TEX MEX BACON CHEESEBURGER CASSEROLE

This is the ultimate cheeseburger experience FULL of your favorite flavors from a standard cheeseburger with a TEX-MEX flair, WITHOUT the carbs from the bun AND is gluten free!!

TEX MEX BACON CHEESEBURGER CASSEROLE

1 pound ground round
1 bunch green onions, sliced and separated
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Pampered Chef taco seasoning

1/2 pound bacon, diced, cooked and crumbled
4 LARGE eggs
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 LARGE can green chiles, drained WELL OR 1 can original ROTEL, drained WELL
1/3-1/2 cup der Weinerschitzel chili OPTIONAL
1 1/2 cups SHARP grated cheddar cheese
Mexican sour cream
Salsa

  • Spray 9×9 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Add beef and onion whites to a large skillet over medium-high heat, browning 5-7 minutes until crumbly and cooked through.
  • Sprinkle with taco seasoning.
  • Add garlic, stirring a minute more until fragrant.
  • Drain off excess grease.
  • Fold in bacon pieces, rotel tomatoes or green chiles and chili if using. Set aside to cool.
  • Whisk together the eggs, heavy cream and FRESH ground salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add half the cheese.
  • Fold cooled meat mixture into the egg mixture, blending well.
  • Spread into prepared baking dish.
  • Top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes or until top is golden.
  • Garnish as desired with green onion tops and ENJOY!
  • Add a dollop of salsa or sour cream for an added OOMPH!

NOTES:

  • ANY creamy non-bean chili can be substituted.
  • This recipes double or even triples easily for a crowd.

BBQ MEATBALLS & BACON CHEDDAR BAKED POTATOES

BBQ MEATBALLS & BACON CHEDDAR BAKED POTATOES serves 4
This quick and easy, but also budget friendly meal is flavor packed for a quick weeknight meal.

MEATBALLS
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound ground beef
2/3 cup FRESH breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons + 3/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
1/2 cup beef broth
1 LARGE egg
1/4 cup FINELY chopped red onion
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped parsley, + more for garnish

  • In a large bowl combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, red onion, 2 tablespoons parsley and 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce gently mixing JUST until combined.
  • Divide into 12 meatballs.
  • In a large ovenproof skillet melt butter over medium high heat making sure to coat sides also.
  • Add meatballs and brown 5-7 minutes until all sides are browned.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the 3/4 cup BBQ sauce and beef broth.
  • Pour into skillet around meatballs. Turn meatballs to coat.
  • Bring to a LOW boil, reduce heat and cover, simmer 5-7 minutes until sauce is heated through and meatballs are well coated.
  • Heat broiler.
  • Sprinkle cheese evenly over meatballs.
  • Broil 2 minutes until cheese is melted and golden.
  • Garnish with parsley.

POTATOES
4 LARGE Yukon gold potatoes
2-3 slices bacon, diced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup FULL fat sour cream
4 tablespoons butter, divided and softened
2 green onions, FINELY diced

  • Preheat oven 400°.
  • Line baking sheet with foil.
  • Wash potatoes and pierce with fork.
  • Add potatoes to baking sheet.
  • Bake 1 hour until tender.
  • While potatoes are bacon, crisp up bacon in skillet and drain on paper toweling.
  • When potatoes are tender, slit them open.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of butter to each potato and generously sprinkle with
  • FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Add bacon pieces and cheese.
  • Increase heat to broil.
  • Add potatoes, broiling 2-3 minutes until cheese melts and becomes golden.
  • Add a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with green onions or chives.

SLOW COOKER BEEF TIPS & GRAVY

SLOW COOKER BEEF TIPS & GRAVY

This is THE perfect comfort food! Serve it over mashed potatoes, pasta noodles or your favorite roasted potatoes and veggies.

BEEF
1½ pounds beef round roast, cut into small chunks
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 SMALL yellow onion, chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig FRESH thyme

  • Season beef roast with salt and pepper.
  • Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add the beef. Allow it to sear for 4 minutes on each side to give it a nice caramelized coating.
  • Add the seared beef tips to slow cooker.
  • Top with onions, minced garlic, and thyme.

