So this is my first entree in a while–a quite easy one, too. If you’ve ever been to Rubio’s, you may have had one of their fish tacos, perhaps a Blackened Fish Taco? Gradually spicy but satisfying, these Blackened fish are simple to make, and have the potential of feeding a larger group, depending on how much fish you have.
Basically, blackening your fish involves heating butter or other fat on a (cast iron) pan on high heat, then putting your fish on, just a minute or so, in order to sear each side, which will previously be coated in a particular spice mix.
Next comes the familiar part, which is assembling the tacos. You can do this any way you want of course, which makes this meal more custom than not.
I use Tilapia, and it works very well with this recipe, but you can use any white fish, and it should work just fine.
Chow Mein is a great make-ahead-of-time lunch. This recipe uses normal spaghetti noodles, which are easy to find and cook.
1/2 a head of cabbage, shredded
2/3 cup of soy sauce
1 (16 oz) pkg. of spaghetti noodles
1 Tbs. Brown Sugar
1 medium sweet onion
3 cloves of garlic
4 carrots, peeled and grate
2 tsp. chopped fresh ginger root
First, peel the ginger root to get skin off. Then chop into small chunks.
Then peel garlic cloves (in picture, note I used a silicone sleeve thingy to peel the garlic cloves, it works really well), and chop into medium chunks, too.
Place Ginger, Garlic, Soy Sauce, and brown sugar into wet-ingredient blender. (you can use a blender, or whatever else works, too.) Blend for 20 seconds, or until everything is finely chopped up.
NOTE: To make things much easier, you could possibly buy cabbage already shredded, and carrots, already shredded, but I just did it manually:
Peel all the carrots with a vegetable peeler, and cut the ends off. Shred with a food processor shredder attachment.
Next, peel outer leaves off cabbage for sanitary reasons, and cut half (the half you’ll be using) into small chunks, small enough to fit in the processor’s chute. If you prefer to chop the cabbage, then do it.
If not, use the easier way: the food processor. With the blade attachment, shred cabbage, and place into a bowl for keeps until you need it.
For onions: Cut onions into inch long thin segments.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Break your raw noodles in half before placing them in the boiling water. Cook for the time indicated on the back of your package. (9 min, average).
WHILE your noodles are boiling, pour two tablespoons of olive oil into a large skillet over medium heat.
When heated up, Put carrots and onions in, stirring, until cooked mostly, about 3 minutes. Then place cabbage in, and stir for one or so minutes. Remove from heat–but be sure it’s warm for when you want to use it.
When noodles are done cooking (you’ll know if they are tender when bitten) then take them out, and pour into a colander in an empty sink to drain. Pour into large serving bowl.
Finally, pour soy sauce mixture into Vegetables, and stir until combined. Then pour the whole vegetable thing into the prepared noodles, mixing until combined. If you wish, you may pour more soy sauce in for more flavor.
This post will be showing you how to prepare a gourmet salad ahead of time. This is extremely helpful if you have other things to do on the day you make the salad, and don’t want to have to worry about cutting all the vegetables and other little necessities. In this solution, you will be cutting everything up the day before you plan to serve/eat the salad.
Another benefit with cutting all the stuff up and putting them in separate containers is that you can let your family pick and choose, and essentially create their own custom salad.
If you don’t like the idea of cutting it up the day before, you can do it on the same day, but it is a good idea to make ahead of time the eggs, potatoes, and bacon.
2 Cups mini potatoes
4 pieces of bacon
3 medium tomatoes
2 bunches of romaine lettuce
2 cups mushrooms
1 cup garbanzo beans
1 bell pepper
1/2 a large cucumber
1-2 cups cheddar cheese
Your favorite vinaigrette or ranch dressing
Mini potatoes are the easier, quicker way to go, but if you want to stick to regular potatoes, they will boil for longer, and you will have to dice each one into small salad-size pieces–which will take longer, but it certainly is another way to go.
To prepare eggs and potatoes, in two separate saucepans, one large, and one medium, put in water about ⅔ up the sides of the saucepans. Bring water to an almost boiling state in both. In the large saucepan, carefully place in all the eggs, and set the timer to 20 minutes. In the other saucepan, dump in the potatoes, and set timer to 20 minutes (or just the same time for both) or until potatoes are very soft. When done, take potatoes and eggs out of pan, discarding the water.
