Category Archives: Events

Cheeseburger Sliders

My family is a huge fan of burgers, and burgers of any type. Everyone has their ‘go to’ burger and as I typically go the most extreme in terms of condiments and toppings, everyone else takes it pretty easy. One will do just cheese, the other just bacon, and the other, well, let’s just say she refuses to eat them. I’m fine with that. I really am. One of my favorites however is the simple cheeseburger slider. Maybe it was when I fell in love with them when my parents would travel to Indiana and stop by White Castles and grab a bag of sliders. Who knows. The cheeseburger slider, along with some nice pickles just makes everything better.

Cheeseburger Sliders

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Package of King’s Hawaiian rolls, sliced
  • 1/2 pound of ground chuck, shaped into 2 ounce patties
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 3 slices of Cheddar or American cheese
  • pickles

Simple. Love it.

Start by forming your patties into 2 ounce portions, a bit larger than a golf ball. Be gentle with these as you do not want to overwork the meat. Season both sides with salt. To one side, make a thumbprint in the middle. Continue with the remaining ground chuck. This should make about 6 sliders.

Heat a large, cast iron skillet, or non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Once heated, about 1 minute or so, add as many burgers as you can, being careful not to overcrowd the skillet.

Sear the patties on one side and do not touch them for a few minutes, just let them get nice and caramelized.

Once caramelized, flip each burger, and season with a bit of cracked black pepper. Cook for another minute, then add about 1/2 of a slice of cheddar or American cheese to the top of each patty.

Add about 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet, and cover. This process gets some awesome steam going and quickly melts the cheese.

Add each patty to a sliced, King’s Hawaiian roll, and top with a pickle, or serve pickles on the side.

You can add condiments if you want, but to me, the simplicity says it all when it comes to beef and cheese.

Enjoy! Are you all fans of cheeseburger sliders or do you just go all in and load them up with toppings and condiments?

Lumpia Shanghai Pizza

A couple of weeks ago, my wife woke up on Saturday and said “I totally want some egg rolls today”.  Now many of you might not get overly excited about that, but I was actually pleased to hear that. I’ve had plenty of egg rolls in my time, however when I first met my wife, she turned me onto a whole different style of egg roll that she grew up with in the Filipino household. This style of egg roll is totally out of this world, but so pleasing to the taste. I decided to make nearly 30 Filipino lumpia shanghai, and I had some mixture left over to spare. I knew exactly what I was going to do with that mixture; make a pizza out of it.

Lumpia Shanghai Pizza

If you have never had lumpia before, it’s a must make, and it is especially awesome in a garlic and vinegar spooning/dipping sauce.

Let’s get started.

  • 1/2 lbs Ground pork (I grind my own pork shoulder)
  • 1/2 cups uniform cut, fresh green beans
  • 1/2 cups uniform cut russet potatoes, about 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2  tsp of fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/2  tsp salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup baby shrimp, thawed, and rinsed
  • 1 batch of your favorite pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup plain corn chips, broken
  • light corn meal

Begin by mixing your pork in a large pot. Add in the green beans, potatoes, shrimp, and salt and pepper. Mix well.

Shape your pizza dough into about a 16 inch round.

If you are cooking in an oven, preheat a pizza stone for 30 minutes at 500 degrees.

How to make Lumpia Shanghai Pizza

Shower corn meal onto a pizza peel. Add the pizza dough, and reshape the pizza.

Spoon on the pizza sauce and slather it to lightly cover. Add on the cheese, then as if you were using uncooked Italian pork sausage, start taking tablespoons and adding dollops onto the top of the cheese.

Place in the oven for 20 minutes or until the pizza is cooked to your liking, but the pork cooked through.

I’ve been using my Kettle Pizza, so this pizza took about 6 minutes to cook in my grill. I highly recommend it.

Regardless, when the pizza is cooked, cut into slices, and shower with the corn chips for that crispy egg roll texture.

This pizza was everything awesome about having lumpia shanghai, but in pizza form. What’s not to love about that! What I should have done to make even better was to drizzle on some of that garlic and vinegar mixture. Next time. Next time… Hope you enjoy!

