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Sammich Pr0n – Cold Cut Sub

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I just could not wait…

for the garden to produce a fat juicy ripe tomato to slice for a BLT.DSC_8557 (1600x1060)I suppose we could have gone with the grape or cherry tomatoes that are coming ripe but they are not the same.  We have a few tomatoes from Kroger’s that are closing in on their use by date.  That is a commercial blend of Creole seasoning sprinkled on the sammy.

Dinner Menu: Chicken Satay and Spring Rolls

Chicken Satay Snapseed2

I LOVE spring rolls and they are so easy to make. And you can fill them with a variety of items, so use the recipe below as a starting point, but let your imagination run wild. This recipe is simple but full of flavor. It’s quick and you can buy shredded carrots and shredded lettuce to save even more time. When you pound the chicken, it’s easiest if you place the meat between two pieces of plastic wrap, then pound flat. This keeps things neat and avoids tearing the chicken as it gets thinner. This is also a good recipe to experiment with rice varieties.

I have a sudden trip out of town this week, so I don’t think there will be a recipe exchange on Friday unless I find a quiet moment later in the week. But as the weather has begun to warm up, I find my desire to cook returning, so that’s some good news!

On the board tonight:

  1. Thai Chicken Satay
  2. Rice
  3. Thai Spring Rolls
  4. Pineapple rings w/vanilla yogurt

Thai Chicken Satay

I usually make my own simple peanut sauce – peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice and a touch of hot sauce.

  • 2 boneless breasts
  • 4 boneless thighs (or 2 breasts)
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp peanut sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • peanut sauce for dipping

bamboo skewers (soaked in water for at least 10 minutes), broiler

Pound chicken flat and combine with remaining ingredients, except dipping sauce, and mix well. Marinate for 30 minutes or overnight.  Remove chicken from marinade and cut into 1-inch strips. Thread onto skewers, one piece per skewers and broil or grill, about 5 minutes, until cooked through, the thinner they’re pounded, the quicker they will cook. Turn once to ensure they are evenly cooked. Serve with extra peanut sauce and rice.

Thai Spring Rolls

  • ¼ tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (or white wine vinegar)
  • 8 spring roll wrappers
  • 1 ½ cup shredded leaf lettuce
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded

bowl, plate

Mix together fish sauce and garlic. In a bowl of cold water (I actually use a large, deep sided plate), soak 1 wrapper, until limp. Lay out flat on a plate, add 1/8 of each of the ingredients, in order, then drizzle with fish sauce mixture.  Fold ends up and roll like a burrito.  Moisten seam, press close and set seam side down on plate.  Repeat for all wrappers.  Cover with a moist paper towel and refrigerate until ready to serve, with dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce

Mix together:

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (or fish sauce or rice vinegar)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger (or more as desired)

Shopping List:

  • bamboo skewers
  • 2 boneless breasts
  • 4 boneless thighs (or 2 breasts)
  •  toasted sesame oil
  •  peanut sauce
  • 8 spring roll wrappers
  • 1 head leaf lettuce
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 medium carrot

Also: soy sauce, white wine vinegar, sugar, ground ginger, fish sauce, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice

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Dinner Menu: Pasticcio and Salata Meze

I’m planning on making a cream of chicken soup today. I wanted a rich, creamy soup and that is where I settled. I haven’t made it before, so if it turns out, I’ll post recipe and photos. If not, you’ll never know it happened. LOL.

For this week’s dinner menu, I went with a recipe that was completely out of my experience when I first tried it. Cinnamon and nutmeg in macaroni and cheese? Never!  It soon became one of my favorite recipes because the flavors are so rich, layered and exotic. Paired with an equally flavorful salad, this menu adds a little Greek to the week.

On the board tonight:

  1. Pasticcio
  2. Salata Meze
  3. Chopped Apples w/honey & walnuts over ice cream

Pasticcio

  • 7 oz dry ziti
  • 3/4 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp salt
  • 6 oz grated parmesan/Romano mix
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

saucepan & skillet

8×8 glass baking dish, greased

Cook ziti according to package directions, drain well. Sauté onions, add beef and cook until beef is browned. Stir in tomatoes & salt. Layer 1/2 ziti in baking dish; add beef mixture and then 1/2 of the cheese, sprinkle cinnamon over cheese. Add remaining ziti. Beat eggs, milk & butter together. Pour over ziti mixture, top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes, until center is set. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Salata Meze

  • 8 oz green beans
  • 2 small zucchini sliced
  • 8 oz cauliflower crowns
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp oregano, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 red onion, sliced in rings
  • 6-12 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • lettuce leaves
  • 2 oz whole black olives
  • 2 oz crumbled feta cheese

saucepan & serving bowl

Add beans, cauliflower and zucchini to water in saucepan, bring to a boil. Simmer on med-low for 3-5 minutes until vegetables are tender-crisp. Rinse with ice water & drain well. Mix oil, lemon, honey & spices and toss with vegetables, including onions & tomatoes. Layer lettuce leaves in serving bowl, top with vegetable mixture. Garnish with olives and feta.

