Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sriracha Mac and Cheese Burger

This is a burger that needs no side.  I had not planned to make hamburgers for dinner tonight, but as I walked through Sprouts the thought of a juicy hamburger popped into my head forcing me to succumb to its mighty calling.

When I arrived home I started thinking about what to do for a side dish and Mandy said she just wanted a burger.  Unsatisfied with just making a burger I decided to kick it up a notch!  Pondering on the recommendation of +Alisha Vagabond I could not resist the urge to jam some of the leftover beer mac and cheese from the other night onto my burger.

It is still too dark when I get home to make grilling feasible, I turned to my trusty cast iron pan to cook up the burgers. Knowing that I was going to load up my burger with a lot of toppings I reduced the size of our burgers tonight to 1/3lb burgers.  I seared them on each side for 4 minutes and then covered the pan for another 7 minutes to cook the patties.

At the end of the 7 minutes I cut the heat and added cheddar cheese to the top of the patties while they rested.  Since no burger is complete without tomatoes and avocado, I cut some up to add to the pile of meat and cheese.

When I was ready to compile these masterpieces I heated up a small amount of the leftover mac and cheese mixed with some sriracha sauce to add a little heat.  I piled avocado and ketchup on the bottom bun, added the patty, and topped it off with a tomato, mac and cheese, and the top bun.

All I can say is this is one fantastic burger!! Every bite from start to finish was an entire range of meaty cheesy goodness crammed between 2 buns. To finish it off I washed it all down with a Sierra Nevada Pale. Ale,

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mahi Mahi with Beer Mac and Cheese

This is a new twist on a childhood favorite.  Fish sticks with mac and cheese were only second to chicken nuggets when I was growing up, but as an adult, those frozen chunks of mystery fish (mostly breading) just don't cut it anymore.

So last night after a long, long, work day I scoured the freezer for a quick meal for dinner.  We had just been to the store this past weekend and picked up some packs of frozen mahi mahi and tilapia so I grabbed two of the mahi fillets and defrosted them in cold water while I changed out of my work clothes.

Once the fillets were thawed, I tossed them in a light mixture of breadcrumbs and garlic powder (very simple).  I set them aside while the noodles for the mac and cheese were boiling.  Once the noodles reached al dente (firm, but not hard) I removed them from the burner, strained them and put them back in the pan.

I heated up my cast iron pan to  medium high and added about a 1/2 tablespoon of duck fat (you can use any oil) just to keep the breading from sticking.  I placed the fillets in the pan for 2 minutes on each side, and then reduced the heat to medium for another 6 minutes (this time depends on the thickness and type of fish you are using).

While the fish was cooking, I added 1/8 cup of beer, 1/8 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of cheddar, 1 tablespoon of butter, and the pouch of cheese mix into the pot of noodles and mixed the ingredients together.  I tuned the burner on low just to get all of the mixture to meld together and thicken up.

This is definitely an adult version of these two favorites!  To accompany the fish and mac, I toasted two slices of Mandy's homemade jalapeno white bread with some butter for a side/scoop for clearing our plates. Her bread was fantastic, the jalapenos added a sweet heat to the bread that made it amazing.