Tag Archives: grill

Bruschetta Burgers (nom nom nom)

Before I talk about my dinner in more detail, here are some very interesting facts about bruschetta:

1.  Bruschetta is supposed to be pronounced with a SK sound, and not a SH sound.  This is as heart breaking as when I found out ramen is not pronounced rayman.

2.  Bruschetta refers to the bread drizzled with olive oil and rubbed with garlic AND the tomato and garlic topping.

3.  Bruschetta is horribly over priced in grocery stores, considering it was originally a ‘peasant’ meal to test olive oil.  (thanks, wikipedia!)

4.  Bruschetta is delicious.

When shopping yesterday, my brother and I purchased some hamburger in hopes of having some tasty burgers on the grill.  We wanted to kick it up a notch from regular cheeseburgers in a regular roll, so I decided on bruschetta burgers.  Turned out flipping awesome, I do say.

We grilled the burgers and sprinkled with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and topped with provolone cheese.  Plopped some garlic bread (garlic toast/Texas toast) in the oven (yes, we could have grilled it, but oh well), with

Bruschetta Burgers. Isn't the basil garnish a cute (and completely unnecessary) touch? Apologies for the camera phone quality!

just a little tad of asiago cheese.  Oh yes, also put some  smiley fries in the oven, haha.  They are the best!

How Ms. Ambiguous Foodie made her bastardized bruschetta:

–Roma (plum) tomatoes.  Chop those puppies up.  I drained my tomatoes a tad because I didn’t want things to get soggy.
–Basil.  Thank goodness for my wonderful basil plant.  I love him.
–Garlic.  I used jarred sliced of garlic and chopped some up.
–Olive oil.  Extra virgin olive oil is the opposite of extra whore olive oil.
–Salt, pepper, and a dash of oregano.
–And here’s what probably makes it non-Italian… I add a tiny dash of balsamic vinegar.  Yes, tomatoes are already acidic, but I personally think it gives it a good flavour.

Mix and devour.

Actually, garlic bread, cheeseburger, bruschetta (the second slice if you want, but I personally thought it was a bit overkill and decided to just eat it as an open-faced burger).  Then devour.

I have no clue why bruschetta is so flipping expensive–both in stores and restaurants.  I once purchased the cheapest jar I could find–I think it was Classico–and it tasted like poop.  Well, not literally like poop, but it tasted like super chunky tomato sauce with tons of parmesan cheese.  Believe me–I’m the first one to proclaim my love for cheese, but I felt like I was eating Spaghetti-Os in a chunky sauce, minus the Spaghetti-Os.

Tomatoes were always a staple in my house growing up, thanks to my black-haired, brown-eyed, non-Italian mama.  Think of your stereotypical Italian person–and that’s what she looked like.  Except our people were from Northern Italy–extremely North–as in Germany.  😉  (I clearly remember my parents making their own sauerkraut one year.  Mmmm sauerkraut. Mmmm sometimes I buy homemade sauerkraut from the dirt mall.  Mmm sauerkraut.)

Anyway, back to tomatoes and bruschetta.  I had no clue that a lot of people don’t like tomatoes, because they were such a staple growing up.  It’s a great time for tomatoes because they are starting to go down in price, or plants in the garden are becoming sizable.  The seasonings are things people normally have around the house (well, maybe not fresh basil…).  I think a baguette is fab as the bread part, and that’s a reasonably priced bakery item. I used provolone on the burgers (I betcha smoked provolone would have been awesome), but you can catch mozzarella on sale, or it’s not even necessary.  It’s easy to make… I guess it’s just one of those things where companies know it’s tasty and “authentic” and relatively healthy so they would much rather load it up with preservatives and sell it for much more than it’s worth.

My basil plant is looking quite beautiful, so I think some Caprese sammiches are in my future (toast, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and a balsamic mayo… again with the bastardized Italian, but it’s sooo good).  I feel like this could be the year that if I yield enough basil, I might even try for some homemade pesto.

Alrighties, I’m outties.  I’m excited for another lunch of awesome leftovers, plus I’m going out to the lake for my first kayak journey of the summer.  Woo!

Grilled Chicken and Pasta Salad. Nom nom nom.

1.  I have been feeling under the weather lately; I’ll write about that tomorrow (when I’m hopefully feeling better).

2.  There is a commercial on tv for iced tea and iced coffee at Dunkin Donuts.  I know I already said about how much I enjoy coffee, but dang some iced tea sounds pretty fantastic right now.

3.  I was so freaking hungry today when I woke up.

There are a few things to know about me:

a.) I am not a morning person.
b.) I am not a breakfast person.
c.) It takes me a while in the morning to work up an appetite.

