Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

Friends, have I got a treat for you today? I present my loaded baked potato casserole. You’re going to want to share this with your friends because it is too rich for one person. Potatoes, bacon, onion, sour cream, and cheddar cheese make this one of the best side dishes you’ll ever find for your next steak dinner. Let’s get cooking!


Loaded Baked Potato Casserole Ingredients

One of the great things about this loaded baked potato casserole is that you can use leftover baked potatoes and leftover crispy bacon. For this recipe, you will need two leftover and chilled baked potatoes, 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese, half an onion (about 1/4 cup of grated onion), 1/4 cup chopped crispy bacon, 2 tbsp hot bacon grease or melted butter, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 tsp onion powder, and 1/2 tsp garlic powder.


How To Make Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

Break out the grater

Pull the greater out of the cupboard because it will get some use today. Set the grater over a medium mixing bowl and grate the potatoes, skin and all. Next, grate the onion. Remove the skin first. Finally, grate the cheese. Now would be a good time to fire up the oven too. Turn it on to 425°f.

Measuring spoons

At this point, your grater probably needs some rest. Luckily, it’s time for the measuring spoons to get to work. So, set the tired old grater to the side and get those spoons a measuring. Measure out some bacon fat, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Now, whip out the old measuring cup and measure up some sour cream. Put all this stuff in the bowl with the potatoes.

Mix it up!

The key to this loaded baked potato casserole is the texture of the potatoes. They should not be mashed. You took all that time to grate the potatoes, don’t undo all that hard work by over mixing and mashing them. So, when mixing all the ingredients, rather than using a spoon, use two forks and gently toss the ingredients together. That will keep the texture of the potatoes and will make the casserole light and fluffy.

Bake the loaded baked potato casserole

To bake the casserole, gently transfer it from the mixing bowl to a lightly greased oven-safe dish. I have these snazzy little castiron pans you can see in the picture below, but any small dish will work. You can use a loaf pan, or if you have ramekins, you can make individual portions. Just like when mixing, you don’t want to destroy the texture of the potatoes when you transfer them from the bowl to the dish. Definitely, don’t push them down into the dish. Bake, the casserole for 30 to 35 minutes or until the top, is golden brown and the peeks are browned. If you make individual portions, bake them for 20 to 25 minutes. Take the casserole out of the oven and enjoy!


The Wrap-Up

The top of this loaded baked potato casserole gets nice and crispy while the middle stays soft and tender. This is a great side dish for a steak dinner, roast beef, or even a lobster dinner. But be aware, it is very rich, and you won’t be able to stop eating it.

That does it for today. Thanks for reading. I hope you’ve enjoyed the post. Remember to share this on Facebook or Pinterest and leave a comment below. I love to hear from you. Finally, remember to sign up for my mailing list so you don’t miss out on exclusive recipes and cooking tips. Members of the mailing list also get a sneak peek at all the upcoming posts. Sign up below. Have a great day! I’ll see you back here next Thursday.

Are you looking for another great side dish for your steak dinner? Check out this Steakhouse Creamed Spinach Recipe. This post was inspired by Chef John’s Potatoes Romanoff. Check out his video here.

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

This loaded baked potato casserole is the perefect way to use leftover baked potatoes, and it is one of the best side dishes you'll find for a grilled steak. It's rich, filling, and delicious.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: potatoes, Side Dish, steak dinner
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keyword: Leftovers, Potatoes, steak dinner
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly

Ingredients

  • 2 left lover baked potatoes
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • 2 tbsp bacon fat or melted butter
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup Crispy Bacon
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  • Grate the potatoes on a cheese grater into a medium mixing bowl.
  • Melt the bacon fat or butter and pour it into the potatoes.
  • Add the cheddar cheese, onion, crispy bacon, salt, pepper, sour cream, onion powder, and garlic powder. Mix well but only enough to distribute the ingredients. You don't want to mash the potatoes. It's easiest to use two forks to mix rather than a spoon.
  • Spoon the potato mixture into a small oven-safe dish that has been lightly greased, such as a loaf pan. Don't smooth out the top.
  • Bake the loaded baked potato casserole in a 425°f oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until it is hot and the top is golden brown.
  • Serve the casserole as a side with a nice steak, thick-cut pork chop or ribs.

Notes

The potatoes should be leftover from the day before and chilled.
Cook about 4 strips of bacon, reserve the fat and use that in the potatoes. 
Use 1/4 cup of sour cream for a less tart flavour.
You can assemble the casserole up to one day ahead, then heat it in the oven as the recipe says. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Decadent Four-Cheese Mac and Cheese

Decadent Four-Cheese Mac and Cheese

In my opinion, mac and cheese should be creamy and gooey. But all too often I see people serving mac and cheese that is a solid mass of greasy, dry pasta. That happens mainly because the mac and cheese is overcooked, causing the fat to separate from the cheese. If that’s how you like your mac and cheese, okay. Keep doing it that way. But, if, like me, you want your mac and cheese to be creamy and flavourful, then keep reading because this four-cheese mac and cheese is everything you’ve ever dreamed of and more. As always, you can find the recipe directly below, but keep reading for some helpful tips and a more thorough recipe breakdown.


The Four Cheeses

The essential part of any mac and cheese is the cheese. That’s where the flavour and texture of the finished product come from. For my money, I prefer a four-cheese mac and cheese. I find that using four types of cheese allows me to add the maximum amount of flavour while also getting the gooey texture of a great mac and cheese. Remember, the cheese you use matters—the better the cheese, the better the mac and cheese. It should be obvious but it isn’t always. One vitally important thing is that you don’t use pre-grated cheese. Pre-grated cheese is dusted with an anti-clumping agent that will affect the texture of your mac and cheese. Buy good quality cheese and grate it yourself. It will not take that much more time or effort and it will make all the difference in quality.


My cheese selection

For this four-cheese mac and cheese recipe, I used sharp aged cheddar, a good quality full-fat mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano and a little bit of gorgonzola. The cheddar and the parmesan add the umami flavour that is often missing from mac and cheese, while the mozzarella adds a silky string texture. The blue cheese, which I used very little of, really sets this mac and cheese apart. That small amount of funk and tang from the blue cheese stands out and balances the flavour of the mac and cheese.


Making Bechamel Sauce – The Base Of Mac and Cheese

I’ve talked excessively in numerous different posts about making a bechamel sauce, so I’m not going to get into too much detail here. But if you’d like to read more about it, you can check out this post. When making a bechamel into a cheese sauce, the vital thing to keep in mind is to cook the bechamel for about 10 minutes while whisking, then whisk in the cheese little bits at a time. If you throw all the cheese in at once, there will likely be a separation of the fat from the solids, and you will end up with greasy mac and cheese.

Making Bechamel into a Cheese Sauce

Once the bechamel is made, whisk in the cheese little by little until it is all fully incorporated. Once that’s done, taste the sauce and adjust the season as needed with a bit of salt and pepper. I also like to add a few drops of lemon juice to brighten the flavour.


Making Mac and Cheese

While making the cheese sauce, I was also cooking the pasta for my four-cheese mac and cheese. I used an entire box of Catelli Gluten-Free Macaroni, but you can use whatever pasta you’d like. My only suggestion is to cook the pasta for about a minute less than the package instructions suggest since it is going to be cooked again in the oven. Drain the pasta well, then mix with the sauce and pour into a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish.

