CONEY ISLAND TATERS

I’ve been making a recipe similar to this for years, but recently found a name for them on a package of ground beef from my grocer. It’s a cute name and really fits the recipe – it’s so country fair or carnival like! If you have left over Sloppy Joes they substitute well for the ground meat mixture also to make a quick weeknight meal.

CONEY ISLAND TATERS
1 pound ground beef (I use ground chuck)
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped small
1 cup favorite BBQ sauce
2 large Russet potatoes (BAKED)
FRESH ground salt and pepper
1/2-3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (to taste)
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup bacon pieces
1/2 cup sour cream

  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Use non-stick if you have it, but if using cast iron oil it slightly before adding ground meat.
  • When pan is hot add ground beef and onion, sauteing 8-10 minutes all the while breaking meat into small crumble sized pieces.
  • Pour off excess grease. I actually pour it into a stainless steel colander over a paper towel lined paper plate so it can drain REALLY well. I can also use the spatula to break the meat apart even more into that small crumble.
  • Add BBQ sauce, mix well, cover and simmer on ow 10 minutes.
  • Starting lengthwise slice potatoes into quarters and theft each quarter ion half.
  • Arrange 4 pieces of potato on each plate.
  • Generously salt and pepper potatoes.
  • Top with a spoonful of beef mixture.
  • Top beef with shredded cheese, bacon pieces, green onions and sour cream to taste.

Linking to FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.

CHICKEN FRIED HAMBURGER STEAKS

CHICKEN FRIED HAMBURGER STEAKS
We “chicken” fry steak, chicken and even pork. So, why not ground beef?

1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup self-rising flour, use leftover seasoned flour for the gravy
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound lean ground beef
Avocado oil

  • Whisk together the egg and milk in shallow dish. Set aside.
  • In another shallow dish whisk together the flour, seasoning salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
  • Shape ground beef into three equal sized oval “steaks” and flatten into 1/4 inch thickness.
  • Add each “steak” one at a time to egg mixture, coating both sides well.
  • Then add each “steak” to seasoned flour, making sure to cover each side well.
  • In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat.
  • Add “steaks” to hot oil and cook until both sides are golden brown.
  • Remove “steaks” from skillet and keep warm while you make gravy.

GRAVY
3 tablespoons seasoned flour
3 tablespoons avocado oil
1 cup milk

  • Drain all but 3 tablespoons of the oil from the skillet, add flour and stir into oil until a paste like texture is reached and flour is golden.
  • Warm the milk before adding to roux.
  • Whisk in milk gradually until desired consistency is reached.
  • Taste and add more seasoning if desired.
  • Pour gravy over “steaks” and mashed potatoes.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

ONION BRAISED BEEF BRISKET – cook ahead

I originally found this recipe through America’s Test Kitchen. Their changes to a typical recipe are awesome. I just made a few flavor profile changes for my family’s likes. Brisket is one of the most versatile cuts of beef. While every culture treats it a little differently they all agree that a brisket takes TIME! So many other recipes either turn out watery and tasteless, super sweet or dry and chewy. BUT, this recipe turns out PERFECT!

Keeping this brisket moist is essential to its flavor profile. Keeping it moist is best done by making it the day BEFORE you want to serve it. By not cutting the beef until it is chilled it holds together into slices better. This also helps on the clean up level if you’re making this for company. Removing the fat from the sauce is essential to a smooth rich sauce.

ONION BRAISED BEEF BRISKET
4-5 pound flat cut brisket
2 large Vidalia onions, halved and sliced 1/2 inch thick (thick slices hold up better)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
1 cup chicken broth, yes I said chicken broth
1 cup cabernet sauvignon
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
3 bay leaves
3 sprigs FRESH thyme (I’ve used parsley in a pinch)
FRESH ground salt and pepper
Avocado oil

  • Bring brisket to room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Lower oven rack to lower middle.
  • Line your baking dish, preferably cast iron) with two to three heavy duty sheets of foil in opposite directions and long enough to fold over to seal the brisket inside.
  • Pat brisket dry and place fat side up on cutting board.
  • Using a fork or needle meat tenderizer, poke holes in meat through the fat layer.
  • Generously season both sides of brisket with salt and pepper.