When I woke up, my first thought was how hungry I was.  I was hungry for one of those huge breakfasts you get at a diner after a night of drinking, or the breakfasts you get at a chain restaurant when you are on a family road trip.  The bacon, the eggs (over easy), the toast (wheat and butter), hash browns, and about two bites of pancakes (because I think I’m the only person in the world who finds pancakes to be incredibly filling).

But let’s face it–I’m single, jobless, and a little blah feeling.  Am I going to make a huge ass breakfast?  No way.

I found some hot dogs in the fridge.  Boo ya.  I was frying them up, and my phone rang.  It was my brother.

Me:  Hello?
Him:  Hey, do we have any chicken in the freezer?  I am so freaking hungry I can’t help but think about dinner.
Me:  You’re such a fattie.  Yes, I found some.
Him:  What are you up to?
Me:  Making hot dogs, because I’m starving.

That is why we are pretty decent roommates 🙂

We ended up grilling the chicken breasts (and thus subjecting ourselves to our bizarre neighbours), as well as some zucchini and corn on the cob.  Mmmm.

We added the chicken to a pasta salad we made–pasta, Italian dressing, the packet of dry Italian dressing seasonings (um, what’s it called?  Good

Chicken Pasta Salad

Chicken Pasta Salad and Grilled Zucchini. I really should use my camera instead of taking pics with my phone. Oh wells.

Seasonings? I don’t even know), a cut up tomato, and an olive medley–kalamata, feta-stuffed, bleu cheese stuffed, and garlic stuffed).

Results?  Quite awesome!  We made tons of it, so I’m looking forward to lunch leftovers tomorrow.  When we make our normal pasta salad (like the type you have at a picnic), we add a lot more veggies.  But we decided to go a bit easier today for our entree.

I’ll make this a bit easier–

Ingredient list:

1.  Pasta.  We used what we had laying around the house, which happened to be the trio italiano mix of shells, penne, and rotini.  Salt your water, and don’t over cook your pasta–the pasta will absorb some of the dressing.  Drain and rinse with cool water.

2.  Italian dressing.  I used whatever I had in the fridge–It may have been the store brand, I have no clue.  I personally prefer the low or no fat dressings, because they are less oily.  You could also make your own.  Sometimes we add some creamy Italian dressing for texture.

3.  Packet of dry Italian dressing seasonings.  If sodium is a big deal, I’m sure you can use Mrs. Dash or some other low/no salt flavouring substitute.

4.  Chunked tomato. You could also use cherry or grape tomatoes or whatever you have handy.  You could even use canned tomatoes if you want.  You just might want to drain them before tossing them in.

5.  Olives.  I used olives because they are a comfort food and look pretty, but you could also toss in some bell pepper (bro doesn’t like peppers).

6.  Chicken.  Eh, it’s not necessary, but we wanted some more substance.

Mix.  Done.

My personal fave version of this salad is pasta, Italian dressing, tomatoes, cucumbers, and tuna and served with a crusty Italian bread.  Mmmmm.  I was raised Catholic.  Even though I don’t practice anymore, I still find it difficult to eat meat on Fridays (not just during Lent, either! My mama was raised during the times of Latin mass).  This is one of those perfect easy Friday meals.

We also grilled some zucchini and corn on the cob.  We must have had a crappy spring for growing stuff, because zucchini is still a little pricey here.  We drizzled it with olive oil and some of the dry Italian dressing seasoning packet.  It got a little dark (I guess that’s what happen when you grill in the dark, haha) but it was still tasty–it looks worse in the picture.  We pulled the silk off the corn (but still kept on the green leafy stuff), soaked it a bit, and tossed that on the grill as well.  Your leafy stalky green stuff will get black, charred, and burnt, but that’s OK–my fave part is when some of the kernels get a bit brown as well.  Mmmm it was delish–didn’t need butter or salt or any of that stuff.  For dessert, we had some sort of melon (Casaba, maybe?) that was alright–tasted a little overripe and probably the reason why it was on sale.

A pretty tasty and simple dinner, if you ask me.  I love these kinds of meals in the summer.

Alright, I’m out.  One of my sad, happy highlights is that I got sick of waiting for my basil plant to grow (I got a late start growing my herbs), so I purchased a very beautiful looking basil plant.  I’m also looking for a dill plant, but I couldn’t find one at the dirt mall or a local supermarket that has a pretty decent selection of potted herbs.  I’ve never had any problems finding dill in the past (and in my experience, it’s one of those easy to grow herbs), so I’m not sure what’s going on.

Most interesting thing I learned today:

Bac-Os (like the bacon bits) are apparently vegan.  I’m not vegan, but holy crap. The things you learn!