Friday, September 26, 2014

The Cheese Stuffed Burger.

Fall is here; depending on where you live, the weather may still be allowing you to enjoy outdoor grilling. However, you might be one of those lucky people who has a grill unit attached to your gas stove...sadly, I'm not one of those lucky ones. Anyway, lets chow down on a cheeseburger where the cheese is not a topping or an after thought; it's a major component of the burger itself. This burger is not for those with small mouths which cannot open more than an inch; this is for all those with mega-mouths who love to eat.

Now remember, this is your burger, so if you want a different cheese than the extra sharp Cheddar I used...GO FOR IT!!!  The same with the seasonings; make it spicy, or Oriental flavor; perhaps a Southwestern flare; toppings and bread/bun are whichever ones make your taste buds dance and sing in joy.

By the way, the hamburger press I used is my old handy-dandy hamburger press and containers from Tupperware; they're 32 years old and still work as good as ever!

Cheese Stuffed Burger


2 lbs. lean (90/10) ground beef
2 tsps. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 (1/2 inch) squares of extra sharp Cheddar cheese


In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients except cheese.  Use a ¼ cup measuring cup to portion out the mixture; make two patties using a hamburger press.


Place a square of cheese in the center of one patty; place the second patty over the first and press the sides together firmly to seal.  Place onto a waxed paper lined tray, mounted side up; place into the refrigerator to firm the burgers up (minimum one hour).



Heat the grill to 350F; place burgers on grill, close lid and let cook for 5 minutes; flip burgers and repeat grilling instructions.  Repeat the grilling for both sides again to get the burger cooked through to 165F (medium).


 Makes four burgers.

Mary Cokenour

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Stuffed Peppers with a Zatarain's Mix.

I went to the local market (Blue Mountain Foods) last week which happened to have red and green bell peppers on sale for 69 cents each. Anyone who enjoys bell peppers knows that they seem to be often priced as if they are genetically enhanced with gold.  I took advantage by buying six of each; half to be used in the recipe I'll be posting; the other half to be sliced, diced, julienned and frozen for future usage.

Whenever I make stuffed peppers, one component is ground beef; the flavors of peppers and beef marry together quite well.  This recipe has another twist to it, ground turkey and just because I wanted to experiment and try out something new.  I gave one to a friend without telling her what the ingredients were first; her assessment was, "It was good.  I liked it, but..." and I finished the sentence for her; "it didn't have a beef flavor".  That hit the nail on the head for her.  Ground turkey, or chicken, is pretty tasteless and needs to be seasoned extremely well.  Personally, I simply do not like either; no matter how much seasoning or sauce is added to it, that bland flavor of the poultry comes through strongly.  That doesn't mean that I will not make it for others, nor will I stop attempting to experiment with these products.

So, here's my experimental recipe; try it and I hope you like it.

Cajun Seasoned Turkey and Rice Stuffed Peppers


1 and ½ lbs. ground turkey
2 Tbsp. no-salt seasoning mix
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 (8 oz.) package Zatarain’s Red Beans and Rice
6 tsps. Olive oil
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
Salt (if deemed necessary for taste)
6 large red, green or mixture of both bell peppers; seeds and white pith removed, save tops


In a large skillet, medium-high heat, brown together the ground turkey, no-salt seasoning and mushrooms until turkey is no longer pink.  Prepare the Zatarain’s according to package directions.


Preheat oven to 375F; line the cups of a large muffin tin with aluminum foil; pour a teaspoon of olive oil into each foil lined cup.


In a large mixing bowl, combine the skillet mixture, Zatarain’s and diced tomatoes; taste to see if salt needs to be added. 
Stuff each of the bell peppers; place tops back on and put half teaspoon of filling into holes; place each stuffed pepper into a foil lined cup.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Makes six servings.

Mary Cokenour

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Another Crock Pot Ribs Recipe Using Stubbs BBQ Sauce.

Several weeks ago, the local market, Blue Mountain Foods, sent out their sales circular and the first item that truly caught my eye was the one pound package of precooked baby back ribs with sauce.  Sort of like the Lloyds brand, but from the grocery chain, Western Family, they buy their supplies from.  Anyway, the sale price was $7.99 and since Lloyd' is usually about $11.98 at Walmart, this was a bargain.  To the market I went to pick up several; I looked and looked, but could not find any to purchase.  I asked one of the employees who went back to the butcher and asked about them.  "I'm sorry", she said, "but he forgot to order them; come back on Saturday and we might have them in by then."  Now this was Wednesday and I didn't want them for Saturday, I wanted them now!

Ok, so I'm going to have to make them from scratch; the fresh ribs were only $2.99/lb. the past two weeks.  Holy moly, the price was now $4.99/lb.; I can't win here!  Last resort, boneless pork ribs (which are actually thick strips of pork tenderloin) was $2.39/lb.; it was going to have to do.  Moving around the aisles, I formulated how I was going to cook them up; seeing Stubbs BBQ Sauce on sale solidified my idea.  Purchases made, the crock pot onto the kitchen counter and creativity was put into action.

Get ready for this announcement, this recipe has only four...count them...four ingredients and came out so deliciously fantastic!

Crock Pot BBQ Ribs with Stubbs BBQ Sauce


2 lbs potatoes
4 lbs pork country style boneless ribs
1 large onion, chopped
1 (18 oz) bottle Stubbs Original BBQ Sauce



Spray the interior of a 6 quart crock pot with nonstick cooking spray.

Peel the potatoes, cut into one inch pieces and parboil; drain, rinse and place in bottom of crock pot.  Layer the ribs over the potatoes; next the onions and pour the Stubbs sauce over all.


Set crock pot on low and let cook for 4 to 5 hours; until pork is tender.

Makes 8 servings.

Mary Cokenour