Asian Inspired Meatballs

I love a good meatball… who doesn’t. I usually make my meatballs the same way and serve them over spaghetti or in a marinara sauce for meatball subs or quesadillas (Slow Cooker Meatballs with Marinara Sauce). This time I wanted to try something different.

These Asian inspired meatballs turned out really well. They are well seasoned with the usual ingredients and with an added Chinese 5 spice powder, which I think adds a really delightful flavor. They are brushed with a sweet and tangy sauce before and after cooking that really sets them apart. These tasty morsels of meat can be eaten as an appetizer or as a meal over rice.

I know I will be making these again soon.

Here’s what you need to make your own:

Sesame seeds for garnish

For the Meatballs:

*1 lb ground beef

*1 small onion chopped finely and sautéed in 1 TBS of olive oil until soft.

*2 garlic cloves, minced

*3/4 tsp. Chinese 5 spice powder

*1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

*1 tsp. salt

*cracked pepper to taste

*1 egg

*2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

*1 tsp. sesame oil

For the Sauce:

*1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 tsp. sesame oil

*1 tsp. lemon juice

*1 tsp. white wine vinegar

*1 TBS Worcestershire sauce

*1 TBS brown sugar

*1 TBS olive oil

*1 TBS honey

*1/2 tsp ginger

*2 garlic cloves, minced

Preheat oven to 400°.

In a small sauce pan, mix all of the sauce ingredients together and simmer.

In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs.

Be careful not too over mix the beef mixture or the meatballs will be tough.

Shape into desired size balls.

Line a baking sheet with foil. This will make clean up easier. Spray a baking rack with non stick spray and place it onto the baking sheet.

Line the meatballs on to the rack making sure there is a space between each.

Baste the meatballs with the sauce and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until the meatballs are no longer pink.

Turn the heat to the sauce to medium and cook for about 2 minutes; remove from the heat and baste the meatballs once again.

Sprinkle the sesame seeds on the meatballs and serve.

Enjoy!

Pan Seared Marinated Steaks with Rosemary Garlic Butter

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know by now that I love a good steak. You might also be thinking…another steak post? Yes, but this time I wanted something a little different. I marinated these lovely steaks. I don’t usually do that, I just add a few things to them and sear them in the skillet or on the grill. This marinade added so much flavor and the rosemary garlic butter took it to the next level. This marinade is quick to mix up and great for any cut of steak or even chicken or pork.

Here’s what you need:

*Desired cut steak; I used Ribeye

Marinade:

*1/2 cup soy sauce

*1 TBS Worcestershire sauce

*1 TBS olive oil + 1 TBS for cooking the steaks

*1 TBS lemon juice

*1 TBS brown sugar

*1 1/2 tsp. Penzey’s Mitchell Street Steak Seasoning or you can substitute

*1/2 tsp onion powder

*1/2 tsp. garlic powder

*1/4 tsp. paprika

*1/8 tsp. dill weed

*pinch of allspice

*cracked pepper to taste

Rosemary Garlic Butter:

*3 TBS butter; softened

*2 large garlic cloves smashed and minced

*1/2 TBS dried Rosemary or 1 TBS fresh chopped

Mix all of the ingredients for the marinade together.

Place steaks in a zip top bag and pour the marinade over the steaks. Gently squeeze the bag to get as much of the air out as possible and seal.

Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or over night, turning the bag over at least once during the marinating time.

While the steaks are marinating, mix all of the ingredients to the rosemary garlic butter.

Place butter mixture on a sheet of plastic wrap and start rolling the plastic wrap around the butter.

Form the butter into a sort of log shape.

This will make it easier to cut the butter into slices later.

Twist the edges of the plastic wrap to secure the ends.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Take the steaks out of the refrigerator and out of the marinade 45 minutes before cooking; dry well with paper towels and discard the marinade.

Heat a cast iron pan with the olive oil to medium high heat. When the pan is searing hot, add the steaks.

Take the Rosemary garlic butter out of the fridge and cut in half and place on one side of the pan.

When the butter starts to melt, tilt the pan and using a spoon, begin basting the steaks with the butter mixture. If the butter starts to burn, turn the heat down to medium.

Cook for about 3 minutes while continuing to baste the steaks with the butter mixture.

Turn the steaks over and cook another 2 to 3 minutes for medium rare. Cook about 4 minutes for medium.

