26 November 2014

Oh, Creamed Onions! My Thanksgiving Favorite.

It's not Thanksgiving without creamed onions! The Internet abounds with recipes for these delicious darlings, but I am partial to Diane Morgan's "Golden Creamed Onions" from The Thanksgiving Table: Recipes and Ideas to Create Your Own Holiday Tradition (2001 or 2006 edition -- 2009 edition has a different recipe). I almost always use bags of frozen pearl onions, because I feel preparing fresh pearl onions takes too much time -- time better spent panicking over other aspects of the Thanksgiving dinner -- and I can't really taste the difference.


I use mace instead of nutmeg simply because one year I was out of nutmeg, but had a jar of mace on hand. Mace and nutmeg come from the same tree -- nutmeg is the seed and mace is the webbed covering (aril) of the seed -- and can be used interchangeably in most, if not all, recipes.


While Morgan's recipe says to either serve these onions immediately or let them sit for up to one hour, I usually makes these a day or two ahead of time. Thanksgiving day, when the turkey is nearly done, I take the onions out of the fridge, decant them into a pretty casserole, cover them with foil and pop them into the oven. They warm while the turkey finishes cooking and then stay warm in the oven while I do whatever it is that still needs doing.

Of the six people the usually sit down at my Thanksgiving table, only three like creamed onions. And yet a recipe meant to serve eight to ten people always yields the teeniest amount of leftovers! Huh.

24 November 2014

Feta & Tomato Beef Patties

Sunday was the day of "OH MY GOD THANKSGIVING IS UPON US! Why aren't these household projects done yet!? People are coming to our house!!" so cooking took a backburner. Which is not to say I didn't cook, but that it was just something I threw together so we would be properly fortified to do battle against The Dread Wall-Mounted Toilet Paper Holder and its friends The Pictures That Have Yet To Be Hung.

So I made this:


And it was yummy. And took 30 minutes at most. Huzzah.

Feta & Tomato Beef Patties

Yield: 5 patties
Prep Time: 10 mins.
Cook time: 20 mins.
Total time: 30 mins.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 cup crumbled feta
  • ½ cup minced sun-dried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • 2 Tbsp salt-free Italian seasoning blend, divided [Penzeys Tuscan Sunset]
  • 6 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, halved and sliced thin
  • 1 Tbsp sun-dried tomato paste [Amore]
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Add beef, feta, tomatoes, minced red onion, and half the seasoning blend to a large bowl. Mix well to combine.
  2. Shape into five similarly-sized patties (a half cup measure is useful for this).
  3. Place patties on a small rimmed baking tray and bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
  4. While patties cook, sauté the mushrooms, peppers, and onions in olive oil until tender. Stir in tomato paste and remaining Tuscan Sunset seasoning blend.
  5. Serve patties topped with pepper mix.

When I make the black bean and beef patties, the recipe yields six patties ... but this recipe only yielded five. Same amount of beef. Wouldn't expect the feta and tomatoes to squish down more than the beans. I don't know. They were delicious, anyway.

22 November 2014

Black Bean & Beef Burgers

The first time I made these black bean and beef patties, I made them for my work lunches because I wasn't sure if they were "good enough" to inflect upon The Husband. I ate them with steamed spinach and Side Mates' quinoa with rice, black beans, and corn. It was all very good -- even of the third day, I was all smugly "yum! what a clever cook I was to throw this deliciousness together!"

Work lunches all "neatly" packed in EasyLunchboxes

I've made these twice now and still not tested them out on The Husband ... because I'm enjoying them too much to share!

Black Bean & Beef Burgers

Yield: 6 patties
Prep Time: 10 mins.
Cook time: 15 mins.
Total time: 25 mins.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 Tbsp Penzeys Arizona Dreaming
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Mash beans in a large bowl. Add all other ingredients. Mix to combine.
  2. Shape into six similarly-sized patties (a half cup measure is useful for this).
  3. Place burgers on a small rimmed baking tray and bake at 400°F for 15 minutes or until cooked through.

I used Nature's Promise low-sodium organic black beans and organic grass-fed beef for these burgers. Nature's Promise is Stop and Shop/Giant's natural and organic house brand. I buy a lot of the Nature's Promise organic products because the quality and price are good. No-one's paying me to promote Nature's Promise, I just know that many of us are trying to eat "better" and buy good quality ingredients while still minding our pennies and ... this is how I do it, anyway.