Browsing articles in "Main Course"
Jul 7, 2011

Recipe for: My Greek Burger

FROM THE KITCHEN OF: Isabel Canfield
TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes
4 burgers

I love a good, hearty, juicy burger. It may give me a little heartburn, but it’s certainly worth it. For this particular burger, I was inspired by the gyro. I wanted to incorporate ingredients that you would see in a gyro such as onions and tzatziki, and make it into my own Greek-inspired burger. Yesterday, I showcased a homemade feta tzatziki sauce by Ina Garten. Today, I’ll show you part 2—the burger. Two things I recommend. One, grilling the parts and pieces. Grilling adds so much more flavor to meat and vegetables. The charred taste is an added bonus! And two, using ground chuck because there’s a little more fat that keeps the burger from drying out on the grill. However, feel free to mix things up by using a different type of meat like ground lamb or a non-meat for those vegetarians out there. You can make it your own!

1 pound of ground chuck (or your choice)
1 large red onion
2 portabella caps
olive oil
salt + pepper to taste
4 buns
tzatziki sauce

1. Prep ingredients.
Slice the onions fairly thick, about 1/2 inch. This will help keep them together on the grill. Drizzle olive oil on the slices and portabellas. Salt and pepper them as well.

2. Make the burger patties. Remove the ground chuck from its’ packaging. Salt and pepper beef. Mix gently and divide the beef into four even parts. Using your hands, mold and flatten them to 1/2 inch patties or to your desired thickness. I like to keep them fairly thin because they tend to shrink while grilling.

3. Grill the parts and pieces. Preheat your grill. Once grill it hot, gently place the onions first. They take the longest to cook at about 6-8 minutes. Next, place the portabella mushrooms. They take about 5 minutes per side. Once the vegetables and mushrooms are nicely grilled, move them to the cooler side of the grill. Now, it’s time to grill the burgers! They don’t take very long either if you make them thin. Roughly 3-5 minutes per side depending on how hot your grill is. At that same time, you can heat up the buns on the grill.

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Jun 28, 2011

Recipe for: Fried Eggplant Flatbread

FROM THE KITCHEN OF: Isabel Canfield
TOTAL TIME: less than 20 minutes to prep and 12-15 minutes to bake  MAKES: 4 flatbreads

While designing the toppings for this flatbread, my trip to New York City was my inspiration. When I arrived to NYC, I was tired and hungry, which is by far the worst combination ever. I needed food immediately so my friend, whom I was visiting, took me to her favorite pizza place a few blocks from her apartment building. The pizza shop had obviously 10 or so different varieties of pizza. You pick your poison, they pop it in their hot oven for a few minutes and there you go. NYC pizza served within minutes.

I ordered a slice of pizza I’ve never had before, the eggplant pizza. It’s a take on the eggplant Parmesan, but in the form of a pizza. And I loved it! So, I wanted to recreate it for you by keeping the same textures and flavors, but using some shortcuts along the way. I used Naan bread, which can easily be found at your local grocery store, as the crust. I also didn’t make the sauce from scratch. I used some leftover spaghetti sauce, which is perfectly fine in my book—makes life a lot easier. Even with these shortcuts, taste is not jeopardized. So, the next time you pick up an eggplant and you don’t know what to do with it, try this simple and tasty recipe.

4 Naan breads
1 large Chinese eggplant (or Japanese)
1 cup of flour
2 cups of breadcrumbs
3 eggs
1 cup of spaghetti sauce
1 ball of Mozzarella
grated Parmesan
salt + pepper to taste
olive oil

1. Prep ingredients.
Rinse and pat dry the eggplant. Slice the eggplant in 1/2 inch-thick rounds or slightly thinner. Gather three bowls. Add the flour in one, the egg in the second and the breadcrumbs in the third. Mix the egg with a fork. Add salt & pepper to each component and mix well.

2. Coat the eggplant. To quicken the process, I took three slices of eggplant at a time. Drop the eggplant slices into the flour and press down to coat both sides. Drop the flour-coated eggplant into the egg. The flour actually helps the egg to stick. Coat both sides. Lastly, drop the eggplant in the breadcrumbs, coating both side as well. Repeat for all the slices and place all the coated eggplant on a plate.

3. Cook the eggplant. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Drizzle in olive oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. When the skillet gets hot, place the eggplant slices on a single layer. Each side takes about 2-3 minutes. Cook all the eggplant slices and place on a plate. Meanwhile, add the spaghetti sauce in a small saucepan and heat over medium to medium low for 5-10 minutes. Sauce should thicken slightly. *Eggplant is like a sponge. It’ll soak up a lot of olive oil. Don’t be shy. Add olive oil throughout the frying process. You don’t want them to burn.

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Jun 21, 2011

Recipe for: Spicy Moroccan Kabobs

FROM THE KITCHEN OF: Isabel Canfield
TOTAL TIME: less than 20 min to prep, 1 hr to marinade and 15 minutes to grill  MAKES: 12 or so kabobs

A few weeks ago, a very good friend of ours invited us over for a cookout. We arrived at her house and was put to work chopping vegetables to assemble some kabobs she had on the menu. She also had the typical burgers and hot dogs on the grill, but what a rare treat this was to try something a little different at a cookout. She found the marinade recipe for the spicy Moroccan kabobs in a health magazine. Not only was it tasty, but it was also nutritious! Best of both worlds. The kabobs had the perfect combination of spices. Jared and I absolutely loved it. So, we decided to use borrow this recipe and make this for some friends we had over recently. We changed the recipe just a smidge by adding onions and fresh red peppers on the skewers. We also added a little more garlic to the marinade, and a little less chili peppers. I just like a little kick. This is a recipe packed full of spice and flavor. Try this for your next cookout!

