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Charred and Marinated Hot Peppers

Charred and Marinated Hot Peppers 

I love spicy food and lately, I’ve been playing around with different ways to use chili peppers. From spicy sauces, to pickling them, to simply thinly slicing them, there are countless ways to use chili peppers. I’ve always bought charred and marinated hot peppers but they are so easy to make at home.

Charred hot peppers

This method of charring them and then marinating them in olive oil and a bit of vinegar is one of my new favorites. It only takes a few minutes of work, but it is such a great way to add a bunch of flavor to whatever your eating.

There are so many different ways you can eat these. Most recently I threw them on a burger (check out my tips for the best burger), which was of course amazing.   You can also put them on tacos, eggs, salads, fish, or add them to any sandwich.

When I made these, I used a variety or peppers. I went with jalapeno, cayenne, and hot banana peppers. Feel free to use whichever combination you want and adjust based on spice preference.   The marinated peppers do lose a bunch of heat after you’ve charred and sliced them; they still have a punch to them though.

Give these a try and let me know what you think!

Charred and Marinated Hot Peppers 

Ingredients

  • 8-10 chili peppers
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt

Method

  1. Heat grill or pan over high heat and add the peppers. Cook peppers, turning occasionally until very charred. You will be removing the skin so don’t worry if they are black, that’s how they are supposed to be.
  2. When the peppers are charred, place them in a bowl and cover the bowl with saran wrap. You want them to sit in there and steam for a few minutes. This will make the skin much easier to remove.
  3. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, working one pepper at a time, scrape off the skin with all the charred parts using a sharp knife. Slice each pepper open and scrape out the seeds and membrane.
  4. At this point you can use your knife to slice the pepper into strands but I prefer to just tare it with my hands. With the skin removed, the flesh of the pepper will tear quite naturally.

 

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5 Tips for the Best Homemade Burgers

bacon-jalapeno cheeseburger

As you can probably tell, I like to enjoy a good burger from time to time.  Over the years, I have gotten pretty good at making them, or at least I think I have. Everybody always asks me how I make them, and what recipe I use so I thought it would be a good idea to give you my tips on how to make an amazing burger every time.  Follow these tips to learn how to make the best homemade burgers.

5 tips for the best homemade Burgers 

Best Homemade Burger

1. Keep it Simple 

As with many things, simplicity is key.  This is especially true when it comes to burgers.  A lot of people mess burgers up by adding things to the meat.  I’ve seen people add breadcrumbs, eggs, garlic, onion, you name it.  But the truth is, all you need is the meat. Anything else is going to mess it up.  It’s true that an egg will help bind a burger and hold the meat together, but you don’t want your burger to be tight and packed.  A good burger should easily crumble when you bite into it.

2. Buy Good Meat 

Easy enough right?  When possible, always use freshly ground meat for your burgers.  You don’t need to own a meat grinder, just ask your butcher to grind it for you.  When it comes to meat, there are several options you can choose from.  I think the big 3 are chuck, short rib, and brisket.  My personal preference is to use 100% chuck but its totally acceptable to switch it up and combine them.  Adding short rib to the mix is great if you want to add a richness and savoury flavour to the burger.  It would work great for a korean-bbq themed one.

3. Be Gentle

I often see that when people make homemade burgers, they use ring molds and really pack the meat in.  This is a big mistake and will result in a tough burger.  What you want to do instead is gently form the burgers with your hands.  First, divide the meat up and form it into balls.  Then gently press down with your hands to form the patties.  It’s ok if they are not perfectly round.  You do need to handle them with care when cooking, since there is nothing holding the meat together, they can fall apart if you aren’t careful.

4. Choose Toppings Carefully 

There is no guide to choosing the right toppings; it comes down to personal preference.  But one thing I will say is that you don’t want to put on too many toppings.  I usually like to stick to the classic cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, and pickle.  Onion is also a good option and jalapeño is nice if you’re craving something spicy.  Whatever you choose, just remember that the meat is the star of the show and you don’t want to get too off track.

