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Archive for September, 2012

PRODUCT: Multitasking Stuffed Burger Press

Cut a well with the smaller ring and add your
favorite stuffing(s). Photo courtesy HSN.com.

 

We’ve seen a number of pieces from Cat Cora for Starfrit, a cookware line endorsed by the celebrity chef.

But the newest, the Cat Cora by Starfrit 2-in-1 Burger Press is the one we’ll definitely use, over and over again.

A burger press creates consistent, perfectly formed and sized burger patties.

But this burger press has something extra: a smaller ring that can be used to form sliders and stackers, as well as to cut a well in a larger burger, to fill with your favorite complementary ingredients.

Stuffed burgers are so much fun that we wonder how, in a country where burgers are the favorite food, they haven’t become the rage. We hope that the Cat Cora/Starfrit mold will be the beginning of a trend.

 

Whatever your burger preference—beef, bison, chicken, lamb, pork, salmon, turkey (we haven’t tried it with a veggie burger)—you can make an already-delightful burger much more so.

 

What should you use to stuff your burger? Whatever you like: That’s the fun of this gadget. You can look in the fridge and the pantry and find dozens of choices.

We simply scanned our shelves. Then:

  • Beef. We stuffed different beef burgers with leftover arugula pesto, mashed potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, sautéed onions and sundried tomato concasse.
  • Lamb. We stuffed different lamb burgers with chutney, goat cheese and mint jelly.
  • Salmon. We stuffed different salmon burgers with chopped cucumber salad, mango salsa and tzatziki (yogurt sauce with garlic and mint).
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    The Cat Cora For Starfrit 2-In-1 Burger Press. Photo courtesy HSN.com.

     

  • Bison. Tonight, we’re stuffing bison burgers with a mix of sliced cornichons and olives, and with bacon and truffle cheese (a reverse cheeeburger).
  • Surf & Turf. The next time we have some extra oysters for stuffing, we’re going to try a surf-and-turf burger.
  •  
    Intensify the flavor by adding fresh herbs—basil, chives, dill, garlic, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme—or dried oregano and spices, to the filling.

    Imagine a pizza burger: tomato sauce and cheese stuffed into your favorite burger. How about a turkey burger filled with cranberry sauce and stuffing?

    Let us know what you’d use to stuff your favorite burger(s).
     
    The 2-in-1* burger press set includes:

  • 4.5-inch ring
  • 2.75-inch ring
  • 2 in 1 press
  • 2 lids for easy storage
  •  
    You can buy the burger press at HSN.com. At $24.95, it isn’t an inexpensive kitchen gadget. But it’s sturdy and will afford many years of bodacious burgers.

    HOW TO MAKE A STUFFED BURGER

  • Pack ground meat into the larger ring.
  • Cut a center well with the smaller ring.
  • Fill well 3/4 with the stuffing and cap the well with some of the meat you’ve removed.
  • Cook to desired doneness and serve.
  • Be prepared for squeals of delight from happy diners.
  •  
    *It’s actually more than 2 in 1. We count burgers, sliders, stuffed burgers and anything you need a round cutter for: biscuits, cookies, melon, and anything that begs to be molded (rice, veggies, etc.).

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Greek Lamb Burger

    A lamb burger, Mediterranean style. Photo
    courtesy Hubbard Inn | Chicago.

     

    Whether you prefer classic condiments and traditional toppings or would rather go the adventurous route, the hamburger lends itself to many interpretations (see our long list of burger variations for every day of the month, and then some).

    At Chicago’s Hubbard Inn, Executive Chef Bob Zrenner makes it even more adventurous. He substitutes lamb for beef, creating a Greek-style lamb burger.

    Chef Zrenner uses ground lamb from locally raised animals, and tops the patty with mint, cucumber, red onion and feta cheese. He topped the burger with tzatziki, a yogurt sauce, instead of ketchup.

    There’s juiciness from the lamb, creaminess from the feta and tzatziki, bright notes from the mint, and zesty red onion as a counterpoint to cool cucumber.

     

    GREEK LAMB BURGER RECIPE

    Ingredients

  • Ground lamb, 1/3 pound per person
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, plus more if making tzatziki
  • 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced*
  • 8 ounces tzatziki, purchased or homemade (recipe) (you can substitute hummus)
  • Ciabatta, hamburger buns, pita or rustic bread—or go breadless
  • Optional garnish: Kalamata olives
  •  
    *We prefer to pickle the cucumbers for an hour or longer. It’s very easy with this recipe.
     
