One thing I wanted to do this year, in regards to this little blog, is give away a bunch of cookbooks. (And also buy a lot of cookbooks for myself. But that’s beside the point.)
So every month I’m going to pick out a just released cookbook and buy a copy for me and one for a lucky reader. I won’t be accepting freebies for reviews so these will all be books that I’ve been anticipating and books that make me excited to cook.
I’m kicking it off with my all-time, all-time, all-time favorite Top Chef contestant’s books. Cooking with Love by Carla Hall! This one actually came out a few months ago but January was slim pickins so I cheated a little. I was super excited about this book and got even more excited when I opened to the table of contents and saw she has a gumbo recipe named after the Saints! The whole book is filled with good Southern comfort food.
This was the first recipe I made and it definitely got me pumped to make more. I’m not usually drawn to buffalo recipes (overdid it years ago – dip, lasagna, soup, pizza, name it and I made it) but I loved that these burgers included a blue cheese slaw.
They’re so delicious! The burgers themselves aren’t very buffalo-ish but you can either pile on the spicy mayo to get that flavor if you’re a huge fan or just do a light smear if you’re like me and feel kind of iffy on it. The slaw is supposed to be made solely of celery and blue cheese but celery is that one thing that I just can’t eat. So I used cole slaw mix instead and it was perfect!
I hope you guys are excited about all the upcoming giveaway! Enter below using Rafflecopter if you want to win Cooking with Love!
4 celery ribs, thinly sliced at an angle (or 3 cups cole slaw mix)
1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh parsley (or cilantro)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
For the spicy mayo:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon hot sauce (preferably Frank's)
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the burgers:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon olive oil, plus more for frying
1/3 cup yellow onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons hot sauce (preferably Frank's)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 pounds ground chicken or turkey
4 rolls, toasted if desired
To make the slaw:
Combine the celery, onion, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Add the vinegar, oil, lemon zest, salt, and pepper and toss well. Gentle toss in blue cheese. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To make the mayo:
In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, hot sauce, honey, and cayenne until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To make the burgers:
In a small skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat. When the butter is almost melted, add the onion and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, then stir in the garlic. When the onion is golden and soft, stir in the hot sauce, thyme, red pepper flakes, and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl and cool to room temperature.
Combine the chicken with the cooled onions using slightly damp hands. You want it well mixed, but you don't want to squeeze it and make it tough. Form the mixture into 4 burgers. Use your thumb to dimple the center of each patty.
Coat a large nonstick skillet with oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the burgers and cook until browned, about 3 minutes, then carefully flip them. Cook until the other side is browned and the meat is cooked through, about 3 minutes longer. The burger will feel firm and the juices will run clear.
Slather the spicy mayo on the buns. Divide the burgers among the bun bottoms and top with the slaw. Sandwich with the bun tops and serve immediately.
My husband finally deployed a few weeks back. I say “finally” because I swear the dang thing was pushed back 15 times. There came a time where he would come home, announce that it was pushed back again, and I would burst into tears. I was so ready for him to leave so that we could knock out the 9 (or 12) months and be done for now.
It’s been a weird couple weeks since he left. We’ve had zero communication since he got to where he’s supposed to be. We weren’t sure if he would have internet and it’s looking like he doesn’t. But hey, I knew they didn’t have showers there so I don’t know why I set my hopes high on the internet front! They need to come up with a “I’m alive” button that soldiers can just press and have a message transmitted directly back to their families. Until then, I’ll be spending most of my days staring at the Facebook homepage, willing that little green dot to pop up by his name. (That doesn’t work, btw.)
I made him these sandwiches before he left. The man loves steak and he loves sandwiches so I knew I couldn’t really go wrong here, even if I did include his least favorite cheese. He LOVED these! I turned mine into a salad and it was delicious!
This was my first time using flank steak (it’s expensive around here!) and I was really impressed with it. It took no time at all and it was really easy to tell when it was done, which it something I struggle with when cooking meat. If you don’t want to fire up the grill, you can do this on the stove but the onions won’t have those lovely grill marks. :)
(Thanks for allowing me a whiny post today – I promise I won’t whine often. Once a month sound good? Okay.)
Place steak in a large dish. Set aside while you make the marinade.
Whisk together the onion, garlic, olive oil, basil, thyme, rosemary, salt, and crushed red pepper. Pour over steak. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but not more than 1 hour, 30 minutes.
Preheat grill to 400F to 450F (high) heat. Grill steak 9 minutes on each side or to desired degree of doneness. Remove from the grill and squeeze lemon juice over top. Allow to stand for about 10 minutes before thinly slicing. (Leave the grill on to grill the onions!)
For the sandwiches:
Brush the sliced onions with 1 tablespoon of olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill on the preheated grill for about 7 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
Split the ciabatta rolls; brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place cut side down on the hot grill and cook for just a minute or 2, until golden.
Spread hot rolls with mayo (if desired) and then sprinkle with blue cheese. Layer on lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, and the thinly sliced steak. Serve hot!