Beef

The Texican Burger

Growing up in southeast Texas, when you asked someone if they wanted a carbonated beverage, the conversation went something like this:

Me: Do you want a coke?
Not me: Yes.
Me: What kind?
Not me: Dr. Pepper.

Everything was a “coke.” But no one I knew actually drank Coke. :)

I mostly now call that drink “soda” with the occasional relapse to the “generic” coke. It’s the same for the fridge, which every once in a while gets called an “ice box.” And that gets me the seriously weird “Are you from 1895?!” look.

The Texican Burger

A similar conversation goes down once a week, on burger night.
Not me: Dinner?
Me: Burgers.
Not me: What kind?
Me: Texicans.

Minimalist. And we’re almost to the point where we can communicate via eyebrow signals and tongue clicks.

We name our burgers based on the toppings. Because it’s fun. And because it quickly sums up exactly what we’re having for dinner when my husband has 3.27 seconds between meetings to check in via text message or IM. The names might be as obvious as The Italian (mozzarella, basil, oven-roasted tomatoes, and pesto mayo) or The Fajita (avocado, grilled onions and peppers) or maybe it’s something a little less obvious to others like The Texican.

The Texican is one of our very, very favorite burgers. It pairs awesomelywith a classic lime margarita (my beverage of choice) or an ice cold [whatever we have on tap in the garage] (my husband’s beverage of choice). It starts with either a fluffy white bun or a Jalapeno Cheddar Bun, and then a flurry of Tex Mex staples like shredded Monterrey jack, Pico de Gallo, refried beans, chipotle ranch dressing, and all the fresh jalapeno slices a person can stand.

The refried bean hater in the house opts for smashed avocado instead and goes a little lighter on the jalapeno. He pays most of the bills and does the dishes so I don’t give him any grief, especially when this is one of the very few meals where he goes for ranch over barbecue sauce :)

The Texican Burger

A juicy Tex Mex-inspired burger with refried beans, Monterrey Jack, chipotle ranch dressing, and pico de gallo.

Ingredients

  • 4 burger buns
  • 4 ground beef patties (~1/3 lb each)
  • Worcestershire
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup refried beans
  • Fresh Jalapeno slices
  • For the pico de gallo:
  • 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • Small handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Heat your grill to high.
  2. To make the pico de gallo, stir together all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Each side of the patties should get a dash of Worcestershire and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Cook the patties to desired doneness.
  5. Before removing them from the grill, top each with ~2 Tbsp of grated cheese and let cook 1 minute more to melt the cheese.
  6. To assemble the burger, spread ~2 Tbsp refried beans on to the bottom bun, top with the cooked burger, fresh jalapeno slices, and a generous scoop of pico.
  7. Serve with margaritas or beer, alongside chips and a bowl of your favorite salsa.

Notes

Yields: 4 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 30 minutes

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Meatball Sub Pizza

by Shawnda on April 12, 2012

in Beef,Pizza

Meatball Sub Pizza

I keep a gallon bag of meatballs in the freezer for a quick dinner. It’s one of my “emergency” meals. Don’t feel like cooking? Grab the bag of meatballs and a bag of marinara from the freezer in the garage.

If the oven and stovetop could turn themselves on, dinner would cook itself.

Meatball Subs

The preferred method for consuming meatballs in our house is sandwiched inside a crunchy baguette, smothered with stretchy, melty mozzarella cheese.

The other preferred method is sliced on top of our favorite pizza crust, baked with stretchy, melty mozzarella cheese.

You can’t go wrong either way. But who doesn’t love homemade pizza?

Meatball Sub Pizza

Leftover meatballs get new life on top of a meatball sub pizza.

Ingredients

  • Your favorite pizza dough (or mine), ready to stretch and bake
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • 1/2 cup marinara
  • 8-12 leftover meatballs, cooked (and thawed, if previously frozen)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 oz grated mozzarella

Instructions

  1. Place a pizza stone in the top 1/3 of your oven and increase oven to 550 (500 if your oven doesn't go that high), letting it hold at temperature for at least 30 minutes. (If you're not using a pizza stone, just have your baking sheet nearby.)
  2. Dust a pizza peel or your baking sheet with a light dusting of flour and a couple of generous pinches of cornmeal and set aside.
  3. Cut each meatball into 3-4 slices.
  4. Gently stretch the pizza dough in to a 12-14 inch round or divide into 3 portions and stretch, for individual-sized pizzas.
  5. Brush a ~1-inch border of olive oil around the edge of the pizza dough.
  6. Spread a thin layer of marinara over the pizza crust (depending on how thinly you stretched your pizza, you might not use it all).
  7. Sprinkle with 3/4 of the mozzarella, top with meatball slices, and then the remainder of the cheese.
  8. Transfer your pizza from the pizza peel to baking stone (or place your baking sheet in the oven).
  9. Bake for 7-9 minutes for a single large pizza (5-7 for individual pizzas), until the dough is blistered, the edges are golden brown and crispy, and the cheese starts to brown.
  10. Remove from oven, slice, and serve.

Notes

Yields: 1 large pizza or 3 individual pizzas

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 1 hour 15 minutes

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Taco Pizza

by Shawnda on March 21, 2012

in Beef,Cinco de Mayo,Mexican & TexMex,Pizza

Taco Pizza

“What else should I put on pizza?”

