Chili Stuffed Zucchini Burgers

Calling these burgers could be a misnomer but they sure are good looking when presented at the table and taste even better.

  • 1 recipe of “Chili-Don’s way” on this site
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernal corn
  • 1 cup (or more to taste) Tex Mex shredded cheese
  • 1 cup of your favourite marinara sauce

Trim the ends off the zucchini. Lengthwise, cut a thin strip just along the top of each one. With a melon baller, scoop out the pulp, leaving a 1/4 inch thick wall of shell. Discard the pulp.

Add the corn to your chili and cook for about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 1/2 of the cheese to the mixture.

Spoon the mixture generously into each shell and place in a baking dish. Cover with tin foil tightly and bake  for 30-35 minutes until shell as almost tender. Remove the foil and sprinkle more cheese over each one and return to the oven, baking for just a couple of minutes to melt the cheese.

Plate and top with your marinara sauce. Voila! It is delicious.

 

Rotisserie Roast Beef

On Sunday Don put a roast on the bbq and this is the rub he used. It was fantstic and I hope you will give it a try.

  • 1/2 cup red dry wine
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Worchestershire
  • 1 tbsp. Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Montreal steak spice

Mix this altogether and spread on the roast and marinate in a sealed bag for 2 hours.

Tie the roast up with butcher twine and place on the spit, cooking until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Remove and let rest for about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile proceed with the Au Jus below.

 

Au Jus

To the drippings, add

  • 1 1/2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook on the stove, stirring constantly until thickens.

We served this with garlic mashed potatoes, corn on the cob (halves) and it was incredible.

Leftover Ham Casserole

We bought a ham and, after two dinners, several days of sandwiches, omelets and soup, there was still some ham so….here we go (my mom would be so proud as we worked this as she could with a small roast of beef).

  • 2 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small yam, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups plus cooked ham, cubed (use up whatever you have left)
  • 1 can whole kernal corn, drained
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • pinch black pepper
  • 4-6 oz. cheese, shredded
  • 3-4 asparagus spears, chopped small

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook the potatoes until tender, but still firm in a pot of boiling water. Drain and cool a bit.

Combine the ham, corn, asparagus and potatoes and set aside. Melt the butter and whisk in the flour to make a paste and gradudally add the milk and pepper and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour over the ham mixture. Stir to mix well.

Grease a baking dish (11 x 7) and pour in the mixture. Lightly sprinkle with paprika and bake covered in the oven for 20 minutes.

Lower the temperature to 350. Remove the cover, add all the cheese and bake a further 20 minutes. Place under the broiler for about 5 minutes to get a light brown crust.

Finish with crispy onion topping and fresh herbs.

This, my friends, is bloomin’ awesome.

BBQ’d Pulled Pork

I think Don makes THE best, and here is another version to try, and it is really easy with no fuss or muss.

  • 4 lb. boneless pork shoulder

Line the crock pot with large pieces of celery and carrots and place the roast in a slow cooker and proceed…

Sauce

  • 1 bottle your favourite bbq sauce (we prefer Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey bbq sauce )
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup water

Now for the real tough part… stir together and pour over the roast and cook for 8 hours on low heat.

Finally

Place the roast on a cookie sheet and remove any excess fat. With two forks shred the meat into stringy pieces. Skim any fat off the surface of the sauce left in the crock pot and return the meat to the sauce. Stir well and let sit for about 5 minutes. The meat will absorb the sauce.

Get your favourite rolls, pile the pork on top of bottom half, top with a creamy coleslaw (your choice) and add the top bun.

OMG!!!!! This is so delicious.

Braised Short Ribs With Bitter Chocolate and Oregano

I personally feel that Don does up THE best ribs going and this is another version and since we are all still on a temporary stay-at-home situation, why not give this one a try.

  • 1/4 cup diced pancetta
  • 5-6 lbs. bone in short ribs
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery (strings removed)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped, peeled carrots
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups drained, canned tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 bay leaf.

 

In a heavy pot over medium heat, cook the pancetta until crisp. Remove from the pot and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle the ribs with salt and epper and in small batches, cook the ribs, browning on all sides. This will probably take about 7-8 minutes per batch. Transfer these to a plate.

Add the onion, shallots, celery and carrots to the pot, cover and cook the vegetables on a lower temperature until soft. Be sure to stir them every couple of minutes during the 10 minute cook.