Chopped Apples w/honey & walnuts

  • 2 apples, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup honey (more as needed)
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • Dash of lemon juice

Add chopped apples, honey, lemon juice and walnuts to saucepan and heat until honey is melted and coats everything. Let simmer until apples are tender. Serve warm over ice cream.

Shopping List:

  • 7 oz ziti
  • 3/4 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 6 oz fresh grated parmesan/Romano mix
  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 oz green beans
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 8 oz cauliflower crowns
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 red onion
  • 6-12 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small head bib lettuce
  • 2 oz whole black olives
  • 2 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • 2 apples
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Also: cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, salt

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Dinner Menu: Santa Fe Wraps

I know this late, but I got hit with a nasty bug and about all I could accomplish this week was work. The cold weather has stayed around longer than they predicted, though except for a day, it was nothing like anywhere else was experiencing.

I thought about doing soup for the menu tonight, but I’m tired of cold weather food (sigh, and it’s only January) so I decided to go for something that seemed a little fresher. I was in the store and passed by the flavored tortillas: sun dried tomato basil; jalapeno cheddar; garlic herb; and spinach and knew what I wanted to do. These are extra large and I really like the flavors. I like this recipe for company, you can make it all ahead of time, keep it warm and put it on the table and let everyone assemble their own.

On the board tonight:

  1. Santa Fe Wraps
  2. Salad w/Creamy Cucumber Dressing
  3. Grapes

Santa Fe Wraps

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 14 oz can black beans
  • 14 oz can red beans
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb sirloin or London broil, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 red pepper*
  • ½ yellow onion
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  • 12 oz shredded Jack Cheese
  • 4-8 burrito size flour tortillas (maybe try a flavored style)

2 saucepans, skillet and 4 serving bowls

In saucepan, add rice, 2 cups water and bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until all water is absorbed. In other saucepan, add beans & heat on med-low until heated through. In 300° oven, place tortilla shells between two pieces of foil and warm. In skillet, heat oil, sauté onion & pepper add steak, cook 5 minutes, reduce heat & add tomatoes, taco seasoning and cook 5 minutes on medium. Put rice, beans, cheese and meat mixture in separate serving bowls, let everyone assemble their own wrap at the table.

*There are a lot of peppers at my grocers, so go wild, use a couple of different colors for some added flavor.

Also, please note my friend who lived in Santa Fe says it needs green chilis to be authentic.

Salad w/Creamy Cucumber Dressing

  • 12 oz bag spring greens
  • ½ head green leaf lettuce
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced

serving bowl

Mix all ingredients together in serving bowl.

Dressing:

  • 8 oz plain yogurt (low fat ok)
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled & chopped (seeded opt)**
  • ¼ Miracle Whip style salad dressing or mayonnaise
  • 4 green onions, chopped (or use the remaining yellow onion)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp dried dill
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

small bowl

Mix ingredients together and toss with salad greens.  **I really like the English cucumbers (those are the long, thin ones, usually wrapped in plastic).

Shopping List:

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 14 oz can black beans
  • 14 oz can red beans
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb sirloin or London broil
  • 1 red pepper (don’t stop there, add a yellow and orange, too)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  • 12 oz shredded Jack Cheese
  • 4-8 burrito size flour tortillas (be daring, try a flavored one)
  • green chilis, opt.
  • 12 oz bag spring greens
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 8 oz plain yogurt (low fat ok)
  • 2 cucumbers (I like English)
  • 4 green onions (or use the remaining yellow onion)

Also: Miracle Whip style salad dressing or mayonnaise, lemon juice, oil, salt, pepper, dill

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Sammich Pr0n – Breaded Chicken

DSC_7006 (1600x1060)The little smashed potatoes worked well with this.  Boil the potatoes until they can be smashed easily with a spatula then pop them into hot oil.  I had the deep fryer going for another project so I used it but they would fry nicely in a skillet with olive oil.  The golden potatoes are good for this.  That tomato was from the garden but I don’t know how much longer we’ll have them.  We decided to rip out all but one tomato bush because I am done with canning sauces and juices and ketchup and soup.  Last year was a near total loss for tomatoes so this year we planted extra fearing a repeat but it may have been the best year ever.  I’ve been boiling down 3 5-gallon buckets per week for the last month and more and I deem our supply sufficient.

