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Tuesday
May272014

Homemade Shake Shack Burgers - Guest Post

I surprised Melissa with a trip to New York for her birthday. It was mostly a foodie trip, taking in the sights and smells of Lower Manhattan with notable visits to some of the Momofuku-family: Ssam Bar, Booker and Dax, and Milk Bar, the beautiful West Village restaurant August, taking a pilgrimage of sorts to Sullivan Street Bakery (whose pizza recipes we've featured on this very site), Bouchon Bakery, and a couple very good old fashioneds at the famous jazz club The Village Vanguard. One of the highlights of course was the Madison Square Park mainstay Shake Shack. After all the food we ate over the long weekend, the thought that we couldn't shake (cough cough) were the fries and burgers we ate under a clear blue sky in the shade of a tree. I'm sure the specially-brewed Brooklyn Brewery ShackMeister Ale helped.

With the help of this article on Serious Eats I was able to recreate the burger with great results. While the author of the article calls for a specific blend of meat to be ground for the patty, I just grabbed a pound of 90% Lean Ground Sirloin instead of the custom mix. Most of the Shake Shack flavor is in the sauce anyway, so I don't think you'll really notice, but feel free to comment and convince me otherwise.



Ingredients

Burger

1 pound 90% lean ground beef sirloin
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 Burger Rolls
4 leaves of green-leaf lettuce, clipped
8 center-cut slices ripe plum tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper
4 slices yellow American cheese


Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
4 slices kosher dill pickle (I used on whole pickle quarter)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Pinch cayenne pepper


Recipe 

Sauce

Combine all ingredients into a food processor and blend thoroughly. Set aside.

Burgers

Roll the ground sirloin into two inch thick pucks. Place the four pucks on a plate and season the top side with salt and pepper. Put the oil on the pan by rubbing it in with a paper towel (The key to a good brown crust is to use only as little oil as needed). On medium-high heat, place the one of the pucks on the pan, seasoning side down. Salt and pepper the other side of the patty, the one facing you now.

Take a spatula and place it on the puck and firmly push down (You can use another spatula or spoon for leverage) so that the puck spreads out into a proper burger size. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to cook in batches.

Brown the patty on one side, cooking about two to three minutes, and flip it over, cooking an additional two to three minutes. Melt one cheese slice on each burger patty.

Buns and Assembly

Slice the buns in half but not all the way through. Brush melted butter on each side, and toast or broil so that they have a nice browned surface. 

Apply ample amounts of the Shake Sauce to the roll's toasted surface. Place the lettuce, tomatoes and cooked patties on the roll. Serve with french fries, preferably crinkle cut for that authentic Shake Shack Feeling. I even covered a small Amazon box in wax paper to serve them outside in our yard. 

Monday
May262014

Garlic Potatoes with Garlic Sauce

Garlic potatoes and sauce

Happy Memorial Day, and Happy Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! This month, I was assigned to K&K Test Kitchen, a collaboration between mother and daughter team Kim and Kelsey! What a great way to stay connected with each other, especially since Kim is in VA and Kelsey is in Ottawa! I truly enjoyed reading through their blog. There were so many delicious recipes. As per usual, it was difficult to pare down my choices to just one, but in the end these potatoes won. They were perfect as a side dish for our grilled burgers. Now that summer is here and grill season is in full swing, the next time you fire up the grill and need a side dish, look no further than these potatoes! 

For the Potatoes:
Small Red Potatoes
2-3 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Thyme
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Pinch of Salt and Pepper

Cut the potatoes into quarters and toss with the oil, garlic, and spices. Spread the potatoes out in a single layer on a baking dish and roast at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until brown and crispy.

For the Sauce:
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 1/2 tablespoon Tahini
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Olive Oil

Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend on high until mixed. Pour sauce over the top of potatoes  and serve.  

SOURCE: K&K Test Kitchen

Sunday
May182014

Spring Vegetable Minestrone 

Spring minestrone

We’ve been spoiled. This past week it has been pretty warm. People at work were complaining about how hot it was! Then Friday came…it was back to being pretty darn cold. So cold that we turned our heat back on, and that is pretty much unheard of past April 1st in our house. After a week of no-cook salads for dinner, I decided to make soup to warm us up. Since every time I use my crock pot, the food is mediocre at best, I adapted a crock pot spring soup recipe and made it on the stove top instead. Great move on my part, if I do say so myself. The meal was done in under an hour, was incredibly delicious, and made more than enough to freeze half the batch for whenever Mother Nature tries to throw some colder weather our way!