5. Don’t Overcook It

You’ve put all the work in to create the perfect burger, now all that’s left to do is cook it properly.  Whether your cooking on the grill or cast iron, a dry overcooked burger is never fun.  After all, one of the most important parts of the burgers is its juiciness, an overcooked burger will definitely kill that.  I usually like to make my burgers pretty thin and as a result, I only cook them for 1 and half minutes per side.  This gives me a perfect pink interior.  If you prefer a thicker burger, adjust the cooking time as necessary.

For a more detailed burger recipe, check out my take out style burgers

Best Homemade Burger

 

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Chocolate Dipped Baked Doughnuts

Over the years I have tried several different recipes for baked doughnuts and never found one with amazing results.  This recipe (adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction) is by far my favorite.  Perfectly moist and will definitely satisfy your craving.

These chocolate dipped baked doughnuts are also extremely easy to make.  It takes about as much effort as it does to make pancakes.  The only special equipment you need is a doughnuts pan.  I also found a mini donut pan.  Just be careful with the mini doughnuts, they are dangerous.

 

This recipe is great for different types of doughnuts, you don’t have to go with chocolate.  Feel free to toss them in cinnamon sugar, icing sugar, or cover them in sprinkles.  They also taste great plain and dipped in coffee.  I wouldn’t say these donuts are healthy, but I feel a lot less guilty stuffing these down than I do when eating fried donuts.

 

 

 

Chocolate Dipped Baked Doughnuts

Ingredients

For the doughnuts

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the chocolate dip

  • 1/2 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tbsp butter, room temperature

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray doughnut pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Whisk together well.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients and whisk until combined.  Like pancake batter, you don’t want to over mix.  Don’t worry if the batter is very thick, it is supposed to be.
  3. Spoon the batter into the doughnut pan.  You’ll want to fill each one about 3/4 of the way.  It is a little tricky to cleanly spoon in so you can use a piping bag (or ziplock bag with the end cut off) to easily squeeze the batter into the pan.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the doughnuts are lightly browned.  Allow them to cool for 2 minutes and then move to wire rack to fully cool.  Repeat step 3 and 4 with leftover batter.
  5. To make the chocolate ganache, place the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl and bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan.  Pour the heated cream over the chocolate and stir until melted.  Add the butter and stir until smooth.
  6. One by one, dip the doughnuts into the chocolate top side down.  You can also dip them as they are in the picture, they just might be a little messier to eat.
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No Bake Key Lime Cheesecake Bars

6 words for you – no bake key lime cheesecake bars.  Did I mention they are drizzled in dark chocolate?   Cheesecake is definitely one of my favorite desserts and these no bake bars are no exception.  They are so smooth and creamy and have just the right amount of citrus from the lime.   Because they are no bake, they are also super simple to make.

I could eat these all day.  Give them a try and let me know what you think!

No Bake Key Lime Cheesecake Bars 

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 9 oz ginger snap cookies
  • 2 oz dark chocolate, melted
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin powder, unflavoured
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 oz dark chocolate

Method

  1. To make the crust, pulse cookies in food processor with sugar until fine.  Pour until the melted chocolate and butter and continue to pulse until fully combined.  Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper (leave an overhang so you can easily remove the bars later) and spread the crust mixture into the pan.  Press down firmly and evenly coat the bottom.  Place in fridge while you make the filling
  2. In a small saucepan, gently heat the lime juice.  Add sugar and gelatin then whisk until dissolved.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese on high for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.   Add the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla then continue to beat until fully incorporated.  Pour in the key-lime mixture and beat until everything is silky smooth.  Evenly pour the mixture onto the crust and allow the cheesecake to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours.  I left it overnight.
  4. After at least 4 hours, melt the remaining dark chocolate and drizzle over the cheesecake.  Place in fridge or freezer (I prefer freezer) for 30 minutes to allow it to firm up.  When ready to serve, remove from the pan and slice into bars of your desired size.