Monday, May 30, 2011

The Jucy Lucy Burger

The Juicy Lucy, or Jucy Lucy burger, is Minneapolis' contribution to world cuisine.  It's a cheeseburger with the cheese inside the meat, such that the cheese melts into a molten core when cooked, and served with a warning against scalding yourself with liquid cheese.

The Juicy Lucy burger was invented in a south Minneapolis bar sometime in the 1950s and depending on who you talk to, that was either The 5-8 Club, who serve the Juicy Lucy, or Matt's Bar who make the Jucy Lucy, and let customers know that "if it's spelled correctly, you're at the wrong place".

The Jucy Lucy Burger

  • 2 slices bread
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • A few shakes of Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1-1/2 lbs. 85% ground sirloin
  • 4- 1/2" thick slices deli American Cheese, cut into quarters 
  • 2 Tbsp. beef broth
Using a potato masher, mash bread, milk, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl until smooth.  Add beef and combine.

Portion into 8 even patties, about 1/4" thick.  Pat until they are a thin round patty slightly larger than the cheese slice.  Turn the 8 patties into 4 by sandwiching the quartered cheese slices in the center.  Pile the quarters of cheese one on top of the other.  This will make a 2" center pile of cheese.

  Press tightly around edges to seal.  Preheat a heavy-bottomed pan* to medium high heat, or cook them on your outdoor grill.

The burger may puff up due to steam from melting cheese.  Flip, and using toothpick, prick top of burger to allow for steam escape.  Cook 3-4 minutes per side.
*If cooking burger in a pan, add beef broth at the end of cooking time and cover for a minute or so to steam.
Let burger cool a bit before eating.  The cheese will be very hot and you might burn your mouth! 
Serve with condiments of your choice - I love a nice thick slice of raw Vidalia onion!
Double click on the pic to enlarge

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pineapple-Coconut Gelato

You say gelato, I say Ice Cream.  A rose by any other name etc.  What is Gelato?

Gelato has a lower butterfat content, and slightly less sugar, than most American ice creams.  American ice cream is typically made from heavy cream, while Italian gelato is based on milk with egg yolks added for richness and nonfat dry milk stirred in for body and texture.

Gelato is also mixed differently.  American ice cream might include up to 50% air.  Gelato is frozen quickly in small batches; its denser, creamier and richer.

Oh, and one more thing;  do you need an ice cream maker to make ice cream?

It helps, but you can still make this "gelato" without one.  If you do have know what to do.  This is also a frozen tribute to the pina`colada - especially with the addition of the rum (optional, but who would leave it out!)

You will need:

  • 20-ounce can crushed pineapple in juice
  • 13.6-ounce can coconut milk ("light" is fine), divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2Tbsp. nonfat dry milk
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract or 1/8 tsp. coconut extract
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. light rum (for flavor)*
*1 Tbsp. rum adds delicious flavor; 2 Tbsps help keep the gelato soft and scoopable in the freezer.  Add any more and you have a cocktail!


For best flavor, pour the crushed pineapple with its juice into a saucepan and simmer for about 20 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated.  You can skip this step and simply drain the pineapple, pressing to removed as much juice as possible.  Refrigerate while you prepare the rest.

In a saucepan, whisk together 1 cup of the coconut milk; the sugar, and the nonfat dry milk.  Set the remaining coconut milk aside.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to simmer.  Whisk to remove as many lumps as possible.  While the milk/sugar mixture is heatingj, put the 2 egg yolks in a bowl and whisk to combine.

Gradually pour about 1 cup of the hot mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks.  Whisk to combine, then transfer the egg yolk mixture back to the saucepan.  Stir the custard over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until it thickens a bit;  it should be about as thick as heavy cream.  Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 2/3 cup coconut milk.  Add the vanilla or coconut flavor.  Transfer the custard to a blender, add the pineapple and process until smooth as possible.  Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate overnight.

If you have an ice cream maker - Within about 4 hours of when you want to serve, add to your ice cream maker.  Towards the end of the churning time, add the rum to combine.

