Filipino Bistek Tagalog Sliders

Lately I have been thrown a few challenges. Some major ones such as battling cancer, and some minor ones such as how to scale down feeding a family. See, we lost our oldest to college this year. It’s exciting to everyone, but the change was an interesting variable to deal with. Sure, it has been quiet, the house easier to pick up, less dishes, less laundry, less noise, and less food consumption. To me, that’s nice, but the food consumption is something I am still getting a grasp on. I know it sounds easy but when you have been cooking as long as I have, you get used to portions, or should I say teenage portions.

My oldest, probably since he hit his teens, has been a big eater. The kid will crush three burgers if he is bored (I’m not even sure hungry), a meal of two plates of nachos, 36 chicken wings… You get it. So now (and probably always) I have many leftovers which sadly often time can go to waste. Due to my condition, I cannot really entertain the idea of leftovers, even my own, if it sits over a day in the refrigerator, so you can see where I am going. I’m learning to scale down on family meals, and it is tough. Thankfully there was something I made earlier this month, Bistek Tagalog where it was so tasty that I had the appetite the following day to make something out of the leftover, and it was a simple as making a slider and adding some cheese. BOOM!

Filipino Bistek Sliders
Filipino Bistek Sliders

The process of making Bistek Tagalog (Steak with onions along with great Filipino flavors) is simple to begin with, and then warming up the leftovers and putting them between two soft buns, well you have something great to eat in no time.

Let’s get started:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked Bistek Tagalog, warmed
  • 1 slice provolone cheese, per slider
  • 2 slider buns, per slider

That is it!

Take a skillet, and heat it to medium heat. Add in whatever amount of bistek tagalog you want for your sliders and let it come to temperature. Once the beef and onions are nice and warm add some provolone cheese to the top.

Bistek Tagalog Ingredients
Bistek Tagalog Ingredients

Once the cheese begins to melt, left up and slide onto the bottom of your slider bun. Top with the top bun. Repeat if necessary.

As much as I love a great cheesesteak sandwich, the Filipino bistek tagalog slider is one sandwich to be reckoned with, and low and behold I got to use up some of my leftovers!

P.S. The kid is back from college this week so I’m hoping leftovers will be held to a minimum for a few days!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! (If you are looking for some ideas for recipes this Thanksgiving, give these a try.)

Simple Burger Sauce

Grilling season is coming to an end for many in the state of Wisconsin. I think this is officially the last day of summer, and as much as that pleases me (I love fall in Wisconsin), it disappoints me as well. I mean winter is coming, and that can get pretty long here in our state. With that said, my grill continues to heat up all year round, but for those that tuck them away until spring time, I figured I would give you my simple burger sauce recipe. Think of it as the ‘Big Mac’ sauce in a way, and one that really brings a great grilled burger together.

Yes, I ate that, well most of it.

Special Burger Sauce Recipe
Special Burger Sauce Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp French dressing
  • 2 tbsp sweet pickle relish
  • 2 tbsp minced white onion
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp white vinegar

That’s it. Pretty much things most folks might have in their refrigerator. As I love a burger with just mayonnaise and pickles, I figured I would step it up and mix these together to give a sweet, tangy, and creamy sauce. This one totally delivers.

Special Burger Sauce Recipe Ingredients
Special Burger Sauce Recipe Ingredients

Place all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl, and whisk until thoroughly combined.

When your burger is done grilling, slather it on the top, and bottom buns and enjoy. This one was stacked with a sauced bottom bun, lettuce, burger, pickles, onions, more sauce, another sliced bun, cheese, burger, bacon, tomato, more lettuce, sauce, and top bun. IT WAS A DOOZY.

If you are looking for a great sauce, not only for a burger, but along the lines of a great club sandwich, give this one a shot. It only gets better after a couple of days stored in the refrigerator as well.  Hope you enjoy!

Fry Sauce

Fry sauce, or simply a ‘special sauce’ is probably the easiest thing to make and typically served with french fries. I think fry sauce can pretty much go on anything, including burgers, and fries of which I did. Fry sauce is a classic sauce and has been around for ages. Think of it as somewhat of a Russian dressing. The simplicity is essentially a combination of mayonnaise and ketchup, but I add a couple of different twists making this fry sauce super addicting one.

Fry Sauce Recipe
Fry Sauce Recipe

Let’s get started on this excellent condiment.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of your favorite mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup of ketchup
  • 1 tbsp pickle juice
  • 1 tbsp your favorite hot sauce
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • hot fries, optional

Add everything but the hot fries to a mixing bowl. Mix well. Cover and place in the refrigerator for later use.

