Meatball Curry with Cilantro Coconut Sauce

Meatball Curry with Cilantro Coconut Sauce

Inspiration: We cook with cilantro more than any other herb. I’d say that about 90% of the time, it’s our herb of choice. We do use a lot of basil, rosemary, and thyme, too, but there’s just something about cilantro. It’s bright, it’s fresh, and it goes so well with many cuisines (including Mexican, of course, which is just about our favorite). Anything cilantro-based is  usually a go in our house, and when the recipe is an Indian curry, well, that just puts it over the top. We really do love curry in just about any form.

What We Loved: The sauce in this curry was earthy and wonderful. It was characterized mainly by the flavor of cilantro, with a great kick of heat from serrano peppers and a touch of sweetness from the coconut oil and coconut milk. Like all great curry sauces, it was rich, complex, and full of earthy spices. I really love meatballs, too, so I enjoyed that aspect of the dish as well. It’s nice to experiment with meatballs in recipes other than those that are Italian or marinara-based.

Tips: This recipe makes a lot of sauce. I would think that you could double the meatball recipe and still have enough sauce (or maybe make half as many more meatballs). I froze the leftover sauce and then served it atop sauteed chicken breasts for another Indian meal later in the week (bonus!).

Meatball Curry with Cilantro Coconut Sauce

Meatball Curry with Cilantro Coconut Sauce
Source: Slightly adapted from Girl Cooks World
Serves: 2-4 

For the Meatballs
1 pound ground beef or lamb
1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon salt
Black pepper, to taste

1. Add all of the ingredients to a bowl, and mix together. Form into 16-20 meatballs and set aside on a plate.

For the Sauce
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced ginger
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
2 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion, and cook until softened.

2. Add the ginger, garlic, and serrano. Cook for a few minutes until everything begins to brown.

3. Add the cumin, coriander, and garam masala, and stir to coat the vegetables.

4. Add the coconut milk, cilantro, spinach, and salt. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes.

5. Use an immersion blender to process the mixture until smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil again.

6. Add the meatballs, and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.

7. Stir in the vinegar and serve.

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Corned Beef Hash

Corned Beef Hash

Corned Beef Hash

Inspiration: Why not share another breakfast hash recipe? We’ve been enjoying having breakfast meals for dinner lately (see last week’s chorizo and sweet potato hash). Having breakfast for dinner is nice because night time provides a little more flexibility to make a breakfast that I normally wouldn’t make on an average weekday morning. Plus, Brandon loves anything and everything corned beef (….I think he could eat a reuben every day and be a happy man).

What We Loved: There’s something awesome about throwing all of your ingredients in a pan, sauteeing them up, and serving them in a big pile on your plate. It’s not very beautiful (to say the least), but it really is so comforting and tasty. This corned beef hash is a fairly standard recipe – just some nicely browned bacon, onions, corned beef, and potatoes with a good bunch of seasoning. It’s a great combination of rich and simple flavors, and the best part is the nice brown crust that you get on the pieces of potatoes and corned beef as you let it cook away in the pan.

Tips: I served this topped with sliced avocado, which was lovely, but I also think that a poached or sunny-side up egg would be a fantastic topping. Goat cheese would also be nice. A colorful topping works well – corned beef hash is not pretty.

Corned Beef Hash
Source: Original Recipe

5-6 slices bacon, diced
About 1 lb leftover cooked corned beef, finely diced
1 small onion, diced
1 large russet potato, grated
Kosher salt and black pepper
Garlic powder
1 avocado, sliced or diced

1. Heat a nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Add the bacon, and cook until crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate, and set aside.

2. Add the diced corned beef, grated potato, and onion to the pan. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir to combine.

3. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are softened and everything is beginning to get nice and browned, about 15 minutes.

