Beef Sliders

What you will need:

  • ½ lb. 80/20 ground sirloin
  • ½ lb. ground pork
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese. (I like Tillamook)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 4 dill Pickle spears
  • Lettuce
  • 1 small tomato
  • 8 small French or Rustic Rolls

Prepare the Sliders:

Take the ground sirloin, ground pork, garlic, a drizzle of EVOO, and a dash of salt and pepper and mix them well in a bowl. Do not mash the meat together you want it to be loose.

 Next you will want to make the patties. To do so you will take a palm size amount of the meat mixture and loosely roll them into a golf ball size ball.

 *Caveman Tip:  Do not over press your patties, you want them to be loose inside with little pockets of air, if you over press your patties the meat tends to be tougher.

Prepare the Grill:

**Caveman Tip:  I prefer to cook my beef sliders over a griddle as opposed to the open BBQ.  To me, the meat tends to be juicier and have more flavor. I also like to preseason the griddle with a little bacon fat before cooking the sliders, which works perfectly because we will use the bacon on our burgers.

Once the grill gets good and hot place your sliders on the grill. **Caveman Tip:  Immediately use your spatula to flatten then out, you don’t want to flatten them out once it starts cooking because you will squeeze out the juices. Remember do not over press them though, leave them loose.

The beef sliders are small so they will only take a couple minutes per side so watch them. As soon as one side has started to sear, give them a flip. At this point you are going to want to add the cheddar cheese to the top and put your buns on the grill to warm them up and give them a little crunch.

**Caveman Tip:  I prefer to use shredded cheese on my burgers and sliders, the cheese melts quicker and it just tastes better if you ask me.

 Close the lid on your BBQ and let them finish cooking and allow the cheese to melt. Like I mentioned above these sliders are small so they will cook fast.

When they are done pull them from the grill along with the toasted buns and get ready for goodness.

I like to add a little lettuce, sliced tomato and sliced dill pickle to my sliders. Just layer them on in order. Apply your favorite condiment and you are ready to go!

Enjoy!

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Tuttu Santii

Restaurant Reviews By: Cavewoman

Restaurant:  Tutti Santi

Location:  Gilbert, AZ,  on corner stop

Day & time visited: Friday night, 6pm

Reservations:  Not needed.

 

 

It was my turn to pick the restaurant so I chose, Tutti Santi.  I had passed it several times on my way to the gym and it appeared to be local and I like to support local restaurants.  Caveman and I had read reviews on this place and sort of had a mixed bag going in.  We heard negatives like it was way too expensive and the food was mediocre and then positives like the service and food was great!!! So, we decided to see for ourselves.  Just so you know – My Caveman makes the best marinara sauce known to man – it’s homemade and fabulous, so we will never order marinara “out and about”….just something we know about ourselves to be true…This makes the “Italian restaurant” feat a little more challenging.

I dressed cute – turquoise jeans, and a black tanktop, and Caveman wore a nice button down shirt with jeans. We set out on our ‘date night’.  We got to Tutti Santi around 6pm on a Friday night and there was zero wait!  We went inside and were immediately seated by the host.  We were instantly impressed with the totally white décor they had chosen for the inside.   They had white curtains draping elegantly over the windows in the dining area, as well as old fashioned family pictures, and old world paintings.  The chandeliers were gorgeous and complimented the dining area, giving it lots of character inside. Definitely looks better inside than roadside.  The most confusing part of this first impression was the apparent sophistication around the restaurant …and then you look into the bar, and the TV was playing an NFL replay!?? What? It was the Jets no less and it just didn’t seem to fit the pleasant décor….

Time for drinks!!!  I liked the wine menu, as red wine sounded fabulous….. I order the Alamos Argentine Malbec, about $7 a glass.  My man opted for a greyhound (not a wine guy) vodka and grapefruit juice – which tasted great and ran about $6 a glass. Our service was prompt and confident, which we both appreciate. I did notice they were confused on the proper wine glass selection as they served my red wine in a white wine glass.  Upon delivering our drinks, our waiter instantly described the “specials” which included an appetizer and 2 different entrees. He sold Caveman on the spot by the sounds of ‘that one special.’  Before our waiter let us have another minute to decide on food, he served us a basket filled with Italian bread & butter all wrapped in a white cloth.  But this was not just ordinary butter.  This butter had the slightest hint of something blended into it.  Not an outstanding amount though, as it took us a minute to figure out what seasoning was enhancing this butter.  And then it came to us….. Rosemary! Just the tiniest dash of rosemary was blended into the butter and we liked it.  Something nice to munch on with the drinks.