Cheesy Breadcrumb Topping

To make the cheese breadcrumb topping combine about a cup of dried gluten-free breadcrumbs (or regular ones) with parmesan, cheddar, and mozzarella cheese. Season the mixture with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. You can find all the measurements in the recipe above. Mix well.


Topping and Baking The Mac and Cheese

Top the mac and cheese with the cheesy breadcrumb topping and bake in a 375°F until the sauce bubbles around the edges and the topping is golden brown. It should take about 20 minutes.


Serving the Four-Cheese Mac and Cheese

Take the make and cheese out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. The finished mac and cheese should be stable enough to be cut with a knife and stand up on its own but should still be cream and gooey. Delicious!


The Wrap-Up

This mac and cheese can be served as a side dish with ham, ribs, roasted or grilled chicken, roast or pulled pork. Or…you can have it as is. Either way, I am confident that this is a recipe that you will come back to again and again. I know I do. Suppose you want to get a little crazy. In that case, you can mix some cooked and crumbled bacon into the breadcrumb mixture and another cup of grated mozzarella into the mix once the pasta and sauce have been incorporated for a bit of extra gooeyness.

Thanks for reading, have a great week and remember to subscribe to the blog below so you never miss a post.

Decadent Four-Cheese Mac and Cheese

If you are looking for a recipe for creamy, gooey mac and cheese look no further. You've come to the right place. This four-cheese mac and cheese recipe has everything you could want from mac and cheese and more.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: mac and cheese, pasta
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly

Ingredients

  • 340 g dried gluten-free macaroni pasta or non-gluten free pasta

Cheese Sauce

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp gluten-free all-purpose flour or regular all-purpose flour
  • 1 L whole milk
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp crumbled blue Cheese
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Breadcrumb Topping

  • 1 cup gluten-free toasted breadcrumbs or regular toasted breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  • Put a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Cook the pasta for one minute less than the package suggests.

Cheese Sauce

  • Put a medium pot on the stove on medium heat. Add the butter. Once the butter starts to melt, add in the flour. Stir to full combine the two. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
  • Whisk the milk into the flour and butter. Turn the heat down to medium-low.
  • Add the onion powder and garlic powder and cook, whisking for about ten minutes or until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon and no longer tastes like raw flour
  • Start whisking in the cheese little bits at a time until all the cheese has been incorporated.
  • Season the sauce with salt and pepper as needed. Add a few drops of lemon juice to brighten the flavour.

Breadcrumb Topping

  • In a medium mixing bowl combine the breadcrumbs with the cheddar cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Mac and Cheese

  • Add the cooked and drained pasta to the sauce and stir to fully combine the two.
  • Pour the pasta into a 9×13 casserole dish.
  • Cover the mac and cheese with the breadcrumb mixture and bake at 425°f for 15 to 20 minutes or until the topping has browned.
  • Remove the mac and cheese from the oven, let it sit for 10 minutes, then serve.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

[jetpack_subscription_form subscribe_placeholder=”Email Address” show_subscribers_total=”false” button_on_newline=”false” custom_font_size=”16px” custom_border_radius=”0″ custom_border_weight=”1″ custom_padding=”15″ custom_spacing=”10″ submit_button_classes=”” email_field_classes=”” show_only_email_and_button=”true” success_message=”Success! An email was just sent to confirm your subscription. Please find the email now and click ‘Confirm Follow’ to start subscribing.”]
Pork Chops with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Pork Chops with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

You know that old pork chop recipe where you take a can of cream of mushroom soup and cook the pork chops in it. This recipe for Pork Chops with Creamy Mushroom Sauce is like the elevated restaurant-quality version of that dish. Rather than using store-bought canned soup, the creamy mushroom sauce is made using high-quality mushrooms, fresh herbs, brandy, stock, and cream. The pork chops are thick-cut, seared in a hot pan, then finished in the oven to ensure an even and perfect cook. Whether you are looking for a quick weeknight meal or something high-end to make for a special occasion, this is it. Serve it with mashed potatoes and vegetables, and you’ve got a delicious dish that anyone would be happy to pay money for. You can find the recipe directly below and keep reading past that for a more detailed explanation.


Pork Chops with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

We've all had pork chops with cream of mushroom soup. This is like that but elevated. Rather than using a store-bought can of cream of mushroom soup, the sauce is made of high-quality mushrooms, brandy, herbs, chicken stock and cream. This is a restaurant-quality dish that you can make at home any day of the week.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: Mushrooms, Pork, pork chops, Sauce
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly

Ingredients

  • 2 thick cut bone-in pork chops
  • 1 portobello mushrooms,
  • 3 king oyster mushrooms
  • 1 shallot, peeled and sliced or half a small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Brandy or white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup Whipping Cream
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  • Pull or cut the king oyster mushrooms into thin strips.
  • Pull or cut the portobello mushrooms into thumb-width chunks.
  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Pat the pork chops dry with paper towel and season on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Add the olive oil to the pan and sear the pork chops on both sides until brown. About 1 to 2 minutes per side.
  • Remove the pork chops from the skillet and place them on an oven-safe sheet pan. Put the pork chops in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Drain the excess oil out of the skillet, leaving about 1 tbsp. Add the shallots, garlic, mushrooms, rosemary, and thyme. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 4 minutes or until the shallots soften and the mushrooms are cooked.
  • Add the brandy to the skillet and cook for about a minute or until it has all but evaporated.
  • Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, and cook until it has reduced by half. About 2 minutes.
  • Add the cream and continue to cook the sauce until it is thick enough that a wooden spoon dragged across the bottom of the skillet leaves a line for at least 1 second.
  • Remove the pork chops from the oven, top with the creamy mushroom sauce and serve.

Notes

You can substitute the two thick-cut pork chops for 4 thinner pork chops. Once seared, cook the thinner pork chops in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes. There is no need to adjust the sauce recipe as it will be enough for 4 pork chops. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Ingredients

The ingredients for my Pork Chops with Creamy Mushroom Sauce are pretty straightforward, but if you don’t have some of the ingredients, you can substitute them for others. To start, I have these beautiful bone-in thick-cut pork chops. You don’t have to use these, they just look excellent in pictures, and honestly, they are of outstanding quality. I got them at Sobeys for anyone in Canada. But whatever pork chops you have will be fine. You will have to adjust the cooking time a little so that thinner chops don’t end up overcooked. The mushrooms for the recipe are one portobello and three king oyster mushrooms. You can use button mushrooms, creminis, or any other mushroom you want. The key is that you have about two cups of loosely packed mushrooms. Herbs, I used thyme and rosemary, but sage, parsley, tarragon, or even just Italian seasoning will work well. You can switch out the shallot for half a small onion, and you can substitute the brand for white wine, sherry or leave it out altogether. Leave the cream as whipping cream as the recipe requires a high-fat content.

Preparing the Mushrooms

To prepare the mushrooms, you can cut them into strips or chunks, but the easiest and quickest thing to do is pull the mushrooms apart with your hands. Pull the king oyster mushrooms into long thin strips, and break the portobello into thumb-width chunks.

Preparing the Shallot and Garlic

To prepare the shallot and garlic, peel them and slice them as thinly as you can. The herbs, just leave whole.


