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Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni

9 Jun

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Sometimes you just want to have some good old comfort food. For most Americans, Hamburger Helper is/was a common staple at dinner time. Only problem is, it’s full of so much salt and additives that you can’t help but feel a little guilty eating it. This is a homemade version that gets rid of all that yucky junk you don’t need and leaves you with only the yummy cheeseburger goodness you want.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb ground beef, turkey or chicken
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1½ cups macaroni (uncooked)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions: 

  1. Brown ground beef in a deep pan or pot (you’ll be adding a lot of liquid). Drain the fat.
  2. Add spices, sugar, hot water, milk, & pasta and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to cook until the pasta is tender.
  4. Add cheddar cheese and turn off the heat. Stir until the cheese is melted.
  5. Serve.

Adapted from Food.com

Classic Spaghetti & Meatballs

15 Apr
2014-04-09 17.59.35

I had a pretty picture all set up of the beautiful sauce & meatballs sitting on top of the spaghetti with cheese and then I promptly forgot about the picture and ate it instead. So here’s my half-eaten plate of spaghetti & meatballs!

I don’t know what it is about spaghetti and meatballs that’s so fun. It always just looks so delicious and comforting. Now I typically just make spaghetti with meat sauce, but every once in a while I like to mix it up a bit and do meatballs instead. These meatballs are super easy to make and have a great flavor from using a 50/50 mixture of ground pork and ground beef. And the spaghetti sauce is killer too. This whole recipe will probably take close to 2 hours to make, but most of that is for the sauce to simmer. Well worth the time I say.

2014-04-09 16.23.25

For the Meatballs:

  • ¾ pound ground pork
  • ¾ pound ground beef
  • 1 Tablespoon onion, minced
  • ½ teaspoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1-1½ cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 450°F.

In a large mixing bowl add the meats and blend together with your hands. Add the onion, parsley, pepper, and garlic salt. Mix again with your hands until the seasonings are well blended with the meat. Add the eggs and while mixing, add in the bread crumbs ½ cup at a time (up to 1½ cups) until the meat begins to feel slightly firm.

Form the meat into 1½” balls with your hands and place on a baking sheet so the meatballs are close but not touching. Bake for 10 minutes or until browned. The meatballs will not be fully cooked.  (Start sauce while meatballs are cooking).

Adapted from Food.com

For the Sauce:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1½ teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼-½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 1 pound spaghetti noodles

In a large, heavy stockpot, cook the onions in olive oil until softened. Add garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Add basil, parsley, brown sugar, salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Stir in red wine & meatballs.

Simmer on low, stirring occasionally for at least an hour. About 10-15 minutes before sauce is ready, cook spaghetti noodles.

Spoon sauce and meatballs over drained spaghetti and sprinkle with fresh Parmesan cheese.

Adapted from Food.com

Bibimbap

25 Feb

bibimbap

I’d never heard of bibimbap before but it looked so delicious I knew I had to try it. There are a lot of components but none of them are too difficult to put together. This is mainly chopping and cooking glorious amounts of fresh veggies. You really could use just about any kind of veggies you like in here so it’s easily customizable. I would suggest however, that you try to the cucumbers as they added a delightful fresh spiciness to the mix. Have I mentioned I’ve already made this twice?

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Beef Sliders with Jalapeño-Lime Aioli

29 Jan

I have to admit I was mostly intrigued by this recipe because of the use of sweet potato slices as buns. I didn’t think they would be suitable substitutes for bread, but man was I wrong. These little burgers were so dang good. The potatoes added a hint of  sweetness to the burger which was actually incredibly delicious and they held up very well… no breakage. The recipe says to cut the sweet potatoes lengthwise but I didn’t think that made much sense because then they would’ve been regular burger size (or bigger) and weird long ovals.  So I sliced my potatoes into regular rounds (having purposely chosen fatter potatoes). And then there’s the aioli. Holy moly aioli! I wanted to lick the bowl clean and I would have if I could’ve done it without getting mayo in my hair. For those of you that may feed these to kids, the jalapeño wasn’t spicy at all, just an added flavor. Despite the seemingly long list of ingredients and instructions, these were actually fairly quick to make. You really need to make these!

jalapeno lime sliders

Makes 12 Sliders

Sweet Potato “Buns”

  • 2 medium or 1 large white sweet potato, peeled and sliced 1/8-1/4 inch thick
  • Sea salt, garlic powder, pepper, oregano, Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Place sweet potato slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lightly coated with coconut oil. Season with sea salt, garlic powder, pepper, oregano, and Italian seasoning.  Bake approximately 10 minutes, then flip them over and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until done.

Let finished sweet potatoes rest for a few minutes.