  • Medium Rare (soft, dark pink inside): 145 degrees F
  • Medium (soft, some pink inside): 160 degrees F
  • Well Done (very firm, no pink inside): 170 degrees F

Take the steaks out of the pan and place on plates; cover loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

Spoon any leftover pan drippings over the steak if desired and serve.

Slow Cooker Pork Tacos with Guatemalan Slaw

Nope, it’s not Tuesday but who says you have to eat tacos only on a Tuesday. These slow cooker pork tacos are good for any day of the week. All you have to do is throw together some ingredients, marinate the pork then do a nice rub down with some spices and let the slow cooker do all the rest of the work. Look at that tender, tasty pork topped with some crunchy Guatemalan slaw (my version anyway) and cilantro and tucked away in warm tortillas. You know you want one too so go….go and make you a few right now…. ok you can make more than a few, no one will know, I won’t tell.

Here’s what you need:

*aprox 3 LB pork loin; pork shoulder works great too, but this was all my grocery store had at the time.

*1 pkg of flour tortillas

*chopped cilantro for garnish

Marinade:

*1/2 cup orange juice

*1/4 cup lime juice

*1/2 large onion, chopped

*4 garlic cloves

*2 TBS soy sauce

*2 tsp. white wince vinegar

*1 TBS. Worcestershire sauce

*2 tsp. brown sugar

*1/4 cup olive oil

*1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped stems and all

Rub:

*2 tsp. dried oregano

*1 tsp. cumin

*1/4 tsp chipotle powder; or more or less to taste

*1 tsp. onion powder

*1 tsp. garlic powder

*1/2 tsp. salt

Braising Liquid:

1/2 cup orange juice

2/3 cup sprite, 7 up or Sierra Mist

1/2 large onion, chopped

For the Slaw:

*1 bag of shredded cabbage

*1 TBS Mayonnaise or more to taste

*cilantro, chopped to taste

*olive oil, to taste

*salt to taste

*lime juice, to taste

In a blender, combine all of the ingredients to the marinade

Blend until well combined.

Place the pork in a zip top bag and pour the marinade over the pork; squeeze as much of the air out of the bag as possible and seal.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or over night. Turn the bag over at least once during the marinating time.

30 to 45 minutes prior to cooking, pull out the pork from the bag, with paper towels wipe the excess marinade off. You still want to leave some on if possible.

Mix all of the ingredients together for the rub.

Place the pork in to a shallow dish and rub the spice mixture on all sides of the pork.

Let sit for 30 to 45 minutes.

Mix together the braising liquid; set aside.

Place the pork in to the slow cooker. If it has a fat cap, that will go right side up. Pour the braising liquid over the top and around the pork.

As you can see, I did not cover the pork over half of the way up with the orange juice mixture. I wanted just enough to give it flavor and tenderize it, but I also wanted the flavor of the pork to shine through instead of the braising mixture.

Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.

While the pork is cooking, mix up the Guatemalan Slaw. See recipe on the link to Slow Cooker Apple Whiskey BBQ Pulled Pork with Guatemalan Slaw. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Carefully remove the pork from the slow cooker and place on a large cutting board. Let it sit for 15 minutes.

With 2 forks shred the pork.

Place in a bowl or shallow dish and cover with foil to keep warm.

Heat a large cast iron skillet to medium high heat. Place a tortilla in the pan and heat until it starts to have a few dark spots, about 15 to 20 seconds; flip it over and warm the other side. Repeat with each remaining tortilla.

Place the shredded pork on a tortilla and add any desired condiments such as cheese, sour cream or guacamole. Top with the Guatemalan slaw and cilantro. Serve and Enjoy!

Creamy Cheesy Beef Skillet Pasta

This dish is total comfort food. I made this after a really long, stressful day at work and it is definitely a winner. The beefy tomato sauce and pasta make this a really hearty meal, while cream cheese gives it a nice creamy flavor. Then there is the cheese…. I mean, you can never have too much cheese. I had some nice Gruyere and aged cheddar that I grated and threw in some Monterrey jack, it really made this cheese loving girl happy. What’s even better is that it’s all cooked in one pan….yes even the pasta. Can I talk about the pasta for a minute? I found this Conchiglie pasta at one of my Fresh Market stores.

