Saturday, June 13, 2009

Grilled Hamburgers with Blue Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I love blue-cheese hambugers. You can purchase them in a specialty meat market, but you will pay a premium price. It's important to use ground sirloin/lean ground beef to prevent fire flare ups that will melt away the blue cheese to nothing. When forming the patties, be sure not to taper the edges to prevent burning. You want a thick burger. I like mine served plain with maybe just a smidge of mayo so I can taste the tomatoes, chives and blue cheese. I buy my blue cheese by the wedge to crumble myself. And I save the "tomato water" as the liquid when making rice. Just freeze it in a plastic bag until ready to use. Yea--I'm frugal!

2 pounds uncooked lean ground beef
1/3 to 1/2-cup diced sun-dried tomatoes
6 ounces blue cheese
1/3 cup minced fresh chives
Tobasco (several shakes)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard


Pour boiling water over sundried tomatoes and allow to soften. When cool enough to handle, remove tomatoes and squeeze out excess moisture. Dice to measure preferred amount.

In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, sun-dried tomatoes, blue cheese, chives, Tobasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, salt, and mustard. Cover and refrigerate for several hours.

Preheat an outdoor grill. Firmly form mixture into large, firm patties about 4-5 inches across and at least 1/2-3/4 inch thick. Grill burgers to desired doneness. Serve on rolls.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Grilled Fajitas

I love home-made marinades, especially if they require refrigeration overnight, since the messy part is already done when it comes time to cook or grill. This is such a recipe. Go ahead and slice the onions and peppers the night before, too. This is for 2-3 pounds of skirt steak. Half it for 1-2 pounds.

  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 3)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons white, distilled vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper--depending on taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2-3 pounds skirt steaks
Mix all the ingredients (except meat) in a bowl. Taste and re-season if necessary. Place skirt steaks in a 13x9x2 glass dish (not metal). Pour the marinade over meat and cover. Refrigerate overnight. Turn meat several times during the marinade process to ensure uniform coverage. If you don't have time to marinate over night, allow about 2-3 hours in the marinade at room temperature.

Use any combination of red, green, yellow or orange peppers.
  • 2 medium, yellow onions
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow or orange or green pepper
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the soy sauce, water and lime juice. Cover and set aside until ready to use.

Peel and thinly slice onions--the slice each round in half. Slice peppers lengthwise into thin strips and then cut strips in half. Toss into a large bowl and cover until ready to use.

Cook and Assemble

1. Fire up the grill. When hot, cook meat over medium-high or indirect heat heat until done, about 7 minutes per side depending on grill and heat. You want it rare, medium rare. Do not overcook.

2. Meanwhile. . . back in the kitchen . . . Drizzle a bit of oil in a large pan. When hot, add the onions and peppers. Cook just until tender and onions begin to soften. Add the soy sauce mixture and allow to cook down a bit. Remove to a bowl.

3. Remove meat to a cutting board and slice into thin strips against the grain at a 45-degree angle.

4. Assemble meat and onion/pepper mix on individual, warmed tortillas. Serve with any of the following condiments:

sour cream
grated Cheddar cheese
shredded lettuce

Notes: I do not recommend commercial, pre-sliced peppers from the supermarket since they are treated with preservatives and very wet.