore throats, then just peel and grate in its frozen state. Works great!)
1 T. honey or agave nectar
dash salt or to taste
Put all ingredients in a jar or plastic container with lid and shake, shake, shake!
Pour over salads. Serve salads with crunchy garlic toast. Recipe below.
Crunchy Garlic Toast
Use slices of almost any bread you have on hand from leftover hamburger or hot dog buns to french bread or a hearty wheat, or even those cute little sandwich rounds work well. Squiggle bread with a little olive oil AND a little butter. (Oil adds the crunch and butter adds great flavor.) Broil until toasted, Cut a fresh garlic clove in half and rub over the top of the toasted bread. This is such a simple technique and makes the best garlic bread -- super fast!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Oriental Rice Bowls

This is a great meal to serve a group and tonight's "rice bowl" got the coveted comment from Greg: "This is one of the best ones you've ever made."

Begin with... well.. duh... rice. In a hurry (which I always am!) I like to use Uncle Ben's QUICK cooking wild rice, but only use half the seasoning packet (or it is too salty). If I have time, I love to cook jasmine rice. (A rice cooker is on my To-Buy list!) Put 1 cup frozen peas into the rice about 5 minutes before the rice is ready to serve.

Next bone a roast chicken and shred or chop the meat.

In a skillet put a good squiggle of olive oil and another of sesame oil. Saute 1/2 chopped onion and 3 cloves minced garlic. Meanwhile microwave about 4 carrots in a steamer bag until tender, then cool, slice, add to skillet.

Next add the chopped chicken to skillet. Grate 1 T. fresh ginger overall. Add 1/2 cup chopped pineapple, 1/2 c. teriyaki sauce,
1/4 c. sweet thai chili sauce and 1/2 squeezed fresh lime to this mixture. (You want enough sauce to coat the chicken well plus a little extra to drip down over the rice, so if needed, feel free to expand the portions listed above.) Cook until caramelized in appearance and flavors are blended, about 5 minutes.

Serve over rice in bowls with toppings like chopped cilantro; slivered almonds or peanuts; or crisp Chinese noodles. (Also delicious with cook shrimp or thinly sliced cooked beef.)