    Preparation

    1. PREPARE. If you haven’t purchased the tzatziki, make it with this recipe. You can make it up to a week in advance.

    2. GRILL. Cook burgers to desired doneness.

    3. LAYER. Cover the bottom bread slice (or add to the pita pocket) with tzatziki. Place patty on top. Add cucumbers, onion slices and mint leaves. Top with more tzatziki and serve.
     
    We enjoy this burger with a beer; but mint tea is also delicious. You can steep the leftover mint in boiling water and serve the tea hot or iced.

     

    Find more of our favorite burger recipes.

     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Three Minute Caramel Latte

    Yesterday we wound up in a long line at Starbucks. All we wanted was a plain cup of coffee. Everyone else was there for a caramel latte or pumpkin latte, which require far more prep time.

    Please don’t think we’re being self serving, but you can make your own caramel latte at home, in three minutes or less.

    The recipe below is courtesy Nescafé. It yields two servings.

    Recipe Variations

  • If you already have brewed coffee, substitute it for the coffee granules and the hot water. You’ll turn this into a two minute caramel latte!
  • You can substitute chocolate or strawberry toppings or flavored syrups for equally easy variations.
  •  

    Make caramel lattes at home. Photo courtesy Nescafé.

  • You can use sugar-free topping/syrup and lowfat evaporated milk for a low-calorie treat.
  • You can have one of these for dessert. For a richer dessert, add a scoop of ice cream.
  • You can vary the recipe with your favorite extracts (try almond extract) and other flavorings.
  •  
    You’ll save a lot of time and money. This recipe serves two, so instead of meeting at the coffee shop, invite a friend over. Perhaps s/he can pick up the muffins.

    THREE MINUTE CARAMEL LATTE

    Ingredients

  • 1 can (12 fluid ounces) can Carnation Evaporated Milk (you can substitute evaporated lowfat milk or fat free milk)
  • 1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping plus additional for drizzle
  • 4 teaspoons Nescafe Tasters Choice French Roast Instant Coffee Granules
  • 1 cup very hot water (slightly less than boiling)
  •  
    Preparation

    1, MICROWAVE. Heat the evaporated milk and ice cream topping in small, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 2 minutes or until very hot.

    2. BLEND. Carefully pour the mixture into a blender. Cover and blend on high for 1 minute or until very frothy on top.

    3. MAKE COFFEE. Place 2 teaspoons coffee granules into each of two 12-ounce coffee mugs. Add 1/2 cup hot water to each mug; stir.

    4. TOP. Gently pour the evaporated milk mixture into each mug, spooning foam on top. Top the foam with a thin drizzle of ice cream topping, if desired.

      

    Comments

    COOKING VIDEO: Make Homemade Crackers

     

    Impress your family and friends with these homemade crackers.

    This easy recipe produces a gourmet cracker, fragrant with rosemary. Made with almond flour instead of wheat flour, the crackers are also gluten free.

    Serve them with cheese, hummus or other favorite dip or spread, salad or soup.

    Most people don’t think of baking their own crackers. But these tasty bites may just be the start of a creative cracker-baking hobby.

       

       

    Find more of our favorite crackers and bread recipes.

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Nonni’s Salted Caramel Biscotti

    “Our new exciting flavor!” proclaims biscotti-maker Nonni’s, and they are right.

    Nonni’s Salted Caramel Biscotti are a real find for the sweet tooth. Chunks of actual caramels are embedded in the biscotti, complemented by a quality chocolate dip and drizzle and a counterpoint of sprinkled sea salt.

    One might think that was good enough, but there’s better news: Each biscotto is only 100 calories—a number for which we were grateful after polishing off half a box.

    There’s a down side, of course: We enjoyed the Salted Caramel Biscotti so much, we couldn’t stop at one.

    The company helps you with portion control, though: Each box contains eight individually wrapped biscotti.

    If you can’t find the biscotti locally, you can buy them on Amazon.com:

  • Six boxes, $32.98, about $5.50 per box.
  • A bigger bargain is this case of 12 boxes for $41.88, about $3.50 per box.
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    Bet you can’t eat just one of Nonni’s delectable salted caramel biscotti. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

     

    One box, eight delightful biscotti. Photo
    courtesy Nonni’s.

     

    What will you do with 12 boxes? Give them as special Halloween gifts or stocking stuffers.

    But once you taste them, we think you’ll keep them all. They’re a great excuse to host a coffee klatsch.

    Check out the history of biscotti and Mario Batali’s anisette or amaretto biscotti recipe.

    Find more of our favorite cookies and cookie recipes.

      

    Comments



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