Meat

Hoisin Beef Kebobs

Hoisin Beef Kebobs  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m back with another favorite from the simplest healthy cookbook, Cook This, Not That! These Hoisin Beef Kebobs are tender, sweet and savory. Pieces of sirloin steak get alternated with mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and scallions before being glazed in a five ingredient sauce and grilled.

Hoisin Beef Kebobs  |  Lemon & Mocha

I love that the scallions get nicely charred while the cherry tomatoes burst, which brings the best flavor to the steak. These kebobs are a perfect dinner dish because the vegetables could be swapped out with so many other kinds of vegetables since the sauce is versatile and really would taste delicious with most veggies.

Hoisin Beef Kebobs  |  Lemon & Mocha

I usually serve these kebobs over rice, but they would also be great served with salad or alongside some more vegetables, like some grilled corn.

Hoisin Beef Kebobs  |  Lemon & Mocha

The most important thing to remember when you’re making this recipe is that the other vegetables can’t be taller than the cuts of steak – and that the cuts of steak need to be equal. Particularly if you are cooking on a grill pan, which is requiring direct heat, if you have one large mushroom or one large piece of beef, that other piece of steak won’t get cooked enough since it won’t be touching the grill pan. This is less important if you are using an actual grill.

Hoisin Beef Kebobs  |  Lemon & Mocha

If I’m making these in our grill pan, I actually usually grill the steak and vegetables individually in two batches since our grill pan isn’t long enough for the kebob sticks. Either way, Matt and I can’t get enough of the juicy bites of steak and glazed veggies!

Hoisin Beef Kebobs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Hoisin Beef Kebobs
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili sauce (I use Trader Joe’s green dragon sauce)
  • 16 ounces sirloin steak, cut into ¾-inch pieces
  • 20 small mushroom caps
  • 20 small cherry tomatoes
  • 8 scallion whites, sliced into ½-inch long pieces
  • 8 skewers (if wood, soaked in water for 5-10 minutes)
Directions
  1. Combine the hoisin, soy sauce, sesame oil and chili sauce. Divide between 2 small bowls and set aside.
  2. Skewer the steak, mushrooms, tomatoes and scallions, alternating between the meat and vegetables. Try to make sure the mushrooms aren’t larger than the steak pieces, and if the mushrooms are too big then cut them in half. Also make sure the vegetables aren’t pressed against the steak pieces to give the steak enough room to cook.
  3. Using one bowl of the sauce, brush the skewers with sauce and grill for 3-4 minutes per side, basting the other side with sauce before flipping. If you’re using a grill pan, lightly brush the pan with vegetable oil before grilling and grill over medium-high heat. Remove from the grill and brush with the sauce from the second reserved bowl before serving.

Recipe from Cook This, Not That!.
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Barbecue Meatloaf Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions

Barbecue Meatloaf Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions  |  Lemon & Mocha

Before I dive into these epic meatloaf sandwiches, I forgot to tell you all last week how the February cookbook recipe went! Matt and I made the Angel Hair Frittata from the Half Baked Harvest Cookbook. It was loaded with broccolini, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto. The flavor was really good and I think we’ll make it again, but we weren’t one hundred percent sold on the angel hair pasta in it. We love pasta and we wanted to be able to taste it more so since we couldn’t really taste it we might just make it without the pasta next time.

Barbecue Meatloaf Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions  |  Lemon & Mocha

Now, back to these Barbecue Meatloaf Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions. Matt’s birthday is tomorrow so I wanted to make him a special meal last week to celebrate. Yes, a week early because that’s what happens when you’re a food blogger! Matt loves meatloaf and while this meatloaf on its own is amazing I knew I needed to kick it up a notch to make it birthday meal worthy. Enter toasted bun, melted provolone cheese, fresh arugula and rich caramelized onions!

Barbecue Meatloaf Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions  |  Lemon & Mocha

These sandwiches ate like a burger except multiply the tender factor and the flavor level by at least ten. Trust me, it’s a scientific fact. The key to a tender meatloaf is making sure you have enough fat and enough moisture. I used 80% lean ground beef and added moisture with barbecue sauce, an egg, Dijon, and balsamic. To take it even further, I added bread that had been soaked in beef broth. If you add bread crumbs all they will do is take moisture away from the meat.

