Homemade Burgers

 

This week I finally managed to make the simplest and best burgers I’ve ever made before. Myself and my husband are not into very elaborate and expensive burgers. We have our own burger rankings and like to classify new burgers we try across the world.

Making a burger therefore is an interesting recipe challenge. I’ve tried recipes with chopped up little onions; breadcrumbs, eggs to bind and lots of different seasonings.

And now on keto I needed to adapt and make sure I was making as carb free as possible.

Here is is where I’m at with the more simple and best recipe.

  1. Buy the best beef ground meat you can afford.
  2. If you buy mince you can always grind it down a bit further if it stays chunky with a food processor. I like to do this a little so you get a good mix of textures.
  3. Add salt and pepper.
  4. A fun keto addition is crumbled up pork scratching (rinds)

5. Shape into thin patties. I’d rather have two think burgers than one fat undercooked burger. Press them down with your hands. Try and let them come to room temperature before cooking.

6. Then cut your buns in half (my husband was having the buns) and I like to smear with butter and dry fry on a hot griddle or frying pan to give some crunch but keep the insides soft.

7. Set aside and add slices of your favourite cheese.

8. Put a pan on a high temperature and add the meat patties. If they are thin even they will char and brown quickly but the insides will cook too. Cook on both sides and lay on the buns.

9. I like to serve mine with copycat Mcdonald’s sauce. See my previous blog for

 

Keto: Bacon; cheese, jalapeño burgers

Tonight’s keto recipe isn’t so much a recipe but an assembly of ingredients. I love a good burger. Myself and my husband have burger rankings across the world of our favorites in both the UK and other countries including Carl’s Jr.; Five guys to White Castle. That’s how much I love a good burger. You will notice there’s no gourmet burger places on my list. There is nothing worse than a burger that’s been made “fancy” by a brioche bun and burnt onions.

So my burger recipe for tonight I’m looking for simplicity and minimal carbs. I’m also doing the same burger for my husband so he can have a bun and chips with it.

Ingredients:

Burgers (check the ingredients for added sugar if buying prepared)

Cheese slices

Jalapeños (check they aren’t in a sauce)

Smoked bacon ideally streaky

Sugar free/carb free ketchup

For the husband: burger bun and chips (mustard; burger sauce and mayonnaise)

Method:

1. Grill the burgers and burger not to save fat but to get the best chargrill effect and therefore flavour

2. Just before the burgers are done add the cheese slices to melt them a little

3. Serve up with zero carb ketchup

4. For my husband’s I served on a bun with chips and the sauces

Jalapeño bottle tops (copycat recipe)

I first had these in the states at a Hooters. We had spent the day in the Florida heat and stopped for an ice cold beer and some wings. I noticed these on the menu and thought we’d try them. They were ridiculously good. If you want a new year snack I’d highly recommend. Serve with sour cream or even ranch dressing.

Ingredients:

Fresh mini jalapeño peppers

100ml buttermilk or 2 eggs beaten if you can’t get hold of it

Bowl of flour with a teaspoon of garlic salt: salt, pepper, paprika and onion powcer

Method:

1. Slice your peppers into 1/2cm slices

2. Drench the slices in the buttermilk or eggs

3. Drop the slices into the flour and spices mixture

4. Fry until golden brown in a shallow pan with some cooking oil

Easy but dirty Mac and cheese

I have always loved the American classic Mac and cheese. I tend to buy the box stuff and make up but this thanksgiving I decided to try a slightly more complex version. It’s still super easy and tasty though.

Ingredients:

Pasta (macaroni classic but use what you have)

Flour tablespoon and splash of milk 100ml

50g butter

Cheddar 200g grated (don’t buy the pre-grated stuff as it’s covered in flour). Keep a little aside to sprinkle on top

50ml evaporated milk

Salt and pepper

Method:

1. Cool your pasta as normal in salted boiling water until just cooked

2. Heat your oven to 200 degrees c

3. To a saucepan add the butter and melt. Add a little flour and constantly stirring cook out the flour for a few minutes. Add a little milk at a time to make a roux sauce. Add the rest of the milk

4. Season with salt and pepper

5. Add the cheese and evaporated milk and simmer for about 3 minutes

6. Drain the pasta and put in an oven dish. Pour the sauce over the pasta

7. Sprinkle with some leftover grated cheese and season

8. Cook for 15 minutes until cheese has browned but check constantly

Pizza slice

My husband’s takeaway pizza recipe

My husband and I have a serious problem with eating pizza. It started when we were dating and he took me to Pizza Hut in the UK and introduced to me the simplicity of very good margarita pizzas. Before then I’d had the odd takeway pizza and really just ate the most debated pizza Hawaiian!

Now I still love a Hawaiian pizza don’t get me wrong but after a trip we took to New York I started to completely fall in love with pizza.

If you are ever in Manhattan we’d highly recommend a few places but I think my favourite was inside Penn Station called ‘Don pepi’ and they served me a “white” which I’d never heard of which didn’t have tomato sauce! Amazing.

close up photo of person holding pizza

Photo by Muffin on Pexels.com

The pizza I think my husband would choose especially in the UK is the ‘Croma’ piri piri. Gorgeous stuff.