4. Serve topped with sliced or diced avocado.

Anaheim Peppers stuffed with Beef, Salsa, and Cheddar

Anaheim Peppers stuffed with Beef, Salsa, and Cheddar

Inspiration: While I love drawing recipes from all sources – all over the internet, cookbooks, TV chefs, my head – sometimes one of the best places to go to for recipes is our childhoods or our families. There’s just nothing like a recipe that my Mom made for me when I was a kid or that Brandon can remember eating for as long as he can remember. Food with memories attached is just the best. This recipe comes from Brandon’s Mom, and for me, it speaks of warm summer evenings at their cabin in the mountains and the time in my life when I was first dating Brandon nearly a dozen years ago, learning the ins and outs of his family. This was actually one of the first recipes that I posted on the blog, and needless to say, it needed a serious revamp.

What We Loved: Spicy peppers and salsa, ground beef flavored with taco seasoning, and gooey cheddar cheese are simply a fantastic combination. Those ingredients are the stuff of tacos and enchiladas and quesadillas – everything that I think of when I want something Mexican and cheesy for dinner. The salsa that we use for these is Brandon’s Mom’s homemade salsa, and it is spicy, so we really love the great spicy bite that comes from both that salsa and the peppers themselves. A cooling dollop of sour cream and/or guacamole to go along is the perfect complement. And really, I don’t think that you can ever go wrong with seasoned beef and cheese. Rich, gooey, cheesy, delicious.

Tips: Ground turkey is also great with these if you prefer that over ground beef. And the accompaniments that you can use are endless. I like sour cream, guacamole, and cilantro, but in the past we’ve used chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, Mexican rice, etc.

Stuffed Hot Peppers
Source: Brandon’s Mom
Serves: About 4

10 Anaheim peppers
1 lb ground beef
Chili powder
Paprika
Oregano
Ground cumin
Ground coriander
Garlic powder
Kosher salt
About 1 cup of tomato-based salsa
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Sour cream, guacamole, and cilantro, to garnish

1. Slice each pepper in half, and remove the ribs and seeds. Place the peppers cut-side up in two baking dishes.

2. Saute the ground beef until cooked through. Add a splash of water and season generously with chili powder, paprika, oregano, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, and salt.

3. Fill each pepper with a scoop of the ground beef mixture, and then top each with a scoop of salsa.

4. Cover the dishes with foil, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.

5. Remove the foil from the dishes. Sprinkle the peppers with the cheddar cheese and return to the oven for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

6. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, and cilantro.

Spiced Burgers with Greek Yogurt and Cucumber Relish

Inspiration: I have so many recipes saved all over the place that I don’t think that I’ll ever get to making all of them. I have a Google doc that’s packed full of online recipes that I’ve saved, my Google Reader is full of starred recipes, my cookbooks are covered with post-its, and I have a big old pile of recipes that I’ve torn from magazines clipped together in my pantry next to my recipe box (which is also full of recipes that I still need to try). In an effort to reduce some paper clutter, I decided to start plowing my way through the magazine recipes. That way, if I like one, I can post it up onto the blog and throw away the paper copy. Let’s see if I can stick to it.

What We Loved: This was one of the most interesting burgers that we’ve ever had. We tend to make burgers that are on the richer side (see our favorite avocado burgers, for example, or these bacon burgers), but this burger was in the complete opposite direction. The Greek yogurt and cucumber relish toppings were light, crisp, and refreshing – and they were such a unique complement to the charcoal grilled burger with its smoky, hickory flavor. It really was a different experience for us to take something that we have always experienced as a rich meal and turn it into something much lighter. And we absolutely adored the Greek yogurt as a burger topping. It was such a cooling, creamy addition that seeped down into the burger and was quite an excellent replacement for any type of cheese. I have to confess that I still prefer my rich and cheesy burgers more than any other, but these are a pretty nice option for something that’s a little bit different.

Tips: Make sure to taste test the relish as you prepare it. I thought it was much too bland at first, until I added enough lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. A little bit extra of those items makes a huge difference in the overall flavor.