Preparing and Cooking the Pork Chops

Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel. Season generously with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add in 2 tbsp of olive oil. Sear the pork chops for a minute or two or until browned. Season the upside, then flip and sear for another minute or two. Take the pork chops out of the skillet, put them on a sheet pan, and put them in a 400°f oven for 10 minutes. For thinner pork chops, reduce that amount of time to 5 to 7 minutes. That may not seem like much time, but they don’t need to cook too much more because the pork chops are already partially cooked after searing in the pan. Make sure to sear the fat on the side of the pork chop as well before putting them in the oven.


Making the Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Drain the excess fat out of the pan, leaving about one tablespoon. Add the mushrooms, shallots, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about three minutes or until the shallots have softened. Pour a quarter cup of brandy into the pan and cook until it has almost all evaporated. Add half a cup of chicken stock, bring to a boil and let it cook for about two minutes or until it has reduced by half its volume. Finally, add a quarter cup of whipping cream. Continue to cook the sauce until it is thick enough that a spoon dragged across the bottom of the pan leaves a line for at least one second.


Finishing The Pork Chops with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Remove the pork chops from the oven, let them rest for two minutes, spoon the sauce over them and serve. When cooked, the pork chops should be juicy and tender with a slight pink colour. If the pork chops are solid white and dry, they have been overcooked. All in all, with prep and cooking, this recipe for Pork Chops with Creamy Mushroom Sauce should take less than 25 minutes, but it will taste like you’ve been cooking all day. Try it for yourself.


The Wrap-Up

Something about the air cooling down makes me crave mushrooms, especially in a cream sauce. That flavour, for whatever reason, is the taste of fall to me. What is your favourite fall flavour? Keep in mind that this sauce work just as well on beef, chicken, or pasta as it does on pork chops. Add it to your repertoire, change the mushrooms, change the protein, and you’ve got a secret weapon up your sleeve that you can break out whenever you want to impress or have something special. Now, get cooking!!!

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. Remember to subscribe to Chef’s Notes by putting your email address in the box below, so you never miss a post.

[jetpack_subscription_form subscribe_placeholder=”Email Address” show_subscribers_total=”false” button_on_newline=”false” custom_font_size=”16px” custom_border_radius=”0″ custom_border_weight=”1″ custom_padding=”15″ custom_spacing=”10″ submit_button_classes=”” email_field_classes=”” show_only_email_and_button=”true”]
Grilled Steak Fajitas – A new twist on an old favourite

Grilled Steak Fajitas – A new twist on an old favourite

In the early part of my career, I worked in a few pubs. For whatever reason, all of these pubs served a version of steak fajitas. The steak was tossed with bell peppers, red onion, and cajun seasoning then cooked in a pan or on a flat-top. To accompany the fajita mix would be tomatoes, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, cheese, and guacamole (for an extra charge). More often than not, the meat and vegetables would be brought to the table in a hot skillet, so it was sizzling when it came out of the kitchen. We always splashed water on the skillet to make the sizzle more impressive for the customer. The steak fajita recipe I will share with you today doesn’t stray far from the version I made so many times in those early years. However, I did my best to elevate it. To make it something even more than it already was. I hope you enjoy it.

Want to see how to make them? Find the recipe directly below, but keep reading for more detailed instructions.

Grilled Steak Fajitas

Steak fajitas are good, grilled steak fajitas are even better. Fire up the barbecue, take an afternoon and make this truly delicious family recipe. It's the perfect thing for family get togethers to parties.
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keyword: BBQ, Corn Tortillas, Fajitas, Grilled Vegetables, Grilling, steak, Tortillas
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly

Ingredients

Steak Marinade

  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 4 rings pickled jalapenos
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 lb sirloin tip 1/4-inch thick steaks

Tortillas

  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup PAN massa
  • /2 tsp kosher salt

Vegetables

  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow zucchini
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tsp cajun seasoning
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Garnish

  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Instructions

Steak

  • Combine all the marinade ingredients in a medium glass or plastic bowl.
  • Add the meat, cover tightly with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
  • Remove the steak from the marinade and grill on high heat for about 3 minutes per side.
  • Allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes, then thinly slice it against the grain and serve.

Tortillas

  • Pour the water into a large mixing bowl and stir in the salt.
  • Slowly mix in the masa and knead until the mixture forms a firm dough.
  • Divide the dough into tablespoon-sized pieces and roll into balls.
  • Press the dough balls between two sheets of waxed paper on a tortilla press or use a heavy pot.
  • Grill the tortillas on high heat for about 90 seconds per side.
  • Keep the cooked tortillas in a tortilla warmer, or wrap them in a clean kitchen towel until you are ready to serve them. If the tortillas cool down too much, reheat them for 20 seconds in the microwave.

Vegetables

  • Cut the red onion in half through the root and stem.
  • Grill the onion, cut-side down for about 20 minutes on moderate heat. Flip the onion and cook on high heat for another 10 minutes.
  • Remove the onion from the grill and allow it to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Cut the ends off the onion and remove the peel.
  • Thinly slice the onion and put it in a medium mixing bowl to be tossed with the other grilled vegetables.
  • Cut the sides off of the red and green bell peppers discarding the seed pods.
  • Cut the ends off the zucchini and discard. Slice the zucchini into long thin slices.
  • Put the peppers and zucchini in a large mixing bowl, drizzle with the olive oil, then season with the cajun seasoning.
  • Grill the peppers and zucchini on medium-high heat for about 6 minutes per side.
  • Remove the vegetbles from the grill and allow them to cool just long enough that you can handle them. Thinly slice the vegetables, mix with the sliced onions and serve.

Serving

  • Serve the steak, vegetables, and tortillas with grated cheddar cheese, thinly sliced lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa and sour cream. Avocados or guacamole and fresh lime are also great additions.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

What are Fajitas?

At their core, fajitas are like a DIY Taco, though they are about as Mexican as I am. They originate in Texas (I know, it used to be part of Mexico, but that was long before Fajitas existed). Rather than being Mexican, Fajitas are part of a strange but delicious sub-sect of food known as Tex-Mex. AKA Americanized Mexican food. Of course, none of this really matters because Steak Fajitas are delicious and make a perfect family meal.

Steak Fajita Marinade

The first step to making my version of Steak Fajitas is to marinate the steak. To do that, we need to make a marinade. You can find all the measurements above, so I won’t list them here. But, the ingredients for the marinade are oregano, paprika, cayenne, ancho chili powder (optional), cumin, garlic, onion, pickled jalapeno, kosher salt, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix it up.

The Steak

The steak I used was fast fry sirloin tip. These are just very thin sirloin tip steaks. You can use any thin cut of steak. You could also take a thicker steak and pound it out with a meat mallet if you’d like. That’s just more work, though. I’ll leave it up to you. Either way, put the meat in the marinade, mix it up to ensure all the meat is coated, then cover the meat with plastic wrap, making sure to push the wrap down to the surface of the meat rather than just covering the bowl. This will help prevent the meat from discolouring. Put the bowl in the fridge for a minimum of two hours and a maximum of twenty-four hours.


Fajita Vegetables

The traditional fajita vegetables are bell peppers and red onion. When I pulled the peppers out of the fridge, I noticed this beautiful yellow zucchini and thought it would make a great addition to the vegetable mixture. I was right. You can leave it out if you’d prefer.