Add the wine and with no cover, boil until the liquid is now reduced by half. Be sure to keep scraping the bottom of the pot for all the good bits for 5 minutes.

Add the broth, tomatoes, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and pancetta. Place the ribs in the pot and cover partially and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the lid completely and cook a further 1 1/2 hours until the meat is really tender. Remove the ribs to a plate. Now make the sauce.

Chocolate and Oregano Sauce

  • 3 tbsp. grated bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh oregano

Transfer the ribs to a plate and remove the bay leaf. If there is excess fat on the surface, remove it with a spoon. Boil the sauce now until it begins to thicken (about 7 minutes). Reduce the heat to medium and add all the ingredients, stirring until the chocolate melts. Taste it and add a pinch of salt and pepper if needed. Return the ribs to the pot and simmer for about 5 minutes to rewarm it all.

Enjoy!

 

 

Braised Ham With A Maple Raisin Sauce

Mother’s Day is very close and this could be a new way to serve ham.

  • 7-8 lb. fully cooked bone in ham
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup maple sugar, granulated
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup white cranberry juice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 cups golden raisins

In a very large (10 qt.) pot, place the ham, cut side own and add the water and maple syrup. Cover and bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low, cooking for about 2 1/2 hours. Remove the cover and let cool a little.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and when the ham is cool enough to handle remove the ham from the pot and reserve the liquid, Cut off any rind and excess fat and leave a very thin layer of fat. Transfer ham to a roast pan.

Whisk together all the ingredients, except the raisins and spoon over the ham. Add the raisins and 1 cup of the cooking liquid and roast in the oven for about 35-40 minutes, baste this occasionally so the ham is glazed and the juices are bubbling.

Serve warm to some very appreciative people around the table.

Just add the potatoes of your choice, a vegetable or two and you will be the winner. Just think about the ham sandwiches for tomorrow. Oh yeah!

Grilled New York Strip Steaks With “Wow”sauce

With all the isolating, world wide, this would be a good time to set the table with a clean tablecloth, napkins, steak knives and a glass of your favorite beverage to make this a special time.

You will need:

  •  New York Strip steaks, about 8 oz. each
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Preheat  grill pan over high heat until just smoking. Brush the steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill 4-5 minutes on one side until golden. Turn them over and reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking for 5-6 minutes for a medium-rare doneness.

Wow Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. creamy horseradish
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

Combine all these ingredient in a bowl , season with salt and pepper and set aside. When ready to serve, brush the steaks with this sauce and make sure you have little bowls for each person to use as they wish.

Make a beautiful, crisp green salad, add a twice baked potato and you have a very special meal.

 

Pork Chops Lemonade

Pork Chops sometimes need a different twist to liven up the taste buds and this one should do it for you. The kids will love it as well. Serve with garlic mashed potatoes and a crisp green salad and  you will think you are in a five star restaurant…..you are! Yours.

  • 3/4 cup lemonade (or lime) concentrate
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. soya sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. for each: paprika, thyme, oregano salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. each of: grated garlic clove, finely chopped fresh basil and a few red chili flakes
  • 4 medium sized pork chops
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup Crisco oil

In a bowl combine the lemonade, sugar, vinegar, ginger soya sauce and seasonings and set aside.

Place each pork chop in the flour, and turn over and set the other side in the flour. Shake off any excess. In a heated fry pan, brown the pork chops on both sides. Drain off any oil and using the same pan, put the chops back in the pan and pour the sauce over them all.

Cook, over a low heat for about 40 minutes.

Better Than I Make Braising Beef Stew

On Sunday, Don decided to make a stew. I always made them but said go ahead. He did, and this is better than I would/could ever make.

  • 4 tbsp. good olive oil
  • 2 tsp. grated garlic
  • 2 lbs. trimmed stewing beef, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup flour (approximately)
  • 5-10 baby red potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • l small turnip, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups, sliced carrots (2-3)
  • 2 cups sliced celery (3 large stalks)
  • 1 large yellow beet, peeled, halved and sliced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz.)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1 beef boullion cube
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put the potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, celery, turnip and yellow beet in a large pot and set aside. Have the beef broth and wine measured out and set aside.