I had never even heard if this one before, but I thought it would hold up great in a beefy tomato sauce. They look like a cross between shells and elbow pasta.

What’s even better, is that all of that beefy sauce and cheese fill up the center of the pasta, then when you bite into it….it is heaven. This dish is definitely for a cheat day, but it’s worth it.

Here’s what you need:

*1 LB ground beef

*1 small onion, chopped

*3 garlic cloves, minced

*olive oil

*14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes, undrained

*28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

*2 tsp. dried Basil, or more to taste

*2 tsp. dried oregano, or more to taste

*2 tsp. dried marjoram, or more to taste

*1 tsp. onion powder, or more to taste

*1 tsp. garlic powder, or more to taste

*1 tsp. chili powder, or more to taste

*1 tsp salt, or more to taste

*2/3 cup of chicken stock

*2 1/2 cups Conchiglie pasta or elbow pasta, uncooked

*4 oz. cream cheese

*2/3 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

*1/2 cup shredded aged Cheddar cheese

*1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

Heat a large deep skillet on medium high heat, add a few tablespoons of olive oil. When the pan starts getting hot, add the onions and the garlic.

Sauté until the onions just start to get tender, about 2 minutes. If the onions and garlic start to turn brown, reduce the heat to medium. Add the ground beef to the pan and turn the heat back up to medium high heat if you had to lower it.

Break up the beef while stirring the onions and garlic to combine. Cook until the beef is brown, about 5 to 8 minutes stirring frequently; drain if needed.

Add in the diced and crushed tomatoes.

Stir to combine the tomatoes with the onion beef mixture. Next, stir in all of the spices and herbs.

Lower the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes; taste and add any more herbs or spices.

Dump in the pasta and the chicken stock.

Stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the pasta is al dente.

Cut the cream cheese into cubes.

Add the cream cheese to the beef and pasta mixture.

Gently stir until the cream cheese starts to melt, then add in the shredded cheeses.

Stir carefully to melt and combine the cheese with the beef pasta mixture. Do not over mix or the pasta will start to break apart.

When the cheese is melted and heated thru, serve with some nice crusty bread.

Chicken with Herbs, Prosciutto and Fontina Cheese

I made a version of this dish several years ago when I discovered my love of prosciutto and fontina cheese. Since then I’ve tweaked it a bit….well ok a lot. My original version I stuffed the cheese inside the chicken, which was good, but most of the cheese ran out. This time I melted the cheese on top of the prosciutto. I really liked it better this way, not to mention it’s way easier. This chicken packs a lot of flavor. It’s seared with herbs, wrapped in prosciutto and topped with fontina cheese then cooked in a white wine lemon sauce. This dish is great when you want to serve a little something special or you just want something a little different than your everyday chicken dinner.

Here’s what you need:

This Makes 3 Servings

*3 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts

*1 1/2 tsp. dried sage +1/2 tsp

*1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

*1 tsp. dried Thyme

*2 TBS butter divided

*2 TBS olive oil

*Thin sliced prosciutto; 1 or 2 slices per chicken

*Fontina cheese, sliced

*1/2 cup white wine or you can use chicken stock

*1/3 cup chicken stock

*the juice of 1/2 of a lemon

Preheat oven to 400°

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.

Mix together 1 1/2 tsp sage, oregano and thyme. Season the chicken on both sides with the herb mixture.

and yes, that is one extreme close up of the chicken. I don’t know if I was really hungry or just really getting into the beauty of that chicken.

Take one slice of the prosciutto and wrap it around the chicken.

It’s ok if the prosciutto does not completely cover the back, it will stay once seared.

Heat a cast iron skillet on medium high heat and add 1 TBS of butter and the olive oil. When the oil and butter mixture is very hot, add the chicken. I start with the side where the prosciutto may not fully cover the chicken into the pan first.

Cook for about 3 minutes and then turn them over. If the oil and butter mixture seems to get too hot, turn the heat down to medium. Turn the chicken over and cook another 3 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

To the pan add the remaining butter, white wine, chicken stock, lemon and 1/2 tsp. sage. If the heat was at medium, turn it back up to medium high heat until the sauce starts to lightly bubble. Stir with a spoon or whisk making sure to scrape up all of those delicious bits stuck to the skillet that the chicken left behind.

Cook until sauce is slightly reduced and starts to thicken, about 3 minutes.