Prepare the vegetables

To prepare the peppers, stand them straight up on your cutting board and cut the lobes away from the core. Then, discard the seed pod. Cut the ends off the zucchini, then cut it into long thin slices. Toss the peppers and zucchini with olive oil and the mandatory fajita spice, Cajun seasoning. Cut the red onion in half down through the root and stem. That’s all you have to do to the onion right now. And yes, before you ask, leave the peel on.


Homemade Corn Tortillas

Okay, you can totally skip this step and just buy tortillas. You don’t have to make them yourself, but they are way better when you do. Having said that, it is a lot of work—your choice. If you do want to make them, here is how you do it. Go to the store and buy a bag of masa. I like PAN yellow or white masa. Masa is corn that has been treated with an alkaline solution, rinsed, cooked, ground, and dried. Treating the corn with an alkaline solution makes the corn’s nutrients more accessible to your body and makes the corn earlier to digest. It is a process that the ancient Mayans and Aztecs perfected over 2000 years ago.

Anyway, once you get your masa home, just follow the instructions on the bag. This particular brand suggests 2 cups of masa flour to 2 1/2 cups of water along with a teaspoon of salt. I halved the recipe. To make the dough mix the water and salt, then stir in the cornflour. Mix it and knead it until it forms a soft dough. Divide the dough into 1 tablespoon-sized piece and roll them into balls. Using a tortilla press and two sheets of waxed paper, press the dough balls to flatten them into tortillas. Leave them wrapped in plastic or waxed paper until you are ready to cook them.


Get Grilling!

Grilled Red Onion

All your prep is done. Now, it’s time to cook. Get your grill nice and hot, then put your red onion on the cut side down. On my grill, the front is the hottest part, and the back is cooler. So, I put the onion on the back and grilled it for about 20 minutes. Then, I flipped it, brought it to the front and cooked it for another 10 minutes.

Grilling the Tortillas

While the onion is grilling, cook up the tortillas. Grill them on the hottest part of your grill. They should take about 90 seconds per side. Once grilled, put the tortillas in a tortilla warmer, or wrap them in a clean kitchen towel or foil.

Grilled Peppers and Zucchini

Once the tortillas come off the grill, you can put the peppers and zucchini on. Cook them for about 8 to 10 minutes per side over moderate heat. You want them still to have a small bit of crunch to them but not be raw.

Grilling The Steak

Finally, you can grill the steak. Take it out of the marinade and grill it on the hottest part of your grill for about 3 minutes per side.


Cut it up!

Now that all your ingredients are cooked, it’s time to cut them up! Let the vegetables cool for 5 to 10 minutes or just until you can handle them comfortably. Thinly slice the peppers and zucchini, then put them in a medium mixing bowl. Cut the ends off the onion and remove the skin. Cut the onion into slices the same width as the peppers and zucchini. Add the onion to the other vegetables and mix. Put in a serving dish and serve. Let the steak rest for 5 minutes, then thinly slice it across the grain. Put the meat on a serving platter and serve.

Serving The Grilled Steak Fajitas

Serve the fajitas as a family-style meal, meaning everyone serves themselves along with the fajitas, put some salsa, sour cream, sliced lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado on the table. Enjoy!


The Wrap Up

There is something special about sitting down to a nice meal with your family and having everyone reaching around the table and food being passed back and forth. It takes attention. You can’t have a cell phone in your hand if you have to pass the peppers or the meat. This kind of meal gives a family time to talk and enjoy each other’s company. Couldn’t we all use a little more of that? Couldn’t we all use a few more steak fajitas in our life? I thought so. So, what are you waiting for. Fire up the grill and get cooking!

Get chef’s notes in your inbox. Put your email address in the box below to subscribe and never miss a post.

[jetpack_subscription_form subscribe_placeholder=”Email Address” show_subscribers_total=”false” button_on_newline=”false” custom_font_size=”16px” custom_border_radius=”0″ custom_border_weight=”1″ custom_padding=”15″ custom_spacing=”10″ submit_button_classes=”” email_field_classes=”” show_only_email_and_button=”true”]
Barbecue Pulled Pork Shepherd’s Pie

Barbecue Pulled Pork Shepherd’s Pie

Is there anything more comforting than digging into a big helping of Shepherd’s Pie? I don’t think there is. In fact, Shepherd’s Pie has been one of my favourite foods for as long as I can remember. This Shepherd’s Pie recipe gives you that comforting feeling you love but with a barbecue pulled pork twist. And yes, it is as good as it sounds. The pulled pork is mixed with sautéed onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, and barbecue sauce and is then topped with sour cream and scallion mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese. It is amazing. Now, let’s get to it.

Minor Rant

Before someone inevitably points out that Shepherd’s Pie is supposed to be made with lamb, I will say I know that. But I also know that the term Shepherd’s Pie has transcended its humble origins to become a broad term used to describe anything topped with mashed potatoes and baked like the French word Parmentier. Language is fluid, and as time passes, words develop new and different meanings. I think we can all agree that at this point, a Shepherd’s Pie is whatever we want it to be.


Ingredients

The ingredients for this Pulled Pork Shepherd’s Pie are pretty straightforward. They are red onion, red and green bell pepper, jalapeno, pulled pork, barbecue sauce, potatoes, butter, cream, sour cream, scallions, cheddar cheese, and of course, salt and pepper. To be clear, this is not a recipe for pulled pork. This is a recipe made using leftover pulled pork. I’ve only just now realized that I’ve never done a post about pulled pork, so I’ll have to do that soon. In the meantime, any pulled pork you have will work. You can find a great pulled pork recipe in my new cookbook, which you can get here. You can always make this same recipe using pulled chicken, turkey, or beef.


Sour Cream and Scallion Mashed Potatoes

Making Mashed Potatoes

Start things off by making the mashed potatoes. While the potatoes are cooking, you can put the Shepherd’s Pie base together to cut down on prep time. I’m sure you know how to make mashed potatoes, but I also know that some people out there don’t, so I’ll walk through this first step for them. For the potatoes, use 4 to 5 fist-sized russet potatoes. Peel them, dice them, and rinse them until the water runs clear. Put them in a pot with hot, salted water, bring to a boil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Pour the potatoes into a strainer, add 2 tablespoons of butter and a 1/4 cup of cream to the pot, and put it back on the burner until the butter melts and the cream just starts to boil. Using a food mill, ricer, or masher, mash the potatoes into the cream and butter.

Flavouring The Mashed Potatoes

Add 2 tablespoons of full-fat sour cream (I said this was delicious, not healthy) and 3 diced scallions to the potatoes. Season the with salt and pepper to taste. The potatoes should be creamy but not watery, and they should have a fresh onion flavour. You have to use full-fat sour cream so that it doesn’t split in the oven.


Prepping The Shepherd’s Pie Filling

While the potatoes are cooking, thinly slice half a red onion and dice half a red and green bell pepper. In total, you want about half a cup of each. If you have a little more or less, it won’t hurt anything. Also, dice one jalapeno. You can remove the seeds if you don’t like too much heat.

Cooking The Shepherd’s Pie Filling

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add in 1 tablespoon of cooking oil (canola, olive, peanut, grape seed, avocado…). Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions start to soften. Add the pulled pork (about 500g or just over a pound) along with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of barbecue sauce of your choice. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.


Assembling the Pulled Pork Shepherd’s Pie

Pour the pulled pork mixture into a small roasting pan or casserole dish. I use the small roasting pan from IKEA, which is about 8-by-10-inches. Spread the mixture out into an even layer so that it covers the bottom of the dish. Top with the mashed potatoes and finish with about 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese.