A couple of weeks ago, a sleeping, pizza-making giant buried deep inside my husband suddenly woke up. He made homemade pizza every night for over a week. And now when it’s pizza night, he runs the kitchen.

After he got his technique down, he turned his focus to the toppings. We’ve blown through a pretty varied menu since – a few normal pizzas, a few fancy ones, and a few… how shall we say… less than fancy ones – like this one :)

It’s your standard taco toppings, in pizza form. He declared it his favorite pizza of the week. And since we ate pizza three times last week, I think that’s saying something :)

Taco Pizza

Shake up taco night with your favorite toppings in pizza form.

Ingredients

  • For the taco meat:
  • 3/4 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning, or to taste
  • For assembly:
  • 1 lb of your favorite pizza dough (or mine), ready to stretch and bake
  • Flour and cornmeal, for dusting work surface and peel/pan
  • 4 oz mozzarella or queso fresco, grated
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced, dark green tops reserved for topping
  • Very thinly sliced red onion rounds
  • 1-2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 large avocado, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Place a pizza stone in the top 1/3 of your oven and increase oven to 550 (500 if your oven doesn't go that high), letting it hold at temperature for at least 30 minutes. (If you're not using a pizza stone, just have your baking sheet nearby.)
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot, and then add the onions, garlic, and beef to the pan.
  3. Drain any fat from the pan and season the meat to taste with your favorite blend of taco seasoning (I use a mix of chili powder, ancho chile powder, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper).
  4. Dust a pizza peel or your baking sheet with generous pinches of flour and cornmeal.
  5. Gently stretch the pizza dough in to a 12-14 inch round or divide into 3 portions and stretch, for individual-sized pizzas.
  6. Brush a ~1-inch border of olive oil around the edge of the pizza dough.
  7. Sprinkle the dough with monterrey jack or queso fresco (reserve a handful for topping), followed by white/light green portions of the green onions, red onion slices, ground beef, and then remainder of the cheese.
  8. Transfer your pizza from the pizza peel to baking stone (or place your baking sheet in the oven).
  9. Bake for 7-9 minutes for a single large pizza (5-7 for individual pizzas), until the dough is blistered, the edges are golden brown and crispy, and the cheese starts to brown.
  10. Remove from oven, sprinkle with the sliced dark green onion tops, tomatoes, and avocado slices.
  11. Slice and serve.

Notes

Yields: 1 large pizza or 3 individual pizzas

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 1 hour 15 minutes

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Grapefruit Marinated Fajitas

Most Friday nights, you’ll find us on the back patio, margaritas in hand, listening to the sizzle of fajitas on the grill. And for the 6 weeks out of the year that it’s too cold to grill, you’ll find us at one of our favorite Tex Mex restaurants, trying to talk over the sizzling order of fajitas in front of us.

I’m a beef fajita girl all the way. My husband prefers chicken. And when the server brings our orders, he or she always tries to hand me the chicken. NEVER fails :)

I love my fajitas flame-kissed, slightly salty, and melt-in-your-mouth tender. Being in full-blown winter citrus (read: grapefruit) mode, I swapped out the usual orange juice in our favorite marinade for equal parts grapefruit and lime juices. A generous pinch of salt, some pepper, and olive oil later, we had a marinade worthy for grilling fajitas in 70+ degree weather in mid-January.

The acid in the grapefruit and lime juices can tenderize just about anything you throw at it – I happened to have a bargain cut of cube steak that came off the grill every bit as good as pricey flank or skirt steaks. There’s no real overwhelming grapefruit flavor in the cooked steak but there is a hint of the tart citrus.

We serve our fajitas piled high with sliced avocado, grilled onions and peppers, cilantro, sour cream (er, fat-free greek yogurt), and chopped fresh jalapenos.

And after typing all that, I’m totally excited about the leftover fajitas tonight :)

Grapefruit Marinated Fajitas

Tender beef fajitas marinated with grapefruit and lime juices.

Ingredients

  • For the marinade:
  • 1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 lb beef (I used cube steak, flank or skirt are ideal)
  • For the grilled vegetables:
  • 1 large white or yellow onion
  • 1-2 large bell peppers
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • For serving:
  • 8 small tortillas
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 small handful cilantro leaves
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. In a large zip-top bag, add the grapefruit and lime juices, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Close tightly and squeeze the ingredients together.
  2. Add beef, close, and refrigerate for 4 hours, up to overnight.
  3. Preheat grill to high.
  4. Slice onion in half, and then slice into thin wedges. Place in a large bowl.
  5. Remove stems and seeds from the bell pepper and cut into 1/4-inch strips.
  6. Add to the onions and toss with olive oil until well-coated.
  7. Spread onions and peppers in a single layer on a grill pan (or use a large piece of foil, folded in half for stability, placed directly onto the grates of your grill) and cook until they soften and are browned (15-20 minutes).
  8. Put the steak on the grill and sear 4-5 minutes on each side. (You might wish to cook yours longer, 4-5 minutes is usually enough to still leave a nice pink strip through the thickest part of the steak).
  9. Remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes before cutting.
  10. Cut into thin slices, against the grain, and serve on tortillas with preferred toppings.

Notes

Yields: 4 servings (enough for 8 fajitas)

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 5 hours

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