Add the chicken back to the skillet and place into the oven. Cook about 15 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temp of 165.

Top the chicken with the fontina cheese.

Place under the broiler until cheese is melted.

Take out of the skillet and spoon some of the sauce over the chicken.

Enjoy!

Chicken Paprikash

This is a dish that I learned to cook way back when I started cooking. I’ve tweaked it a bit over the years, but it’s still that same comforting dish that reminds me of the days when I would cook dinner for my mom and dad. They would come home from work and dad or mom would help out in the kitchen if I needed some finishing touches on the meal. We would all sit at the table together and just enjoy the moment of simply being together at the end of the day.

This is not authentic, but it still has that same rich flavorful sauce. I usually use boneless chicken breasts, but this time I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead. I also added bacon, which is not in a traditional Chicken Paprikash, but I wanted that smokiness that you can get from the bacon….. not to mention….well…I love bacon in just about anything. This is great served with rice on the side to soak up all of that delicious sauce, or even pasta.

Here’s what you need:

*Boneless, skinless chicken thighs

*4 slices of bacon, cut into pieces

*3 TBS flour divided (2 TBS to coat the chicken and 1 TBS for the sauce)

1/2 tsp salt or more to taste

*2 TBS butter

*1 small onion, chopped

*1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

*1 TBS olive oil or canola oil if needed

*2 large garlic cloves, minced

*2 TBS paprika; I recommend using a good quality, nothing expensive, but the better the quality, the better the flavor

*1 3/4 cups chicken broth; I used Better Than Bullion

*1/3 cup sour cream or more to taste

*Parsley to garnish; I used dried because it was what I had on hand, but you can use fresh

30 minutes before cooking, take chicken out of the refrigerator and dry with paper towels; set aside.

Heat a large pan on medium high heat and add the bacon pieces.

Stir frequently until bacon browns. If the bacon starts to cook too quickly, turn the heat down to medium. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the pan and onto a small paper towel lined bowl to drain; set aside.

Pour off the bacon fat from the pan except for 1 TBS; add butter to the pan and turn heat up to medium high once again.

In a large zip top bag, combine 2 TBS of flour and the salt. Add the chicken and shake to coat all sides. Take out the chicken one piece at a time, shaking off any excess flour and place into the pan, repeat with the remaining chicken that is in the bag.

Cook for about 3 minutes or until chicken turns a deep golden color, turn over and cook the other side until it browns.

You only want to sear the meat, not cook it. It will continue cooking in the sauce.

Remove the chicken and set aside.

Add the onions, bell pepper and garlic to the pan. If there is not enough oil in the pan to brown them, add in the olive or canola oil.

Turn the heat down to medium if the pan appears too hot. Frequently stir the vegetables until they are soft, about 3 minutes, be careful not to burn the garlic.

Add the bacon back to the pan and cook a few seconds more.

Add the paprika and the remaining flour, stir to combine for about 2 to 3 minutes.

Paprika can burn easily so be sure to keep stirring.

Slowly stir in the chicken broth.

Stir until the broth and the paprika flour mixture is well combined and the sauce slightly starts to thicken.

Place the chicken into the sauce.

Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked thru and the sauce has slightly thickened even more, about 20 minutes.

Take the chicken out of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sour cream.

Add the chicken back into the sauce and garnish with parsley.

Serve over rice or noodles.

Enjoy!

Mini Chicken Quesadillas

Hubby and I love quesadillas. They’re easy to put together and you can add just about anything you love. When I recently came across these mini street flour tortillas, I knew I had to try them out.

I filled these pillowy soft tacos with some leftover rotisserie chicken flavored with some herbs and spices then topped it with lots of shredded cheese. These are quick to put together, especially if you are in a hurry to get dinner on the table. Pair it with refried beans and rice and you have a full meal.

Here’s what you need:

*1 package of mini flour tortillas; I used Missions street tacos (flour tortillas)

*2 cups diced chicken such as rotisserie chicken; you can also use unccoked diced chicken

*1 TBS canola or olive oil

*1/2 tsp. onion powder, or more to taste

*1/2 tsp. garlic powder; or more to taste

*1/2 tsp. dried oregano, or more to taste

*1/4 tsp. chili powder, or more to taste

*1 tsp. dried cilantro

*1/8 tsp. salt or more to taste

*1 tsp. lime juice

*1 1/2 cups shredded cheese; I used a Monterrey Colby Jack blend

Preheat oven to 400°.

