Today I am sharing a very special local dish from where I grew up, known as the Garbage Plate. Not a very appetizing name right? Let me explain… A Garbage Plate is a combination of one selection of typically cheeseburger, hamburger, red hots, or white hots. But you can also choose Italian sausage, chicken tender, haddock, fried ham, grilled cheese, or eggs (yes eggs and it’s called a Breakfast Plate – it’s delicious). Then you choose two sides of either home fries, French fries, baked beans, or macaroni salad. On top of that are the options of mustard and onions, and a proprietary hot sauce, made with spices and slowly simmered ground beef. And then it’s all served with Italian bread and butter on the side. I like to use the bread to swipe up any remaining sauce when I’m finished! There’s actually a specific way to put it all together too. Click HERE to see how!
Are you hungry yet? Okay I know what you are thinking, and yes, it is definitely more popular to the college student crowd. Although I’ve actually eaten it sober many many more times than under the influence. Nick Tahou Hots is the originator of a the Garbage Plate and it’s popularity has spawned several imitators in the Greater Rochester area, including Mark’s Texas Hots (“The Sloppy Plate”), Gitsis Texas Hots (“The Gitsis Plate”), Empire Hots (“The Trash Plate”), Fairport Hots (“The Hot Plate”), Tom Wahl’s (“55 Junker Plate”), Jimmy Z’s (“Five Star Plate”), and others. Another fun fact, Health.com named the Garbage Plate the fattiest food in the state of New York, which is not all that surprising.
As for me and my history with the Garbage Plate, I used to get it with baked beans instead of mac salad, but I slowly converted over the years to enjoying the mac salad more. Today my perfect Garbage Plate is cheeseburger with mac salad, home fries, and a huge amount of ketchup. I go though half a bottle in one sitting, no lie. After cutting up the cheeseburgers and mixing it all together I swear it all gets absorbed and nearly disappears. Here is my plate before being cut up and mixed. I thought of posting a mixed picture but it’s not really a pretty sight.
As for my Memphian friends who I subjected this upon, they all loved it! Granted most of them had a half sized plate, but that’s really how much you should eat unless you like testing out how clogged you can get your arteries in one sitting. The bonus to this meal was the Genesee beer, found at a local grocery store! Never thought I’d see the day that a Rochester brewery would have a market in the south.
One year ago: Baked Oatmeal with Blackberries and Bananas
Meatloaves. Yes dad, if you are reading this I willingly made myself meatloaf for dinner. But I discovered the secret to overcoming their mushy texture which is the primary reason for my distaste for them all my life – minis! When you make them mini it’s just like eating a meatball and are less mushy. After I discovered this fact while reviewing The New Way to Cook Light cookbook, I decided to try out another mini recipe.
Since I recently received a ginormous shipment of Chobani Greek yogurt, I decided to make some mini meatloaves using some of it. Fittingly, I made Greek meatloaves with the Greek yogurt! With the additional flavors of mint and cucumber this meal is perfect for the spring-time and can be ready in under 30 minutes. Did I mention that I have now enjoyed my second meatloaf in my entire life? Crazy!
One year ago: Homemade Imo’s Pizza
Yesterday I had friends over for my annual St. Patrick’s Day feast. I served corned beef with the usual suspects of potatoes, carrots, onions and cabbage and friends brought bought over Hot Reuben Dip, Soft Guinness Pretzels, grasshopper brownies, and even homemade BBQ! Of course I also served my Hidden Pot o’ Gold Cupcakes.
Every year I try out a new glaze for my corned beef and this year since I had two slow cookers full of corned beef I decided to try two different glazes. One was Guinness glazed and the other (which I am sharing with you) was Hoisin glazed and they were both fabulously delicious. Everyone had their own favorite or couldn’t decide between the two, but my favorite was the hoisin glazed.
I also tried something new with the potatoes from one of the crock pots, something called Colcannon which is Irish mashed potatoes. The original recipe had the potatoes and cabbage cooked separately, but I went ahead and used the ones that had slow cooked right along with the corned beef in order to get that extra flavor.
My committee meeting went well yesterday! Insert ginormous sigh of relief. Albeit, a short-lived relief because I still have a lot of work to do. But I will spare you all the science jargon that follows with the rest of that train of thought. All you need to know is that I am moving along in a positive direction, hopefully ending in May.
Now to celebrate, let’s all eat a big juicy BBQ burger topped with bacon, cheese AND an onion ring! I used Alexia’s frozen onion rings, because after trying them I was instantly converted from an onion ring hater to an onion ring lover. Seriously these things rock, and I usually dislike the texture of onions in any form. Even the majority of other onion rings, frozen or at a restaurant, do not appeal to me, but Alexia’s are a whole different story.
Don’t forget the pretzel buns – the best burger buns ever created.
