Cheeseburger Sliders with Caramelized Onions

I’m a big fan of cheeseburgers, but unlike most people, I don’t like my burgers to be so fat that I can’t take a reasonable bite. I get the “gourmet” aspect of a perfectly cooked thick burger, patiently and carefully seared to an exact medium-rare. It’s not easy, and the techniques involved to get the point of patty perfection are quite intentional – the biggest being, don’t smoosh it.

 

One of my favorite ways to make cheeseburgers at home is to mini-fy them. Or, in other words, make cheeseburger sliders!

 

how to make cheeseburger sliders

 

I take 1 pound of lean ground beef and mix in an egg, dried parsley, grated onion and garlic, and generous amounts of sea salt and pepper. Then, I portion the beef into 7 or 8 patties – about 1/8 cup each, pressing them to about 1/4″ thick (a little thinner in the center, because they’ll puff up a while cooking). Then I let them sit for a bit to rest.

 

how to make cheeseburger sliders

 

Allowing time for the patties to rest gives you a great opportunity to prepare other burger enhancements, like sauteing mushrooms and frying up bacon. Or, like in this case, caramelizing onions! See them peeking out from under the melty cheese?

 

how to make cheeseburger sliders

Cheeseburger Sliders

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
These cheeseburger sliders are the perfect quick-fix dinner for a busy weeknight!

Ingredients

  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Large egg (beaten)
  • 1/2 Large onion (grated)
  • 1/2 Large onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 clove fresh garlic (grated)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 American cheese slices
  • 8 Small hamburger buns

Optional

  • mayonnaise
  • ketchup
  • field greens

Directions

Combine the beef, parsley, egg, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper in a large bowl - use your hands to get it all mushed together! The mixture will be moist, but that's okay.
Make 8 even portions of the beef (about 1/8-cup each), and then make them into patties 1/4" thick. Press to make the center of each pattie slightly thinner - they'll puff up a bit while cooking. Stet the patties aside to rest.
Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a small skillet to warm over medium heat. After about 2 minutes, add the sliced onions and a sprinkle of salt, and gently saute them until they're soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and let them sit.
Warm a grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush each of the patties with a little olive oil. After about 3 minutes, place the patties (olive oil side down) into the hot pan. Let them cook for 3 minutes, and then flip them and continue cooking for another 3 minutes.
Top each patty with a bit of caramelized onions and a slice of American cheese, and then cover the pan with aluminum foil. The steam will help the cheese get good and melty - it takes about 30 seconds.
Serve the cheeseburger sliders with mayonnaise, ketchup and field greens.

Bratwurst & Shrimp Jambalaya with Success® Rice

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Success® Rice.

 how to make jambalaya

Writing is a big part of my life, but it’s not my livelihood. I actually have a job in marketing for a large company, and I spend about 50% of my time in an office without windows. Before you get all, “That sucks, I feel really sorry for you!” on me, don’t. I really love my job, and the building in which I work, along with the people I’m surrounded by, are amazing! I actually have large floor-to-ceiling windows about 20 feet away, just not directly in or across from where I sit. Really, I don’t have it that bad.

Plus, the other 50% of my time I’m on the road, and being out and about on a regular basis totally makes up for the windowless office.

Today when I emerged from my office I realized it was dark, cloudy and very, very rainy outside. Like, flood-watch rainy. Many foodies would poo-poo eating warm, comfort food on a June evening, but it doesn’t bother me one bit – especially when it’s pouring outside and I just feel like curling up with a good book and a glass of wine!

Success® Rice is the ORIGINAL no mess, no measure boil-in-bag rice that cooks perfectly every time and is ready in less than 10 minutes. The white and brown rice can sit for up to 30 minutes before being served, making it foolproof. You can also, I found, take the rice out of the boil-in-bag and cook it like you would normal rice – just in less time, which makes cooking dinner on a weeknight a breeze!

how to make jambalaya
Know what else? The jambalaya I had in mind as I sat in my windowless office thinking about dinner plans, with occasional glimpses of this dreary Thursday afternoon, through the giant windows on my way to the fax machine, would go perfect with Success® Rice.

