Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Easy Dinner Idea :: BBQ Burger Rolls

My brother and I were suuuuuuper picky as kids. We did not enjoy most of the dinners our poor mom served. But this dish I'm going to share with you was always a winner. My mom called it "the Crescent Roll Thing." She was not especially creative when it came to naming her dinners. She has another recipe called Chicken Blah, I kid you not.

Obviously my mom did not love to cook, but regardless, we ate at the table as a family every weeknight. My mom had a homemade dinner ready when my dad got home from work, and we all sat together; held hands while my dad prayed, and had dinner as a family. Its one of those things you take for granted as a kid, but when you grow up and have your own family you're like whoa, that was really awesome. Especially now that my dad is gone, I'm so grateful for the countless nights I sat at his left and held his hand while he prayed for us. I'm determined that my little family will experience such wonderful routines too.

OK, the recipe for goodness sake! While in my mind, I call this dish 'Crescent Roll Thing,' I think "BBQ Burger Roll" is more descriptive as regards the flavor and contents. This is an easy - four ingredient! - fairly inexpensive dinner that I guarantee your family will love, since even my pickiest eater not only enjoys it but goes back for seconds.

Here's what you need:

2 lb. ground beef
2 things of Pillsbury crescent roll dough (what are those even called? Tubes? Cans?)
BBQ sauce, to taste
shredded cheese, to taste

Note: 1 lb. of meat and 1 can of dough is plenty for a family of four if your kids are young, but we like to overeat and also have leftovers for lunches, so I double it. Just FYI.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees (or whatever your dough directions say).

Brown & drain the ground beef. Return the pan to the stove and turn the heat to low. Add enough BBQ sauce to the browned meat to make it nice & saucy - not TOO saucy, but just right, like this:

Someday I will learn how to take nice photos of food at night without a flash.
But as Aragorn so aptly said, "it is not this day!"
You can be flexible and add as much or as little sauce as your peeps like. We keep ours on the less saucy side to appease pickier palates. For reference, the bottle of BBQ sauce I had was 3/4 full; I used all of it and that was just right for two pounds of meat.

Now add the shredded cheese. Again, just enough to make it nice & cheesy, but not an overload, I'd say about 1/4 of a cup, but do what you like!

Yum. Now stir it in and let it sit for a minute while you get the dough ready. First, lightly spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Open one can of dough and unroll it onto a cutting board. Separate it into two long rectangles; pinch the seams together and push the dough around with your fingers so its spread out a bit:

Next, move your dough to the cookie sheet; re-pinch any holes, and spoon on the meat mixture:

There is usually a little bit leftover which is perfect for tossing into a salad or tortilla for somebody's lunch the next day.

Sprinkle some cheese on top ...

And then pop open your second canister of dough. I always laugh at the warning to point it away from your face while opening. There must be a housewife out there somewhere, sporting an eyepatch due to an unfortunate crescent roll dough incident.

Follow the same directions for the first can (spreading out on cutting board, pinching etc), then lay the rectangles on top of the cheesy meat mixture. Pull and stretch the dough so the top layer comes down to mostly cover the meat.

This is obviously not the prettiest or most gourmet dinner out there. It goes without saying, right? We're using canned dough, for heaven's sake. This is America, people.

Fold up the bottom layer of dough and pinch it with the top layer to seal off all the edges.

Now for the fun part - egg wash! I am a firm believer that "egg wash" takes a meal from ghetto to presentable. "The dough has an egg wash, you see. Very gourmet." Mix an egg with a teaspoon or two of water, and brush it over the top layer. Ooooh, shiny!

If you don't have a brush, fingers work just fine; that's what I used. Dribble & smear, dribble & smear.

Now pop your adorable doughy bundles into the oven for the time recommended on the dough canisters (I recommend the longest suggested time). Use that time to whip up a nice green salad and heat up a can of corn or steam some broccoli or something. Canned dough = you need vegetable sides.

Take your bundles out of the oven and marvel at the gorgeousness the egg wash created.

Slice and serve!

Make sure to be a really amateur blogger and get a big glob of Ranch dressing in your corn and not bother to fix it before photographing your dinner. This is definitely not the most photogenic meal, that's for sure. And my kitchen is NOT good for shooting flash-less food photos in the evening. But hey, what's better than a cheap, everyone's-happy meal? And remember ....