Bistro Burger Version 2.0

Any good bistro has good bistro burgers. And there are as many variations as there are bistros. My first favorite bistro burger was loaded with lettuce, fried egg, bacon, and a whole bunch of other things. Version 2.0 of the bistro burger takes a little simpler approach, combining delicious grilled mushrooms and onion with a fantastic sauce. The sauce absolutely pairs beautifully with the burger, and is so good that I doubled the recipe.
bistro-burger-version-2I’m a casual fan of horseradish, which means it can easily become too strong for me if there is too much of it in a dish. The amount of horseradish in the sauce on these bistro burgers was just right for me. The same sauce now finds its way onto wraps and sandwiches in our household. It’s just that good.

Bistro Burger Version 2.0
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
For the burgers
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces fresh button mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 ounces fresh cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup red onions, sliced then
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 4 slices Fontina cheese
  • 4 onion burger rolls
For the sauce (we love the sauce so much that we doubled it)
  • 1/4 mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped (or substitute green onions)
Instructions
For the sauce
  1. Whisk together all ingredients until smooth.
For the burgers
  1. Fire up your grill.
  2. Season the burgers with salt and pepper and begin cooking.
  3. Toss the mushrooms and onion with the olive oil and place on a sheet of aluminum foil.
  4. Place foil on grill and cook until the mushrooms are starting to get tender.
  5. When the burgers are done top with the mushroom mixture.
  6. Add the cheese slices and melt.
  7. Toast the buns if desired. Slather with the sauce.
  8. Add the cooked patties.
  9. Devour.

Asian Pork Burgers

I could’ve just left off the lettuce because these Asian pork burgers require absolutely nothing else to make them even more fantastic. Every bite is packed with tender, juicy pork. Teriyaki and soy sauces and ginger bring that Asian-inspired taste. Add a few vegetables and you have what might just be the perfect pork burger.
Asian Pork BurgersI substituted a hot pepper instead of adding bell pepper. I wanted a little heat in my burgers. Nothing too overpowering. You can also just add a few pinches of red pepper flake if you want a little kick. But don’t leave out the vegetables. They add not only flavor but moisture, which pork needs.

Asian Pork Burgers
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
These burgers are so packed with flavor that they really don't require any toppings.
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 small apple, peeled, cored, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 green or red bell pepper, finely chopped (I substituted a small chili pepper)
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 8 hamburger buns
Instructions
  1. Place the pork in a large bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients except for the buns.
  3. Divide into 8 equally-sized portions and form into patties.
  4. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Fire up your grill.
  6. Grill the burgers for 5 minutes then flip and continue grilling until done (160 F internal temperature).
  7. Toast the buns, if desired.
  8. Serve.

Homemade Frosted Corn Flakes

One of the first recipes I made out of John Currence’s Big Bad Breakfast: The Most Important Book of the Day was homemade frosted corn flakes. As soon as I saw it I was like wow…. how cool would it be to eat a bowl of cereal that I made? So I did. And it was fantastic. So much more corn flavor than the stuff in a box! I mean they were super corny!
These homemade frosted corn flakes were also a lot crunchier than the ones out of a box. They can definitely hold up to milk. You know how with the store-bought flakes you only have a few minutes before you have bowl of soggy sadness. Not with these. You’ll be crunching until the last flake.

5 from 1 reviews
Homemade Frosted Corn Flakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 2 1/12 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup masa
  • 6 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2-4 cups boiling water
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 250 F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly spray the paper with non-stick spray.
  3. Combine the cornmeal, masa, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, and all of the salt.
  4. Add 2 cups of boiling water and stir until blended. Add more water as needed, getting the batter to a consistency just a little thinner than that of pancake batter.
  5. Pour the batter out onto the lined baking sheet and spread out evenly. Try to get it as thin as
  6. possible (mine was a bit thick, but you're aiming for 1/8" if possible).
  7. Sprinkle the batter with the remaining sugar.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. The batter will dry out and start to crack. If your batter is thick like mine you might have to bake it a little longer.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  10. Break up the corn into bite-sized pieces. It's like breaking up brittle, but you want smaller pieces.
  11. Return to the oven and bake another hour or until fully dried.
  12. Remove and let cool completely. The flakes will get a bit crunchier after cooling.
  13. Keep in an airtight container.

 

BBQ Pulled Pork Poutine

I’m a big fan of poutine. It’s definitely one of my favorite dishes. I’ve made it the classic way (fries, curds, gravy) many times. This time I thought I’d try a totally different approach to poutine and top the fries with smoked BBQ pulled pork instead. A handful or two of curds and a pickle garnish and I was in poutine heaven again.
There’s really no way to improve on this BBQ pulled pork poutine. Every bite was flat-out delicious. I used spicy hot pepper cheese curds, but I think any flavor (other maybe curds infused with herbs such as rosemary or thyme) would work perfectly.

As an aside, on the off chance that you have a little leftover pulled pork and curds, make a few baked potatoes and top them with the meat and cheese. You won’t be sorry.

5 from 1 reviews
BBQ Pulled Pork Poutine
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
The amounts below can be changed to suit your tastes. I didn't measure anything very closely, I just went for it. You can't mess this up so don't worry about amounts so much.
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds frozen French fries, cooked per package instructions (or use fresh-made)
  • 1 cup BBQ pulled pork, warmed
  • 1 cup cheese curds (I used hot pepper curds)
  • 1 1/2 pounds frozen French fries, cooked per package instructions (or use fresh-made)
  • 1 cup bread-and-butter pickles, diced
Instructions
  1. Spread the fries out onto a large platter.
  2. Add pulled pork and cheese curds.
  3. Drizzle with the BBQ sauce and garnish with the pickles.
  4. Devour.

