Tag Archives: tomatoes

THE MOST BADASS MEATZZA YOU’VE NEVER HAD! (But will again!)

It was a drizzly, blackened evening.

Damp leaves and soggy grass threatened to give way under my feet as I stumbled out of my last bus onto the grass, up the hill to a cat walk.

Going home.

My trusty backpack full of groceries.

I went to Whole Paycheck after work and barely broke $13:

6 organic avocados (on sale)
1 bag frozen broccoli (on sale)
1 bag frozen butternut squash (ditto)
1 large bunch of locally grown spinach

Upon arriving, I got to work in the kitchen. I seared two large pieces of beef shank (that’s osso bucco to you fine readers of mine), and threw a large guillotined head of cauliflower into the crock pot. The cauliflower was sharing the space with a gelatinous goo of pork scraps, onions, garlic, rosemary and other casualties of a long, drawn out pork butt crock pot war.

A local grocery store makes awesome, made-from-de-scratch soup in a jar. Their tomato soup is excellent, and this week, I bought a sweet potato and leek concoction. Delicious. This soup was poured over the cauliflower and just arriving beef shanks, browned and glistening in slick fat, marrow and blood. A final oddment of leftover chicken broth was added at the end, a dash of chopped red onion, a few bits of rosemary. Lid on. Low heat, 8 hours. Done.

Two packages of ground meat were glaring at me from the fridge.

Ah, crap. I’m so hungry. That meat must be made.

Roughly one and a half pounds each of grass-fed beef, and ground lamb.

I threw this mixture together with a random mix of vegetable drawer leftovers. Insignificant carrots, celery. Garlic. Onions. Fresh parsley. The last wave of potent garlicky chicken broth I’d made to stave off illness this past week.

A clever assortment of flavours and textures. As I was mixing, I thought:

Meatloaf.

Bacon on top.

In the oven. Like last week. Yeah. That’ll be tasty.

Ahhh…

No.

Burgers. Let’s make burgers. Yes. Good. Okay.

Brow furrows. Batman scowl.

No.

Then, a thought. A twinkle. A big grin.

OH MY GOD.

This is going to be the MOST BADASS MEATZZA EVER!

Ensuing happy dance.

I’ve done meatzza before. I love it. I actually haven’t made some in a while. Probably because I usually put red peppers on my meatzza, but my body is like, uh, no. We don’t like that. 

Edited March 27th, 2015. I was never ‘intolerant’ to red peppers or any of the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of foods that my IgG blood test said I was. Those tests are bogus.

Fine.

FINE!!!

Bacon fat ensnares taste buds, pleases the belly and brings joy wherever it is mixed in to. Crunchy, crumbled bacon bits top this meatzza that is lovingly draped with wilted spinach, and a merry mix of chopped grape tomatoes.

I don’t care if Jules thinks pigs are filthy animals. He’d eat this badass mother of a meatzza.

I have to watch me some Pulp Fiction soon.

Dig in.

Let joy ensue.

BADASS MEATZZA THAT YOU’VE NEVER HAD (BUT WILL AGAIN)

1.5 lbs ground grass fed beef
1.5 lbs ground lamb
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 large garlic clove, smashed, chopped, obliterated
2 small stalks of celery, thinly sliced
2 – 3 small carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth
A few splashes of homemade soup (Don’t have any? Don’t worry about it)
Small bunch of celery leaves, chopped
Small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to a hot 375 degrees. Combine this meat and veg amalgam thoroughly. I mean, really. Get in there. Take off your jewelry, watch, and bracelet. Maybe put your hair up. Maybe put on some music. But get in there, dammit!

Make a ball.

Flatten said meat and veg ball onto a baking sheet. I have a typical round pizza one that I used this time, but you don’t have to. When you’re flattening your ball, make sure it’s nice and even. I even formed a bit of a crust around the edges. Toss that bad boy into the oven. Give it 15, 20 minutes tops.

You smell that?

That’s happy.

In the oven.

Take out your ‘crust’. There will be a pool of liquid and fat. Drain this carefully, but don’t toss it! Use it for soup, or for boiling some sweet potatoes in, or squash, cauliflower. That’s flavour, baby. Don’t waste it.

For shame.

Next, crank your oven to broil.

You will need:

1/2 pint grape tomatoes, chopped
2 handfuls of spinach, chopped
2 slices bacon

Chop up your bacon into bits and bites and fry it up until browned and crispy. Scoop out the bacon and set it aside. Don’t eat it. I know it’s tempting. Hell, I’d do it.

Use half the rendered bacon fat as your ‘sauce’. Spread it evenly over the base.

Toss your spinach into the remaining bacon fat on high. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until just wilted. Baby spinach would be perfect for this, but the adult kind is all I had.

Spread your wilted, bacon infused spinach over the base of your meatzza. Add your chopped tomatoes, and crumble that bacon on top. Salt and pepper.

This now goes into your smoking hot oven.

Now.

WATCH THIS!

Don’t step away for too long.

Use your nose! If it smells good. it’s DONE. The edges of your meatzza will be dark and crusty, the tips of tomatoes barely singed.

Slide this badass mother onto a cutting board. Wait a few minutes.

