Banh Mi Inspired Burger

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A Banh mi is a popular Vietnamese sandwich that has inspired many creations and has become familiar in most parts of the world. It’s a crusty French roll filled often filled with pork, chicken, fresh crunchy vegetables, herbs and a little spice. Basically a massive amount of flavour packed into an amazing sandwich and if you try one you immediately understand why so many people love them.

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I thought the idea would translate into an amazing burger and these have quickly become a favourite in my house. The flavours all combine so wonderfully; crunchy pickled vegetables on top of a soy, ginger and garlic flavoured patty then a spicy mayo to tie it all together.

I have made these for friends and family and each person has declared it one of their favourite burgers ever. In fact, if I ever have my dream come true and own a little restaurant/shack this will most definitely be on the menu

This post has been updated with new photos and some editing to my initial writing (I spelled Sriracha wrong…). The recipe has not changed 🙂

Burgers

350  grams ground pork (1 package)
350 grams ground chicken thigh (1 package)
1/8 cup finely sliced green onion
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 thumb of ginger finely diced
2 tbsp soya sauce
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper

In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients, folding them together by hand, then form into patties. In a non stick pan over medium low heat brown one side about 5 minutes. Flip the burger and cover the pan with a lid. Continue to cook another 5-7 minutes or until the burger is cooked through.

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Pickles

1 cup water
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1/4 cup roughly chopped  basil (I like mint in here too)

Heat the water, vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan until the the sugar and salt dissolve. Pour over the cucumber, carrots and radishes and allow them to sit for at least an hour before using. Just prior to serving pour off the pickling liquid and mix the pickled vegetables with the cilantro and mint.

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Spicy Mayo

2 tbs mayo 
2Tbsp plain yogurt
a healthy squeeze of sriracha 
1/4 tsp salt

Mix all three ingredients together in a small bowl. I have used Sambal because it’s what I had in my fridge but it’s pretty potent so it needs to be used fairly sparingly

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Smear the bun with the spicy mayo, then top the burger with the pickles and enjoy!!

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I’d love to hear your thoughts on this or any of my other posts. Also come and check out my Facebook page MyWeeklyDish for nightly meal inspiration

 

I hope you love this inspired burger as much as I do 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Tikka Masala Pasta

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One of my favourite ways to make an amazing pasta dinner is to play with a meal that I already love and to translate those flavours. Tikka Masala is a rich and creamy Indian dish using the spice blend Garam Masala. I’ve talked about Masala before in my Indian Spiced Sloppy Joe recipe. It’s a combination of warm fragrant spices and it instantly makes my mouth water.

Tikka Masala is generally not low calorie and uses whipping cream and butter to add richness to the dish. I’ve cut back on the cream and all the butter. By using Greek yogurt there is still richness without the heaviness. To save time I’ve used cooked chicken that I made using the Roast Chicken recipe leaving off everything but salt and pepper, a rotisserie chicken would be perfect too if you don’t have the time for making roast chicken. In a traditional recipe the chicken would have been marinated in yogurt for at least an hour. To get the tang of the yogurt without the time of marinating, the yogurt is added at the last minute. Spinach provides greens and if you like a little heat add a diced jalapeño while cooking the onions.

If pasta isn’t an obsession for you like it is for me this would be delicious over rice, quinoa or really anything, even cardboard would probably taste good with this sauce:)

Chicken Tikka Masala Pasta

2 Tbsp Canola Oil
1 cup diced onion (about 1 med onion)
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tbsp of grated fresh ginger
1 heaping tbsp garam masala
1 large can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup whipping cream
4 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach
1 tsp salt if using no salt added tomatoes. Season to taste otherwise
2 cups sliced cooked chicken
1 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup Greek yogurt

4 cups uncooked rigatoni pasta, cooked to package instructions

Over medium heat sweat the onions until they become translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and garam masala. Allow the spices to cook for five minutes stirring regularly, then stir in the diced tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and add the spinach. It may need to be added in batches. It will seem like a lot but will cook down quickly. Once the spinach is wilted in mix in the whipping cream. Season with salt and lay the chicken in the sauce. Simmer for another five minutes and remove from the heat. Once the sauce has stopped bubbling fold in the yogurt and cilantro, if the sauce is still too hot the yogurt can seperate. Pour the sauce over the pasta and gently combine.

