Saturday, August 23, 2008

Chicken Cobb Burger

There is a new cooking group called Dinner Divas that is all the rage. I haven't officially joined because I am so bad at updating my blog that I am sure I'll fall behind. But this recipe looked so good that I had to try it. It was a great recipe but the burger was so huge that I had to serve the salad on the side instead of on top. I also used ground turkey and added a bit of Essence to the meat for extra flavor.

I also had a bad cooking accident as a result of trying to imitate Alton Brown's advice on de-pitting the avocado. I sliced my finger pretty good with the knife. This is something I will never try to do again.

Chicken Cobb Burger
from Bobby Flay on Food Network

For the burgers:
8 (1/2- thick) strips bacon
1 1/2 pounds ground chicken (I used ground turkey)
2 tablespoons canola oil
Salt Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
4 burger buns, split
1 large ripe beefsteak tomato, cut into 4 slices
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into 8 slices

For the vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely shredded romaine lettuce

For the burgers:
Heat the grill to medium. Place the strips of bacon on the grill (lay them across the grate so they don't fall through) and grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown and slightly crispy. Remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Increase the heat of the grill to high.

Form the meat into 4 (8-ounce) burgers, brush with the oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill the burgers until golden brown on both sides and cooked completely through, about 5 minutes per side. Top the burgers with the blue cheese, close the cover, and continue cooking until the cheese begins to melt, about 1 minute longer.

Place the burgers on the bottom half of each bun and top with a slice of tomato, 2 slices of avocado, 2 slices of bacon and some of the dressed romaine. Cover each burger with the bun tops and serve.

For the vinaigrette:
Whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire, garlic, sugar, salt, pepper and oil in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using to allow the flavors to meld.

Just before assembling the burgers, place the romaine in a medium bowl and toss with the vinaigrette.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Lunch Lady Bars

Last week I needed something simple to take to a work potluck luncheon. I came across this recipe for Lunch Lady Bars on the Yum blog. They reminded me of Nestle's Tollhouse Cookie Bars. Luckily the recipe was enough to bring to work and have some leftover for home!

Lunch Lady Bars
originally from
2 1/2 c. Flour
1 tsp baking soda soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla (I used almond flavoring since I was out of vanilla)
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used regular semi-sweet chips, not mini)

Combine dry ingredients. Set aside. In bowl mix together oil and sugars. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Gradually add dry ingredients. Mix in 3/4 c. of chocolate chips. Spread into 9x13 pan. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 c. chips on top. Bake at 350 for 15-25 minutes or until light golden brown.

Jumping on the Bandwagon--Blueberry Crumb Cake

Wow - it's been a long time. I finally have something new to post. Last weekend, I made a fabulous blueberry crumb cake from my Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook. Her recipes never disappoint, so this cake was scrumptious! It reminded me of Drake's coffee cakes, but with blueberries. Also it made a lot of streusel topping which was a bonus!

Blueberry Crumb Cake
from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa at Home

For the streusel:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

For the cake:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.

For the streusel:

Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.

For the cake:

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife. With your fingers,
crumble the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.