BACON CHEESEBURGER SLIDERS

BACON CHEESEBURGER SLIDERS

A slightly sweet and garlicky glaze on these Hawaiian Roll Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders makes the best slider recipe! We’re always looking for easy ground beef recipes and these easy sliders take a burger to the next level.

1 package of 12 pack King’s Hawaiian roll sliders
4-6 slices bacon, diced
1 pound lean ground beef
1/3 cup diced red onion
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 slices sharp cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons butter melted
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Slice entire package of rolls (do not separate) in half and toast bottoms in broiler for 1-2 minutes.
  • Cook bacon until crisp.
  • Remove bacon pieces to paper toweling to drain.
  • Brown ground beef and onions in bacon drippings and then drain WELL.
  • Return meat mixture to the pan and lower heat to low.
  • Season with salt, pepper and dry mustard if using.
  • Stir in shredded cheese for 1 minute.

  • Sprinkle bacon on top.
  • Add slices of cheddar cheese and replace top half of rolls.
  • Melt butter and stir in brown sugar, onion and garlic powders.
  • Spoon or brush over the tops of the sliders.
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds if using.
  • Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until rolls are lightly browned and cheese is melted.
  • Serve warm and enjoy!


SHRIMP PAD THAI

This recipe is the PERFECT downsized recipe for 2! This flavor combination offers a complex salty AND sweet yet spicy AND pungent flavor with just enough acidity from the lime for balance in the sauce. Add in the sauteed shrimp, the scrambled egg, salty peanuts and crunchy bean sprouts and scallions that balance out the texture and flavors for a complete meal.

SHRIMP PAD THAI
SAUCE
2 LARGE limes, juiced, about 3 +/- tablespoons
3 tablespoons water
2 1/2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil (or other neutral oil)
3 teaspoons rice vinegar (I often use seasoned – flavor of choice)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Whisk all together and set aside.

NOODLES & SHRIMP
4 ounces WIDE rice noodles
1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 shallot, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 LARGE egg, lightly beaten
1 cup bean sprouts
2 tablespoons crushed dry roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped cilantro (for garnish – optional)

  • Bring 4 quarts of water to boil.Remove from heat, add rice noodles and let stand 10 minutes until noodles are tender. Drain noodles and set aside.
  • Pat shrimp dry.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add shrimp and a pinch of salt, sauteing 2-3 minutes until shrimp are opaque.
  • Transfer to a plate.
  • Add remaining oil to skillet.
  • When oil is shimmering add shallots and garlic, sauteing until light golden brown.
  • Add in egg and cook 20-30 seconds until scrambled.
  • Add noodles, tossing to mix.
  • Add sauce, tossing continually to coat for 1-2 minutes until well blended and coated in sauce.
  • Add bean sprouts, peanuts, scallions and shrimp, tossing to coat.
  • Serve immediately.

NOTE: As a quick cheat I use pre-prepared yakisoba noodles from my butcher to replace the rice noodles.

TOMATO SCALLOPED POTATOES

This is another 1930’s-40’s recipe box find written in a stenographer’s shorthand and old cursive on old yellowed scrap paper. It took me a bit to decipher it, but it was well worth it. 😀

TOMATO SCALLOPED POTATOES
1/2 cup chopped onion I used 2 shallots
2 tablespoons butter I used herbed butter
2 tablespoons flour I used WONDRA which is extra fine
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt I used FRESH ground, to taste
1/8 teaspoon pepper I used FRESH ground, to taste
1 cup water I used chicken broth
8 ounce can diced tomatoes I used a 14 ounce can
2 chicken bouillon cubes I only used 1 since I was using broth
5 cups peeled sliced potatoes I used tricolor baby potatoes

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add onions and saute 2-3 minutes until soft.
  • Sprinkle with flour, paprika, salt and pepper, blending well.
  • Add water, tomatoes and bouillon cubes, simmering over medium heat until thickens.
  • Spray 2 quart casserole with non-stick spray.
  • Layer 2/3 of the potatoes loosely on the bottom
  • Sprinkle with a fine flour and some FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Top with half of the tomato mixture followed by the layer of thin baby Swiss cheese slices.
  • Follow with remaining tomato sauce mixture over top.
  • Bake 1 hour or until cooked through and tender.

