Independence Day Sliders

.. Fourth of July is a great time to fire up the BBQ and grill up some burgers.  This year I tried some different slider recipes, especially now that grocery stores have slider buns in their baked goods section.  Here's a few winners from the weekend:

Pulled Pork Sliders

Ingredients: 2 lbs pork belly 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1/2 cup ketchup 1/3 cup cider vinegar 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup tomato paste 2 TBSP paprika 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce 3 TSP salt 1 1/4 TSP black pepper coleslaw toasted slider buns

Directions: Combine all the ingredients except the pork belly, slaw and the buns in a slow cooker and mix together. Add the 2 pieces of pork and cover the slow cooker. Set for 8 hours on low.

After 8 hours, using 2 forks, shred the pork and remove the pork with the remaining sauce into a large bowl. Toast the slider buns and add some of the pulled pork to each bun along with coleslaw.  Light a cigarette after then repeat.

.

Inside Out Cheeseburger Sliders with Forever Caramelized Onions

Ingredients: 1 lb. ground chuck 1 egg breadcrumbs 1/4 TSP chili flakes generous salt and pepper cheddar cheese cut into cubes toasted slider buns thick cut bacon, slow cooked 1 Walla Walls sweet onion, sliced 2-3 TBSP butter

The title of this recipe has "forever caramelized onions" in it for a reason. For best results, remove skin from onions and slice thin. Cook with butter in a crock pot for 24-36 hours on low checking occasionally. You won't believe how good the flavor comes out! Add a little more butter accordingly if necessary.

Combine ingredients in a medium to large bowl. Work in the egg and breadcrumbs so the ground meat will hold it's shape. Shape into small golf ball sized servings, then work a cube of cheese in the middle making sure it's fully covered on all sides by the meat mixture. Press your thumb in the top before grilling.

Serve by grilling to desired doneness with your choice of condiments, thick cut bacon and those beautiful golden onions.

Lamb Sliders

Ingredients

1/2 lb ground lamb 1/5 tbsp minced garlic 1/2 cup minced shallots 1 TBSP minced thyme 1 TBSP minced cilantro leaves 1 TSP minced mint leaves 1/4 TSP ground cumin 1/2 TSP coriander powder 1/2 TSP ground black pepper salt to taste

12 slider buns or mini pita breads

Method

Place all the ingredients for the patties in a mixing bowl and combine well using your hands. Shape into about six small sized patties not too thin, but not too thick either. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes for the flavors to combine.

Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

Remove the patties from the fridge and make about three holes each in the patties with your finger.

In a large oven proof non-stick skillet, heat the oil and add the onions. When the onions start to sizzle, arrange the lamb patties on top of the onion bed without touching each other.

Bake in the oven for 6 minutes on one side. Turn the patties over, and stir the onion bed to make sure they don’t burn. If it shows the signs of burning, remove the onions from the pan after the first 6 minutes, and finish caramelizing on stove top, when the patties finish cooking on the other side.

To serve, warm up the pita bread/buns in the oven, spread some spicy mayonnaise or a blended yogurt or chutney of your choice, arrange the meat patties and top it with the caramelized onions. You can add some lettuce, tomato etc to the burger as well.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Roast Lamb with Shallots, Mint and Mustard

Roast Lamb Chops

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS For lamb: 1 crown of lamb made from two 8-rib racks (about 4 1/2 pounds total) 3 TBSP butter, room temperature 1 TBSP plus 1/2 TSP Dijon mustard 2 TSP dried rosemary

1 cup dry white wine large shallots, chopped 1/4 cup chicken stock 3 TBSP fresh mint, chopped

For Spring Vegetables with Mint: 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, halved 1 baby carrot bunch, stems trimmed to 1 inch, peeled 1 10 OZ. basket pearl onions, peeled 1 LB fresh asparagus, trimmed, cut crosswise into thirds

3 TBSP butter 3 TBSP fresh mint, chopped

Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon mustard and 1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary in bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper. Place lamb in roasting pan. Rub all over with butter mixture. Roast 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. and continue roasting until thermometer inserted into lamb registers 140°F. for medium-rare, about 40 minutes. Transfer lamb to platter; let stand 15 minutes.

Pour off fat from roasting pan and set pan aside. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over low heat. Add shallots and 1/2 teaspoon rosemary; sauté until shallots are tender, about 5 minutes. Add wine to roasting pan and bring to boil over high heat, scraping up any browned bits. Add wine to skillet. Add stock; boil until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon mustard and mint. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon vegetables in center of and around roast. Serve, cutting lamb into chops and spooning sauce over.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Penfold's Grange Wine+Food Vertical Tasting

IMG_3128 My Father-in-law called me up a few weeks ago and said, "I've got a vertical of Grange we should drink".  We talked a bit about how best to enjoy these stellar bottles and decided to do a vertical tasting with food pairings the day after Thanksgiving.  After doing a little research, we found some great tasting notes for the 1992-1995 Penfold's Grange.

If you aren't familiar with Grange, it's a wine conceived by Max Schubert, grown and produced by Penfold's in Australia, and is considered to be Australia's "first growth".  That means it's compared to the finest Bordeaux first growth's like Chateau Margaux, Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Haut Brion and Chateau Latour.  The Grange blend was created in 1951 as an experimental blend by the then winemaker for Penfold's.  He wanted to create an Australian wine to rival France's most sought after wines with quality and agability.