 

  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Place brisket fat side up in skillet.
  • Weight down brisket with bacon press or cast iron skillet and sear until well browned, about 6 minutes.
  • Remove weight and turn brisket to sear fat side another 6 minutes or so until well browned.
  • Transfer meat to platter.
  • Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of fat.
  • Add onions, sugar and sea salt, cooking 10-12 minutes until onions are soft.
  • Add garlic, cooking another minute or so until fragrant.
  • Add tomato paste and cook until it darkens, about 2 minutes.
  • Add paprika and chipotle powder.
  • Add flour and stir until well combined.
  • Stir in wine, broth, bay leaves, thyme sprigs and simmer 5 minutes until mixture begins to thicken. Be sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom.

  • Pour onion mixture into the prepared dish and nestle brisket fat side up into the onion mixture.
  • Fold foil over and seal.
  • Bake 3 1/2-4 hours until fork slip easily into the meat and fat is broken down.
  • Carefully open foil and let brisket cool 20 minutes.

  • Transfer brisket to large bowl or baking dish.
  • Use a fine colander to strain sauce over brisket.
  • Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
  • Place onion mixture in a small bowl.
  • Cover brisket and onions with Press and Seal.
  • Cut a couple small vents into plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate the meat and onions separately at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. I do it overnight.

  • An hour before serving, preheat oven to 350°.
  • Transfer brisket to cutting board.
  • Skim fat from top of sauce and discard.
  • Pour sauce into a saucepan
  • Slowly reheat sauce, skimming as needed to get rid of excess fat until you have about 2 cups of sauce.
  • Stir in vinegar and reserved onions.
  • Season to taste.

 

  • Slice brisket against the grain and place in baking dish.
  • Pour sauce over brisket.
  • Cover dish with foil.
  • Bake until heated through. About 30 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

CABBAGE ROLL SOUP

CABBAGE ROLL SOUP
1 1/2 pounds hamburger
1 cup cooked rice or uncooked pasta
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
2 cups V-8 juice
8 ounces tomato sauce
2 cans original Rotel tomatoes with juice
+/- 8 ounces beef broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
1 small head cabbage, chopped

  • In a large dutch oven, brown hamburger.
  • Drain hamburger in colander over a paper plate and paper toweling to catch grease.
  • Add onion and garlic to dutch oven, sautéing until soft and fragrant.
  • Add V-8, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and broth, stirring to blend.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Simmer over low heat 1-2 hours.
  • Add cabbage and simmer 1 hour more.
  • Add  pasta and simmer 20 minutes more until pasta is tender or add cooked rice and simmer 5 minutes until rice is heated through.

NOTE: If you like it thinner like soup, add more broth.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

SPAGHETTI with RICOTTA MEATBALLS & PECORINO GARLIC BREAD

In my humble opinion (especially now that bread is a rarity in my diet) a “dressed” garlic bread is the ONLY way to go! The strong penetrating flavor of the  Pecorino cheese in the garlic bread as well as the meatballs raises your normal spaghetti to a NEW level.

 

SPAGHETTI with RICOTTA MEATBALLS & PECORINO GARLIC BREAD – serves 2

2 tablespoons Pecorino cheese
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH Parsley, minced
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH Basil leaves, chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, minced and divide in thirds
3/4 pound LEAN ground beef
2 tablespoons Ricotta cheese
¼ cup Italian Breadcrumbs
1/3 pound spaghetti noodles
1 cup of your favorite marinara sauce
Avocado oil
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
1 French Roll

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Bring a medium pot of salted water to a FULL boil.
  • Prepare a small baking sheet with foil
.

 

  • Mix together the ground beef, ricotta cheese, parsley, 1/3 of the garlic, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the Pecorino cheese with your hands until well blended.
  • Shape meat into ping pong sized meatballs.

 

  • Heat avocado oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add meatballs to hot oil stirring occasionally until browned ALL over, 6-9 minutes.
  • Set aside.

