Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Korean Barbecue Burgers

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I never quite know the best way to start a post. Just start talking about the recipe because that’s what we’re here for? Tell a funny anecdote relating to the recipe? I feel like I have multiple side stories related to these burgers. But first things first, let it be known these burgers are some of the best burgers I’ve ever made. And oddly enough, the reason I found this recipe in the first place is because I was googling other recipe uses for the quick pickled red onions I had made to go with brisket tacos. We had so much left over after eating the tacos, I wanted to put them to good use and I have so say, we sure did!

These burgers have so much depth of flavor using basic ingredients. There is a slightly sweet flavor, due to caramelizing of the brown sugar in them; slightly salty flavors thanks to the soy sauce, and tons of fresh exotic aromas thanks to the scallions, garlic, ginger, black pepper, and toasted sesame oil. I had everything for the burger patties on hand already except the scallions. See? Nothing too crazy there. Toasted sesame oil is a great thing to keep on hand if you like Asian flavors. Just a little bit adds tons of flavor. One of the most important DO NOT SKIP things about this burger is the miso mayo. To make that, just combine mayo (I used Duke’s), miso paste, & sriracha. I did have to run out to the international market for miso paste, but it was totally worth it. It’s fermented so it can hang out in the back of my fridge pretty much forever, or until I run out because I’ve made these burgers so many times. It gives the umami flavor, which if you’ve never heard that term, it’s hard to explain. But once you taste this burger, you’ll get it. Combine the burger, miso mayo, a bit of lettuce, the pickled onions, and a fried egg (if you dare!) sandwiched between a slightly sweet potato bun, and this burger can’t be beat. I was surprised how quickly it all comes together. So much flavor without too much work!

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Drool-inducing drippy egg.

It’s funny that the reason I found this recipe is because I wanted to find a way to use up pickled red onions. I despise raw red onion. It ruins salads, sandwiches, and burgers. I can’t even stand the smell of my food after I’ve removed raw red onion from a sandwich. But pickle it, and I’m all about it! I like to use this super affordable & easy to use Oxo mandolin slicer to get my onions completely uniform in size. I use the widest setting. When I pickle red onion, I prefer the flavor using a mixture of white vinegar and apple cider vinegar. I personally like the hint of sweetness from the apple cider vinegar. The first time I made them for homemade bibimbap I was amazed with how much the flavor changed with even just an hour of soaking in the vinegar mixture.

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Because these burgers were so easy to throw together, I had time to go in search of sweet & spicy Korean ketchup to dip our fries in. That recipe is coming next on the blog!

These burgers were made using fantastic local beef I picked up at Porter Road Butcher, raised without hormones or antibiotics. I gotta admit, it was some pretty nice looking ground beef. And I am not one to usually say that about raw meat!

I’ve made these burgers a few times now. We’ve enjoyed these cooked on a cast iron skillet, as well as grilled on a charcoal grill. Either method works great! Most recently I invited my family over to our friends’ house by offering to bring these burgers for a low-stress throw on the grill meal. Our good buddy, Wingo, loves to grill nearly every night, so I knew he would be game to cook these burgers for us. This is a great recipe for entertaining friends, because literally every single thing can be prepped well before it’s time to eat.

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Thanks for manning the grill! Now hurry up and start your own blog.

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Korean BBQ Burgers

Yield: at least 6 burgers, we got more

Prep Time: 55 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Loaded with flavor, and pretty simple to prepare. These burgers will be the hit of the barbecue!

Ingredients:

PICKLED ONIONS:
1 medium red onion, peeled, sliced into very thin rings, rings separated
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt

MISO MAYO:
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used Duke's)
2 tablespoons miso paste
1/4 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce

BURGERS
2 1/2 pounds ground beef
½ cup scallions (5-6), root end and 2 inches of green end trimmed off, finely chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (2-3 cloves)
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger root (1 1/2 inch chunk)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS FOR ASSEMBLY:
green leaf lettuce
potato buns, buttered & toasted
fried eggs

Directions:

PICKLED ONIONS:
Combine vinegars, water, sugar and salt in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook just until salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from heat. Put onions into a medium sized bowl. Pour vinegar mixture over and stir. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least an hour and up to 3 days.