In a large pan, heat oil on medium high heat; add chicken. Cook for about 1 minute and add herbs and spices stirring frequently.

If cooking raw chicken, cook longer until the chicken is almost cooked thru, then add the herbs and spices. Cook another minute and add lime juice; set aside.

Place flour tortillas on a baking sheet. I chose not to fold these over, I wanted to encase the chicken cheese mixture in between the tortillas, so if you’re doing the same, keep enough tortillas that will become the top layer.

Spoon some of the chicken onto each tortilla.

Sprinkle on the cheese on top of the chicken.

Top with another tortilla.

Place into the oven for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and the tortillas start to lightly toast.

Serve while still warm.

Lasagna

I first posted this almost a year ago when this blog was still spanking new. I think I had only 5 followers at the time…and you are still very much appreciated as are all of you that have joined me along the way. I wanted to revise this a bit, because to be honest, it never hurts to revamp now and then and I really wanted to give this some love. I mean, it’s Lasagna…. one of the ultimate comfort foods.

This has always been one of my go to meals. It’s what I get requested frequently when I have people over for dinner. This is pretty easy and what’s not to love with layers of hearty pasta, a meaty sauce and all that cheesy goodness. Throw in some nice crusty garlic bread, a salad on the side and you have a great meal.

Here’s what you need:

For the Meat Sauce:

2 cans crushed tomatoes
1/2 small can tomato paste
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2TBs olive oil

1 1/2 ground beef
1Tbs. dried basil and more to taste
1 Tbs. dried Thyme and more to taste
2 tsp. dried oregano and more to taste
2 tsp. paprika and more to taste
2 tsp. onion powder and more to taste
2 tsp, garlic powder and more to taste
2 tsp. chili powder and more to taste
1 tsp salt and more to taste
1 tsp. sugar
1 bay leaf

Or use my Shortcut Meat Sauce , truth be told I use this frequently

For the Lasagna:

1 box of oven ready Lasagna noodles
1 large container of cottage cheese
2 tsp. dried basil or more to taste
1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese plus 1/2 C. reserved
1 egg
3 C. Shredded cheese; I use a Mozzarella, Colby jack and cheddar cheese blend

I start out by making a meat sauce. You can make this the day before. Don’t want to make a meat sauce from scratch? No problem. Just make a Shortcut Meat Sauce.

To make the homemade sauce,

In a large sauce pan add about 2 to 3 Tbs of olive oil. Heat to medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes or until onions become tender. Remove onions and garlic; set aside. In same pot, add beef and cook over medium high heat until meat is brown. Drain if needed.
Add onions and garlic back to the pot. Sprinkle in basil, Thyme, oregano, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, 1/2 can tomato paste and salt. Stir well with beef mixture and cook about 1 minute more.

Pour in the crushed tomatoes and add sugar; mix to combine. If sauce is too thick, add a little water. Taste and add any more spices or salt if you prefer. Add in bay leaf. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove bay leaf.

Grab the cottage cheese and place in a bowl. I prefer cottage cheese in my lasagna rather than ricotta. To me, it’s not as dry as ricotta and I prefer the flavor, but if you like ricotta, then use that in place of the cottage cheese. Next add basil and the 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan ( fresh or the kind that comes in the shake-able container….no one is judging). Mix together and taste to see if you need to add any more basil or cheese.

Add in one egg and stir to combine.

Spray a large baking dish with non stick spray. Spread some of the meat sauce to cover the bottom.

Place about 4 oven lasagna noodles in a layer, slightly overlapping one another over the sauce.
I like for the pasta to cook with the sauce, I think it adds more flavor to them, not to mention it saves on time not having to boil them first.

Next, add a layer of sauce on top of the noodles.

Spread a layer of the cottage cheese mixture on top of the sauce…..

then add a layer of shredded cheese. I use a mix of mozzarella, Colby Jack and cheddar.

Then add another layer of noodles, sauce, then once again a layer of the cottage cheese mixture and then more shredded cheese. Top with one more layer of noodles and then the rest of the sauce.

Lastly, sprinkle on 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and rest of the Mozzarella, Colby Jack Cheddar mixture.

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake 15 to 20 minutes more or until the noodles are done.