NOTES:

  • I have made a few changes that are indicated in red above and find they are tastier than ever.
  • I also use herbed butter cubes for additional flavor, usually rosemary or tarragon.
  • I also added a layer of ULTRA thin sliced baby Swiss cheese under the last layer of potatoes.

P3 ~ PISTACHIO PLUM PLATZ

Anyone remember the old nightclub on the show Charmed? That is what inspired me to name this wonderful German Platz aka coffee cake.

P3 ~ PISTACHIO PLUM PLATZ
CAKE
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter,SOFTENED
2 LARGE eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup WHOLE milk
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
3 LARGE black plums, sliced

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray shallow baking dish(es) with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Add the softened butter with a pastry cutter or using gloved hands (my preference) until mixture is like coarse crumbs.
  • Stream in eggs, milk and vanilla until well combined. Be sure to scrape down sides with a spatula to incorporate all the dry mixture. Mixture will be thicker and possibly lumpy JUST like it should be 😀
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out evenly.
  • Place plums slightly overlapped on top of batter. Set aside and make crumb topping.

CRUMB TOPPING
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup crushed roasted with salt pistachios

  • Mix all together using your hands again until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Distribute topping evenly over top of plums.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes or until fruit is soft and cake is cooked through.

NOTES: Other fruits that substitute well are peaches, cherries or nectarines .

PARSLEY, SAGE, ROSEMARY & THYME ROAST CHICKEN

Every now and then I crave an old fashioned roast chicken, you know, like grandma used to make. Well, that’s easier said than done. Do you know how hard it is to find a decently priced WHOLE chicken these days? A few weeks ago my butcher actually had some gorgeous whole chickens and they were priced reasonably too.

PARSLEY, SAGE, ROSEMARY & THYME ROAST CHICKEN
4 pound WHOLE chicken
6 tablespoons avocado oil (or other neutral flavored oil)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped Italian Parsley
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped thyme leaves
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped Rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped sage
1 LARGE lemon, quartered
1 bulb garlic, cloved
1 Vidalia onion, peeled and cut into wedges
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into rustic chunks
2 pounds baby Yukon potatoes, halved
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Whisk the chopped herbs into 3 tablespoons of the oil.
  • Rub chicken inside and out with herb oil mixture.
  • Place lemon pieces and garlic cloves into the chicken cavity.
  • Tie legs together with kitchen twine.
  • Roast and baste every 30 minutes for the first hour.
  • Add veggies at the beginning of the second hour.
  • Whisk FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper into remaining oil and toss with onions, carrots and potatoes.
  • Baste ever 20 minutes for the next two hours or until chicken is cooked through and the skin is a crisp golden brown.
  • Rest 10 minutes before carving.

SWEET & SOUR BROWN BEANS

This is one of the recipes I found in a recent vintage recipe box find. The recipe box dates back to the 1930’s or 40’s and the recipe is a very yellowed scrap of newspaper with no date, but based on the World War II Russian newspapers I found used as wall insulation of one of our old houses I’d say this scrap is also that old!

The Swedish brown bean is a relatively small pale brownish colored bean known for being extremely tender with a nutty flavor that holds together well, even through extended cooking.

SWEET AND SOUR BROWN BEANS
2 cups Swedish Brown Beans
4 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 brown sugar or molasses (or half of each 😀 )
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar for more flavor)

  • Wash beans.
  • Cover with water and let stand overnight OR bring beans and water to a SLOW boil, boiling for 2 minutes. Cover and let stand 1 hour.
  • Add salt, recover and bring to a simmer for 2 hours or until tender and most of the water has cooked away. You may need to add a bit more water as they simmer.
  • Stir in brown sugar, molasses and vinegar and SLOW simmer uncovered 15 minutes more.

