Monday, July 21, 2014

Cheeseburger Soup

This is a recipe that my cousin David told me about from Hillbilly Cast Iron Cooking. It looked so dang delicious I made it the next day. It is wicked good, and definitely a keeper here. I did tweak it slightly, by increasing but not totally doubling it, switching the milk out for evaporated milk, and adding green pepper, tomato, and garlic to it. I think you’ll like the results.

So, without further ado, let’s get cooking!

First grate the carrots and the extra sharp cheddar cheese. Dice the onion, celery, green pepper, and tomato. Peel and mince the clove of garlic.

In a large soup pot, brown the hamburg.

While the hamburg is cooking, cube the potatoes.

When the hamburg is done, place it in a bowl and set aside. In the same skillet, sauté the onions, peppers, celery, carrots, and garlic until just tender, about 3-4 minutes. Mix in the basil.

Add the potatoes and tomatoes and the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and turn down to simmer until the potatoes are just tender, about ten minutes or so. Add the cooked hamburg.

In a smaller saucepan, make the roux by melting the butter and whisking in the flour. Cook for a minute until bubbly, then add the evaporated milk slowly, whisking the entire time. It’ll be very thick, so keep whisking so it doesn’t lump up.

Add this into the soup with the whisk, stirring until thoroughly mixed in and thickened (though obviously not as thick as the cream sauce you just made). Add the salt and pepper.

Put the shredded cheddar cheese in and mix until melted. It should only take a minute or so. Turn off the heat, and mix in the sour cream. Serve and enjoy! ~TMMF

Cheeseburger Soup

1 lb hamburg
1 lg Vidalia onion
1 green Bell pepper
2 stalks celery
1 large tomato
2 carrots
1 big clove garlic
2 humongous potatoes
1 tsp dried basil
5 c chicken stock or broth
4 Tbl butter
1/3 c flour
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
2-3 c shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese    
½ c sour cream      
1 tsp each salt and pepper

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Copycat McDonald's McRib Sandwich

Ahhhh…the McRib! This is one of McDonald’s restaurants’ special sandwiches that was put on the menu, removed, and then after a promotion later on, was popular enough to bring back for a short time almost every year after its re-introduction. From what I hear my friends saying when talking about it, people either love the McRib or hate it.

I was one of those who loved it, but there is just something about knowing what’s actually in it that dimmed the love-light for me. According to Wikipedia, the McRib meat is a restructured patty made from “primarily pork shoulder meat,” but also “lower valued trimmings” from parts of a hog that I feel nauseous just thinking about.

But what’s a person to do when she craves that heavenly barbecuey-porky taste but can’t stand the thought of what’s actually in it? Enter the copycat recipe! This is an original recipe by Todd Wilbur himself from Todd Wilbur’s Top Secret Recipes. And boy is it ever a winner! However, I maybe kind of sort of might have yes I did tweak it. I couldn’t help it; as I was making it, it was like a thunderbolt struck me and I just had to do it!

The garlic powder and onion powder are my addition to the recipe, and I really think it would have been too bland without them. I just know you’ll love this recipe, and the best thing about it is that it is made from real ingredients and you don’t have to wonder what all the preservatives and strange pork parts are doing to you. ;)

So, let’s get cooking!

First you’ll want to trim unwanted fat from the meat. I don’t totally excise the fat from it; let’s face it, fat makes things taste better!  So I do leave a little on and don’t worry about it too much. I mean, seriously, I could die tomorrow and that little bit of fat I left on the meat isn’t going to matter at all. Let’s just hope that if that happened, I at least would have made and eaten these sandwiches tonight. ;)

Cut the meat into about 1 inch chunks.

Put the pork into a food processor, along with the salt, sugar, onion and garlic powders, and water. I also ended up having to add way more water than the original recipe; there didn’t seem to be any way around that, and my copycat McRibs turned out awesome. Puree the meat until fairly smooth, adding water by the tablespoon as needed.

