Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Buffalo Sliders with Bacon & Cheddar

In honor of this Sunday's Super Bowl, Food Network is asking for sliders recipes at Comfort Food Feast. Many of you know I have 2 food blogs so I have been experimenting all week with different slider combinations to pick my favorites to post. One of the winners is also the simplest...freshly ground buffalo with crispy bacon, grilled onions, and sharp cheddar cheese. Buffalo is much leaner than beef so the fresh, clean, light taste works nicely with the bacon and cheese. If you have not tried buffalo before, give it a chance. It is readily available at better markets, butcher shops and gourmet food stores.

Sliders are mini-burgers, perfect as an appetizer, part of a buffet, or a full meal allowing you to eat more than one. Don't you think a Slider Bar is a cool & fun idea? My Super Bowl menu this year will include three different slider recipes...buffalo, buffalo chicken and a vegetarian marinated grilled mushroom.  Sliders, nachos, purple cabbage slawpopcorn with olive oil, brownies and apple & pear crisp will be ready in time for the good does that sound? Check out my Red or Green? blog for my Buffalo Chicken Sliders with Bacon & Celery recipe. Notice the bacon...again? I think there is a rule that bacon must be served in abundance on Super Bowl Sunday!

You can do a lot of the preparation in advance so you are able to be out of the kitchen prior to the game. We agree that, this day only, the commercials are as important as the game, right?. Plus the 8 hours of pre-game commentary must be on as background noise...right?  So, form and season the buffalo patties in the morning, cover and keep refrigerated until 30 minutes before cooking. Slice the onion 4 hours before cooking, cover with saran wrap and keep in fridge. Prep the cheese, slice the rolls and you are ready to go.

Buffalo Sliders with Bacon & Cheddar
(makes 6 sliders, double, triple, etc to make as many as you need)

3 slices thick cut bacon

1/2 white onion sliced into 1/2 rings
1 lb ground buffalo, formed into 6 thick patties the size of the rolls.
6 slider buns or dinner rolls, sliced in half lengthwise
6 slices sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 2 in x 2 in squares
mustard or mayo
sea salt
black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add bacon to large skillet and cook over med-high heat until crisp, turning once. Remove from skillet and place on paper towel line plate to drain. Break each slice in half. Drain off all but 2 tbsp bacon fat. Cook the onions in the skillet with the remaining bacon fat until soft and beginning to caramelize. Using a slotted spoon, remove onions from skillet and drain on plate with bacon. Set aside.

Season the buffalo patties generously with salt and pepper. Cook in the skillet with bacon fat over medium-high heat for 4 minutes. Flip and cook another 1-2 minutes or until cooked to your preference. *Note, buffalo is very lean. Do not overcook. Because I like my patties rather thick it takes exactly 6 minutes for medium rare. Place a slice of cheese over each patty during the last 2 minutes of cooking time.

While the patties are cooking, place buns/rolls on baking sheet and warm in oven 1-2 minutes.

Spread mayo or mustard over bottom buns. Place a patty on top of each bun. Top with onions, bacon and bun top and serve.

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I live in a two team home. Peter is a huge Denver Broncos fan...I love the San Francisco 49ers. This could have been an interesting game but, sadly, we were robbed by Seattle.(That is my story and I am sticking with it!) :)  So this year we are united in rooting for the Broncos....but Mosey is really a Niners fan! Enjoy the game everyone.....

