Monday, February 19, 2018

Patty Melts

Patty Melts are one of those things that if they are on the menu, I'm going to order them (same for escargot).  So why wouldn't I make this at home?  The better question is "why aren't I" now that the Pioneer Woman has told me how?

Patty Melts
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Halved and Sliced
  • 1-1/2 pound Ground Beef
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 5 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
  • 8 slices Swiss Cheese 8 slices Rye Bread
Instructions
In a medium skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Throw in the sliced onions and cook slowly for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown and soft.

In a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef, salt & pepper, and Worcestershire. Form into 4 patties.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a separate skillet over medium heat. Cook the patties on both sides until totally done in the middle.

Assemble patty melts this way: Slice of bread, slice of cheese, hamburger patty, 1/4 of the cooked onions, another slice of cheese, and another slice of bread. On a clean griddle or in a skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter and grill the sandwiches over medium heat until golden brown. Remove the sandwiches and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet. Turn the sandwiches to the skillet, flipping them to the other side. Cook until golden brown and crisp, and until cheese is melted.

Slice in half and serve immediately!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Rosemary Garlic Fried Potatoes

We worship the Pioneer Woman at the Launchpad.  She is our "go-to gal" for many recipes.  We have started making hash browns at the Launchpad on weekends to go with the egg sandwiches that we often have.  And her Onion Straws are a staple for us.  SoBA is not a huge fan of the roasted potato, but I bet I could sell him on these.

Rosemary Garlic Fried Potatoes
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients
  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes, Scrubbed Clean And Cut Into Chunks
  • Vegetable Oil, For Frying 
  • 6 whole Rosemary Sprigs
  • 12 cloves Garlic, Sliced
  • Kosher Salt, for sprinkling
  • Smoked Paprika (optional), for sprinkling 

Instructions
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully lower the potato chunks into the water and cook them until fork-tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain the potatoes, then pour onto a sheet pan and allow them to dry completely and cool slightly.

Bring a pot of vegetable oil to a temperature of 350 degrees. (NOTE: Put pot on the back burner of the stove if you have children in the house.) Using a slotted spatula and working in batches, carefully lower cooked potatoes into the oil and allow them to fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden and slightly crisp. Add a few garlic slices and rosemary to the pot, and continue frying for another minute or so, until potatoes or deep golden and crisp. Remove to a paper towel lined plate, making sure to get all the garlic and rosemary out. Sprinkle generously with salt and repeat in batches with the rest of the potatoes, rosemary, and garlic.

Serve with steak, chicken, or fish (or salad!)

Monday, January 29, 2018

Beef Stroganoff

I've previously posted about my like of Beef Stroganoff, here, here, and here.  Evidently, according to Google, it was the top trending recipe of 2017.  Maybe I will actually get around to making it in 2018.  Recipes from BuzzFeed - here's my favorite of this list (it doesn't have mushrooms - Mrs. BA and SoBA will be happy) via the Spirited Violet.

5 Ingredient Beef Stroganoff
Serves 4
Prep Time 10 min
Cook Time 20 min
Total Time 30 min

Ingredients
  • 1 (8 ounce) package egg noodles
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can fat free condensed cream of mushroom soup (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Prepare the egg noodles according to the package.
  2. In a separate large skillet over medium heat, saute the ground beef over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until browned. Drain the fat and add the soup and garlic powder. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and combine the meat mixture with the egg noodles. Add the sour cream, stirring well, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Notes  (from the Spirited Violet)
  • We have used ground turkey for this recipe to save money. We have also used half the amount of meat in the recipe before as well and it tastes just fine!
  • I have been given a lot of feedback about the amount of garlic powder being too much. Yes, I used a whole tablespoon and this wasn't a typo; I enjoyed it and that is how it read from the original recipe as well. Use your cooking intuition if you feel that is too much for you and halve it, if necessary.
  • If you feel the noodle mixture is dry, pour milk into the empty mushroom soup can and pour in the finished mixture to make it easier to stir.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Garlic Soup

I'm a fan of the French Onion Soup.  I like Garlic.  This might be a nice change of pace.  From Brooklyn Supper via BuzzFeed.

Garlic Soup
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
A hearty, fortifying garlic soup recipe made with roasted and sautéed garlic along with potatoes, shallots, and fresh herbs.
Makes: 4 servings
Author: Brooklyn Supper

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil , divided
  • 2 large heads hardneck garlic (12 – 15 cloves each), divided
  • 1 large shallot , peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • sea salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon white wine
  • 1 quart rich stock – chicken, beef, or vegetable
  • 4 sprigs each fresh thyme and parsley, tied with twine
  • 2 medium russet potatoes , cut into 1-inch cubes