Let stand 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Slow Cooker Pasta Bake

This was a pasta dish that I made over a year ago. It was after Christmas and hubby and I were spending the day taking down the Christmas decorations. I wanted to come up with something easy, yet hearty for dinner that night because I knew I would not feel like cooking after all that de-decorating. I had posted this on Pinterest later that evening and it became well liked. I had forgotten about it until recently and decided to make it once again and now I’m sharing it with all of you.

The meat sauce is cooked in the slow cooker for a few hours letting all those delicious flavors mix and mingle and come together for a very tasty sauce. The pasta is cooked at the end in the sauce and coated with cheese. There is a little prepping at the beginning, but then the slow cooker does all the work, which is great when at the end of the day you don’t feel like cooking, but you want a nice, yet easy pasta dinner.

Here’s what you need:

*1lb ground beef or ground sausage; I used ground beef
*1 onion chopped
*3 garlic cloves minced
*1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
*1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
*1 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
*1 1/2 tsp. marjoram

*1 1/2 tsp dried oregano

*1 bay leaf

*28 OZ can diced tomatoes; undrained
*1 jar pasta sauce
*2 1/2 cups chicken broth
*1 box Penne or Ziti pasta
*1 cup shredded cheese; I used a Monterrey Jack Cheddar blend

In a large pan, cook ground beef. When it starts to brown, add in the onions, garlic and salt.

Continue cooking until beef is brown, stirring occasionally; pour into the slow cooker.

To the slow cooker, add in the herbs (except bay leaf), canned tomatoes, pasta sauce and chicken broth; stir to combine and then add in the bay leaf.

I add the bay leaf near the end because if it gets buried in all of the sauce, it’s not easy finding that little sucker at the end to take it out.

Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.

Turn the slow cooker to high and add in the pasta.

Stir into the sauce.

Cover and continue cooking for 20 to 30 minutes (depending on how hot your slow cooker is) — check and stir at the 15 minute mark.

Sprinkle with cheese.

Cover for 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted.

Serve and enjoy!

BBQ Bacon Cheeseburgers with Sautéed Onions

I was craving a burger over weekend and really wanted to come up with a burger that I have never made before. As I was looking thru my pantry for some ideas, I found a bottle of BBQ sauce. Well, then I knew what I had to make and this is that burger. It has a nice juicy beef patty topped with melted American cheese, bacon, BBQ sauce and sautéed onions. If you are looking for a burger that you can eat on the go or while you are busy multitasking, this is not that burger. I will warn you, this is a bit of a messy burger, but it is so worth the use of extra napkins.

Here’s what you need:

*1 small yellow onion, chopped

*1 TBS butter

*1 tsp. olive oil

*1 LB or ground beef ( I used an 80% to 20% meat to fat ratio)

*1 1/2 TBS BBQ sauce (I used KC masterpiece original, but you can use any kind)

*1 TBS Worcestershire sauce

*2 tsp. onion powder

*cracked black pepper to taste

*1 tsp. salt + more for the sautéed onions

*bacon, 2 slices per burger, cooked

*sliced cheese; I used white American cheese.

*ketchup (optional)

*mustard (optional)

*sliced dill pickles (optional)

*hamburger buns

Heat a small sauce pan to medium high heat; add butter and olive oil.

Add the onions and salt to taste to the sauce pan.

Cook for about 1 minute, then turn the heat down to medium low. Continue cooking for about 15 to 20 minutes stirring occasionally until onions become soft and a light golden brown.

While onions are cooking, in a large bowl add ground beef, BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, pepper and salt.

Mix until combined, but do not over mix or the patties will not be as tender.

Form into 4 patties making an indentation in the middle. This will help the patties to cook evenly; set aside.

Heat a large cast iron pan to medium high heat. When the pan is very hot, add the patties to the pan.

Cook for about 5 minutes then turn them over. Cook for another 3 minutes for medium rare burgers or 5 minutes for medium burgers. If the burgers seem to be getting too done too fast, turn the heat down to medium.

Place the cheese on each patty and cook for another minute or 2 until cheese melts.

Remove from the pan and place on the bottom slice of the hamburger bun. Add bacon, onions, BBQ sauce, pickles, ketchup, and mustard. I will admit, I forgot to take a picture of building the burger, but I was so hungry for this that I completely forgot.

Top with the the other half of the hamburger bun and enjoy!