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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smashed peas with edamame beans and bocconcini
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I happen to like peas. This is a way to dress em up for folks who don’t think they do.

Ingredients:

1 cup shelled peas (fresh when you can!)

1 cup shelled edamame beans (fresh if possible!) (if using frozen, be sure to blanch them quickly and run under cold water after)

sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (use liberally!)

Extra Virgin olive oil, about 2 or three tablespoons

1 lemon, juice of

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

3 slices of nice artisan bread (sourdough if you are not GF. I got my GF bread from Bigstar Bakery in Calgary)

1 large clove of garlic, sliced in half

4 or 5 rounds of bocconcini mozzarella

handful of pea shoots (washed)

handful of sprouts (washed)

 

Directions:

1. Use a mortar & pestle to smash up your peas in small batches, do the same with your edamame beans (reserve a few beans for the salad).  Mash together well, season with some salt, then add a few tablespoons of olive oil and grated parm. You want to make a nice glistening spreadable paste. Add about half of lemon worth of juice, taste everything and season/ add more cheese or olive oil to correct.

2. Toast your bread slices and rub one side with garlic. Make a salad out of your pea shoots and sprouts and reserved edamame beans with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper.

3. Spread some of the smashed peas and beans mixture on to toasts, top with torn up bocconcini , then salad.  Grate a bit more parm on top of the whole thing and drizzle with olive oil.

 

 

 

 

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Cannellini Beans & spinach with garlic & basil on toast
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Here is an easy to make vegetarian lunch or light dinner that tastes great!

 

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil

1 onion, chopped fine

1 med. can of Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 med. can of crushed tomatoes

6 cups baby spinach, washed

3 cloves of garlic, pressed

1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped fine

sea salt- to taste

fresh ground black pepper, to taste

mozzarella cheese, grated

whole grain toast (mine was GF muti-grain from Bigstar bakehouse)

 

Directions:

1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan on medium and cook the onions for 5 minutes until golden and softened.

2. Add the beans and the crushed tomatoes, simmer over low/medium heat for 10 minutes.

3. Add the spinach in handfuls, stirring in between handfuls, until wilted, then add the basil and garlic. Stir and heat through, season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Pile a large spoonful of the Cannellini bean mixture onto a piece of lightly toasted bread, top with mozzarella and grill under broiler until the cheese has melted.

(you can always add bacon if your household demands it)

 

 

 

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