Barbecue Meatloaf Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions  |  Lemon & Mocha

To get an even richer flavor I added some sautéed mushrooms and onions. Raw veggies are great, but anytime you get a chance to sauté them it really brings out an unbeatable depth of flavor. Finally, cook the meatloaf low and slow freeform on a rimmed baking sheet so that all the barbecue sauce slathered sides get a chance to caramelize. Yum!

Barbecue Meatloaf Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions  |  Lemon & Mocha

Every time I’ve ever made meatloaf I’ve made it slightly differently because I’ve used whatever I have on hand in the fridge and I always add ingredients by feel. If the meatloaf is sticking to the bowl then it needs more liquid ingredients. Now that I finally wrote down a recipe I can recreate it exactly next time Matt says make that really good meatloaf again! I will definitely be making it for these sandwiches again because this has got to be the most ultimate way to eat meatloaf for dinner.

Barbecue Meatloaf Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions  |  Lemon & Mocha

Also, I normally dread taking photographs of burgers and sandwiches because they’re really hard to make look appetizing, but I’m so excited with how my photos came out and they’re really doing justice to these epic sandwiches! Enjoy!

Barbecue Meatloaf Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions  |  Lemon & Mocha

Barbecue Meatloaf Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions
 
Yield: 10 sandwiches
Ingredients
for the meatloaf
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ small onion, small diced
  • 4 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • Salt, pepper and Italian seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice bread (I used potato bread), torn into pieces
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce, divided
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds 80% lean ground beef
for the sandwiches
  • 4 medium onions, halved then sliced
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt
  • 10 kaiser or brioche buns, cut in half
  • 10 slices provolone cheese
  • Arugula, for topping
  • Barbecue sauce, for topping
Directions
for the meatloaf
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and mushrooms then season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Cook until tender and slightly caramelized, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Beat the egg in a large mixing bowl. Soak the bread pieces in the beef broth for a few minutes then add the soaked bread pieces to the mixing bowl; they will be really mushy. Add ½ cup barbecue sauce, balsamic vinegar, Dijon, garlic powder, salt and black pepper. Add the sautéed onions and mushrooms then mix everything together. Add the ground beef then use your hands to incorporate everything together, being sure not to over-mix (see note). It will come together more on the baking sheet. Scoop the meatloaf mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and form it into a long log, making it roughly the width of your kaiser buns, a couple inches high and then however long it needs to be. Mine was about 12-inches long. Cover the outside of the meatloaf completely with the remaining ½ cup of barbecue sauce.
  4. Bake until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 1 hour and 5-10 minutes. Let it rest for a couple minutes before taking the temperature of the meatloaf. Once it’s 165 degrees F, let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
for the sandwiches
  1. Caramelize the onions. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion slices then toss to coat. Season with salt. Cook the onions, stirring every few minutes for 35-40 minutes. Towards the last 20 minutes if they start getting burnt in spots add a little more water (no more than a tablespoon at a time). If you want them really caramelized, you can continue cooking for an additional 10 minutes, but you will want to stir very frequently to make sure they don’t burn. Remove from the heat when done.
  2. Toast the buns. If desired, brush the tops of the buns with an egg wash (1 beaten egg with 1 tablespoon water) then top with poppy seeds and dried onion flakes before toasting.
  3. Melt the provolone over the meatloaf slices then place on the toasted burger buns along with some caramelized onions, arugula and barbecue sauce.
Notes
I recommend using one of the following methods to help keep the meatloaf mixture from sticking to your hands (because you’re able to better incorporate everything without over-mixing if you use your hands): coating your hands with cold water, lightly coating your hands with olive oil or using disposable gloves.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral if you purchase something. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Slow Cooker Short Ribs

Slow Cooker Short Ribs  |  Lemon & Mocha

This is a decadent, belly-warming, curl-up-on-the-couch-afterwards dinner. Isn’t that the epitome of a fall and winter meal?

Slow Cooker Short Ribs  |  Lemon & Mocha

These Slow Cooker Short Ribs are full of rich flavor and tender meat. It literally falls off the bone and there’s no knives required for eating this dish. I feel like I don’t use my slow cooker nearly enough, but it is perfect for these short ribs.

