Sometimes we do crazy stuff to our sandwiches which doesn’t work out so well, like our infamous pasta-sandwich. If you don’t try it how would you know, right? This time we did crazy stuff, and it worked out wonderfully, although by any stretch of the imagination this sandwich should not have worked. Perhaps one really can’t do any evil with seared tuna….
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).
Living close to Mexico means there is a constant influx of great Mexican cuisine. Carne Asada is one of those things that are very popular in San Diego, and it is essentially a long slice of skirt of flank steak, usually marinated or rubbed, and then grilled. It is fantastic when done right. Wendie got us a couple of these steaks, and of course I had to go make a sandwich out of them. I opted to add some ‘green stuff’ from the local farmers market on the bread. We call it ‘green stuff’ because we don’t really know what it is, but the guy that sells it swears by it. It tastes a bit like spicy tabbouleh without the couscous. In any case, substitute with pesto and all shall be well. The greens on top are called “micro greens’ and are also from the farmers market. These taste very lemony, and I wish we had more precise name for them, but alas, ‘micro greens’ it is.
Last summer we went on vacation to Greece, to the island of Lesvos. We were prepared to taste amazing foods, local delicacies and great tasting salads. Our friends have told us enough stories about the Greek islands that we were rather excited to taste the cuisine. Honestly though, it was a bit of a letdown. The island seems to have gotten a bit ‘touristy’, and the food was usually bland. It wasn’t bad per se, it was just not very interesting. After two weeks eating all over the island, we did find a restaurant on the last day of our trip which was actually great, but that was the exception. Given the less-than-satisfying culinary experiences, we did find one simple dish we kept returning to; The greek salad. It is a salad with a simple dressing, topped with a gigantic block of feta cheese. We decided to combine this a little with the pan seared feta dish called saganaki. We roasted a slice of feta in the oven, and placed it on top of a simple salad on toast. The result was amazing, and here is the recipe.
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.
A typical Sloppy Joe consists of “ground beef, onions, sweetened tomato sauce or ketchup and other seasonings, served on a hamburger bun.” Well, we decided to make our own version of the Sloppy Joe, which we call the Sloppy Pope. We use a pandesal bun, a feta-beef-patty, and our own homemade chunky chili. To top if off and make it look real pretty, we add a little parsley. As for the name “sloppy pope?” Well, let’s just say it’s a long story…
Excited about the prospect of making paninis, and after holding out for a few weeks, we finally decided to get a panini press (well, Anders decided :-)). So down to the nearest Target and what do they have? Shelves up and down stacked with George Foreman grills. Now I didn’t grow up in the US so I don’t really know George Foreman, but he is certainly a very prolific grill maker. So, without a choice, we got a George Foreman grill which we put up next to Alessi wine bottle opener and the Georg Jensen beer bottle opener. After all, if you can’t name your kitchen equipment by name, how will you tell them apart?
Well, the grill is clearly no panini press. The bread barely got any of those distinctive grill stripes, despite a very long grilling session. It did taste great however, so we decided to add it to our growing sandwich collection anyway. You can’t argue with good food. However, we also decided it’s a borderline panini, hence the name.
When life gives you tomatoes, you make tomato salad, tomato pesto, roasted tomato soup, caprese salad… well you get my meaning. This has been a particularly bountiful year for tomatoes in the kitchen garden. This next recipe, although not a sandwich is a wonderful, refreshing accompaniment to your favorite sandwhich.