How to make fry sauce
How to make fry sauce

When you are ready to serve, drizzle onto your hot fries (I used roasted garlic and rosemary baby yukon potatoes), or serve on the side. I also smeared a generous amount onto my grilled burger. Talk about simplicity at its finest, and a delicious tang of a condiment to boot. If you are looking for all of that, give this one a shot, and feel free to double the amount for later use. Hope you enjoy!

Crispy Fried Shallots

This past weekend I stopped by one of our local ethnic markets called Cermak. I actually like shopping at this place as the have an array of ethnic aisles and pretty good produce to boot. This particular stop actually yielded a bunch of fruit, Indian chilies, and a bunch of shallots (on sale). I typically cook with shallots throughout the week, and the package had about 8 shallots for something under a dollar! I was in. Granted I did not know what I would be doing with these shallots until I decided I would make burgers on the grill.

As I was driving my son and daughter to Sunday school, I asked what they wanted on their burgers. They stated ‘plain with slow cooked onions and mushrooms’, and ‘just cheese’. That’s when those shallots sparked. I asked them if they had ever tried crispy, thin onions on their burger, and both responded with a ‘no’. That’s when those shallots sparked by attention, and hence why my entire family devoured all of them.

These are super easy to make (just get your onion goggles on to prevent the tears), and only requires a bit of time.

Crispy Fried Shallots Recipe
Crispy Fried Shallots Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of canola oil
  • salt

Does it get any easier than this? Also note, the oil that is leftover can be stored, and used in stir fry and various other saute’s, and one that has a great onion taste.

Start by adding the oil to a small pot. Add the shallots to the cold oil. Bring the oil to a medium-low heat, stirring along the way, and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until they get a nice light golden brown. Once you get that light golden brown, remove the crispy shallots with a slotted spoon or kitchen spider, and place onto a paper towel lined plate.

Crispy Fried Shallots Recipe
Crispy Fried Shallots Recipe

Immediately season with salt. As the shallots drain any excess oil, they will continue to cook from the residual heat and get nice and crispy.

Crispy Fried Shallots Recipe
Crispy Fried Shallots Recipe

Place into a bowl and serve alongside, or on your favorite burger. As soon as my kids tasted them, I said ‘see what I was talking about in the car?’, they were eating them like chips. Next time I will have to make double the amount! Hope you enjoy.

Awesome Burger Sauce Recipe

I’m a sucker when it comes to sauces, or burgers for that matter. Especially now that we are starting to see temperatures in the 60’s in Wisconsin. That temperature always has me thinking about grilling out for dinner, getting out from in front of the stove, or slow cooker for that matter. There is something about grilling that I really love. The preparation, the hot coals, the smokey smell, you know what I’m talking about right?

Well, I think that with any good burger, it deserves a really good sauce, and this sauce in particular is one of them. It’s vibrant in color, packs a ton of awesome flavor, and will have you wanting to slather it on pretty much anything. Yeah, it’s one of those sauces.

Awesome Burger Sauce Recipe
Awesome Burger Sauce Recipe

Let’s get started.

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 5  whole cloves of garlic
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup of mango, cubed
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt, more to taste

To a food processor, toss everything in, and pulse until you have a really smooth sauce. Yep, that’s it. This is a flavor bomb. It’s a bit sweet, spicy, and has you wanting more and more.

Lather this stuff onto any burger (as you can tell by my burger, I was very generous), dip your fries into it, or use it on anything from eggs, to salads, to sandwiches. This one is a real winner. Hope you enjoy, and get those grills ready!

Awesome Burger Sauce Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauces
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 5 whole cloves of garlic
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup of mango, cubed
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • ½ tsp salt, more to taste
Instructions
  1. Add to a blender, and mix until smooth.

 

Chorizo and Cheese Stuffed Burgers

Burgers and Summertime. What’s not to love? We grill burgers about every two weeks at my house, and the routine is always the same with the family. Two cheeseburgers, one plain with bacon, no burger for my youngest, and well, then there is me and that’s when I started to get creative.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of a simple cheeseburger, a big fan at that, but sometimes you want something a bit off the usual path. That’s when I took a look in my refrigerator and found some good old Mexican chorizo, and hence the idea on this burger recipe. The chorizo and cheese stuffed burger.

Chorizo and Cheese Stuffed Burgers
Chorizo and Cheese Stuffed Burgers

The end result was something super delicious, and an explosion of flavor when biting into it. A must make in my opinion.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb ground chuck
  • 1 cup Mexican chorizo, cooked and fat removed
  • 2 slices of American cheese
  • Cooked bacon, optional
  • 1 hamburger bun, good and sturdy, toasted
  • mayonnaise, optional
  • pickles, optional

Start by cooking your Mexican chorizo. During this time, form your hamburger patties.

Divide your ground chuck into 1/4 pound patties. When the chorizo has cooled, take one patty and place on the American cheese. Top with the cooked and cooled chorizo, then top with the other 1/4 pound patty.

