Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Here's my original lamburger post, from however many years ago.

* * *

I've been thinking of starting a food blog, not because I have that many original recipes to share, but just to document what I feel is a really massive achievement: cooking dinner almost every single night. Yes, let's hear it for me!

Sunday night's dinner turned out to be one of the best I'd ever made. Oh, my gosh. One bite, and I said, "This is the most delicious thing I've ever made. I would PAY to eat this in a restaurant!"

I've had a yen for Greek food lately, so when I saw this recipe I had to try it. Grilled Lamb Burgers, or as I call it, Lamburgers. I found the recipe in the paper, but I can't link to it. (If you click on the picture, then click again, it will enlarge enough to read it.) I'll type out MY version at the end of the post.

I do have a few comments on what I did.

Ground lamb at the farmer's market is ex$$$$pensive but delicious! I used about 1 3/4 lbs, and made the patties extra large, so that with shrinkage (not that kind) they would still fill out the whole bun.

Because I used more meat, I also increased the other ingredients semi-proportionately. I'm not a real measury kind of cook. Also, I used onion powder because I really don't like onion chunks in a burger. I cooked them in the frying pan, not on a grill. Because I don't have a grill. Use a meat thermometer. The meat is so tender that it will still feel quite soft when it is done. I topped them with avocado, grilled onions, arugula, and a decadently delicious smoked cheddar from the farmer's market.

Doesn't that look wonderful?

I served them with homemade cole slaw and tater tots. Yes, tots. We love tots. (Which explains why there was so little ketchup left for the next night's dinner.)

1 3/4 lbs. ground lamb (try it with hamburger, tell me what happens!)
zest of one lemon (the juice went into my coleslaw)
approx. 4 tbl. fresh mint leaves, finely chopped (I think basil would be good, too)
approx. 4 tbl. fresh parsley, finely chopped (I like the flat leaf kind)
1/2 tbl. dried oregano (or fresh, if you have it)
2 cloves garlic, pulverized with your garlic press
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp honey
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper

4 good-quality larger hamburger buns, toasted
cheddar cheese, enough slices to cover each burger
spicy arugula, or any other greens or lettuce
sliced avocado
grilled onions (mine weren't quite "caramelized")
ketchup (yes, we're a ketchup house, not a catsup house)

Mix up the meat and seasonings, form into patties, can figure out the rest.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Marinated Octopus Salad

I made this recently and it was really good.

New York Times Cooking's Marinated Octopus Salad.

14 to 16 ounces cooked, cooled octopus (recipe follows) [no, it didn't!]*
1 small red onion, sliced thin
½ cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon drained capers
2 tablespoons sliced pitted calamata olives
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons good-quality red wine vinegar**
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, coarsely chopped
1 bunch arugula, rinsed and dried

Slice the octopus into one-inch pieces and put them in a bowl. Add the onion, celery, capers and olives and mix.  Mix the oil, vinegar and salt and pepper together. Pour over the octopus mixture and toss lightly. Allow to marinate at room temperature at least an hour. Just before serving, fold in the parsley and check seasoning. Serve on a bed of arugula.

*Oh, here it is. I didn't do this because I had a bag of frozen, partially cooked octopus. I thawed it, sauteed it very briefly in olive oil until it started to get pink. It released a lot of liquid. I added the juice of one lemon and refrigerated it for a few hours, then drained it and proceeded with the recipe.

** Since I was craving a lemony flavor I used the juice of one lemon instead of vinegar.

Fish Chowder

When visiting Boston, we always try to go to the No Name for their fish chowder. I haven't tried to make it at home, but this recipe seems pretty close. (The last time I also spotted a few shrimp in my bowl.)

Deseret News' Potato-free New England Fish Chowder

2 ounces salt pork, diced

1 large onion, minced

4 cups fish stock or clam juice

2 pounds filet of haddock or cod

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1 cup cream

1 cup milk

4 tablespoons butter


Soda crackers if desired

In a small skillet, cook salt pork until it is crisp and fat is rendered. Set aside pieces of pork and place 2 tablespoons of rendered fat in a soup kettle. Saute onion in fat over low heat until onions are limp. Stir in fish stock or clam juice.