GRAVY
½ tablespoon unsalted butter
8 ounces white mushrooms sliced
1 pinch salt
1½ cups water
½ tablespoon beef base I use Better Than Bouillon

  • Reduce the skillet heat to medium and melt butter.
  • Add sliced mushrooms with a pinch of salt and stir to coat with the butter., sauteing for 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft. Stir occasionally, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add water and beef base to the skillet and stir to blend.
  • Add gravy mixture to the slow cooker with the beef tips.
  • Cover crockpot and cook on low for 5 hours, or on high for 2½ hours, until the beef is fork-tender. If you have time, cook it slow for 5-6 hours for even greater flavor.

1 tablespoon red wine
1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • Once the beef tips are done cooking, whisk together red wine and cornstarch until smooth.
  • Stir into the gravy.
  • Turn heat up to high and cook for 20 minutes to thicken the gravy.

NOTES:

  • A nice caramelized searing coat on the beef adds to the depth of flavor.
  • Beef base will give the gravy a deep rich flavor, however, you can also substitute beef stock (NOT beef broth) in place of the water/beef base combination for maximum flavor results.

MEATBALL POTATO GRATIN

MEATBALL POTATO GRATIN
2 cans sliced potatoes, drained WELL
1 can NIBLETS corn, drained
1 small bunch green onions, chopped
1 can cream of potato soup
1/2 cup sour cream
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3/4 pound frozen cooked meatballs, thawed
1/2 cup shredded baby Swiss cheese
Chopped FRESH parsley for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Spray baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Blend together the soup, sour cream, green onions, salt and pepper.
  • Add potatoes, gently tossing to coat.
  • Spread potato mixture into baking dish.
  • Nestle meatballs into the potato mixture.
  • Even sprinkle cheese.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes until golden and bubbly.
  • Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

FIRECRACKER MEATBALLS

FIRECRACKER MEATBALLS
3/4 pound round
3 green onions, minced and sliced tops for garnish
2 teaspoons FRESH, FINELY minced ginger
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
FRESH ground sea salt and blac pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons QUALITY honey
2 tablespoons Ponzu sauce
2 tablespoons quality mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream (Mexican by Darigold adds a bit more flavor)
1-3 teaspoons Sirracha
Prepared rice or pasta
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, honey and ponzu sauce.
  • Add Sirracha to taste. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl combine ground round, minced green onions, minced ginger,
  • Panko bread crumbs, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Form into golf ball sized meatballs.
  • Place meatballs on baking sheet.
  • Bake 15 minutes until cooked through and tender.
  • Add meatballs to bowl of sauce, gently tossing to coat.
  • Serve over prepared pasta, drizzling with any remaining sauce.

EVERETT STEW (formerly known as Brunswick Stew)

Brunswick Stew has a complicated history to say the very least. Brunswick, Georgia and Brunswick County Virginia have been dueling over the HOME and ORIGIN of the stew for many years. Brunswick County Virginia holds an annual “Stew Off” and Brunswick, Georgia displays not one, but two separate memorial sites of where they claim the first Brunswick Stew was cooked up. Historians state that the Virginia version predates Georgia by about 70 years and was even printed in early cookbooks. There is also a Brunswick, North Carolina, but they tend to just stay out of it altogether.

Credit: Robert Moss

Credit: Courtesy of Jim Auchmutey

From my research some of the earliest recipes called for squirrel or groundhog meat and used hominy claiming that these were Native American in ancestry and the basis for the first Brunswick stew. Basically it was a “roadkill” stew. Game meat such as deer, rabbit or even bear meat was often used along with corn or squash, basically what was on hand for early Appalachian settlers, and was simmered with butter, onions, stale bread and seasoning.

While today’s Brunswick stew typically uses beef, chicken or pork, it is still a thick tomato based stew that uses a variety of basic vegetables like corn, carrots and potatoes as well as butter beans. Okra is a common vegetable used and is a great thickening agent, but I personally don’t care for it so omit it altogether. It’s typically served during cooler weather, but in reality is good anytime. 😀

Virginia favors chicken and rabbit meat. Georgia’s version typically uses a mixture of pork and beef with hotter spices and often accompanies barbecue. North Carolina favors pulled pork and Kentucky, yes even Kentucky get in on this, but they call it Burgoo.
Virginians think that Georgia’s stew is too spicy and Georgians think that Virginia’s stew is too mushy and thick. Also Georgian Brunswick stew almost always has peas and Virginian Brunswick stew almost NEVER has peas. The meat and even the vegetables vary by location, but the one thing southern cooks ALL agree on is that the stew MUST have a thick paste like consistency.

