Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

Please believe me: I love pretty food.

Now I know that seems unlikely, given the sorry, grey-brown mess that is today’s featured recipe.

But despite its sad mud-pie appearance, this dish has a lot to offer.

Tender, juicy, and highly seasoned ground beef patties are smothered in savory gravy with meaty mushrooms.

Still, this dish needs to accessorize in the worst way. So in the spirit of Halloween dress-up, here are the Salisbury Bats:

Salisbury Jason:

Salisbury Jokester:

And Salisbury Devil:

Happy Halloween!

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Roast Beef and Blue Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwich

In honor of National Grilled Cheese Month, I’m posting a different grilled cheese sandwich every single day through the month of April. You’re welcome.

I love a classic steakhouse dinner – a cool, crispy wedge salad with blue cheese dressing, followed by a medium-rare steak and a side of creamed spinach. Oh! And a bread basket that’s never empty longer than a minute before it’s auto-magically refilled.

This sandwich has all your favorite steakhouse flavors, but you can make it at home and it doesn’t cost 8 million dollars. It’s VERY blue-cheesy, and it probably could use more beef and less cheese for more balanced flavor. It’s also very messy. And tasty.

For general grilled cheese tips, visit the inaugural grilled cheese sandwich post.

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Chili Cheese Dog Grilled Cheese Sandwich

In honor of National Grilled Cheese Month, I’m posting a different grilled cheese sandwich every single day through the month of April. You’re welcome.

chili cheese dog grilled cheese open
Y’know what? I’m concerned. I’m concerned about this whole series of sandwiches. It’s only been a week and a half in a 30-day series — this is sandwich number ten — and I’m concerned that if I keep gushing about my grilled cheeses, eventually I’ll be like the boy who cried, “sandwich!” and no one will believe me.


But, oh! Oh, this sandwich. This silly sandwich will take you out to the ballgame and back again. It’s a perfect marriage of a squishy, meaty chili cheese dog and a crunchy, gooey, soul-satisfying grilled cheese.


I didn’t really want a big pot of chili around in the middle of an uncharacteristically warm Minnesota week, so I used a (gasp!) can of no-bean chili. The sandwich was ridiculous and delicious, and incredibly messy. When you eat this one, I suggest wearing a bathing suit and sitting on a sheet of plastic.


For general grilled cheese tips, visit the inaugural grilled cheese sandwich post.

Chili Cheese Dog Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Recipe Type: Sandwich
Author: Bake Up, Little Suzy
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 1
A perfect marriage of a squishy, meaty chili cheese dog and a crunchy, gooey, soul-satisfying grilled cheese sandwich.
Ingredients
  • 2 slices white bread
  • Butter
  • 2 slices American cheese
  • 2 hot dogs, sliced lengthwise
  • No-bean chili
Instructions
  1. Top each slice of bread with American cheese. Add hot dogs and chili to one half of the sandwich.
  2. Close it up and butter the outsides of the bread.
  3. Griddle on medium-high heat until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown.

 

Steak Salad with Chimichurri Dressing

I took this photo in a conference room at work.

As I may have mentioned before, I’m writing a musical revue for the MN Fringe Festival this summer. Outside of my joe job (and the kitchen), I spend pretty much every waking moment working on the show. I’m so close to being done writing the script that I can almost taste it. And I’m POSITIVE that being done writing the script tastes delicious.

I’ve got two short monologues and a medley left to write, and I have run out of ideas. I’ve used them all up. I got nuthin’. And it’s totally freaking me out.

And now it seems my theater hobby anxiety is spilling into my cooking hobby anxiety. I’ve got this perfectly beautiful, delicious salad to share with you, and what happens? Writer’s block. I don’t have any stories or quips or insights, just a list of ingredients and some overused adjectives: crunchy romaine, sweet tomatoes, and creamy mozzarella, tossed in bright, fresh chimichurri dressing, and topped with tender, juicy steak.

I’m sorry, folks. I let you down.

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red bean chili

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.

If I’m going to make a change in my life, I’ll do it when I’m good and ready, and an arbitrary date isn’t going to make one bit of difference.

Not that I’m a headstrong child or anything, but you’re not the boss of me, One January!

That said, I learned back in November that my cholesterol is marginally elevated. With a well-established family history of hypertension, I thought I’d try making a couple substitutions in some of my recipes, and decide if they’re worth it.

For this chili recipe, I drained the beef after browning, and rinsed it in warm water. Then I used heart-healthy canola oil to sauté the onion and garlic, added a teaspoon of beef bouillon to compensate for the lost beefyness, and cut the salt to compensate for the bouillon.

It turned out slightly sweet – almost like BBQ sauce – and spicy but not too spicy. I was a little concerned about rinsing the beef, but the chili ended up delicious. Neither the flavor nor the texture was compromised, so I’ll lather, rinse, repeat from now on.

The timing is entirely coincidental.

Recipe below the fold

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Steak and Mushroom Risotto with Smoked Mozzarella

Last spring, Handsome Greg and I flew to Utah to visit my hilarious sister, Colleen, and her brilliant children, Rolly, Maddie, and Charlie. There was no meal on the plane, and by the time we landed in Salt Lake City, picked up the rental car, drove to Layton, and checked into our hotel, we were famished. So we stopped for lunch/dinner at a restaurant by the hotel before heading to Colleen’s, where I had the most delicious risotto.

The steak risotto I inhaled at Corbin’s Grille was made with rich, salty beef stock that brought out an earthy meatiness in the wild mushrooms. When I recreated the dish at home, I substituted cremini and white button mushrooms for the more expensive wild mushrooms at Corbin’s, and I chopped in some perfectly delicious smoked mozzarella. Then I added a handful of chives for a little bite.

The rest of our trip with Colleen and the kids provided more fantastic culinary adventures: Maddie introduced me to ice cream dots; Charlie made a truly vile mocktail with water, salt, and sugar substitute packets; and when Greg treated the kids to their very first dinner at Olive Garden, future food critic Rolly tried the minestrone and declared, “The soup is excellent.”

I really miss those guys. Also? Being an aunt is the best job ever.

Recipe below the fold

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Italian Wedding Soup

My friends Brian and Benji were married on 10-10-10 in a perfectly sweet ceremony with an adorable Muppets-themed reception, and I made Italian Wedding Soup for lunch that day.

I wish I could say that I made the soup in honor of their union, but really, I just love soup.

This is a perfect fall soup – warm and comforting – and a pretty reasonably priced one-dish meal. Also? Tiny meatballs are adorable.

I substituted parsnips for the more traditional carrots and they were wonderful – creamy, just a little bit sweet, and a perfect complement to the buttery fresh dill.

Recipe below the fold

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