There are occasions when my enthusiasm goes a bit overboard… This is one such occasion, where dinner turned into a monster sandwich. By the way, nerd moment; the top photo reminds me of the “alien” in the movie of the same name. Anyone see the resemblance?
The Belen Artisan Bakery is owned by José. It is located in Escondido a bit of the beaten path. They specialize in European artisan breads, and so naturally we went there only to find they made sandwiches. We had a roast beef sandwich on ciabatta bread, with avocado, tomato and olives. The bread was perfect; just a bit crunchy on the outside, thick, and fresh and spongy on the inside, and you could clearly taste the freshness that so many sandwiches lack. Service was speedy, and sitting outside on their little patio a delight, despite the odd location and nearby road.
How many ways can you make a smoked salmon sandwich? It turns out there are many – or so my search on Tastespotting revealed. Tastespotting is pure visual food pornography – some awesome photos of really great food with popularity driven by the online food community. We love it and have had a few of our own creations featured there. Sometimes I am just starved for inspiration. When we first started this ambitious blog, I thought coming up with 100 sandwiches would be itself an epic feat. Now as we approach the 200 sandwich mark, I marvel at some of the creations that we have come up with. Anders’ Big Bad Wolf Burger is one such marvel. As you can imagine, with this many sandwiches behind us, it becomes increasingly difficult to come up with a creative (and postable) sandwich. When those moments happen, I turn to the Internet. Today it was Draganabakes by way of a photo on Tastespotting. That recipe included a shallot mayonnaise. With the abundance of cilantro from my last run to the grocery store, I decided to whip up some cilantro mayonnaise instead.
A few weeks ago, we had a friend visiting for the weekend. He is a recent convert to the omnivore lifestyle – after over 30 years of a purely vegetarian diet. Food is nearly like a religion and each style has its adherents who hold to it with zeal and conviction that borders on fanaticism. So when our friend converted, we were so thrilled that he had chosen to walk the other side that we now consider it our mission to ensure that his forays into the omnivore lifestyle are rewarding enough to cement his place as a member of our growing sect 🙂 “Thou shalt not backslide”. Still, even with this new adventurous palate, his lifetime of preparing only vegetarian cuisine means that he is at a loss as to what to do when confronted with meat or fish. He does well enough when dining out, but at home he needs to prepare vegetarian cuisine if he is to eat at all.
When he visited, he remarked that our blog is woefully lacking in vegetarian style sandwiches that he could create at home. We have been remiss, and so have prepared this little sandwich in his honor. Subu, this one’s for you (more acts of repentance to follow).
Sometimes a man needs to be a man, and that’s when he makes “The Big Bad Wolf Burger“. Oh yeah, 1/2 pound of patty with basil, cilantro, oven roasted garlic and blue cheese chunks. What a great 4th of July celebration that was. Inspired by the moment, I topped it off with crispy hash browns and a jackfruit/avocado rough guacamole. I can’t even begin to tell you how good this burger is, but this is so far the best burger I’ve had in my life. The jackfruit guacamole sweetness perfectly blends with the spicy mayo, the juicy patty, and the crunchy hash browns. These are the times when I think back to all the missed opportunities of my childhood to celebrate with awesome burgers, the food of men 😉
Saturday: Wake up. Shower. Get Dressed. Breakfast now, NO, kitchen remodel. Drink milk, drive to Escondido. Get mulch and rosebushes, look at avocado tree. Back, unload, Costco. Gas, Bank, Home. Hungry, NO, kitchen remodel! What to do? This. Simple, good, easy, fast, out the door again…
Well our kitchen remodel is under way now, and today our old kitchen was reduced to rubble, and placed in a giant container outside the house. We are very excited to get the new one in about 4-6 weeks, and before the demilition began we had the sanity to make a few sandwiches and pizzas to keep things interesting while we await perfection. This weekend we shall attempt some sandwiches made entirely on our BBQ, and look forward to being creating. Until then, this is a little gem we made last week, falafel (great for sandwiches), with a nice homemade yogurt dressing. We hope you enjoy it.