Now, let’s get to appetizers.   We ordered the Carpaccio di Bue which comprised of thinly sliced raw pieces of filet mignon, covered in capers with basil and extra virgin olive oil on the plate.  It came presented with provolone cheese slices on the side and a diced tomato mixture to top it off.  So, we started gathering each component and gave it a taste. Wow!  The meat slices were well seasoned and practically melted in my mouth.  Add the tomato mixture and a slice of cheese – talk about balance!  The salty taste of the cheese paired very nicely with the filet and tomatoes and capers really made my palate dance. We found ourselves enjoying every single bite of the Carpaccio di Bue.  Worth every penny of the $15.95 price, and we would order it again.  As we’re sitting enjoying this delightful appetizer, Caveman and I begin looking around when we saw an old Brick Style Pizza Oven that appeared to be out of commission…  We asked our waiter “Why, (oh why) is that pizza oven out of commission?! Why would you let that happen in an Italian joint?”  He simply replied they tried making it work, but he wasn’t sure the latest status.  **Special Note: We hope they bring that pizza oven back to life!**

Almost time for dinner, but before I get to that, we had our pre-dinner accompaniments.  Caveman had the minestrone
soup and I got a salad.  The minestrone was colorful and chunky, with a liquid base that was not too creamy.  The flavor was missing salt, so we had to add a couple spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to make it taste better.  The biggest “no-no” of all was that it was brought to the table lukewarm!  Too cold for soup and very sad for us.

The salad was very basic, both in presentation and taste.  It had roma tomatoes, lots of greenery, but was too large for a dinner salad.  The balsamic vinegar dressing was a house combination and tasted good, but overall it was just average.  We recommend some additional color on the plate for the salad (onions or olives) and some croutons or something similar to give us the crunch that was missing.   At this point…we are hoping the entrees taste more like the appetizer. The funniest part of all…Caveman and I ended up switching, my salad for his soup!  Give me soup any day!!  But – I will say – I need it hot.

We needed another drink.  We asked, and very quickly – we received another Greyhound and Malbec.  Hey – this time the Malbec was in a red wine glass!! Did that bartender read my thoughts?  Very attentive service by our waiter…always important when it comes to drinks!

Time for dinner. I ordered the Agnello Dorato which was lamb shank braised in lamb vegetable stock and served over a bed of risotto alla millanese. It was priced at $25.95, so I had high expectations.  Plus, I had to get the lamb shank because this particular dish was like nothing I’ve ever ordered at an Italian Ristorante, so I wanted to see what Tutti Santi had to offer.  As it came to the table, I will say that the portion of Lamb Shank was huge!  The lamb was braised properly and proved to be extremely tender as it fell apart using only my fork.  The sauce tasted good, but 2 things I caution when ordering this dish:  One, there was entirely too much sauce on my plate which drowned out the taste of the risotto completely; and two, the Agnello Dorato was lacking salt.  This opinion is coming from a Cavewoman who never adds salt to any dish she is served.  However, at Tutti Santi, the Agnello Dorato needed salt!  For $25.95, nothing I order should need salt.  It is unfortunate that I cannot say too much about the risotto because it tasted like the millanese sauce that covered all the food on the plate, and I believe we mentioned the need for salt. The Italian Lamb Shank and Risotto combination can be best described as “comfort food.”  We all like it and at times, it’s needed…but it was nothing like Cavemom makes.

Remember that special from earlier that sold Caveman on the spot??  We believe they call this the “Chicken Special” and we can tell you that it was a boneless chicken breast, egg-washed, and then covered and stuffed with prosciutto, topped with gourmet cheeses and covered in a marsala mushroom sauce, served over Julian Vegetables and it ran for $22.95.   The chicken came to the table and the presentation was respectable.  Caveman started to dig in and noticed a couple of things.  First off – the vegetables were cold and were not seasoned!!  I know it’s a side dish, but side dishes still need to taste good!!  And be up to temperature, to that point.  What an important impression, especially after serving him cold soup earlier…

The chicken had a crispy exterior, but was bland in flavor.  The prosciutto stuffing made the chicken dry and it was also overcooked so that made it a tough, like chicken jerky.  While we were unimpressed with the chicken (I was definitely liking my lamb dish after trying the chicken special), we have to say the marsala sauce made the dish!  The sauce was seasoned very well and had a wonderful mushroom gravy flavor, but also the right consistency for a sauce.  We really enjoyed the essence of what the sauce did to the chicken and it helped raise the dish to a more suitable level.  To sum it up – the chicken lacked seasoning and was dried out, but the sauce saved the dish and made it edible.  We also feel the vegetables did absolutely nothing to compliment the meal and we want to remind Tutti Santi that food should always be served at a desirable temperature.  **at this time, we both have our forks in the lamb shank because it completely outweighed the presentation of ‘chicken special’**

As we were finishing dinner, I decided to stop at the restroom, and that’s when I saw this magnificent Mary Magdalene painting!  I had to stop and stare because it was completely awesome!  The décor continued to impress us and we liked the atmosphere in every corner.