MISO MAYO:
Whisk mayonnaise, miso and sriracha. Store in the fridge up to 3 days

BURGERS:
Mix ground beef, scallions, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and black pepper in large bowl until just combined. Shape into burger patties. Grill for about 6 minutes per side over medium-high heat for medium rare. Toast the buns for a minute or so. Spread miso mayonnaise on the bottom of the bun. (It is my personal belief that sauces on burgers should touch the meat and not just toppings and bun. I think it brings flavors together. Umami baby.) Serve burgers, topped with pickled onions and lettuce leaf.

Adapted from panningtheglobe.com, originally adapted from Cooking Light

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Goo Goo Clusters Shop – Downtown

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I’m a huge fan of Goo Goo Clusters. You may remember my Peanut Butter Pie topped with peanut butter Goo Goo Clusters. If not, you should. Well some time ago they opened a retail location in downtown Nashville. I love to go pick up some of their ultra special, ultra delicious Premium Goo Goos. Earlier this year they expanded and opened a dessert bar. How genius is that? How many times have you just wanted to stop in somewhere for dessert?

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I got the chance a while back to sample some of their offerings. And holy sweet tooth Batman, they’ve got some GOOD stuff!

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3rd Avenue Heartbreak (above & below) – flourless chocolate cake and peanut butter cake, chocolate sauce, and peanut butter Goo Goos!
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Crazy decadent milkshake!

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My hands down favorite was the Cumberland Ridge Pecan Pie (above & at the top of the post). Maybe because my favorite Goo Goo is the Supreme, featuring pecans, or maybe because this pie was just SO good!

On another recent visit my friend and I shared a slice of the cheesecake and it was perfection. That chocolate graham crust was a great base for the rich cheesecake. It was rich without being overly sweet.

The shop recently began serving lunch. Sandwiches, salad, and soup are their offerings. While simple, they don’t lack flavor.  I’ve only tried the grilled pimento cheese, but it was perfection. I can see myself going back and ordering it again and again. It was rich and creamy with just the right touch of spice. Oh, and the fruit salad I ordered tasted just like something perhaps your grandmother would make. It wasn’t just fruit thrown together, but it had a slightly sweet sauce to coat it.

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If you find yourself downtown, check it out! I feel like I’m often asked by out of town visitors where to go in Nashville. And this spot is definitely on my list!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Poblano White Chicken Chili

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Meal planning. Does anyone really actually enjoy it? Being one of the most indecisive people ever, I know I don’t enjoy it. My 3 year old son while slowly getting better, is still very picky. He loves to tell us “I don’t like that” to every dish before he’s even tried it. My husband has a long-ish list of things he doesn’t like as well, and doesn’t like eating leftovers either. I always try to cook dishes that are fresh, not a “can of cream of this, tub of that”. And I try to utilize ingredients I already have on hand. Because we have a deep freezer, I like to buy organic meat when it’s on sale, and then figure out what to do with it later. Incorporating all those variables can make meal planning difficult!

I noticed a package of chicken thighs when taking inventory of the deep freeze, and remembered Nathan mentioning white chicken chili the last time I pressed him for suggestions to the meal plan. With that in mind I did a quick search and landed on this recipe. It came together simple enough and simmered on the stove one quiet day between Christmas and New Years. I served this alongside my favorite cornbread recipe, which sadly I’ve never posted to the blog. Nathan enjoyed this, and I think I might even got him to eat leftovers. Once at least.

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Poblano White Chicken Chili

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1” pieces
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 poblano chile, seeds removed, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 cups chicken broth
2 15-oz. cans cannellini (white kidney) beans
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Sour cream, cilantro, and lime wedges (for serving)

Directions:

Season chicken all over with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or small stockpot over medium-high heat. Working in batches as needed, add chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 10–15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add onion and poblano chile and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until onion is softened and translucent, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add oregano and cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken broth, beans and their liquid, bay leaf, and chicken and bring to a simmer.