If you can.

I guess…

Cut it up.

Eat.

Love,
me

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Frakin’ Tasty Bison Burgers with Tomato, Avocado and Fennel Salsa

Dearest readers:

My life has been a flurry as of late. Selling a house is hard work, annoying and nerve wrecking. Every time my iPhone rang, I got nervous hoping it was my agent with an offer. While we did sell our house a few days ago (WOO!), it is NOT something I wish to repeat, uh…EVER. Random strangers walking through your house when you’re not there, being kicked out on your day off ALL DAY. It’s nutty. But we’re psyched about the new place, and now that the house is sold, we can concentrate on that.

Crossfit utterly destroyed me today. I mean, seriously. It was the first time I’d ever felt ill after a WOD (workout-of-the-day), but not necessarily sick-to-my-stomach ill. More like completely exhausted, slightly faint and spaced out.

I’d gone later in the day than I was used to, and had nothing to eat that morning. Granted, doing fasted workouts is something I’ve been experimenting with over the last 1-2 weeks and feeling great about. I imagine the very fact that I lounged around too long this morning, and drank coffee (which I normally don’t do before a WOD – way too dehydrating) was causing an exhausting workout. Not in a good way.

However, there’s always a silver lining kicking around some cloud…isn’t there? I picked up some egg white protein powder from a local supplements place (Popeye’s, to be exact), and some omega-3 capsules. I came home, still feeling funny, and whipped up the TASTIEST PROTEIN SHAKE EVAH. It tasted just like vanilla ice cream. I’m not even joking. In fact, just writing about it right now is making me crave one, even though I just stuffed my face on the proceeding unbelievable meal.

The shake, since I know you Crossfitters are out there reading this, is really quite simple.

2 1/2 scoops vanilla custard flavoured egg white protein powder
1 small very, very ripe banana
1 cup coconut water
1 heaping tablespoon of strawberry greek yogurt (Liberté brand is amazing)

Blend. Drink. OHMYGOD! It’s vanilla ice cream, isn’t it?! This is something magical that will make that dreaded whey shake a thing of the past. The yucky-tasting past!

Edited March 27th, 2015. Sooooo…funny thing about this supposedly amazeballs protein powder. Not long after consuming shakes made with it, I broke out in a RASH ALL OVER MY TORSO. I returned it. End of story.

I picked up some ground bison from Medium Rare after my WOD the other day. I love me some bison. It is more tender than beef, the texture is smoother, and it has a meatier taste, if you can believe it. It’s special.

Today was an absolutely GORGEOUS day. Hot, hot, hot. Like, break-out-the-shorts-and-shave-your-legs kinda day. Wifey and I enjoyed a ride out to Heavy Duty Cycles today so she could drop off her Sportster for repairs. Turns out the shop had closed 20 minutes prior.

Crap.

I did the only reasonable thing I could think of doing. Why get mad after driving all-the-way out to Scarborough?

Call Tony. On his cell.

Bam. Problem solved. Leave the bike. It’ll be fine. He’ll be there in a few hours.

Awesome.

On the way home, Linda and I discussed our honeymoon plans to LA, and how rad it’s going to be; we are also moving in to our fabulous new house when we get home. SO MUCH WIN is on the way, folks.

We went to Zet’s where Linda ate a stupid, Hulk-sized double pattie hamburger (which bacon and cheese, atta girl) no less. I ate a 10 oz steak, two eggs, the puny, sad looking tomatoes and romaine they put on the side of the plate to look purdy, and a couple home fries.

Why do people think I’m vegetarian again?

We returned home. After busying myself in the kitchen for a little while, this is what came out. And yes, I ate again.

Fennel is an amazing vegetable. Definitely a favourite of mine. If you don’t like liquorice – I’m sorry, what do you mean you don’t like liquorice? I don’t know you. Flee from me! Roasted, pan-friend in butter or lard, or eaten raw, it’s versatile and delicious.

Frakin’ Tasty Bison Burgers with Tomato, Avocado and Fennel Salsa

Make the salsa first, so it can have some marinating time in the fridge, while you prep and cook your burgers. The longer the salsa hangs out in the fridge, the tastier it will be.

Da Burgers

1.5 lbs ground bison
1 large clove garlic, chopped up coarsely
1 spash or 2 or gluten-free soy sauce (it’s worth searching out: it’s bolder and richer tasting)
Sea salt and white pepper to taste
Grated ginger, about 30 passes on a microplane grater
1 egg

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and make into three large burger patties. Crank your BBQ up to about 400 degrees. Add ’em to the grill and flip after about 4 – 5 minutes. These should take only a few minutes longer. Do not overcook ’em!

Da Salsa

About 1.5 – 2 cups finely sliced fennel
8 – 10 cocktail tomatoes, washed and halved
Roughly 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
Half peeled english cucumber, thickly sliced
1 small avocado, cubed
Juice of one lime
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all of the above and toss, toss, toss to coat. Let this chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The longer, the better.

I happened to have a butternut squash in the fridge, which I cut up and threw into the oven. Serve all of the above to someone you love…or a hungry Crossfitter. But overall, as always…ENJOY! HUG YOUR KIDS!

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