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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Smoked Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Meatloaf

This was one of my most popular recent posts, and it should be, it's delicious ! Part of the fun for me having a blog is having people make my dishes, and make them their own. When someone pinned this recipe, then made a note about putting it on the smoker, I fell in love !

I never thought to smoke a meatloaf. But I had to try it. The smoke made this even better, and it was already one of my favorites ! So here is the original, with additional instructions for smoking. You have to try this, check out the smoke ring on that baby !

Smoked Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Meatloaf 

1 cup panko bread crumbs
2/3 cup milk
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 tablespoons Montreal steak seasoning
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 small jalapenos, diced finely
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and diced

Prepare smoker to a steady temperature of 250. In a large bowl, mix together panko bread crumbs and milk. Let the milk absorb completely, then add ground beef, eggs, steak seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, cheese and eggs. Mix well and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, jalapeno peppers and bacon. Using a 9 by 5 loaf pan, press half of the meat mixture into the bottom. Spread cream cheese mixture over the top, then press remaining meat mixture over the top of this. Poke some holes in the bottom and sides of an aluminum hotel pan, and invert the loaf pan into the hotel pan. Place on the smoker and let it go. After 2-3 hours you should be able to easily remove the loaf pan. Let it continue to smoke for 2-3 more hours until you reach an internal temperature of 200 degrees. Let it rest for 30 minutes then slice and eat. It's so pretty ! 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Double Garlic Burger with Bacon, Pickled Onion and Sprouts

I have been a little obsessed with making "gourmet" burgers, ever since a visit to Kuma's Corner in Chicago a couple months ago. I have always loved a good burger, but I must admit to being a bit lazy at home when I make them. I will make a Juicy Lucy (stuffed burgers, for non-Minnesotans), who doesn't love those ? But taking out and prepping a bunch of toppings always seemed like too much work. 

Then we went to Kuma's...and they have all these really interesting combinations of flavors, with rock star names. I was in love ! And after I thought about it, it really isn't that hard, and in most cases, I could re-purpose items from my refrigerator as "gourmet". Crafty, no ? 

This recipe used two items from my refrigerator that we use over and over again: pickled onions and roasted garlic mayo. Both are simple to make, and can be used for burgers, salads, tacos, you name it ! These recipes make more than you will need for this dish, so save them on hand for other things...I know you will use them ! Add a garlic cheese stuffed burger, and it could have been on the Kuma's menu. 

Double Garlic Burger with Bacon, Pickled Onions and Sprouts
For the burger: 
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef 
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons grill seasoning 
4 ounces garlic white cheddar cheese, cut into 1 ounce squares 
Mix together the burger, Worcestershire sauce and grill seasoning in a large bowl. Separate into 8 equal portions, and make burger patties. Lay one portion of cheese on top of one burger, and top with a second burger patty.  Carefully pat together and seal the edges. Repeat until you have four stuffed burgers and set aside. 

For the roasted garlic mayo: 
2 large heads of garlic
Olive oil 
1 cup mayonnaise 
Cut the tops off the heads of garlic, and drizzle liberally with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and wrap in foil. Place on hot grill, and roast, turning frequently, for 30 minutes. Let cool. Place mayonnaise food processor, then squeeze the garlic cloves out of the heads into the mayonnaise. Process until smooth and refrigerate until you are ready to use. 

For the pickled onions: 
2 large red onions, thinly sliced 
1 cup cider vinegar 
2 cups water 
3 tablespoons sugar 
1 tablespoon salt 
1 tablespoon pickling spice 
Place onions in a quart jar. Cover with remaining ingredients, and give a jar a good shake. Let sit on the counter for one hour, or refrigerate. Refrigerate leftovers after opening. 

To assemble the burgers: 
Prepared cheese stuffed burgers 
4 large hamburger buns 
Garlic Mayo 
Crispy fried bacon
Thinly sliced tomatoes 
Pickled Onions 
Radish Sprouts 
Preheat grill to high. Place burgers on grill, and grill for 4-5 minutes each side until they reach your desired level of doneness. Remove from grill and let rest. I like to grill the hamburger buns for a minute before serving as well. Spread mayo on both sides of the bun, place burger on the bottom, then top with tomato, bacon, onions, and sprouts. Top with your toasty burger bun top, and take a big bite !