Tag-Archive for ◊ hamburgers ◊

26 Jul 2020 Homemade Ketchup
-:: Fresh Homemade Ketchup ::-

Every year I plant tomatoes and every year, for a period of a few weeks, I have more tomatoes than any one family could ever use. I have some recipes on this blog that call for a lot of homegrown tomatoes: Fresh Tomato Lasagna and Tomato Tart jump to mind because we make them every summer. This year we have added two wonderful new recipes, Homemade Tomato Ketchup and Tomato Jam.

This is my recipe for Tomato Ketchup. The recipe originated with Saveur Magazine, was adapted by someone, and then adapted again by myself. I switched from using whole spices wrapped in cheesecloth to ground spices stirred in at the beginning. So much easier!

This ketchup is DELICIOUS. We even taste-tested, side-by-side with Heinz ketchup, this ketchup, and McDonald’s fries. Eight testers, and not one chose the Heinz over this ketchup. One tester even complained about the gluey texture of the Heinz ketchup, something she had never noticed before (OK, so that tester was me)… ?

The ketchup is EASY to make, but it does involve a lot of dishes and utensils: cutting board, sharp knife, stockpot, wooden spoon, a blender, a sieve, measuring spoons, and small bowl. But really…, that’s not too much for a six month’s supply of delicious homemade ketchup with no preservatives, no artificial flavourings, and no chemical thickening agents, is it?

Homemade Tomato Ketchup

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pounds homegrown tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 Anaheim chilies, seeded and chopped, optional
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed or diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon chile flakes, optional
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 oz. (125 grams or 10 tablespoons) light brown sugar

To finish, optional:

  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2-3 tablespoons cold water

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place all ingredients, except for the cornstarch and cold water, in a large stockpot.
  2. Simmer mixture over medium heat until tomatoes and chiles are soft and onions are translucent and limp, about 45-60 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat, and let mixture cool (because blending hot liquids can be dangerous and messy). Remove bay leaves.
  4. In batches (probably 3 batches, depending on the size of your blender and temperature of tomato mixture), place tomato mixture into a blender and blend until very smooth.
  5. Strain the ketchup through a fine-mesh strainer and return to the cooking pot (straining removes seeds and peels). Press on the solid pieces to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids.
  6. Once all the pureed liquid has been returned to the pan, cook over medium-low heat for an additional 30-45 minutes or until thickened to your preference.
  7. OPTIONAL: If your ketchup doesn’t thicken to your liking (some tomatoes have more liquid in them than other tomatoes), mix a slurry of cornstarch and cold water. Bring tomato mixture to a rapid boil and, stirring constantly, pour in the cornstarch slurry.  Continue to boil and stir for a full minute.
  8. Remove ketchup from heat and let cool.
  9. Ketchup can be stored in a sealed container (preferably glass) in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks and frozen for 6 months or more.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today. Tomato Jam will be up soon!

06 Jul 2013 Turkey Burgers with a Greek Flair
Turkey Burger

Want a new, different and totally tasty burger to add to your repertoire?  Here it is! A Turkey burger with a Spanakopita Flair.  This recipe was inspired by Rachael Ray’s, Spanakopita Burger from her book, 365: No Repeats.  I made her recipe “as is” last year, and it was good, but this year I made it my way (below), and loved it.  I grill these burgers, but pan frying works, too.  I am sure some cucumber raita would go well on these burgers but we ate them the traditional American way, on a good bun with sliced homegrown tomatoes, a bit of crunchy lettuce and ketchup. Make the patties as big or as little as you want. I made 8 patties, approx 6 oz. each, but I love those little slider buns that are available now and think hosting a BBQ and serving a variety of burgers would be fun.  You could make slider sized regular hamburgers, these Greek Turkey Burgers, and maybe a Salmon burger. Don’t forget the sides of watermelon, corn, and a pasta salad, and grill some of that zucchini that I know is taking over  your garden.  S’mores for dessert, of course.  How about my Peach Iced Tea or Blueberry Lemonade to drink? Done!  Send out the e-vite!

