Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Juicy Lucy Burger

Disclaimer: this recipe has nothing to do with our dog, Lucy!

Juicy Lucy burgers are native to Minneapolis - they're burgers with a molten core of cheesy goodness. Be careful, because the first bite is messy and potentially super-hot! They are fairly easy to make, as long as you tightly seal the burgers around the cheese. You can see a bit of cheese escaping from the burger above, but that's not a big deal. I like to serve burgers on slider buns - it always seems like there is too much bread in the standard buns. A great accompaniment are these five-star oven fries.

To make the burgers, form eight very thin burgers; put the cheese, folded into fourths, on top of one burger; then top with the other burger. Pinch the edges and form into patties. They should look like this when you start cooking:

Juicy Lucy Burgers

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used 1 1/4)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 slices American cheese
4 hamburger buns, split
1.Combine ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, and pepper in a large bowl; mix well. Form 8, thin patties from the beef. Each patty should be slightly larger than a slice of cheese.
2.Cut each slice of American cheese into 4 equal pieces; stack the pieces. Sandwich one stack of cheese between 2 ground beef patties. Tightly pinch edges together tightly seal the cheese within the meat. Repeat with the remaining cheese and patties.
3.Preheat a cast-iron or other heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Cook burgers until well browned, about 4 minutes. It is common for burgers to puff up due to steam from the melting cheese. Turn burgers and prick the top of each to allow steam to escape; cook until browned on the outside and no longer pink on the inside; about 4 minutes. Serve on hamburger buns.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

I don't use my crock pot a lot, but I wanted something that would be ready when we came home from church on Sunday. I made several changes based on what I had in the house, and it turned out great! If you don't have a crock pot, you could certainly make this on the stove - just bring it to a boil and simmer for at least 3o minutes.

When we walked in the house, Ben said, "What smells so delicious?". That's a great way to start lunch!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 pound shredded, cooked chicken (or you can cook a couple of chicken breasts in the soup and shred)
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
1 can or jar taco sauce, salsa, or enchilada sauce (up to 16 oz.)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers or one can drained Rotel tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 qt. chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
2 T. lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
tortilla chips

Toppings: cheese, avocado, sour cream, extra tortilla chips

1. Place chicken, tomatoes, sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stir in corn and cilantro and lime juice. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours.
2. 15 minutes before serving, crunch a few handfuls of tortilla chips into the soup and let them break down. Stir.
3. Serve with toppings.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cracker Candy

Here's a super-simple candy you can adapt lots of different ways. Instead of Club crackers, use saltines or graham crackers. Top with nuts or M&M's if you like. See what's in the pantry and have fun!

It's called Cracker Candy because of the base, but people often rename it Crack Candy because of its addictive properties.

Cracker Candy

1 1/2 sleeves Club crackers
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 stick butter
2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup crushed pretzels

Put crackers in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bring butter and brown sugar to a boil, then pour over crackers. Spread to coat. Bake for 5 minutes at 350.

Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and drop peanut butter in spoonfuls scattered around the top. Spread evenly and sprinkle pretzels over the top. Chill for 30-60 minutes, then break into pieces.