Once cool to touch, cut the potatoes in small bite size pieces, and peel eggs. Cut eggs once peeled into thin slices using a wire egg cutter, if you have one. Store potato pieces and egg pieces in two separate sealed plastic containers in fridge until chilled, and ready to use for salad.
To prepare bacon, heat a skillet over medium heat, and put the four pieces of bacon on. Sizzle on both sides until both sides are perfectly dark brown. Place bacon pieces on a paper towel, and press to remove extra grease. Cut bacon, once cool, into small pieces, as shown.
Store in a plastic container in fridge until ready to use.
Cut tomatoes in half inch chunks with a serrated knife, after washing, and also wash lettuce thoroughly, tear into small salad-size pieces, and place in a leaf-dryer, and turn fast until most of the water is wrung out.
Store tomatoes and lettuce in their own separate sealed containers in the fridge (don’t squish the lettuce), at least, if you are cutting these the day before you make the actual salad.
Wash mushrooms if they haven’t already been pre-washed, and cut lengthwise in thin strips.
Strain the garbanzo beans in a colander. and put in a plastic container in fridge until ready to use. Also put the mushrooms in their own container and place in fridge.
Wash half the cucumber. Chop cucumber width-wise as shown into circles. Cut these circles into quarters, and place in container in fridge until ready to use. Shred cheese using the shred attachment on your food processor, or do it by hand. Also store the cheese in a plastic container in fridge until ready to use.
Chop bell-peppers into small pieces as shown. Store in plastic container in fridge.
And you’re done!…almost. Remember to prepare your favorite ranch dressing or vinaigrette. You can buy them or make them. Here’s a good vinaigrette recipe to use: Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Just before you are ready serve your salad (i.e. before your guest arrive :), Take out all the containers you used to store your stuff in, and lay them out on the serving table, to give everyone an option of what exactly they want in their salad. Or, if you want to, you can just throw it all together in a large bowl before serving, it’s your choice.
Cheese-Stuffed Gourmet Hamburgers: Cheese-filled patties are smashed into a hot buttered grill to cook. Caramelized onions are mixed into the ground beef before cooking. A special hamburger sauce is smeared on both hamburger buns, and the meat is seasoned with a mixture of steak seasoning and seasoned salt.
And the nice thing about burgers is that they are easy to customize.
SEE RECIPE BELOW:
(makes 8 burgers)
2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, minced
2 large tomatoes
8 leaves of Romaine lettuce
2 large Pickles
8 pairs Hamburger buns
½ cup mayonnaise
⅛ cup mustard
1 tablespoon sweet relish
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 teaspoons Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
Butter for Griddle
NOTE: For higher quality beef (and for health reasons) get grass fed beef. Chances are you’ll be able to taste a difference between good quality and poor quality meat.
If you prefer to remove the egg from the meat, it will not hold together as well, but it’s still and option.
Mince the onion into tiny little chunks, as shown. Over a nonstick pan (or otherwise) on medium heat some vegetable oil. Once oil is hot, dump the onions in a fry, stirring occasionally, until they a browned well, as shown, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Making sure to drain excess juices from the beef’s container, dump the 2lbs of meat in a large bowl, and break it up with your hands. Break an egg into the bowl, and mix it in completely with your hands.
Next, add the recently ‘caramelized’ onions, and stir well into the meat.
Break the meat up evenly into 16 small balls, and situate the first 8 on wax paper. Flatten each 8 of the balls into a thin, medium-large patties. On half of the patties, place a chunk of cheese, not to thick, and be sure that the cheese is at least half an inch from the edges of the patty.
Now fold the empty half of the patties over the cheese-filled ones, and press firmly around the edges and everywhere until perfectly sealed. Take these finished patties using the wax paper, and place them onto a cookie sheet. Do the cheese-process with the remaining 8 patties, using a fresh layer of waxed paper. Once done, place these finished patties next to the other ones on the same cookie sheet, as shown. The cookie sheet is for easy transportation to grill.
Place the sweet relish, lemon juice, mayonnaise, and mustard in a small bowl, and stir well.
Stir the Montreal steak seasoning and seasoned salt in a smaller bowl.
