Spicy Burger Relish

In my family, the grilling season never ends. I know that we can have some harsh weather in Wisconsin, however the grill is always near by, and the bag of charcoal is always stocked. With that said, whenever I take a poll with my family for what they want for dinner in the coming week, well, I should just say my boys, the answer is pretty much ‘burgers’. My daughter is not a burger loving girl, but the boys are, and at their age now, it is almost as though they eat 3 of them. No kidding. Stop it. They are eating me out of my house.  As they are the typical plain cheese, or simply a burger and bacon kind of kids, I like to jazz mine up from time to time, and that’s when I decided to come up with a new relish. A spicy burger relish.

Spicy Burger Relish

This relish not only goes great with burgers, but heck you can dip chips or veggies into it, or even layer it on your omelette in the morning. It’s good, really, really good.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 whole pickled cherry bomb peppers, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup of roasted red bell peppers
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 6 cherry tomatoes tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp red chili flakes
  • generous pinch of dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • generous pinch of cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil

How to make spicy burger relish

Add all of these ingredients to a food processor and pulse until you have a thick salsa like consistency. Taste and season to your liking.

Cook your burgers to your desired temperature, and slather on the spicy burger relish.

Spicy burger relish

The end result is really great. It’s everything you want in a great condiment, and the heat from the cherry bomb peppers, and the roasted bell peppers really make this relish shine. It’s almost everything you love in a Sriracha sauce, but a bit better. Yes, I said that. I hope you enjoy, and keep those grills going!

Spatchcock Smoked Turkey

This past Thanksgiving, I debated whether or not to smoke a turkey, and well, the debate led me to go ahead and go through with it. It wasn’t much of a debate to be quiet honest with you as I love smoking all sorts of food. But time around instead of smoking a whole bird, I decided to spatchcock it. Spatchcock you ask? Well don’t say that word around high school students in your house because they will get a good laugh out of it. If you have never spatchcocked a chicken or turkey, I say it is a real must. The great thing about spatchcocking (removing the backbone) is a much quicker cooking time that always yields tender and juicy meat.

Spatchcock Smoked Turkey

A goal of smoking any large turkey or chicken, at least in my opinion, is to do a quick brine. To brine, boil one liter of water along with 3/4 cup of salt, a couple of cloves of smashed garlic, any citrus, some black peppercorns, and fresh herbs. Once boiled, add about 4 cups of ice to it and let it completely cool. Once cooled, it is then time to submerge your turkey, and let it submerge for 2-3 hours. Once brined, removed it and pat it dry.

Let’s get started.

  • 10-11 pound turkey
  • your favorite wood for smoking, I used cherry chunks
  • Coal
  • Poultry shears
  • salt and pepper
  • butter, optional

Place the turkey breast side down on your work surface, and with your poultry shears, cut along each side of the backbone. I find it easiest to start near the tail end of the bird and work your way up. This can take a bit of muscle, but it is well worth it. Once the backbone is removed, you can save it for stock if you want, hold each side of the turkey and open it up. Trim any excess fat if you want, then turn the turkey breast side up.

Using your palm, press down firmly on the breast bone to snap it. Repeat on the other breast bone. Now place this in your brining solution for at least 2-3 hours. Once brined, remove and pat dry.

How to smoke a turkey

Season with any salt and pepper, and rub any butter under the skin if you desire, then go prepare your smoker. I smoked mine on low, 225 degrees until your internal temperate in two different spots reaches 165 degrees.

Once cooked, remove, let it rest for about 15 minutes, then slice in.

The exterior has this awesome color unlike anything you get when roasted, and the cherry wood smoked meat is super moist and delicious. I will be spatchcocking on a regular basis now, and making this an annual tradition as well. Give this a shot next time your smoke a turkey or chicken, or heck even roast it. Hope you enjoy!

Green Enchilada Soup

Are you a fan of enchiladas? I know I am, and whether they be red enchiladas (enchilada rojas), or green enchiladas (enchilada verdes), they are just down right comforting. Typically enchiladas are made by lightly cooking corn tortillas in some oil, then stuffed with chicken, some cheese, and smothered in enchilada sauce, only to be baked until everything is bubbly and cooked through. With that said, I really wanted some enchiladas this past weekend, but did not want to go through the fuss of the oil, folding, etc, and that’s when I decided to turn that whole idea into a soup. Yep, a green enchilada soup. My wife’s favorite soup is probably my chicken tortilla soup, and so I knew she would fall in love with this one.