Slow Cooker Short Ribs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Short ribs are unapologetically rich so I fully embraced it and added crispy pork belly as well. If you’ve never had pork belly, it’s basically bacon before it has been cured and smoked. Like bacon, it gives off grease while it cooks, which we will be using to sauté the mushrooms, onions, carrots and garlic. Yes, you read that correctly, and no, we won’t be apologizing for it because it’s so delicious. The other reason I used pork belly is because it is a very inexpensive cut of meat; opposite of short ribs, which are definitely pricey. I used the pork belly and the mushrooms to help us stretch our meal out.

Slow Cooker Short Ribs  |  Lemon & Mocha

If the thought of using pork belly makes you nervous you could substitute in some slab bacon or even pancetta, although I’ve never tried it with pancetta so I’m not sure how much that would change the flavor profile. Short ribs are a pricier cut of meat so I usually make it for special occasions, such as Christmas dinner, but it is also one of Matt’s favorite dishes so a couple times a winter I’ll make it to treat ourselves.

Slow Cooker Short Ribs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Since it’s a heavier entree I like to serve it with cauliflower mashed potatoes to help balance the meal. Find that recipe here!

Slow Cooker Short Ribs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Slow Cooker Short Ribs
 
Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2½ pounds bone-in short ribs or 1½ pounds boneless short ribs (see note)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ pound pork belly slices, cut into small pieces
  • 5 ounces whole cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • ½ onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 4 medium carrots, ends removed, scrubbed and cut into 1” pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley or 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2½ tablespoons water
Directions
  1. Season the short ribs all over with the salt and pepper, pressing into the meat as needed.
  2. In a large high-sided skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Brown the short ribs on all sides then place in the bottom of a slow cooker. Carefully wipe any excess oil from the skillet.
  3. Heat the skillet to medium-high and add the pieces of pork belly. Cook until browned, stirring occasionally, being cautious about any popping grease. Add the mushrooms, onion, carrots and garlic. Cook until lightly browned then add the contents of the skillet to the slow cooker. Add the beef broth, tomato paste, parsley and bay leaf to the slow cooker. Stir then slow cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. When the meat is tender, discard the bones and bay leaf. Then move the meat and veggies to a serving bowl leaving just the juices in the slow cooker. Keep the contents of the serving bowl warm. If there’s a lot of excess fat on the meat, place the fatty piece of beef on a cutting board and use a knife or fork to shred the meat away from the fat. Discard the fat and return the meat to the serving bowl.
  5. Skim the fat off the juices in the slow cooker. Transfer the juices to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water. Add to the boiling juices and let cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve the sauce with the short ribs and vegetables.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

Loco Moco Tacos

Loco Moco Tacos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Loco Moco Tacos! The name just sounds fun and I promise you it’s super tasty as well. Traditionally, loco moco is a Hawaiian comfort food dish composed of white rice, a ground beef patty, a fried egg and gravy. This version stays pretty true to the classic except we’re swapping out the brown gravy for a quick homemade teriyaki sauce.

Loco Moco Tacos  |  Lemon & Mocha

In the fall of 2016, Matt and I went to California for our one year anniversary. On our way from Los Angeles to Anaheim we went to the Venice and Santa Monica beaches for the day. I scoped out all the food ahead of time so we went right to Komodo in Venice, which is an Asian fusion restaurant known for their tacos and burritos. I ordered a few different tacos and one of them was their loco moco taco – and of course I got a picture.

201610181lemonandmocha

All of the tacos were really good, but there was something about the loco moco taco that had me thinking about it even two years later. I can definitely see why it’s considered comfort food; the combination is so simple, but it feels familiar and decadent.

Loco Moco Tacos  |  Lemon & Mocha

The teriyaki sauce is salty, sweet and sticky, which goes really well over the mini beef burgers and steamed white rice.

Loco Moco Tacos  |  Lemon & Mocha

The best part is when the runny yolk drips down and smothers everything with richness. Actually, the best part is that the whole thing is a taco! Comfort food wrapped up in a warm tortilla – perfect for Taco Tuesday!

Loco Moco Tacos  |  Lemon & Mocha

I still want to try the original version of loco moco with the gravy, but for now I’m definitely into this teriyaki loaded taco. Have you ever had loco moco?

