Beef

The Firecracker Burger

by Shawnda on May 31, 2014

in Beef,Burgers & Sliders,Chipotle peppers

The Firecracker Burger

Meet The Firecracker Burger. It is the latest addition to our endlessly delicious Fancy Burger roster.

What makes the Firecracker so great?

EVERYTHING.

The Firecracker Burger

It’s based on the Crispy Jalapeno Burger from BJs Restaurant & Brewhouse. The “crispy jalapeno” part of our burger comes from the beer-battered jalapenos slices I shared with y’all last week.

Those delicious bites of deep-fried napalm are then doused with some cool chipotle ranch dressing. Add some crispy red onions, juicy tomato slices, and a slice of melty Monterrey Jack?

It’ll be the best burger you have all week. Guaranteed.

The Firecracker Burger

The Firecracker Burger

A juicy burger topped with spicy, beer-battered jalapeno slices and chipotle ranch dressing.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat your grill to medium-high.
  2. Season both sides of each burger patty with salt, pepper and a dash of Worcestershire.
  3. Grill 4-5 minutes on each side, topping with a slice of cheese for the last minute of cooking.
  4. Build the burgers, topping with sliced tomatoes, red onions, ~5 fried jalapeno slices, and a generous spoonful of chipotle ranch dressing.
  5. Serve immediately.

Notes

Yields: 3 servings

Inspired by BJs Restaurant & Brewery

Estimated time: 30 minutes

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The Boss

by Shawnda on March 24, 2014

in Beef,Burgers & Sliders,On the grill,Texas

The Boss Hamburger

That bad boy is the make-at-home version of Kerbey Lane’s “Boss” burger. It’s one of those things I’d happily just let Kerbey Lane make for me… but in 4 years of asking on Twitter, they have still yet to open a Houston location.

And Austin is just too far to drive for lunch.

Sometimes.

The Boss Hamburger

Now that it’s warm again (I wasn’t so sure we’d ever see the day), we’ve put Fancy Burger Night back on the weekly menu. The first Fancy Burger Night of 2014 was celebrated with The Boss: a cheeseburger with bacon, a fried egg, verde sauce, and, at home – pico de gallo.

The Boss Burger

The Boss Burger

A cheeseburger topped with crispy bacon, a fried egg, tangy verde sauce, and fresh pico de gallo.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 slices of cheese
  • 3 burger buns
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked to a crisp
  • Your favorite verde (green) sauce
  • 3 eggs, fried
  • Pico de gallo

Instructions

  1. Heat your grill to high.
  2. Season ground beef with salt, pepper, and a few dashes of worcestershire sauce.
  3. Form into 3 patties and cook to desired doneness.
  4. In the last minute of cooking, top each burger with a slice of cheese.
  5. Place on a bun topped with bacon, an egg, a generous scoop of verde sauce, and a big scoop of pico de gallo.
  6. Grab a knife and a fork.

Notes

Yields: 3 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 20 minutes

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Bacon & Cranberry Chutney

Even before the last of those lovely bacon jam-filled pretzel rolls disappeared, I’d already staked out the idea of combining the bacon jam with cranberries for a spread-on-anything and stuff-in-everthang twist on cranberry sauce.

The original attempt of turning bacon jam into cranberry-bacon jam failed. Well, as much as something called “bacon jam” could fail. While tasty – and then, of course, still completely devoured – there was simply just too much bacon. A feat that I didn’t even know was possible before!

So I turned cranberry chutney into bacon-cranberry chutney instead. Plenty of tart cranberries and just enough bacon to turn the sweet and savory and smokey chutney into a “just one more spoonful won’t hurt” spread.

Burgers with Bacon & Cranberry Chutney and Brie

I put it over baked brie. And on burgers. And sliders.

And then I made a second batch and did it all over again, making The Cranwich for lunch 3 days in a row.

Festive and delicious with layers of flavor. And just enough bacon.

Bacon & Cranberry Chutney

Homemade cranberry chutney flavored with smokey bacon.

Ingredients

  • 3 slices of bacon, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp bourbon
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp worcestershire
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (more if desired)
  • 12 oz bag of cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • Generous pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Cook the bacon in a medium sauce pan until mostly crisped and then remove with a slotted spoon to a small saucer.
  2. Add the onion to the pan and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and stir, cooking another minute.
  4. Return the bacon to the ban along with the remaining ingredients.
  5. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat and then cover, cooking for ~10 minutes until the cranberries have softened.
  6. Remove the lid and let simmer until nearly all of the liquid has cooked away, about another 10-15 minutes.
  7. Taste for sweetness and add another tablespoon or two of sugar, if you think it needs it.
  8. Transfer to a food processor or blender and pulse a few times.
  9. Transfer to a jar or bowl and keep in the refrigerator where it will last a good 2 weeks. Probably.