This article in Southern Living is one of the most thorough to follow but, this article at It’s A Southern Thing is one of the simplest and easiest to follow.

So after all that, I offer you MY version of Brunswick Stew loosely based on an old recipe I found in my grandmother’s pile of cut out recipes. To stay out of the fray of the debate I decided to call mine EVERETT STEW making it regional to the area I was living in when I developed the recipe.

EVERETT STEW (formerly known as Brunswick Stew) serves 4-6
4 medium new potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 medium onions, chopped SMALL
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
4 cups homemade chicken bone broth
2 or 3 cans crushed tomatoes
4 tablespoons brown sugar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
3-3 1/2 pound pork butt, cut in half, trimmed of excess fat**
1 can white beans
1 or 2 cans of Mexican corn niblets
Chopped green onions for garnish

  • Spray the inside of your crock with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Stir together the potatoes, onions, carrots, bone broth, tomatoes, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
  • Nestle pork pieces down into the mixture, turning to coat well.
  • Cover and cook on LOW 7-9 hours or HIGH 5-6 hours until the meat shreds easily with two forks.
  • Remove meat, shred and return to the slow cooker along with the corn and white beans. Cook another 30 minutes on LOW to heat through.
  • Top with fresh chopped green onions.
  • Serve with crusty bread or FRESH rolls.

**NOTE: This recipe can be made quicker (2 hours simmering) on the stove top if you have leftover meats to use.

ORANGE SOY MARINADED SPRING STEAK TIP SALAD with HONEY POPPY SEED DRESSING

STEAK TIP SALAD
1 pound steak tips in bite size pieces
torn romaine lettuce
sliced cucumbers
halved cherry tomatoes
sliced red onions
sliced green onions
marinated artichoke hearts
crispy onions
FRESH grated Parmesan cheese
or any other toppings of choice

ORANGE SOY MARINADE
½ cup Bragg’s liquid aminos
½ cup FRESH squeezed orange juice
4 tablespoons QUALITY honey
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons avocado oil

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the liquid aminos, orange juice, and honey.
  • Add the salt and pepper and whisk together.
  • Put half of the marinade in another bowl to use as a vinaigrette if not preparing the honey poppy seed dressing.
  • Add the avocado oil to the vinaigrette mixture and put aside in the refrigerator until ready to dress the salad.
  • Add the steak tips to the marinade bowl and cover. If possible, marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Otherwise, marinate for at least an hour in refrigerator before cooking.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon avocado oil in a cast-iron pan to medium-high, cook steak tips 2-3 minutes per side (for medium rare), turning every few minutes to brown all sides.
  • Let steak tips rest for 5-10 minutes.

HONEY POPPYSEED DRESSING ALA Molly Yeh
Zest of 1 lemon plus 1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, to taste

1 tablespoon (17 grams) honey mustard
2+ tablespoons (42 grams) QUALITY honey, to taste
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/3 cup (72 grams) avocado oil

  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon zest and juice, vinegar, honey mustard, honey, poppy seeds, salt and several grinds of pepper.
  • Add the avocado oil and whisk to emulsify.

BARBACOA BURRITO BOWLS with CILANTRO LIME RICE

BARBACOA BURRITO BOWLS with CILANTRO LIME RICE serves 8

BARBACOA BEEF
2 1/2 pounds chuck roast, cut into 2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup homemade bone broth
Juice of 2 limes
4-5 pepperoncinis
1 tablespoon pampered chef TEX MEX seasoning
1 red onion, halved and sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Whisk together the broth, lime juice, vinegar and seasoning.
  • Add beef chunks to pressure cooker.
  • Pour broth mixture over top.
  • Add pepperoncinis, garlic and onion slices.
  • Bring to a gentle simmer.
  • Add lid and pressure rocker.
  • Simmer with the rocker gently rocking for 40 minutes.
  • Allow to steam to release naturally.
  • Carefully open and remove beef chucks to cutting board.
  • Shred beef with 2 forks.
  • Strain broth and set aside.

NOTE: Chipotle seasoning with chipotle peppers are a great alternate flavor.