Loco Moco Tacos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Loco Moco Tacos
 
Yield: 4 servings, 8 mini tacos
Ingredients
for the teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
for the tacos
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup minced onion
  • 1 pound ground beef (80% or 85% lean)
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • 8 eggs
  • 8 6-inch flour or corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
for the teriyaki sauce
  1. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water until the cornstarch dissolves. Set aside.
  2. Heat the ½ cup water, soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, garlic powder and ginger powder in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until combined. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and continue to whisk and cook until the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat.
for the tacos
  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion until soft and translucent. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sautéed onions and ground beef. Form the mixture into 8 mini same-sized patties. Press a small thumb impression into the center of each, this keeps the patties from bulging in the middle when you cook them, then season both sides of each patty with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat your skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the patties for 3 minutes, flip, then cook for another 4 minutes, or longer based on desired doneness. Bobby Flay recommends an internal temperature of 145 degrees F for a perfect burger., which comes out medium, although the USDA recommends 160 degrees F for ground beef. We always follow Bobby Flay’s recommendation, but cook to whatever temperature you prefer or are comfortable with.
  4. Time to make the sunny side up fried eggs. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Crack the eggs into the pan when it’s hot; I would recommend doing no more than 4 at a time. Season with salt and pepper. Let cook just until the whites are set then remove from the pan. If desired, use a round biscuit cutter or cookie cutter to make the fried eggs into little rounds for your tacos.
  5. Taco assembly time! Spoon some steamed white rice, about 2 tablespoons onto your warmed tortilla. Top with a cooked mini burger patty, followed by a drizzle of teriyaki sauce and some sliced scallions. Repeat, eat, enjoy!

 

Pizza Hot Dogs

Pizza Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Okay, okay, I know I’m killing you over here with all the hot dogs and pizza, but hear me out! I had the amazing idea for the Elote Hot Dogs. I made them and they were everything I could have imagined. We gobbled them up and everyone was happy. Then I looked in the fridge and saw all the leftover ingredients from the elote and I thought – ah ha! Elote Pizza would be epic! So I made Elote Pizza, it was delicious, we gobbled it up, everyone was happy, yaddy yaddy yada. Then I had a problem because I had leftover hot dogs and leftover pizza ingredients, also known as shredded mozzarella, which to me means pizza, so I had to come up with something to use them both up. I had to! The leftovers made me do it!

Pizza Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

I am so happy I did because otherwise I might have never discovered how – insert explicit word here – delicious Pizza Hot Dogs are. Hot Dogs are a summer guilty pleasure and pizza is just plain amazing all the time so together is like something straight out of your food fantasies. The hot dog is smothered in marinara sauce and gooey melted mozzarella.

Pizza Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

If that wasn’t enough, the tricked up potato buns are on a whole other level. I love potato rolls because they’re buttery and a little sweet. I brushed the tops of the buns with a combination of melted butter, freshly grated Parmesan, chopped parsley and garlic powder before broiling them until toasty. Basically, giving the bun a whole garlic bread quality that is out of this world.

Pizza Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt and I quickly decided that every time we consume a hot dog it needs to be on these buttery, cheesy, garlicky rolls. We also decided that we can’t eat another hot dog for like three years and I’m never allowed to make so many hot dogs and pizza recipes in one week ever again.

Pizza Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Now I’m going to share something equally delicious with you on Friday and when you see it, before you yell at me, just keep in mind that I made and photographed the whole elote – hot dog – pizza trio months ago and I just made Friday’s up-coming post the other week. So my advice to you is to ABSOLUTELY, DEFINITELY make these Pizza Hot Dogs as soon as possible! Unless you just made the Elote Hot Dogs or the Elote Pizza, in which case my advice is wait a couple weeks then ABSOLUTELY, DEFINITELY make these Pizza Hot Dogs. Enjoy!

Pizza Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Pizza Hot Dogs
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup marinara sauce
  • 4 hot dogs
  • 4 long potato rolls
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves, plus more for topping
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅔ cup shredded mozzarella
Directions
  1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the marinara sauce and hot dogs until both are warmed through. Set aside.
  2. While the hot dogs and sauce are getting warmed up, prepare the buns. Place the potato rolls upright as if you were about the put the hot dog in them on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  3. n a small bowl, combine the melted butter, Parmesan, chopped parsley and garlic powder. Generously brush this mixture over the tops of the potato rolls. Place a warmed hot dog in each bun and top with the marinara sauce. Divide the mozzarella between the 4 hot dogs, sprinkling right on top of the sauce. Broil the hot dogs until the cheese is melted and the tops of the buns are golden. Top with more parsley, if desired, and eat warm.