Anyway the point is that we are pizza eaters and pride ourselves on it so we decided we’d try and make our own.

Ingredients:

Dough

Sauce

  • Tomato paste tablespoon
  • 2 cups passata
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 dash of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Garlic paste tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon onion flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon chilli flakes

Topping

  • Grated mozzarella
  • Sprinkle of oregano

Method:

  1. Add the dry dough ingredients to a bowl but keep the yeast and salt separate as salt can kill the yeast
  2. Mix and pour the warm water in to string with a metal knife (easier to clean)
  3. When it starts to come together start to knead for 10 to 15 minutes. Only add as much flour as you need to keep it from really sticking to your hands. It should be tacky
  4. Press into a pizza shape and let it rest for 30 minutes under a damp tea towel
  5. For the sauce add all the ingredients to a pan and stir on a low heat for about 20 minutes to simmer down.
  6. Take the pizza dough out and add the sauce and your cheese
  7. Cook on a high heat (220 degrees c) for about 8-10 minutes until golden brow
  8. Store your excess sauce in little pots for the freezer

 

Looking at other recipes I think our next purchase to enhance the process is a pizza stone. Link below to the one I just bought and I’ll feedback on whether it helps.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B076F7B4CS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B076F7B4CS&linkId=49611d6127bbdac7a64ba5f8f407afbc

Buffalo Honey ‘copycat’ Boneless wings

Have you ever been to America and eaten the boneless buffalo wings in any of their famous restaurants? Myself and my husband literally adore them. Here’s a recent review I did of a ‘Wingstop’ that we stumbled across in central London and that’s the closest we could get to recreating the experience.

https://modernmrsbeeton.blog/2019/06/03/wing-restaurant-review-wing-stop-london/

That experience inspired me to try it at home. They would very good but not 100% perfect, however they were better than any you can order my any of my local takeaways in the UK.

Ingredients:

Chicken

  • Chicken breast strips
  • Cup of plain flour
  • Cup of milk
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • Inch of sunflower oil in a frying pen
  1. Add all the dry ingredients into one bowl
  2. Put the milk in another
  3. Drop the chicken into the flower and then into the milk
  4. Drop back into the dry mix and lay on a baking sheet
  5. Repeat until all the chicken is coated and refrigerate for 30 minutes
  6. Heat the oil until when you drop some batter mix onto it the mix sizzles and starts to cook
  7. Fry the chicken until golden brow
  8. If you are worried it’s not completely cooked you can pop in the oven for 10 minutes to cook through

 

Sauce

  • One jar of buffalo hot sauce
  • 1/2 jar honey
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 50g butter (melted)
  1. Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and mix
  2. When the chicken is cooked add to the bowl and coat the chicken by turning the sauce over the chicken
  3. Serve!

Some buffalo sauces to try out:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01HGOJCXI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01HGOJCXI&linkId=bd5d73ecbcd3ce7f05d47b51e3c39ef0

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00CWCNQRI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B00CWCNQRI&linkId=f424cb3bd1c017dd3b47d078b0c58f24

My ‘saucing’ dish – the largest one

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01BPDXW8M/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01BPDXW8M&linkId=560865ee89f7887d0a7048841c6ebf41

 

My ultimate tip for making pasta sauces

Not a recipe but more of a tip that we now do every single time we make a pasta sauce or in fact a lot of other sauces but it’ll make more sense in the first instance with pasta.

We randomly received a free jar of jalapenos (three large ones to be exact) and were pondering what to do with them.

Pasta tip

We started with the obvious by adding them to fajitas and pizzas and then any other funky sandwiches we were making. I definitely think your resistance/ability to withstand the heat goes up the more you eat them.

Then one night we were doing our usual recipe after work making pasta sauce for our evening meal, to which we have progressively been making it more and more spicy (probably linked to the previous point!). We add a mix of chill power; onion powder, garlic powder and different types of paprika for a nice balanced background to the sauce. All credit for this goes to my husband who then proceeded to chop up some of jalapenos and add to the sauce.

The result is an immensely flavored sauce with loads of background.

A word of warning though.. do not add to many or you end up eating each spoonful with a dash or soured cream (not necessarily a bad thing!). I’d also recommend adding a little of the juice from the jar for a bit of background sweetness.

If you can’t get them in large quantities easily like we do try this link from Amazon:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00FEHRNK4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B00FEHRNK4&linkCode=as2&tag=melmosparkly-21&linkId=33948d5ab4e3ac5bb2d88b4bbe1d3188

Meatloaf (American Classics)

The next in my series of American classic has been to try and make the elusive meatloaf. I’m quite sure this should be a simple dish and was made in harder times to make expensive cuts of meat go further but as an English person it was always a complete mystery to me.

Upon researching the recipe I discovered the meatloaf is coated in a rich tomato sauce which tastes amazing. I think I’d liken it to meatball and tomato sauce recipes that we have in England but it’s not a close comparison.

The end result of the meatloaf is a hearty and extensive meal that can be sliced ans stored to make multiple meals and feed a very large family.