It is "Sliders" week at Food Network's Comfort Food Feast. Check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends.  Have a favorite sliders recipe of your own? Please feel free to share in the comments section of this post or link to your blog if you have one.  
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Gluten-Free Maryland Crab Cake Sliders
The Heritage Cook: 
Italian Sliders with Fried Polenta and Marinara Sauce
Feed Me Phoebe: 
Thai Chicken Sliders with Sriracha Mayo
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: 
Shredded Beef Sliders
Haute Apple Pie: 
Easy Pan Cheeseburger Sliders
Pick Your Slider Stuffing for Super Bowl
Dishin & Dishes: 
Philly Cheesesteak Sliders
Blue Apron Blog: 
5 Tricks to a Great Slider
Mexican Chicken Sliders
Taste With The Eyes: 
Classic Chicago-Style Polish Sausage Sliders
Virtually Homemade: 
Meatball Sliders
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Buffalo Sliders with Bacon & Cheddar
Red or Green: 
Buffalo Chicken Sliders with Bacon & Celery
The Sensitive Epicure: 
Arepas — The Ultimate Gluten-Free Slider with South American Flair
Domesticate Me: 
Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sliders
Italian Roast Beef-Smoked Almond Creamy Cheesy Sliders
FN Dish: 
Super Sliders

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I have started sharing my Taos experiences on my newest blog "California Girl in Taos". Please visit and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pork Chop Casserole with Crimini Mushrooms

I was so lucky growing up in that my entire family lived near us in Southern California. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Grandparents, Great Aunts & name it. And our family got together often. Of course for every holiday...but other times too. We had family dinner at my grandparent's home every Wednesday. We went to the The whole family came to my high school football games because I dated a player. And every summer vacation we had lunch once a month at my Great Aunt Lena's home.

Aunt Lena was an amazing cook...a legendary baker...and a talented seamstress. She frequently made a pork chop casserole for luncheon. Imagine August in Pasadena California. Temps in the high 90' air conditioner at Aunt Lena's...and her making and baking a cream sauce based casserole. Her kitchen was almost unbearably hot...but the casserole was delicious. And she always had a homemade dessert! We so looked forward to Aunt Lena's lunches.

This is "casserole" week at Food Network's Comfort Food Feast. I don't make casseroles often but I have been wanting to recreate Aunt Lena's pork chops. I lightened up the dish with fresh mushrooms, peas and added white wine to my version. I don't think she would have minded. I don't have her recipe so this is from memory...I hope I came close. But, either way, Peter loved it...ate it 3 times...and nothing is more comforting to me than people enjoying my food. Enjoy!

Pork Chop Casserole with Crimini Mushrooms
(serves 4 as a main dish)

4 bone in pork chops
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing casserole dish
1 white onion, chopped
6 crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped 
12 oz pkg medium egg noodles
1 1/2 cups peas (fresh or frozen)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Season pork chops with salt and pepper, set aside. 

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil and seasoned pork chops. Brown chops on both sides. Add onions and mushrooms, saute for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and saute another minute. Add soup, wine, mustard, parsley and 1 tsp each salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover pan and simmer for 1 hour.

While pork chop mixture simmers, bring large stockpot filled with water to a boil. Season with small handful of salt and add noodles. Cook for 5 minutes, drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir in peas to pork chop & noodles pan. Grease a large casserole dish with olive oil. Place noodle mixture in dish. Top with pork chops. Cover loosely with foil and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

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It is "casserole" week at Food Network's Comfort Food Feast. Check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends.  Have a favorite casserole recipe of your own? Please share in the comments section of this post.  

The Heritage Cook: Tex-Mex Arroz con Pollo (Gluten-Free)
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Smoked Sausage Chicken Cassoulet
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Cheesy Butternut Squash Enchiladas
Dishin & Dishes: Black Bean Enchilada Pie
Weelicious: Chicken Wild Rice Casserole
Dishing with Divya: Chicken Mushroom and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole
Taste With The Eyes: Paella Rice with Baby Octopus & Meyer Lemon
Blue Apron: 11 Super Casserole Recipes for a Super Bowl Feast
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Pork Chop Casserole with Crimini Mushrooms
Red or Green: Stacked Cheese Enchiladas with New Mexican Red Chile Sauce
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Chicken and Rice Casserole
The Sensitive Epicure: Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole (Gluten-Free)
Domesticate Me: Mushroom, White Bean and Brown Rice Casserole with Bacon and Gruyere
Daily*Dishin: Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole
FN Dish: The New Age of Casseroles

napa farmhouse 1885

I have started sharing my Taos experiences on my newest blog "California Girl in Taos". Please visit and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mac & Cheese with Roasted Cauliflower and Leeks