Spiced Burgers with Greek Yogurt and Cucumber Relish
Source: Adapted from Women’s Day Magazine, March 2012
Serves: 2

About 3/4 lb ground beef
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/3 small cucumber, seeded and finely diced
1 thin slice red onion, finely diced
Handful fresh mint, minced
Extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon
About 4 oz Greek yogurt

1. Mix the ground beef with the cumin, oregano, cinanmon, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Form into two burgers.

2. To prepare the relish, mix the cucumber, red onion, and mint in a bowl. Add a good drizzle of olive oil, the juice from 1/4 lemon, and a nice sprinkle of salt and pepper. Chill until ready to serve.

3. Grill or saute your burgers until cooked through (we used a charcoal grill with hickory smoking chips), about 4-5 minutes per side.

4. Serve the burgers topped with a good dollop of Greek yogurt and some of the cucumber relish. Squeeze the lemon juice from the other 1/4 lemon atop the burgers before serving.

Rosemary Truffle Burgers

Inspiration: I think Brandon could eat truffles/truffle salt/truffle oil at every meal and never tire of it. He just loves it (…and I certainly won’t turn it away, either). We bought a nice little bottle about a year ago that has lasted us a good long time, and it’s always fun experimenting and trying to come up with new uses for it. We love to cook fries or sweet potato fries in goose/duck fat, and then sprinkle them with plenty of Kosher salt and drizzle them with truffle oil. That’s our absolute favorite use of the truffle oil for sure. But it sure is great in a lot of different applications – it adds such a super flavorful and fancy flair to so many dishes.

What We Loved: There were a lot of earthy flavors in this burger that all complemented each other very well. Both rosemary and truffles have a very rich, earthy, almost primal flavor, and the smoky, nutty gruyere cheese played off of those flavors so well. There’s nothing like a really great smoked cheese to top off a burger (and this particular cheese was just fantastic – so rich, smoky, nutty, and creamy). Brandon and I both love grilled onion slices on burgers, too – something about grilling the onion lends an awesome charred flavor that is just fantastic. We used Vidalia onions here, so there was also a nice hint of sweetness to contrast with all of the other richer, deeper flavors.

Tips: Rosemary has a pretty potent flavor, so use as much or as little as you’d like, depending on how strong you want that flavor to be. The same goes for truffle oil. Truffle oil is pricey, but you really never need too much when you’re using it. Just a few drizzles will impart loads of flavor.

Rosemary Truffle Burgers
Source: Original Recipe to Serve 2

1 lb ground beef
Handful rosemary, minced
Truffle oil
Seasoning salt
Garlic powder
Applewood smoked gruyere cheese, shredded
2 thick slices Vidalia onion

1. Place the ground beef in a bowl. Add the rosemary, and drizzle with truffle oil. Season to taste with seasoning salt and garlic powder. Mix well with your hands, and form into two burgers.

2. Place the onion slices on the grill, and grill until they are nice and browned. Meanwhile, grill the burgers until they’re cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. A few minutes before you take the burgers off of the grill, top with the gruyere cheese.

3. Serve the burgers topped with the onion slices and drizzled generously with more truffle oil.

Bacon Burgers with Bacon Onion Balsamic Jam

Bacon Burgers with Bacon Onion Balsamic Jam

Inspiration: I’ve always been a burger kind of girl – you know, the person who will opt for a burger over a steak nine times out of ten. That’s definitely me. And when it’s summer time and we can have homemade burgers grilled on the charcoal grill, well…there’s just no beating that. In my opinion, it’s almost not a proper summer week without a burger thrown on the menu. And so we’ve got another burger recipe to bring you this week (….and probably a few more to come before the summer weather is over).

