Chow Mein

Chow Mein is a great make-ahead-of-time lunch. This recipe uses normal spaghetti noodles, which are easy to find and cook.

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INGREDIENTS:

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

 

DIRECTIONS:

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.

See my original post of this recipe on instructables

chow-mein-pre

Make Ahead Custom Salad Bar

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.

make-ahead-salad-main

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.

 

INGREDIENTS:

6 eggs

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

 

ingredient note:

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.

 

DIRECTIONS:

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.

See pictures below. See my original post on instructables.

eggs-boiling
Preparing the eggs…
potatoes-boiling
Preparing the Potatoes…
bacon-frying
…frying the bacon.

 

Cheese-Stuffed Gourmet Hamburgers

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.

cheese-filled-burgers-main

SEE RECIPE BELOW:

cheese-burgers-ingredients

INGREDIENTS:

(makes 8 burgers)

2 lbs. ground beef

1 egg

1 onion, minced

Cheddar cheese

2 large tomatoes

8 leaves of Romaine lettuce

2 large Pickles

8 pairs Hamburger buns

For sauce:

½ cup mayonnaise

⅛ cup mustard

1 tablespoon sweet relish

1 teaspoon lemon juice

For Seasoning:

3 teaspoons Montreal Steak Seasoning

1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt

Additional Things:

Ketchup

Mustard

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.

DIRECTIONS:

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.

NOTE:

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:

  1. Place the bottom bun on the plate.
  2. spread a generous helping of the sauce on this bun.
  3.  Place a lettuce leaf on it.
  4.  Put on one of the patties, and then tomatoes
  5. Add pickles.
  6. Spread sauce on the bottom of the top bun, and smash it down on the rest of the burger.

EAT WHILE HOT.

See more pictures below. See my original recipe post on instructables.

cheese-in-patties
Put the cheese in the middle…
on-the-grill
Set up your grill…
grilling-the-patties
Grill the patties…
eaten-burger
…Eat it hot.

 

Mini Hamburger Sliders

These mini sliders make a great side dish for parties/potlucks/dinners, etc.

mini-burgers-main

Ingredients: (makes 16 sliders)

2 lbs. Ground beef

16 mini slices cheddar cheese

16 small leaves romaine lettuce

16 small slices of tomato

1 egg

16 mini burger buns

For sauce:

½ cup mayonnaise

⅛ cup mustard

1 tablespoon sweet relish

1 teaspoon lemon juice

For Seasoning:

3 teaspoons Montreal Steak Seasoning

1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt

Additional Things:

Ketchup

Mustard

Butter for Griddle

 

DIRECTIONS:

Break up with ground beef in a large bowl. Dump in the egg, and mix it completely in to the beef with your hands.

Shape beef into 16 even balls, and then shape into little patties.

Prepare the slices of cheddar, lettuce, and tomato on a serving platter.

For the seasoning, in a small bowl combine steak seasoning and seasoned salt.

For sauce, stir mayonnaise, mustard, sweet relish, and lemon juice in a small bowl for the sauce.

Preheat the grill, and place a cast iron flat griddle over it. Or, you can preheat a flat surface over your stove for the burgers.

When ready to grill patties, take the patties, seasoning, and cheddar cheese out with you to the grill. Spread butter over the hot surface.

Then place down burgers, and press with a burger press, or a dinner plate. But if your patties are already flat enough, you don’t need to press them.

Sprinkle patties with the seasoning.

Let grill on this one side for a minute or so.

After the first side is cooked, flip patties, and sprinkle the cooked sides with more seasoning. Place a piece of cheese over each patty.

When done grilling, take patties off the grill, and on a plate. Cover with aluminum foil.

As you can only probably grill 8 at a time, when you take off the 8, then grill the next 8 patties.

To prepare sliders, place bottom burger bun down.

Spread a small amount of sauce over it.

Then lettuce, then patty with cheese.

Then place tomato on, then ketchup and mustard.

Finally, cap it with the top burger bun, and secure everything with a long party toothpick.

Do this process to the rest of the burgers.

Serve warm.

 

burger-mini-grill

Drunken Chicken: Easy White Wine Chicken

Drunken chicken is a perfect dinner to make if you have limited time to make dinner. It is easy to make, and very flavorful.

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Cook time: 1:15 hrs.  Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1 (2lb) package drumsticks (or other dark meat chicken)

1/2 white onion

8 ounces of mushrooms (more or less depending on preference)

Salt, pepper

3 cloves garlic

3/4 cup white wine

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Roughly cut onion, and place on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.

Pour in pre cut mushrooms.

Mince garlic and set aside.

Rinse raw chicken in the sink, then place on top of onions and mushrooms in the baking dish.

Sprinkle minced garlic over chicken, and salt and pepper them.

Then pour white wine evenly over the chicken.

Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, then raise temperature to 400, and take foil off, and cook for another 15 minutes, until chicken is brown.

Serve with white rice.

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Mushroom Cheddar Bacon Burgers

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.

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Piece it together with a great Mayo-Burger-Sauce, tomatoes, lettuce, cheddar cheese, and ketchup.

Recipe serves 4.

mcb-burgers-ingredients

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

 

DIRECTIONS:

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!

A couple pictures: (if you want to see all step by step pictures, check out my original post on mushroom cheddar bacon burgers on instructables)

mcb-burger-patties
Shape the patties…
mcb-building-burger
…put everything together.

 

One Pot Burrito Bowl

This One Pot Burrito Bowl is not only delicious, it’s also fantastically fast to make; If you get your act up, you can make this burrito bowl in one pot in less than half an hour.

One Pot Burrito Bowl Main

And, in one pot, in less than half an hour, you can make enough dinner to serve a considerably large family.

And, if you don’t have enough people to serve this to, it makes perfect leftovers for the next day.

 

INGREDIENTS:

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef

½ cup salsa

1 can black beans, or re fried beans, or a mixture of both

2 tablespoons taco seasoning

1 cup long grain rice, cooked ahead of time

1 large onion

1 cup monterey jack, shredded

1 can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon oil

1 yellow bell pepper

¼ teaspoon chili powder

Garnish

chopped fresh tomatoes

sour cream

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

Mince both onion and bell pepper finely.

Heat oil in a large deep pan until hot.

Add in the onion and bell pepper to pan, and saute until very brown. Remove from pan to a small bowl.

Add the ground beef to the same pan that you had the vegetables in, and stir and break up with a spatula until meat is cooked and brown. Drain the meat juices that are shown above.

Before you add everything, if you don’t want super chunky tomatoes from the can, you can easily use an immersion blender to blend it up some. (mine basically became tomato sauce).

Then add canned tomatoes, black beans, salsa, taco seasoning, and chili powder, and previously cooked rice.

(for how to cook rice, see here: How to Cook Rice)

Stir all the ingredients until well combined.

You are now sort of done with it. Just one more thing:

For Garnishes, you can cut up some cilantro, and sprinkle that with a generous helping of your shredded cheese over the steaming top of your Burrito Bowl.

Enjoy!

 

Be sure to check out my recipe on instructables, as well.