So 2014 has started very rough in my family. My mom is sick in the hospital with pneumonia, my beloved dog Mose was diagnosed with inoperable cancer and I have had that deep-in-your-chest cough for 2 weeks. Not good. Between bouts of coughing, crying jags and sleepless nights I find myself doing what I always do during times of stress...Cooking. And, right now, comfort food is all I want to think about. Mac & Cheese, here I come.

My favorite memories revolve around conversations at the dinner table.  Growing up we had a family dinner every night. My mom cooked massive homemade dinners, we sat at the dining room table and talked about our day. There is still nothing better to me than family or friends eating, talking and laughing together. And, during the tough times, this feeling of normalcy is just what I need.

This recipe is adapted from the January 2013 edition of Bon Appetit Magazine. They share a recipe for "No-Boil Mac and Cheese". Brilliant really in that the uncooked pasta is covered with the cheese sauce and then baked in the oven. Really easy and delicious. I copied the technique exactly so all credit goes to them, but I lightened it up a bit and added roasted cauliflower and sauteed leeks for flavor and whole wheat pasta and panko for the health benefits. Wonderful as a main dish with a green salad or the perfect side dish to roasted salmon or chicken.  Try this recipe...comfort food at its best. Enjoy!

Mac & Cheese with Roasted Cauliflower and Leeks
adapted from Bon Appetit, January 2013
(serves 4)
1 head cauliflower, separated into florets then cut into quarters
extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, cleaned and chopped, white and light green parts
1/8 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (from dairy case not canned)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 lb whole wheat pasta, I like chiocciole shape but shells or elbow macaroni works well too
1 1/2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup whole wheat panko
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place cauliflower on prepared sheet, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and a large pinch each salt and pepper. Using your hands, turn cauliflower in oil until covered. Roast in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until beginning to brown and caramelize. Remove from oven and set aside. Do not turn off oven.

Add 2 tbsp olive oil to large saucepan over medium high heat. Add leeks and saute for 4 minutes until beginning to soften. Add flour and whisk for 1 minute. Whisk in the coconut milk and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Stir in red pepper flakes, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Remove from heat.

Add pasta to rimmed, deep dish pie plate. Add roasted cauliflower and 1 cup cheese and stir to combine. Pour sauce over pasta mixture ensuring pasta is totally submerged. Do not stir. Cover tightly with foil and bake until pasta is almost tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in saucepan used to make sauce, add 2 tbsp olive oil. Add garlic and panko and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. 

Remove dish from oven. Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and then panko mixture. Add back to oven and bake for 10-15 minutes longer. Pasta should be "al dente", cheese bubbling and panko topping golden brown. Let sit for 5 minutes, then serve.

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It is "Mac & Cheese" week at Food Network's Comfort Food Feast. Check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends.  Have a favorite mac & cheese recipe of your own? Please share in the comments section of this post.  

Feed Me Phoebe: Jalapeno-Scallion Mac n Cheese
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Triple Cheese Chicken Pasta Bake
Dishing With Divya: Baked Mediterranean Macaroni and Cheese
Weelicious: Green Mac and Cheese
The Heritage Cook: Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese
Taste With The Eyes: Macaroni and Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Gravy
Red or Green: Mac & Cheese with Tuna and Green Chiles
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Mac & Cheese with Roasted Cauliflower and Leeks
Virtually Homemade: Ham and Cheese Mac and Cheese Bites
Domesticate Me: Skinny Mac with Cauliflower Cheese Sauce and Chicken Sausage
The Sensitive Epicure: Cauliflower 'n Cheese (Gluten-Free)
Devour: Mix-Ins for Macaroni and Cheese
From My Corner of Saratoga: Queso Mac and Cheese
FN Dish: 10 Ways to Make Mac and Cheese

napa farmhouse 1885

I have started sharing my Taos experiences on my newest blog "California Girl in Taos". Please visit and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Egg Bruschetta with Pesto