Baking and Serving the Pulled Pork Shepherd’s Pie

Bake the Shepherd’s Pie in a 425°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and starts to brown. Take the Shepherd’s Pie out of the oven and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with a side salad…or don’t.

Pulled Pork Sheperd’s Pie

Classic Pulled Pork mixed with sautéed peppers and onions, and finished with barbecue sauce. Topped with sour cream and scallion mashed potatoes, and cheddar cheese then baked to perfection.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: Barbecue Pork, Casserole
Servings: 6 people
Author: Chef Ben Kelly

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno, minced seeds removed
  • 500 g pulled pork
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Potatoes

  • 700 g russet potatoes 4 to 5 fist-sized russet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 3 scallion, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Instructions

Filling

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the cooking oil to the pan along with the onion, bell peppers, and jalapeno. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions soften.
  • Add the pulled pork, sauté for 1 minute then add the water and barbecue sauce. Cook, stirring every 30 to 45 seconds for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Taste the filling and season with salt and pepper as needed. Put the filling in an 8×10 roasting pan or casserole dish.

Potatoes

  • Peel and dice the potatoes.
  • Rinse the potatoes in cold water until the water runs clear.
  • Put the potatoes in a medium pot and cover them with hot water. Season the water with salt and put it on high heat. Bring the potatoes to a boil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Drain the potatoes. While the potatoes are draining, put the pot back on the stove and add the butter and cream. Cook just until the cream is warm and the butter is melted.
  • Using a food mill, ricer, or masher, mash the potatoes and mix well with the cream and butter.
  • Stir in the sour cream and scallion. Taste the potatoes and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Assemble

  • Heat your oven to 425°F
  • Spread the potatoes in an even layer on top of the pulled pork filling. Top the potatoes with cheddar cheese.
  • Bake the shepherd's pie for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese melts and browns.
  • Let the shepherd's pie cool for 10 minutes, then serve.

Notes

To speed up the process, start cooking the potatoes before the filling. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

The Wrap-Up

When I had originally conceived this recipe, I meant to put corn and black beans in it, but I completely forgot and left them out when it came time to cook. I’m glad I did because I don’t know that they would have added to the dish, and in fact, may have taken away from it. I think it is great as it is, but you be the judge. Feel free to play with the recipe, change out of the protein, add whatever you want to it, and really, make it yours.

On a personal note, I have not been posting for over two weeks. The first week I was on vacation. The second week, I hurt my neck and shoulder or aggravated an old injury, to be more precise and couldn’t really do anything. Even now, it isn’t 100%, but it is feeling much better and well enough for me to work. This is the longest I’ve gone without posting in a long time, and I really missed it. I want to say thank you to everyone for all the support and well wishes. It means the world to me.

Remember to share this post on Facebook or Pinterest if you enjoyed it. Thank you for reading, and have a great day! Remember, there are new Chef’s Notes posts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and you can subscribe below, so you never miss one.

[jetpack_subscription_form subscribe_placeholder=”Email Address” show_subscribers_total=”false” button_on_newline=”false” custom_font_size=”16px” custom_border_radius=”0″ custom_border_weight=”1″ custom_padding=”15″ custom_spacing=”10″ submit_button_classes=”” email_field_classes=”” show_only_email_and_button=”true”]
About me
Delicious Cheeseburger Casserole Recipe

Delicious Cheeseburger Casserole Recipe

Imagine everything you love about a cheeseburger but in a casserole. Guess what; you don’t have to imagine it becasue it’s a real thing. And now, you can have whenever you’d like. And yes, it is as good as you think it would be. But don’t take my word for it. Make this cheeseburger casserole for dinner and see for yourself. Alright, let’s get cooking.


Ingredients

The ingredients for the Cheeseburger Casserole are 2 pounds of lean ground beef, 1 onion, 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 3 to 4 dill pickles, 2 tablespoons yellow mustard, 1 1/2 cups beef stock, 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon sugar, 340 g box dried penne pasta, 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, and 1/2 cup ketchup.


Prepping The Ingredients

Start by thinly slicing the onion, garlic, and pickles. In total, you want 1 cup of sliced onions, 1 tablespoon of sliced garlic, and 1/2 cup of sliced pickles. If you added a few extra pickles to the mix, it wouldn’t be a bad thing. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta for 1 minute less than the package instructions indicate. Drain the pasta and rinse under cold water for a minute. Set the pasta aside until you are ready to add it to the cheeseburger casserole.


Cooking The Cheeseburger Casserole

Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add in 2 teaspoons of canola oil along with the beef and cook until the beef is browned. This should take between 5 and 10 minutes. Add the onion and cook for 3 more minutes, then add the pickles and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Mix in the tomato paste and mustard, cook for 2 minutes, then add in the beef stock. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes.


Finishing The Cheeseburger Casserole

To finish the cheeseburger casserole, add the cream, bring it back to a boil, then add the sugar, pepper, and mix in half the cheddar cheese. Taste the mixture and add the salt as needed. Depending on the beef stock you use, you may need to add more or less salt than the recipe says. Add the pasta to the sauce (Don’t mind that I used different pasta shapes. I had a few boxes with a little bit left in them), and mix well. Combine the remaining half cup of grated cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the casserole. Cover the pan with a lid or foil and bake for 15 minutes at 350°F, then take the lid off and bake for another 10 minutes.


The Finished Cheeseburger Casserole

This might sound crazy, but top the casserole with ketchup and serve. It is a “cheeseburger” casserole, after all—the ketchup kind of ties the whole thing together.


Cheeseburger Casserole

Everything you love about a cheeseburger, but in a casserole.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: Casserole, cheeseburger
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 1 tablespoon sliced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup chopped dill pickle
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1 1/2 cups cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 340 g box penne pasta
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup ketchup

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta for 1 minute less than the package instructions indicate. Drain the pasta, rinse under cold water, drain again, and set aside until you are ready to add it to the sauce.
  • Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add in 2 teaspoons of canola oil along with the beef and cook until the beef is browned. This should take between 5 and 10 minutes.
  • Add the onion and cook for 3 more minutes, then add the pickles and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Mix in the tomato paste and mustard, cook for 2 minutes, then add in the beef stock. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add the cream, bring it back to a boil, then add the sugar, pepper, and mix in half the cheddar cheese.
  • Taste the mixture and add the salt as needed. Depending on the beef stock you use, you may need to add more or less salt than the recipe says.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and mix well.
  • Combine the remaining half cup of grated cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the casserole.
  • Cover the pan with a lid or foil and bake for 15 minutes at 350°F, then take the lid off and bake for another 10 minutes.
  • Take the casserole out of the oven, let it rest for 5 minutes, top with the ketchup and serve.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

The Wrap Up

I know that some of you read this recipe and thought everything sounded great until I mentioned putting dill pickles in it. But the dill pickles are key. That little bit of acidity breaks up the richness of the dish. Getting that pop of dill pickle in every bite, to me, is what really makes this cheeseburger casserole special. But again, don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself.

Remember to share this post on Facebook or Pinterest if you enjoyed it. Thank you for reading, and have a great day! Remember, there are new Chef’s Notes posts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and you can subscribe below, so you never miss one.

