If you can’t tell this time the challenge is CHEESE. Eleta made the challenge this time, and I am not sure she knew what she was getting.
I decided to take it to the limit with something I have seen on TV several time, so I had to make it for myself- Stuffed cheeseburgers. It really works to hold flavors together, taste the meat, and to experience good gooey cheese. MMMMM.
Stuffed Cheeseburgers with mushrooms and caramelized onions:
1 lb ground sirloin
2 slices swiss cheese
1/2 vidalia onion, sliced into strips (pinch of sugar)
4 oz portabellas, sliced
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 TBSP Worchestershire sauce
4 cloves garlic
Salt, Black Pepper, Paprika, Red Pepper Flake to taste.
Mix the spices, garlic, Worchestershire and crumbs into the sirloin until just mixed and crumbs disappear, set aside.
Heat a saucepan with olive oil and add the sliced onions and the pinch of sugar. The sugar will help the onions color well. Cook over medium high heat until they sweat and lower and cover. Stir occasionally until they have begun to brown. Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir. Cook until mushrooms are softened, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan.
Divide the burger meat into 4 equal quarters and mash until thin. Place one half of a slice of cheese on each patty. Add enough of the onion shroom mixture to satisfy on two on the patties and cover with the other two. Press to seal the mixture in.
Heat a griddle to medium-high. Once hot, grease the griddle and toss the burger on. Cook about 4 minutes on one side, flip and reduce heat and cover with a pan lid. Cook another 6-8 minutes, until done to taste. This added up to medium for me.
Place, with no further adornments, on a bun.
How could I avoid making a delicious mac and cheese for challenge cheese? Exactly, I couldn’t. But, I also had to ad beer because it is delicious.
Beer Mac and Cheese with Blackened Shrimp
1/2 lb rotini
2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP flour
8oz Pale Ale
8oz evaporated milk
12 oz sharp cheddar
3 TBSP white cheddar Boursin
Grilled green onions, chopped
8oz Shrimp, chopped into bite size pieces
Blackening spice (or paprika, chili powder, black pepper, red pepper)
In a large stock pot, boil about 2 quarts water and cook pasta. Season the shrimp with spices. In a fry pan, heat a little bit of olive oil and cook shrimp, about 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Set aside.
In a sauce pan, melt butter and add flour. Whisk into a roux and cook for about 3 minutes. Whisk in beer and milk and cook 2 minutes. Add the the cheese and whisk until fully melted. Lower heat to low and stir occasionally add green onions (to grill green onions, take the whole bulb and stock and cook on a grill pan for about 4 minutes per side). Once pasta is ready, drain and return to pot. Add shrimp and pour in cheese mix. Stir, devour.
1 lb spinach
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 cup of parmesan
In fry pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for about a minute. Add the spinach and stir until coated. Once the spinach begins to wilt, add cheese and continue to cook until all leaves have wilted down. It is ready to eat.
All told, it was great, hearty, and enough to induce a coma. I highly recommend this dish and exploring flavors you like with the burgers and the mac and cheese. Let me know what you come up with!