The end of October is upon us folks. As much as I am disturbed by that fact, The Secret Recipe Club is here to save the day. This month I was assigned to Colie’s Kitchen. At first I really wanted to be a kid in the kitchen and make her Mall Style Pretzel Dogs, but I then found myself torn between the Gnocchi with Spicy Tomato and Wine Sauce and Scooter’s Spaghetti. I hope your powers of observation figured out which one won the battle. I mean come on, it has cream cheese in it which is like peanut butter in a dessert to me = weakness.
While making this I had the pasta boiling, the beef browning and the vegetables cooking in the microwave all at the same time. They all had about 5 minutes of time to get going, so I prepared as much as I could in advance and then threw it all together at once to cut down on time in the kitchen. I think everyone can appreciate a little less time spent cooking and more time enjoying your efforts afterwards.
Not to my surprise, the cream cheese mixture was my favorite part. It added such a creamy deliciousness that I could not stop eating it (and made me think about making lasagna with cream cheese instead of ricotta). The original recipe said it serves 10 but there’s no way that was happening for me. Maybe if you served it with a side salad or veggies. Or maybe I just have the appetite of a 16 year old boy.
I’ve been really bad. I cooked these burgers in the leftover bacon grease from cooking the bacon which is stuffed inside the burger. It’s bacon-ated inside and out! And to make things
worse even better, these are big boy burgers with half a pound of beef for each patty. Originally I planned on making quarter pounders, but my bretzel rolls came out much bigger than usual and I decided I would make the burger fit the bun. No sense having a puny burger on an over-sized bun!
Stuffing a burger with the components of a jalapeno popper is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Seriously, I think these were the most delicious burgers I’ve had the pleasure of occupying my belly. The idea for these burgers came from an original plan to make jalapeno popper dip for a cook-out I was going to attend. Unfortunately I found out the cook-out was cancelled as I was already grating the cheddar cheese. Since I needed new dinner plans and already had the rest of the ingredients on hand, I improvised. And then, the jalapeno popper stuffed burgers were born! I even added some onion rings on the side ;-).
First off, I wanted to thank every one of you for all the wonderful birthday wishes. I had a great (and tiring) weekend, filled with too much food and staying up way past my bedtime. Weekends are always much too short, especially birthday weekends when friends like Becky come to visit. But definitely had plenty of fun to make up for not going to the Beale St Music Fest for the first time since I moved here 5 years ago (cannot believe it’s been that long).
But on to this burger. Many burgers I have encountered that include pineapple, merely have it as a layer in the toppings. But this burger is special – it is stuffed with an entire ring of fresh pineapple. There is even a sweet and tangy sauce to top it off.
That bun is purely for decoration only. Sure it’s real but I didn’t touch the thing. I grew up without eating these burgers on a bun because, well, the recipe never says anything about a bun! And honestly, I love this burger without any silly bun. But I included it anyway because a burger patty sitting on a plate by itself isn’t very photogenic.
Random question, do you spell it ketchup or catsup? Cause my mom totally spelled it catsup on the written recipe card I have and I never knew she and I spelled it differently then me.
Read the rest of this entry »
Last year I made a marmalade glaze for the corned beef and it rocked my world to the point where when planning the menu for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day feast I didn’t want to try a different version. Especially when contemplating a blackberry glaze. Berries on beef? But I took a chance and was glad I did!
Although I do have to admit that the marmalade glaze still is #1 for my corned beef, the blackberry glaze was still very delicious. Who knew I could like berries with my meat? This corned beef was served with carrots, roasted cabbage (recipe shared tomorrow) and herbed potatoes.
Maggie also brought over Guinness bread complete with glorious honey butter, and Sarah made a reuben dip for the appetizer while waited for the rest of the food to be ready. I nearly spoiled my appetite with that dip – amazing!
A quick mom update – she is still enjoying her cake pops (that woman has serious restraint which I did not inherit) and recovering from surgery. Says she still feels weak and bumps into things while walking but her headache pain has lessened. Hopefully things will look good at her next check-up!
CORNED BEEF WITH BLACKBERRY MUSTARD GLAZE
1 (4-5 lb.) corned beef
1 onion, peeled and quartered
8 whole cloves
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
6 carrots, peeled, and chopped into 4-inch pieces
1/2 cup blackberry preserves, or favorite flavor of preserves
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
- Use a sharp knife to carefully trim off the excess fat on the corned beef.
- Place the onion and carrots in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Add cloves, garlic, thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns. Place corned beef on top and add water to cover.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender.
- In a small saucepan, whisk the glaze ingredients together until combined, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil until the mixture has slightly reduced and thickened, about 7-10 minutes.
- Remove the beef and carrots, and set the carrots aside. Place the beef on an aluminum-foil covered baking sheet. Brush with glaze, then place under the broiler for 5-7 minutes, until the glaze begins to caramelize.
- Remove from oven, and let the corned beef sit for at least 10-15 minutes before carving. Brush with additional glaze if desired. Serve with roasted cabbage, herbed potatoes and carrots if desired.
Source: Adapted from Gimme Some Oven.