 

  • While meatballs are cooking cook spaghetti in salted boiling water until al dente, 8-10 minutes.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  • Drain pasta. Toss with oil.

 

  • In a small mixing bowl combine 1 tablespoon of Pecorino cheese and 1 tablespoon avocado oil together into a paste.
  • Stir in 1/3 of the garlic.
  • Place bread on lightly greased baking sheet.
  • Spread paste over bread and bake until golden brown.
  • Top with sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

 

  • In a medium sauce pan combine marinara, a pinch of salt and reserved pasta water. Bring to a boil.
  • Return meatball pan to a medium heat. Add remaining garlic, cooking until fragrant.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally until meatballs are warmed through, 8 minutes or so.
  • Plate and serve immediately.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

MAXINE’S POT ROAST vs. GRAM’S POT ROAST OR LAVERNE DEFAZIO POT ROAST

Some of the recipes I have been waiting to try are from Southern Living’s Off the Beaten Path series. This recipe is from Maxine’s on Main in Bastrop, Texas. I made very few changes as time went on. While this was good, I still prefer MY old recipe that I’ve been using for years and I’ve shared at the bottom. But, one of my ALL time favorites is my Laverne DeFazio Pot Roast!

These slow cooker recipes are perfect for while I’m “LEARNING” to eat again. These allow me to cook a few times a week with plenty of C.O.R.N. (Clean Out Refrigerator Night) in between.

MAXINE’S POT ROAST
2 tablespoons Avocado oil
3 pound boneless chuck roast
1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
3 medium red potatoes, washed and quartered
2 celery ribs, washed and large chopped
2 carrots, washed and large chopped
1 LARGE Vidalia onion, large diced
3 cups STRONG brewed coffee
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup Wondra flour
3/4 teaspoon salt

  • Whisk together 1 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, 2 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, 1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder and 1 1/2 seasoned salt.
  • Rub seasoning mixture over entire roast.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown roast on all sides and edges.
  • Place roast and potatoes in slow cooker.
  • Saute’ celery, carrots and onions in hot drippings from browning the roast.
  • Add coffee, Worcestershire sauce and Kitchen Bouquet cooking for 3-5 minutes, loosening any particles stuck to the bottom of the skillet.
  • Pour over the roast and potatoes.
  • Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or until roast and potatoes are fork tender.
  • Transfer roast and vegetables to a serving platter.
  • Shred roast with forks, cover and keep warm.
  • Melt butter in saucepan.
  • Whisk in flour until golden.
  • Add to drippings in crock pot, stirring to blend well and cooking until desired consistency.
  • Serve with Mashed potatoes, vegetables and roast.
MY SUPER SAVORY POT ROAST & VEGGIES
I love Pot Roast. I adapted grams old recipe to my family and their likes.
3+ pound Pot Roast
2 medium Onions
1 bag baby carrots
3 Tablespoons Avocado Oil
3 large Yukon potatoes~scrubbed clean, but not peeled
Kosher Salt
White & Black Pepper
2-3 LARGE cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon Pampered Chef Rosemary mix
Beef bullion
Red Wine (2 cups) OR White Wine (2 cups) or plain old broth (2 cups) or combination of the three.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350°. The meat you use is important. My favorite roast is the chuck roast because it has wonderful marbling throughout the meat, and when cooked right (prep, cover, cook ~ don’t fiddle with it while it’s in the oven) any chuck roast winds up being tender and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Be aware that the tougher the piece of meat is, the longer it needs to cook so that the connective tissue will soften and break down. You truly can’t rush a pot roast, you’ll be disappointed if you try as it will be dry or lack flavor. BE PATIENT. You want the meat to basically fall apart. You SHOULD NOT need a knife to cut it.
  • Bring the piece of meat to room temperature.
  • GENEROUSLY sprinkle the first side of meat with the Kosher Salt and Pepper mix.
  • Heat enough avocado oil in the bottom of a fry pan on medium-high heat to make a thick coating.
  • Cut the onions tip to root, cut off root and stem, peel and lay flat into hot oil. Brown both sides well.
  • Remove to side.
  • Add the baby carrots and do the same. I normally cut each carrot just in half. Brown carrots (you’re aiming more for color here than cooking them). They will have plenty of time to cook in the oven.
  • Add garlic and spices at this point. By this time I have put them all into a mortar and pestle to revive their scents and aromas.
  • When carrots are finished, remove them to the same plate as the onions. If necessary add more olive oil to the pan and add the roast seasoned side down. While it’s browning season the other side really well. Brown both sides and all edges really well.