Easy Sausage Stromboli

This easy sausage stromboli is called easy for a reason. We’d just gotten in from a long day and we were hungry and too beat to throw together a huge meal. But that doesn’t mean huge and lame. Just easy and fantastic. Yummy Italian sausage (spicy sausage makes it even better), pizza sauce and lots of ooey-gooey cheese all in crispy golden brown dough. Nothing fancy, nothing fru-fru, but definitely good and filling.
Easy Sausage StromboliDon’t be afraid to add a little chopped bell pepper to the onion while it is cooking up. Don’t get it too soft though, you’ll still want a bit of crunch to it. If you have extra pizza sauce on hand warm it up and serve it on the side for dipping.

Easy Sausage Stromboli
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 pound pizza dough (I used a tube of Pillsbury pizza crust)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce, plus more for dipping if desired
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
For the topping
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Saute the onion in a splash of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Crumble in the sausage and cook until done.
  5. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  6. Flatten the dough into a rectangular shape in a 10" x 13" low-rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat.
  7. Sprinkle the dough with half of the mozzarella.
  8. Add sausage and drizzle with the sauce.
  9. Add remaining mozzarella.
  10. Roll the dough up working from the longest edge. Pinch the seam and edges, and place seam-side down onto the mat.
  11. Combine the topping ingredients and brush over the top of the dough.
  12. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and bake for 18 minutes.
  13. Let rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.
  14. Serve with warmed pizza sauce for dipping if desired.
For the topping

 

Cajun Shrimp-Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Wow, talk about amazingly good. The heck with the main dish, just load me up on some of these Cajun shrimp-stuffed poblano peppers. A slight kick of heat, perfect shrimp and creamy melted cheese. What’s not to love?
cajun-shrimp-stuffed-pobalno-peppersYou could use green bell peppers instead, if you want. I love poblanos because they are a little spicier than a bell pepper without just completely drowning out a dish in heat.

For extra kick, substitute shredded pepper jack cheese for the feta and mozzarella and add a few diced roasted jalapenos into the shrimp mixture. That’ll definitely liven up the party.

Cajun Shrimp-Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large poblano peppers
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, raw or pre-cooked, 24-30 count, peeled, deveined
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (if you are using raw shrimp)
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 cup ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • Cilantro, chopped, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Note: You can use pre-cooked shrimp if you desire. Just toss the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning and do not cook.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  3. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise. Remove any stems or seeds.
  4. If using cooked shrimp, toss the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning in a large bowl.
  5. If using raw shrimp, heat the oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add the shrimp, sprinkle with the seasoning, and cook, turning, until done, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. Add the cheeses, basil and hot sauce to the shrimp Stir.
  7. Transfer shrimp mixture to the poblanos and place on a baking dish.
  8. Place in oven and bake 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the peppers are softened.
  9. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro.

 

 

Stromboli Sandwich

The meat sauce in this stromboli sandwich is absolutely fantastic. It will be my go-to meat sauce from this day forward, for everything from lasagna, to spaghetti, and of course, more stromboli sandwiches. Nice and thick, but not too thick, it is packed with Italian-inspired flavors.
stromboli-sandwichNext time I make a batch, I’ll probably quadruple it and store the leftovers in the freezer. A quick defrost, some cooked pasta, and I have a great main dish done in no time. You can also make this meatless and you’ll have the perfect sausage for grilled sausage sandwiches or serve it up with warmed meatballs over pasta or on French bread for a meatball sandwich.

Stromboli Sandwich
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef (or substitute Italian sausage)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces small mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup condensed tomato soup
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 12 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Vienna bread
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. In a large skillet, crumble the beef and brown along with the onion. Drain any excess fat.
  3. Add the mushrooms and bell pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes or until they are just starting to get soft.
  4. Add the tomato sauce, tomato soup, garlic powder, dried oregano, chili powder, tomato paste and black pepper. Stir and reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for at least 10 minutes, the longer the more the flavors will meld. If the sauce gets too thick add a bit of water.
  5. Cut bread in half lengthwise and scoop out as much of the bread as you can.
  6. Transfer bread to a sheet of aluminum foil.
  7. Fill insides with the meat mixture.
  8. Top with cheese and cover in foil.
  9. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  10. Serve with lots of napkins.

 

Giardiniera Meatball Sandwich

Maybe it’s because I don’t get out enough, but I’d never heard of putting Giardiniera on a meatball sandwich before. Whomever came up with the idea should be knighted (if we knighted folks in the US). Add a bit of roasted red bell pepper and you have a super-easy-to-make incredibly yummy sandwich. Perfect any time, but also great because I almost always have the ingredients to make Giardiniera meatball sandwiches on hand.
Giardiniera Meatball SandwichI used mild Giardiniera when making these meatball sandwiches, but hot would be fantastic too. Just chop it up a bit before spooning it on top.

I did ‘cheat’ and use frozen meatballs. If I’d had more time to throw dinner together, I would’ve made a batch of my Italian meatballs. I try to keep some on hand at all times, but truth is, they are just so good that there’s just never any leftovers.

Giardiniera Meatball Sandwich
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 12" loaf French bread, sliced horizontally
  • 10-12 cooked meatballs, warmed (if using frozen store-bought, bake per package instructions first)
  • 4 slices Provolone cheese
  • Giardiniera, chopped
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, sliced thin
Instructions
  1. Hollow out as much of the bread as you can to make room for the meatballs and toppings.
  2. Place on a sheet pan under the broiler for a minute or two until the bread starts to get crunchy.
  3. Add cheese and meatballs. Place under the broiler for another minute or two until the cheese melts.
  4. Add Giardiniera and bell pepper strips.
  5. Slice into two 6" sandwiches and serve.