No ice cream maker -  Pour the chilled custard into a bowl, place in the freezer uncovered, and stir every hour.  After about 4 hours it will be soft-serve consistency.  Add rum if using.   Continue to stir and freeze until it's the way you like it. 

~Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Links from this posts:  la bella vita - Seasonal Saturday
                                  Sweets for a Saturday

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tuna Cannelloni with Tomato-Caper Relish

I'm always trying to find new ways to prepare tuna.  I thought this was an interesting way to present tuna salad.  The addition of fresh lemon zest and capers turns simple tuna into something fresh and delicious!  I was going to add some crackers on the plate as part of the presentation, but decided to add garlic toast points - you have to look twice at the photo - you might think it was baked manicotti!

Tuna Cannelloni with Tomato-Caper Relish
  • 6 uncooked manicotti pasta shells
  • 1 lemon, divided
  • 2 cans tuna (I used one solid white and one light) in water, drained
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 1/4 small red onion, finely minced
  • 3 Tbsp. capers, drained, divided
  • 1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper, divided
  • 3 medium vine-ripened tomatoes
Cook pasta shells according to package directions, omitting salt and cook an additional 1-2 minutes more than package directs, or until pasta is completely tender.  Transfer pasta to large colander and gently rinse under cold water.  Set aside.

For filling, zest lemon to measure 1 tsp.  Juice lemon to measure 1 Tbsp.  Combine zest, tuna, mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp. parsley, onion, 1 Tbsp. of the capers and 1/2 tsp. black pepper; mix well.  Spoon filling into large zip-lock bag; chill.

For relish, core and seed tomatoes and finely dice.  Combine tomatoes, lemon juice, remaining 2 Tbsp. parsley, remaining 2 Tbsp. capers and remaining 1/2 tsp. black pepper.  Mix well and chill until ready to assemble cannelloni.

Trim corner of bag containing filling and pipe into pasta shells.  Serve with relish and garlic toast points or crackers.

This would make a great summer lunch!

~Adapted from The Pampered Chef
Cooks Tip:  When purchasing manicotti shells, check to make sure they are not broken.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chicken Madeira

Ok...I really had to fix this one.  This was a copykat recipe from the Cheesecake Factory which I had recently.
Of course it didn't come anywhere near what I had.  That's what I get for being a copykat...nah nah nah nah nah!  I think Chef Pablo is not giving away anything!

This is a sauteed chicken topped with asparagus and melted cheese. All topped with mushrooms in a Madeira wine sauce.  Served with a generous portion of mashed potatoes.

I'm giving you the recipe as I found it....with my changes.

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 boneless chicken breast
  • Fresh Asparagus spears
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 3 cups Madeira wine (One cup is sufficient)
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Cover chicken breast with plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thick.  Sprinkle each chicken breast with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tablespoon olive in frying pan over medium high heat.  Saute breasts 4-6 minutes per side until done and browned just a bit.

Remove from pan and wrap in foil to keep warm while you make the sauce.  In the same pan that you sauteed the chicken add 1 tablespoon olive oil and add sliced mushrooms; saute for about 2 minutes.  Add Madeira wine, beef stock, butter and pepper.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes until reduced to about 1/2 original volume.  When sauce is done it will be thick...............this did not happen.  I reduced it an additional 20 minutes and it did not thicken.  I added 1 tsp. cornstarch with a little water..A little better.  This was a very sweet sauce.  The dish I had tasted more like a beefy barbeque sauce.  I added the following:  1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce and 1 tsp. Jack Daniels Spicy Original Barbeque Sauce.  This came close to what I had.

While sauce is reducing, bring a pan of water to a boil.  Add salt to water; blanch asparagus 3-5 minutes and drop into ice water to stop cooking.  Set oven to broil.

In baking dish arrange chicken, cross 2 asparagus stems over each piece of chicken and top with a slice of cheese.  Broil until cheese melts.  To serve, top with 3-4 Tablespoons sauce.

It's a lovely presentation and very easy to make.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rice Pudding Brulee

New Jersey has more diners than any state in the nation and is considered "The Diner Capital" of the world!
Go Jersey!