Now, for the oven I like to use my grandma’s old Magnalite dutch oven which cooks really even! And see those little hobnail bumps in on the bottom side of the lid? Those are better known as drip catchers. They collect the steam from the juices and redistributes it all right back down on the roast as it cooks. These help keep the meat moist and juicy.

  • After the roast is browned, place it in the dutch oven and spread vegetables all around it.
  • While fry pan is still hot, add white or red wine and the beef bullion to deglaze the pan ~ make sure you scrape up all the stuck little bits from the bottom. Cook long enough to mix well and then pour over the roast. The liquid should come up at least half way on the sides of the roast and vegetable mixture. For this recipe we added the white wine to the recipe and drank the red. The red wine, Harrod wine, is from our nephew’s vineyard so we don’t waste it cooking, but enjoy every last drop.
  • Put the lid on the dutch oven, put it in the oven, don’t open the door for AT LEAST 3 hours! Today’s roast was 2.39 pounds and I roasted it for 3 1/2 hours. Go relax or at least get the dishes you’ve dirtied so far done up. At 3 hours, I prep the potatoes for boiling. I prefer not to cook mine with the roast  every time ~ sometimes I prefer a bit of substance instead of the mush they can become with the roast. I do a basic mashed with heavy cream, salt, pepper, and butter (hey you gotta splurge a little sometimes!)

SLOW COOKER BARBACOA

A true Barbacoa uses parts of a cow that I prefer not to use, so when I ran across this recipe I thought it was wonderful. I think of this as a Mexican Sauerbraten. You do serve it shredded, but this was so pretty I just had to show you the before shredding picture.

SLOW COOKER BARBACOA
1/4 cup lime juice
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons cumin
3 teaspoons oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoons fresh ground sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup beef broth
1 medium Walla Walla onion, slivered
3-4 pounds beef chuck roast

  • Place the lime juice, vinegar, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, cloves, cumin, oregano, pepper, salt and cloves in a blender and pulse until smooth.
  • Add broth and pulse until well blended.
  • Place roast in slow cooker and pour sauce over top.
  • Cook on low 7-9 hours or until meat is tender.
  • Shred meat into juices.
  • Prepare rice 20-30 minutes before ready to serve.
  • Serve over rice.

RICE
3 cups water
2 cups uncooked Jasmine rice
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground sea salt
1/2 cup minced cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice

  • In a large saucepan combine water, rice, butter and salt.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer covered 12-15 minutes or until rice is tender and all liquid has been absorbed.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and lime juice.

CLASSIC BEEF STROGANOFF and/or DEVILED STEAK TIPS

CLASSIC BEEF STROGANOFF
1 1/4 pounds sirloin tips, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 teaspoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 pound mushrooms, sliced thin **
2 teaspoons hot water
1 tablespoon Coleman’s dry mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
Fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 large shallot, diced fine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh chopped flat leaf parsley

  • Poke each piece of meat with a fork
  • In a mixing bowl toss meat pieces with Bragg’s liquid aminos, cover and marinate 1 hour.

 

  • While meat is marinating prep mushrooms.
  • In a large skillet melt butter over medium high heat.
  • Add mushrooms and sauce until soft and caramelizeng.
  • Drain mushrooms and set aside.

 

  • Whisk together the water and mustard powder with the sugar, and some pepper just until a smooth paste forms. Set aside.
  • Pat meat dry with paper toweling.
  • Season with fresh ground pepper.

