BBLTCM Sandwich

photo-1…Basil, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Chicken, Mozzarella, that is. Delicious!

I was craving a BLT and had some wonderful spelt bread my aunt had given me. Opened the fridge to find leftover Panko fried chicken from last night and mozzarella. Ran outside to grab some basil. Toasted the bread and stacked it all on, and voila! There lies the BBLTCM. Thought about adding some balsamic glaze, but it didn’t need it. Try it out!

Ingredients:

  • bread of your choice
  • bacon
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • basil
  • mayonnaise
  • fresh mozzarella
  • Panko fried chicken (heat up in broiler)
  • garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper (just to sprinkle on mozz and tomatoes)
  • balsamic glaze (Trader Joe’s has a good one or make your own!)

Thanksgiving dinner: Modernized

Turkey sliders with gouda and cranberry mayo served with real green bean casserole and chipotle sweet potato fries. My beverage of choice tonight is an apple pie martini (along with the usual wine – tonights wine is Clarksburg Wine Company’s Delta Blanc  – it is alright but not my favorite).

HOLY. SMOKES. This was absolutely fantabulously wonderful. The thyme in the turkey burgers was an ode to the stuffing flavors that are usually present at thanksgiving. The cranberry mayo, caramelized onions, and gouda were the perfect toppers for the burgers – creamy, tangy and sweet all at the same time.

You can really use any kind of bread – I would suggest a dinner role as representative for a Thanksgiving regular: buttered rolls.

I would also like to note that this is the best green bean casserole that I have ever consumed. Making the cream of mushroom soup from scratch really makes a 100% difference in creaminess and overall amazingness. I think it is super important to use haricot verts instead of regular ole green beans because of their thickness and crunchiness. I also added parmesan, because, let’s face it, everything’s better with parmesan…

A few other side notes:

  1. You can freeze green bean casserole. Just make sure to freeze the topping separately.
  2. These sliders would make a wonderful hors d’ouevres.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 pound  ground white meat turkey
  • ½ tsp. each: ground thyme, paprika, and onion powder
  • 1 tsp. each: garlic powder, salt, and pepper
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large tbsp. plain greek yogart
  • Cranberry Mayo
  • Caramelized onions (use 2 medium yellow onions)
  • 8 Dinner rolls
  • 1 bag Alexia’s chipotle sweet potato fries (or regular if you don’t like a little spice)
  • Real green bean casserole

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°. First make the green bean casserole. This can sit while you prepare everything else and be put in the oven during the last 20 minutes.

Mix the hamburger meat: put 1 pound ground turkey and add thyme, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, panko, and  greek yogurt. Mix altogether with your hands. Form into 8 smaller patties and press your thumb into the middle of the burger patty (this helps it not to become a ball when it cooks). Set the burgers on a plate and place in fridge.

Make the cranberry relish and then use that to make the cranberry mayo. Set both in fridge to let the flavors meld together.

All of the above can sit for at least 5 hours until you’re ready to cook everything.

Start baking the sweet potato fries.

Wrap the dinner rolls in tin foil and bake for 15 minutes.

Bake the green bean casserole (it takes about 15 minutes as well).

Drizzle a little olive oil into a cast iron fry pan and when the pan is nice and hot cook the sliders over medium high heat.  (I would not advise grilling these burgers unless you get a ground turkey with a fair amount of fat it in which is hard because turkey is so lean). Sear both sides and then lower the heat and allow to cook for 5 more minutes or so. When you flip the sliders add sliced gouda and melt. Take the sliders off the heat and allow to sit for a few minutes.

Serve the sliders on top of a dinner roll with champagne mustard (or Dijon), the caramelized onions, and a healthy portion of the cranberry mayo. Skewer the sliders with a toothpick (or in my case, a wooden kebob because I ran out of toothpicks) to keep them from falling all over your plate.

Serve the sliders with green bean casserole and sweet potato fries.

Fried Egg, Bacon, and Cheese Sandwich

Tonight I am having a breakfast dinner. There is nothing special about this sandwich except the taste of it. All you have to do is cook some bacon, fry an egg, lay cheese on top, and eat. So simple and delicious!

You can easily use scrambled eggs instead of fried and Canadian bacon or ham instead of regular bacon.

Since this is a brinner (breakfast dinner), I am having mimosas tonight. I just got some fairly cheap champagne (really sparkling wine) and some Simply Orange orange juice. Fill a champagne glass a little less than ¾ of the way full. Top with orange juice and indulge! You can substitute the orange juice for grapefruit juice or white-cranberry peach juice, or even do part OJ and part regular cranberry – kind of like a Madras but with champagne.