NOTES:

If Swedish brown beans are hard to find in your area, pinto beans make an adequate stand-in for this Scandinavian native bean.

RUSTIC CASSOULET (slightly updated)

RUSTIC CASSOULET
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces**
1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, diced
1 pound Johnsonville beef sausage, cut into bite sized pieces
3 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, diced
4 garlic cloves, FINELY minced
1/4 cup FRESH minced Italian flat leaf parsley
28-ounces whole peeled tomatoes (seasoned, if you can find them)
14-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped thyme
1 cup Moscato white wine
1 +/- cups chicken stock
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs (fresh are best – I make them from baguettes )
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
FRESH ground sea salt and ground black pepper
2 cups pasta of choice (optional)
Crusty French Bread (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Brown the bacon until browned and crumbly in large saute skillet/dutch oven. 
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  • Add chicken and sausage pieces to bacon fat and brown on all sides.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove from fat and set aside. 
  • Add the shallots, cooking 3-4 minutes until softened.
  • Add garlic, sauteing a few minutes more until fragrant.
  • Add white wine and chicken stock, bringing to a boil. Turn heat off.
  • Add tomatoes and beans. 

  • Add meat back in.
  • Mix together crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, thyme and 1 tablespoon melted butter together until well blended.
  • Spread crumb mixture over the top and bake covered for 30 minutes.
  • Remove cover and bake 5-10 minutes more until browned.

NOTES **

  • I sometimes cook the chicken thighs whole and then shred them – just depends on my mood.
  • You can change this into a thick soup/stew by eliminating the bread crumbs and adding 8 ounces (2 cups) of macaroni during the last 10-15 minutes. I then serve it with crusty bread for dipping.

PAN FRIED PORK STEAK & POTATOES

PAN FRIED PORK STEAK & POTATOES

2-4 criss cross cut boneless pork steaks
2 tablespoons avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Italian herbs
2 cups chopped Yukon potatoes
3/4 cup chopped carrots
1 SMALL bunch green onions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons heavy cream

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Generously season pork steaks with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Rub pork steaks on both sides with oil.
  • Heat heavy skillet over medium high heat with remaining oil.
  • Sear steaks 3-4 minutes each side and then keep warm in oven while you prepare the potatoes.
  • Add onions to skillet and saute 2 minutes.
  • Add garlic and saute another 30 seconds or so until fragrant.
  • Add potato and carrot pieces, frying until fork tender and crisp on the edges.
  • Add in Italian herbs and sprinkle with paprika, stirring to coat and blend well.
  • Add water and heavy cream, simmering a few minutes until thickened.

PISTACHIO CRUSTED CHICKEN STEAKS

PISTACHIO CRUSTED CHICKEN STEAKS
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons avocado oil
4-6 thin chicken steaks
1/2 cup FINELY crushed pistachios
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons FRESH minced tarragon or basil
2 cups Panko crumbs
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 cup all purpose flour, seasoned
2 LARGE eggs, beaten

  • Combine the pistachios, Parmesan cheese and tarragon or basil in a food processor and pulse until well mixed.
  • Set up a dredging station with 3 shallow bowls. Add the pistachio mixture to one shallow bowl, the eggs to another and the flour to a third.
  • In a large skillet melt butter and avocado oil over medium high heat.
  • Generously season the chicken steaks with the FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Dredge chicken in flour first, shaking off excess followed by the egg and then the pistachio mixture.
  • Add breaded chicken to hot oil mixture, searing 3-4 minutes per side. Nuts burn easily so keep a close watch! REDUCE HEAT IF NECESSARY! DO NOT CROWD PAN!

