The “Special Sauce”

Grilled Burgers with Olive Mayo @ Three Cornered Hug

What you are about to read is a true story about a fable. Actually, Mr. Fables.

When we were living in the Grand Rapids area early in our marriage, we worked together next door to a restaurant called Mr. Fables. Along with some very yummy battered onion rings, our favorite was the Mr. Fabulous burger. What made this burger so fabulous was the olive mayo they topped it with. Yum…

We later moved out of the area, and eventually found out that Mr. Fables had gone out of business. Now, there seemed to be little chance of ever tasting that yummy goodness again. Or was there?

One day we thought, “How hard could it be to recreate?” and set out to satisfy our taste-buds. In no time at all, we had concocted what we called “The Special Sauce”. It was tasty, it was delectable, it was FABULOUS!

And now, I am going to share the very special, very secret recipe with you. Ready?

Olive Mayo @ Three Cornered HugStep 1. Mince olives (if you have some kind of chopper or processor this will go faster)
Step 2. Add mayo till it looks about like the picture above. I’d say the ratio may be just a bit more mayo than olives.

That’s it! It doesn’t seem like much, but if you like olives at all, you should definitely try it.

…I didn’t say it was good for you. 😉

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Parm, Parsley and Truffle Oil: What to do with leftover baked potatoes

Parmesean, Parsley, and Truffle Oil Potatoes @ Three Cornered HugLarkburger.

That’s where I first fell in love with Parmesan truffle fries. They were bursting with flavor, and I immediately knew that I wanted had to have MORE. Unfortunately, eating out is not something we do regularly, so I had to figure out how to feed this new hangup I had just just acquired.

A little searching led me to this great post from Leanne at Around the Table, where she describes a great way to duplicate the flavor I had fallen in love with. I’ve used her method several times ever since. The recipe seems to have left out the amount of truffle oil, so I add a tablespoon or more when tossing in the Parm.

Now, for the reused baked potato part.  I had some leftover baked potatoes in the fridge and wondered if they could be transformed from “normal” potatoes into the aforementioned crazy-good recipe. I left out the first few steps, cut the potatoes into cube-like bits, and threw them onto the hot pan at 450° for about 20 min.

Here’s the tweaked version:

2 large (or about 5 small) baked and refrigerated russet potatoes (just enough to cover the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan.
About 1/4 cup olive oil
1-2 tsp dried parsley (to taste)
Salt about 3/4 tsp or to taste
1/3 cup+ Parmesan or Parmesan Romano
1 Tbsp+ truffle oil (I found a bottle at my local Ross store for just a few bucks)
Garlic Powder

Turn oven to 450° and put in a foil lined baking dish (I use glass) to preheat for about 5 min.

Cut potatoes into cubes and toss in bowl with olive oil.

Pull baking dish from oven and using a slotted spoon (to leave behind the extra oil) put potatoes into the dish. Top with a light dusting of garlic powder.

Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring about halfway through. Keep them in longer if you want them crispier.

After removing from oven, toss with Parmesan, parsley, salt, and truffle oil. Drizzle more oil or add Parm to taste.

Savor. Relish. Enjoy.

Herb and Panko Crusted Baked Tomatoes

So, first of all- I love Panko bread crumbs.

Our relationship began with baked noodle recipe from a magazine (Taste of Home, maybe?). After using them once, I was totally hooked. These are not your normal bread crumbs. They’re all fluffy and they have a nice crunchiness that really sets them apart.

Now, let’s get to the point. I found a new Panko recipe that I love. I needed a nice little side dish to make for a small dinner party last night, so I used this recipe that I had pinned on Pinterest awhile ago. This dish not only easy (the number one thing I look for in a recipe)  but they look fancy. They’ll even make you look like you know your way around a kitchen–even if, like me, you’re completely lost.

You can find the recipe for these yummy Herb and Panko Crusted Baked Tomatoes from Spoon Fork Bacon simply by clicking it’s yummy name 🙂

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Cooking: Not My Hobby

Empty Plate

Remember the green bean and squash casserole from yesterday? Well, like most things in my life, there’s a great story that goes with it!

My husband delivered some of the said casserole to the neighbor who had given us the green beans, and she had a nice little anecdote for him. Apparently, when my son had gone to pick up the beans per her request a few days prior, she had asked him if his mother cooked. The answer: “Yeah, but it really isn’t her hobby”!!!!

Hmph! That’s a long way from the three year old who would invite everyone over for dinner. “Mommy is a good cook. She’ll make you eggs,” he’d promise.

Why do they have to grow up!?

But, he was right. After years of daily cooking, I’ve finally become proficient at it, but cooking is still not my thing. Which is how I know the recipe category on this blog will likely always be the most sparse.

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Recipe: What to do with all that summer squash

GreenBeans1It’s almost like reverse burglary. They bang on the door and push it into your arms. It may be left on your stoop or even in your car. Your neighbors, your friends, sometimes strangers- they practically beg you to take some! What is it? PRODUCE!

As a Yankee who relocated some years ago, one of the things I appreciate about living in the south is not only the abundance of fresh produce, but people’s willingness to share it.

No one could go hungry here!

Recently, we helped a friend when her corn came in. All afternoon long we were picking, shucking, de-silking, blanching, cutting it off the cob, and finally bagging to freeze it for the winter. As much as it sounds like work, when you’re with friends, it’s not at all so. Our reward was paid out in golden goodness which we greedily devoured that evening.

Then there were the bags of yellow summer squash which my dad brought to me. Because someone brought it to him. Loads of it. What was I to do with so much squash?

Summer SquashNext came some green beans from a neighbor. Now my fridge was really filling up! I had to figure out something to do with this produce before it went bad.

And so, a new recipe was born. Well, not exactly new. I adapted it a little from a recipe I love from Gooseberry Patch which I was not able to locate online. It uses canned green beans and corn (which needs no cooking beforehand) instead of fresh beans and squash. Although I don’t like this quite as much as the original, at least I was able to knock out some of that squash!

Ready?

Do this the night before or at least early enough for the veggies to cool before the next step.

Get a 9 X 13 pan (preferably glass) and measure enough raw green beans to just cover the bottom, and then throw in a few more. Put them in a large skillet. Put in a half cup of water or so, cover and start steaming. If at any time this gets dry, add a little more water.

Start chopping squash, and again, you’ll need cover the bottom of the baking dish. Then you’ll need at least a handful extra, because this stuff cooks down to nothing. Throw them into the skillet with the beans. Again, if it’s getting dry, add water. Simmer at medium heat until it all starts to get soft, about 15 minutes or so.

Drain any extra water. Spread along bottom of baking dish. Let cool.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Now you will need:

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup onion chopped
1 cup sour cream (reduced fat is ok)
8 oz can sliced water chestnuts (drained well)
10 1/4 oz can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup (one stick) butter melted
1 sleeve round butter crackers (like Ritz) crushed

In a big bowl, mix cheese, onion, sour cream, water chestnuts and soup
together; spread over the vegetables. Combine butter and crackers; sprinkle on top.
Bake 400 for 35- 40 min or till golden brown.

AND HERE ARE THE RESULTS! Mmmmmm…….

Green Bean Casserole In the Oven-YUM!

And a close up of the buttery cracker crumbs…my favorite part….

Crumb Close Up!

Are you getting hungry yet? Go make some!

Green Bean Casserole