Sunday, October 21, 2012

Quick Update

Hello friends!

In case you were wondering if I'd been abducted by aliens, I just wanted to let you know that I'm still here. It's been a bit of a mish-mosh of health issues and life's little curveballs as usual, but I am working on something that I hope to have posted by tomorrow morning. (Monday)

Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend and I'm looking forward to checking in with you all soon!

Here's a sneak peak at what's coming...


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hamdoggers With Red Bell Pepper Sauce

A little twist on the basic burger with a homemade thousand island style sauce.


OK. I'd picked up some ground beef on Saturday and needed to either use it or freeze it, so I started thinking about what I wanted to do with it. I'd made both meatloaf and goulash in the last couple of weeks, so I didn't want those. Hmmm... hamburgers sounded good, but I had well over a pound of meat to work with and that was certainly more than I needed for two burgers. Plus, it had been raining all day and our grill isn't in a covered area.

I rummaged around in the fridge and perused the pantry and as I began taking stock of what I had to work with, it hit me. I could make burgers for dinner and use the rest of the ground beef to prepare a meatloaf to pop in the freezer for another day. Brilliant, right?


So, I gather up all of my ingredients and start prepping everything for the meatloaf and about half way through the mixing process, I realize that I've totally forgotten to take out enough plain ground beef to make the burgers. Yeah, well. All I'm gonna say about that, is that middle age can be a scary place.


Obviously, I couldn't remove any of the ingredients from the mixture, so I figured that I'd just have to make these burgers with the meatloaf mixture. That's when the hubbers came out to the kitchen and said "Oh, by the way, I tossed out what was left of the bread this morning. It looked like it might have been stale." Ummm, it looked like it might have been stale? "Yup". Did you smell it? "Nope." Was there mold on it? "Um, not that I could see." Well, did you take a piece out and really look at it? "Nope."  ???  MmmHmm, he's middle aged, too.

So... now I have another dilemma. What am I going to serve these meatloafy burger thingies on? Let's see... Crackers? No. Oreos? Unh- uh. One english muffin? Uh, negatory. And then I see them. Eureka! Small sub rolls. And there were exactly two of them. Now....

How, exactly, do I fit a round burger on an oblong torpedo roll? Well, I make the burger fit the roll! That's how. Kinda umm, hot dog shaped. Yup. They'll be... hot burgers? No. Hmmm, ham dogs? Noooo... Ha! Hamdoggers! Yeah. That's the name and I'm stickin' with it.


Hamdoggers With Red Bell Pepper Sauce
(makes 4 hamdoggers or 2 and a small meatloaf)
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 Red Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Lg Egg
  • 2 Tbls Ketchup
  • 1 Tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Dried Basil
  • 1 Tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • Small torpedo/sub rolls
  • Lettuce for serving


Roughly chop the bell pepper and onion and place it in the bowl of your processor or in a blender. Pulse until the pieces are very finely minced. You can do this by hand, but make sure that you mince it as finely as possible.

In a large mixing bowl, combine a little over *half of the pepper and onion mixture, bread crumbs, egg, ketchup and seasonings with the ground beef, until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined. (*the rest of the pepper and onion mixture goes into the sauce. Recipe is below)

Divide the mixture into fourths and taking one fourth at a time in your hands, pat, roll and shape the mixture into log or hot dog shapes**.

If you're making only 2 of the hamdoggers, shape the remaining meat mixture into a small meatloaf, place it on a parchment lined cookie sheet and put it in the freezer for several hours. When it's completely frozen, lift it off the paper and place it in a zip-top bag and then pop it back into the freezer. This will ensure that it keeps it's shape and will be ready to go in the oven at a later date.

Lightly brush a non-stick skillet with about a teaspoon of vegetable or light olive oil and cook the hamdoggers, over medium high heat, for about 3 to 4 minutes per side. You want to gently turn each one three more times, in order to maintain a hot dog or sausage shape.

**(Some ground meat brands have more moisture than others, so if you find that your mixture isn't staying together, just put it back in the bowl, add more bread crumbs {approx 1/4 cup} and combine it all thoroughly, until you get a mix that holds it's shape.)








Red Bell Pepper Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 Cup Ketchup or Chili Sauce
  • Minced Onion & Bell Pepper (left from the recipe above ~ approx 2 Tbls)
Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk it together. Any leftover sauce will keep for several days, in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Makes a great salad dressing too!



The Rolls

Slice the rolls lengthwise, but not all the way through. Since most sub/torpedo rolls are rather thick, I scoop out some of the inside. It just makes more room for the meat and condiments. You can toast the rolls in a 325 degree oven, for about 8 to 10 minutes, if you want to.



The Assembly

Start building your hamdogger with a single leaf of romaine, some shredded or whole leaf iceberg, or a handful of baby spinach or arugula. Then add your hamdogger and a generous helping of the red bell pepper sauce and you're good to go!