CILANTRO LIME RICE
1 1/2 cups long grain rice, rinsed
2 cups homemade bone broth
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup FRESH chopped cilantro leaves
1 LARGE lime, juiced

  • Add the rice, broth, garlic and half of the cilantro leaves to a sauce pan.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to simmer, cooking until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

ASSEMBLY
garnish toppings – sour cream, lime wedges, Cotija cheese, hot sauce…

  • Fluff rice with remaining cilantro leaves and lemon.
  • Divide rice into serving bowls, top with shredded beef, a drizzle of the strained broth and your favorite Tex Mex toppings.

ONION SALISBURY STEAK

SALISBURY STEAK adapted adapted from the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2-1 pound FRESH mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon creamy horseradish
2 tablespoons jalapeno ketchup
1 packet LIPTON French onion soup mix
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
1/4 cup cream sherry
1 1/2 cups beef broth
FRESH parsley leaves as garnish

  • Combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire, 1 tablespoon of the ketchup, horseradish, 1 tablespoon of the soup mix and some salt and pepper in a bowl and knead until well combined.
  • Form into 4 oval patties, and using the side of your hand, make lines across the patties to give them a “steak” appearance.
  • Place a HEAVY skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat and add the butter.
  • Add mushrooms, cooking until caramelized. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Add oil and more butter if necessary.
  • Fry the patties about 5 minutes per side until no longer pink in the middle.
  • Remove from the skillet and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the grease.
  • Sprinkle the flour remaining grease and let cook for a minute.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and deglaze with the sherry, scraping up all the little bits from the bottom to release all the flavor.
  • Return to the heat and add the beef broth, remaining ketchup and remaining soup mix. Bring to a boil and let thicken, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  • Fold mushrooms into gravy, stirring a minute or two to reheat mushrooms.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat.
  • Return the patties to the gravy, spooning a little gravy over each.
  • Garnish with the parsley.

 

ALL DAY MEATBALLS with CHERRY SAUCE or WHISKEY SOUR JELLY SAUCE

If you are anything like me, you have a drawer or even a box full of recipes from newspapers, magazines, old maiden aunts, grandmothers, friends and every potluck you ever went to and said I have to have that recipe! I originally started making this recipe (and posted it too) about 15 years ago. I haven’t made many changes since that initial time – it’s just that good!

While I usually keep the combination of ingredients, spices and seasonings somewhat intact, I do make changes to those recipes to make them more palatable to my family. So I always keep a list of likes, dislikes and allergies and am constantly altering recipes to fly by the seat of my pants.

These recipes have been floating around so long in the box that I have no idea where they actually originated, but one looks like a page from an old, and I mean OLD magazine and the other is handwritten. I have them stapled together with a note to combine them together.

I’m like that – whatever works for my family. I had a girlfriend in college who loved fashion but was on such a strict budget there wasn’t room for the things she eyed the most. I remember Julie borrowing a fancy designer dress from a Joann, a girlfriend of ours for an event and then later that night she took it apart, made a pattern and made her own dress before putting Joann’s dress back together. To my knowledge Joann never knew. Now I can’t do that with recipes literally, but I do do it in my mind while I’m reading the recipe(s) as if I’m eating a particularly tasty tidbit. Some days I feel like an archaeologist unearthing pieces to make a whole from.

This is one of our particularly favorites recipes from my archaeology days of recipe hunting. It’s also versatile in that you can easily change the sauce to whatever your tastebuds crave that day whether it’s one of the ones I have listed or one you make up to fit your family. Serve it with salad, in a pasta dish or even on a sandwich!

ALL DAY MEATBALLS
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
3/4 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 cup Panko read crumbs
1/2 cup WHOLE milk
1/4 cup powdered Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup garlic salt
FRESH ground tricolor pepper, to taste
1 small Vidalia onion, chopped fine
2 LARGE eggs

  • In a large bowl combine the quick cooking oats, milk, eggs, onion and garlic salt.
  • Crumble the beef over top and then mix in well.
  • Shape into 1-2 inch balls.
  • Place in slow cooker.
  • Pour sauce of choice over meatballs. If using my whiskey sour sauce, save sauce until serving.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until the meat is no longer pink.