I like to grate a little parmesan on the top after serving.

Tikka Masala

To get this meal on the table in 30 minutes:

  1. Have the salted water on the stove over high heat for the pasta
  2. Once the tomatoes have been added pour the pasta into the boiling water
  3. After adding the pasta slice the chicken
  4. Once the spinach is added chop the cilantro and measure the yogurt
  5. After adding the yogurt and cilantro let the sauce rest a few minutes while you set the table, then add the pasta

Enjoy and if you’re interested in how this dinner fits into my weekly meal plan It can be found in my Weekly Meal Plan list.

Mediterranean Chicken Meatballs with Tzatziki and Greekish Salad

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I love Mediterranean food. The combinations of herbs and spices create amazing aromas and flavours that make my mouth water. Over Christmas I experimented and made a Lebanese meal for my family which featured different types of kebabs. It was an all day process and not something I want to take on again for a long time. So, I worked out a quick kebab like meatball, which shares the same amazing flavours but can be a week night dinner.

From start to finish I can have this one done in about 30 minutes give or take. To get this on the table that quickly timing and multi-tasking are key. My strategy is that once the meatballs are browning I throw together the tzatziki so its deliciousness can mingle. When I have the meatballs in the oven I prep the salad and get the table set. Then it’s only a few minutes to pull the whole meal together and my family gets to enjoy a meal that looks like I put in a whole lot more effort.

Meatballs

1 package ground chicken
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 clove finely chopped garlic
1 tsp lemon zest
½ tsp rosemary
1 tsp parsley
¼ tsp allspice
½ cup small cubes feta
1 egg
1 tbsp chopped green onion
1 tbsp olive oil

MeatballsCombine all the ingredients except for the feta and olive oil in one bowl. Once all the ingredients are combined gently mix in the feta, trying not to break it up.

Form into small meatballs, about a tbsp size each, by rolling the mixture in your hand. I get about 20 meatballs.

Over medium heat warm the olive oil in an oven safe pan. Once the oil is heated, place the meatballs in the pan and cook about 5 minutes, turning once they are browned. Allow them to sear on the opposite side for about another 2 minutes then transfer into a 350F degree oven for about 20 minutes or until the meatballs are thoroughly cooked and have reached an internal temperature of 165F.

Tzatziki

½ cup Greek or plain yogurt
½ cup grated english cucumber
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp olive oil
Salt to taste

Squeeze out as much water as possible from the cucumber. I wrap mine in a thin tea towel and wring it until I can’t get any more water out. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy

Greekish Salad

1 large chopped tomato
1 chopped yellow or orange bell pepper
2 sliced small cucumbers or ¾ of an English cucumber
½ cup calamata olives
½ cup small cubed feta cheese
2 handfuls of salad greens
½ a sliced red onion (optional)

Dressing

2 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Pinch of oregano and basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Old baby food jars or other small jars are perfect for mixing dressings. Simply add all the ingredients to the jar and give it a shake.

Layer all the vegetables and top with the salad greens. Just before serving toss the salad with the dressing.

pita and chicken

I hope your family loves this Mediterranean inspired dinner as much as we do and I’d love to hear what you think. If you would like to see how this meal fits in to my families meal plan here’s the link, Weekly Meal Plan

Creamy Vegetable and Chicken Tortilla Lasagna

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I love the Joy of Cooking. In fact, I have actually read it from cover to cover and had it beside my bed until I was finished. Food geek you say? Why yes I am, completely and totally. I learned a lot from this book and use it all the time as a foundation for cooking. When I have a new idea I turn to this wonderful book and can often find a starting place, the waffles and pancakes I make weekly are Joy of Cooking recipes. But sometimes my holy book lets me down and when I had an idea for a chicken and tortilla casserole the one I found, the King Ranch Chicken Casserole recipe was not a recipe I would make. It has almost no vegetables, no spices or yummy seasoning and sounds like it would be cheesy, gloppy chicken. So, I set out to create my own healthier version.

