Thursday, June 14, 2012

Grilled cheese bacon burger

The Mr. likes Carl’s Jr. A lot. So, last week, when I was headed home from puppy kindergarten (yes, that’s a real thing) with Vegas and asked him if he’d like me to bring him some dinner since he was working late, it was no surprise he requested a double western burger and criss cut fries from the chain.

In his very greasy (not that there’s anything wrong with that) bag was a coupon for the chain’s newest creation, the grilled cheese bacon burger. I could tell he was intrigued by the way he said, “Hmm.”

Being the competitor that I am (he’s already accused me of trying to “win” puppy kindergarten, which, of course I am) I took that as a challenge. "Challenge accepted," I said in my best Barney Stinson voice.

And so I present, Katrina’s grilled cheese bacon burger. Made especially for the Mr. but perfect for sharing with your cheese-loving sweetheart as well.


½ pound of 85/15 ground beef

Garlic pepper

Sea salt

3 pieces of thick-sliced bacon

2 slices American cheese

2 slices Swiss cheese

2 slices cheddar cheese

2 slices of Texas toast, buttered on one side

Mayo or Miracle Whip


Place ground beef in a bowl, season well with garlic pepper, mix it up with your hands and repeat until it’s well seasoned throughout.

Form into a patty and return to fridge.

Preheat an electric griddle to 350 degrees.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Place Texas toast, buttered side down, on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Add 1 slice of each type of cheese  to each slice of bread.

Add hamburger patty to griddle and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Cook 5- 6- minutes or until well-seared and flip. Cook another 6- to 8- minutes or until desired doneness. (Cooking time will vary based on thickness of patty.)

Place cookie sheet in the oven and cook about 10 minutes. Then crack the door and set oven to broil for 1-3 minutes to finish it off. The cheese should be very melty, but not brown.

While the hamburger and bread is cooking, prepare the bacon according to package directions.

Place the hamburger patty on one piece of bread. Top with mayo and bacon and add second piece.

The Mr.’s looked like this:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Oven-roasted tri-tip with green chile-jalapeno mashed potatoes

As you may remember, my friends at Certified Hereford Beef hooked me up with a couple of AMAZING tri-tips earlier this month. The first one I grilled, but for the second one I thought I would show how versatile this cut is by oven-roasting it. After all, sometimes grilling just doesn’t fit the rest of your plan! I also wanted to experiment a little with my mashed potatoes and make something a little Tex Mex-y. Here’s how you can duplicate both.

Oven-roasted tri-tip


1 tri-tip

Coarse sea salt

Coarse black pepper

Garlic powder

2 tablespoons unsalted butter


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle both sides of the meat with the seasonings.

Heat an oven-proof Dutch oven on the stove to medium-high heat.

Add butter to Dutch oven and allow to melt thoroughly.

Add tri-tip and cook 5 minutes per side to sear.

Transfer to oven and cook 25- to 35- minutes or until an instant-read thermometer indicates desired doneness. (I like to pull mine out before it’s quite to the desired temp since it will continue to cook just a little more while it rests.)

Move tri-tip to a plate and tent with foil. Allow to rest about 5 minutes before slicing.

Green chile-jalapeno mashed potatoes


1 baking potato

1 head of garlic (I use most or all of the cloves, but if you don’t love garlic the way we love garlic, just reduce the amount.)

Olive oil

Sea salt

Coarse pepper

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

5 Tbsp. unsalted butter

2 jalapenos, stemmed/seeded and then minced

½  can chopped green chiles

½ cup sharp cheddar cheese (optional)


To the roast the garlic:

Cut the top off and discard, exposing the cloves.

Brush or spray the exposed cloves with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and coarse pepper. Wrap in foil and roast in a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes. (You can do this up to several days ahead of time and refrigerate it, or do right before you need it.)

When you’re ready to cook the potatoes (about 40 minutes before you’re ready to eat dinner):

Wash and cut the potato into 4 pieces. (You can peel it if you want, but I prefer skin-on.)

Place the potato pieces in a pot and cover with water. Squeeze the garlic cloves into the pot. Bring to a boil on stove and cook until tender, about 35 minutes or so usually.

While the potatoes are cooking, add the heavy whipping cream and butter to a saucepan and heat on medium. Allow to reduce. The process only takes about 10-15 minutes, but it won’t hurt to start it when you start the potatoes and just reduce the heat or even turn it off toward the end.

When potatoes are done, drain and pour back into pot or into a mixing bowl. (I like to use my stand mixer if it’s not already in use.) Add the butter and cream mixture a little at a time (you probably won’t need it all, especially if you’re like me and like your mashed potatoes a little on the dryer side), add the peppers and cheese in, and mix using an electric mixer until you’ve reached your preferred consistency. Add some sea salt and coarse pepper and give it another quick mix.
Our dinner looked like this: