Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Swiss Mushroom Turkey Burger

This was another hit from the December issue of Food Network Magazine.  My husband was the meal planner, and is not a fan of beef.  When he saw the original recipe, he figured just throwing some ground turkey, salt, and pepper together (since he doesn't like beef) wouldn't make a very tasty burger, so he went in search of a good turkey burger recipe, and came across "Actually Delicious Turkey Burgers" on allrecipes.

Together with the Food Network Magazine recipe, this made an awesome sandwich.  It was full of flavor, and just the right amount of messy. 

Swiss Mushroom Burger Food Network Magazine December 2011


Preheat the broiler and line the bottom of a broiler pan with foil. Lightly mix the beef with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Gently form into 4 patties, about 3/4 inch thick. Arrange on the prepared pan and brush both sides with olive oil. Broil until browned, about 4 minutes per side for medium rare.

Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook 2 more minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 2 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Combine the ketchup and mustard in a small bowl and set aside.

Top each patty with one-quarter of the mushroom mixture and 1 slice cheese. Return to the broiler to melt the cheese, about 1 minute.

Spread the buns with the ketchup mixture; sandwich with the patties and some lettuce. Serve with chips and/or pickles.

Actually Delicious Turkey Burger Allrecipes

  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. In a large bowl, mix ground turkey, seasoned bread crumbs, onion, egg whites, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. Form into 12 patties.
  2. Cook the patties in a medium skillet over medium heat, turning once, to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F (85 degrees C).

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Four Cheese Pasta with Peas and Ham

My husband planned all the meals this week, with intentions of cooking as well, and he did it all through this month's Food Network Magazine. This is one of his choices, though I ended up making it.

This one was a huge hit with my family. The one year old gobbled it up, the four year old thought it was mac and cheese and ate it up, and my husband and I thought it was delicious. It was super creamy and gooey and cheesey, had the right amount of textures, and was really flavorful.

I made a few slight changes, using heavy cream instead of evaporated milk, and honey ham steak instead of deli ham, and I added black pepper at the end. Nothing crazy. But a crazy yummy dinner.

Four Cheese Pasta with Peas and Ham Food Network Magazine, December 2011
Kosher salt
12 ounces penne
1 cup frozen peas
2 large eggs, plus 1 egg white
1 cup evaporated milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (1 scant cup)
3 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
3 ounces fontina cheese, grated (1 scant cup)
3 ounces deli ham, in 1 piece, diced
1 ounce parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until very al dente, about 8 minutes, adding the peas in the last 2 minutes of cooking.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, egg white, evaporated milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl.
Drain the pasta and peas; wipe the pot dry and return the pasta and peas to the pot. Add the butter and stir to coat. Add the cheddar, mozzarella, fontina and the egg mixture. Place the pot over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes, adding the ham halfway through cooking (don't let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble). Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the parmesan.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Stir Fried Pork and Snow Peas with Sweet and Sour Sauce

,A few months ago, several friends and I all made at home versions of Chinese take out standards, Take-Out at Home Challenge.  I had a great time and found some great recipes, but haven't really made anything Asian since.  But as I'm making as many of the recipes from Cook's Illustrated's The Best 30 Minute Recipe, I decided to go for Asian once again.

This was almost excellent.  The flavor was great, however, the book's recommendation to prepare the sauce while stir-frying the pork kind of goes against the philosophy of stir frying--it happens fast, so you have to be there and on it.  If you have two cooks in the kitchen, surely it would work great, but with only one, your odds of the meat becoming overcooked as mine did, are very high.  So, it's worth calling a helping hand if you have one around or waiting till the sauce comes together before dealing with the pork.

Otherwise, this is a near perfect dinner!

Stir Fried Pork and Snow Peas with Sweet and Sour Sauce Source:  The Best 30 Minute Recipe Cook's Illustrated, via Searchable Recipe Database
1 pound  Pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips
    2 teaspoons  soy sauce
    2 tablespoons  vegetable oil
    1 recipe  Sweet-and Sour Sauce (see below)
    1  red onion, sliced thin
    6 ounces  snow peas, strings removed
    1 20-ounce can  diced pineapple, drained
    3 cloves  garlic, minced
    1 tablespoon  fresh ginger, grated
Making the minutes Count:

Prepare the suce while the pork cooks. Mince the garlic and grate the ginger while the vegetables cook.