Ingredients

Meatloaf itself

12 slices white bread

2 cups whole milk

4lbs ground beef

Pinch of salt and pepper

2 cups parmesan cheese

8 beaten eggs

Fresh parsley chopped roughly

1 garlic clove crushed

8-12 slices bacon

 

Sauce

1 tbsp Worcester sauce

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 diced onion

2 tbsp tomato ketchup

1 carrot, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp Hot Sauce

1tsp mustard

1.5 cups brown sauce

 

Recipe

  1. Pour the milk over the bread
  2. Season the beef; adding the onion and garlic
  3. Add the eggs; cheese and carrot
  4. Add the bread and parsley
  5. Shape into a loaf and press into a tin
  6. Cover the loaf with the bacon wrapping it around like a parcel

7. Make the sauce by combining the ketchup; sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce

8. Pour half the mixture over the loaf and bake at 350f for 1 hour

9. Halfway through cooking pour over the rest of the sauce

Serve with mash potatoes and green beams..nom!

Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf

Some materials to buy to copy this:

Meatloaf tin

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003R7KZ5I/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B003R7KZ5I&linkId=581718dd265f024f5cbd8e214f39626a

Worcestershire Sauce

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0074FOPSM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0074FOPSM&linkId=b7bb4aee850d3c9675d66fd3bc132538

Hot Sauce

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0002PSOJW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0002PSOJW&linkId=0d09e201e62508c9f383d05e42197f7e

Apple Pie (American Classics)

Next in my American Classics series is Apple Pie. What could be more classically American as epitomized in hundreds of TV shows and movies.

Ingredients:

Filling

6 cooking apples such as granny smiths cut into pieces

1 tsp cinammon

1/2 cup white sugar

1 lemon juiced

Recipe

  1. Mix all apple slices with the rest of the ingredients and lay in a dish in an even layer

img_1511.jpg

Pastry

1 + 1/3 cup plain flour

1/2 stick butter

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 tbsp cold water

Recipe

  1. Cut the butter and flour together. I have a metal pastry cutter that keeps the mix really cold as really good pastry in order to stay crumbly and short needs to be handled as little as possibleIMG_1514
  2. Add the wet ingredients and combine into a ball. Put in the freezer to really chill for 30 minutes
  3. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and then lie it on top of the apple dish
  4. I cut out a few extra shapes with the excess pastry and used a fork to crimp the edges of the dish and seal the pie. Under the pie edge add a little water to make the pastry stick to the edge of the dish
  5. If you want a browner finish on the pie glaze with a beaten egg or milk
  6. I have some cinnamon sugar at home (just sugar mixed with some cinnamon) so I sprinkled it on top on the pie

img_1513.jpg

7. Bake the pie for 20 minutes at 180c or until golden brown

The result is sweet with a really good hint of cinnamon and the apples go lovely and soft. Next time I might try it with puff/flaky pastry instead to see if I can get a crunchier texture. An excellent edition to the American Classics series

Some materials to buy if you want to copy this:

Pastry Cutter

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0001IWUQ8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B0001IWUQ8&linkId=1a7d4ed85658a65c861f529f8a1d9517

Pie Dishes

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B074TMC95V/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B074TMC95V&linkId=e94a0dcbf704c387c7e798ab6dcee524

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01GJV1P6Q/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=melmosparkly-21&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01GJV1P6Q&linkId=b093c41b2db0cbaa8db734282ca14a23

 

Pumpkin Pie (American Classic)

I’m starting a new set of recipes to try and taste themed around my love of American culture specifically food. We travel to the US almost every year and I’m always enamored with the restaurants and even food available at service stations! So I’m going to find as many classic American recipes that I can; the more traditional the better and try them out.

Sources such as Martha Stewart and Pioneer Woman have been an excellent support so I’d highly recommend them.

https://www.marthastewart.com/

http://thepioneerwoman.com/

So first on the list is classic Pumpkin Pie.

Ingredients:

Pastry

1 + 1/3 cup plain flour

1/2 stick butter

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 tbsp cold water

Recipe

  1. Cut the butter and flour together. I have a metal pastry cutter that keeps the mix really cold as really good pastry in order to stay crumbly and short needs to be handled as little as possibleIMG_1514
  2. Add the wet ingredients and combine into a ball. Put in the freezer to really chill for 30 minutes

Filling

Ingredients

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1tsp cinammon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground ginger

A couple of cloves bashed up

1 can pumpkin puree

1 can evaporated milk

Recipe

  1. Beat the eggs
  2. Add all the ingredients to the eggs and combine
  3. Take the pastry out of the freezer and roll out onto a lightly floured surface until as few mm thick
  4. Lift and place into a pie dish and push into the creases (use excess pastry to do this and not your fingers)
  5. Leave a little excess and trim
  6. Pour in the mixture
  7. Bake for 15 minutes at 425c
  8. Reduce oven temperature to to 350c
  9. Bake for a further 45 minutes
  10. Store in the fridge

I served it with creme fraiche as it’s so sweet so it helps balance it out. The verdict though is that I absolutely loved it. This is definitely the first win on the American Classics Cooking list