Apr 232012
 

For the 16th anniversary of Sutter Home Build a Better Burger Contest and Cook-Off®, the search forAmerica’s best burger, judges are looking for entries to include a maximum of 16 ingredients. And here is the winner back in 1990. It still sounds like a 5-star burger today!

Napa Valley Basil-Smoked Burgers
Makes 6

PESTO MAYONNAISE

2/3 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons prepared basil pesto

PATTIES

2 pounds ground sirloin

1/4 cup Zinfandel

1/4 cup minced fresh basil

1/4 cup minced red onion

1/4 cup fresh Italian bread crumbs

8 sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, finely chopped

2 teaspoons garlic salt

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack

8 large fresh basil sprigs, moistened with water

6 large seeded sandwich rolls, split

6 slices Monterey Jack cheese

6 red leaf lettuce leaves

6 (1/4-inch-thick) large tomato slices

6 paper-thin red onion slices, separated into rings

6 fresh basil sprigs

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

Combine the mayonnaise and pesto in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

To make the patties, combine the sirloin, Zinfandel, basil, onion, bread crumbs, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic salt in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form them into patties to fit the rolls.

When the grill is ready, brush the rack with vegetable oil. Toss basil sprigs directly onto the fire. Place patties on the rack; cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes on each side. During the last few minutes of cooking, place rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. Top each patty with a cheese slice. Cook 1 minute.

Spread the mayonnaise over the cut sides of the rolls. On each roll bottom, place a lettuce leaf, a patty, a tomato slice, an onion slice and a basil sprig. Add the roll tops and serve.

With 16 ingredients, this burger took the grand prize in 1990

 

For dessert try the Take Your Breath Away Chocolate Pie

Apr 192012
 
Mar 052012
 
I served this at Cooking Club and the ladies were so impressed by the easy, yet delectable presentation that they wanted to start with dessert. This is such a quick and easy recipe to whip up for any occasion, yet it will look like you spent hours preparing for your guests. You can modify it for those special dietary needs (see below).
Ingredients:
1 pkg (18.25 oz/510 g) devil’s food cake mix (plus ingredients to make cake)
1 pkg (8 oz/250 g) cream cheese, softened
1 cup (250 mL) powdered sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely grated orange zest
1 container (8 oz/1 L) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup (50 mL) seedless raspberry jam, divided
1 cup (250 mL) raspberries (optional)
 You can substitute Neufchatel for the cream cheese to cut the fat; to lower the sugar and calories, feel free to use Stevia instead of powdered sugar and sugar free jam. Also, feel free to substitute strawberries or blueberries if you prefer.
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and flour Torte Pans; set aside. Prepare cake mix according to package directions; divide batter equally between pans. Bake 18-22 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Remove from oven to cooling rack, cool 5 minutes. Remove cakes from pans; cool completely.
  2. Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and orange zest in Classic Batter Bowl; whisk until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Place one cake layer well-side up onto serving platter. Spread half of the filling over cake layer. Place raspberry jam in Prep Bowl. Microwave on HIGH 10-20 seconds or until warm; whisk until smooth. Drizzle half of the jam over filling. Stack remaining cake layer on top of first, well-side up; spread with remaining filling. If desired, arrange raspberries over filling; drizzle with remaining jam.

Yield: 16 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 340, Total Fat 18 g, Saturated Fat 8 g, Cholesterol 55 mg, Carbohydrate 39 g, Protein 4 g, Sodium 310 mg, Fiber less than 1 g

Mar 052012
 

This is one of my favorite brie recipes! It is so simple. It can keep for a week so you can and should make it ahead of time. It only takes a few minutes in the oven the night you plan to eat it. I like it with the pears the best. Let me know what you think.The photographer wanted to remove “the burnt” items from the photo but we feel “It’s the best part!”

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts or pecans
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 (14-ounce) round brie
  • Apple wedges, for serving
  • Pear wedges, for serving
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Crackers, for serving

Directions

In a small bowl stir together the sugar, nuts, and brandy. Cover and chill for at least 24 hours or up to 1 week.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Place the brie on an ovenproof platter or pie plate. Bake for 4 or 5 minutes or until the brie is slightly softened. Spread the sugar mixture in an even layer on top of the warm brie and bake for 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until the sugar melts. Brush the fruit wedges with lemon juice and arrange them around 1 side of the brie. Place crackers around the other side.

Another delicious easy Brie recipe The Baked Brie with Cranberries Sandwich is a perfect dinner for a cold winter evening. What can be more comforting than warm Brie and cranberries?

Jan 032012
 

Pasta and Chicken are always a favorite at my house, and this dish is no exception. The fresh tastes of the tomatoes and basil come through. Using a store bought chicken broth makes this recipe ideal for the beginner cook; however, for an even better flavor, you might try making your own broth by simmering a whole chicken.

CQ- Chicken Penne Al-fresco

Ingredients:
4 Garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
3 cups uncooked mezze penne pasta
3 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay
1/2 tsp each salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, divided
1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup packed)
2 cups diced grilled chicken breasts
Additional grated fresh Parmesan cheese and coarsely ground black pepper (optional)
Directions:

Spray baker with olive oil spritzer. Slice or press garlic into baker  Add tomatoes. Cover; microwave on HIGH 4-5 minutes or until tomatoes begin to burst, stirring after 2 minutes. Crush tomatoes. Add pasta, broth, wine, salt and black pepper.
Return baker to microwave; cover and microwave on HIGH 16-18 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring after 10 minutes. Meanwhile, coarsely chop basil. Reserve 2 tbsp for garnish. Grate cheese.
Carefully remove baker from microwave and remove lid, lifting away from you. Add remaining basil, cheese and chicken to baker ; mix well. Garnish with reserved 2 tbsp basil, additional Parmesan cheese and black pepper, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutrients per serving: Light (about 1 cup): Calories 240, Total Fat 2.5 g, Saturated Fat .5 g, Cholesterol 25 mg, Carbohydrate 35 g, Protein 17 g, Sodium 450 mg, Fiber 2 g

Cook’s Tips: An additional 3/4 cup chicken broth can be substituted for the wine, if desired.

Any tube-shaped pasta requiring 9-11 minutes cook time, such as penne or rigatoni, can be substituted for the mezze penne pasta.

To grill chicken in a Grill Pan, season 2 chicken breasts, about 6 oz each, with salt and black pepper. Heat Grill Pan over medium-high heat 5 minutes. Spray pan with oil. Cook chicken 4-6 minutes or until grill marks appear. Turn chicken over; cook 4-6 minutes or until center of chicken is no longer pink and Digital Pocket Thermometer registers 170°F.

Another favorite chicken recipe of mine is Chicken Bourguignon with White Wine