 

  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add beef pieces and sear on ALL sides, reducing heat as necessary to prevent burning. Transfer eat to plate.
  • Add Add onions and saute until caramelized and browning.
  • Add in the tomato sauce and flour, stirring to blend.
  • Stir in beef broth, mustard paste and wine until well blended and bring to a SLOW simmer, cooking until slightly reduced and starting to thicken.
  • Fold meat pieces and mushrooms into the sauce and cook a couple minutes more until heated through.
  • Remove from heat and fold in sour cream.
  • Serve immediately over buttered noodles.
  • Sprinkle with parsley.

*NOTE*: I prefer thin sliced mushrooms, but some prefer larger mushrooms in which case you should use 1 pound and quarter them.

OR You can make this version of the same basic style meal – just depends on your flavor palette:

DEVILED STEAK TIPS serves 4-6
2 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
3/4 cup beef broth
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon creamy horseradish
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Fresh ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Pat beef dry.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add half the beef and cook until well browned on all sides, turning as needed, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Remove beef with a slotted spoon to a bowl and add second batch.
  • Remove second batch with slotted spoon.
  • Add remaining oil to the pan.
  • When oil is hot, add onion and season with salt, sautéing until soft.
  • Add garlic and season with pepper.
  • Add in flour and stir to blend, cooking until golden.
  • Whisk in tomato sauce, beef broth, vinegar, horseradish, mustard and water. Be sure to scrape up any browned bits from the pan bottom.
  • Return beef and any accumulated juices to the skillet.
  • Simmer, stirring occasionally 1 – 1 1/2 hours until sauce is thickened and meat is tender.
  • Season to taste and serve over buttered noodles.

SHARING with FOODIE FRIDAY and FULL PLATE THURSDAY.

BRANDING IRON MEATBALLS

I originally found this old recipe in some things of my grandmother. It is from an old cookbook she evidently bought at Knott’s Berry Farm. I’ve modernized it to our tastes, but I love that they are on skewers, making it a great party recipe. They are also great on the grill – I use fire wires when I grill them to make it easier to turn them regularly.

BRANDING IRON MEATBALLS
MEATBALLS
2 pounds ground sirloin
2 eggs,, beaten
1 LARGE shallot, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup Panko crumbs**
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
Stainless steel Skewers
pineapple chunks, cherry tomatoes or green and red pepper chunks

  • Soak skewers in water for an hour before using if using wooden skewers.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine ground sirloin, eggs, shallot, garlic, Panko crumbs, salt and pepper until well blended.
  • Roll meat mixture into golf ball sized balls.
  • Arrange meatballs on on skewers alternating with veggie pieces, pineapple chunks or tomatoes.
  • Arrange skewers in a single layer on a jelly roll pan covered in foil.
  • Pour cooled sauce over skewers.
  • Marinade skewers for an hour or so, turning to coat every 15 minutes.
  • Broil for 5 minutes.
  • Turn skewers and broil 5 minutes more.

NOTE:** You may need to add more to achieve the desired consistency for the meatball to hold together well.

SAUCE
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2/3 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup apricot pineapple jam**
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablesspoon Frank’s hot sauce

  • Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Add shallot and saute’ until soft.
  • Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes until thickens.
  • Cool.

NOTE:** Recipe called for Knott’s Orange Honey, but I haven’t been able to find it so substituted the jam.

CHILI MAC CASSEROLE

CHILI MAC CASSEROLE
3/4 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
1 pound ground sirloin
1/2 pound ground pork
1 large shallot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can petite diced tomatoes (DO NOT DRAIN)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
4 ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 cups shredded cheese of choice (I use cheddar or a jack and cheddar mix)
2 green onions, sliced

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray 9×9 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Cook macaroni al dente per package directions. Drain.
  • While macaroni is cooking, brown beef and pork in large skillet along with shallots and garlic.
  • Drain off all fat in a colander.
  • Add tomatoes, chiles, black beans, tomato paste and seasonings to skillet and blend well.
  • Add meat back in, stirring to blend.
  • Add macaroni and gently stir to combine.
  • Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.
  • Baked covered 30 minutes until bubbly.
  • Uncover and add cheese, baking another 5 minutes until cheese is completely melted.
  • Sprinkle with green onions for garnish.

