It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.
When is a cheeseburger not a simple cheeseburger? When it is topped with richly browned mushrooms, caramelized onions and gooey melted cheese. And that is exactly what this sophisticated take on a traditional staple is all about. The recipe is adapted from Cooking Light and is fast, delicious and decidedly not your kid’s burger. The mushrooms and onions are cooked until tender then drenched in red wine making for the perfect sauce. I like chestnut mushrooms but you can use whatever mild mushrooms you prefer. The same goes of the cheese. I’m a fan of Emmental but cheddar, munster or even a mild gorgonzola all work well.
And if you have more time this burger is delicious when accompanied by a side of crispy duck fat roasted potatoes. But whether you serve it alone or with a favorite side dish you are sure to love this burger.
HAMBURGER STEAKS w/ SWEET ONIONS & MUSHROOMS
4 crusty rolls, sliced
1 pound lean ground beef
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
8 ounces chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
Who doesn’t love a good macaroni and cheese? I know it is a favorite dish in our household. But to keep things interesting I’m always looking for new takes on this classic dish. This version, adapted from Cooking Light adds the mild yet distinctive taste of roasted garlic to two types of cheese and noodles. While raw garlic can be harsh and is definitely an acquired taste, roasted garlic is mild and mellow and frankly, delicious.
There is more than one way to roast garlic. The traditional way involves your oven and more time. If time is an issue simply “roast” your garlic in the microwave. Both methods yield the same mild and flavorful results.
GARLIC ROASTED MAC & CHEESE
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
1 cup Emmental cheese, shredded
To roast the garlic:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Remove the papery skin from the garlic heads and place both garlic heads on a large piece of aluminum foil.
- Drizzle with the olive oil then wrap the foil around the garlic to from a sealed packet.
- Place the garlic in an ovenproof dish and roast in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the garlic is very soft and fragrant.
- Remove the papery skin from the garlic heads.
- Place the garlic heads in a microwave-safe bowl and drizzle with the olive oil.
- Pour 3 tablespoons of water in the bottom of the bowl.
- Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave on HIGH for 4 to 5 minutes or until the garlic is very soft.
To make the pasta:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions; drain and set aside.
- Once the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the soft pulp of each clove into a medium sized bowl. Pour in two cups of the milk and use a stick blender to puree the mixture until smooth. Set aside.
- Place the remaining 1 cup of milk and the flour in a large saucepan. Stirring continually with a whisk, bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Cook for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Add in the milk and garlic mixture, stirring well to combine. Continue cooking for an additional minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Stir in the salt, pepper, dried mustard, the cheddar cheese and half of the Emmental cheese. Mix until smooth.
- Stir the reserved pasta into the cheese mixture.
- Lightly coat a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Pour the pasta into the dish, then top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is brown and bubbly.
- Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.