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. I’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.
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. I 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.
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.
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.
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. Don’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.
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? You 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.
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. Next 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.
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
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375 F.
In a large skillet, crumble the beef and brown along with the onion. Drain any excess fat.
Add the mushrooms and bell pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes or until they are just starting to get soft.
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.
Cut bread in half lengthwise and scoop out as much of the bread as you can.
Transfer bread to a sheet of aluminum foil.
Fill insides with the meat mixture.
Top with cheese and cover in foil.
Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes until the cheese is melted.
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. I 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.