Chicken Tortilla Bake

I like to think I do the book proud with my version and I had a friend test the recipe to make sure it was tasty. She loved that it came together quickly and that she could use a rotisserie chicken.

I’ve used lots of vegetables and cumin, chili powder, garlic and cilantro to add flavour and freshness to this casserole.

Chicken Tortilla Bake

1 tbsp. canola oil
1 diced onion
1 clove garlic
2/3 cup diced tomatoes
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 diced red pepper
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup diced zucchini
2 cups cooked chicken

1 can cream of mushroom soup
½ cup greek yogurt or sour cream
1.5 cups shredded cheese
½ cup sliced black olives
¼ cup cilantro
Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
Salt

About 7 Corn tortillas cut in half

Over medium heat sauté the onion in canola oil until they are translucent. Stir in garlic, spices and tomato. Cook for a few minutes until the tomato has softened and the mixture smells delicious. Add the red peppers corn, and zucchini, cook for a few more minutes, then stir in chicken. Remove from heat and set aside.

Casserole without cheeseIn a largish bowl whisk together the mushroom soup and yogurt. Mix in the remaining ingredients except for the tortillas and season to taste with the hot sauce and salt.

In a casserole dish place a single layer of corn tortillas then a layer of the sauce mixture. I find two and a half tortillas fit perfectly. Continue layering, alternating between corn tortillas and sauce, finish with sauce mixture and top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350F

My girlfriend added a diced Jalapeño in while cooking the vegetables and I think that would add a wonderful flavour and heat if your family and friends approve. Here’s how this dinner fits into my families weekly meal plan, Weekly Meal Plan

Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetable Fries

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One of my favourite meals to make lately is a week night version of Sunday chicken dinner. Using bone in breasts gives you all the roasty goodness with less time and the roasted vegetables are a flavourful, healthy side. What mom doesn’t love to see her kid gobble down carrots, parsnips and potatoes, stating how yummy these ‘fries’ are? Both the fries and the chicken cook for the same time so while the chicken is browning I prepare the fries. It’s a quick prep dinner leaving lots of time to spend catching up with family about the day.

I made HP sauce earlier this year, from Canadian Crafter and with this chicken it was as close to the perfect dinner as I can get. If you ever have a plethora of plums I strongly recommend trying this out. If not, I suggest getting to know me really well and maybe I’ll send you a jar.

Roasted Chicken

4 bone on chicken breasts
about a tbsp of olive oil
2 chopped garlic cloves
a branch of rosemary

In an oven safe pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Generously salt and pepper the chicken and place skin side down in the pan. You want the chicken skin to get a gorgeous, crispy golden brown. I find this is about 5-7 minutes. If the chicken is sticking to the pan it’s telling you it’s not ready and to leave it alone for a few more minutes.

Chicken pre oven

Golden brown, crispy skin chicken, ready for the oven

Flip the chicken over so it’s skin side up and sprinkle the garlic over top. I placed a branch of rosemary on top of the chicken.This adds a hint of rosemary and makes your whole house smell amazing.

Place the chicken in the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes. The internal temperature needs to reach 165 F so cooking time depends on how large the breast is (there is no way for me to type that without giggling).

Let the chicken sit for at least 5 minutes after removing it from the oven. Resting the chicken after will make sure that the chicken maintains its juiciness. Cut into it too soon and all the wonderful juice will pour out leaving a dry chicken.

Root Vegetable Fries

3-4 potatoes
3-4 medium carrots
3-4 medium parsnips
about a tbsp of olive oil
salt and pepper
seasonings of choice

I find the potatoes work best cut in half and then wedged into 3-4 pieces. Cut the carrots and parsnips into fries that are similar in size and thickness. You want them to all cook at the same rate so consistency in size will ensure a better finished fry. Toss all the vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper and seasoning. I’ve used paprika, chipotle, seasoning salt and lemon pepper. All were delicious.

Spread the fries in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the oven at the same time as the chicken. In about 45 minutes you’ll enjoy a fabulous, delicious chicken dinner.

Scrumptious week night roasted chicken

Scrumptious week night roasted chicken

Here’s how this meal fits into my families weekly dinner plan, Weekly Meal Plan.