1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Sweet Onion, diced
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
3 Carrots, peeled and sliced
1 (28 ounce) can Diced Tomatoes
2 (15 ounce) cans Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups Vegetable Broth
2 cups Water
8 ounces Ditalini Pasta, uncooked
1 bunch Asparagus Spears, stems removed and cut into thirds
1 cup Frozen Peas
6 ounces Baby Spinach
1/3 cup Grated Romano Cheese, plus more for topping
Salt and Pepper, to taste

In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrot, and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the tomatoes, beans, broth, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the asparagus, spinach, peas, and pasta and cook for 15 minutes, or until the pasta has cooked through. Stir in the grated cheese and add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with additional cheese on top. 

SOURCE: slightly adapted from How Sweet It Is

Saturday
May172014

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

Strawberry Poppy Seed Salad

A few summers ago, I bought a strawberry plant with hopes of being able to pick baskets of berries all summer long. I was new to gardening and I bought it in the distressed plant section of the nursery, but I still had high hopes. Unfortunately, the strawberries never grew. I’m not sure if it was the plant, the soil, or me, but I never saw a single berry. This year, I decided to try it again. This time, I bought a healthy strawberry plant and plan to plant it in its own container with fresh, good soil. Hopefully I end up with lots of berries. When those berries come, I plan to make this salad all summer long. Simple and flavorful, with just the right amount of sweetness from the berries, saltiness from the feta, and crunch from the almonds. It is the perfect salad for any hot summer night!

For the Salad:
6 ounces Baby Spinach
1 cup Strawberries, sliced
2 Avocados, chopped
1/4 cup Sliced Almonds (I used chopped)
1/4 cup Feta Cheese

For the Dressing:
1/3 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Milk
3 tablespoons Sugar
4 teaspoons Cider Vinegar
2 teaspoons Poppy Seeds

Combine the spinach, strawberries, avocados, almonds, and feta in a large salad bowl. In a small jar with a lid, combine the mayonnaise, milk, sugar, vinegar, and poppy seeds, and shake to combine. Pour about half of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Add more dressing, if desired. 

SOURCE: The Recipe Critic

Sunday
May042014

Buffalo Chicken Burgers with Spicy Celery Slaw

Buffalo Chicken Burgers

Summer is quickly approaching, which means I need to beef up my collection of burger recipes for causal cookouts. I’ve said it before, but being from Buffalo, normally the “buffalo” flavor isn’t really our thing, but on a whim, I gave these burgers a try. Man, am I glad I did, though I never should have doubted how amazing they would be, since the recipe comes from a Buffalo-native! The burgers themselves have the perfect amount of spiciness, and the coolness from the slaw on top brings everything together to make one outstanding burger for your next cookout. Placed on homemade whole wheat burger buns, this easily has become one of our favorite burgers! 

For the Burgers
2 1/2 tablespoons Butter (I used less)
1 Onion, finely diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 pound Ground Chicken Breast
2-4 tablespoons Hot Sauce, to taste (I used Frank’s)
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Cool slightly. In a large bowl, add the onion mixture, chicken, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Combine the mixture with your hands, being careful not to over-mix. Divide the mixture into four portions and shape each into a patty. Grill the burgers until the chicken has cooked completely, being careful not overcook. Place each burger on a bun and top with slaw (recipe below).

For the Slaw
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
1-3 teaspoons Hot Sauce, to taste (I used Frank’s)
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper
3 Celery Stalks, thinly sliced
1 Carrot, shredded
4 Scallions, thinly sliced
3 ounces Blue Cheese, crumbled

In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, hot sauce, garlic powder, salt, and pepper; stir well. Add the celery, carrot, and scallions and stir until coated with the sauce. Gently fold in the blue cheese crumbles. Add additional salt, pepper, and hot sauce, to taste. 

SOURCE: An Edible Mosaic

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