Chorizo and Cheese Stuffed Burgers
Chorizo and Cheese Stuffed Burgers

Shape and form the patties so that both patties are combined, and sealed. Season with salt and pepper if you desire.

Once your grill is heated, cook over direct heat for a few minutes, then flip, add another slice of the American cheese, and cook for another few minutes before finishing over indirect heat until your desired doneness.

To assemble, take your bottom toasted bun and slather on some mayonnaise. Top with bacon if desired, then the cooked chorizo and cheese stuffed burger, then the top bun. Spear a pickle on top and dig in.

The result is awesome. The creaminess from the mayonnaise, the crunch from the smoky bacon, and then the explosion of the chorizo and cheese. Good? Heck yes. Delicious to say the least and as meaty as it sounds, it was not heavy in feeling. As a matter of fact, it was hard to put down.

So the next time you are firing up the grill to make some burgers, and want something different, give this one a shot. It was a real treat.

The Everything Bagel Cheeseburger

I’m a big fan of bagels, and unfortunately I do not eat enough of them. That’s probably a good thing, right? When I do go out for a bagel, my default is always, always the everything bagel. I don’t even think of other bagels to be quiet honest with you. I recently did steer away from the everything not too long ago when I made the Asiago Jalapeno Bacon Burger, and that got me thinking… ‘Why the heck did I not do the Everything Burger?’. The Asiago Jalapeno burger was so darn good, I knew that the Everything Bagel Burger would be even better, and gosh darn it, I was right!

The Everything Bagel Burger

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Everything Bagel, sliced
  • 1/2 pound of ground chuck
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 slices American cheese
  • pickles, optional

That’s it. Simple and straight forward.

As I typically make burgers on the stove on a large cast iron skillet, I decided to make a batch of burgers for the family on the grill to get a bit more of a smokey flavor, however you go which route you want when cooking your burger.

Start by forming the ground chuck into a patty. Lightly press your thumb in the middle of the patty to make an indentation.

Next season both sides of the patty with the salt and pepper.

Cook your patty to your desired temperature, I go medium, and when they are about done, top with the American cheese, cover, and let the cheese melt for a minute or so.

Add the burger to the Everything bagel, and top with a pickle. You can jazz your’s up the way you want it, but I liked mine plain and let the awesome seasoning of the minced onion and garlic, the sesame and poppy seeds, along with the additional salt shine.

Was this a great burger? Heck yeah, and I’m getting ready to say farewell to the standard burger bun as well. Hope you enjoy!

Asiago Jalapeno Bagel Burger

A mouthful not only in the title of this one, but a delicious mouthful when biting into this mammoth of a burger.  There are always different ways to serve up burgers, and for the last year or so I have been going with the smashed burger route on a large cast iron skillet. I’ve said it before, but anytime I ask my kids what they would like to eat, the oldest always shouts out ‘burgers’. As my wife had other plans to help out with her parents this past weekend, I decided to opt-in on the burger suggestion as it was only going to be me and my son hanging out that night.

So, as I went to the store to shop for the ingredients, I decided that I would get some nice rolls from the bakery. I was going to buy two of these awesome butter top buns that are just perfect when holding up to big, juicy burgers, but then something grabbed my attention; the asiago jalapeno bagel. I’ve never thought of using a bagel as the bun, but now after experimenting with it, I’m sold.

Asiago Jalapeno Bagel Burger

Now you can go any direction with your burger, whether plain, cheese, onions, etc, but I thought this one worked out well.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients: (makes one serving)

  • 1/2 lb ground chuck
  • 3/4 inch sliced red onion
  • 2 slices of cooked bacon
  • 2 slices of American Cheese
  • head lettuce to your liking
  • 1 Asiago Jalapeno Bagel, sliced
  • pickles to your liking
  • brown gravy, optional
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste

Start by forming your patty and season both sides generously with salt and pepper. While those rest, prepare the rest of your ingredients, as well as get your charcoal lit for your grill. If you are not using charcoal, then use your gas grill, or stove and large skillet. Again, no preference here.

Once your grill is nice and hot, add the burger. Cook to your desired temperature (I prefer medium with a bit of warm pink in the center), but when you flip, add the American cheese to get it nice and melted.

I also place the onion on the grill for a few minutes, as well as the asiago jalapeno bagel to warm those through.

asiago-jalapeno-bagel-burger-ingredients

Now I stated brown gravy. If you don’t have any, don’t worry (but it did give a nice, additional flavor to this burger. I only used it because I had some leftover from making my poutine potato skins.

Let’s build this burger.

Take the bottom part of your bagel and smear the warm brown gravy onto it. Add the sliced red onion, the bacon, the burger, the lettuce, and then a couple of pickles. Top with the top of the bagel, press down, then get into this thing.