1 jar of roasted red bell pepper (roughly 3-4 in a jar)
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp red-pepper flakes (or more if you like it really spicy!)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander
2 red bell peppers
1 large red onion
a cut of beef your choice (tenderloin, sirloin or skirt)
salt + pepper to taste
olive oil

1. Cut the beef in chunks.
Using a sharp knife, cut the beef in large chunks for the kabobs. Place in a large bowl and set aside. *I didn’t use the right kind of beef even though the man at the grocery store recommended it. It was still good, but the beef turned out a little tough. Do not use London broil.

2. Prepare the marinade. In a blender, add the jarred peppers, olive oil, garlic cloves, red-pepper flakes, salt, ground cumin and coriander. Puree until smooth. Pour the marinade over the beef and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and let refrigerate for 1 hr at the minimum.

3. Cut up the vegetables. Cut the onions in large chunks, as well as, the fresh red peppers. Place them in a bowl and drizzle with salt, pepper and olive oil. Mix well and refrigerate. Meanwhile, soak the wooden skewers in water for 15-20 minutes so that they don’t burn on the grill.

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May 24, 2011

Recipe for: Garlic & Rosemary Pork Chops

FROM THE KITCHEN OF: Isabel Canfield
TOTAL TIME: less than 5 min to make the marinade, 1 hr to marinade the pork chops and less than 10 min to grill  MAKES: 4-6 pork chops

It’s officially grilling season (insert huge smile). I absolutely love grilling. It’s just another way to give food a different taste. So, if you haven’t done so already, uncover the grill and clean it out before Memorial Day weekend. It’s time to start grilling!

Are you tired of grilling the same old, same old? Well, I’ve got something a little different for a Memorial Day cookout. Pork chops marinated with garlic, olive oil, lemon and rosemary. Ah-mazing! I find pork chops to be a little bland, very similar to chicken. The key is to create a tasty marinade. Garlic and rosemary are both very strong flavors, so it creates a big impact on a tasteless pork chop. When you grill the pork chops, the bits and pieces of garlic and rosemary get nice and toasted. Oh man, you’ll love it. So, try something a little different this Memorial Day or add this to the menu. Your guests will be happy you did.

2 tablespoons of chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons of chopped garlic
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
1/4 cup of olive oil
salt + pepper to taste
4-6 pork chops

1. Prepare the marinade. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, rosemary, garlic and olive oil.

2. Pour marinade over pork chops. Lay the pork chops in a shallow baking dish. Lightly salt and pepper each side. Pour the marinade over the pork chops coating all sides and rubbing it with your fingers. Let it sit for 1 hour at room temperature.

3. Grill the pork chops. I recommend grilling the pork chops on an outdoor grill, but if you must, the stove top works perfectly fine too. These pork chops were fairly thin, so it didn’t take to long to cook. Over the stove, heat the grill pan at medium high and add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Lay each pork chop on the grill pan. Be sure it sizzles indicating the pan is hot enough. Each side takes about 3-5 minutes to cook all the way through. Be sure to not overcook or else you’ll end up with a dry chop. It’ll take about the same time to cook these pork chops on an outdoor grill.

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May 17, 2011

Recipe for: Chicken Piccata

I’ve cooked chicken piccata several times now. I remember once, I made it a little too lemony and it was horrible. Every bite made me cringe because the lemon was so overpowering. A little goes a long way with lemon. So this time around, I was careful with the amount of lemon juice. I think I made it just perfect for you to impress your friends and family. If you’ve never had chicken piccata before, it is a true Italian dish with delicious capers, lemon and white wine. Those three ingredients are like magic to an Italian meal, and once you’ve made this dish, you’ll want to make it over and over again.

3 chicken breasts, halved
salt + pepper
1/2 cup of flour
olive oil
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 white wine
2 Tbsp of lemon
3 Tbsp of capers

1. Prep chicken breasts.
If you have three large chicken breasts, slice each one in half making six portions. Pound each portion into 1/4 inch thickness. You can use a mallet or heavy pan to pound each portion thinly. Be sure to lay a plastic wrap over the chicken breast so that the pounding doesn’t ruin the texture. Meanwhile, place a large skillet on the stove and heat to medium-high. Add a heavy drizzle of olive oil and one Tbsp of butter to the pan.

2. Coat the chicken breast. Once each portion is at its right thickness, salt and pepper each portion. Coat each portion with flour that’s also been seasoned with salt and pepper. Pat off the excess flour.

3. Saute the chicken. Once each portion is coated with flour, lay each chicken culet in the hot skillet. Because you’ve pounded the chicken flat, it doesn’t take too long to cook, probably 2-33 minutes per side. After chicken is cooked though, remove from skillet and place on a plate for the time being.

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