Heat a large braising pot  on high heat. Add 2 tbsp. oil and garlic. When hot, add the beef and sear each piece about 2 minutes each side. Transfer out after 5 minutes.

Without washing the pan, add the remaining 2 tbsp. oil, scraping up the wonderful beef bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the wine and beef broth. Once this begins to boil, turn off the heat and pour the entire mixture into the reserved pot with all the vegetables.

Add the spices and seasonings and bay leaf. Stir gently to combine. Turn the heat to low and braise for about 4 hour to 4 1/2 hours.

About 30 minutes before serving 1/2 cup of the liquid, add the cornstarch, whisking until smooth. Add the the stew and stir gently to combine. This will thicken the ‘gravy’.

Add a small crisp salad, dinner roll and a glass of a nice red wine.

**I told you this was the best.

Hamburgers New Orleans Style

These are a little out of the ordinary, but we all need a little spice…try these.

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/4 tsp. Creole mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. grated lime peel
  • 1/2 tsp. lime juice
  • pinch of pepper and salt
  • dash hot pepper sauce
  • dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 2 tbsp. minced cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 4 hamburger buns

In a small bowl mix together the first 10 ingredients well and keep refrigerated until serving.

In a skillet, sauté the onion, carrot , cilantro for about 5-6 minutes until tender. Cool slightly.

In a bowl combine the vegetable mixture, Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper sauce. Crumble the beef over this mixture and mix really well. Form into 4 patties.

Grill these over a medium heat for 5-7 minutes on each side until completely cooked through.

Grill the rolls, cut side down for about 20 seconds. Serve burgers with the chilled sauce.

Post Roast – The Long Way ’round

This is just a tricky way to say it takes a slow cooker to make the most incredible meal ever. Don made this and I was actually licking the plate for the gravy. OMG! This is soooo good.

  • 1 – 5# bone in pot roast
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. flour (if needed)
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 3 carrots, cut in chunks
  • 2 stalks celery, ribs peeled, cut in chunks
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 sprigs Thyme
  • 6 baby potatoes, cut in half

Now it begins:

Season both sides of the roast with salt and pepper. Sprinkle flour over the top until coated, and pat it into the meat. Shake off excess.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot.

Sear the roast on both sides (5 minutes each) until well browned. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Reduce heat and stir in the mushrooms, cooking for about 4 minutes. Stir in the onion and cook for 5 minutes until they begin to brown. Add the garlic and stir for about 60 seconds.

Add the 1  1/2 tbsp. flour, stirring to combine, add the tomato paste and return the heat to simmer. Remove from the heat.

Put the celery, baby potatoes and carrots in the slow cooker. Place the roast over the vegetables and pour in any juices. Add the Italian seasoning and thyme.

Pour the onion and mushroom mixture over the roast. Cover the slow cooker, turning the temperature to high and cook until fork tender (5-6 hours).

Skim any fat from the surface and remove the bones.

A glass of wine (red, perhaps?) and if you wish, a chilled salad.

Beef Stew – The French Way

Just a note of trivia….this is my 1700 recipe on this site.

We all have to try something a little different to break the ‘same old – same old’ way we do things. This may be just one more for your to try.

 

  • 4 oz. pancetta
  • 2 – 3 lb. sirloin tip roast
  • 3/4 lb. large white mushrooms, cut in quarters
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  •  medium onion, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 cups full bodied red wine
  • 1/4 cup dried mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

 

Slice the pancetta in bite size pieces and heat in a large pot. Stir often until it becomes crispy around the edges. This should take about 10-12 minutes. Spoon into a small bowl, leaving the fat behind.

Cut the steak into bite size pieces, and in batches, add the beef to the pot. Cook, over a medium high heat for about 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the rest of the meat, leaving the pot totally empty.

Add the butter, mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion and garlic to the pot. stir occasionally for about 4 minutes. Add the beef and pancetta to the pot. Sprinkle with the flour and continuously stir for another 2-3 minutes.

Add the broth and wine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until tender. This could take about 2 hours. Check halfway through the cooking time to see if it needs more wine. Remove the bay leaf and thyme. Remove the bay leaf and thyme.

If not, pour yourself one. Everyone will love  you for this. Add a crisp salad (Caesar, perhaps?) and a slice or two of an Artisan bread. You can also serve a side of garlic mashed potatoes with this.