On every diner dessert menu you will find rice pudding.  A true old-fashioned homey dessert.   Imagine a bowl of warm rice pudding topped with a crispy, caramel brulee topping!  Let's turn this into something special!

Rice Pudding Brulee
  • 4 cups water
  • 1-1/2 cups long grain white rice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
Combine water, rice and salt in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to lowest setting and cover.  Simmer 16-18 minutes or until rice is soft and water is absorbed.  Turn off heat; let stand 10 minutes.

Add cream to rice.  Stir in sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and cinnamon.  Stir mixture for one minute.  Smooth surface using a small spreading knife.  Wipe rim of ramekins clean with a damp paper towel.  Mix sugars until well blended;  sprinkle evenly over entire surface of pudding.

Now - choose your weapon!
My son did this part for me - Watch the curtains!

If you are using a torch, carefully heat sugars until melted and bubbly.  This can also be done in your broiler.  Place as close as possible to heating element.  Broil 4-6 minutes or until sugar is melted.  Watch closely!  Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.  Can also be served chilled.

~Adapted from The Pampered Chef

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Seven Layer Fiesta Dip

It's quick to put together the night before and have it ready for your guests with a big bowl of tortilla chips.

Excuse the presentation, but this is for a Communion party tomorrow and everything is ready to go in foil trays.

  • One half can refried beans, mixed with 2 Tbsp. prepared salsa
  • 1 recipe guacamole
  • 8 oz. container sour cream
  • 1 cup prepared salsa
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese, or a mexican blend
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions or scallions
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/2 small jalapeno, minced (optional)
In medium bowl, combine refried beans and 2 tbsp. salsa; mash with fork until smooth.  Spread onto serving plate.  Top with remaining ingredients in layers in order of recipe and serve with tortilla chips or crackers.

Your guests are going to love this one!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Coconut Custard Pie

Coconut Custard Pie is an old-fashioned dessert.  It's one of my favorites.  This is a quick-to-make pie that makes it's own crust!  Everything is done in the blender!

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup coconut
In a blender, combine first seven ingredients.  Cover and blend for 10 seconds; scrape sides if necessary.  Blend another 10 seconds.  Add coconut and blend for 2 seconds.  Pour into a greased 10-inch pie plate.
 Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45-55 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean.  Serve warm.

Ok, so in total this take about 22 seconds and maybe 2 minutes to put all the ingredients in the blender!  This should be in the Guiness World Records.

Coconut Macaroons
  • 14 oz. sweetened coconut
  • 14 oz. condensed milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 egg whites, at room temp.
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Combine coconut, condensed milk and vanilla in a large bowl.  Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed with electric mixer until they form medium-firm peaks.  Fold in egg whites.  Drop batter onto greased baking sheet using an ice cream scoop or large pastry cone.  Bake 25-30 minutes.

It's really a delicious pie, not too sweet and the coconut caramelizes around the edges.  Enjoy!

I'm linking up with Saturday Swap! Quit Eating Out!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Linzer Tarts

Originated in Austria, the term "Linzertorte" refers to a rich, buttery pastry that is filled with fruit preserves.  Traditionally the pastry is made into a tart, but cookies are also common.

My mom always loved these cookies.  So in honor and memory of her and Mother's Day, Linzer Tarts - made with love.

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 jar Red Raspberry preserves (seedless if you can find it)
In a large mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs and beat well after each addition.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Form into two discs and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate until well chilled, at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll dough onto floured surface to 1/4" thickness.  Cut into desired shapes, one with a hole and one without.  Bake approx. 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Let cool on wire rack.  To assemble:  Spread one cookie without the hole with raspberry preserves.  Dust cookie with the hole liberally with confectioner's sugar and sandwich together.

This recipe has been added to Sweets for Saturday

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Breakfast Kebabs

I love to go out for breakfast on a relaxed Sunday Morning.  With Mother's Day coming up, this is a fun recipe that Mom can put together the night before and family can make it for Mom while she's lounging in bed.  Who wouldn't want to wake up to the smell of bacon and sausages cooking!  Get the coffee ready, some nice fresh fruit and treat Mom to a great breakfast!

