Thursday, September 26, 2013

Riffing on the Cheeseburger

Last night, as we were eating dinner, Jeannene said, "The dinners you've been making this week remind me of being a kid." I said, "It's fall! Time for comfort food." The chicken & asparagus casserole I made Tuesday night was an enormous disappointment to me, although she loved it, but last night's dinner was yummy! I made cornbread cheeseburger pie, served with Lima beans & a salad. This is my take on Naomi Costales' upside-down hamburger pie from the Gooseberry Patch cookbook, The Harvest Table:

1 lb. lean ground beef (96% lean worked great)
1/2 onion, chopped
8 oz. tomato sauce
Salt & pepper
Ketchup-mayo, just a squirt or two
Mustard squirt
Dollop pickle relish
Handful shredded cheddar
2 (8.5 oz each) boxes cornbread mix (although I will use one next time, I think)
2 eggs
2/3 c. 2% milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown beef & onion in cast iron skillet. Drain. Add tomato sauce, s&p, condiments, & cheese. Mix well and spread evenly in skillet. Prep cornbread batter as instructed on box, with eggs & milk. Spread atop the beef mixture. Bake 1/2 hour. Serves 4-6.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Latin Flair, Easy Dinners

Last night, prompted by the gorgeous ripe plantains at the local Mexican grocery, I made a Cuban dinner of Bistec de Palomilla, black beans & rice, avocado salad, and fried plantains (maduros). I think the plantains are best when the skin is completely black. I just slice them on the diagonal and fry them. They can also be baked. 

Bistec de Palomilla
3 cloves garlic
Salt & pepper
1/4 c. sour orange juice (or half regular orange juice, half lime juice, and a splash of olive oil)
1 lb. thinly sliced steak
2-3 tbsp. oil
1/2 c. finely-chopped onion
Finely-chopped parsley
Lime wedges 

Mash the garlic, salt, and pepper into a paste. Mix with sour orange juice. Pound the steak lightly and cut in 4. Marinate in garlic/orange juice mixture half an hour. Blot dry with paper towels & pan-fry in oil until golden brown on each side. Remove to paper towel-lined plate. Add marinade to pan and bring to a boil. Drizzle over the steaks & top each with onion & parsley. Serve with lime wedges.

Tonight, we moved significantly to the west of Cuba for a Mexican-inspired burger plate. I mixed half a cup of Newman's Own Farmer's Garden salsa with a pound of extra-lean ground beef, made it into 4 patties, and pan-fried them. I smashed an avocado with a splash of key lime juice and some garlic salt and served the guac with multi-grain tortilla scoops. The salad was romaine, black beans, diced tomato, and diced bell peppers (yellow, orange, & red). We had some salsa verde in the fridge, so I topped the burgers with that.