The days are getting longer and each day feels a little bit closer to summer time! And what says summer more than barbeque grilled chicken sandwiches? I chose a simple recipe for barbeque sauce made with molasses, garlic, apple cider vinegar, and chipotle peppers. Then as a side I made some baked potato fries served with malt vinegar. I chose a smoky Gruyere cheese to go with the sandwich which paired very will with the flavors of the barbeque sauce. This was a tasty dish that I will definitely make again this summer!
Whenever I’ve picked up store bought scones I’ve always been disappointed. This year with Saint Patrick’s Day around the corner I came across a recipe for these Irish Soda Bread Scones. Determined to like scones, I gave this recipe a try. The recipe was originally made as a full loaf bread so I don’t know how traditional these are to scone recipes. The fluffy, dense texture on the inside and the rough exterior was very scone-like. If it tastes like a scone and looks like a scone, it’s a scone right? It was fair enough for me, especially since these were so delicious. I loved the bursts of sweet and tart from the cranberries, which paired well with the caraway. Next time I might go a little crazy and add orange or lemon zest to the dough and see how that turns out.
Turkey burgers are the perfect alternative to beef burgers because they are versatile and have great flavor. I had never tried turkey burgers before and I was surprised by how tasty they were! This recipe ended up being a celebration of the end of summer and a good way to tie two seasons together. The burgers were juicy and charred, and went perfectly with the caramelized onions and smoky gruyere. I chose sweet potato fries for a side and they were really good with the burger. The sage mayo was another great accompaniment with the turkey burger as well. The recipe is similar to last Thanksgiving’s Roasted Butternut Squash recipe with caramelized onions and gruyere. The sandwich reminded me of a summer version of Thanksgiving dinner, and just as tasty too!
After baking a loaf of rye bread, what better way to put it to use than making corned beef sandwiches? This sandwich is similar to the Reuben but with a few notable differences. I decided to use sharp cheddar and caramelized onions instead of Swiss cheese and sauerkraut. Since corned beef pairs well with more bitter ingredients I used cider vinegar to caramelize the onions instead of something sweeter like brown sugar or honey. I also mixed some horseradish and Dijon mustard together which tasted great with the corned beef. All the flavors worked really well together and I can’t wait to make it again! I served the sandwich with a side of Irish coleslaw.
I am a big fan of deviled eggs and there are so many good recipes to choose from. For lunch, I made a batch of black olive and dill deviled eggs which turned out to be really good. The key to making good deviled eggs is a properly cooked hard-boiled egg (which is harder than it seems). The yolk should be moist on the inside, have a smooth uniform color, and not be too flaky. Use older eggs, not fresh eggs for hard-boiling. I had success cooking the eggs on a low boil for 5 minutes, turning off the heat, and running them under cold water/refrigerating them for 15 minutes to cool off. Cooling the eggs in the refrigerator allows for easier peeling and it helps prevent the eggs from cooking after they are removed from the water. After the hard part is over, the fun part can begin–choosing the ingredients to use in the deviled eggs. The standard is mayonnaise and dijon mustard with a dusting of paprika. You can add bacon, pickles, chives, etc. Basically the possibilities are endless with deviled eggs.
Whenever I have leftovers I try to think of creative ways to use them. I had two chicken thighs from the Moroccan Chicken I made the other day and I decided to make a pulled chicken sandwich out of the leftovers. I recently made some Moroccan yogurt and dill dip and it seemed like it would go really well on a sandwich too. To give the sandwich some extra flavor I added some roasted red peppers which provided a nice pop of color as well. Overall the sandwich was a tasty way to use leftovers. The savory flavors of the chicken paired nicely with the roasted peppers and fresh yogurt dressing.
A slice of savory, spiced ham is a great dinner to fight the winter chill. I picked up a small hickory smoked ham steak with the bone in and decided to make a simple sauce of mustard, honey, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. I broiled the ham for a few minutes on each side and the results were very good. The ham was flavorful but not too sweet which was the effect I was trying for. For a side dish, I made a simple baked sweet potato which was super tasty with the glazed ham.
After making a good pork roast it’s always great to use the leftovers in a soup. A great way to use the bone from a pork shoulder (or ham hock) is making pea soup. A few years ago I visited New Orleans and I was taken with the flavors they used in their soups and seafood so I decided to try a creole inspired pea soup. I started with a base of onion, garlic, celery, green pepper, and carrots which sauteed in butter until soft. Then I added some creole spices like thyme, sage, oregano, paprika, dried sassafras, and cayenne pepper. The andouille sausage was my favorite twist on the traditional pea soup. The sausage was delicious and had great sweet and spicy flavors.
This recipe for making crab cakes is really easy to follow and delicious! The key to making good crab cakes is using as little bread crumbs as possible. I would handle these as delicately as possible when forming them so they don’t break apart. Other recipes recommend chilling them for an hour before cooking to keep them from falling apart. Make sure not to have the pan too hot or too dry because it can burn the outside and create a big mess. For the sauces, I made a basic cocktail sauce and John whipped up a creole butter sauce that was really good too!
I have been looking around for more good sandwich recipes and I decided to try a Philly cheese steak. Since I never actually had a Philly cheese steak, I picked a recipe from the internet that looked good without thinking much about it. I then ran the ingredients by John who has had a real Philly from one of the cult places in Philadelphia. He was a little surprised when I told him there would be green peppers and provolone in the sandwich. He was also pretty weirded out that I was using neither rib-eye steak or “steak-ums” (whatever that is).
Basically none of the ingredients were “right,” except maybe the sourdough roll. Cheese steak challenges aside, I thought the sandwich turned out great. The peppers, onions, and steak were good together.B Next time I might try making a more traditional Philly. I just don’t think I can ever go there with that cheese-wiz stuff.