Still wanting to satisfy that special something we were missing from this date night dinner, we wanted to continue on the mission of ‘trying something different.’ So, we decided to order a slice of the Mascarpone Cheesecake.  It came sensibly portioned, not too big, not too small, and it was drizzled in a lovely raspberry sauce.  Still, if you’re anything like me – raspberry sauce is not my first choice, so maybe ask prior to doing so or play it safe, and put it on the side.  Nevertheless, I was a trooper and do feel it added to the dessert.  The cake was served cold which we appreciated, but we noticed it was not real rich in flavor.  It was actually more creamy than New York Cheesecake…for those of you who have not tried this type.  We would have loved to relish more crunch from the crust to help break up the creaminess.  The texture was too smooth, and that much needed crunch in the crust could have helped to break up the monogamy on my palate. Altogether, it was kind of a boring dessert.

As the evening came to an end, we decided we really did like the artwork and overall mood of this restaurant.  They did a fine job delivering a decadent ambiance, but we just wish the food would have compared in the same ballpark as the price we paid.  Our base bill ended up at $115.94 and that was without the generous tip we added. (due to the incredible service)

On a scale of 1-10, 1 being poor, 5 being mediocre, and 10 being the best experience I can describe, here is how I rate the following for Tutti Santi:

 

Atmosphere – 8     Service -9     Appetizers- 7     Food-4     Drinks -7

Touchdown Guacamole

What you will need:

  • 4 Small Avocados, Pitted
  • 1 Small Red Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Small Vine Ripe Tomato, Chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 2 Tbsp. Cilantro, Chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Dash of cumin

Prepare and assemble:

Combine all the above ingredients in order. 

 Caveman Tip*** I like to use a fork to make this because  I like a chunky consistency and not smooth and creamy

Taste and add salt and pepper as needed

I like to put the guacamole in Tupperware and seal it tightly, then put it in fridge so the ingredients can ‘marry’ together.

This goes great with my asada tacos, or just as a nice refreshing dip.

Cheesy Potato Goodness

What you will need:

  • 4-6 Russet Potatoes Sliced (quartered and sliced thin)
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 small cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp. Dried Parsley
  • ¼ Cup Fresh Parsley
  • ½ block Velveeta Cheese
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1 tsp. cayenne (optional)
  • Salt & Pepper

Prepare:

In a 10” skillet, melt the butter, EVOO and garlic over low heat.

Slice your potatoes thin so they cook well and are easy to eat.  This is a potato pie but you do not want your potatoes to be too big.  **Caveman Tip:  If pre-slicing your potatoes, store them in water until you’re ready to use them so they don’t turn brown.

**Caveman Tip:  Put your ½ block of Velveeta Cheese in the freezer at this time.  This makes it firmer and easier to cut later.  Trust me on this one. Also I am not a big fan on wasting things so I used the other half of the block to make a chili con queso dip for football Sunday.

Combine and Cook:

Turn the heat of your skillet up to medium and add your potatoes.  Season them liberally with salt and pepper, and then add in your dried parsley.  Give it a good stir, and put the lid on to let it all cook.   You want the potatoes to get soft, so continue to let it cook with the lid on, stirring occasionally.  Taste your food and add Salt & Pepper as needed.

**Caveman Tip:  I like to add in a dash of cayenne pepper at this point, it  gives it that extra bit of punch.

Take your block of Velveeta Cheese out of the freezer and slice the cheese it into ¼” thick slices.

In a separate bowl, crack all 12 of your eggs, add a pinch of salt and pepper and then whisk until they are blended.

Once your potatoes are soft and cooked, pour your egg mixture into the skillet over the potatoes and turn the heat to medium low. With the lid on, cook for a few minutes, you want the eggs to start setting up in the bottom of the pan. When they start to set flip your egg and potato mixture over from bottom to top.  (Kind of like an omelet) Your mixture will still be runny, but that is okay, you should have eggs that are semi cooked on the top.