SHEET PAN MAC & CHEESE

SHEET PAN MAC & CHEESE
2 LARGE cans evaporated milk (12 ounce)
1 cup cubed Velveeta pieces
2 1/2 cups grated Cheddar
2 1/2 cups grated Gruyere
1 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)
1 tablespoon Frank’s original hot sauce
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 pound macaroni, cooked according to package instructions
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Nonstick cooking spray

  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • In a saucepan over a medium heat, add the evaporated milk, processed cheese, 1 cup of the Cheddar, 1 cup of the Gruyere, the dry mustard if using, the hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste, whisking until the cheeses are melted and the mixture is smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to coat and combine.
  • In a small bowl, toss together the remaining cheeses.
  • Remove the sheet pan from the oven and carefully spray with the cooking spray.
  • Pour the mac and cheese from the saucepan into the sheet pan and spread evenly.
  • Sprinkle the cheese mixture evenly over the top.
  • Bake until the cheese topping is fully melted and the mixture is bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.

BEER BRAISED CHICKEN

BEER BRAISED CHICKEN
1/4 pound bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer (preferably brown ale) I used MGD
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed
1/2 pound small red-skinned new or gold potatoes, halved
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard (optional)
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the bacon and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove bacon pieces with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in flour, shaking off the excess.
  • Add the avocado oil to the drippings in the pot.
  • Add the chicken in batches and cook over medium-high heat until golden on the bottom, 4-5 minutes, then flip and sear the other side, about 1 minute. 
  • Add the beer, onions, potatoes, mustard, sugar, thyme leaves and 1 cup chicken broth to the pot and stir, making sure the chicken is fully submerged.
  • Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the bacon and parsley. 

PAN SEARED CHICKEN with RUSTIC TOMATO GRAVY & FLUFFY BUTTERED MASHED POTATOES

I got this recipe from Jet Tila and have used it ever since to make the fluffiest, lightest and tastiest mashed potatoes.

PAN SEARED CHICKEN with RUSTIC TOMATO GRAVY & FLUFFY BUTTERED MASHED POTATOES

PAN SEARED CHICKEN with RUSTIC TOMATO GRAVY
3 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 bunch green onions, sliced THINLY
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons FRESH chopped thyme leaves
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes, drained, but juice reserved
chicken stock
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
3 tablespoons Mascarpone cheese

  • Rinse and pat dry the chicken breasts.
  • Add enough chicken stock to the reserved tomato juice to equal 1 3/4 cups. Whisk in chicken bouillon.
  • Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat.
  • Generously season chicken breasts with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Dredge chicken breasts in flour.
  • Sear chicken breast on each side 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Remove chicken from pan and keep warm.
  • Add onions and garlic, sauteing 2-3 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and thyme leaves, simmering 10 minutes until tomatoes are cooked through.
  • Stir in Mascarpone cheese until creamy.
  • Add chicken breasts to sauce, turning to coat.
  • Serve over fluffy mashed potatoes.

FLUFFY BUTTERED MASHED POTATOES
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 pounds SMALL Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into half (2 inch pieces)
1/2 cup half and half
1 1/2 tablespoons FRESH grated sea salt
1 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt

  • Add potato pieces into a large saucepan and cover by 1 inch with COLD* (see notes) water.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of sea salt.
  • Bring to a boil over HIGH heat.
  • Reduce heat to MEDIUM heat and simmer for 15-18 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.
  • Drain the potatoes well in a colander and then return to the pan over LOW heat.
  • Warm the half and half in the microwave for 45 seconds.
  • Rice or mash potatoes with a masher until lumps are gone.
  • Fold in half and half with a rubber spatula.
  • Add butter 1 piece at a time, folding it gently into the potato mixture.
  • Season to taste with remaining salt and pepper.

NOTES:

  • Using the COLD water makes the starches in the potatoes cook slower and more evenly so that the outsides are not more done when the centers are ready and they become creamier.
  • Give your potatoes a kick with a bit of roasted garlic, chives or even some wasabi for some variety.