Category Archives: You Should Eat Here!

Red, White & Blue BFR Beef Burgers

I’ve once again partnered with BFR Beef to test and recipe develop burgers for your next burger feast. All opinions are my own. 

This recipe  would’ve come at you well before your July 4th grill out, but I didn’t get my hands on these beautiful BFR Beef burgers until the day before, so bookmark this recipe for 2021. As a matter of fact, these burgers are delicious any time and I hope you try them as soon as possible this summer.  You can order BFR Beef online or shop at High Country Food Hub. You can read more about the food hub here. Essentially, it’s an online farmer’s market featuring multiple farmers and producers all across the High Country. It is my go-to for shopping and has been a life-saver during the time of stay-at-home orders.

My last post showcased Browns Farm Ridge’s Beef Osso Bucco and how lovely they cooked up for a nice Sunday dinner.  Daniel at BFR asked if I’d like to test out their ground beef for grilling and well there’s only one correct answer. BFR sells ground beef in bulk but for added convenience you might be like me and love the pre-pattied options. You can get them in 4 oz patties for a thinner, diner style burger (or to double up like I did), or a thick, 7oz portion for a bigger burger. Nothing wrong with either. I opted to make 2, 7 oz thick burgers for the kids (yes, the kids) and 2, 4oz burgers each for mr. Foodie and myself (yes, I can eat that much, no shame here). We wanted double red, white, & blue burgers and they did not disappoint. The burgers were juicy and full of flavor, which I would wholeheartedly expect from my recent experiences with BFR Beef. These are pretty straightforward and besides the ketchup, the whole ensemble is done on the grill. You can sub out other ingredients for your red and white here (tomato instead of bacon, blue cheese or swiss cheese instead of onion or blue cheese for another “blue” …really the blueberry ketchup is all kinds of awesome so I’d keep it in there no matter what).

Red, White & Blue Burgers 

Ingredients:
Beef patties, portioned to your desired thickness
Bacon, 1 slice per burger (okay you can do more if you want, no judgement)
Onion, sliced into rings, as many as desired per burger
Blueberry ketchup (recipe below)
Hamburger buns, one per person

Anytime before, prepare the ketchup and allow to rest.

Prepare the onions by slicing. Place onion rings on a medium size piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with oil, salt & pepper. Heat grill on high, and cook burgers until desired doneness. Thinner burgers, of course, take less time. Top with cheese if you like and allow to melt. While the beef is cooking, grill your bacon on the opposite side of the grill if possible at medium high temperature, until crispy.  Next to the bacon, add the onions on foil and cook until very lightly caramelized. They’ll just hang out there on the foil and do their thing.

For serving:
Smear a good bit of the blueberry ketchup on the top hamburger bun. Once everything is finished on the grill, place the burger on the bottom bun, place onions on the burger, then bacon on top of the onions. Add the blueberry coated top bun and there you have it….a Red, White & Blue Burger.

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Smoky Blueberry Ketchup (adapted from Saveur)
2 lb. fresh blueberries
1- 1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. onion powder
1 chipotle in adobo sauce
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 lime, juiced

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Place over high heat and allow to come to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 35-40 minutes until thick, stirring occasionally. Taste along the way and adjust seasonings if needed.  Once thickened, remove the sauce and blend in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth. Fun fact: a blender works better for a smoother puree but for burgers, chunkier is fine. This ketchup is great with sweet potato fries and anything pork.

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If you make this burger, be sure to let me know and let us know what you think!

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Microfoodie approved!

 

Osso Bucco w/ Creamy Polenta: BFR Beef Partnership

BFR Beef graciously reached out to me offering their osso bucco beef products gratis for a full review. All opinions are my own.

You know that supporting local is very important to me. One of the local farmers I’ve been enjoying supporting is BFR Beef. I first found them on High Country Food Hub. BFR’s farm is owned by the Brown family since 1942 and is located in Boone. You can order their products from the hub or on their website as well as visit them at the King’s Street Farmer’s Market in Boone and Blowing Rock Farmer’s Market.

