Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Celebrate Labor Day with Jalapeño Cheddar Grassfed Burgers!

Can you believe it's almost September?

I'm headed up to Portland, Oregon to spend the long weekend with my husband's family. Fortunately for me, Portland is a foodie and wine mecca. So I'll be chowing down and sipping lots of pinot. My very brave friend volunteered to doggie sit the Adorable Monster in LA. I'm sure they'll have a blast together—I just hope he doesn't terrorize her too much!

Before I head for the Pacific Northwest, I wanted to leave you with one of my favorite grilling recipes. These scrumptious burgers are made with tender grassfed beef, which is mixed with spices, like paprika and cumin, and fresh herbs, like parsley and dill.

I finish them with thick slices of jalapeño cheddar cheese for a nice tangy kick. Then I top the burgers with wild arugula and heirloom tomato slices (super in season right now). Finish them with your favorite burger fixings. I'm sure you'll want more than one!

Serve these burgers with Snap Pea & Bell Pepper Salad and/or Summer Potato Salad

Jalapeño Cheddar Grassfed Burgers

Serves 4 people
Cooking time: about 25 minutes


    1 pound grassfed ground beef
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
    1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
    1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (parsley, dill, cilantro)
    1 egg
    2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    salt and freshly ground pepper
    4 slices of jalapeño cheddar
    1 cup wild arugula
    4 slices heirloom tomatoes
    4 whole wheat buns, toasted


    1. Preheat cast iron skillet or outdoor grill to medium high heat. 

    2. In a mixing bowl, combine the beef, egg, spices, herbs, and breadcrumbs. Add a generous pinch of salt and some pepper. Mix well. Shape the mixture into 4 patties, depending on desired size. Brush with the olive oil. 

    Either cook stovetop in a cast iron griddle or on the grill, flipping once, until cooked to desired doneness. Once the burgers have almost finished cooking, top with the cheese and allow it to melt. Note: you may place the cast iron pan under the broiler to fully melt the cheese if needed.

    5. To serve, place each patty on a toasted bun. Top each with a tomato slice and some arugula. Garnish with ketchup, mustard, or any other burger fixings as desired. Enjoy!

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    Seared Ahi Tuna Nicoise Salad

    Still hot, hot, HOT in Los Angeles!

    So is there anything better than a composed salad? Especially when said salad contains delicious bits like seared Ahi tuna, spindly green beans, briny capers, olive oil cured olives, creamy eggs, and poached red potatoes. Welcome to the Nicoise Salad, one of my favorite dishes in the world.

    For the dressing, I whip up a mustardy-lemony dressing. I thinly slice red onions and pickle them slightly in the dressing, which I heap generously onto the salad.

    Now I'm hungry—I may be making this for dinner again!

    Seared Ahi Tuna Nicoise Salad

    Serves 4 people
    Cooking time: about 20 minutes
    Gluten-free; dairy-free


    4 cups organic mixed greens
    1 pound Ahi tuna
    2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
    1/4 cup black olives cured in olive oil
    10 small red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes, halved or quartered and boiled until tender
    4 eggs, boiled until cooked to desired wellness, peeled, and quartered
    2 cups haricot vert (green beans), blanched
    salt and freshly ground pepper

    juice of 2 lemons
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (or more if desired)
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 teaspoon fresh thyme
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
    2 tablespoons capers
    salt and freshly ground pepper


    1. To make the dressing, whisk the lemon juice, garlic, capers, and mustard together in a bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold in the thyme and red onion. Set aside, allowing the red onion to pickle slightly.

    2. Meanwhile, season the tuna on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the grapeseed oil over medium high heat. Quickly sear the tuna, turning once. Cook to desired wellness (I prefer to leave my rare in the middle). Set aside to rest for a few minutes, before slicing.

    3. Make the composed salad by placing the mixed greens in the bottom of four large bowls, dividing it evenly. Repeat the process with the haricot vert (green beans), potatoes, olives, eggs, and sliced tuna. Finish by spooning the dressing generously over the top. Enjoy!