 

Chicago Style Hot Dog Pizza

Lately I have been obsessed with mastering pizza dough. It know, it sounds nerdy, but to me pizza is one of the best vehicles for delivering an amazing meal. I should also state that my wife purchased a Kettle Pizza for me for Father’s day, and that is another reason I have been tinkering with the ultimate pizza. It has really never been that uncommon for me to make a least a few pizzas during the week. I used to make batches of dough and have my kids create their own pizza, and for the most part that was always cheese and pepperoni. I would then create another ‘family-friendly’ pizza, and then I would always create one for myself, typically with hot peppers of some sort. But this time around I created something pretty darn amazing; the Chicago style hot dog pizza.

Chicago Style Hot Dog Pizza

I love a great Chicago hot dog. I love the snap of the weiner, and the combination of pickle, peppers, tomato, and the great sesame seed bun. That’s when it came to me that I have never seen nor tried making a pizza in that style, and I knew that would be a real winner. It was.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • One batch of your favorite pizza dough
  • 2 Weiners, sliced into 1 inch rounds
  • 3 slices of dill pickle
  • 1 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Sport peppers, as many as you desire
  • 3 cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp dark sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • Medium grind corn meal

Start by shaping your pizza dough onto your bread board.

Sprinkle the corn meal onto your pizza wheel and then transfer the shaped pizza dough onto the wheel.

How to make a Chicago Style Hot Dog Pizza

Brush the olive oil onto the pizza dough. Drizzle the yellow mustard over the pizza dough, then top with your celery salt, cheese, shallots, sesame seeds, sport peppers, and hot dogs.

Slide the pizza into your oven, grill, or pizza kettle. My Kettle Pizza was about 680 degrees, which I find to be just perfect for cooking pizza in about 5 minutes or less, otherwise cook in a preheated 500 degree oven until cooked through and crisp.

Once cooked, remove the pizza onto your pizza tray and top with the cherry tomatoes, and sliced pickles. If you want the neon green relish, go for it, however the pickles did the trick for me.

This pizza was totally awesome. It was everything you would expect in a great Chicago hot dog, but served pizza style. What’s not to love about that! Have you tried a Chicago style hot dog pizza yet? What were your thoughts? Hope you enjoy!

Bacon Fried Rice

One of my kids favorite recipes is fried rice. I think that even at a very early age, my father-in-law had served it up for breakfast to him while they watched him while we were at work. Yes, I’m talking like two years old or something of that nature. Let’s just say he was young. But at that age, that food stuck in his head, that’s what fried rice can do to someone. Since then, he has come a long way in terms of exploring food. He is big into smoked meats such as ribs, brisket, and chicken, and lots of other things. Let’s just say he is no longer a chicken tender and french fry kid. With that said, one of his favorite dishes is bacon fried rice, so much that he makes requests for it. I’m down with that because this is a great opportunity to get vegetables into this rice, along with eggs (that he hates), that he devours it all up. That is called winning.

Bacon Fried Rice

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of Jasmine, or long grain rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 5 slices of Nueske’s Bacon, diced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 whole carrots, diced
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 whole eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp Red Boat Fish Sauce or Three Crabs Fish Sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp chili oil, optional
  • additional water

Start by making your rice. I use a rice cooker, and to that I add the rice to the rice pot, and rinse several times in cold water until the runs clear. Drain and add equal parts of water. Cover, and turn on the rice cooker until it is finished. I love the rice cooker.

Now I do this the same day, and the trick to making fried rice the same day is to make sure the rice gets dry. I accomplish this by removing the cooked rice onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, fanning it out, and letting it sit on the counter for several hours. Otherwise, let the rice cool, store in the refrigerator and use the following day.

Make sure you have prepared the remaining ingredients.

Heat a large wok on medium heat. Add in the diced bacon, and cooked until slightly crisp. Keep the bacon fat in the wok, along with the bacon. Next toss in the garlic and shallot and cook for about 40 seconds or so. Add in about two tablespoons of butter and your chili oil. Stir, then toss in the carrots.  Add in about 2 tablespoons of water. Stir.

How to make bacon fried rice

Turn up the heat.

Add in the beaten eggs, and stir, ensuring the the eggs are thinned out and cooked. Using your spatula, break up the eggs into pieces.

Toss in your rice, and begin breaking that up, using your spatula, and scraping underneath the rice in the wok. Use your wok master skills and wok like you mean it. Toss in the fish sauce, cracked black pepper, and soy sauce. Keep woking, aggressively under high heat until you get a nice light crust on the rice.

Serve immediately.

The result is an awesome bacon fried rice. You get the great smokiness from the bacon, and when everything is mixed together, well, let’s just say it’s awesome, and perfect for breakfast as well. Hope you enjoy!