The Grange was initially met with negative reviews from the press because it didn't have the drinkability upon release.  Schubert was ordered to discontinue making the blend, however, he persisted.  A few years later, the Grange blend finally received the accolades it deserved which was about right because the wine wasn't made to drink right away, it was meant to be a wine that's aged before drinking.  The following wine notes and recipes were part of the tasting:

1992 Grange 93 points from Robert Parker Out of all the wines in the vertical, this one resembled a Bordeaux the most. It wasn't overly fruity or extracted but rather terroir-driven with refined fruit at its peak showing notes of elegance and aging. If tasted blind, I doubt many people would even guess this was an Australian wine. The Shiraz wasn't big and jammy like many Aussie Shiraz', it was restrained as was the Cabernet netting a mere 13.5% ALC.

1993 Grange 91 point from Robert Parker The '93 was interesting as tasted in context to the other vintages. It showed signs of age and refinement but was still in its peak drinking window. Overall, this vintage was not rated that high but astute wine making was apparent as this Grange also showed finesse with a hint of younger fruit.

1994 Grange 91 points from Robert Parker After smelling and tasting the 1992 and 1993, the 1994 started to resemble an Australian wine. Riper fruit, more youthful tasting with a tad more sweetness on the palate. Notes of blackberry, stewed plums, toasty oak and more density from the 89% Shiraz 11% Cabernet blend. This wine has a few more years of aging ahead of it but was already demonstrating why Grange is such a sought after wine.

1995 Grange 92 points from Robert Parker The 1995 was the most acidic wine out of all four. Sweet blackberry liquer, ripe fruit and plenty of aging potential ahead of it. After tasting all 4 vintages in order, the '95 was so much more youthful than the 1992. There was a distinct progression of age across all four vintages.

we threw in a 1996 Shiraz for good measure

Of course, great wine deserves great food.  So we set out to find the perfect food pairings to go with these stellar wines.  Here are a few of the recipe items we made, and they were SUBLIME!  Absolutely stunning pairings.  Many Aussie Shiraz's are rich and jammy, but the Grange is a wine of finesse and elegance.  Although it's a blend of Cabernet and Shiraz, it's not necessarily a wine to go with beef.  We wanted something more exotic and luxurious.  Here's what we came up with:

duck-cherry-ck-1227925-l Duck with Port-Cherry Sauce

INGREDIENTS 1 cup Soy Sauce 1 cup Sherry 4 6-OZ duck breast halves 12 frozen dark sweet cherries, thawed and halved 1 cup chicken stock 1 cup beef stock 1/2 cup ruby port 1 fresh thyme sprig 1 TSP cornstarch dissolved into 2 TBSP water 1/4 cup butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Whisk soy sauce and Sherry in medium bowl to blend. Using a sharp knife, make diagonal slits on the duck breasts 1/2-inch apart making sure to not cut too deep (not through meat). Place duck, skin side up into glass baking dish. Pour marinade over. Cover duck with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours. Bring cherries, chicken stock, beef stock, port and thyme spring to boil in a heavy medium saucepan over high heat. Simmer until mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup.

marinate the duck breasts

Meanwhile, heat heavy large skillet over medium heat. Remove duck from marinade. Add duck breasts, skin side down to skillet. Cook until skin is crispy, about 10 minutes. Turn duck over and continue cooking to desired doneness, about 5 minutes for medium. Transfer duck to cutting board or other surface. Add cornstarch mixture to port-cherry sauce. Bring to simmer, whisking constantly. Add butter one piece at a time until melted.

Slice duck breast and fan out on plates. Spoon sauce over duck then serve.

Presidential Rack of Lamb a la Richelieu When President and Mrs Reagan visited Paris in the mid 1980's they did have many official functions including a diplomatic dinner with President and Madame Francoise Mitterand at the Elysee Palace (the White House of France) Naturally, the diplomatic decorum demanded that the American guests of honor should return the invitation. The Reagans were staying at the US Embassy and decided to honor the French President and first lady with non American food. The chefs at the US Embassy were French chefs. The Lamb recipe is very fancy in terms of prestige. It was put together by chef Auguste Esccoffier at the turn of the 20th century. It was named in honor of Cardinal Armand de Richelieu, who was chief minister to King Louis XIII in the 17th century.

IMG_3155

INGREDIENTS 2 racks, 6 chops each., have the butcher cut the chine bone for easy serving of chops.

Marinade: 1/2 bottle of white wine 1/2 cup of quality olive oil 1 medium onion sliced 1 whole bay leaf crumbled 1/2 teaspoon of dried marjoram, or 2 TBSP of fresh if available 8 black peppercorns, coarsly crushed 1/2 TSP of dried thyme, or 2 TSP of fresh salt to taste

Marination needs to be a minimum of 4 hr. Overnight would be good. Keep turning and spoon over the rack.

Place in the oven and grill at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes depending on cooking level preferred. Keep to lamb warm in the oven while the sauce is being made.

Sauce: Place the drippings in a fry pan. Remove some of the fat. Add a cup of port or madeira. Reduce under high heat. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of butter one at a time. Serve the sauce in a gravy boat at the table.

marinate AT LEAST 4 Hrs.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]