Cut fish into large bite-size hunks and toss in soup kettle. Partially cover and simmer 3 to 5 minutes or until fish flakes. Add thyme, cream and milk. Stir well and heat through, but DO NOT BOIL. Float butter atop each individual serving, and dust each serving with paprika to taste. For starchier chowder, crumble crackers on top, too.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Scalloped Potatoes

I wish that picture were sharper.

I tend not to measure things, but just throw it together as I go.

4 cups thinly sliced peeled potatoes 
3 T flour
4 T minced onion (and garlic)
2 - 2.5 cups hot milk 

Spray pan with cooking spray. Arrange a layer of potatoes; sprinkle with flour, dots of butter, onion, salt and pepper. Repeat for 3 more layers, omitting the flour on the top layer. Pour hot milk over. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes covered and an additional one hour uncovered.

A great variation is to sprinkle each layer with grated cheese and/or bacon. Like this:

This is the original cookbook.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Coq Au Vin

This is based on the recipe in my 1975 edition of Joy of Cooking, but I have made changes and simplified it over the years.

1/2 lb. bacon, diced
6 chicken thighs, skin removed
1 small onion, diced (about a cup)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 carrots, sliced (about a cup)
2 T flour
1 t. dried parsley
1/2 t. dried marjoram
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/4 t. pepper (I don't add salt because the bacon is salty enough)
2 cups red wine
8 oz. sliced mushrooms (1 package)

Cook bacon pieces in pan until almost crispy. Push to one side and brown chicken pieces on both sides. Push chicken to one side and saute onions and garlic until they just start to brown. Add carrots. Stir in flour and herbs/spices*, add wine, stir, and distribute chicken evenly in pan. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes (turn chicken at about 1/2 an hour). Add mushrooms and simmer another 15 minutes or until mushrooms are done and chicken is tender. If the sauce is too thin, you can thicken it with a little more flour or cornstarch (dissolved in liquid first). Serve with egg noodles.

*amounts are approximate, you can add more or less to taste. If you have fresh herbs, add a lot more!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cheddar Bay Biscuits, Two Ways

I've only been to a Red Lobster once, but I did have a box of their Cheddar Bay biscuit mix from Costco. It was good. So I improvised a recipe from Bisquick only to find that on the new Bisquick box, they had a recipe too.

The key is the garlic butter poured over the biscuits after they come out of the oven.

Bisquick's Recipe:

My Recipe (Makes 12 LARGE biscuits)
I know, it has a lot of butter.

3 c. Bisquick
1 cube butter
1 T. Old Bay Seasoning
1 c. grated cheese
1 1/4 c. milk

1 cube butter, melted
2 T chopped parsley
3-4 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 425°. Cut butter into Bisquick with a pastry blender, like you would for pie crust.
Mix in Old Bay and cheese, then add milk. Mix till it holds together, you can knead it a few times if necessary. Drop onto cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, mix together the topping ingredients. When you take the biscuits out of the oven, immediately spoon the garlic butter over them. It will soak in and make them ultra delicious.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Swedish Meatballs

These meatballs from the Skandi Kitchen cookbook are absolutely delicious.

Clearly this is the photo from the cookbook:


I think the allspice and grated onion give them the special flavor. 

What I do differently is make at least twice as much gravy and after browning the meatballs, simmer them in the gravy for 30 minutes.

My gravy: For every cup of liquid, you need 2 T each of butter and flour.

8 T (1 stick) butter
8 T (1/2 c.) flour
2 cans beef broth

In pan on medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook roux for a few minutes. Gradually pour in broth, stirring. It will start to thicken. Season to taste. You could use salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, or au jus flavoring (to "beef" it up a bit).