Breakfast Kebabs with Maple Syrup and Brown Sugar Glaze
  • 6 breakfast sausage links, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 strips bacon
  • 8 oz. ham steak, cut into 1-inch pieces (optional)
Mix together 1/4 cup of good maple syrup with 1 teaspoon brown sugar.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and top with a cooling rack.  Coat rack with non-stick spray.

Thread sausage pieces and bacon strips loosely onto six 10-inch long skewers.  Brush kebabs with syrup mixture and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

Roast kebabs until all meats are browned and cooked through 45-50 minutes.  Baste and turn the skewers every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking.  Serve immediately.

Muffin McEgg

These can go in the oven at the same temperature as the kebabs.
Coat a jumbo muffin pan with non-stick spray.  Split English Muffins and place into muffin tin forming a cup.  Brush inside of muffin with butter and toast in the oven until slightly browned, about 15 minutes.  Place egg into toasted muffin, season with salt and pepper and top with cheese.  Return to oven and bake about 15 minutes or until set.  Top with Hollandaise sauce if desired.

~Adapted from Cuisine at Home

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail - Coctel de Camarones

Cinco de Mayo - The 5th of May is not Mexican Independence Day, but it should be, and Cinco De Mayo is not an American holiday, but it should be.

Mexican soldiers smashed the French and traitor Mexican army of 8,000 at Puebla, Mexico on the morning of May 5, 1862.  When the battles was over, many French were killed or wounded.  The Mexicans had won a great victory that kept Napoleon III from supplying the confederate rebels for another year, allowing the United States to build the greatest army the world has ever seen.

In gratitude, thousands of Mexicans crossed the border after Pearl Harbor to join the United States Armed Forces.

Mexicans never forget who their friends are, and neither do Americans.  That's why Cinco de Mayo is such a party - a party that celebrates freedom and liberty.  VIVA! el Cinco De Mayo!!

This recipe is a classic Mexican shrimp cocktail that I served as a starter for Easter.  Now it's our new favorite!  A change from the normal, boring shrimp cocktail.

  • 1 pound cooked medium shrimp, tails removed
  • 1-1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1-1/2 cups diced English cucumber
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • 1-1/2 cups spicy or regular V-8 juice
  • 1 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges for serving


Combine shrimp, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, avocado, V-8 juice, lime juice, pepper and salt and cilantro in a large bowl.  Serve at room temperature or chilled, with lime wedges.  Serve with warm corn tortillas or cheese quesadillas for a complete meal.  Add your favorite hot sauce for a spicer cocktail.  I think a little Vodka wouldn't hurt either!
~Adapted from Eating Well

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Molten Chocolate Tunnel Cake

I'm speechless.

  • 1 package (3.9 ounces) chocolate instant pudding and pie filling
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • 1-1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels, divided
  • 1 package devil's food cake mix
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries or strawberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray tube pan with nonstick cooking spray.  In a small bowl combine pudding mix and milk; whisk until mixture is smooth and begins to thicken.  Stir in 1/2 cup of the chocolate morsels; set aside.  In a large bowl combine cake mix, 1/2 cup oil, eggs and water; mix according to package directions.  Pour out 1-1/4 cups of batter and set aside.  Spread remaining batter over bottom of pan.  Scoop pudding using a small scoop or 1 tablespoon in a circular patter 1/2 inch from edge of pan.
Spread remaining batter over pudding.  Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes.  Invert cake onto round platter.

Combine remaining chocolate morsels and half of the whipped topping in small bowl on HIGH 1 minutes or until melted;  mix until smooth.  Reserve 1/4 cup of glaze.  Pour remaining glaze over cake.  Spread glaze to edge of cake allowing glaze to drip down sides.  Place strawberries evenly over top of cake and drizzle with reserved glaze.  Garnish with whipped topping.

Got Milk?
~Adapted from The Pampered Chef

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