Muenster Sliders

September 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

J: Mini-foods seem to be kind of a thing in foodie circles these days.  I suppose I can see why (the internet loves cute things, and the smaller a food is, the fewer calories it has, so… you can eat more of it, right? No?), and sliders are a pretty classic miniature version of a pretty classic food.  I’ve often seen them served with brie, and we have a goal eventually of making sliders with Kobe or Wagyu beef and brie, but that was a bit…indulgent for the budgets of a grad student and a freelancer.  So we settled on regular (but good quality!) beef and some muenster cheese, instead of cheddar, to put a little spin of our own on these sliders.

cute!

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Fërgëse of Tirana with Lamb (Albania)

July 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

J: Welcome to the second installation in our round-the-world cooking trip.  This offering is a national dish of Albania (Tirana is the Albanian capital! *the more you know*), and is usually made with veal or beef liver.  However, for the sake of our wallets, we opted not to use those meats.  Lamb is another common meat used in Albanian cuisine, and since neither of us had cooked or eaten lamb before, we decided we’d take the opportunity to try something new, so we substituted that instead.

saucy lamb

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Enchiladas Verdes

June 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

E: While Joanna was away at a conference, I was at home and looking for something relatively simple but new that lay somewhere along the Mexican-spectrum of food. I found these while perusing the Joy of Cooking a long time ago, but they then slipped my mind for quite some time. As is usual of recipes from Joy, when I finally got around to making them, I found out that these enchiladas rock!

tasty but could have used more cheese (what doesn't)

I skimped a bit on the amount of cheese I melted on top of them, which was probably their only failing. The filling was delicious, even for someone who doesn’t like sour cream. And the tomatillo sauce is really excellent, and definitely something I plan to make again and use for my own nefarious . . um . . recipes.

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The Veggie-Lover’s Quiche

March 5, 2012 § 2 Comments

J: A couple years back, Erik introduced me to the versatility of the simple quiche.  Of course, I had eaten (and loved!) quiche before, but I suppose it never really occurred to me just how much fun you can have playing with different ingredients and flavors to make a breakfast quiche, dinner quiche, or maybe even dessert quiche if you wanted. (Also, as a side note, quiche is a really fun word.  I always want to pronounce it “kweesh” just for the lulz.)

Anyway, while we were home for the holidays this year, for one of our big meals we decided a quiche would be a perfect side-dish.  And, to have some semblance of being healthy, we decided to add a ton of vegetables to it.  That totally cancels out all the eggs and milk that go into it, right?  …right?

look at all that green!

We decided to make the crust from scratch using a simple pie dough recipe from Joy of Cooking, mostly because I will take any and every opportunity to play with dough, but if you are not so zealous about that — or simply don’t have time — you can do a simple pat-in-the-pan crust or of course buy a premade crust if you like.

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Baked Chicken Parmesan

February 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

J: Whenever we make pizza, there’s always some sauce leftover, and it’s always a struggle to use it up before it goes bad.  In the past, we’ve come up with various solutions — make it into pasta sauce, make more pizza (obviously), etc. — but this time we wanted to actually make something more meal-like instead of just thrown together.  So, I had the idea of re-purposing the sauce to make a chicken parmesan-type dish, only instead of frying the chicken, as is often done, we just baked it instead.  Simpler, less messy, and healthier!  This is a fantastic way to use up tomato sauce of any kind, and I’m pretty sure it’ll become one of our standards.  It honestly turned out much better than expected — I think we were both sort of expecting it to be a perfectly unobjectionable but unremarkable dish, and it was actually a knockout dinner.  Give it a try!

what a wholesome meal!
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Hawaiian Veggie Burgers

October 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

E: This is a “burger” in that it is a bunch of food stacked on bread. It is not a burger in the traditional sense of ground materials formed into a patty. I guess this should more properly be called a Hawaiian veggie stack, but I’ve called these burgers for a long time and so it will remain.

I got this recipe from my mother, who acquired it during a trip to Hawaii (specifically, it’s from a restaurant in Lahaina, Maui) many years ago. It has been a family favorite since then. I’ve changed the recipe a little due to my tastes, but I include as optional some of the original ingredients that I usually omit.

these "burgers" are really easy and really tasty

These burgers are really quick to make. Ours took some time because we made more of the brioche buns ourselves. But if you have buns already, or wish to use bread or English muffins (as the original recipe specifies) you can probably whip these together in 30 minutes or less. « Read the rest of this entry »

Cheese-Studded Burgers

September 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

J:  Here at Nombudsman, we are always in pursuit of ways to put more cheese in everything, and in particular, it is one of our missions (…well, maybe just my mission) to see how many different ways we can incorporate cheese into a burger.  We presented our Inside-Out Burgers a couple weeks ago, and now we have a new creation: Cheese-Studded Burgers!

cheese EVERYWHERE

These may look like innocuous, regular burgers, but they have tons of tiny cheese cubes mixed into the patties, so you get little bursts of cheese every time you take a bite!  And, of course, we topped the burgers with yet more cheese before we devoured them.  I’m telling you, it’s a veritable cheese-ucopia.  We also used ground beef for these, at my urging, because it’s just so much heartier than ground turkey.  You can certainly use your choice of ground meat products — I’m sure this would be tasty with turkey, chicken, or even more exotic things like buffalo.  Let us know what you find works best for you!

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Inside-Out Burgers

August 20, 2011 § 1 Comment

J:  Here we go, kids.  We’ve kept you in suspense for a couple days with the promise of an awesome burger recipe to come, and here it is.  These aren’t your mama’s cheeseburgers.  They are thick and juicy, with a hunk of oozy cheese in the middle — yes, you heard right.  These cheeseburgers have the cheese on the inside.  Though of course, you’re welcome to add more cheese on the outside, if the center doesn’t give you that cheesiness you’re craving.

mm, burger

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