Don’t you just love when you’ve come home from a long day, and dinner is hot and ready upon your arrival? If that phenomenon occurs in your world on a regular basis, then I envy you because it is a rarity for me. They occur as frequently as today’s date (hooray leap year!). Living alone certainly has it’s plus sides but you definitely cannot rely on anyone else other than yourself to put food in front of you at the table (or standing at the counter, or reading blogs at your computer). That is until you have friends come to visit and you put them to work!
Bob came to visit two weekends ago and since he is just about as food-obsessed as I am, we turned my kitchen upside-down. (I also put him to work as my lab slave when I went to lab to count cell colonies forming on agarose plates – this is science folks). But one night after I was at work all day, I had the luxury of not lifting a single finger in order to have this meal appear. And of course such a momentous occasion had to be shared so Maggie came over to enjoy it as well (and to escape from the meatloaf dinner alternative). She and I devoured the bacon that should’ve been reserved for the leftover fourth burger, but we deserved it after spin class.
Other than the obviously delicious bacon, the burgers as a whole were fantastic. The chipotle sauce was the perfect addition and the pretzel (bretzel) bun is my favorite carb with which to surround a burger. Moral of the story? I need to leave visitors alone at my home more often so that magical food appears. Especially thick crispy bacon.
(Of course I did have a role in planning this meal since we had gone to the grocery store a couple days prior to get the ingredients, and it was my idea to substitute the mayo for Greek yogurt in the sauce, but I’m not trying to take all the credit :-P)
BACON JALAPENO BURGERS WITH CHIPOTLE SAUCE
1/4 cup Chobani plain 2% Greek yogurt
1-2 chipotle peppers
2 tsp adobo sauce* (optional)
1-1/3 pounds ground beef
Sprinkle of salt, pepper, garlic powder
4 rounds of red onion
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
8 slices crispy cooked bacon
16-20 pickled jalapeno slices
4 bretzel rolls (or other rolls if you choose)
*Note: You can find cans of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in the Ethnic aisle at your grocery store. I pull out a pepper or 2 & dice them up, and then use the adobo sauce straight from the can. Store the leftovers in a little airtight container in the fridge for future use.
- For the Chipotle Sauce: Mix together ingredients until combined.
- For the Burgers: Divide the ground beef into four 1/3 pound burgers. Patty them out and set them on a large plate. Season with a simple sprinkling of salt, pepper, and garlic powder (make sure you season both sides). Set aside until ready to grill (or pan sear if it’s cold where you are).
- Heat grill (or pan) to medium to medium-high heat and grill for a 4-7 minutes on each side until desired doneness. During last minute of cooking – add a slice of cheese to each burger and close cover until cheese begins to melt. While the burgers are cooking, add the onion sliced and allow them to char a bit on each side and begin to soften. Remove burger and onions from grill and allow to rest for 2-3 minutes before serving.
- Place a burger on each bun and top with 2 slices of bacon and 4-5 jalapeno slices. Slather some of the chipotle sauce on the top bun and place a grilled onion round on top. Add a little lettuce if you so desire and place to halves of the bun together. Slice in half and serve!
Source: Adapted slightly from My Life as a Mrs.
My experiments at lab seem to have me functioning in awkward and inconvenient time frames a lot the past 3 months. Thankfully the results have been pretty good thus far, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain so long as it continues to cooperate. It is comforting to feel like your efforts weren’t for nothing.
Speaking of things being comforting how about this soup?
Yes I just made yet another cheesy transition. (Are you keeping count on how many times I do that?) But truly I loved this soup. This soup actually almost didn’t even happen. First it appears that barley is a rare commodity in these parts, so it took awhile to even find that final ingredient after I originally saw this recipe. And then when I was ready to make it one weeknight, I neglected to read the recipe through ahead of time (fail) and realized dinner wouldn’t be ready for a little over 3 hours. I may have had dessert for dinner and then dinner for dessert that night.
So the lesson here is to first live in an area that has decent grocery stores, and second to read recipes fully before you make them! Unless you like having soup for dessert. (I have to admit however, I didn’t mind ending my meals for the day on the note of this soup.)
BEEF WITH BARLEY SOUP
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb. beef cubes (for stew)
1 large onion, medium diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, smaller ends cut into rounds, larger ends diced
2 russet potatoes, peeled and large diced
1-1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
6 cups beef stock
2 cups water, if needed
1/2 cups pearl barley
1/2 tsp thyme
1 whole bay leaf
1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes
- Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat. Add the olive oil.
- Brown the beef cubes for three minutes in the oil, then add the onions and garlic. Lower the heat to medium low and cook until the onions are cooked and just start to caramelize. Stir as needed to keep onions and garlic from burning. Lower heat if necessary; drizzle a little more olive oil if needed to keep food from sticking.
- Add everything except the tomatoes to the pot and stir well. Increase the heat and bring the soup to a boil, then turn heat to low, cover pot, and simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally. Adjust heat as necessary to keep soup at a slow simmer. If the soup thickens too much, add a little more water or broth.
- Taste to correct seasonings, then add tomatoes and simmer for another hour. Remove bay leaf before serving.