For me, the most convenient way I purchase their products is through the High Country Food Hub, which is basically an online farmer’s market featuring many local farmers and artisans in the High Country. It’s a great one-stop source for lots of my produce and beef, even baked goods. You can find out more by visiting their site. Or for a review by me, click here. By the way, the market is open through Monday at 11:59pm! Click here to shop from the hub.

I have seriously never been disappointed in any of BFR Beef’s products. My first product was their Beef Italian Sausage — it’s so good in spaghetti sauce! But I also love their soup bones, which make for a wonderful broth, but they have so much meat on them, you literally can make chili with them, then save the bones for later (for that broth).

Recently, BFR Beef reached out to me to see if I’d like to try my hand at beef Osso Bucco. I’ve only made Osso Bucco once EVER so I jumped at a chance to collab with these great folks. I’ve found that you treat Osso Bucco much like you would any other type of beef that needs braising with a slightly longer cook time. The size of the BFR shanks are literally like a “personal roast” for a hungry adult. My kids split one and it was plenty for them. Take a look at how I made these osso bucco for a delectable Father’s Day meal. These osso bucco shanks did not disappoint. The beef variety is not quite as tender and unctuous as veal, but it’s rich and meaty and so homey. You’ll find a bit of fat in and around the shanks but it cooks down quite nicely. And honeys, I know the photography here is not the best. Osso Bucco in the evening is very difficult to photograph on a dark, rainy evening. You get the idea.

And full disclosure regarding the polenta. I literally used a tube of it from Trader Joe’s and added milk until it got heated and creamy, then added a handful of leftover fontina and allowed it to melt through. I then folded in some fresh parmesan. You can use instant polenta from a package too. Just follow the package directions. Mashed potatoes would be an obvious excellent choice or since we’re talking Italian here, why not some pasta with browned butter or your favorite marinara?

Beef Osso Bucco w/ Creamy Polenta

Beef Osso Bucco (one shank per adult, Veal would work fine too)
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbs. chopped fresh rosemary
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 bunch Italian parsley
2 tbs. tomato paste
1 cup red wine
2-4 cups beef or veal stock
salt/pepper to taste

Instant polenta
Milk
Butter
Salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 300-degrees.
Heat enough oil in a hot deep skillet or dutch oven to cover the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle s/p on both sides of the shanks. Sear both sides until browned. Remove from heat. To the hot pan, add any oil as necessary (you shouldn’t need any) add tomato paste and cook until deeply browned but not burnt. Add onions, carrots and saute until slightly softened. Add wine to deglaze then add garlic. Return the shanks to the pan. Add enough broth to just cover the shanks and toss in your herbs. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 – 2 1/2 hours. Occasionally you may want to lift the lid and check that the liquid isn’t absorbing too quickly. If it is, just add a bit more broth. At the end of cook time, the beef shanks should be very tender. Serve atop polenta and fresh thyme and parsley as a garnish.

For the polenta:
Prepare according to package directions, finishing with milk or cream and a great melty cheese plus parm.

















Recipe: This is a Copycat of a RENOWNED classic: Village Tavern Spinach Dip

Hi, foodies!

One hundred and fifty seven years ago, I was a server at Village Tavern in Winston-Salem…the super cute historic Reynolda Village location. Back in the 90’s it was THE restaurant. I actually enjoyed working there. The tips were good, the vibe was fun, the patrons were nice and the menu was (and still is) awesome. Founded in 1984 and headquartered in WS, they had a Greensboro and Charlotte location too, but Village Tavern has now grown so much over the years with locations in several states. It’s truly a local success story. You couldn’t beat the good food, fun atmosphere and the price. And that still rings true today. And no this isn’t a sponsored post. This about that recipe!