My normal recipe calls for the jambalaya’s rice to be cooked right in the broth. Except on a weeknight there’s not a lot of time to spare between getting home from work and throwing together a yummy dinner. Waiting for traditional rice to be done, on top of creating deep flavors in a short window of time, is nearly impossible.

Typically weeknight dinners take me 30-45 minutes from start to finish. This new jambalaya recipe takes a little longer, but an hour is still reasonable for a weeknight in my book! And the Success® Rice worked perfectly both in flavor, and to help speed up the process.

Bratwurst & Shrimp Jambalaya with Success® Rice

 how to make jambalaya

After searing the bratwurst in a Dutch oven with some olive oil over medium-high heat, they get removed to a paper towel to relax for a bit.

how to make jambalaya

Next, diced orange peppers, yellow onions and garlic are sauteed with a generous sprinkle of sea salt, pepper and parsley.

 how to make jambalaya

Chicken broth gets poured in, and I use a wooden spatula to scrape up all the tasty bits from the bottom of the pot. In goes crushed and diced tomatoes, Penzy’s BBQ 3000 seasoning, and the seared bratwurst (they’ll finish cooking in this delicious tomato broth).

how to make jambalaya

After about 15 minutes, one pouch of Boil-in-Bag White Success® Rice is opened and poured right in.

how to make jambalaya

The rice cooks directly in the sauce, which makes it so much more flavorful!

how to make jambalaya

After 10 minutes, some green onions and the raw shrimp go in. They, too, will cook right in the sauce! Only takes about 5 minutes.

how to make jambalaya

Once the shrimp are cooked through this Bratwurst and Shrimp Jambalaya is ready to eat! All of the flavor with none of the wait!

how to make jambalaya

 

Here’s the full recipe:

Bratwurst & Shrimp Jambalaya with Success® Rice

Serves 8
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 5 minutes
Bratwurst & Shrimp Jambalaya is the perfect rainy day comfort food, and makes great leftovers. Looking to feed a crowd? This recipe's for you!

Ingredients

  • 1 packet Boil-in-Bag White Success® Rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 bratwurst
  • 1 bag jumbo frozen shrimp (thawed & peeled)
  • 1 Medium pepper (diced)
  • 1 Medium yellow onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 green onions (chopped)
  • 28oz canned crushed tomatoes
  • 14.5oz canned petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Penzy's BBQ 3000

Directions

Warm the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add the bratwurst and cook them for 2 minutes per side, then remove them from the pot and set them aside.
Add the diced pepper to the Dutch oven, let it cook for 2 minutes, and then add the onion. Saute them for another 3 minutes, and then add the garlic, salt, black pepper and parsley. Continue cooking for 1 minute longer, and then add the chicken broth all at once - taking care to scrape up all the bits from the bottom of the pan.
Pour in the crushed and diced tomatoes and stir in the Penzy's BBQ 3000. Add the whole bratwurst back to the Dutch oven, bring to a boil, the reduce the heat, cover and simmer the mixture for 15 minutes. Remove the bratwurst.
Pour one packet of Boil-in-Bag White Success® Rice into the tomato mixture and then recover. Slice the bratwurst into 1-inch pieces, and then add it back into the pot along with the shrimp and the green onions. Cover again, and then continue cooking for 15 minutes longer.
Serve the Shrimp & Bratwurst Jambalaya with crusty bread. Makes great leftovers!

 

With 4 varieties available including: Success® Whole Grain Brown Rice and Success® White Rice, and globally-inspired aromatic varieties of Success® Rice, including fragrant Thai Jasmine or Basmati Rice, there’s a variety everyone in your family will love. Try your own twist on one of your favorite recipes by swapping an aromatic variety into some of your go-to rice dishes. To accommodate various households, Success® Whole Grain Brown Rice and Success® White Rice comes in two different sizes – 14 oz. or 32 oz.

 

So what are you waiting for? Use this coupon for $.50 off your next box so you can add this staple to your kitchen pantry: http://bit.ly/YwIYtq

 

Visit www.successrice.com for quick and easy recipes you can make any day of the week.

 

Like the Success® Rice Facebook page for more recipes and lifestyle tips to make mealtimes easier and more fun.