Save

Save

SHEPHERD’S PIE QUESADILLA with RED JALAPENO SOUR CREAM

I originally found this recipe in a tailgating magazine, but unlike most recipe immediately changed it into what I wanted it to be.  Hubby loved it and requested it again for next week.

SHEPHERD’S PIE QUESADILLA with RED JALAPENO SOUR CREAM serves 4
8 small (6 inch) tortillas
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 pound ground beef
1 Vidalia onion, chopped
2 large carrots, minced (I use the mini food processor)
1 beef bouillon cube
3/4 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 pound snap peas, trimmed and chopped
6 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 + 2 tablespoons butter
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

  • Heat avocado oil in a large skillet.
  • Dissolve beef bouillon cube in beef broth and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Add beef, onions and carrots, stirring frequently to saute’, breaking beef down into the smallest of crumble pieces.
  • While beef is cooking prepare potatoes in salted water until mashable.
  • Sprinkle with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  • Add broth mixture and cook until meat is cooked through and liquid has been completely absorbed.
  • Add peas and cook a few minutes more. Set aside.
  • When potatoes are done drain off water and add 2 tablespoons butter, cream, salt and pepper, mixing well.
  • Assemble quesadillas with a layer of mashed potatoes, meat mixture and cheese.
  • Heat additional 2 tablespoons of butter and cook quesadilla until browned on each side and cheese is melted.
  • Cut with a pizza cutter and serve immediately with Jalapeño sour cream.

NOTE: A quesadilla maker works REALLY well.

RED JALAPENO SOUR CREAM
1 tablespoon Litehouse freeze dried Red Jalapeños
2 tablespoons beef broth
3/4 cup sour cream
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste

  • Soak red jalapeños in beef broth for 30 minutes to reconstitute. Drain well.
  • Fold jalapeños into sour cream and season to taste.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

Save

Save

Save

Save

CHILI BOURBON/WHISKEY BALLS and a WHISKEY-BOURBON tutorial

CHILI BOURBON WHISKEY BALLS
2 pounds fully cooked boneless ham (I use ham steaks)
1/2 pound boneless pork chop
1/2 pound bacon
1 cup Panko crumbs
1 cup whole milk
2 LARGE eggs, beaten

  • Cut ham, pork chop and bacon into bite size pieces less than 1 inch.
  • Transfer to a jelly roll pan and freeze for 30-60 minutes.**
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Coarsely grind meat from freezer into a medium mixing bowl.
  • Whisk together the milk and eggs.
  • Add bread crumbs to milk mixture until well blended and absorbed.
  • Lightly combine pork and bread crumb mixture until consistent.
  • Shape into golf ball sized balls.

**NOTE Freezing before grinding does two things 1) the meat retains its moisture and 2) the machine won’t clog up during the grinding process.

SAUCE
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup Bourbon (I have also been known to use SEAGRAMS which what we usually have on hand)
2 tablespoons chili sauce

  • Whisk together all ingredients and bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Pour off 1 cup of sauce for reserve and keep warm or reheat just before serving.
  • Add ham balls to remaining sauce and gently stir to coat for a couple minutes.
  • Remove ham balls from sauce pan to baking rack inside jelly roll pan.
  • Bake 30 minutes, brushing occasionally with sauce from sauce pan.
  • Serve with reserved sauce.

NOTE: This recipe is ALSO good with beef meatballs.

BOURBON VS. WHISKEY – What is the difference?  This is something I always wondered about and my dad used to use them fairly interchangeable, but I never knew for sure so decided it was time to look it up.  It’s pretty interesting so I thought I’d share what I found with you.

Bourbon’s origin is not well documented with many conflicting claims and legends, not all credible. While bourbon is credited back to the French originally, American Bourbon has many rules that distinguish it from all others. Despite the 95 years of no bourbon production in Bourbon county originally due to first prohibition until a small refinery opened in 2014, it is still the best known area for bourbon production.