Whatever you do, do NOT use a blender for this; it will burn out the motor. Use a food processor. But how would I know anything about that? I’d never do anything so goofy as that. ;)

*NOTE* If using ground pork, skip the above steps and omit the water. Just mix the ground pork with the sugar and spices.

Next, line a sheet pan with parchment paper. From the pureed meat mixture, form four patties, flattening and shaping them. I just looked at the rolls I had gotten for this and then just eyeballed it to make the right size.

Freeze. I let mine go overnight and made them the next day. This step is necessary to make them keep their shape during the cooking process.

Now, when you make the McRibs, you just sauté them on a griddle or in a skillet, with some cooking spray.

While the frozen formed pork patties are cooking, slice the pickles and Vidalia onions.

When the patties are cooked thoroughly, coat with your favorite barbecue sauce. I prefer a smoky flavored sauce over sweet. I just poured some onto a plate and used a fork to drag the patty through it, coating both sides.

Assemble the sandwich by placing the  patty on the bottom of the roll, adding a layer of pickles and onions, and then topping with the other half of the roll. Simple as that. Enjoy! ~TMMF

Copycat McRib Sandwich

1 lb pork
   (I used some of a whole pork loin
   that I got on sale)
1 tsp sugar
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
3-8 Tbl water
BBQ sauce
Vidalia onion
4 6” sandwich rolls
   (Philly cheese steak rolls are great!)

*NOTE* You can also just use ground pork and skip the pureeing process, along with leaving out the water.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Meatball Sub Casserole

Meatball Sub Casserole, YUMMMMMM! Need I say more? If anyone doesn’t know of my love affair with meatball subs, let me just tell you that when I was 16, I jumped down a 20-25 foot embankment for one that had dropped. Granted, I had no clue I was up that high, and never would have had I known it, but the sprained ankle was a small price to pay…

This recipe I found on Facebook, and it originally came from Just A Pinch Recipes by a  woman named Linda Bailey. As she noted, you can make this recipe real quick by using frozen meatballs and jarred sauce; think of how cool this recipe would be to make for unexpected company if you had those on hand. I used homemade meatballs, but they were frozen: I make up a boatload of meatball mix, form and cook them, then freeze in meal sized portions. Use what you’re comfortable with and what you have time for.

So, let’s get cooking!

Whether you use store bought frozen meatballs or homemade, have them in a non-frozen state and mix with the spaghetti sauce or marinara sauce, whether jarred or homemade. I also make spaghetti sauce in huge batches and freeze in meal sized portions, but for this I did indeed use a jarred sauce.

For the Italian bread, you can just slice it and use it plain, but you know I’m not going to do that. ;) I mixed up a garlic butter by placing the softened butter in a bowl with the minced garlic and the parmesan cheese and stirring well.

Just slice up the bread, about 1 to 11/2 “ thick, and spread it on each slice.

Turn loose the meatballs and sauce in a 10 X 15 baking dish.

Place the sliced Italian bread standing up along the sides, with the garlic-butter sides facing in. Excuse the differences in coloring in these photos; this is the evil work of my camera, Cammie, who sometimes gets in a snit and likes to sabotage my pictures. ;)

Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella and Italian cheeses evenly on top. I was a little more heavy handed with the cheese than the amounts listed below in the recipe. I may or may not have thrown those cheeses onto the bread slices too. ;)

Bake in a 400° oven for 25-30 minutes until cheeses are melted and bubbly. The bread slices will be browned and slightly crispy. Serve with 1 or 2 slices of the garlic bread. Enjoy! ~TMMF

Meatball Sub Casserole

1 bag of frozen meatballs
   (or homemade, I think I used 30)
1 md jar of marinara sauce or spaghetti    sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup Italian blend cheese, shredded
1 loaf of fresh Italian bread
½ c butter, softened
3 humongous cloves garlic
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese