Saturday, September 26, 2015

Deconstructed Cheeseburgers & Fries!!


You know that I always say to prepare ahead so that you're not rushing around at the last-minute. Well last week I didn't take my own advice and wound up behind the 8-ball on gameday. But it luckily turned to my advantage and I came up with:  Deconstructed Cheeseburgers & Fries.

I usually prepare most of my gameday grub the day before and just heat it up when the gang comes over. For last week's get-together, I planned on making cheeseburgers & fries, along with a few other goodies. I had shopped and prepped the day before. All I had left to do on Sunday was to shape the burger patties and throw them on the grill. By the time I was heating the fries and getting ready to shape the burgers, I realized I had forgotten the burger buns. What to do? Think fast! I took the concept of burgers & fries and did a mash-up as a nacho-esque topping and poured it over the fries. I was taking a chance, but it turned into success. The gang loved it and I saved myself from having to slave over the hot grill. It was a win-win.

Deconstructed Cheeseburgers & Fries
(serves 4-6)                                                                  

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2 large onion, minced
1 1/2 lbs crinkled fries
1/2 lb Velveeta, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup milk
1 whole large dill pickle, minced
crumbled bacon (optional)
salt & pepper to taste


1.  Prepare the fries according to the package directions and hold to the side. Keep the oven on.

2.  Sautee the onions until translucent. Add the ground beef and brown. Hold.

3.  Heat the milk and add the Velveeta. Heat through until the cheese is melted and creamy.

4.  Add the burger meat to the cheese and mix throughly.

5.  Place the fries in a baking platter. Spoon the mixture over the fries, return to the oven and heat through (about 7 minutes).

6.  Remove from the oven and drizzle ketchup over. Sprinkle the minced pickles on top.

7.  Serve and get ready for raves.

And there you have it!

Hope you're enjoying the football season so far. It's been quite an interesting start for some teams, but not to worry. Lots of football left. And don't get me started about fantasy football yet!

Until next weekend, enjoy the games tomorrow and keep on homegating!!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Kickoff Ribs 'n Kraut!!


We're back!!! And, more importantly.... so is Football Season!!!!!

We have finally settled in at the new Homegating Headquarters and are ready for the beginning of a new season! Can you smell the pigskin in the air? We're all ready to go!!

After all the bbq'ing this past weekend, there were a couple of extra racks of ribs leftover, along with a couple of extra packages of sauerkraut, so I dug into my recipe archives and came up with a dish that my mom used to make every once in a while: Braised Ribs n' Kraut!

This is a great dish to make either in the slow-cooker, or a braiser. You set it up, walk away and in 4 hours, you have an amazing dish. The meat is succulent, crazy tender and is complimented by the tartness of the sauerkraut. Place it all in a bowl and let your gang have at it. They're really going to like this - and so will you.

Braised Ribs & Kraut                
(serves 4-6)
2 racks pork ribs, cut into individual ribs
2 packages of sauerkraut (including the juice)
2 whole cloves of garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, minced
1 can beer (lager or ale)
1 cup chicken or veal stock
1 bay leaf
3 juniper berries, crushed
3 tbs canola oil

Pre-heat oven to 300-degrees.

1. In a large oven-proof braiser, heat the oil and lightly brown the ribs (you may need to do that in batches).

2. Remove the ribs, place in a bowl and then add the onions and garlic. Saute until the onions are translucent.

3. Add the sauerkraut and saute through (it will pick up the browned bits from the pan - this is a good thing!).

4. Add the stock and reduce the liquid by half. Return the ribs to the pot. Add the beer, bay leaves and juniper berries. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.

5. Place a cover on the braiser, put in the oven and proceed to cook for 3 1/2 - 4 hours, or place in a slow cooker and set to high for the first hour and then bring down to low for the next 2 1/2 - 3 hours.

6. Spoon ribs/kraut into bowls (by this time, the bones will literally be falling out of the meat - and vice versa), serve and enjoy....

So there you have it. Enjoy the first week of games. Good luck to your teams and I'll be back next week with another fun, tasty dish for your gang.

See you next week!