The VT menu has also evolved with their growth over the years but one thing that will probably never ever go away is their famous Spinach Dip. If you’ve ever had it, then you know the “spin dip,” as we called it. And I figured out how to make it a long time ago. I had forgotten how much I love that appetizer until I was reminded of it recently and made it for the fam. I think you need to make it too, maybe this weekend for your Fourth of July festivities. This dip has a Tex Mex flair with flavors of cumin and pickled jalapeño and tons of cheese. It’s served piping hot and melty with soft, warm tortillas. You can use crunchy chips and you may be tempted to, but the warm tortillas is the OG method and absolutely perfect for snacking. There’s nothing quite like getting a scoop of that cheesy goodness and wrapping it into those warm wedges. Mouth watering!

Copycat VT Spin Dip

Copycat Village Tavern Spinach Tortilla Dip
Serves 4

Cheese Mixture
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced finely.
1/2 teaspoon cumin, ground
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
4 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 pound sharp cheddar, shredded
1/4 cup cilantro, if desired

Veggie mixture
1 pound spinach, I use fresh but you can use boxed frozen, thawed & squeezed, dry
1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, diced plus a few extra slices for topping
1/2 cup fresh Roma tomatoes, diced. Allow the tomatoes to drain some of their liquid.

Directions:
Preheat a skillet or sauce pan with a bit of oil
Saute onions and cumin for 10 minutes until onions are tender and somewhat translucent. Add salt, pepper, cream cheese, and half-and-half. Simmer until cream cheese melts and it’s all creamy and smooth. Fold in Monterey Jack cheese until smooth and melted. Set aside. Allow to cool a bit.

Mix the spinach, jalapenos and drained tomatoes together.
Add to the creamy mixture very gently being careful not to crush the tomatoes.

Place mixture in a deep dish or divide into two smaller oven-proof dishes. Mix enough shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese to cover the top. Don’t be stingy.

Place the dish on a baking sheet and place in a 350-degree oven and bake until cheese is fully melted and bubbly. Garnish with additional sliced jalapeños and cilantro (if desired).  Serve with soft warm tortillas cut into wedges or chips.

Do you have any fun Village Tavern memories? Tell me about them!

If you make this, be sure to comment and tag us on social media @triadfoodies.

Mozzarella Fellas Menu is now 100% Plant-Based

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Photo: Lindley Battle Photography

That’s right…Mozzarella Fellas, the popular pizza/Italian restaurant with a heavy emphasis on vegetarian and vegan specialties has gone off the meat and dairy. Straight from pandemic to plant-based.

It might seem odd when your name has Mozzarella in it.

The Fella, Brian Ricciardi, has been vegan and gluten-free for years all the while making homemade mozzarella on the regular and piling sandwiches and salads high with Italian meats. And when Mozzarella Fellas was founded several years ago, there were several vegetarian and vegan items on the menu, from the mushroom “calamari” to Jack Fruit BBQ pizza and beyond burgers of late.  Little by little, Brian was making his way to completely plant-based. Last week, he made it official. He says the prospect was terrifying and he “wonders if he’s crazy.” Trust us when we say the vegan dishes at Mozzarella Fellas are every bit as good as any of the former meat and dairy based products.  And plenty of people are excited about it. Click here for the menu! 

Brian assured me last week that he still has mozzarella and pizza and all the great things, only now they’re plant-based. The mozzarella is dairy-free, the parmesan is from almond milk. Ceviche features hearts of palm and no seafood, nachos have jackfruit, which trust me, tastes exactly like pulled pork. Beyond meat is also strongly featured throughout.

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Photo: Lindley Battle Photography

Now that restaurants are phasing in, Mozzarella Fellas continues with its takeout and delivery menu and reservations are strongly recommended for dinner.

Mozzarella Fellas is located 336 Summit Square Blvd, Winston-Salem

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Loco Moco- A Hawaiian “Breakfast”

In true food blogger fashion, I’m thinking of recipes to share with you, while eating a plate of warm leftover risotto that I need to recreate in order to share with you (because it was so incredible),  as I write a blog post…specifically about one of the best meals I’ve made lately.

