Feta Burgers

Do you have those regular burger cravings that won’t be satisfied by a quick trip to McDonald’s or Carl’s Jr.?  I do.  Before I got married, those cravings were easily satisfied by a quick trip to McDonald’s, Jollibee and even Tropical Hut.  Then Spouse had to introduce me to homemade American burgers that I once regarded as bland,  uninspired  ground beef slabs of dubious origins.  

For the record, this is not a gourmet burger  made with freshly-ground sirloin or angus beef.  It’s a housewife’s version made for maximum convenience and flavor. I do not ground my own burger meat, yet.  I do prefer a mix of 81% and 96% lean ground beef. The 93% lean ground is just too dry.  I also prefer the meat to be unfrozen.  In a pinch, no one will stop you from making burgers out of ground beef from your freezer of course, and I have done that.  But burger meat that’s been frozen is drier somehow. Continue reading “Feta Burgers”

Corned Beef

St. Patrick’s Day will be here in a few days.  But I couldn’t wait wait to have Corned Beef with Cabbage before it came, so here it is.

This dish reminded me of Nilagang Baka and I always cooked it the Filipino-way, boiling it with onion and black peppercorn till it was falling apart.  Then adding in the potatoes and cabbage.

When it came time to eating, I grimaced when Spouse slathered the meat with brown mustard.  I persisted in having some steamed rice to go with my corned beef and cabbage and Spouse even tried that.  Although, he did insist on saving a few slices for a Reuben.

Old habits are hard to break, but when it comes to food, I’ve been known to try almost everything.  After a few years of cooking this dish, I’ve conceded and now cook and eat it the American way. Continue reading “Corned Beef”

Cincinnati Chili

Ads by AdGenta.com

This is not your usual chili.  For one, it’s served “on top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese”.  This one in the photo is known as a five-way.  

It’s served with the chili or meat sauce, beans, cheese (I used provolone so you can hardly see it in the photo) and chopped raw onions over spaghetti noodles.  It’s a fantastic combination.

Another thing that makes this chili different are the spices for flavoring, including:  cinnamon, allspice and even cocoa powder….not your usual chili, like I said. Continue reading “Cincinnati Chili”

Everyday Filipino: Beef Sinigang

Sinigang refers to the dish you cook using the “sigang” method.  Cooking sigang style is to cook with broth and other condiments according to the online Tagalog dictionary.  I always thought the term meant sauteing without oil.  Sorry about the picture, I guess the steam rose and fogged up the camera lens.

Sinigang is a very versatile dish.  There are different versions of sinigang:  beef, pork, chicken, fish and shrimp.  Sinigang with beef, pork or chicken starts out the same way, which is, sauteing the meat with the onion and tomatoes without any oil, then adding a spoonful of fish sauce.  It’s the perfect dish for the rainy season….warm and satisfying. Continue reading “Everyday Filipino: Beef Sinigang”

Osso Buco

I’ve been cooking a lot of heavy dishes the past few days.  ‘Tis the season for all those rich recipes to come out and Osso Buco served over plain-boiled polenta sounds perfect for another cold, snowy day in Colorado….

Yesterday morning, Spouse and I went up to Denver and drove through the beautiful and cold fog in Monument and Larkspur.  I can say “beautiful” cause I wasn’t doing the driving.  It was another story when we got to the city.  Driving in this weather means freezing slush and mud on the road that all stick to the whole car, including your windshield…ugh!

We were supposed to stop for lunch at our favorite Italian restaurant in Denver, Cucina Colore but changed our mind at the last minute.  I still had Italian on my mind today and dug into my freezer…guess what I found…beef shanks!

Well, okay, it’s not veal shanks like what all Osso Buco recipes call for….but I like beef shanks better than veal shanks anyway.  It’s more robust in flavor and robust is perfect for the season. Continue reading “Osso Buco”

Indonesian Oxtail Soup

Sop Buntut is one of those favorite Indonesian dishes of mine, which I have never tried to cook before.  Now that I have this blog,  I thought it would be a good idea to to try cooking Indonesian dishes.  I lived for a very short time in Jakarta years ago and experienced real culture shock soon as I stepped out of the plane.  Even if I was in still in Asia, things were so vastly different from the Philippines.  The sights, the smells, the food….ohhh the food.

Several countries, have their own version of an oxtail dish.  Most of them are heavy, rich stews.  I’ve tried the South African Oxtail Potjie which my mother learned from a friend.  The Italians have several versions.  Then of course, there’s the Philippine Kare-kare, another rich stew with vegetables and a ground, toasted rice and peanut sauce.  Sop Buntut is different in many ways, it’s a soup and not a stew for one thing.  And it has aromatic spices like nutmeg and cloves that gives it different layers of flavor. Continue reading “Indonesian Oxtail Soup”

Steak Dinner

This was the Steak Dinner we had last night, with a few of the ingredients I used to prepare the meal. I have to admit, the steak was not perfectly medium the way I planned it….more medium-well, which is not all that perfect for a piece of good steak.  I used a little under a pound of top sirloin in two pieces.  
Heat your cast iron pan over medium high heat while peppering the steaks.  There’s no need for oil if your pan is well-seasoned.  A few minutes on each side, then top with a reduction of  steak sauce and into the oven to broil for about 5 minutes (not 10 as I did last night) and you should have perfect medium cooked steaks.
I used a steak sauce from Andria’s Restaurant in O”Fallon, Illinois to top the steaks.  This restaurant serves great steaks with a crusty top.  Their secret is not just the sauce but the flame grilling method of cooking their steaks.  For a final touch, they say they put a dab of butter on the grilling steak and it flames and puffs up the steak.  I tried doing this in the past but cannot do it indoors safely.  Don’t ask….just take my word for it, it isn’t safe to do that indoors.