The sauce and the seasoning are very similar to a copycat of Smashburger’s burgers that I found.
You should now cut up the tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, and whatever else you want on you hamburgers. Preheat the grill on medium-high heat, and put a cast iron flat griddle on top of it. Or, alternatively, a flat griddle on your stove top.
Bring you seasoning mixture, and your patties out to your preheated grill (or on your stove top, if you prefer). Melt the butter on the flat griddle. Place four of the patties on the butter. Cover with the wax paper they were on, and smash with a burger-smasher, or with a plate, or whatever else that works. Remove wax paper.
Sprinkle a generous share of the seasoning on each patty. Close the grill, and let it cook for about three minutes.
Open the grill after three minutes, and check to see if the burgers are done on the other side. It should be cooked around the edges, at least. If so, flip the burgers, and sprinkle again on the other side with the seasoning. Close grill, and let it grill for another 3 minutes. When burgers are done, transfer to a plate, and cover with aluminium foil, to keep hot while you grill the other batch of patties.
Do the same thing with the next four patties that you did with the first four. Transfer to plate, and cover with foil until ready to piece together the burgers:
Place the bottom bun on the plate.
spread a generous helping of the sauce on this bun.
Place a lettuce leaf on it.
Put on one of the patties, and then tomatoes
Spread sauce on the bottom of the top bun, and smash it down on the rest of the burger.
The bacon is fried first. Then, the mushrooms are sauteed in the bacon grease. Then, on the same bacon grease, beef patties are grilled in mustard and seasonings.
Piece it together with a great Mayo-Burger-Sauce, tomatoes, lettuce, cheddar cheese, and ketchup.
Recipe serves 4.
INGREDIENTS:(makes 4 burgers)
8 pieces of bacon (2 per burger)
1 lb. ground beef
2 large beefsteak/other large tomatoes
4 thick leaves of Romaine lettuce
4 thin slices cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons mustard
3 cups minced Mushrooms
Salt/pepper for taste
FOR BURGER SAUCE:
¼ cup mayonnaise
⅛ cup mustard
1 tablespoon sweet relish
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Prepare your lettuce, cheese, and tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes in thin slices. You should have about 10 – 12 slices of tomatoes. Place the lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese on a tray until further use.
Shape ground beef into patties. First, with your hands, divide the 1 lb. of beef into 4 equal balls. Break the meat up, with your hands, and then push each of the 4 balls down so that they are proper flatness.
Prepare burger sauce by combining the mayonnaise, ⅛ cup mustard, relish, and lemon juice in a small bowl.
Mince the mushrooms finely. Put them in a medium bowl for future use.
Place a cast iron griddle over a grill and heat it up. Or, alternatively, you can use a flat metal skillet/griddle over your stove top. Once sufficiently heated, cut your bacon pieces in half, so that you have 16 halves, and place on heated skillet. Sizzle until just cooked through. Remove bacon from griddle, and place in a bowl, and insulate it with aluminum foil. Do not turn off griddle, and leave the bacon grease hot.
Get your mushrooms ready. Dump them on top of hot bacon grease, and saute until mushrooms are very brown. Place them back in their original bowl, and insulate with aluminum foil. Do not turn off the griddle.
Now for the patties. Squirt the 1 tablespoon of mustard on the patties, and preferably smear around with a brush. Then place the thick burger patties on the hot griddle–yes the same uncleaned one you used to cook the bacon and mushrooms on.
Sprinkle patties with salt and more mustard, and let cook on one side for two minutes or so.
After the two minutes are up, flip the patties over, sprinkle the cooked sides with salt, and place a piece of cheese on each patty.
Finish cooking on this side for another couple minutes. After the minute is up, place patties and their cheese on top on a large heat-proof plate, and cover with aluminum foil.
Now it’s time to put together the burger. This part is easy.
First, place the bottom burger bun on a serving plate. Then smear the mayo burger sauce over the top. Then place on 1-2 tomato slices. Then 2 halves of bacon. Then one of the cooked patties goes on top, and on top of the patty goes the additional 2 halves of bacon. On top of the bacon goes the sauteed mushrooms. Then on goes the piece of Romaine lettuce, and finally, on goes the last burger bun!
Repeat 3x for a total of 4 delicious Mushroom Cheddar Bacon Burgers!