CHERRY SAUCE
3 tablespoons QUALITY vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup tart cherry jam (or jam flavor of choice)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup jalapeno ketchup

  • Mix together the ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire, jam and brown sugar

NOTE: Cherry, raspberry and apricot pineapple jams work extremely well with this recipe.

WHISKEY SOUR JELLY SAUCE
3 limes, juiced (6 tablespoons)
2 lemons, juiced (6 tablespoons)
1 orange, sliced, rind removed, each slice quartered
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup bourbon
3 ounces liquid pectin (1/2 of a foil pouch)
1/4 cup maraschino cherries, quartered

  • In a heavy saucepan stir together the lime juice, lemon juice, sugar, water and bourbon.
  • Bring to a FULL rolling boil, boiling hard for a full minute, stirring constantly.
  • Quickly stir in pectin.
  • Return to boil, boiling hard for a full minute more, stirring constantly.
  • Fold in oranges slices and cherry pieces.
  • Pour over meatballs before serving.

NOTE – Make a LARGE batch of sauce and use it for pretty gifts. Add an orange slice and maraschino cherry before ladle into sterilized jars. Water bath to seal.

PORCUPINE MEATBALLS

PORCUPINE MEATBALLS 4-6 servings

This is a super simple weeknight meal – it can even be prepared in advance and be all the better for it as the flavors meld to make deep and rich sauce!

So why are they called “PORCUPINE”? As the meatballs bake in the incredible sauce and the rice bakes it plumps up and starts sticking out the sides just like porcupine quills. 😀

1 pound QUALITY 80/20 ground beef
1 LARGE egg, lightly beaten
1/2 small onion, finely diced
1/2 cup long-grain white rice
1 tablespoon chopped FRESH parsley
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
FRESH ground sea salt & black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons avocado oil
One 28-ounce can tomato puree
1/4 cup jalapeno ketchup

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Use your hands to mix together the ground beef, egg, onion, rice, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning, half the garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper in a large bowl until well combined.
  • Roll the meat mixture into 24 golf ball sized meatballs.
  • Heat the avocado oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium high heat.
    Once shimmering, add the meatballs and cooking 1-2 minutes  on each side until lightly browned all over.
  • Reduce the heat to medium.
  • Whisk together the tomato puree, ketchup, remaining Italian seasoning, remaining garlic, FRESH ground sea salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir into pan, simmering until the  sauce is WELL combined and meatballs are WELL coated.
  • Cover tightly and transfer to the oven.
  • Bake 45-60 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through and no longer pink, the rice is tender and poking out and the sauce has reduced slightly.
  • Garnish with more chopped parsley and serve.

HAMBURGER HASH

Toss out the hamburger helper and make this instead. Another tasty one pot meal full of flavor and texture that’s quick and easy for classic comfort food weeknight family meal. The beauty of this recipe is that it is super easy to adjust the servings. I’m making most recipes for 2 these days, but just double or triple up and feed 4-6 in a jif.

HAMBURGER HASH – serves 2 adapted from SpaceShips and Laser Beams
Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 20 mins Total Time 35 mins

1 SMALL russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
1 small turnip or rutabaga, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces

3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 Vidalia onion, diced
2 teaspoons avocado oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Garden Gourmet Italian seasoning (or 2 teaspoons dried)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/4 cup beef broth

1 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  • Boil potatoes 3-5 minutes until tender, BUT NOT too soft.
  • Drain and set potatoes aside.
  • In a large nonstick or greased skillet, over high heat, cook ground beef until browned. Drain off fat. Set cooked beef aside.
  • 
Using the same skillet over medium heat avocado oil.
  • Add onion, potatoes, Italian seasoning, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss well to evenly coat potatoes and onions in seasoning, cooking 10-15 minutes and stirring often until potatoes and onions have started to brown and crisp.
  • Fold ground beef back to the skillet, stirring well to mix.
  • Add broth and simmer until broth is mostly absorbed.
  • Add cheese, stirring until well mixed and melted.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Serve hot. 


NOTES

  • ALWAYS start your potatoes in cold water. Adding them directly to boiling water will immediately cook the outsides while the insides will take longer. Use a fork to gently pierce the potatoes while they are boiling. When the fork will pierce the potato easily but not break it apart, your potatoes are ready.
  • If using dried herbs, use a mortar and pestle or rub them between your clean dry palms to break them up and revive their flavor essence before adding them to your recipe.