 

Sliders

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter or bacon fat
  • Garnishes (lettuce, onion, tomatoes, pickles)

Season meat with  salt, pepper, and garlic; mix together and with your hands. Divide meat into 12 equal-sized balls and flatten into sliders (about 1/2 inch thick and about 4 inches across). 

 

Jalapeño-Lime Aioli

  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 teaspoon diced jalapeño
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Mix all ingredients together in a  small bowl.

 

TO ASSEMBLE:

Place a dollop of aioli on one sweet potato “bun” and top with a slider. Add toppings as desired and top with another sweet potato bun. Enjoy!

Adapted from Everyday Paleo

Homemade Corn Dogs (and Hush Puppies!)

2 Jan

corn dogs

I had a hankering for corn dogs the other day and thought I’d try my hand at making some! I stumbled upon this recipe and have to say it was a real winner. These were so easy to make and tasted great!  I only made 8 corn dogs and had enough batter left over to make about 12 hush puppies. Perfect!

So just a couple of tips for you to make the process a bit easier. After rolling the hot dogs in flour, I ran my hand over each one to ensure an even, smooth coating. When adding milk to the batter, I added just enough so that it ran off a spoon in a steady stream without breaking. Then to dip the hot dogs, I poured the batter into a tall glass so it was easier to fully submerge them. I then used the extra batter and a cookie scoop to make a bunch of little hush puppies (Sylvie LOVED these). I think next time I might make little corn puppies… cut up my hot dogs into thirds before coating with batter. No sticks and easy eating, especially for kids!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 ¾ cups flour (plus enough to coat hot dogs)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • milk
  • 16 hot dogs
  • 16 wooden skewers
  • oil (for frying)

Directions:

  1. Heat 2″ deep oil to 375º F.
  2. Meanwhile, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add egg and just enough milk so the batter runs off a spoon in a steady stream without breaking. (Too much milk, and batter wont stay on hot dogs, too little and your batter when fried will be cracked).
  3. Dry off hot dogs with paper towels, coat with flour, and skewer through the center of the hot dog.
  4. Dip skewered hot dogs into batter mix (batter may be poured into a tall glass for easier dipping) and rotate to coat evenly. Allow excess batter to drip from end before carefully placing in hot oil. Fry until golden brown (about 2 ½ minutes). Let cool and drain on a paper towel.
  5. Drop leftover batter like dumplings into the oil until golden brown and drain.

Recipe adapted from Food.com

Homemade CrunchWrap Supremes

12 Oct
I couldn’t wait to post this recipe because it turned out SO good. For reals. I may just live off of these for the unforeseeable future. They were incredibly easy to make and fun to eat. Not to mention delicious! I chose to put my nacho cheese in a pastry bag to make assembly easier and it worked really well. Also, I highly recommend using nacho cheese if at all possible. At my grocery store they keep it in the pasta aisle in the same general area as the Velveeta cheese. I bet these would be awesome for kids to eat as well because they were so much easier to eat than tacos. And they look cool. So make them!
crunchwrap
  • 5 large flour tortillas
  • 5 small tostada shells
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • sour cream
  • nacho cheese (or shredded Mexican blend cheese)
  • shredded lettuce
  • diced tomatoes
Brown ground beef in a skillet, then add taco seasoning (according to package directions). Set aside.
Working with one flour tortilla at a time, microwave for about 10 seconds. Lay out the flour tortilla and spoon some of the seasoned beef into the center. Top with some nacho cheese (or shredded cheese). Place the tostada shell on top of the cheese and spread a dollop of sour cream on top of it. Top with diced tomatoes and shredded lettuce.
Starting with the bottom of the tortilla, fold the edge up to the center. Continue doing this in a clockwise or counter-clockwise movement until all of the tortilla is folded over, and the filling is entirely enclosed. If your filling isn’t entirely enclosed, cut out a circle from another flour tortilla and place it on the exposed area, then wrap the tortilla again.
Spray a frying pan with cooking spray.  Carefully place the Crunchwrap, seam-side down, in the pan. Press with a spatula and cook on medium-low heat, for about 3 minutes, until the bottom is nice and brown. Flip it over and cook for another 3 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

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Glazed Easter Ham

5 Apr

glazed ham 2

This was my first attempt at making a non-spiral sliced ham and I’m happy to report it a success! I swear this was one of the most beautiful meat dishes I’ve ever made. The results were very satisfying to my inner Martha Stewart. Good news is, this was very simple to make which means it’d be perfect to impress dinner party guests! I highly suggest using Pioneer Woman’s cooking time instead of the one on the ham tag. This was perfect at about 2 1/2 hours total. Had I done a full 3 1/2 hours (or 20-25 min. per pound) I think it would have dried out the poor thing. Oh and I finally got to use that electric knife I’ve had hanging around for the last 10 years. Well worth it!

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