What We Loved: This burger is really all about the bacon onion balsamic jam. The burger itself is quite tasty – smoky rich and topped with a gooey gruyere – but the jam is what makes the burger so special. I really let the onions caramelize and let all of the vinegar reduce down until the result was a syrupy sweet yet smoky bacon-y topping. A little bit of the rich burger, gooey cheese, and sweet bacon jam on my fork was just such a wonderful myriad of flavors and textures.

Tips: The recipe calls for the bacon that is mixed into the burgers to be finally minced, but I’d almost recommend throwing it into the food processor to get a nice ground texture, instead. I chopped the bacon pretty small, but there were still pieces throughout the burger that I thought were a little large and had a tough texture. I think if the bacon had more of a ground bacon texture instead, it might mix into the burger a little bit better.

Bacon Burgers with Bacon Onion Balsamic Jam
Source: Slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats, originally from Fine Cooking
Serves: 3

For the Topping
4 slices bacon, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 red onion, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup water

For the Burgers
2 slices bacon, minced
1 lb ground beef (85% lean)
Good dash Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and black pepper
Freshly shredded gruyere cheese

1. To make the topping, heat a sauce pan over medium heat. Cook the bacon until lightly browned, and remove to paper towels to drain. Drain all but about a tablespoon of the bacon grease from the pan. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cover the pan for two minutes. Uncover the pan, add a splash of water, and scrape any browned bits from the bottom. Cover again and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and beginning to get nice and browned.

2.Stir in the vinegar, mustard, and water. Return the bacon to the pan, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer uncovered until thickened. Remove from the heat.

3. To make the burgers, add the bacon, ground beef, Worcestershire, and a good pinch of salt and pepper to a bowl. Mix well to combine, and form into patties (I was able to make three). Make a good indentation in the middle of the patties with your thumb to allow for even cooking.

4. Cook on a charcoal grill for about 5 minutes per side, until the burgers are cooked through. About two minutes before removing the burgers from the grill, top with the gruyere cheese.

5. Serve the burgers topped with the onion jam.

Beef Burgers with Onion Slices and Mashed Avocado

Inspiration: It’s about time that we shared this recipe with you. We’ve been making it for years now, and it’s certainly our very favorite burger recipe. When summer time rolls around, these guys make an appearance on our dinner table quite often. To me, a great grilled burger is quintessential summer, and this is the best burger of them all.

What We Loved: As I said, these are our favorite burgers, and for good reason. They’ve got so much rich and delicious flavor going on. Grilled Vidalia onion slices are just fantastic on burgers, particularly if they’re grilled on charcoal. They lend such a smoky sweet flavor to the burgers. And you really can’t go wrong with creamy avocado with just a touch of salt and bright cilantro. With smoked gruyere (my new addiction) and an already smoky, juicy burger, the flavors in each bite are so rich and fantastic. I could eat these every day.

Tips: These are good any way that you cook them, but the best way by far is to use the charcoal grill to cook both the burgers and the onion slices. That grilled charcoal flavor just can’t be replicated on a gas grill on in a saute pan. The last time that we made these, we added these hickory chips to the coals, and they were some of the best burgers that we’ve ever had.

Beef Burgers with Onion Slices and Mashed Avocado
Source: Original Recipe
Serves: 2

About 3/4 lb ground beef (I use 85% grass-fed)
Burger seasoning of choice
Applewood smoked gruyere cheese, shredded
2 thick slices Vidalia onion
1 small avocado
Handful fresh cilantro, minced
Kosher salt

1. Season the ground beef and form into two patties. Make a nice indentation in the middle of each patty with your thumb, which will allow for even cooking.

2. Place the burgers and the onion slices on the charcoal grill, and grill until the burgers are cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. About two minutes before removing the burgers from the grill, top them with the gruyere cheese.

3. Meanwhile, mash the avocado in a bowl. Mix it with a handful of fresh cilantro and a good sprinkle of Kosher salt.

4. Serve the burgers topped with the grilled onion slices, the mashed avocado, and additional cilantro.