Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Sweet Potato Burgers

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It’s become so much easier to get Steve to have a meat-free night once a week. I’ve been really expanding my recipes to exclude meat and even gluten. This dish hits on both those marks. My Sweet Potato Burgers are so flavorful and satisfying, the fact is, you won’t miss the meat. Topped with avocado slices, wrapped in a whole grain gluten-free flatbread or just using bib lettuce as your vessel, makes no difference. My Sweet Potato Burgers are delicious.

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I wanted to use a flatbread as a vessel for these burgers. I wasn’t able to find this particular hinged-brand in a gluten-free variety but they do offer gluten-free flatbreads. I’d previously bought a package of these hinged flatbreads to try because they’re great for burgers and sandwiches.

I used one of the hinged flat-breads as a pattern to follow, making the regular whole grain flatbreads into a hinged-style flatbread. I used a piece of parchment paper to trace the outline of the hinged-flatbread. I laid it over the gluten-free flatbread, and cut it out using a paring knife. Now I have a slice of gluten-free hinged bread. In time they may offer this type of bread in a gluten-free variety. You could use a leaf of Bibb (Boston) lettuce as a vessel too!

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These are some of the ingredients I’m using to make these delicious Sweet Potato Burgers. First, I think the best way to incorporate sweetness, and to keep these burgers moist, not dry,  is to add a little apple sauce. When I go to the market, I’m looking for something completely natural. I decided to use a jar of baby’s puréed first apples as one of the ingredients. What’s more natural than that!  Okay, so here’s how I start.

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Arugula

Avocado

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hr 45 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 12-inch non-stick sauté pan, parchment paper, paring knife, large mixing bowl

Ingredients For Pesto Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup of good mayo
2 heaping tablespoons of store-bought fresh basil pesto

Avocado Slices
2 avocados, sliced
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Ingredients For Sweet Potato Burgers:
6 gluten-free whole-grain flatbreads (trace and cut into hinged flatbreads)
3 medium-size sweet potatoes
2 (15-ounce) cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup of organic baby apple purée
1/4 cup of flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup of baby Arugula
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of gluten-free flour
2 cups of gluten-free bread crumbs (this amount may vary slightly)
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
3 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons of (unsalted) butter, divided

Note: Take advantage of fresh store-bought basil pesto in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set the sweet cleaned and dried sweet potatoes on the baking sheet. Prick the potatoes with a fork to release steam, and bake until soft, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool.

While the sweet potatoes are baking prepare the gluten-free hinged flatbreads using the store-bought hinged flatbread as a pattern to follow. Prepare a total of six.

In a small mixing bowl add 1/2 a cup of good mayonnaise and add 2 heaping tablespoons of fresh basil pesto, stir to combine. Refrigerate until needed.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half, scoop out the flesh into a large mixing bowl. Using a potato masher, mash the sweet potatoes together with the Cannellini beans. It’s fine if the beans are not fully mashed into the potatoes. This gives the burgers great texture.

Add a beaten egg, apple purée, chili powder, ground coriander, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, ground cumin, gluten-free flour, gluten-free bread crumbs, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Mix together until fully combined. You want the sweet potato mixture to be similar to the consistency of ground meat.

Note: Transfer the sweet potato mixture to the refrigerator, for 30 minutes, to firm up before making the patties. Divide the sweet potato mixture into six equal portions and form into patties.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil together. Add the patties to the pan two at a time. Cook until golden brown and caramelized, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked patties to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Repeat the process until all 6 patties are cooked.

Note: Transfer the cooked patties to a plate and cover tightly with foil to keep warm while you finish cooking the remaining patties. You can also refrigerate the uncooked patties. Place them on a plate tightly wrapped in plastic wrap until you’re ready to cook them.

To Serve: Spread 1 tablespoon of the Basil Pesto Mayonnaise on one side or both sides of the hinged flatbread. Add a Sweet Potato Burger, a few baby arugula leaves, and top with slices of avocado. Finish by wrapping the Sweet Potatoes Burgers in parchment paper.

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Pappardelle With A Braised Beef Short Rib Ragu

Braised Beef Short Ribs With Parpadelle

Short Rib Ragu With Pappardelle

This dish is one you’ll want to serve to family and friends. I just loved the response I received. I know that once you make my Pappardelle With A Braised Beef Short Rib Ragu you’ll make again and again. Let’s get started.