Beets are, at least here in SoCal (Southern California) a much ignored root. I’ve heard countless locals sneer at the very mention of it, claiming it taste like soil, and wondering what in the world such a thing could be good for. Well, dear neighbors, here is a sandwich that the beet is perfect for. Make your own chicken salad, and cut a slice of pickled beet root on top, and it’s just fantastic. It add lots of color to an otherwise drab sandwich. By the way, we highly recommend not buying the pre-made cardboard chicken salads in the grocery store, when it’s so easy and cheap to make. It also tastes a lot better by the way. Interestingly, I have no recollection of my mother ever making any such thing, and the first time I even remember having a ‘chicken salad’ is buying one in a grocery store after moving to a dorm in college. I wonder what my mom did with all those chicken leftovers, come to think of it?
Roasted duck is a great treat, although the price for a duck in Poway is ridiculous. This is a sandwich we forgot to post dating all the way back to Christmas 2009. The cranberry relish was homemade, and just went perfect with the Spanish Valdeon cheese and the duck. For all you kids out there, it is very likely this was in fact Donald Duck. We’re sorry, we really are, we just couldn’t help ourselves (he was delicious).
After making our Costco Sandwiches (of which one is part of the March 2010 Costco Connection magazine), we still had some leftover corned beef coleslaw… And as the saying goes, “Naked Women Learn To Make Sandwiches and Trade for Clothes,” so we whipped up this little beaut. We love potato sandwiches, and we find that adding the cheese below the tomato changes the way the flavors hit the mouth when you bite into the sandwich. You are not immediately overwhelmed with cheese, but rather you have a chance to taste the potato before the coleslaw and cheese takes over. The pumpkin seeds in the coleslaw are fantastic by the way, and we’ve started to add pumpkin seeds to several of our sandwiches and pizzas with great success.
Combining something sweet with something spicy is an old tradition that has come back into fashion. It is no longer uncommon to see chili-infused chocolate in grocery stores, and the reason is of course that it works. We bought some amazing honey in Jamaica, which brings the best out in this great cheese, the Rembrandt extra aged Gouda. The smoked paprika takes it up a notch. The simple life.
There are so many ways one can use falafel to make sandwiches besides the traditional pita bread. Here we have combined it with Italian ciabatta bread because we love that, hot chili sauce because it’s traditional for at least the European Pita style, roasted garlic because it complements the falafel well and Italian Salsa Verde because it brings any food a little closer to food-nirvana (No seriously, add some to your next pizza, sandwich, paste, rice or potatoes and see for yourself). The salsa verde is very close to pesto, bu is a lot more lemony which adds a great flavor.
You may think this is an odd looking giant patty, and you would be right. But there is a reason of course; the patty is stuffed with feta cheese. So take a step back and say “woooa”, then re-evaluate your first impression. Quite frankly, we forgot to take a photo with a cross-cut, so someday we’re going to have to make this again. Until that happens you can always try it yourself, it’s gooood.
One of the best things you can do with potatoes is to make potato sandwiches. Simply boil the potatoes, let them cool, and get creative. Since potatoes a very subtle taste, this is a great opportunity to bring out your best toppings. A really good mayonnaise always complements potatoes nicely, and the fried onions brings a little crunch to the party. This is a classic Danish open faced sandwich (in Denmark they call it Smørrebrød), which any kid that goes to school can tell you.
When I was a kid I hated fish. My mother would cook cod and herring a lot, and I remember they were full of bones. Small tiny bones that just made it very uncomfortable to eat. In desperation, my mother promised to remove the bones, and offered me the equivalent of 10 cent for every bone I could find. She intended of course to make me believe her and eat the fish happily; knowing she would never offer such a prize unless she was absolutely certain there was no bones to be found. Instead, I started eating ever slower, trying to locate any bones I could. As it turns out, herring and cod has a lot of very small bones the likes and sheer numbers my mother would never have imagined. What followed were the inevitable negotiations over what constitutes a bone, what size a bone has, and so on. I believe my mother thought for a few years after that I would turn into a banker or a lawyer, because I ended up with quite a bit of extra pocket money before the rules was abruptly terminated and fish not served on my plate for a long time. I think I was pretty spoiled, but we always did have fun!
I still am not very fond of neither herring nor cod, but salmon and tuna are fantastic fish. In this sandwich creation, the freshness of the grapes brings out a tiny bit of crunch and a delicious moisture that enhance the taste of the smoked salmon. Dill seems to be made for the occasion, and the sauce is a mustard sauce you may be able to get in your local IKEA.