[jetpack_subscription_form subscribe_placeholder=”Enter your email address” show_subscribers_total=”false” button_on_newline=”false” submit_button_text=”Sign Up” custom_font_size=”16px” custom_border_radius=”0″ custom_border_weight=”1″ custom_padding=”15″ custom_spacing=”10″ submit_button_classes=”” email_field_classes=”” show_only_email_and_button=”true”]
About me
Cheesy Chicken and Mushroom Casserole

Cheesy Chicken and Mushroom Casserole

Cheesy Chicken and Mushroom Casserole is exactly what you need when you are craving a taste of home. It’s the kind of thing your grandmother would make for you on a cold day when you’ve been out playing in the snow. It is comfort food at its best, and I’m excited to share this recipe with you. Let’s get to it.


Ingredients

The ingredients for the chicken and mushroom casserole are olive oil, chicken breast, mushrooms, onions, garlic, chicken stock, rosemary, parsley, basmati rice, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper.


Prep

The prep for the cheesy chicken and mushroom casserole is to slice the mushrooms, onion, garlic, and chicken breast. Chop the herbs. Grate the cheese and measure out the rice and chicken stock. In total, you want about 1 cup of sliced mushrooms, 1 to 1 1/2 cups sliced onion, 1 teaspoon sliced garlic, 2 teaspoons minced rosemary, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, 1 cup grated mozzarella, 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, 1 cup basmati rice, and 2 cups chicken stock.


Cooking

Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil along with the sliced chicken. Cook the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until browned. Add in the onions and mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute, then add the herbs, chicken stock, rice and seasoning. Bring the stock to a boil and take it off the heat.


Did you know that I wrote a cookbook? It’s called the 5-Ingredient Cookbook for Men (of course, it is for everyone). Get your copy today at Amazon in Canada here, and Amazon in the US here, or wherever fine books are sold.

Finishing The Chicken and Mushroom Casserole

To finish the cheesy chicken and mushroom casserole, stir half the cheese into the pan, then sprinkle the rest over the top. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid or foil, and bake for 25 minutes at 350°f. Take the pan out of the oven and let it rest, covered for 5 minutes. Take the lid off and serve or put it under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the cheese.

Cheesy Chicken and Mushroom Casserole

A taste of home in every bite. Chicken, mushroom, rice and cheese. What more could you want in a casserole?
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: Casserole, Chicken, Mushroom
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts sliced
  • 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 2 cups sliced onion
  • 1 teaspoon sliced garlic
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoon minced rosemary
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°f
  • Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the olive oil and sliced chicken breast. Cook until the chicken is browned on both sides. 2 to 3 minutes per side
  • Add the onions and mushrooms, cook for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Pour the chicken stock into the pan along with the rosemary, parsley, rice, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Take the pan off the heat, mix in half the cheese and top with the cheese. Cover with a tight-fitting lid or foil and bake for 25 minutes or until the rice is tender. Let the casserole sit for 5 minutes, then enjoy.
  • If you'd like to crisp the cheese, take the lid off the pan and put it under your broiler for a minute or two.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

The Wrap Up

Casseroles are great for feeding a lot of people with as little effort as possible. They are also great for getting that home-cooked meal feeling. This cheesy chicken and mushroom casserole is the beginning of a new eight-week casserole series here at Chef’s Notes. Consider it one final push through the cold to get us to the warmer weather. Join me next Wednesday for a delicious Cheese Burger Casserole. And remember to come back Friday for another great recipe.

Remember, there are new Chef’s Notes posts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and you can subscribe below, so you never miss one. Have a great weekend!

[jetpack_subscription_form subscribe_placeholder=”Enter your email address” show_subscribers_total=”false” button_on_newline=”false” submit_button_text=”Sign Up” custom_font_size=”16px” custom_border_radius=”0″ custom_border_weight=”1″ custom_padding=”15″ custom_spacing=”10″ submit_button_classes=”” email_field_classes=”” show_only_email_and_button=”true”]
About me
The Philly Cheesesteak Burger – Craving Satisfied

The Philly Cheesesteak Burger – Craving Satisfied

Sometimes in life, you get a craving that won’t go away until you satisfy it. It nags at you constantly like a siren’s songs calling you to the rocks. You know you shouldn’t. You know it’s bad for you. But you can’t help yourself. You awaken with a shot in a foggy dream-like haze. You’re in a well-used kitchen, dirty pots and pans surround you. The smell of cooked onion and ground beef fills your sinuses. You feel a weight in your right hand. Your eyes glance down as your hand lifts a burger to your mouth. You see it happening in slow motion. You feel yourself take that first bite, fighting the urges. “No!” You say quietly to yourself. “I’m a good boy.” but you can’t stop yourself. Before you know it, you are left with nothing but grease-covered hands and a dumb satisfied look on your face. Was it a dream? Was it a nightmare? No. It was a Philly Cheesesteak Burger. Craving satisfied. Let’s get to it.


The Burger Patties

All joking aside, this Philly Cheesesteak Burger is wicked good. The patties are a combination of cooked onion, ground beef, garlic, salt and pepper. They are cooked in a pan, topped with fried mushrooms and onions, and provolone cheese. The burger is finished with a little mayonnaise and barbecue sauce, and a delicious bun. Yes, it is as good as it sounds. The first step in making these burgers is to cook some onions.

Onions

Dice one onion. You want about a cup of onion in total. Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat and add a teaspoon or two of oil (canola or olive). Add a quarter teaspoon of Kosher salt to the onions and cook until they soften and start to brown. Add two tablespoons of beef stock to the pan and cook until it has completely evaporated. Take the onions out of the pan, spread them out onto a plate and put them in the fridge to cool for ten to fifteen minutes.


Mixing The Meat

Use one pound (454 g) of lean ground beef. Not extra lean. The burgers will be way to dry. Add the cooked and cooled onions, half a teaspoon of Kosher salt, a quarter teaspoon of black pepper, and a teaspoon of minced garlic. Mix well.


Forming The Patties

Line your cutting board with plastic wrap. Divide the meat into four evenly sized portions. Take one portion and flatten it into a patty. Place the flattened meat on your plastic-covered cutting board and continue to flatten it until it is one centimetre thick. Cup your hands around the patty to make it circular. Repeat with the rest of the meat. If the meat is sticking to your hands, wet your hands with cold water before shaping the next burger. Put the burgers and plastic wrap on a plate and put it in the fridge for ten minutes to firm up a little bit. You can leave the burgers in the fridge, covered for up to two days before cooking them.


Mushrooms and Onions

While the burgers are in the fridge, slice two cups of cremini mushrooms and two cups of onion. Heat a frying pan on medium-high, then add in a tablespoon of oil. Put the mushrooms and onions in the pan and cook for three to four minutes or until the onions start to soften. Add half a cup of beef stock and cook until it is fully evaporated.


Cooking The Burgers

Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add in a teaspoon or two of oil, then the burgers. I only cooked two burgers because there were only two of us. The other two burgers were left in the fridge for later enjoyment. Cook the burgers for four to five minutes per side, or until the juices run clear when the burger is pressed in the middle.


Finishing The Philly Cheesesteak Burger

Top the burgers with onions and mushrooms and provolone cheese. Pour two to three tablespoons of beef stock or water into the bottom of the pan and cover with a tight-fitting lid for a minute or until the cheese is melted. Toast the burger buns, then spread a teaspoon of mayonnaise on the bottom and a teaspoon of barbecue sauce on the top. Put the burgers on the buns and enjoy.


