Monday, February 22, 2010

Guinness Makes the Burger

My taste in alcoholic beverages has changed a great deal over the years. In my early twenties, I enjoyed light, watered down beers and whatever was pink and fruity. In my mid to late twenties, I enjoyed my share of Merlot and Pinot Grigio. I have never included dark, brooding beers in my drinking repertoire. Ever. Just watching someone take a sip of that dark sludge in a pint glass was enough to make me gag. My husband, on the other hand, is a dark beer man. So, what was I to do with four of the six left over bottles of Guinness from our Superbowl get together? I sure as hell couldn't fathom drinking it. I cooked with it. I made the most delicious burgers I have ever made and a sauce that was so tasty I wanted to take a bath in it.
Guinness Burgers from
Guinness BBQ Sauce (makes about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, small dice
1/4 cup molasses( I subbed brown sugar here - Google the equivalents)
1 12 ounce can stout beer (Guinness)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 can tomato puree
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
In a medium saucepan over medium heat add the olive oil and saute the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the molasses, beer, vinegar and tomato puree then stir to combine.  Add all of the spices and allow the sauce to simmer on the stove for about 20-25 minutes until it has reduced into a thick glossy BBQ sauce.  While simmering, keep an eye on the sauce and stir occasionally.
Guinness Burgers (4 burgers)
1 pound minced beef (80% lean, 20% fat)
1 egg, whisked
¼ cup Stout beer (Guinness)
1 Tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for brushing the grill
2 teaspoons mustard (Coleman’s Mustard)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
4 burger buns
Top with Guinness BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, arugula, tomatoes and red onion
Preheat the grill or pan to medium.
Add beer, olive oil, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper to the beef then lightly mix with a fork.  Do not over mix.  Separate the mixture into four portions, then lightly roll each portion into a ball and press down to make a burger patty.
Once preheated, lightly brush the grill with olive oil and place each burger patty down onto the oiled grill.  Leave the patties for 4 minutes then flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes or desired doneness (4-5 minutes on each side should be cooked to medium).
Remove the patties from the grill and assemble each burger with desired toppings.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Confetti Meatloaf

I am not going to lie. My kids are not the greatest eaters. With the exception of broccoli, and the occasional pea, I stand on my head trying to get them to eat veggies. Meat is not easy either. So, for at least 3 years, I have been wracking my brain to put together a no fail, meat and veggie combo. A big thanks to Sharon S., one of the moms I chat with online, I put together a meatloaf that was divine. Sharon had mentioned several times how she would sneak veggies into her daughter's meals and she had a kick butt recipe for meatloaf. Of course, I never copied the recipe, so I used some of this things she mentioned and winged the rest of it. My kids hoovered the meatloaf. I was afraid my hands would get caught in the crossfire if I got too close when giving them seconds and thirds. As usual, this was an easy prep, bake and clean up recipe. Did I forget to mention healthy?

Confetti Meatloaf (feeds 4)
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1/2 large green pepper
1/2 large red pepper
1/4 large onion
1 TSP Lawry's Seasoned salt
1/4 TSP pepper
1/2-3/4 cup of Progresso Garlic and Herb Bread Crumbs
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350.
Roughly cut onion and peppers. Add to food processor and pulse until the consistency is between a dice and a puree. Add peppers and onion mixture to ground beef or turkey. Add other ingredients to meat until evenly combined. Form a loaf and add to meatloaf pan. Place meatloaf in oven. Set timer to 20 minutes and check the loaf to see its progress. It should take between 30 to 40 minutes total.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Chocolate Cream Pies

When I was dieting, I had an old stand by for something sweet: Two graham crackers, low fat whipped cream, sandwich together and freeze. Last night, I was planning on making the chocolate mousse mix I had in the house. I filled the cups with the mousse and whipped cream, but still had some mousse left over. Then, a brilliant idea hit me. Why not make my favorite frozen snack and add the mousse into the filling? How did it come out? Three letters: O.M.G. They were delicious. Delicious and easy. If you don't believe me, give it a try.

Chocolate Cream Pies
1 box of instant chocolate mousse (You will use about a TBSP per graham cracker, the mix will make plenty of mousse)
2 graham crackers per sandwich
Cool Whip (you can use any variety you like - again, it is 1 TBSP per cracker)

Prepare mousse according to instructions. On one graham cracker, put 1 TBSP of chocolate mousse and top with 1 TBSP of whipped creme. Top with a graham cracker. Freeze for at least two hours in a container.