Notes

Yields: ~2 cups

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 40 minutes

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Gyro-Stuffed Bell Peppers with Quino & Feta

When Jason and I met, I was living in this tiny, dirt cheap apartment with my fluffy white kitty, Shasta. Shasta & I had accidentally stumbled across the greatest deal in the entire city. We had million dollar houses, the city’s nicest park, running trails, a golf course, and gorgeous green space at our front door. At our back door? Legit crack houses. But not for long.

The area was seeing major regentrification. Just 2-3 years before, if you’d asked anyone “Hey, I’m on Washington – what should I do over here?” They would have screamed “GET DOWN AND CALL 911!” But even at that point, it was only half-sketch. Plus, the million-dollar-homeowners across the street paid for fancy private security to roam the neighborhood. We had security-by-proximation. (And to be fair, crack-house-by-proximation.)

New fences went up weekly, flanked by construction signs and “Coming Soon!” banners. But none of those new places would ever top Bibas.

Gyro-Stuffed Bell Peppers with Quino & Feta

Bibas was a 24-hour Greek diner on Memorial that promised two things: the world’s fluffiest pita bread and fabulously accented late-night conversations from owners who seemed to never take a break, much less a day or night off. Throw in a plate of dolmades and you had one of the best ways to unwind after a play-hard downtown Saturday night.

Then I met a guy who didn’t eat Greek food, Bibas closed down, and I moved to the suburbs.

But 8 years later, that guy didn’t protest when I dragged him down to the Greek Festival. Mostly because after 8 years of all the life changes that come with being an adult, he knew that our Friday nights could very likely otherwise involve a super unsexy trip to the home improvement store for a plunger.

Related: That age where they outgrow flushing things down the toilet? Not here yet.

Gyro-Stuffed Bell Peppers with Quino & Feta

To the Greek festival we went, sampling dolmades and baklava and souvlaki and tiropita. The light in a person’s eyes when he realizes that a “scary” word like souvlaki means manly grilled red meat on a stick? Beats any look of joy and magical wonder on Christmas morning :)

True story.

Gyro-Stuffed Bell Peppers with Quino & Feta

This month’s HEB Primo Picks showed up with a couple of pantry staples that I regularly buy:
Central Market’s Quick Cooking Quinoa
HEB Basting Oil (a garlic & herbed oil that’s great for dipping pita bread and cooking and sauteeing and drizzling over just about everything)

Along with the black olives, I whipped up some Greek-style stuffed bell peppers to serve along some pita and tzatziki sauce.

The first time I ever made stuffed peppers, I got the expected nose-wrinkling “Why’d you ruin perfectly good food by shoving it in a bell pepper that hasn’t been sliced and grilled and served next to fajitas?” look while poking at the pepper to confirm that it was, in fact, not going to leap off the place and whack him on the head.

But the first time I made a Gyro-inspired stuffed bell pepper on “Greek night,” I got the expected mouth-full mumble, “Th2diy so3048x Greek dhdslkashd” head-nodding approval.

The rambly lesson here? Stuff it in a pepper, call it Greek food. Everyone is happy.

Gyro-Stuffed Bell Peppers with Quinoa & Feta

Greek-style bell peppers stuffed with quinoa, ground beef, feta, and black olives.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Central Market Quick-Cooking Quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or water)
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp oil, divided
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 chopped HEB Black Olives
  • 15 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 2 tsp greek seasoning*
  • 4 oz crumbled feta, divided
  • Small handful of cilantro and/or parsley, chopped and divided
  • 6 large bell peppers
  • HEB Basting Oil, for drizzling
  • Tzatziki sauce, for serving (purchased or homemade)
  • *This was a purchased mix of dried herbs: oregano, parsley, basil, marjoram, garlic, and onion. A mixture pretty decently wingable at home.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 and lightly grease a casserole dish.
  2. Take a thin sliver off the rounded edges off the bell pepper "feet" so the peppers stand on their own.
  3. With the tip of your knife, poke 1-2 small holes in the bell pepper bottom - just deep enough to create an opening for any excess liquid to drain. Soggy stuffed peppers are no fun.
  4. Heat 2 cups of water or chicken stock and cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside.
  5. Heat large saute pan over medium-high heat and brown the ground beef.
  6. Transfer the cooked meat to a colander to drain.
  7. Add the cooking oil and heat, then cook the onions 3-5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and stir, cooking another minute more.
  8. Return the ground beef to the pan along with the cooked quinoa, olives, tomatoes, Greek seasoning, 3 oz of the crumbled feta, and most of the parsley/cilantro (reserving a couple of pinches for garnish).
  9. Mix well and taste for seasoning.
  10. Spoon the filling into the peppers, lightly drizzle with basting oil if using, and transfer the dish to the oven to bake ~15 minutes.
  11. Top with remaining feta and garnish with chopped herbs before serving.
  12. Reheat foil-covered leftovers in a small baking dish until heated through.

Notes

Yields: 6 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 45 minutes

This recipe was developed in conjunction with H-E-B and I was provided ingredients as well as compensated for my time. Messy fingers, stretchy-waisted pants, and baby-Elmo-clogged-toilets are all mine. You can find H-E-B on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. And if you’re as lucky as we are, 3 locations within a 5 mile radius.

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