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Chicken Salad with Grapes

2 Jul

chicken salad

Believe it or not, this was my first time making chicken salad. I know. Weird. But I’d eaten chicken salad similar to this many times so I knew what I was looking for in a recipe. Grapes have always been a favorite so I sought out a recipe that included them. This one is a definite winner. I actually made this to take for lunches on a family trip and it worked out perfectly. I used a rotisserie chicken and ended up with enough chicken for a double recipe. I also used regular mayo in place of the Miracle Whip because that stuff is gross. The result was a flavorful, refreshing, tasty meal that had us coming back for seconds. I served it with iceberg lettuce on whole wheat tortillas and it was perfect. I highly recommend the whole wheat tortillas in this case because they add a nutty flavor that pairs well with the salad. I can’t wait to make this again. Such a lovely summer meal!

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Best Ever Slow-Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

23 Jan

bbq pulled pork

I’m always a little disappointed by pulled pork because it never quite has as much flavor as I’d like. But, I hadn’t tried a new recipe for a while and was unable to resist this one because it just looked so darn delicious. It was incredibly easy to make… just slice a couple onions (and/or fennel if you’ve got it) and rub a spice mixture on the pork roast. Ten hours later and you’ve got perfection.

I’m so glad I took Vanessa’s advice and made a simple coleslaw to go on the sandwich along with the pork. It really took these over the top. I made mine the lazy way and combined some store-bought bagged cabbage mix (by the other bagged greens and salads) with some store-bough coleslaw dressing. I used Hidden Valley brand and it was great. Oh I also used a spicy bbq sauce (KC Masterpiece Hot & Spicy) on my pulled pork because I like a bit of heat. I even went the extra mile and plopped some canned baked beans on my plate. Side dish! HA! By the way, if you aren’t a follower of Vanessa’s blog, you should be. I swear I end up making and loving just about every recipe she posts. I think our taste buds were separated at birth.

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Salsa Verde Turkey Burgers with Avocado Aioli

1 Nov

It seems like aioli is all the rage these days, and although I didn’t know exactly what it was (or how to pronounce it), I figured some type of avocado sauce on a burger couldn’t be bad. And I was right! These burgers were extremely messy to eat (think Carl’s Jr. commercial), but tasted fabulous. A pretty dang healthy option if you’re craving a burger, especially if you use sandwich thins like I did. Another winner for the week!

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Meatless Muffaletta Panini

9 Sep

This week I broke out my Rachael Ray cookbook. While I’m not a huge fan of Rachael and her many signature cutesy words (sammies, evoo), her recipes are generally pretty good. I decided to try out this recipe just for the fact that I love regular muffaletta sandwiches and figured this meatless version would be equally delicious. My instincts served me well as both Seth and I really liked these. For the record, I used some large white rolls instead of the Kaisers (like I know what those are) and only one piece of cheese… but feel free to follow the recipe as written.

 

  • 2 handfuls of good-quality pitted green and black olives
  • 1 cup giardiniera (pickled cauliflower, carrot, and hot pepper mix), drained
  • 4 sesame or cornmeal kaiser rolls, split
  • 8 deli slices sharp Provolone cheese
  • 1 (15-ounce) can artichoke hearts in water, drained and thinly sliced
  • 2 roasted red peppers, drained and thinly sliced
  1. Preheat a griddle or a grill pan over medium-high heat, or prepare a Panini press (I used the George Forman grill).
  2. Place the olives and pickled veggies in a food processor and pulse or chop them into a relish. Divide the relish among the bottom halves of the sandwich rolls and top it with a single slice of cheese. Layer the sliced artichokes and the peppers onto the cheese, then add another slice of Provolone to each sandwich and press the tops in place.
  3. Place the sandwiches on the griddle or grill pan and press them with a heavy skillet weighted down with cans, or place them in the Panini press. Press the sandwiches for a few minutes on each side, then cut into halves and serve.

4 servings

From: Rachael Ray 2, 4, 6, 8: Great Meals for Couples or Crowds

 

Karen’s Big-Ass Sandwich

1 Sep

Ok so I know this sort of doesn’t really count as a “recipe” per se, but dammit, it’s one of my specialties and it tastes really good, so hear me out. You ever have one of those occasions where you’ve got a crowd coming over and it’s lunch time and it’s too hot to cook and even if it weren’t you don’t feel like making a huge meal? Yeah. This sandwich is for those times. The awesome thing is, anybody who sees this gigantic sandwich is gonna be impressed. Even more so when they eat it. And I guess you could get all fancy and make potato salad or something to go with it (if you’ve got the extra time and motivation), but I’ve found my guests are more than happy with some tater chips or Doritos on the side. Maybe some grapes if they’re lucky. At any rate, this is how I make my world-famous sandwich. (Each sandwich serves 4-5 adults).

