Posts Tagged ‘ground chuck’

by Sarah Steimer

Simple beef meatballs with a white wine and chive tomato sauce

This is the meatball recipe my mom has always used. It’s simple enough to whip together in a hurry — and one of the first meals I think I remember mom letting me “make” (i.e. mush the ingredients together and roll into balls). I probably also made these meatballs for all of my roommates. The only difference today? I created a new sauce.


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by Sarah Steimer

This dish was the result of waking up late from a nap and realizing I had no plan for dinner, but just odds and ends in the fridge, including leftover ground chuck that needed to be cooked ASAP. Worked out pretty well, I’d say.

  • 1/2 pound ground chuck
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, roasted and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 banana pepper, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 1/2-inch slices of precooked polenta (the kind that comes in a tube)
  • 1/2 ball fresh mozzarella

In a medium bowl, mix together the ground chuck, red pepper flakes, egg, breadcrumbs and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Form the mixture into meatballs that are smaller than a golf ball, about 1 inch in diameter.

Heat enough olive oil over medium heat in a sauté pan to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the meatballs to the pan and cook until browned on all sides, turning as they cook. The meatballs should only take about 10 minutes to cook, but cut one in half to ensure it is cooked through. Remove the meatballs from the pan and let drain on a paper towel.

Clean out the pan and heat more oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic to the pan, letting both soften. Add the roasted red pepper, banana pepper and tomato. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook until the banana pepper has begun to soften, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer the mixture to a blender and pulse just enough times to create a lumpy sauce. Return the mixture to the pan and adjust the seasoning (just salt and pepper in this case).

Arrange the polenta slices on two plates, three slices per plate. Microwave just until warm, about 20 seconds.

Top the polenta with slices fresh mozzarella. Add the meatballs on top, followed by the pepper-tomato sauce. Serve immediately.

Makes two servings.

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California roll burger

by Sarah Steimer

The crab on top of this burger makes it extra rich, but also very summery. Other topping options could include pickled ginger, fish roe or other items usually offered at sushi restaurants.

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6-8 ounce crab meat (tail, claw, whatever)
  • 1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon wasabi powder or paste (I added even more)
  • lettuce or spinach
  • tomato, sliced
  • avocado, sliced
  • nori strips (just take nori paper and slice into thin strips)
  • cucumber, sliced thin
  • sriracha (optional)
  • hamburger buns

Using your hands, combine the ground meat, fish sauce, salt and pepper. Form into four patties.

This is one tall burger – I highly recommend a soft bun so you can easily squash it down and jam it into your trap.

Mix together the crab meat with the 1-2 tablespoons of mayonnaise and set aside. Combine the 1/4 cup of mayonnaise with the wasabi, adjusting to your taste, to make the wasabi-mayo spread. Set aside.

Grill the patties to your desired “doneness” and remove from the heat. Pat off any excess grease with a paper towel – unless you enjoy that grease.

Place the tomato and lettuce/spinach on the bottom half of the hamburger bun (you’ll have too much balanced on top of the patties to add this later). Next add the hamburger patty, crab, nori strips, cucumber slices and avocado. Spread the wasabi-mayo on the top half of the bun, along with a swirl of sriracha if you so please.

Makes four burgers.

Recipe adapted from: Use Real Butter


Greek turkey burgers with pickled onions and tzaziki sauce

by Caitlin Saniga

I love that these burgers are bursting with flavor. And if you’re wondering about the bread I used, it’s double-round sandwich flatbread I saw on sale at Kroger. It was perfect for these burgers!

Pickled red onion (make ahead if using):

  • 1 red onion, sliced into 1/4-inch rings
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Tzaziki sauce:

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed


  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 pounds ground turkey (pork or lamb works, too)
  • 4 buns, pitas or flatbreads for serving
  • greens for serving

These super-easy pickled onions are a great way to get into pickling. They take minimal prep time, and most of the magic happens in the fridge. They last about 3 weeks.

To make the pickled onions: Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the onions, put the lid on and blanch for 1 minute. Drain in a colander. Put the onions back in the pan. Add the vinegar, salt and just enough water to cover the onion. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for two minutes.  Pour the onions and brine into a jar, cover and store in the fridge to chill. It’s best to make these a day before the burgers.

To make the tzaziki sauce: Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl and store in the fridge to chill. This can be made up to a day in advance.

To make the burgers: Start up the grill or preheat a countertop grill (Foreman-style works.) if that’s how you plan to cook the burgers. (You can also make these in a pan.)

In a large bowl, mix the feta, olives, parsley, garlic, oregano, basil, pepper and salt. Add the ground meat and use your hands to thoroughly mash together the mixture. Shape the mixture into 4 round patties.

These burgers pack really nicely. I should know! I’ve been taking them for lunch at work for the past week. For picnics at the park, I suggest assembling the burgers with buns and greens, wrapping them in foil and packing the onions and tzaziki sauce separately to avoid mushy buns.

Grill or pan-fry the burgers until the internal temperature is 165 degrees, about 7-9 minutes on each side or 7 minutes on a countertop grill.

Serve on buns, pitas or flatbreads with pickled onion, tzaziki sauce and greens.

Makes four burgers.

Recipe adapted from: Food o’ del Mundo

Alfresco Refreshed is our spin on four traditional picnic staples: fruit salad, potato salad, iced tea and hamburgers. You can find all the recipes here.

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by Sarah Steimer

Ahoy, brah. I only made two boats, but cooked the full amount of meat - which I just froze with the tomatoes for later use.

  • 2 medium zucchinis, stems cut off
  • 1 pound ground meat – I used ground chuck, but turkey or another beef would work just fine
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red or green pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3-4 leaves fresh basil
  • teaspoon turmeric (optional)
  • shredded Parmesan (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Place the zucchini, whole, in a glass baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, or until you can easily insert a fork into the squash.

In a saute pan, brown the ground meat – being sure to drain the excess juice. Add the onion, pepper, garlic and tomatoes and let simmer until the vegetables are soft. Add the basil and turmeric, if using. Season with salt and pepper.

Once cooked, remove the zucchini from the oven and let cool just enough to work with. Cut in half and scoop out the center of each half. Fill with the ground meat mixture and return to the oven if it cooled off too much. Sprinkle with cheese.

Serves four.

Recipe: Sarah Steimer

Photo: Sarah Steimer

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by Sarah Steimer

Caitlin and I made this a lot when we lived together... one of the great recipes to come from her Crock Pot cookbook. I tweak it a little each time I make it.

I realize this is late a month late, as “Crock of…” ran in March. But I moved and didn’t have time to finish up the guide! Better late than never, right?

  •  1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 or 2 jalapenos, diced thin
  • 1 red or green pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • chili powder, to taste
  • cumin, to taste
  • cinnamon, to taste

Cook the meat in a skillet until browned. Drain the grease and add onions. Cook until onions begin to appear translucent. Combine all ingredients in a slower cooker and cook on high for 5-7 hours.*

Makes as many servings as you can eat.

*Keep an eye on your slow cooker. Each one is unique and may not need to cook for as long or perhaps not on a high setting. Your chili should not get dry or pasty in consistency.

Recipe adapted from: Rival CrockPot — Slow Cooker Recipes cookbook

Photo: Sarah Steimer

*Throughout March, “Crock of…” will appear every Friday with our favorite chili recipes — all of which can be found here.

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