What’s cuter than mini burgers? Ok, there’s a lot that’s cuter:) But really, anyone who knows me well, knows that I have a weakness for mini food.
Tiny crackers. Teeny pasta. You name it– I love it if it’s bite-sized.
So yeah, these burgers could be made regular -sized too, but it’s a whole lot more fun to make em mini.
These burgers are laced with yummy mushrooms and celery and spices that will remind you to stuffing. This mix can be formed into meatballs or meatloaf too. Or to keep it extra moist stuff it in a pepper and bake it (see the recipe here).
1 lb. chicken
4 large button mushrooms
1 celery rib, chopped
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup parmesan
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1. Place the mushrooms the celery, the chicken, the breadcrumbs, the parmesan and the seasonings in a medium mixing bowl. Smoosh all of the ingredients together with your hands to get everything evenly distributed.
3. Form these into golfball-sized meatballs, then flatten to about 1/2-inch thick with your palm. This will end up making about 12 patties 2 1/2 -inches in diameter.
4. Fry these in a skillet (or on a grill) on medium-high heat 3-4 minutes per side. Top with a bun and your favorite condiments.
I think it’s the vinegar that always sucks me in to those marinated mushrooms at the deli counter. Really, it’s the salty and sour combination, I think. Just so you know, I don’t ever buy them anymore, but I see them staring at me when I’m waiting for my sliced turkey breast. If you’re anything like me, you fight with yourself about buying those other seemingly fresh salads in the deli case. Again, I don’t buy them, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have those moments where I crave that classic picnic fare. From time to time I try to reinvent these favorites, whether it be for a potluck or for a dinner party of my own. I mean most of those salads are the make-ahead type and who wouldn’t love to make everything ahead on a weeknight too.
I think of this recipe as a take on that marinated mushroom favorite…with a little bit of class. In my mind this dish is half-way between a steakhouse side of mushrooms and the deli counter marinated mushrooms. This is one of those go to recipes for when I serve a crowd because it so simple. This makes a pretty regular appearance at family gatherings since I can make it in advance and serve it at room temperature. Many years ago I came across this recipe in the LA Times and have been making it ever since.In this version I’ve adjusted the measurements to be four side-dish portions.
1 box sliced white mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon squeezed about 1/4 cup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt & pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 slices REAL bacon (it’s important to use the real stuff because you want to have the flavor from the drippings in your dressing.)
1. Heat a large non-stick saute pan on medium-high heat.
2. Cook the bacon in the pan until it is crispy, this takes about 5-7 minutes. When it’s done place it on paper towels to drain excess fat.
3. Turn the heat down to low and add the garlic and olive oil. Cook this 3 minutes. Then remove it from the heat.
4. Let the oil mixture cool about 5 minutes. Then add lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper to the oil mixture.
5. Pour the dressing over the mushrooms and toss it well . Then toss in green onions.
6. Let this rest 30 minutes or refrigerate up to 4 hours before serving.
Pasta is such kid-friendly food that I experiment with it quite a bit in hopes that the little ones won’t notice…but they always do. One day while we were watching the Disney movie by the same name I thought, why not try to make ratatouille and serve it over pasta. And that’s how this recipe came to be.
When I started looking for recipes I wasn’t sure I’d even had it before. In fact, now I know I haven’t tried because I avoid eggplant wherever it might be. So, I thought, you know this whole experimenting with flavor thing that I’m trying isn’t just for the kids it’s for me too. So, the first night I made this we all tried something new, and much to my delight this recipe has become an easy way to get some veggies into my kids…and me.
The nice thing about this dish is that you can serve it over pasta (like the above photo) or as a side dish (like below) or on a toasted baguette as appetizer at a potluck. And it’s got very little hands-on time! And anyone who has little ones knows–every hand you’ve got needs to be used in that witching hour before dinner.
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 red pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons 1/2 inch thick
1/2 an onion, chopped
1/2 cup of low sodium broth (I used chicken, but veggie works too.)
1/4 cup cream cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon garlic
1. On medium-high heat a saute the olive oil and the garlic in a large pan until the garlic is fragrant and begins to sizzle in the pan.
2. Next, add the eggplant to the pan and sear it for 5-8 minutes without stirring it. It will get some nice color to it this way.
3. Then, as you chop the zucchini, red pepper and onion add them to the pan with the broth and put a lid on the pan. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
4. At this stage remove the lid and stir the veggies around a bit. The eggplant and zucchini will start to fall disintegrate into a lovely sauce now.
5. This is when you need to decide: sauce or side dish. If you’re making a pasta sauce, skip to step 6. If you’re making a side dish, add salt and pepper and you’re done! I kind of feel like that was like Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style…remember those books anyone? I loved them. I reread (past tense 🙂 ) them all the time.
6. To turn this into a kid-friendly sauce, pop it into the blender or food processor and give it a whirl. This is especially important for those of us with good detectives who will find all these new veggies in the sauce.
7. Once smooth, return it to the pan and stir in the cream cheese. Taste test it. Then add some salt and pepper, if you choose. Toss it with a pound of cooked spaghetti and call it a day!