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Trim root end off one head of garlic. Set cloves, trimmed side down, in a small, oven-proof ramekin. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Cover with foil, set on a rimmed baking sheet, and slide into oven. Roast garlic for about 15 minutes, or until garlic is soft, but not at all brown. Once garlic is done, carefully remove foil and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, slide cloves out of their skins and reserve.
  3. In a heavy bottomed 2- or 3-quart pot, heat butter and 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. Trim, smash, and peel remaining head of garlic. Add cloves to pot, along with the sliced shallots, a pinch of sea salt, black pepper, and chili pepper flakes. Sauté 2 - 3 minutes, then turn heat to low and cover; cook, stirring occasionally, cook for about 30 minutes.
  4. Remove cover, up heat to medium, and sauté until shallot and garlic brown just a bit on the edges. Add white wine and scrape up any brown bits, then pour in 3 cups stock and add potatoes, reserved roasted garlic, and tied herbs (or bouquet garni), along with a generous pinch of sea salt.
  5. Bring mixture to a boil, and then turn heat down to a bubbling simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove bouquet garni and carefully puree soup in a blender. Return soup to pot, adding up to 1 more cup of broth, if needed. Add sea salt to taste, add a splash more of white wine if needed, lots and lots of black pepper, and serve with a sprig of thyme and minced parsley leaves.
  7. The flavor will develop further after a day in the fridge. The soup reheats beautifully, but does tend to thicken – keep a 1/2 cup or so of stock (water will work, too) on hand to thin soup if needed.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Where's Fred When We Need Him?

Sadly, Fred Rogers left us fifteen years ago next month. Like my mother (and last year, my father) I sometimes think, how would they react to what's going on right now? Mr. Rogers would know what to do.
  • Last April, kottke.org posted a link to Twitch.TV that was streaming all 886 episodes of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. (I don't think the link is active anymore - but you can also watch episodes on Amazon Prime) I would be fine killing some time over there (if I wasn't living in the alternate reality of the West Wing when I can).
  • One month later, kottke again posted about Mr. Rogers, this time about the sweaters that he wore throughout the years.
  • Then in November it was announced there was to be a documentary film about Mr. Rogers, titled, "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" The first trailer dropped this week.

"Love is at the root of everything
All learning, all parenting, all relationships
Love or the lack of it.
And what we see and hear on the screen is part of who we become."
- Fred Rogers

Monday, January 15, 2018

Chicken in Milk

I know what you're thinking.  How can that be good?  Roast Chicken is a popular Sunday dinner at the Launchpad.  I'm always looking for gravy with my chicken, this might do the trick.  From Jamie Oliver via BuzzFeed.

Chicken with Milk

Ingredients
  • 1.5 kg free-range chicken
  • olive oil
  • ½ a stick of cinnamon
  • 1 good handful of fresh sage
  • 2 lemons
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 565 ml milk

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F
  2. Season the chicken generously all over with sea salt and black pepper, then fry in a snug-fitting pot with a little oil until golden, turning the chicken to get an even color all over.
  3. Remove from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and throw away the oil left in the pot. You'll be left with tasty sticky goodness at the bottom of the pan which will give you a lovely caramel flavor later on. 
  4. Put your chicken back in the pot with the cinnamon, sage leaves, lemon zest, unpeeled garlic cloves and milk.
  5. Cook in the hot oven for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until cooked through, basting with the cooking juices when you remember. The lemon zest will sort of split the milk, making a sauce which is absolutely fantastic.
  6. Pull the meat off the bones and divide it onto your plates. Spoon over plenty of juice and the little curds. Serve with wilted spinach or greens and some mashed potato, if you like.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

2018 New Year's Resolutions

It's been a while since I've made resolutions, possibly because I'm bad at keeping them.  But you, dear reader, can hold me to these.  I'm resolved to do these things this year.

  1. I resolve to play golf at least once a month, when conditions allow.  (To that end, Mrs. BA did give me a gift certificate to play at least one round, once the ground is no longer frozen solid.)
  2. I resolve to go to the movies at least once a month.  We do go to the movies as a family fairly often, but I would like to go to the movies (and maybe dinner) with Mrs. BA a little more regularly.  LBA has reached an age where he can be trusted to watch over SoBA and they can be left for a period of time, provided we are not all that far away.  I also gave Mrs. BA a movie gift card so that we can get started on this right away.  We have already seen "The Last Jedi" in January, but that is not to say that we couldn't go see something else (or even see "Last Jedi" a third time).
  3. I resolve to not run around like a crazy person every morning as we try to get ourselves out of the house to school and work.  Part of that is getting out of bed before 7:00am, part of it is going to bed at a reasonable hour (which I have been doing of late), and maybe some of it is one of these wonder products that I need to help me.
  4. I would like to lose some weight this year.  Yes, yes, I know we all say that, but I really should do it.  I'm 50 now, with a variety of ailments and aches that would be alleviated by dropping some pounds.  I bought a bicycle last year that has not seen a great deal of action and it should.  My FitBit tells me that I get between 6,000 and 7,000 steps a day - but I would like that number to be the 10,000 daily goal that is recommended.  My goal is 20 pounds.
  5. I would like to be a better father to LBA and SoBA.  I don't think that I'm doing an awful job - but having lost my father last year, I am reminded that it would be nice if my boys have more good memories than bad ones of me.  I need to be more patient (especially with SoBA, who seems to know exactly where my buttons are that cause me to lose my mind), yell less, and be more aware of what's going on with their lives (LBA is officially a teenager now and that brings a whole host of other issues with it).