Friday, September 18, 2009

Easy Breezy Cover Girl....

So, in the last two nights I have made my EBCC Smashed 'Taters, and fresh pasta. I haven't worked out the pasta thing real well yet, so you get EBCC Smashed 'Taters this week. Again, this is not gonna be one of your cookbook recipes. I can't tell you how many potatoes to use, or even the weight, as everyone's family has different needs. I use 8 oz of cheese for approximately 2 to 2.5 pounds of potatoes. Use the garlic to your families preference, I'm telling you we love garlic, so can use up to double of what I call for here. But we are garlic lovers.

The pasta was Mario Batali's recipe from the Foodnetwork website, if you want to go experiment on your own. I don't have a great rolling pin, so my noodles were pretty thick. It goes without saying that I don't have a pasta rolling machine. However, they were eaten completely gone to rave reviews from my family.

Easy Breezy Cover Girl
enough potatoes for your crew
8 oz grated cheese of your choice (I've used sharp cheddar, Monteray Jack, and Colby Jack all with good revies)
1/2 to full stick butter
2 - 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

Scrub your potatoes, peel if you wish. We don't, but what ever your family will eat. Cube your potatoes into about 1/2" chunks, toss into salted water, and boil until fork tender. Drain, and put the pan back on the stove. Roughly chop the butter, so that you don't have to deal w/ huge block of butter, put in pan. Toss the now drained potatoes back in. If you feel you need to, you can turn the fire on under the potatoes to dry them off, but ours are usually just fine. Toss the cheese, and garlic in. Using a very stout spoon (utensil type, not eating type), stir the cheese, garlic and butter into the potatoes, smooshing the potatoes as you do. When you have things worked thru, add enough milk to get the potatoes the consistency you like, always smooshing the potatoes against the pan wall.

These EBCC Smashed 'Taters are not smooth as a baby's butt, unless you wanna grab the electric beater and make 'em that way. But they are yummy, and there are never any left overs. Makes my lunch plate VERY sad, let me tell you.

One option is to melt the butter in another (small) pan, and saute the garlic in it for a sweeter garlic-y taste. Then once you've dumped your potatoes back in the pan, just pour the garlic butter over the cubes.

Change up cheeses, add green onions, add sour cream, cream cheese...really, make this your own specialty. If you don't get rave reviews, send me the offending family members for re-education. I think I know where my cast-iron skillets are.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Feasting on Friday

Yes, I know. It's only noon, yet here I am, writing in the recipe blog. Last weekend, we put up about 60 pounds of ground lamb, and 3 chickens. It would have been more chicken, but we were tired and still had the lamb to grind up. This week, there's an awesome sale on ground beef, so I will be taking advantage of that, and doing some work this weekend putting away some semi-prepped meals in the freezer. This makes my life MUCH easier (as long as I remember to grab a meal out of the freezer to defrost.)

This weeks recipe is lamb again. But we enjoyed the heck out of it.

Lamb Chili-like Object
2 lbs ground lamb
1 can Ranch-style beans
1 can Baked beans
2 - 3 TBSP Chili powder
1 - 3 tsp cumin
1 - 3 tsp salt
*some* red pepper flakes

Brown the lamb. Add the salt as you are browning, as this will flavor the meat best. Add both cans of beans, chili powder, cumin and red pepper. Heat to simmer. Simmer for as long as you desire, but a minimum of 30 minutes.

You can serve this over oven-baked fries and put shredded cheese on it for chili-cheese fries. We go heavy on the chili, for a great meal.

Be aware that the canned baked beans are sweet. If you don't want that in your chili, use a second can of Ranch-style beans instead.

Use however you would use *regular* chili--on burgers, fries, over tortilla chips or fritos.

Using lamb instead of beef just gives the chili some more depth, but you can use whatever meat/meat combination you choose. I have to say, that the lamb burgers, and the chili have changed my husband's opinion of lamb! For that I'm truly grateful, as I LOVE it, and we have two pregnant ewe's in the field!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Comes Around Once A Week

And yet again, Friday has reared it's head. Friday is payday. Friday is mortgage day. Money comes in, money goes out. *Sigh* isn't that always the way. So, what should we make this week?

Brat's Burgers

2 pounds ground meat (use beef, pork, veal, lamb or a combination)
1/2 small onion, minced very finely
approximately 4 ounces of cheese (grated block cheese, or crumbled up blue or feta cheese, whatever your family likes)
seasoning salt to taste (I use Lowry's)
1 egg
bacon, according to your family's taste
4 burger buns

1. Mix the meat, minced onion, egg, and seasoning salt. Form into eight patties.

2. Divide cheese evenly between four of the patties. Top with the remaining patties, and squeeze the patties together, sealing the cheese inside.

3. Fry up your bacon, to the desired point of doneness, drain on paper towel.

4. Cook your burgers however you prefer them. The cheese will be all melty inside of the burger and tasty to boot!

5. Put them on the buns with your family's preferred toppings, and serve with what you all like.

By changing the cheeses, spices and meats in these burgers, you can infinitely change the taste. You can grill them, pan fry them, or broil them. I've been known to add liquid smoke, garlic or onion powder, or just about anything in my spice drawer.

I serve burgers with oven baked fries.

*Edit 09/09/09*
I made these again last night with ground lamb, and blue cheese. I just layed the onion in with the cheese. My husband couldn't say enough good about them. I just sprinkled the outside w/ Lawry's Seasoning Salt as they were hitting the pan. I forgot about egg/breadcrumbs...and think that would have helped a bit.

Couple of things to realize: 1. This make for thick burgers. No wimpy, skimpy burgers HERE. 2. Homemade buns (a la Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day) are the bomb. 3. You have to make the patties THIN and WIDE. That helps with the thick thing. Make them about 1/2 inch wider than your bun to account for shrinkage. That could be more or less, depending on what meat you are using and the fat content.