Stuffed Italian Burgers

Burned once, shame on you.
Burned twice, shame on me.

I haven’t really been myself lately. I’m happy you can’t see me right now.

I made burgers. These ones, to be specific. I let my housemate have a bite, and the following week I made another batch with my housemate. They’re that good. Just a warning, be careful when you bite into one of these. The melted cheese can get really hot and can burn you if you’re not careful! Oh. And don’t burn these 🙂

Stuffed Italian Burgers
Yield: 3 burgers


1 lb. ground sirloin
2 tbsp. yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. Italian seasoning
¼ tsp. black pepper
1-2 dashes of balsamic vinegar
Sliced fresh mozzarella
Fresh basil leaves

To make the patties, combine the ground sirloin, onion, garlic, salt, Italian seasoning, pepper and balsamic vinegar in a large bowl.  Mix well to thoroughly combine.  Divide the mixture into three equal portions; divide each of these further into halves so that you have 6 equal portions of the meat mixture.   Form each portion into a thin, round patty.  Place a slice of fresh mozzarella and a few basil leaves on top of three of the patties.  Lay the remaining patties on top of these, sandwiching the mozzarella in the center.  Pinch the edges of the patties together to form one large patty with the cheese in the center.

Cook the burgers on a preheated grill until cooked to your desired doneness and until the cheese inside has melted.  Serve with your desired condiments.

Source: Annie’s Eats, loosely based on Michael Proietti’s Mulberry Street Burger


Argentine Empanadas

Do you like meat pies?

I do. I love pies in general. I love strawberry rhubarb pie, key lime pie, apple pie, pumpkin pie, blueberry pie, you name it.

But then there are the more savoury meat pies, that I absolutely adore. I’ve always loved chicken pot pies (hopefully I can summon up the courage to make one from scratch this summer!), and I love beef pot pies as well.

A lot of people like sweet, dessert-type pies, but not as many people enjoy meat pies. I was surprised when I found out that a few of my friends weren’t a fan of savoury pies, and I was a little bit sad as well. I feel like they’re missing out on so much 😦

These Argentine Empanadas are kind of like little meat pies to me.  I had never heard of them before until I found this recipe while browsing through recipes on Jen’s blog. I’m going to go ahead and warn you now that I took a lot of pictures (maybe too many!) throughout the cooking process. I think I got a little bit excited…

Melting butter with water for the dough.

Making a well in the center of the flour mixture!

The dough is slowly starting to come together..

Easy, buttery dough ready to be refrigerated.

Delicious beef filling. I kept taking spoonfuls from this bowl…I won’t tell anyone if you do the same 😉

Individual portions of dough ready to be rolled out.

Rolling the dough out.

Adding the filling..

And there you have it! An Argentine Empanada ready to be baked. If you are planning are serving these to other people, then you can seal/pinch the edges more neatly than I do. An easy way of making the end result look a little bit cleaner would be the seal the edges, and using the tines of the fork, press a neat pattern around the edges.


Argentine Empanadas


For the dough:
1 cup water
3/4 butter
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp salt
pinch paprika

For the filling:
3 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and minced
1/2 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely diced
1/2 chicken or beef bouillon cube
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 lb. boneless beef shoulder, finely diced (I used ground beef)
1 small russet potato, peeled, finely diced, and boiled (I used 2 yukon golds)
1/3 cup raisins (I omitted)
8 green Spanish olives, pitted and chopped
3 scallions, trimmed and chopped
1 hard-boiled egg, peeled and chopped

For the dough: heat water and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter has melted. Mix flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center and sprinkle a pinch of paprika in the well. Pour a little of the warm liquid in and stir with fingertips to make a wet paste. Pour in remaining liquid and work the flour into the dough with your hand until you get a wet, oily dough. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

For the filling: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the onions, bell peppers, bouillon, paprika, red pepper flakes, white pepper, and cumin, and cook until onions are soft. Add beef, season to taste with salt, and cook until beef is browned. Place filling in a large bowl and when cooled, add potatoes, raisins (omitted), olives, scallions, and egg. Mix.

Preheat oven to 400F. Tear off pieces of dough to roll about 12 (24) golf-sized balls. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough balls on lightly floured surface into 5″ circles. Place 3 tbsp of filling in the center of each dough circle. Fold over and press edges firmly to seal. Rope pinch the edges tightly. Place empanadas on cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes.

Source: Use Real Butter

Mom’s Goulash

Okay, so here’s the deal.

This isn’t my Mom’s recipe, and this definitely isn’t goulash either.

This is a delicious pasta casserole, with layers of meat sauce and cream cheese sauce, coated with cheese. It’s really good and makes excellent leftovers as well.

I used cheddar cheese instead of mozzarella and it still tasted fantastic 🙂

Mom’s Goulash

1 lb. ground sirloin (or ground turkey)
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. dried oregano
Kosher salt
1/3 cup water
1 lb. tube pasta, such as penne
1 cup sour cream
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
½ cup chopped green onions
4 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Lightly grease a 9 x 13″ baking dish.

Brown the meat in a large skillet over medium heat, crumbling it up as it cooks.  Drain off the excess fat, if necessary.  When the meat is no longer pink, stir in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, sugar, basil, oregano, and salt to taste.  Stir in the water.  Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil.  Cook the pasta just until al dente.  Drain well and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, cream cheese, and egg.  Mix well to blend.  Stir in the green onions.

To assemble, spread a very thin layer of the sauce mixture over the bottom of the baking dish.  Top with half of the pasta.  Spread half of the sour cream mixture over the pasta, then top with half of the remaining sauce.   Repeat layers with the remaining pasta, sour cream mixture and sauce.  Sprinkle shredded mozzarella evenly over the top.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and bubbling.  Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.

Source: Annie’s Eats

Ginger Beef Stir Fry

When I’m at school away from home and living with my three housemates, I find that the meat I cook with the most is chicken. After about 3 weeks of chicken dinners, I started to really crave beef. I had had this recipe bookmarked for a month, and I decided that it was about time I made it.

This stir fry is simple to make, and delicious. It also satisfied my craving, and I have a feeling I’ll be making it again soon 🙂

Ginger Beef Stir Fry


1 tsp. cornstarch
¼ cup cold water
3 tbsp. plum sauce
1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 lb. boneless sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
1 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
1½ cups small broccoli florets
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
4 green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp. salted peanuts, chopped (optional)
Rice, for serving
Sesame seeds, for garnish


In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water; whisk until smooth.  Stir in the plum sauce, ginger, soy sauce and red pepper flakes.  Set aside.

In a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat, cook the steak strips until no longer pink.  Remove to a plate and set aside, draining the excess fat from the skillet if necessary.  Add the oil to the pan and heat through.  Add the red pepper, broccoli and carrot pieces to the skillet and stir fry until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.  Mix in the green onion and garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Return the steak pieces to the pan.  Add the sauce to the pan, stirring well to coat everything.  Cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes more.  Stir in the peanuts.

Serve the warm stir fry over rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds for garnish, if desired.


Source: Annie’s Eats