This is the first week of Food Network's Comfort Food Feast series recipe roundup. Each week a group of selected bloggers will create recipes using the same topic. We will share all the posts on each of our blogs giving our readers a plethora of choices for creating warm, comforting, delicious dishes perfect for the cold winter months. Please check back each week to view the posts and feel free to share your own favorite recipes in the comments section.

The schedule is as follows:
9: Breakfast 
16: Macaroni and Cheese
23: Casseroles
30: Sliders 

6: Chicken 
13: Comforting Valentine’s desserts
20: Melted cheese sandwiches
27: Cookies

6: Pizza
13: Potatoes
20: Most comforting peanut butter recipes

For "breakfast week" I decided to share one of my favorites...easy, simple, elegant enough for company, delicious. You can use best quality purchased pesto when basil is out of season what I do...make huge batches of pesto in summer...freeze in small containers...and use throughout the year. Or make pesto with your favorite green...kale, spinach, parsley are all delicious substitutions.

Egg Bruschetta with Pesto
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 oz parmigiano-reggiano cheese, cut into 2 pieces
2 garlic cloves
1 fresh red cayenne pepper (or other fresh hot red pepper), seeded
5 cups basil leaves (packed)
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper
whole wheat sourdough baguette
6 fresh organic eggs
extra virgin olive oil for skillet and drizzling
12 baby spinach leaves chopped for garnish (optional)

Toast pine nuts in skillet until just beginning to brown.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Add cheese to food processor fitted with the chopping/mixing blade.  Process until cheese is grated.  Add cooled pine nuts, garlic and red pepper and process until all ingredients are finely grated.  Add half of basil leaves, lemon juice and 1/4 cup olive oil and process until smooth but with a bit of texture. Add remaining basil, remaining olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Process until well mixed.  Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.

Slice bread into twelve 3/4 to 1 inch thick pieces.  Toast in oven or toaster until golden brown. Slather pesto over bruschetta.

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough olive oil to lightly cover pan.  Crack eggs into skillet and turn heat down to medium-low.  Cover pan and cook for 3 1/2-5 minutes or until whites are set and yolk is cooked to your preference. (I like mine runny so I cook for 3 1/2 minutes.)

Place 2 pieces bruschetta on each plate and top with 1 egg per serving.  Serve immediately topping egg with sea salt, pepper & chopped spinach leaves.
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It is "Breakfast" week at Food Network's Comfort Food Feast. Check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends.  Have a favorite breakfast recipe of your own? Please share in the comments section of this post. 

Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Broccoli and Goat Cheese Omelet
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Gluten-Free Triple Chocolate Banana Muffins
Feed Me Phoebe: Amaranth Breakfast Porridge with Blueberry Compote
Weelicious: Crispy Orange Stuffed French Toast Sticks
Devour: Bobby's Breakfast for Dinner Recipes
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Egg Bruschetta with Pesto
Red or Green: Huevos Rancheros
Dishing With Divya: Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and Sweet Toast
Virtually Homemade: Crescent Dough Breakfast Skillet
Taste With The Eyes: Kimchi & Cheddar Omelette
Blue Apron Blog: 7 Breakfast for Dinner Ideas from Around the World
Dishin & Dishes: Shirred Eggs (Baked Eggs)
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Peasant Omelette
Domesticate Me: "Shakshuka" Egg White Frittata with Turkey Sausage
The Sensitive Epicure: "Egg In The Hole" with Sauteed Spinach
The Heritage Cook: Southwest Breakfast Hash
FN DishWake Up to Breakfast

napa farmhouse 1885

I have started sharing my Taos experiences on my newest blog "California Girl in Taos". Please visit and let me know what you think.