Once you have flipped the entire mixture, place the cheese slices onto potatoes until the mixture is covered completely.  Cover again with the lid and let it cook for 10-15 minutes under medium low heat.

Now would be a good time to heat up the grill for Caveman’s Lemon Pepper Chops…!!

Once the cheese is completely melted, remove from heat, pull the lid and let it firm up.  We want to be able to cut into mixture, without the cheese melting inside.  We want it firm like a pie.

Sprinkle with some fresh parsley, Slice and serve!!

Enjoy! This will be your kids favorite.

Caveman Stroganoff

What you will need:

  • 1 ½lbs. steak, thin cut
  • 12 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 tbsp. butter
  • Salt & Pepper
  • ½ tsp. dried tarragon
  • 2 tbsp. white flour
  • 2 medium yellow onions, sliced
  • Beef stock (½ cup)
  • 1½ cup sour cream
  • 3 cups egg noodles
  • ½ Cup Fresh Parsley

Prepare Beef:

Thinly slice the beef into 2”x ¼” strips.  Put them into a bowl and season with a generous amount of salt and pepper. You be the judge on how much to use depending on your taste.

Next you will lightly dust the steak strips with the flour.

Prepare Noodles:

Get a large stock pot ready with salted water. I use about 1-2 tablespoons depending on the size of the pot. The water should taste mildly salty.

Caveman Tip*** When I am cooking a meal that requires pasta, I like to get the water ready under medium to medium high heat. If it starts to boil and reduce you can always add more water to the pot. This allows me to just turn up the heat and cook the pasta without having to wait for the water to get to a boil and it greatly reduces the time it takes to cook the pasta. It can be troublesome to time your food so this just helps me.  You always want to try and take your pasta straight from the boiling water to your sauce, just a quick strain, never rinse your pasta.

Cook:

Melt 4 tbsp. butter in a large skillet on medium high heat.  Lay the steaks in the pan and quickly brown them on both sides.

**Caveman Tip:  Do not overcrowd the pan. It’s important to leave space between your beef strips, overcrowding the pan will cause the temperature to reduce and you will not get that good sear, instead the meat will start boiling in its own juices.   If you have to cook the beef in a couple rounds, that’s okay, just add a little more butter or EVOO as necessary.

**Caveman Tip:  Do not overcook the meat, they are small strips and will cook quickly, also remember that they will continue to cook when you pull them from the pan. So remember only a minute or so per side, just enough to get a good sear.

Repeat technique until all the beef is cooked.  Your kitchen will be smelling good at this point!

Now remove the steak from the pan and set aside.

**Caveman tip: Do not remove the goodness from the beef pan. We want to use those flavors to carry into the next step.

 After you cook the steak, reduce the heat to medium, there should be some butter or EVOO still in the pan if not add a tbls of EVOO and add the onions to the same pan.

Add a pinch of salt to the onions and stir the goodness from the pan into the onions.   Next add a tsp. of flour and sauté until the onions are soft and almost caramelized.  If the liquid in the pan gets completely absorbed or the onions become dry and start to burn add a tablespoons of beef stock.

Once the onions are ready, add your mushrooms to the mixture followed by a pinch of salt. Let the mushrooms get soft and then add ¼ cup beef stock and the tarragon.  Now increase your heat to medium high and get the mixture to a rolling boil.  Now add your beef back into the mix.  You will want to stir continuously, moving all the ingredients around.  Once its boiling you will want to reduce the heat to medium. You will want to simmer the mixture until the liquid reduces by half.

**Caveman Tip:  Taste your liquid.  You may need to add salt, but you be the judge.  I can’t say this enough, but you have to always taste your food, start to finish. This way you can adjust ingredients as needed.

Now would be a good time to add your noodles to the boiling water.  (Cook as directed on the package)

The noodles should only take a few minutes since your water is almost boiling already.

**Caveman Tip:  You always want to cook your noodles al dente, this means soft but still has a little bite to it. Remember the noodles will continue to cook when you pull them from the water and you want them to finish cooking and absorb that awesome sauce you just made.

Once the sauce has reduced by half and it tastes to your liking add 1 ½ cups of sour cream to your stroganoff mixture this will help thicken it up and add that creamy texture.  You will now reduce the heat to medium low and when your noodles are ready give them a quick strain add them into your mixture. Now turn the heat back up to medium and stir them in for a minute or so, this will allow the noodles to finish cooking and bring everything together.

All you need to do now is top will a little fresh parsley and you’re ready to go!