    Monday, August 13, 2012

    Vegetarian Puttanesca Sauce

    Happy (Hot) Monday!

    I've just been huddled up in the rooms of my house that have A/C with the Adorable Monster, trying to stay cool. I'm hoping it will cool down a bit this week. I want to thank everybody who entered the Chef LaLa Homemade Giveaway! I drew the winner randomly this morning and have emailed him/her. You guys had so many great marinade and grilling ideas.

    Today, I'm sharing a fun pantry recipe. As in you can make it from ingredients that should be in your pantry at all times. I love Puttanesca Sauce—salty with olives and capers—hearty—spicy— delicious.

    This is a vegetarian version (sans anchovies), but feel free to add them if you so desire. I serve it with a whole wheat pasta, but any sort of whole grain version will work. Also, just leave off the cheese to make it vegan.

    Vegetarian Puttanesca Sauce

    Serves 4-6 people
    Cooking time: about 30 minutes
    Vegan; Gluten-free


    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
    1 carrot, peeled and grated
    4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
    1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 
    20 oil-cured black olives, cracked away from pit and coarsely chopped
    3 tablespoons capers
    1/2 cup dry white wine
    1 32-ounce can whole tomatoes, roughly pureed
    salt and freshly ground pepper
    1/4 cup (a couple of handfuls) flat leaf parsley or basil, chopped
    Grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano, for serving (optional)


    1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and saute for a few minutes, until beginning to soften (about 4-5 minutes). Add the garlic and red pepper and cook for another minute or two. Add the white wine and simmer, until reduced in half.

    2. Add the olives, capers, and tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about twenty minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pasta.

    3. To serve, toss the sauce with cooked pasta. Top with chopped parsley and parmesan, if desired. Enjoy!

    Monday, August 6, 2012

    Chef LaLa Homemade Giveaway: Mexican Gourmet Marinades, $25 Visa Gift Card, and More!

    My birthday was on Friday, and I shouldn't be the only one receiving gifts. So this week I have a fabulous giveaway sponsored by Chef LaLA Homemade that one lucky reader can win.

    As always, I only feature products that are in line with my values as a cook and blogger. I love Chef LaLa Homemade's all natural, easy-to-use sauces and marinades. These sauces and marinades were crated by cookbook author and certified nutritionist, Chef LaLa, who has been at the forefront of the healthy revolution of Latin home cooking, the recipes are influenced by authentic Mexican culinary traditions yet packaged for simple, modern day convenience.

    They come in flavors like Orange Chipotle (amazing with chicken wings), Tequila Lime Cilantro (great for chicken and seafood), Carne Asada, and Fajitas Marinade. They're the perfect way to bring a little Latin spice into your kitchen or onto your grill during these late summer months.

    You’ll find Chef LaLa Homemade’s line of gourmet Latin specialty foods at select stores and through online retailers like MyBrands.com or MexGrocer.com. You can also follow Chef LaLa on Twitter (@cheflala) or check her out on FaceBook (www.facebook.com/ChefLaLaFan).

    UPDATE: This contest is now closed. Winner to be drawn on Monday!

    The package is a $75 value and includes:
    • Four Chef LaLa Homemade marinades 
    • A tortilla basket
    • An issue of Diabetic Living Magazine (includes a cover story on Chef LaLa, her family and several recipes)
    • Sauce Pan and Basting Brush Set 
    • $25 Visa gift card

    Here's how you enter:
    • Leave a SEPARATE comment on this post per entry
    • Tell me your favorite grilling recipe and/or marinade
    • Make sure I have a way to contact you if you are the winner by either 1) following me on Twitter @domdivas; 2) joining my mailing list here; or 3) sending your contact info to domesticdivasblog [at] gmail [dot] com
    • You can enter as many times as you want. More entries = more chances to win!
    • The winner's name will be chosen in a random drawing
    • The PR company for Chef LaLa Homemade will ship this giveaway within the USA
    • This giveaway will close on Friday August 10th at noon PST
    • The sooner you start entering, the sooner you can start grilling!

    Good luck and Happy Summer!