Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Patty Pleaser!

I had been craving a patty melt for a couple of weeks and I was not disappointed at all when I finally made it happen. I didn't follow a recipe, I just created the taste I was after as I went along. I understand that the patty should have been less thick but for some reason my brain doesn't register thin when it comes to a burger of any kind...

If you would like to make the cheesy roasted potatoes pictured above, click on the link below. They're good stuff too!

Easy oven roasted, cheesy potatoes

Ingredients for 2 servings:                                          
1 pound ground beef
garlic salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce for the patties
2 slices Swiss cheese
1 medium onion
additional Worcestershire sauce for the onions
1/2 cup water
4 slices white, wheat or rye bread toasted

Divide the burger in half and make into two patties. Shape them to be as thin as a half pound of burger can be. Hint: it isn't easy to make that amount of burger thin...
Sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper on both sides. Add the Worcestershire sauce to the tops of the patties slowly, letting it sink into the meat.
Cook on medium heat in a cast iron skillet until the juices run clear. Remove the patties from the skillet and keep them warm in the oven set to low.

Slice the onion into rings and place them in the same skillet used to cook the patties. Add additional Worcestershire sauce and stir until the onions are just cooked but not yet tender.

Add the water and continue cooking until the onions are translucent.

Toast the bread slices. Add the cheese to the patties and return them to the warm oven until the cheese has melted. Place the patties on one slice of the bread and add the onions to the other. Now I had a little mustard on mine, while JD had a little Duke's mayonnaise on his. To each his own!

I hope you'll try these patty melts done my way. To be honest, I've never even looked at a recipe for them. For me it's all about the onions anyways!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Easy Oven Roasted Cheesy Potatoes!

These are so easy and they are absolutely delicious! Not only were they a good side dish with patty melts, they would also make a tasty addition to any breakfast or brunch!

This makes four servings.

For the recipe:

1 large baking potato
1 medium onion
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
4 slices of good quality American cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Chop the onion into one inch pieces.

Chop the potato into one inch pieces.

Spray an 8x8 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Add the potatoes and about one tablespoon of olive oil. Toss them around to coat them. Now go ahead and put the potatoes in the oven and give them a head start on the onions. I do this so that the onions won't be mushy by the time the potatoes are fully cooked. I roast them for about twenty minutes before adding the onions.

Once you've cooked the potatoes for a little while add the onions and the other tablespoon of olive oil. Return them to the oven and continue roasting for ten to fifteen minutes longer.

Lookin' good...

Place the cheese slices over the potatoes and pop them back into the oven until the cheese has melted.

They didn't even need ketchup!

I wish there had been left overs...I'm starving!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Chicken N Dumplings!

So the other day, I asked JD what he would like for dinner. Normally that conversations goes something like this:
"It don't matter, whatever you want." That isn't the answer I'm after. If I ask that question it means I need ideas. This time his answer was "How much trouble are chicken and dumplings?" My answer:
"None whatsoever!" 
And they really aren't. I didn't have any chicken on hand but I did have some wild turkey breast, which worked out wonderfully. This recipe is easy and fail-proof. It will take me longer to post this than it did to actually make the dumplings. I'm beginning to understand that I'm faster with cooking than I am at blogging, which is fine. No one is sitting here waiting on me to finish this post like they sit and wait on dinner...

For the recipe:
2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup ice water
4 cups chicken stock 
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

I prefer chicken or turkey with the skin on and bone in. It results in meat that is more tender and juicy. 
Since these were boneless and skinless, I covered them with water added 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and about 1/4 cup of canola oil. Cook them on medium heat for about an hour or until cooked through. Strain the liquid and use it for your dumplings later. 

When the chicken has cooled cut, chop and shred it into bite size pieces. Set aside until the dumplings have cooked.

You need really cold ice water! I add ice cubes to a large cup of water and let it sit until it's very cold, then measure out the 1/2 cup for the recipe.

Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder with a whisk.

Add the shortening to the dry ingredients.

Add the ice water a little at a time.

Mix after each addition of water.

Keep adding and mixing until you've added all of the water.

Your dough should look like this.

Gently shape the dough into a ball and place it on plastic wrap to roll out. Less clean up :)

Roll out the dough lengthwise. 

Then roll out the width.

Then criss cross wise. I made that up...

Roll out the dough in all directions is what I'm trying to say...

Cut the dough into strips. I only cut half of them and I'll tell you why later in this post.

Then cut the strips into one inch pieces. Now we have dumplings!

Add the chicken stock to the strained liquid from cooking the chicken. Heat on medium until it comes to a gentle boil. 

Add the dumplings a few at a time.

When they rise to the top you can add a few more.

Keep adding them a little at a time until they're all cooked.

Now place the chicken back into the pot to heat up.

Add the pepper to taste.

Add the salt to taste. I know, I did this backwards. 

I love these with cornbread and coleslaw. Or just by themselves!

Now, here is the reason I only cut half of the dumplings. It's only JD and myself and this recipe makes a bunch of dumplings.

Using the plastic wrap that I rolled the dumplings on I wrapped them up. 

Folded them over.

And placed them in a freezer bag. I'll be dumpling ready next time JD mentions needing a dumpling fix!