Season with salt and pepper and cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until meat is cooked through and tender and liquid is slightly thickened, 30–35 minutes. Season with lime juice and more salt and pepper. Serve with sour cream, cilantro, and lime wedges.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Spicy Pork & Mustard Green Soup

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I grew up in a family that ate Hoppin’ John on New Years Day. For those not familiar with it, Hoppin’ John is a rice based dish with sausage & black eyed peas. My family kept it pretty simple, with just those ingredients plus seasonings. I liked it, but Nathan has never been a fan. The black eyed peas are supposed to bring you luck for the new year. Greens are supposed to bring you luck in the new year as well, signifying money. I did not grow up in a family that ate greens ever, let alone on New Years Day. My family sometimes had boiled cabbage instead. I hope to never eat (or smell) boiled cabbage again in my entire life. In years past I’ve tried different variations on some of these traditional dishes, with feedback that varied from ho-hum to distaste. Yet every year I vow to find a recipe Nathan will actually like.

This recipe does not incorporate black eyed peas in any way. But it’s got the greens, and it’s got the flavor of the sausage and broth that are familiar to me in the Hoppin’ John, with a unique Asian twist. My plan was to serve this alongside this recipe of Martha Stewart’s for Hearty Blackeyed Peas. I didn’t manage to get the beans prepared, but I made them the following day.

This fragrant soup was warm, satisfying, slightly exotic, and yet slightly familiar to me. Nathan’s comment was “Pretty good.” Well, that was after he added in some sriracha. This recipe will warm up any cold winter day, and comes together pretty easily. Buying bagged and chopped mustard greens will save you time as well. I doubled this recipe and froze some, sans noodles. Now when I want to serve it again, all I need to do is cook the noodles.

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Spicy Pork & Mustard Green Soup

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

I couldn't locate Sichuan peppercorns in my local grocery, but I presume you could find them at an Asian or international market. I subbed a bit of white pepper, but I think it would be fine without.

Ingredients:

½ pound ground pork
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon cumin seeds, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bunch mustard greens, torn (about 4 cups)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
8 oz. wide rice noodles
sriracha for serving (optional)

Directions:

Mix pork, garlic, ginger, Sichuan peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and cumin in a medium bowl.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add pork mixture; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, 8–10 minutes.

Add broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until flavors meld, 8–10 minutes. Add mustard greens, scallions, soy sauce, and fish sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, 5–8 minutes; season with salt and black pepper.

Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain.

Divide noodles among bowls and ladle soup over, top with sriracha if desired.

Calories (kcal) 370 Fat (g) 16 Saturated Fat (g) 5 Cholesterol (mg) 45 Carbohydrates (g) 36 Dietary Fiber (g) 3 Total Sugars (g) 3 Protein (g) 19 Sodium (mg) 1370

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Kale, Cranberry, & Cauliflower Couscous

 

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The same night I cooked the super easy, super delicious Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce, I also made this healthy, delicious side item. Along with that portobello mushroom from my Green Bean Delivery, I had some lacinato kale and cauliflower to use. I found a recipe and did a few modifications and here is the result!

This couscous dish, like the chicken dish, was pretty darn easy to throw together. The original recipe was supposed to be a vegetarian main and included red kidney beans, leeks, and mushrooms. Using what I had on hand, and knowing this was going to be a side item, I simplified this and it was a great seasonal side dish. I loved the tiny bit of sweetness the cranberries provided. This recipe is a definite keeper!

As you can see from my blog, I’m a big fan of the veggies I get from my Green Bean Delivery. And Nathan is a huge fan of the bacon we order too. 😉 Everything we’ve gotten has been top notch. They’ve got a great promotion going on until November 9th. For every friend I refer, they will get $10 off their first order, I’ll get 10% off a future order, AND Green Bean Delivery will donate 10lbs to my local food bank! WIN WIN WIN! If you’ve ever been interested in checking them out (if they’re available in your area), now is a great time to take the plunge! Here’s their website for more info.

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Kale, Cranberry, & Cauliflower Couscous

Yield: 6 side servings

Ingredients:

1 cup couscous
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups cauliflower florets, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch lacinato kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

Bring 1 1/4 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the couscous, stir, and cover with a tight fitted lid. Turn off the heat and allow the couscous to sit for 5 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Using a fork, fluff up the couscous. Transfer the couscous to a large serving bowl.

In a large saute pan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add cauliflower, season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Add the kale and cook for about 3 minutes until wilted. Add the broth and cranberries. Cook for 2 to 3 more minutes until warmed through. Remove pan from the heat.

Transfer the veggie mixture to the bowl with the couscous. The couscous will absorb any broth from the veggie mixture. Gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

adapted from Salted Kitchen