Stir-fry Pork and prepare sauce: Toss pork with soy sauce. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in 12 inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add pork and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up clumps, until lightly browned, about 3minutes. (While pork cooks, prrepare sauce.) Transfer pork to clean bowl

Stir-Fry Vegetables and Pineapple. Add 1 more tablespoon of oil to pan and return to high heat until shimmering. Add onion and snow peas and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add pineapple and cook until warmed through

Combine and Simmer: Clear center of pan and add remainineg 1 teaspoon oil, garlic, and gingner. Cook, mashing garlic mixture into pan with bakck of spatula, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in cooked pork. Whisk sauce to recombine, add it to pan, and bring to simmer. Cook until sauce thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Sweet and Sour Sauce 
6T red wine vinegar
6T orange juice
6T sugar
3T ketchup
1t cornstarch
1/2t salt

Using a medium bowl, mix all ingredients.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chicken and Rice with Broccoli and Cheddar

I love Cook's Illustrated.  In almost every single case, I've found their work to be incredibly perfect and that while sometimes time consuming, their recipes are not too difficult for my not super skill in the kitchen.  So, when I heard they had a new cookbook, The Best 30 Minute Recipe, I knew I had to check it out.

Everything I've made so far has been perfect.  Chicken and Rice with Broccoli and Cheddar (page 108) was the first I made, I believe, and it was so excellent and FAST.  Yes, the recipes actually do take 30 minutes.  They give handy little tips so that it actually happens in the home kitchen!

I did have some trouble with the rice, as I often do.  I used long grain brown rice, and followed the directions CI gives, but it took way longer than directed to get it cooked all the way.  I'm wondering how much of that is me and how much of it is something else.

Chicken and Rice with Broccoli and Cheddar Source:  The Best 30 Minute Recipe Cook's Illustrated, via Heat Oven to 350

Skillet Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli

4boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 ounces each)

salt and freshly ground black pepper
3tablespoons vegetable oil
1onion, minced
cups instant white rice
3garlic cloves, minced
cups low sodium chicken broth
110oz pkg frozen broccoli florets, thawed

(or one large head of broccoli, washed and cut into florets)
1cup shredded cheddar cheese
1teaspoon tabasco

1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown chicken well on one side, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate and set aside.

2. Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet, and return to med high heat till shimmering. Add onion and ½ teaspoon salt and cook uintil softened. 5 minutes. Stir in rice and garlic and cook until fragrant about 30 seconds.

3. Stir in broth, scraping up any browned bits. nestle chicken into rice browned side up. Cover and cook over medium low heat until liquid is absorbed and thickest part of chicken registers 160, about 10 minutes.

4. Transfer chicken to clean plate. Off heat gently fold broccoli, ½ cup cheddar, and tabasco into rice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup cheddar over top, cover, and let sit till cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Serve with chicken.

Yield: Four servings

Recipe Source: Cook's Illustrated Best 30-Minute Meals

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Skillet Baked Ziti

I love baked pasta dishes, the cheesier the better.  My husband, on the other hand, generally doesn't like baked pasta.  He can't take it when there are pieces of hard pasta--hitting a piece of it turns him off to the whole dish.  Nevertheless, I went for it when I saw that Cook's Illustrated had a skillet AND baked version of ziti.

It was farking awesome.  It was so fast, so easy, and tasted almost like something you'd get from your local pizza shop.  No hard pasta either, my husband (and my sons) loved it just as much as I did.


Skillet Baked Ziti Source:  The Best 30 Minute Recipe Cook's Illustrated, page 140, via Right in Front of Me

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Table salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups water
  • 12 oz. ziti (3 3/4 cups) *
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Combine oil, garlic, pepper flakes, and 1/2 tsp. salt in 12-inch ovensafe nonstick skillet and sauté over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add tomatoes, water, ziti, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover and cook, stirring often and adjusting heat as needed to maintain a vigorous simmer, until ziti is almost tender, 15 to 18 minutes. (Note: this is a good time to grate your Parmesan and prep your basil.)
Stir in cream, Parmesan, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over ziti. Transfer skillet to oven and bake at 475° until cheese has melted and browned, about 10 minutes.
(Note: if your 12-inch skillet isn’t ovensafe, you can transfer the pasta to a 2-quart casserole dish before sprinkling with mozzarella and baking.)

Snickerdoodle Blondies

I'm forcing myself to bake more in these crazy times of working full time by baking for my coworkers' birthdays.  In October, one of the birthday girls requested brownies.  Wanting to challenge myself, I made brownies but when I came across this recipe at Brown Eyed Baker's blog, I wanted to make those too.

Holy cow these were delicious.  I didn't use a whole lot of cinnamon sugar on top, so they didn't have that little bit of crunch, but they were absolutely perfect as I made them.

Snickerdoodle Blondies Source:  Brown Eyed Baker

Snickerdoodle Blondies
Yield: 24 blondies
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 25 to 30 minutes
2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan; set aside.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.
3. Beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla. Beat, scraping the bowl, until thoroughly combined. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. Give the dough a final stir with a spatula or wooden spoon to make sure the flour is incorporated.
4. Spread the dough evenly into the pan (I found an offset spatula was the best tool for the job, as it’s a thick batter). Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool completely before cutting. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
(Recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction)
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