The star of this dish is the beef short ribs. I want to let you know that this cut of meat can be expensive. My butcher happens to carry both styles of beef short ribs, bone-in and boneless. The boneless type of beef short ribs is cut from either chuck or plate and consists of rib meat. I’m going to use both bone-in and boneless beef short ribs in my Pappardelle With A Braised Beef Short Rib Ragu.

Whenever you’re planning on making this type of dish, it’s important to prep all the vegetables in advance.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes (3)

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Rosemary

Thyme

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I have 2 pounds of boneless beef short ribs and 2 pounds of bone-in beef short ribs. Above you’ll see I’ve laid the ribs out on a few pieces of paper towels. I want to be able to pat them completely dry on all sides. The reason for this is to get a good sear on the outside of the meat.

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This is what they’ll look like after they’ve been seared off in the oven.

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Start ladling the veggies, in small batches, into the processor.

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Below is what the purèed vegetables will look like after being added back into the pot.

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This Artisanal pasta cooks for only 8 minutes. You want to cook the pasta to the al-dente stage.

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Braised Beef Short Ribs With Parpadelle

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) Dutch oven, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 1 (10-cup) food processor, 1 (6-quart) stockpot, Microplane or vegetable peeler

Ingredients:
2 pounds of boneless beef short ribs
2 pounds of bone-in beef short ribs
1/3 cup of good olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoon of good olive oil
5 large cloves whole garlic, peeled
2 ribs of celery, 2 1/2 inch pieces
1 sweet potato, peeled 2 1/2 inch pieces
2 medium-size carrots, 2 1/2 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, 2 1/2 inch pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, 2 1/2 inch pieces
1 orange bell pepper, 2 1/2 inch pieces
1 large sweet onion, 2 1/2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 fresh bay leaves, substitute dried
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes, drained
2 1/2 cups of Cabernet Sauvignon
3 cups of beef stock, unsalted
Garnish with fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Garnish with shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

2 packages (2 pounds) of Pappardelle

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.

Lay all the short ribs in a single layer onto paper towels. Take another paper towel and pat the tops dry too. Once dry, transfer the short ribs to a large mixing bowl. Add olive oil, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Toss together until all the ribs are coated.

Lay the seasoned short ribs in a single layer onto 2 rimmed baking sheets. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until caramelized.

While the short ribs are roasting dice the vegetables, tie the herbs up together with kitchen twine (herb bouquet), and have all the liquids premeasured for the dish.

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add the onions, sweet potato, carrots, celery, and bell peppers. Season with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until softened and golden brown.

Add tomato paste to the pot, stir to combine. Add 1 cup of the Cabernet, stirring and scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the remaining red wine and simmer until the wine reduces by half. Add the whole garlic cloves, beef stock, and the *bouquet garni of fresh herbs.

Adjust oven temperature to 350-degrees F.

Remove the short ribs from the oven, transfer them to the pot. Over medium-high heat bring the liquid to a boil. Turn the heat off. Cover and transfer pot into the oven. Cook until the short ribs are tender, 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 hours.

Carefully remove the cooked short ribs from the pot. Let cool down enough before handling. As soon as the ribs are cool enough, remove the meat from those that have bones. Using two forks shred all the meat into small pieces.

The next steip is to process the vegetable in small batches. First, remove the *bouquet garni. Ladle 1/3 of the cooking liquid and vegetables into the food processor.

Note: You want to be very careful when processing hot liquids. Place the lid on, cover with a dish towel, hold your hand over the top opening.

Begin to pulse the vegetables, in batches. Transfer the processed sauce to a large bowl. Repeat this process until all the cooking liquid and vegetables are processed.

Return the thickened sauce back into the pot along with the shredded beef short ribs, stir to combine. Cover to stay hot while making the pasta. If you have a burner with a “warm” setting, will be perfect.

Fill a large stockpot with water. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Salt well and stir in pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente. Drain pasta. Add the drained pasta to a large serving platter. Ladle the Beef Short Rib Ragu over the pasta and gently toss.

Garnish the Beef Short Rib Ragu With Pappardelle with fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley and shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serve immediately.

*bouquet garni is a bunch of herbs typically encased in a cheesecloth bag, used for flavoring soups or stews.

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