Last week, I saw Chef Keith Rhodes of Catch Restaurant in Wilmington post a “take-out” special of Loco Moco. (All you folks who are reading this in 2027, remember the CoVID Pandemic that had us all sheltering at home and everything fun closed in March, April and May of 2020? If not, google it.)  The dish looked fantastic and the Anson Mills Carolina Gold rice is what called me because I had just received my order. And as blessings would be, my produce box from Kindly Kitchen had shiitakes and spring onions and a host of other goodies in it a few days later and I got inspired to make it. I also had some local BFR beef (via High Country Food Hub) in the freezer.  After perusing some Pinterest recipes and seeing how easy Loco Moco is, I decided I could just do a mash up of several recipes I saw posted and really they weren’t too different than the gravy I make for my country style steak. Loco Moco is basically a meat patty on rice and gravy, only Loco Moco has a slightly Asian flare, thanks to some soy, chili garlic paste, Worcestershire and perhaps fish sauce and sometimes the beef mixture.  It really varies. The gravy sometimes includes mushrooms and is poured (in this case) around the ground beef patty and is always topped with a fried egg.  Loco Moco is my idea of the perfect breakfast. Like if I was in Hawaii, I would order this before an omelet or pancakes or anything considered breakfasty. It’s savory, spicy and full of umami flavor and is perfect for dinner too, which is when we enjoyed it. We served ours with a side of sauteed spring onions and Solomon’s Seal, which is a wild leafy veg that came in my produce box. Loco Moco doesn’t really need a side, but it’s Spring and my produce drawers overfloweth.

This recipe is completely adaptable to leave out the mushrooms, make it more spicy, and it’s gluten-free (unless you hate to cook with corn starch and in that case, make gravy the old fashioned way with a roux…I’m not going to teach that to you here, but the corn starch version is way less fussy than a roux).  I hear Spam is also traditional and I bet this is just as good with ground pork. I hope you make it and love it as much as we do.

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LOCO MOCO  (Serves 4)

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pound ground beef
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
dash cayenne
Salt/Pepper

1 lb shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp ketchup
1 tsp chili garlic sauce (you can add more if you like it spicy)
1/4 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. fish sauce (optional)
1 tsp. oyster sauce (also optional but it gives even more flavor)
1 inch knob of fresh ginger grated or 1 tsp. ground ginger
1 TBS. brown sugar
1 TBS. corn starch
1 1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
Scallions and/or chives for garnish
2 TBS. Ghee or butter
Cooked rice
Eggs (one for each patty)

Prepare the beef with the garlic and cayenne and make into to 4 round patties (about 3/4 inch thick and about the size you’d place on a burger bun–you decide how big). Sprinkle the outside with salt and pepper.

Make the sauce:
Mix the soy, worcestershire, ketchup, chili sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, ginger, fish sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce (if using), corn starch and broth together. Taste and adjust for seasonings. If you like it spicy, have at it. Add a little bit of soy if you need. Set aside.

Get a skillet screaming hot with a bit of ghee or butter.  Place the burgers in the skillet and sear on one side until a nice crust forms, about 4-5 minutes. Flip and sear 4-5 minutes more or until desired doneness. Set aside.

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In the same pan, lower the heat to medium and add a bit more butter or ghee to the pan, then add the sliced mushrooms. Do not touch them for 3-5 minutes. Let them get a little brown before you start tossing them about. Add a sprinkle of salt and a generous amount of pepper then add the garlic and saute for one minute. Add the broth mixture, deglazing the pan and scraping any browned bits. Allow the sauce to thicken. You may need to add a bit more broth if it gets too thick. You may adjust seasonings here again. Keep the gravy warm in the pan it should coat the spoon and be very glossy.

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In a separate skillet, melt some butter and crack the eggs, cooking until the whites are set but the yolks are slightly runny. You can cook them all the way until the yolk is cooked through but c’mon, I promise you it’s so good this way. Sprinkle the eggs with a bit of flaky salt (and cayenne if you want).

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To assemble:
Add rice to individual bowls or plates, then top with the patty, spooning gravy on top and around. Add the fried egg on top and garnish with the chives or scallions.

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That yolk shot though…

Enjoy!

If you make this dish, please let me know and tag me @triadfoodies on Instagram and Facebook as well.