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  • Have a Spooky Halloween!

    Cheddar Witches Fingers - Cheese straws in the shape of fingers, complete with a black almond "finger nail." Delicious and totally spooky.

    Candy Apples - You don't need to go to the fair to get my favorite treat because you can make these at home. Black food coloring gives them a festive touch.

    Pumpkin Caramel Sauce - Having a not-so-scary Halloween party? Serve ice cream with this pumpkin infused caramel sauce on top.

Monthly Archives: August 2009

Turkey Burgers with Smoky Aioli

Eric and I have become quite the fans of turkey burgers. I’ve heard people say that they won’t eat turkey burgers because they’re too dry or don’t have enough flavor. That is definitely not the case with this burger. The aioli is mixed into the turkey to provide moisture and flavor. Topped with more aioli, peppery arugula and grilled red onions, this burger is sure to please. We served this with our favorite Cornmeal Fried Onion Rings.

If you’re in a hurry for dinner and want to get a head start, the aioli can be made one day ahead and refrigerated. Additionally, the patties can be formed and refrigerated up to four hours.

Turkey Burgers with Smoky Aioli
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup mayonaise
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound white meat ground turkey (or a mixture of white and dark)
1 small red onion, sliced into 4 1/3-inch slices
4 whole wheat hamburger buns

-Whisk mayonaise, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and spices together in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
-Place turkey in a medium bowl and gently mix in 2 tablespoons aioli.
-Form into 4 equal patties and use your thumb to form a small indention into the center of each.
-Preheat a grill pan to medium-high heat.
-Brush onions with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for four minutes per side.
-Brush burger with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for five minutes per side.
-Place burger on bun and top with aioli, grilled red onion and arugula.

Adapted from: Bon Apétit, August 2009

Cranberry Vinaigrette

I love making my own salad dressings. It’s incredibly easy and usually only needs ingredients I already have on hand. There’s really no need to buy dressing when it’s so simple to make! I had this one recently at my friend Marlyn’s house and absolutely loved it. I ended up making it the next week to go along with Herbed Balsamic Chicken.

The dressing does come out a bit thick, but it mixed in to our salads wonderfully. For the salad, I used mixed baby greens, red apples, cinnamon-sugar roasted pecans, feta cheese and dried cranberries.

Cranberry Vinaigrette
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

-Combine cranberries, balsamic vinegar, onion, sugar and mustard in a food processor and process until smooth.
-Gradually drizzle in olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.

Asiago Herb & Garlic Bread

I love fresh baked bread. There’s something about the way my kitchen smells when it’s baking and when the hot loaf comes out of the oven. This is especially true for this bread, which is filled with garlic, Asiago and Italian herbs.

This makes two loaves of bread, but you can freeze the extra one so that you can have freshly baked bread in the time it takes to reheat the second loaf. As far as bread recipes go, this is about as easy as it gets. So if you’ve never baked bread before, don’t be hesitant to give this recipe a try.

Asiago Herb & Garlic Bread
6 cups all-purpose flour
1- 1/2 cups plus 2/3 cup grated Asiago cheese, divided
2 Tablespoons dry yeast
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon dried Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon dried Rosemary
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (Adjust up or down according to heat preference.)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 cups hot tap water (around 120-130 degrees)
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

-In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flour, yeast, sugar, salt, 1 1/2 cups Asiago and spices.
-Add hot water and use the dough hook to mix on low for three minutes. Continue to knead, using the dough hook, for an additional four minutes.
-Remove the dough from the bowl and form into a rough ball.
-Drizzle the mixing bowl with oil and return the dough, turning to coat both sides.
-Cover with a damp paper towel or tea towel, and allow the dough to rise for 15 minutes.
-Punch down the dough and divide into two equal portions, pulling the top of the dough down over the sides in tucking in the bottom to form a tight ball.
-Gently pat the dough rounds to flatten the tops.
-Place about 6 inches apart on an ungreased rimmed baking sheet.
-Using a sharp knife, cut a 1/4 inch deep X into the tops of the loaves.
-Drizzle about two tablespoons olive oil across the tops of each loaf and top each with 1/3 cup Asiago.
-Place a cake pan filled with hot water into the oven, and place the baking sheet on the rack above it.
-Turn the oven to 400° and set the timer for 40 minutes.
-The bread is done when it is a deep golden brown and may need up to ten additional minutes to reach that color.

Source: Adapted from Foodie with Family

Herbed Balsamic Chicken

Eric and I love anything with balsamic vinegar, and this dish was no different. The balsamic vinegar caramelizes when the chicken is grilled, making it almost like a glaze. The chicken was incredibly moist, and the combination of balsamic and herbes de Provence gave it so much wonderful flavor. With minimal ingredients and minimal effort, this chicken is perfect for an elegant weeknight meal. We paired this chicken with a lovely salad topped with Cranberry Vinaigrette.

Herbed Balsamic Chicken
3 bonless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

-In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
-Place chicken in a resealable bag and pour marinade on top. Refrigerate for at least two hours, turning the bag occasionally.
-Preheat a grill pan to medium-high heat and add chicken.
-Sprinkle with herbes de Provence, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
-Grill until chicken is cooked through, about 6 minutes per side.

Source: Adapted from Bon Apétit, June 2009