Alternative Recipe

It is common for a Philly Cheesesteak to have Cheese Whiz on it. Truth be told, that’s what I was craving, but I don’t typically have Cheese Whiz in the house becasue if I do, I eat the whole bottle. I know it’s gross, I get. But, it’s one of those things. If you want something really special, get rid of the provolone, and add a few tablespoons of Cheese Whiz to the mushrooms and onions once they’re cooked. Spoon the mushroom, onion, and Cheese Whiz mixture over the burger, and enjoy. If you are going to go the Cheese Whiz route, you can get rid of the mayo and barbecue sauce or keep them. That’s up to you.

The Philly Cheesesteak Burger

A delicious Philly Cheesesteak-inspired burger that you will love. The burger has sautéed onions in it and is topped with sautéed mushrooms, more onions, and provolone cheese. It's finished with mayo and barbecue sauce.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keyword: Burger, Cheese Burger, Hamburger
Servings: 4 burgers
Author: Chef Ben Kelly

Ingredients

Burger Patty

  • 2 tsp canola oil divided
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp beef stock
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Burgers

  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onion
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 4 slices provolone
  • 4 burger buns
  • 4 tsp mayo
  • 4 tsp barbecue sauce

Instructions

Burger Patties

  • Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add in 1 tsp of canola oil and diced onions. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions soften and start to brown. Add the beef stock and cook until it is completely evaporated. Spread the onions out onto a plate and put in the fridge to cool for 10 minutes.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ground beef with the cooked and cooled onions, garlic, salt, and pepper and mix well. Divide the meat into four and form into 1 cm thick patties. Put the patties in the fridge for 10 minutes to set.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the burgers with salt and pepper. Add in 1 tsp of canola oil to the hot pan along with the burgers. Cook the burger for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until the juices run clear when the middle of the burger is pressed.

Finishing the Burger

  • Heat a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add in 1 tsp canola oil, the sliced mushrroms and onions. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes then add in the beef stock and cook until it has evaporated.
  • Put the mushrooms and onions on the burgers, top each with a slice of provolone cheese. Put 2 to 3 tablespoons of water or beef stock in the bottom of the hot burger pan, cover and steam for 1 minute or until the cheese is melted.
  • Toast 4 buns spread the mayo on the bottom bun and the barbecue sauce on the top bun. Put the burgers on the buns and enjoy.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

The Wrap Up

I think we’ve all had cravings that just won’t go away. Thankfully, this burger satisfied a craving that I’ve been having for weeks. If you like Philly Cheese Steaks, I think you will really like this burger. In fact, if you like burgers at all, you are really going to like this burger. I certainly did. What is a food craving you get that won’t go away until it has been satisfied?

I can finally announce that I have written a cookbook. It’s called the 5-Ingredient Cookbook for men (of course, it is for everyone). It officially goes on sale on March 16th, but you can preorder it now from Amazon in Canada here, and Amazon in the US here.

Thank you for reading this post. Please share it on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter to help Chef’s Notes grow. Subscribe to Chef’s Notes below, and you will never miss a post again.

[jetpack_subscription_form show_subscribers_total=”false” button_on_newline=”false” custom_font_size=”16″ custom_border_radius=”0″ custom_border_weight=”1″ custom_padding=”15″ custom_spacing=”10″ submit_button_classes=”” email_field_classes=”” show_only_email_and_button=”true”]
About me
Delicious Sausage and Black Bean Chili Recipe

Delicious Sausage and Black Bean Chili Recipe

Today, I will show you how to make my delicious Sausage and Black Bean Chili recipe while answering the age-old question that has plagued us all for far too long; is chili soup? I think that it is. That’s why I’ve included it in my Chef’s Notes Soup Series. You may disagree, but hey, is this really the hill we all want to die on? I think not. Whether it is soup or not, it is included in my soup series, and I will show you how to make this new version of an old classic right now. Let’s get to it.


Ingredients

The ingredients for this Sausage and Black Bean Chili are mostly what you would expect in any chili. There is onion, celery, red and green bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, and tomato puré. Where regular chili often has red kidney beans, this recipe uses black beans. It also uses cut-up pieces of Italian sausage (about 1 cm thick) in place of ground beef. The other ingredients are tomato paste, brown sugar, water and spices, which I’ll list in a second. The vegetables should all be diced about the same size. Aim for 1 cm x 1 cm dice. The garlic should be cut as small as you can get it.


Spices

The spices used are oregano, chilli powder, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. You can find all the measurements in the recipe at the end of the post. One spice that would work well in this recipe that I didn’t add is cinnamon. If you’d like to add it, use very little, like less than an eighth of a teaspoon. But, that little bit will add a lot to the sausage and black bean chili’s overall flavour.


Making Sausage and Black Bean Chili

Getting Started

Start the chili by heating a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in a tablespoon of olive oil, along with the pieces of sausage. Cook the sausage until it’s browned then add in the onions and celery. Cook the onions and celery for about three to four minutes or until the onions soften. Add the garlic, cook for one minute, then add the spices and cook for thirty seconds. Put the diced red and green bell peppers in the pot, and cook for two minutes.


Finishing The Chili

The next thing to add into the pot is the tomato paste, which should be cooked for one to two minutes to remove some of its acidity. Finally, add in the beans, tomato purée, brown sugar, and water. Bring the pot to a boil, put a lid on it, turn the heat to low and simmer the chili for twenty minutes. Taste it, and adjust the seasoning as needed. This recipe makes a thick chili. It was storming pretty bad when I made this, and I wanted something that would stick to my bones. However, if you want a more soup-like consistency, you can add double or even triple the water. You may need to adjust the amount of spices and seasoning slightly, but the extra water shouldn’t have too much effect on the flavour.


Serving your Sausage and Black Bean Chili

Like any chili you can’t go worng garnishing the Sausage and Black Bean Chili with a little grated cheddar cheese, sour cream and green onions. The granish looks good and adds to the flavour of the dish.

Black bean chili

Sausage and Black Bean Chili

You love chili, but you've never had it like this. Sausages and black beans make for a delicious and exicting chili change up.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: Chili,, Chilli, Sausage
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 package Italian sausages 5 sausages
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno seeds removed and diced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 398 ml can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 660 ml bottle tomato purée
  • 1 cup hot water

Instructions

  • Heat a pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and sausage, cook the sausage until it is brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the onion and celery and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions soften.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the spice and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the peppers, cook for 2 minutes, add the tomato paste, cook for 1 minute, and add the tomato purée, brown sugar, beans, and water.
  • Bring the chilli to a boil, put a lid on the pot, turn it down to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  • Serve the chili garnished with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, and sliced green onions.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

The Wrap Up

This is a delicious chili recipe that I think you are going to love. Obviously, it is a little different than what you are used to, but that isn’t a bad thing. If you want a more traditional chili recipe, check out my recipe for The Best Chili Ever or my 5 Secrets to Great Chili.

I can finally announce that I have written a cookbook. It’s called the 5-Ingredient Cookbook for men (of course, it is for everyone). It officially goes on sale on March 16th, but you can preorder it now from Amazon in Canada here, and Amazon in the US here.

Thank you for reading this post. Please share it on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter to help Chef’s Notes grow. Subscribe to Chef’s Notes below, and you will never miss a post again.