My son’s girlfriend just took a bite of my his leftover and warmed up Turkey burger.  Her exact words were, “WOW. That’s fantastic!” Yup 🙂  And she scored big points with the boyfriend’s mama!

Turkey Burgers with a Greek Flair

  • 1  1/2 lb – 1  1/3 lb ground turkey
  • 1 box (10 oz) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup (4 oz) crumbled feta cheese
  • 18-24 (2-3 oz) Kalamata olives, diced
  • 1/2 cup very finely diced or grated red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley, if you have some on hand
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. – 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (the feta and olives are already salty so you can skip the added salt if you are salt sensitive)
  • 4 oz. applesauce (1 individual serving cup) OR 1/2 peeled apple, grated
  • 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (any breadcrumbs or Panko will work)
  • 1 egg, beaten

To serve: Buns, and choice of toppings.

  1. Place the ground turkey in a large bowl.
  2. Remove the defrosted spinach from the box and squeeze, and I do mean s-q-u-e-e-z-e ALL the water from the spinach.  I did not say drain, I said squeeze.  Take about 1/3 of the spinach into your hand and squeeze, squeeze, squeeze until totally dry.  Repeat until all the spinach is in little tight balls.  Fluff the balls up and add to the ground turkey in the bowl.
  3. Add to the turkey mixture the feta, olives, red onion, garlic, oregano, basil or parsley, salt and pepper, applesauce or grated apple, and the bread crumbs.  With a fork lightly mix the ingredients until everything has been uniformly distributed.
  4. Divide the mixture into 8 equal parts. Pat each part into a flat patty, just slightly bigger than your hamburger buns.
  5. Grill, or pan fry until done, about 3 minutes on each side, but this all depends on how hot the grill/pan is.
  6. Toast the buns!  (I love toasted buns)
  7. Serve with your choice of condiments–ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, riata, tomatoes, lettuce, grilled red peppers…

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!  I hope you enjoy these burgers, we sure did!  They’re VERY tasty 🙂

09 Jan 2011 Oven Baked Fries

It seems as if it’s been a long since I posted anything.  The kids have been home, some of their friends have been here for varying hours and days, and my grandson has been staying here, so I have been focused on big batch cooking of tried-and-true family favorites.  The few new things I’ve made haven’t been Great or, if they have been, they’ve been devoured before I got my camera focused!  It’s been a mad-house around here!  Thank goodness they’ve all gone for three days.  I can post!

One of the family favorites I’ve made repeatedly over the last few weeks has been our oven baked fries.  My friend Mary first made these for me about 25 years ago.  I was so impressed to go over to her house for lunch and she had a basket of home baked fries on the table.  Not only were they a big hit with me, but they were also a big hit with our preschool daughters.

Since then, I’ve seen recipe after recipe for oven baked fries.  I think America’s Test Kitchen has one that calls for blanching the sliced potatoes in boiling water before baking.  I tried it, and it didn’t work any better than Mary’s way.  Another recipe had me sprinkling a lot of Kosher salt on the baking tray to lift the potatoes off the tray a bit and help with the browning.  That didn’t work magic either.  Here are my “secrets”, as passed onto me by Mary: use a mixture of butter and olive oil [1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil on one baking tray], use smallish potatoes of equal size and cut each into eight wedges.

Oven Baked Fries

  • Approx. 1 small Russet potato for each person
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter for each baking tray
  • Kosher salt and freshly grated pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Spend sometime picking the right potatoes.  Choose potatoes on the small size, and choose potatoes that are roughly the same size. Scrub the outside of the Russet Potatoes to remove all the dirt and soil then dry.

Place baking tray in preheated oven to get hot.

Cut each potato in half lengthwise, then half again, then half again.  You should have eight wedges from each potato.

Remove baking tray from oven.  Place olive oil and butter on baking tray and swirl until melted and evenly coating the bottom of the tray.

Place the potato wedges on the preheated baking tray on top of the melted butter and olive oil.  Make it easy on yourself and place all the wedges going to same direction in equally spaced rows.  You should be able to get all the wedges from 3 or 4 small potatoes onto one baking sheet.