Bacon Pr0n – The Weave

DSC_6576 [1600x1060]It was only a matter of time before I tackled this thing I’ve been seeing in various forms for a while.  My first go was at a bacon burger and the method shows promise though this try taught me some lessons.  I need to be better prepared with sammich fixings for these to be Sammich Pr0n material.  The lettuce and tomato just didn’t work for me, and the massive burger overwhelmed the puny buns.  Anyway, this is how I went about making these:DSC_6567 [1600x1060]The flat weave I went with is self explanatory.  I gave this 20 minutes in a 375 oven and then pulled it to cool for handling.DSC_6568 [1600x1060]You don’t want it fully cooked but it needs to be set.  This was pretty close.  I didn’t add anything to the bacon but a good sprinkle of pepper wouldn’t be a bad thing.DSC_6570 [1600x1060]I cut it right down the center and wrapped a beef patty in the bacon, as shown here.  I really wasn’t sure how thick to make the burger, I wanted the burger to be cooked before the bacon burned.  I gave these another 20 minutes on the timer, looked at them once, and gave them a few more minutes.  I wanted the bacon to be fairly crisp, at least on the top side.DSC_6574 [1600x1060]I judged these done to suit me.  There was a little pink in the middle but nothing grossly underdone.  Next time I might try to turn them over at this point to better crisp the bacon on the underside. They were plenty juicy!

Friday Recipe Exchange: Grilled Herbed Steak for Tacos or Burritos

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JeffreyW’s Smoked Pork Tacos

I’m travelling this week, so this will be quick. Grilled steak wrapped in a warm tortilla is a surefire winner for dinner at my house. Adding an herb paste takes it up a notch and makes a lesser cut of beef perfect for a taco or burrito meal.

Some additional ideas for other tacos/ burritos/fajitas:

Fresh from JeffreyW’s patio garden, Smoked Pork Tacos (pictured above and recipe here)

I made Homemade Fajita Seasoning to season either chicken or steak fajitas (recipe here)

And if you’re looking for something a little lighter, how about Naked Burritos? (click here)  And the first person who goes for the easy joke has to do the dishes.

Also, in case you missed it, I have once again started posting a weekly dinner menu, complete with recipes and shopping lists on Mondays. First one is here.

With that I leave you to the comments. Tacos, burritos or fajitas, what’s your favorite? And what’s on your weekend menu? Also, I would love to know what you like to grill on, as we move full speed into grilling season, I could use some recommendations for the perfect grill.

Now for the featured recipe:

Grilled Herbed Steak for Tacos or Burritos

Notes: Serve with either corn or flour tortillas and stuff with fresh garden items, such as tomatoes, lettuce, diced zucchini, grilled corn, and top with Fresh Garden Salsa (recipe here). And if you don’t like cilantro, there are alternatives offered at the bottom of the recipe.

Herb Paste

  • 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves*
  • 3 tsp crushed garlic
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 medium jalapeno, quartered – remove veins and seeds for milder, otherwise, use it all
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp fresh limejuice

Pulse in a food processor or blender, cilantro, garlic, scallions, jalapeño, and cumin until finely chopped. Add oil and process until mixture is smooth and resembles pesto. Transfer 2 tbsps of the herb paste to medium bowl; whisk in lime juice and set aside.

Steak

  • 2 lbs flank steak – cut lengthwise (with grain) into 4 equal pieces (cooks quicker this way)
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Using dinner fork or tenderizer, poke each piece of steak 10 to 12 times on each side. Place in large baking dish; rub all sides of steak pieces with salt and then coat with remaining herb paste. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Remove from the refrigerator 5-10 minutes before cooking.

To cook: Scrape excess herb paste off steak and sprinkle all sides of pieces evenly with sugar and pepper. Sear steak pieces on the grill for 3 minutes, then turn and grill the other side for 3 minutes. Continue to cook (don’t turn more than one more time) until internal temperature registers 125 to 130 degrees, usually an additional 2 to 7 minutes. Transfer steak to cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.

To Serve: Using a carving knife, slice steak pieces across grain into 1/8-inch-thick pieces. Transfer sliced steak to bowl with herb paste-limejuice mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve with tortillas and choice of vegetables, shredded cheese and salsa, etc. Garnish with additional limejuice if desired.