Ingredients (for 1 sandwich)

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 2 slices bread (I used regular ole honey wheat but you could use any kind really)
  • 1 slice American cheese (or any kind of cheddar)
  • 2 slices bacon
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Cook your bacon until it is crisp and set on a paper towel to drain. Put 2 tbsp. butter in a sauté pan over medium high heat (I like my fried eggs crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside but if you don’t want them crispy then cook them on medium heat) and crack 2 eggs into the pan.

Season eggs with salt and pepper. Flip eggs after about 3 minutes, being careful not to break the yolk. Season other side of eggs with salt and pepper. Toast your bread (I use my broiler because I don’t have a toaster). Take toast out and set on a plate. Put cheese down on top of bread. Place eggs on top of cheese and then top with the bacon and second piece of bread. Cut on a diagonal and dig in!

Serve with hash browns or fresh fruit.

Rosemary Bocadillo

Ever since I went to Spain I have gotten intense cravings for bacadillos (pronounced bocadiyo). Luckily, there is a local Spanish tapas restaurant here called Mas and they make a delicious version of the Spanish classic. I stopped by Feast yesterday (a local deli with tons of great meats, cheese, and olive oils) and picked up some Serrano ham and manchego cheese. Today I attempted to make a bocadillo that was somewhat close the traditional Spanish ones. I didn’t have any regular crusty bread so I used the rosemary loaf that I have in the freezer (I always freeze my bread to keep it fresh and defrost it when I need it and then stick it back in the freezer).

Ingredients (for 1 sandwich)

  • 2 thick slices of rosemary bread (or you could use ciabatta or other crusty bread)
  • 8 slices Serrano ham
  • Manchego cheese
  • Garlic powder
  • Mayo
  • 2 tbsp. butter

Directions

Cut the bread into 2 thick slices. Spread mayo on both slices of bread and sprinkle a fair amount of garlic powder on top (this makes the mayo taste more like aioli than regular mayo).

Lay down a layer of cheese. Lay the Serrano ham on top in a ribbon-like fashion (you don’t want to just lay it down flat…kind of twist it around so that it gets some volume to it). Put another thin layer of cheese on top of the ham.

Close sandwich and grill over medium-low heat, covered, until bread is crispy and brown on both sides and meat is warmed. Cut in half and enjoy!

Turkey and Havarti Panini

The ooey-gooey goodness that is the turkey and havarti panini.

Since I only work half days at the moment, I am able to make lunch at home, which I really enjoy. Today I decided to make a turkey Panini with some ingredients I had in the fridge. I had a feeling it would be good, but oh my goodness! It was fabulous!

I am a huge critic of my own food and I like to compare myself to restaurants. I ask myself “If I were to order this meal from a restaurant, would I be satisfied with it and want to order it again?” If so, then I did well. If not, then I need to tweak the recipe or just not make it again. I think I would be satisfied with this meal, had I ordered it from a restaurant.

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of good rosemary bread
  • 2 slices of fresh deli turkey (I got oven roasted)
  • Mayo (I use Duke’s)
  • Dijon mustard
  • 2 slices havarti cheese (or provolone)
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 2 leaves of lettuce
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Cut 2 nice, thick slices of the bread. Coat one piece of the bread with mayo and the other piece with a thin layer of Dijon.

Put a piece of cheese on each slice (you might have to break the cheese in half to make it fit properly).

Lay the turkey on top of one slice of the cheese. This is the important step: do not just lay the turkey down in one flat layer. Kind of twist it around so that it is voluminous and kind of creates more layers. This makes the sandwich look pretty and makes it seem like there is more turkey.

Put the sliced tomatoes on top of the turkey.

Add a sprinkle of salt and a few grounds of pepper.

Close the sandwich up (I didn’t forget the lettuce). Over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp. butter in a sauté pan (I used cast iron). When the pan is hot add the sandwich. You  have 2 choices now: you can press the sandwich down with another pan or you can just let it grill itself like a traditional grilled cheese (I pressed mine with another pan). When the cheese has melted and the bread is nice and toasted, remove the sandwich and lay it grilled side up on a plate.

Add 1 more tbsp. of butter and let melt. Put the sandwich back down to grill the other side. When the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted take it out of the pan. Gently open up the sandwich and place the lettuce leaves in between the tomato and the turkey. This will ensure that the lettuce doesn’t get wilted and gross.

Close the sandwich back up and cut into two parts. Enjoy with chips.