Place tray in oven and bake at 425º for 20 minutes.

Remove tray from oven and turn over each wedge.  This is why you put all the wedges facing the same way.  Now you know which wedges you’ve turned and which you haven’t! Return tray to oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

After flipping, your wedges should look like this:

After baking both sides your wedges should look like this:

Check your fries. Do they look brown enough?  Are they cooked through? (Taste one, but be careful, it’s HOT).  If necessary, flip wedges one more time and return to oven for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove potatoes to a paper towel lined platter to drain (if you wish). Sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Remove fries to a serving bowl.  Serve hot with ketchup or leftover blue cheese dips.

For years I made these for our “family night”.  We watched a family-friendly video, ate Chicken Nuggets, home fries, and corn-on-the-cob or broccoli.  Fun times! Oh my goodness, I just realized my Oven Baked Chicken Nuggets recipe has not been transferred from my facebook “Polly, Julie. and Julia” page.  I’ll do that right now.  I hope that an Oven Baked Chicken Nugget and Fries  family dinner is in your future soon!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  Hope to see you again tomorrow!

10 Jul 2010 Turkey Reuben Burger

Finally, a real alternative to a hamburger, a Turkey Reuben Burger (or Sandwich)! It’s tasty. It’s filling. It’s not that hard to prepare…and you’ll moan at first bite, really! (Oh my, I just thought how great this would be with some sweet potato fries…) Trust me on this one, this recipe has to go in your “Make it NOW” file! The original recipe is from “Cuisine Tonight: Sandwiches and Salads” but I’ve changed the ingredients and the method a bit to make it easier and…, tastier!

This recipe was also the latest in my teaching the nineteen year old’s how to cook series. I told them the only trick to this recipe is to shape the patties into the shape of the bread, and to make each patty thin, but complete (no holes for the cheese to leak out.) They both were impressed with themselves for making these impressive burgers, and they were both impressed with how tasty they were. I also mentioned this might be a good recipe to experiment with–it would be easy to make a cheddar stuffed hamburger with grilled mushrooms or onions instead of the coleslaw….

Turkey Reuben Burger

For the coleslaw

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon pickle relish
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon horseradish (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 half freshly grated green apple (peel before grating)

For the burger

1 1/4 lb. ground turkey breast
1/2 grated green apple (peel before grating)
salt and pepper, to taste
8 slices of Swiss Cheese

8 slices of Marbled Rye or Cornmeal Rye bread, toasted

Make the coleslaw first and then set aside for flavors to develop. Whisk the mayo, relish, ketchup, lemon juice, horseradish, and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside. Combine shredded lettuce, chopped onion, and grated apple together in another bowl. Add dressing the the lettuce-onion-apple mixture. Cover and refrigerate until needed (Make as close to serving time as possible. You want the cabbage to retain some crunch). In another bowl combine turkey, apple and salt and pepper. Mix with a fork to combine (See the pictures below for a visual of the next steps).

Using approx 1/4 of the turkey mixture, on a piece of wax paper, form two VERY THIN patties, roughly the same size and shape of the bread you are using. (These TWO patties will make ONE burger, so don’t make them too thick!).

Heat a skillet and spray it with Pam. Keep the pan on medium heat. Take one of the patties, with the wax paper still on it, and turn it upside down onto the hot pan. Remove the wax paper. Place two slices of Swiss cheese on top of the patty in the pan.

Tear the cheese to fit inside the patty, leaving an approx. 1/4 inch border, then put the other thin patty on top of the first patty and the Swiss cheese.

With a fork, seal the edges so no melted cheese can escape. Sear burger 2 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes on the other side (or until the ground turkey is no longer pink).

Toast the bread. Place 1/4th of the coleslaw mixture on one slice of bread. Top with the cooked turkey patty.

Top with the second slice of bread. Cut in half and serve. (Half a burger may be enough for one serving) Yummmm.

This recipe will probably make four burgers, but this all depends on the size of the slice of your bread. The bread I had was huge, so from this batch I only got 3 sandwiches (which, when cut in half, made six-girl sized servings…, but the boys wanted both halves, so only 3 boy sized servings).