Bourbon is a corn base whiskey. By U.S. standards it must contain a minimum of 51% of corn, be produced entirely in the U.S., be aged in NEW charred oak barrels, and be distilled at specific volumes, aged at specific volumes and bottled at specific volumes.

In 1964 the United States Congress adopted a concurrent resolution that declared bourbon be a “distinctive product of the United States”. They asked that the United States agencies to take action to prohibit the importation into the U.S. of any whiskey designated as bourbon whiskey.

Legal Definitions of Bourbon vary from country to country, but many trade agreements require the name bourbon to be reserved for only those products made in the U.S.. The U.S. labeling and advertising regulations only apply for the products made for the U.S. and do not apply to those made for export.

There is no specific duration for the aging of Bourbon with the exception of STRAIGHT bourbon. Straight bourbon has a minimum aging of two years and if aged for less than four years must include a statement of age on the label when called STRAIGHT bourbon. STRAIGHT bourbon can also have NO added coloring, flavoring or other spirits. Using added colorings, flavorings or other spirits is BLENDED. Blended bourbon must contain at least 51% STRAIGHT bourbon.

Since the barrels can only be used once in order to call it bourbon, they are sold off to foreign distilleries to be used to produce other products. Often they are sold to Canada, the Caribbean, Scotland, Ireland and Mexico for manufacturing other barrel-aged products such as barbecue sauce,, wine, beer, hot sauces and other spirits. These barrels are saturated with 2-3 (sometimes up to 10) gallons of bourbon still which can influence the flavorings.

Whiskey, also spelled whisky has a debatable history. Despite all the debate it seems to boil down to regional language issues. The spelling whiskey is common in Ireland and the United states while the spelling whisky is used in most other countries.

Whiskey is generally aged in charred white oak wooden casks and is made of fermented grain mash (generally a combination of barley, corn, rye and wheat) which can also be malted after first being distilled in a copper vat. The copper removes the sulfur based compounds that give it an unpleasant flavor. While there are a variety of different still types today, they still have copper innards to remove the unpleasant sulfur based toxins.

After distillation whiskies are aged in wooden casks of primarily American and French oaks. Whiskies undergo a six point process that contributes to its final flavor. The six processes are extraction, evaporation, oxidation, concentration, filtration and colouration.

In order to use the term scotch whiskey, it must be distilled in Scotland.

Whiskey, like bourbon is strictly regulated throughout the world with typical unifying characteristics regarding the classes and types of fermentation of the grains, distillation and aging in wooden barrels.

Chemical distilling itself dates bake for certain to the Greeks. Much of early distillation was not for alcohol, but for medicines. In the 15th century distillation processes spread to Ireland and Scotland where the practice of medicinal distillation spread into alcohol distillation by monasteries. When King Henry the VIII dissolved the monasteries (1536-1541) Whisky production moved from a monastic setting to residential and farm settings as the monks, newly independent people now needed a way to earn money.

Early whisky was not allowed to age and was a brutal tasting spirit as it was very potent and not diluted. Over time whisky has become a much smoother spirit as it is now aged and diluted.

As with all things, whisky became considerably more taxed when England and Scotland were merged in 1707 by the Acts of Union. By 1725 most of Scotland’s distillation was shut down or forced underground because of the high taxation. They were known to hide scotch whisky in coffins, under altars and any available hidden space to avoid the revenuers. It was at this point that whisky became known as moonshine as distillers took to preparing and operating their stills at night when the smoke could be hidden in the darkness.

During the American Revolutionary war whisky was used as currency. George Washington himself operated a large distillery at Mt. Vernon.

There is still much taxation worldwide on both the distillation and purchase of whiskies.

During the American Prohibition 1920-1933 all alcohol was banned with the exception of whisky that was prescribed by a doctor and sold through a licensed pharmacy. I’m sure Walgreens is VERY thankful for this as their chain grew from 20 stores to over 400 stores.

So as you can see, it is all as clear as mud! So ALL bourbons are whiskeys, but not all whiskeys are bourbon.

Save