 

Teriyaki Pork Chops

We have a three day weekend upon us and I, for one, can totally use it.

A normal 30-something with a busy schedule and two smallish kids would take the three days and catch up on laundry and housework relax. But me? Noooo.

This weekend my almost-40 husband and I are backpacking for my sister’s 30th birthday. As in, ditching the kids at my parents’ farm and hiking in the Dolly Sods wilderness around a 13+ mile loop for three days with six people.

Because, who needs rest and relaxation? Not me.

And who needs running water and bathrooms? Me. Not me.

The views promise to be stunning, and the climate is supposed to match that of the Canadian wilderness. Check it out:

The 17,371 acre Dolly Sods Wilderness in the Monongahela National Forest is part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. It is located in Grant, Randolph and Tucker Counties, West Virginia. The Dolly Sods Wilderness contains much of the Red Creek drainage and contains bog and heath eco-types, more commonly typical to southern Canada. Elevations range from 2,500 to over 4,700 feet.


We’re packing light, and that means clothes AND food. Hot dogs, rice, Ramen, peanut butter, bread and apples. And a water filter, because remember? Yeah. No running water.

And definitely not these yummy teriyaki pork chops we had a few nights ago.

What are your plans for Memorial Day weekend?

Teriyaki Pork Chops

Teriyaki Pork Chops

Teriyaki Pork Chops

Serves 4
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
These teriyaki pork chops will have you coming back for more - goes great with fried rice!

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless pork chops (about 3/4)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Marinade

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 lime (juiced and zested)

Directions

Marinade
Whisk together 1/4 cup of olive oil, teriyaki sauce, lime juice & zest, vinegar, garlic salt and pepper in medium bowl.
Add the pork chops to the marinade in the bowl and make sure they are completely coated. Then, place the bowl into the fridge and let it chill for about 30 minutes.
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet and set it to warm over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Pull one chop out of the marinade, sprinkle it with sea salt, and then place it in the skillet. Repeat with the other 3 pork chops.
Let the teriyaki pork chops cook for 4 minutes, then flip them and continue cooking for an additional 4 minutes. Take the chops out of the pan and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Seared Shrimp Spaghetti Marinara

It’s the time of year where heavy comfort food gets shelved just like winter sweaters get stored away for the summer. Over the next few months I’ll still make a pot of chili now and again, and the occasional rich lasagna – I mean, how could we not?

For the most part I’m ready for light, fresh dishes. Salads, grilled meats and veggies and simple, easy to prep pastas. Here’s one that takes 15 minutes, just perfect for a busy weeknight. (Quicker, even, than take-out!)

Seared Shrimp Spaghetti Marinara

Seared Shrimp over Spaghetti Marinara

Frozen, raw shrimp have been thawed, seasoned and seared while spaghetti boils in salted water.

Seared Shrimp with Spaghetti Marinara

Marinara is then poured into the skillet with the shrimp, followed by the drained spaghetti, and then everything is tossed together to coat. Serve the seared shrimp spaghetti marinara with a warmed crusty loaf of Italian bread and a delicious, crisp side salad. Yum!

Here’s the full recipe:

Seared Shrimp Spaghetti Marinara

Seared Shrimp Spaghetti Marinara

Serves 4
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 15 minutes
This seared shrimp with spaghetti in light marinara sauce is perfect for a quick weeknight meal - ready in about 15 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 1/2lb spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bag frozen, raw jumbo shrimp (thawed and peeled)
  • 3 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 jar marinara

Optional

  • Parmesan (grated)

Directions

Set a large pot of water, plus 2-1/2 tablespoons of salt, to boil. Add the olive oil to a large skillet to warm over medium-high heat for 3 minutes.
Cook the spaghetti to al dente, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile sprinkle the shrimp with the remaining salt, the pepper and basil and then place them into the preheated skillet. Season the other side with salt, pepper and basil, and let them cook for 3 minutes. Flip the shrimp, and continue cooking for 2 minutes longer. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
Add the marinara to the shrimp skillet, followed by the cooked pasta and any leftover basil. Using tongs, toss the spaghetti and shrimp in the sauce until they're well coated. Serve the seared shrimp spaghetti marinara hot with Parmesan cheese for garnish.

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