I was looking forward to these tacos all week and after a pretty hectic day with no lunch to speak of, I got home and was starving! These were just what I needed, well that and a glass or 20 of wine (kidding, kidding). The salsa was amazing and instead of adding in hot sauce I put in a Serrano chili. I also served with some Monterrey Jack cheese because well, I needed some cheese.
What I always appreciate about Cooking Light is their Menu Suggestions section in the back of the magazine which are short recipes and sides to serve with a few select dishes to round out a meal. This one had a GREAT side to serve with the tacos, Smoky Refried Beans (recipe below) and I think this may turn into my refried bean staple – yes, we all need one – from now on.
For vegetarians, I could see the refried beans being spread on the tacos and served with the salsa and cabbage to make sure you have crunch. You could remove the bacon and in its place put it a little cumin or chili powder to give the beans a smoky flavor? I pulled that out of thin air!
Smoky Refried Beans
Cook 2 slices applewood-smoked bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserve drippings. Crumble bacon, set aside. Add 1/2 cup chopped onion and 2 minced garlic cloves to drippings in pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/3 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 1 (15-ounce) can drained and rinsed pinto beans; mash with potato masher to desired consistency. Cook until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with bacon and 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro.
Just by reading the name of this recipe, this burger from Bon Appetit has a lot going for it. (1) it has the word Texas in it (2) it has BBQ sauce (3) we know there is some sort of cheese.
I had a feeling this was going to be delicious when I made the very simple to make homemade BBQ sauce
first. I seriously will use this recipe anytime something calls for BBQ sauce as this was such a spicy, well-balanced and beautiful homemade recipe I don’t see the point of buying bottled again.
The coffee rub, which is a blend of fresh ground coffee, sea salt, pepper, dried oregano, ground coriander and brown sugar, smelled heavenly when I was putting it together so you can imagine the magic that happened once you sprinkled on the burger patties and grilled.
I couldn’t find regular potato bread buns and when I checked with the bakery they only had large potato bread dinner rolls. “Screw it” I thought, “I will just make sliders, nothing is getting between me and this burger!”
Combine the amazing BBQ sauce, coffee-rubbed beef patty, thinly sliced smoked Gouda, applewood-smoked bacon with fresh tomato and red onion and you’ve got a burger that is INCREDIBLE. I really enjoyed this burger and it will certainly be on my permanent menu rotation. I’m loving all of these burger recipes, keep them coming!
So it was the last night of the Everyday Food “1 bag, 5 meals” idea featured in the June issue. Last up was the Grilled Steak with Tomatoes and Scallions. Due to my lack of access to a real grill, I grilled the steak on a grill pan and broiled the cherry tomatoes and scallions in the oven until charred. This was a simple and flavorful dish and I really loved the tomatoes and scallions on top of the juicy steak.
As some of you know, I work in food public relations and one of the unfortunate (ha!) aspects of
my job is that my team and I have to test recipes to ensure the dish ideas we provide to consumers are delicious and easy to assemble. It’s a hard job but somebody’s gotta do it. Of course I love all the recipes we try but one that has stood out continuously over time is the Mango, Chicken and Avocado Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
from the National Mango Board
Because a steak just wouldn’t be enough, I also decided to make this healthy and delicious salad sans chicken to round out my meal. I love this salad so much, since the first day we tested it until now it has been one of my favorites. It provides a perfect balance of sweetness in the mango and dressing, plus the creamy avocado and the crunch of pistachios…great flavor and texture balance.
Coming up next, has a burger I just tested from Bon Appetit already beaten my recent favorite
from Food & Wine
magazine? Stay tuned!
Oh yum people, oh yum. This Cheddar BLT Burger with Tarragon Russian Dressing is on the cover of the June issue Food & Wine magazine. Doesn’t it look like the Heidi Klum of cheeseburgers? Not only was this so good, but it was pretty simple to make. It has a simple Russian-style dressing with fresh tarragon, bacon, onion, tomato, cheddar cheese and the patties are equal parts ground beef chuck and sirloin. One thing you do differently is brush the patties with unsalted butter while they cook. WHY have I not thought of this before? As you know I don’t have a grill but cooked them instead on a grill pan on the stove until the patty was slightly pink inside. This was by far one of the easiest to to make and best-in-flavor burgers I have made in a long time, if not ever!
On the side I enjoyed this simple Heirloom Tomato Salad with Garlic Oil
from Martha Stewart Living
. Heirloom tomatoes and their unique shapes and colors just make me so happy
when I get to enjoy them. When you have something this good and flavorful you need to make sure the rest of the ingredients are simple and do not overpower. This recipe with it’s garlic-infused olive oil, fresh chives and basil were delicious with the heirloom tomatoes I was able to find at the market. As a side note, I enjoyed reading this article
from Food & Wine
about a husband and wife team who grow heirloom tomato varieties. Do you like a Green Zebra or Arkansas Traveler better?
I love slow-cooking on Sunday. I found this super simple Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Paprika Sauce in the new Everyday with Racheal Ray. This was so easy and quick to assemble and my only concern was the amount of paprika, yes I know paprika is in the name of the recipe but wow two tablespoons? Even when I added it in I said out loud, “wow, that’a lot of parprika,” but you know what, it was delcious and really made this dish sing. I loved how the meatballs cooked in the sauce for the six hours, keeping them moist and full of flavor.
The recipe mentions to serve it over spaghetti but then my cooking bible aka the new Cooking Light just hit the stands and I came across the Homemade Whole Wheat Pita recipes and got an idea…
I love Ina Garten on Barefoot Contessa. She is so at ease when she cooks and I want to try all of her recipes when I’m done watching her show, plus she seems to have the best marriage/life ever doesn’t she? Anyhoodles, on one episode she made this delicious looking Crunchy Noodle Salad
chock-full of red bell pepper, snap peas and spaghetti with a smooth peanut butter, ginger, honey, soy sauce and sesame oil dressing. She also served the salad with an Asian-inspired Grilled Salmon
but I thought to combine it with another favorite recipe of mine from Bon Appétit
, Grilled Asian Flank Steak
The Crunchy Asian Noodle Salad recipe I followed exactly except at the end added some hot red pepper flakes to give it some heat (I can’t help myself) and the Grilled Asian Flank Steak I marinated as instructed but instead of grilling I sautéed in a wok with a some freshly chopped broccoli to add even more veggie goodness to it. I also have tried the sweet slaw that accompanies the Asian flank steak recipe and it is quite delicious as well.I topped-off the meal with some fresh pineapple with toasted coconut and voila a delicious and quickly prepared meal with some serious Asian flavors.
On a scale of 1 – 10, I say 7!
What do you think of these recipes?