Green Enchilada Soup

I’ll admit, it is not the prettiest of soups to be serving, but TRUST ME, this soup is awesome. It’s balanced by sweet heat, with tender chicken and crispy tortilla chips, trust me, you will be wanting a second bowl.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz can of diced green chilies
  • 19 oz can of green enchilada sauce
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp salt, to taste
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup masa harina
  • 1 cup of velveeta cheese, cubed
  • shredded monteray jack cheese
  • Crumbled tortilla chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Heat an oven ready,  large skillet on medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the canola oil and swirl it around in the pan. Season the chicken breasts with the cumin, chili powder, and salt.

Add the chicken to the skillet, and brown on both sides.

Once browned, place the skillet in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven, and let the chicken cool. Once cooled, cut into bite-sized cubes.

How to make green enchilada soup

To another skillet, heat the additional canola oil on medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onions begin to sweat.

To a medium to large pot, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the cooked chicken, the onions, garlic, enchilada sauce, and green chilies.

To a bowl, add the masa harina and 1 cup of stock. Stir to combine the masa and then pour it into the soup. Give a good stir, then add in the Velveeta. Stir, and reduce the heat, cooking for about 20 minutes.

When you are ready to serve, ladle the soup into a bowl and top with crushed tortilla chips and shredded monteray jack cheese.

The end result is everything you would expect in a traditional enchilada verdes, but in soup form, and I hate to say it, but the soup form is pretty darn delicious! Hope you enjoy!

Green Enchilada Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 4 oz can of diced green chilies
  • 19 oz can of green enchilada sauce
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ tbsp cumin powder
  • ½ tbsp chili powder
  • ½ tbsp salt, to taste
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup of velveeta cheese, cubed
  • shredded monteray jack cheese
  • Crumbled tortilla chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degress.
  2. Heat an oven ready, large skillet on medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the canola oil and swirl it around in the pan. Season the chicken breasts with the cumin, chili powder, and salt.
  3. Add the chicken to the skillet, and brown on both sides.
  4. Once browned, place the skillet in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven, and let the chicken cool. Once cooled, cut into bite-sized cubes.
  5. To another skillet, heat the additional canola oil on medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onions begin to sweat.
  6. To a medium to large pot, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the cooked chicken, the onions, garlic, enchilada sauce, and green chilies.
  7. To a bowl, add the masa harina and 1 cup of stock. Stir to combine the masa and then pour it into the soup. Give a good stir, then add in the Velveeta. Stir, and reduce the heat, cooking for about 20 minutes.
  8. When you are ready to serve, ladle the soup into a bowl and top with crushed tortilla chips and shredded monteray jack cheese.
  9. The end result is everything you would expect in a traditional enchilada verdes, but in soup form, and I hate to say it, but the soup form is pretty darn delicious! Hope you enjoy!

 

Pineapple Cream Popsicles

It wasn’t too long ago when an old colleague of mine, and friend had sent me a message on Facebook. Being from Philadelphia, but living in Hawaii now, and I being from Wisconsin, he decided to prompt a friendly bet for an upcoming football game. The Philadelphia Eagles were playing the Green Bay Packers, and the wager was if the Packers won, I would send him some Johnsonville brats, otherwise, he would be sending us fresh pineapples from Hawaii. I typically do not bet all that much, but this was a friendly one, so I agreed.  Needless to say, the Packers crushed the Eagles 53-20, and I kind of felt bad for my friend across the ocean. Regardless to say, I actually forgot about the bet, but a few days later he had sent me a message and asked for my address. Days later, some wonderful looking pineapples arrived.

I’ve never seen pineapples that have looked so awesome. I’m not kidding. They were called Maui Gold, and they were probably, hands down, the best pineapples I have ever eaten. My wife agreed as well. So at first, I was thinking of baking a pineapple upside cake, or some twist on that, but then I decided to make some pineapple popsicles as I daughter loves those types of things.

Pineapple Cream Popsicles

These pineapple cream popsicles are super easy to make, and are really refreshing.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup cream soda
  • popsicle molds

Start by adding the pineapple, milk, and cream soda to your food processor or blender. Process to your liking. I like to keep a bit of texture in mine, but you can go as smooth as you want. Once you are ready, pour into your popsicle molds, and insert the stick.

Place in the freezer for at least three hours.How to make pineapple cream popsicles

When you are ready to serve, run a mold under warm water for about 30 seconds, then gently pull out the popsicle.

The end result is this fantastic popsicle, that is slightly creamy from the milk and cream soda, but really the pineapple shines here. Sweet, with little bits of pineapple coming through really makes for a really great post workout delight.

Now I will have to remember to wage more bets with my friend moving forward! Hope you enjoy, and thanks again for the Packers win!