*If you don’t like cilantro, you can substitute celery leaves or fresh basil, or try a mixture of both.

That’s if for this week. Have fun!

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Dinner Menu: Greek Chicken Wraps

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I’ve decided to begin the full dinner menus and shopping lists again. I’m shooting for every Monday night. I’ll pull from the old Thursday Menu series and add new ones as I go. Most menus are seasonal, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding ingredients, but if you need additional information, just ask away in the comments and I’ll do my best to help.

Tonight has an international flair, three distinctly different locales, but flavors that complement each other. Full of garden fresh items.

I am partial to pitas, but it can be difficult in my area to find good, fresh pita bread.  So tortillas make a great substitute.  For the main course you can use spinach or sun-dried tomato wraps to really kick things up.  Whether you use pita bread or tortillas, these are easy and quite flavorful wraps.

To save time, chicken can be grilled the night before when you’re grilling another meal, and cut up for a quick dinner on a busy, hot day.

On the menu tonight:

  1. Greek Chicken Wraps
  2. Avocado-Tomato Salad
  3. Persian Apples

Greek Chicken Wraps

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon or stone ground mustard
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled & chopped
  • 4 oz plain yogurt
  • ¼ tsp dill
  • 2 oz crumbled feta
  • 2 oz sliced black olives (opt)
  • 4 burrito size flour tortillas, spinach tortillas are a fun choice
  • ½ head of green leaf lettuce, shredded

skillet  & bowl

Mix together chicken, lemon juice, mustard, 1 tsp garlic, oregano & pepper in bowl, coating chicken thoroughly, let sit for 30 minutes. Prepare cucumbers, add yogurt, dill and remaining garlic and mix well. Refrigerate until served.  OPT: Wrap tortillas in foil and heat in a 350° oven for 10 minutes, turn oven off and let them stay warm until served.

To cook:  Grill over medium heat, turning  at least once, until cooked through. Usually 20 minutes, depending on thickness of breasts. Or stove top: Heat oil in skillet on medium-high and add chicken and marinade. Cook until chicken is cooked through, about  20 minutes. Let chicken rest 10 minutes and cut into 1″ pieces.

To serve, add chicken mixture, yogurt mixture, feta, olives and lettuce to each tortilla and roll up. Use any remaining yogurt mixture to dip tortillas in.

Avocado & Tomato Salad:

  • 2 slices bacon, fried crisp & crumbled
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp limejuice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 3 to 5 drops Cajun hot sauce
  • 2 medium avocados, pitted & cubed*
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut in wedges
  • 6 green onions, chopped

large serving bowl

Mix oil, limejuice, salt, pepper and Cajun sauce.  Add avocados, tomatoes and onion to serving bowl and toss with dressing.  Add bacon and refrigerate until serving.

*Easiest way to cube an avocado is to halve it, remove the pit, score it with a knife and then run the knife along the edges to loosen flesh from the skin and turn the skin inside out.

Persian Apples

add to a blender:

  • 4 small apples, cored & quartered,
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice,
  • 1 tbsp orange juice,
  • 1 tbsp water

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chopped walnuts as garnish (opt)

Blend until coarsely chopped. Add chopped walnuts if desired. Serve in bowls, over vanilla ice cream if desired.

Shopping List:

4 boneless chicken breasts
1 small cucumber
4 oz plain yogurt
2 oz crumbled feta
2 oz sliced black olives (opt)
4 burrito size flour tortillas, spinach lor sun-dried tomato tortillas are a fun choice
1 head green leaf lettuce (you’ll use half)
2 slices bacon,
Cajun hot sauce
2 medium avocados
2 large tomatoes
6 green onions
4 small apples

Also: lemon juice, orange juice, limejuice, chopped walnuts, olive oil, dill, oregano, garlic, stone ground or Dijon mustard

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Sammich Pr0n – The BELT

DSC_6324 [1600x1200]Mrs J spotted one of these things online somewhere the other day and called my attention to it.  BLTs are a summer favorite and the egg just seemed a perfect addition.  I crushed some garlic into a bit of mayo, added a squeeze of lemon juice and a bit of the zest to make a quick aeoli.  I wish the tomatoes were fresh from our garden but we’re still buying them at the grocery.  Soon!DSC_6325 [1600x1200]The poppy seeded onion rolls put these right over the top.  Iceberg lettuce doesn’t get near its due – I like it for these over any of the others.  Sue me.

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