I was blown away with every bite. The bagel in itself was exceptionally good, but the combination of all of this, along with some of that mild bite from the jalapeno, just made this one of my favorite burgers. I’ve made enough in my time, but seriously this is up there as being on of my top favorites. So the next time you are cooking burgers, think of the bagel as the bun. It was a real game changer. I hope you enjoy!

Asiago Jalapeno Bagel Burger
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ lb ground chuck
  • ¾ inch sliced red onion
  • 2 slices of cooked bacon
  • 2 slices of American Cheese
  • head lettuce to your liking
  • 1 Asiago Jalapeno Bagel, sliced
  • pickles to your liking
  • brown gravy, optional
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Start by forming your patty and season both sides generously with salt and pepper. While those rest, prepare the rest of your ingredients, as well as get your charcoal lit for your grill. If you are not using charcoal, then use your gas grill, or stove and large skillet. Again, no preference here.
  2. Once your grill is nice and hot, add the burger. Cook to your desired temperature (I prefer medium with a bit of warm pink in the center), but when you flip, add the American cheese to get it nice and melted.
  3. I also place the onion on the grill for a few minutes, as well as the asiago jalapeno bagel to warm those through.
  4. Now I stated brown gravy. If you don’t have any, don’t worry (but it did give a nice, additional flavor to this burger. I only used it because I had some leftover from making my poutine potato skins.
  5. Let’s build this burger.
  6. Take the bottom part of your bagel and smear the warm brown gravy onto it. Add the sliced red onion, the bacon, the burger, the lettuce, and then a couple of pickles. Top with the top of the bagel, press down, then get into this thing.

 

Grecian Lamb and Tzatziki Grilled Cheese

Lately I have been thinking of grilled cheese sandwiches. The grilled cheese sandwich, just by itself, is pure comfort food. A couple slices of bread, some American cheese, and some butter is all you need to have thoughts of childhood, or to remove any stresses of the day. Two of my kids love the basic grilled cheese sandwich (God forbid that my oldest eat anything with melted cheese), and any time they are undecided what to eat for lunch on any given Saturday or Sunday, I also suggest a grilled cheese. There’s something about the low and slow process that I totally love. There is also something about coming up with new ideas when it comes to cheeses, and other ingredients that, well you know, I totally am all about. With that said, that’s when I decided to some up with a twist on a grilled cheese, and go all out, making what I am calling the Grecian lam and tzatziki grilled cheese.

IT WAS TO DIE FOR.

Grecian Lamb and Tzatziki Grilled Cheese

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 70 g Wisconsin Carr Valley Creama Kasa Cheese, sliced
  • 40 g Wisconsin Black River Blue Cheese, sliced
  • 1/2 lb ground lamb
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 1 inch slices of rustic French loaf
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/2 inch ring of red onion
  • 2 tbsp tzatziki sauce

Ingredients for the Tzatziki Sauce:

  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, and diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated using a microplane
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped dill
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Make the tzatziki sauce by adding all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl, and stir to combine.

Next, form your lamb into a ball. Season with the salt and pepper.

Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat, then add the lamb. Let cook for about 3 minutes, then smash it down with a large spatula. Flatten it like you would a smash burger. Continue to cook for about 2 minutes to get it nice and caramelized.

Flip the patty, and continue to cook an additional three minutes. Add the onion ring, and let the onion gently cook on top of the burger. Remove the lamb patty and place on some paper towel to let any excess fat be removed.

Spread butter, along with 1/2 tbsp mayonnaise onto each slice of bread. Yes, mayonnaise.

Place the bread, butter and mayonnaise side down, on low heat onto a skillet, then layer the blue cheese. Cook for about 5 minutes on low. When the bread becomes lightly golden, add the cooked lamb burger with the onion ring, making sure the center of the onion is removed.

Continue to cook until the bread starts getting a bit darker golden brown.

How to make a Grecian Lamb and Tzatziki Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Add the tzatziki sauce into the center of the onion ring.

Top with the Carr Valley cheese, then add the remaining slice of bread, butter and mayonnaise side up.

Carefully flip, then weight down with a heavy pan, or bacon press.

Continue cooking on low until the bottom side is golden brown, then flip again, press with the bacon weight, and cook until the cheese is nice and melted on both sides.

Now you want to talk about an awesome grilled cheese, then this is the one. Talk about surprises in this sandwich. You get that nice boldness with the lamb, and then the creaminess hits you from the Carr Valley cheese, then a punch from the creamy and melted blue cheese, only to be balanced with the wilted onion and tangy tzatziki sauce. It was extremely difficult to put this down, and to be honest, it only hit the plate one time before I continued to devour it. Hope you enjoy!

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!