You can kick it up a few more notches by adding other toppers, like sliced or chopped onion, pickled jalapeno slices, sauteed peppers and onions, or maybe pop it in the oven (before adding the sauce) with some oooey, gooey shredded cheese. Have fun with it! After all, it's already (at least in my hubby's opinion) a step above your basic burger and the possibilities are limited only by your own imagination and creativity. And we all know that bloggers and the people who read blogs are some of the most imaginative and creative people on earth!



Enjoy!

Mary





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I'm sharing at these fabulous parties this week:

Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps On The Porch
Mix It Up Monday at Flour Me With Love
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Tasty Tuesday at 33 Shades of Green
Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just A Housewife
Tuesday Talent Show at Chef In Training
Tasty Tuesday at A Lettered Life
Terrific Tuesdays at Adventures of a DIY Mom
Tasteful Tuesdays at Nap Time Creations
Saturday Show & Tell at Cheerios and Lattes
Scrumptious Sunday at Addicted To Recipes


Friday, October 5, 2012

Saltimbocca alla Romana (Chicken)

Saltimbocca, translated means "jumps in the mouth".  If you've ever eaten veal or chicken saltimbocca, you'll understand just how appropriate the name is.



Like most cities, we have our share of Italian restaurants to choose from and the majority of them serve really good food. Oddly enough and much to my dismay, only one of these fine establishments (at least, that I've ever been aware of) offers Saltimbocca on their menu.

I don't get out to that one particular restaurant as often as I'd like to and I don't usually cook veal at home, so my go-to meat for this dish is boneless chicken breast.



Chicken Saltimbocca
  • 4 Boneless Chicken Breasts, sliced in half to make 8
  • 1/4 Lb Prosciutto, sliced extremely thin (at least 8 slices)
  • Sage leaves
  • 2 Lg Shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, sliced
  • 8oz Crimini or Button Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Lg Bunches Spinach Leaves, washed, dried and stems removed
  • 8 Slices Provolone Cheese
  • Marsala Wine (or sweet white wine or vermouth)
  • Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper


Lay the chicken cutlets out on a large sheet of waxed paper.


Season with salt & pepper and place a fresh sage leaf in the center of each piece.


Cover each piece with a slice of prosciutto.


Place a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the sliced shallots and garlic, with a tablespoon of butter and the same amount of olive oil and saute them until they start getting soft.




Add the mushrooms and a little more butter or oil (if needed) to the pan and saute those on medium heat.


Cook the mushrooms until they're golden brown.


Add 1/4 Cup of Marsala to the pan with the mushrooms, shallots and garlic.


Turn the heat up to medium high and reduce the Marsala by about 1/2.


Toss in the washed and dried spinach and a couple of tablespoons of water or chicken broth. Season with a little salt & pepper and cover the pan. Turn the heat down to medium or medium low and cook for 3 or 4 minutes


Give the spinach and mushroom mixture a quick stir, set it aside and keep it warm.


Place a sheet of cling wrap over the chicken,


With a heavy rolling pin press down on top of the chicken pieces and roll gently but firmly, until the chicken is flattened out slightly and the prosciutto is pressed into it a bit.


Put about a couple teaspoons of oil in a second skillet and heat on medium high until it's just starting to sizzle a little. Place the chicken pieces in the pan, prosciutto side up and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until it starts to turn light golden brown. (do this in batches if you need to)


Turn the chicken over and cook for 2 to 4 minutes on the other side, until it's cooked through.


Place the cooked chicken pieces on a foil lined sheet pan.


Cover each piece of chicken with a slice of provolone.


Place the pan under the broiler, (set on low) until the cheese melts and then keep it warm in the oven at 200 degrees or "warm" if your oven has that setting.


Place the pan that you cooked the chicken in over medium high heat.


Add in 1/4 cup more of the Marsala.


Stir it gently to scrape up the brown bits left from cooking the chicken.


Throw in about 8-10 sage leaves and continue to cook until it's reduced by about 1/3.


Turn the heat off and slowly swirl or gently stir in 4 tablespoons of butter (one at a time) to thicken the sauce.




Place a small pile of the spinach onto each plate, place a piece of chicken on top and a spoonful of the mushrooms on top of that.


Spoon a little of the pan sauce on top and serve right away.


Enjoy!


Mary






You Can Have New Posts From Go Ahead Take A Bite Delivered Right To Your Inbox! Just Enter Your Email Address Here:


Delivered by FeedBurner
We will never send any advertising or provide your email address to any other blogs or businesses.

Don't forget that you can print this (or any) recipe using the "Print Friendly" button at the foot of each post. It's a great little feature that allows you to remove any pictures (or any text that isn't relevant to the recipe) before printing. That can save on ink and paper & in today's economy, who doesn't want to save a little cash when you can?!





Yay! My Chicken Enchilada Lasagna was featured this week at Addicted to Recipes!!


I was featured, I was Featured by Addicted to Recipes

I'm linking up with these great parties this week: (adding URL's as I link up)


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