[jetpack_subscription_form show_subscribers_total=”false” button_on_newline=”false” custom_font_size=”16″ custom_border_radius=”0″ custom_border_weight=”1″ custom_padding=”15″ custom_spacing=”10″ submit_button_classes=”” email_field_classes=”” show_only_email_and_button=”true”]
About me
Roasted Leg Of Lamb with Gremolata and Red Wine Gravy

Roasted Leg Of Lamb with Gremolata and Red Wine Gravy

A well prepared roasted leg of lamb is one of those things that everyone should enjoy at least once in their lives. Yes, lamb is relatively expensive when compared to pork or chicken. But, for this post, I bought a leg of lamb that was just under $40, and I got four meals out of it for my wife, myself, and our toddler. So, cost-wise it actually isn’t that bad. The problem is that you don’t want to spend $40 on a leg of lamb and screw up cooking it. That’s an expensive mistake. So today, I am going to walk you through making a roasted leg lamb in hopes that the next time you have a special occasion or lamb is on sale, you buy it and can confidently cook it. Let’s get to it.


The Lamb

The lamb I bought was from New Zealand. I don’t love that my lamb came from the other side of the world, but there was no other option at the store because that’s where most of our lamb comes from. There are farms in Nova Scotia that raise lamb. Unfortunately, I don’t live in an area where I have easy access to it. My leg of lamb cost $36.70 for just over 2 kg or just under 5 lbs. I bought it frozen and defrosted it in the fridge for two days.


The Lamb Rub

Before cooking the lamb, you need to make a rub for it. Combine a quarter cup of yellow mustard with a quarter cup of red wine and mix it with a tablespoon each of chopped garlic and fresh chopped rosemary. There is nothing fancy or difficult about this rub, but the flavour complements the lamb perfectly.


Starting the Gravy

The lamb needs some sauce to go with it, so why not start making it right away? Slice a cup of onion and a cup of cremini mushrooms and put them in the bottom of a roasting pan. Then, put the rack in the pan.


Preparing the Lamb

Take you’re defrosted lamb out of its package and put it on your roasting pan. Take a sharp knife and make a few shallow slices across the surface of the lamb. These cuts will help the flavour of the rub get into the meat. Now, pour the rub over the lamb and rub it all over. Season the lamb with salt and pepper, then pour a cup of water into the bottom of the pan. Roast the lamb at 400°f for about twenty minutes per pound. My lamb took about an hour and a half. Check your lamb with a meat thermometer. You want an internal temperature of 145°f. At that temperature, the lamb will be medium-well done. The meat will be tender and juicy, but it won’t really be pink at all. If you’d like your lamb a little rarer, roast it to 135°f.


Making Lamb Gravy

Once your lamb is cooked, take it out of the roasting pan and set it aside to rest, loosely covered with foil for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain any excess fat out of your roasting pan. Put your roasting pan on your stove and turn the burner to medium. Sprinkle two tablespoons of flour into the pan and stir to mix. Then add half a cup of red wine. Cook and stir until the wine is mostly evaporated, then add two to three cups of water or stock. Bring the liquid to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and cook until the gravy is thick. You’ll need to stir it every minute or so. When you add the red wine, scrape the pan’s bottom to loosen any stuck bits of food. Once the gravy is thick, taste it, and season it with salt and pepper as needed. Pour it into a gravy boat and serve.


Gremolata

I really wanted my lamb to have a pop of fresh flavour, so I decided to make gremolata with it. You can do this, or not, that’s up to you, but it does add to the lamb. To make the gremolata combine one cup of chopped parsley with one teaspoon of minced garlic, the zest and juice of one lemon, and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle half of the gremolata over the roasted leg of lamb, and save the rest to serve over slices of the lamb.


Finished Lamb

To serve the lamb, cut it into thin slices and garnish it with a bit of the gremolata. I like crispy roasted potatoes and steamed vegetables on the side, but rice and Greek salad pairs nicely with it too. Like I said in the introduction to this post, I got four meals out of this leg of lamb. The first meal was the roasted leg of lamb with potatoes and vegetables. The second meal was slices of lamb, warmed with a bit of shawarma spice and served over rice and Greek salad with garlic mayo. The third meal was lamb with rice and vegetables. For the fourth meal, I cut all of the remaining meat off the leg and heated it with sautéed mushrooms and onions. Then I poured the left over gravy into the pan with a little water and simmered it until the lamb was basically falling apart. I toasted a brioche bun, brushed it with dijon mustard, topped with the lamb, mushroom, and onion mix, and a bit of mozzarella cheese. I served that with a bit of salad.

Roasted Lamb

Roasted Leg Of Lamb with Red Wine Gravy and Gremolata

A whole leg of lamb rubbed with mustard, wine, garlic, and rosemary, then roasted to perfection. Served with red wine gravy and gremolata. The perfect thing for your next family dinner or Sunday meal.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Canadian, Greek
Keyword: Lamb, Meat, Roast Series, Roasted Lamb
Servings: 8
Author: Chef’s Notes

Ingredients

Lamb

  • 1/4 cup Mustard
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped Rosemary
  • 1 tbsp chopped Garlic
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 cup of water

Gravy

  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 cups water or stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Gremolata

  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • the juice and zest of one lemon
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

Lamb

  • Preheat your oven to 400°f.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the mustard, red wine, rosemary, and garlic and mix well. Put the onions and mushrooms in the bottom of a roasting pan with a rack set over them.
  • Put the leg of lamb on the rack. Make four to five shallow slices across the lamb’s surface.
  • Rub the lamb with the wine and garlic mixture, then season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Pour a cup of water into the bottom of the roasting pan, then put it in the oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours or about 20 minutes per pound.
  • Take the roasted lamb out of the pan and set it aside, loosely covered with foil to rest, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Gravy

  • Pour any excess oil out of the roasting pan, then sprinkle in the flour.
  • Put the roasting pan on the stove over medium heat and stir in the flour. Add the red wine and scrape the pan to remove any stuck bits of food.
  • Once the wine has mostly evaporated, add in the water or stock and bring to a boil.
  • Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer the gravy for about ten minutes or until it is thick. Make sure to stir it every minute or so. Season the gravy with salt and pepper to taste, then serve.

Gremolata

  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the parsley with the garlic, lemon juice, zest, and salt. Mix well. Sprinkle half the gremolata mixture over the whole lamb leg. Reserve the rest to serve over the lamb once it is sliced.
  • Once the lamb is roasted, make gravy with cornstarch, red wine, and water. Garnish the lamb with parsley and lemon gremolata
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

The Wrap Up

Lamb should not be intimidating. The only thing you need to worry about is that you don’t overcook it. That’s all. Otherwise, it will pair with just about anything, and it has amazing flavour. What’s not to love about it? Next time you see it on sale, have a special occasion or want something a little different, get a leg of lamb and try this recipe. Even if you don’t love lamb, you probably will, after you try it done the way I described in this post.

Thank you for reading this post. Please share it on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter to help Chef’s Notes grow. Subscribe to Chef’s Notes below, and you will never miss a post again.

[jetpack_subscription_form show_subscribers_total=”false” button_on_newline=”false” custom_font_size=”16″ custom_border_radius=”0″ custom_border_weight=”1″ custom_padding=”15″ custom_spacing=”10″ submit_button_classes=”” email_field_classes=”” show_only_email_and_button=”true”]
About me

Pin It on Pinterest