  • 1 loaf French bread
  • mayo
  • mustard (I like Dijon)
  • 1/2 pound turkey*
  • 1/2 pound roast beef*
  • 5-6 slices cheese (I like cheddar or Colby jack)
  • 1 jar Sandwich sliced Dill pickles
  • 1 jar sliced banana peppers
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 head Green or Red Leaf Lettuce**

Place the bread on a large cutting board and cut it in half lengthwise. Place each half cut-side up on the board. Using a spatula (it’s easier than a knife), spread a thin layer of mayo on both halves of the bread. Spread a thin layer of mustard on just one half of the bread. On the bottom half of the bread, layer the turkey and roast beef. Don’t just lay it flat. Pretend like you have a Sandwich Artist degree and sort of bunch it up like they do on the commercials. It’ll look prettier and give each bite more meat. Make sure you go all the way to the end of the sandwich with all ingredients. You don’t want the person who gets the end piece to get hosed. Continue layering ingredients on top of the meat starting with the cheese and working down the rest of the ingredients. Use your judgement on how much to put on. Obviously you’re not going to want to put an entire onion on one sandwich (unless you’re insane). Make sure the sandwich is evenly covered with all ingredients. When you get to the lettuce, just use the usual amount.***

When you’re done layering on all the toppings, put the top half of the sandwich on and cut the sandwich into about 5 equal parts using a bread knife and a gentle sawing motion. Don’t squish the thing or all that hard work is going to go down the tubes along with the appetites of your guests. If you’re making this to take to a picnic or something, you may want to hold off on cutting it until you get to your destination. Oh and don’t make it too far ahead of time, otherwise it’ll get all soggy from the pickles and such and the lettuce will be limp and no gooder. If I’m going to take it somewhere, I generally just plastic wrap it to the cutting board for easy transportation.

So there you have it! Obviously this combination of ingredients is my go-to, but if you’ve got a more adventurous crowd or feel like something different, you could totally mix it up. How about turkey, swiss, and avocado? Or a big ‘ol muffaletta sandwich? Maybe an Italianish one with salami, pepperoni, and provolone. The possibilities are endless!

*Don’t buy the crappy meat that’s pre-packaged. Go to the deli counter and get it freshly sliced. I know, it’s really scary and a little more time-consuming, but the quality is so much better and it’s actually cheaper!

**The common theme for this sandwich is quality. Please don’t ruin your sandwich with regular iceberg lettuce. It doesn’t have as much flavor as the green or red leaf lettuce and it isn’t near as pretty. Think Presentation. These little details are what make your sandwich taste awesome and look like the ones on the tv.

***I can’t help but love this movie. I always have to ask Seth how much lettuce he wants on his sandwich.  If you have time, watch the whole montage. Gotta love Billy Bob Thornton.

Grilled Reubens

16 Aug

This was the first time I’ve ever made “real” Reubens and I have to say they turned out pretty good. I can’t decide which recipe I like better though… this one or my tried and true Vegetarian Reubens.

  • 8 slices rye, pumpernickel, or French bread
  • Butter
  • 10 ounces smoked, sliced beef or turkey
  • Thousand Island dressing (I didn’t have any so I made my own using this recipe: Thousand Island Dressing Recipe)
  • ½ cup sauerkraut, well drained
  • 8 ounces Swiss or provolone cheese, thinly sliced

Butter eight slices of bread on one side. Turn bread over. Layer four slices with meat, desired amount of Thousand Island dressing, a small mound of sauerkraut, and sliced cheese. Top with bread slice (buttered side out). Fry in buttered skillet over medium heat until one side is brown. Turn sandwich over and brown the other side until cheese is melted and bread toasted. Makes 4 sandwiches.

From: The Essential Mormon Cookbook by Julie Badger Jensen

Farmer Sandwich

21 Jul

If you missed the news, baby Sylvia finally arrived! In honor of her arrival, here’s an easy breakfast you can make with one hand! (you know in case you’re holding a baby).

While we’re partial to breakfast burritos around here, I’ve recently started working “Farmer Sandwiches” into the mix. This idea actually came from Seth who requested one one morning when I asked him what he wanted. He and his friends used to get these things at a fabulous little hole-in-the-wall diner in his hometown of Idaho Falls.

There’s not really a recipe for these things and there’s a lot of room for customization, but this is what I use to make one sandwich:

  • 2 slices of bread, toasted (sourdough is really good)
  • 2 slices of bacon, cooked
  • 2 fried eggs (My fool-proof way to cook fried eggs: Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Crack eggs into pan; cook 2 minutes. Cover and cook an additional 2 minutes or until whites are set. Remove from heat.)
  • 1 slice of cheese (I prefer sharp cheddar)

Layer bacon, eggs, and cheese on the toasted bread and eat!

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