One sandwich I have never gotten around to liking is the chicken salad sandwich. Perhaps it’s because I was introduced to it at a deli counter. The mayonnaise was so plentiful that I could hardly taste the chicken. Since then I’ve stayed away from all chicken salads, and supermarket deli counter foods for that matter. Still searching for a quick meal last night I decided to attempt to make my own and thereby kill two birds with a single chicken breast: rescue the chicken salad from mayonnaise hell and make a week night meal in time for Anders and I to enjoy a date night (go see the movie Unstoppable). Both were handily accomplished.
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?
After a visit to the local 99c Market (Asian grocery store), we got inspired by their roasted ducks and decided to make a panini sandwich. We have to admit though, the duck was of pretty poor quality which ruined the sandwich once we ate it, but if we had had a decently home-roasted duck we both feel confident this would have been a great sandwich. We also partly made this because of Ujin, who at the time had been interviewing us for an article in a Chinese youth-magazine. Respectfully we named the sandwich after her.
The quintessential American sandwich is the hamburger. That despite the fact that in nearly a decade of living here, I have yet to see a burger made with ham. Anders and I have very little experience with making burgers but as the owners of this blog, and having adopted America as our home, we have to powerful reasons to address this deficiency. And what better day to do that than on the grilling day of the year – Fourth of July. I know, I know – I am six months late in posting this entry.
Leftover fajitas can be a wonderful thing ! 🙂
A fantastic sandwich, using the highly undervalued leek. That’s right. When is the last time YOU cooked with leeks? That’s what we thought. We made the rolls specifically for this sandwich, they have a center (which you can’t see on the photos) of pesto-infused dough. It was a grand experiment, but in reality they didn’t rise quite as expected. This was our best specimen of the lot.
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 😉
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.
While driving home from an exhausting day shopping for a new kitchen (who knew there were so many options for beveling), we passed Miami Grille. Well, we passed were it used to be before it went out of business. I guess Poway wasn’t the right place for a $15 sandwich place after all (and let’s not forget tax and tips!). Anyway, this gave us a sudden craving for a Cuban sandwiches, which as we neared our home faded into a craving for ‘something Cuban inspired.’
So, browsing the web for a couple of base sauces, we read them, ignored most, and invented our own. We made both a marinade and a dipping sauce, marinated the meat overnight, and put together this sandwich the next day. It was moist, tender, and awesomely garlicky. Love it.
The return of the 2009 Christmas ham is always joyful and filled with good memories. This time we unfroze a few slices for a sandwich, melt style (Meaning, lots of cheese on top). To meat-it-up, we also added some buffalo chicken from the local grocery store. Do you ever go through life, looking at the same thing over and over again, not really thinking about what it is, but still forming an opinion that sometimes turns into solid knowledge? This is the way I feel about Butterball buffalo chicken breast. I have seen it many times at the local grocery store, and never really given it a second glance. I knew, somehow, that this gigantic ball of chicken must be a chicken breast, after all that’s what it said on the package. Last week, I then decide to try it. As soon as I see the meat cut, I realize to my horror that obviously this is not a gigantic 10 pound chicken breast, but rather another conglomerate of pressed meats of unknown origin. I could have kicked myself, but the nice lady had sliced it already, so here it is.
While we do enjoy making falafels from scratch, it is a lot easier to buy them pre-made. So after an on-the-spur-of-the-moment shopping spree in the local grocery store, we found ourselves with a packet of falafels. They are quite acceptable in taste, a little wet in consistency (it’s not easy to preserve crunchiness after freezing), and overall a good experience. If you have fresh ones, by all means do use them, but for a Thursday sandwich without too much work involved, just get something like these. We find that falafel can be quite a nice change to a lot of dishes, such as salads or on sandwiches (like here).
Christmas Day we made Alton Brown’s Mighty Duck, since duck is a tradition in our family. Truth be said, we’re not sure if Alton’s recipe counts as a roasted or steamed duck, but we’re calling it roasted for now. This resulted in a delicious box of leftovers, which of course is perfect for sandwiches. So yesterday we baked ciabatta breads to celebrate the Mighty Duck.
‘Twas the eve before Christmas and all through the house, the smell of Jamaican Christmas ham was tempting my nose. Okay.. a poor attempt at a rhyme, but you get the message. We were starving and still had a few hours before the traditional Scandinavian Christmas (Eve) dinner. Scandinavian countries celebrate Christmas on the 24th while Jamaicans (like Americans) reserve our celebration for the 25th. To satisfy each of our cultural programming, we have two celebrations in our home- in effect, two Christmases. We spend Scandinavian Christmas with some dear friends with whom Anders is able to reconnect with his childhood memories and reserve Jamaican Christmas for the two of us. A necessary component of any Jamaican Christmas dinner is a slowly baked ham infused with the combined flavors of cloves, pineapple and brown sugar. It was a hit at last years Scandinavian dinner (go figure) so this year we decided to make it a staple. Yeah to cultural crossovers!
In the midst of the baking of the ham, we got hungry. So to satisfy the empty stomach, but not sacrifice too much space for the barrage of food that is Christmas dinner, we created this sandwich. A fresh ciabatta from Bread and Cie in Hillcrest forms the base, and is lightly warmed until the Spanish Valdeon cheese starts melting. We are always stacked up on smoked salmon from Costco. The sandwich turned truly international when we decided to add a hint of sweetness with a spoonful of tomato relish from Meyer’s (in Denmark). The combination of ingredients may seem surprising, but it was absolutely sublime. Hunger abated, we could now wait until dinner time.
The day before we made this sandwich, Wendie cooked an amazing pork tenderloin based on an Alton Brown recipe. It is perhaps the best tenderloin I’ve ever had. Having also recently visited a Chinese grocery store, we had a few king mushrooms in our refrigerator, so we thought they would go brilliantly with the pork. We chose the pecorino romano cheese to add a little saltiness, the vinaigrette dressing to make it a bit more moist. And so, one thing led to another, and we ended up with this fantastic sandwich. It’s messy to eat, but it really brings out the best in the leftover pork. Enjoy.
Wanting desperately to create something fantastic, our recent endeavors into the world of pasta-making inspired these two sandwiches. Well actually, it was perhaps one part inspiration and two parts madness (at least, according to Wendie). She thinks that this was a waste of perfectly good ravioli but I was not to be deterred on this quest. The sandwiches were both reasonably tolerable, but they were neither great nor amazing. However, in the interest of full disclosure, they do warrant a cautionary mention on the blog.
Perhaps some of you have ideas for improvements, or just need a extreme discouragement from taking this culinary road less travelled. In either case, I present the result of two days of making homemade pasta (an otherwise fantastic butternut squash reduction inside our own ravioli) that resulted in these two extra extra large raviolis on sandwiches.