Cooking 101 for guys- impossibly easy mini bacon cheeseburger slider pies
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I’ve heard from quite a few guys that the reason they don’t cook is that they get home late from work and are so hungry they simply go grab a burrito from some fast food place.  I say bull.  Make these.  You will like them.  You can carry them with you easily and eat for lunch or a pre-workout snack.  They will keep in the fridge for a couple of days no problem.  Ideally, you will warm them slowly in the oven.  If you microwave them, I promise not to judge. Serve them with a side iceberg lettuce salad or celery and carrots and your mom and I will be proud of you.

Prep time- 20 minutes

Cooking time- 30 minutes.

Makes 12 mini pie sliders

 

Ingredients-

1 pound of lean ground beef

1 onion chopped

2 garlic cloves, pressed

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 tsp. cumin

3 slices of bacon

2 jalapeño peppers, chopped (seeds in)

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Baking mixture ingredients-

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup biscuit flour mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free, but any biscuit mix will do)

3 eggs

butter for greasing the tins

Condiment suggestions-

dill pickles, ketchup, sriracha, avocado, tomato slices, relish, hot mustard, Sauerkraut- whatever you like.

 

Directions-

1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.  Cook your bacon slices in a cast iron pan on medium heat.  If you don’t have a cast iron pan- it’s time you got one.  Alternately you could cook your bacon in the pan you own. Remove cooked bacon from pan and set aside on paper towel. Remove the pan from the burner for a second and carefully wipe a bit of the bacon fat out of the pan with some paper towel (not all of it!).

2. Return pan to medium heat and add your chopped onion to the pan.  Cook for a minute or so until it is just starting to soften.  Add your ground beef to the pan and using a wooden spoon, break it up into smaller chunks.  Stir occasionally.  When it is starting to brown nicely, season with salt and pepper a bit and  add your garlic, just a sprinkling of cumin, stir it in.  Meanwhile, cut your cooked bacon slices width wise into thin strips. When your beef mixture is browned through, add the bacon.  Turn off the heat and stir in your jalapeños.  Take a test bite.  Add more salt and pepper if required. Set aside.

3. Measure out your biscuit mix into a medium size bowl.  Whisk in your eggs and milk until fully incorporated.

4. Grease your muffin tins well with butter (put some butter on a piece of wax paper or paper towel and smear that stuff all over the inside of the muffin molds). Alternatively, use cooking spray (boring)

5. Add one Tbsp of the biscuit mixture to each tin, then top with 1/4 cup of your bacon/beef mixture.  Next add another Tbsp of biscuit mixture, top with a sprinkling of shredded cheddar and throw those bad boys in the oven, setting the timer for 30 minutes. (Look through that door a few minutes before hand to make sure you are not over cooking).  They will have a nice browning and a toothpick should come out clean when the pies are done. Mine took 28 minutes.  I baked mine on convect.

6. Carefully tease your pies out of the tins so that you don’t break them (a fork or knife will do the trick)

7. Top with a dill pickle slice and ketchup -or any of the other toppings I have suggested.  Or maybe you have a fav burger topping of your own.

 

As I was eating mine- I was saying to myself, mmmmmffff, this is so F’n good.  I think you will like them.

 

About Learning to Cook-

I found this recipe on Betty Crockers site.  Keep in mind their target audience is Mom’s with small children.  I was certainly interested in a portable hand held burger but it was obvious to me that the recipe would be bland.  They don’t even call for salt and pepper! So what did I think?  I thought Bacon!  I’ll add bacon.  And since I’m already cooking up this bacon, I’m gonna cook this beef right in the bacon fat.  Savory goodness.  Salt and pepper of course, no chef forgoes these!  And Cumin for a little added interest.  I like spicy stuff, so I added the jalapeños. Their recipe calls for Worcestershire sauce, but since I was adding cumin and smoky bacon, I didn’t need that.  Also, I could tell the biscuit mixture was a little sparse, so I made up a bigger batch.  And the cheese.  I watched their video and honestly the pies came out rather bland looking.  So I put my cheese right on top.  Browns up nice and adds a good crispy top.  And that is how you will think once you start to cook more.

 

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cooking 101 for guys- the best meatloaf sandwich ever
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I have never made a meatloaf before. When I sat down to eat this sandwich (with a knife and fork as I severely overstuffed it), I actually swore out loud.  It’s that good.  And very easy. Once you have it made you can eat it for the next few days.  You don’t need to serve it as a sandwich, you can simply serve with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies as well.  (not!)

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced small
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck (lean)
1 cup roughly crushed saltine crackers (about 15 crackers),- I used Glutino GF crackers
1 cup coarsely grated Parmesan
3 large eggs
1 1/2 Tbsp teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (I used GF)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

6-7 slices of thinly cut bacon

Sauce Ingredients:

2/3 cup ketchup

1/3 cup Siracha

1 tsp. dry mustard

1/3 cup brown sugar

Whole grain bread for sandwiches

lettuce

sliced pickles

ketchup

 

Directions:
1.    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small skillet, heat oil over medium; add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until brick-red in color and fragrant, 3 minutes. In a large bowl, combine beef, onion mixture, crackers, cheese, eggs, horseradish, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper.
2.    On a broiling pan (line the bottom with foil for easier clean up), use your hands to form mixture into a 9-inch loaf. Wrap the loaf widthwise with strips of bacon, tucking them in on the bottom of your loaf. In a small bowl make a sauce with your ketchup, siracha, dry mustard and brown sugar.  Spoon about half of your sauce on top of the bacon. set aside.  then smush the sauce around the top with the back of a spoon.

3. Bake until nearly cooked through, about 40 minutes. Spoon the rest of the sauce on top and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the loaf is cooked through. Let rest 15 minutes before cutting into slices. To serve, place meatloaf slices between bread, topped with lettuce, pickles, and ketchup.

 

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Maple, Bacon, Apple crisp

This dessert has the perfect combination of sweet, salt and crispy.  Top with coconut milk ice cream and you will reach dessert nirvana

Ingredients:

Topping

6 slices of old fashioned side bacon (or regular old bacon if that’s what you got), cut into 1/4 inch pieces

3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free all-purpose flour

3/4 cup pecans, chopped fine

3/4 cup uncontaminated Gluten Free rolled oats

1/2 cup organic whole brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated white sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick (8 Tbsp) butter, melted

Filling:

9 small gala apples (or 7 medium size apples of your choice) peeled, cored, halved and cut into 1/2 inch wedges

1/3 cup pure Quebec maple syrup

1 cup apple cider (strongbow works fine for this)

1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 Tbsp butter

Directions:

 

1. Preheat oven to 450° with rack in middle.

2. Cook your bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels.

3. Combine GF flour with the pecans, GF oats, sugars, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl.  Stir in the melted butter until everything is moist but crumbly and then stir in the bacon pieces. Set aside.

Time to make the filling -

4. Toss your apple wedges with the maple syrup and set aside.

5. Bring the cider to a simmer in a clean 12″ skillet and reduce by half. (about 5 Minutes), transfer to a bowl, add the lemon juice, stir and set aside.

6. Melt the butter in your now empty 12 inch skillet on medium heat. When it stops foaming add the apples tossed in maple syrup. Cook for about 14 minutes. stirring frequently.  Don’t fully cook the apples.  stop just before. Remove from heat and stir in the reduced apple cider/lemon juice mixture.

7. Distribute the topping evenly over the top of the apples. Place the skillet on a baking sheet in the oven and bake (I used convect) for 15 to 20 minutes.  You will want the topping to look golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes and serve with ice cream (I use coconut milk ice cream)

 

 

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