Tag Archives: Beef

Happy Halloween! Italian Hamburgers

31 Oct

Remember the days when costumes were homemade and you put your candy in a pillowcase?  And, your parents made you give them HALF your candy, to eat later (which mysteriously disappeared)?  Those were the days.  I rotated two different costumes for years.  A witch (a black mumu my mother hand-sewed) and a gypsy (a hot mess of hippie clothes from my mom’s 1960’s stash).  One year we got CRAZY and I got to be a nurse (another white mumu sewed by Mom), complete with nurse’s cap borrowed from my aunt.  Amazing.  My brother was usually a hobo or an Army man.

Man, I thought my makeup was the coolest

We loved trick or treating– in St. Louis, it’s a tradition that you don’t get any candy until you tell a joke.  I didn’t realize NO ONE else does this until I moved away.  And I got a lot of blank stares when I demanded this of children on my doorstep.

I also loved carving pumpkins, but am still scared to do it myself without my father’s knife skills handy.  True story.  I can cut a fish filet but I just can’t tackle the orange beast.

Now that I think about it, Halloween is a busy time, especially if you have little ones.  So it’s best to keep the meal short and sweet.  To service that, I present hamburgers for Halloween.  Italian hamburgers.

ITALIAN HAMBURGERS (serves 4-6)
1 1/2lb. ground chuck
1C Italian breadcrumbs
2 eggs
Salt and pepper

1 thinly sliced white onion
Italian round buns, sliced in half
Oil for frying

Mix ground chuck, bread crumbs, eggs, salt and pepper together until well-blended.  Divide meat into six patties.  Press one onion slice on top of each hamburger.  Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet and fry on both sides until done.  Place on heated buns and serve.

It’s not pretty in the pan, but it tastes good, trust me.

Trick or treat!  And if you decide to binge on candy, I’M certainly not going to judge.  Mangia!

Fall Flavors: T’s Favorite Chili

5 Oct

As the weather cools off in parts of the country that are NOT Los Angeles, a trickle of pumpkin patch pictures are starting to show up on my social media sites.  It’s the season to bust out your turtlenecks, roll in a pile of leaves and head for a hayride.

In celebration of that, here’s a super-simple, old-school, basic chili recipe that T titled in her book “My Favorite Chili.”  So hang out this weekend, throw this together in a pot and prepare to appreciate autumn.

Circa 1982. I’ve never really been “one with nature.”

MY FAVORITE CHILI (serves 4)
3T vegetable oil
1lb. lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 strips green pepper, chopped
1 16oz. can chili beans in chili gravy
1 16oz. can whole tomatoes, finely chopped
2t chili powder
A few drops Tabasco sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1t sugar

In a heavy saucepan, heat oil on high heat.  Add meat, onion, garlic and green pepper and saute together until meat is no longer pink.  Add beans, tomatoes and seasonings; stir to blend.  Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes.

Like I said, this recipe is old-school.  It’s nothing fancy and it doesn’t have exotic ingredients, but sometimes, simplicity is best.  Like playing in a freaking pile of dead leaves when you’re seven.  AmIright?  Mangia!

Christmas Eve Dinner: Beef Tenderloin

27 Dec

Though I’m sure I’ll get some grief somewhere for this, we here at For Antonina are not traditionalists.  We don’t insist on Seven Fishes every Christmas Eve.  Though we love seafood, sometimes, we’re in the mood for meat.  Sure, it doesn’t follow religious tradition,  but I know T doesn’t mind.  She’s never been a stickler for anything.  Good food is good enough.

So here’s a recipe we cooked on Christmas Eve and I think it makes a great winter meal.  Meat me!

BEEF TENDERLOIN STUFFED WITH SPINACH (Serves 4)
1 2lb beef tenderloin, skinned
1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach
Salt and pepper
3oz. provolone cheese, shredded
1/4C grated Parmesan cheese
1/2t garlic, minced

FOR SAUCE
1/2C porcini mushrooms
1C chicken broth
1T all-purpose flour
2oz.  red wine
1t garlic, minced

Stick skewer through the center of the tenderloin and make a hole large enough to stuff.  Cook spinach and squeeze dry.  Mix with the cheese and garlic.  Stuff tenderloin.  Rub the outside of the meat with butter.  Bake, uncovered in a 300 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or to desired doneness.  Remove from oven and keep warm.

Rinse porcini and soak in the chicken broth for about 10 minutes, or until they start to soften.  Place mixture in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Let simmer for a few minutes.  Blend flour with butter to make a roux and add to broth to thicken.  Add wine and garlic and continue to simmer for about five more minutes.  Slice beef, place on serving dishes and cover with a little sauce.

Dinner is served

We served our meat with a simple arugula salad and a side of polenta (follow package directions).  Mangia!