For all the folks out there claiming that vegetarian and vegan food has to be boring, falafel is a giant nanny-nanny-boo-boo in their direction. These delicately spiced fritters made of chickpeas are toothsome and filling, leaving even the most dedicated meat eaters feeling as if they’ve got all that they need in front of them.
The name of this recipe came from my sister who demanded that I make a sandwich called a “Mother Stuffer.” In that she is a vegetarian (and most of the time a raw vegan at that), I had to make a concoction that proved that, much like her, veggies are non-stop fun. This pita is no exception – half the fun of falafel is assembling your pita yourself with your favorite toppings, so feel free to use any combination of pickles, peppers and hot sauce that you’d like. Food is ALWAYS more fun when you can make it your own. Continue reading Mother Stuffin’ Falafel Pita with Spicy Tahini Dressing
When you can get your hands on a juicy tomato, you need to treat it right. All of those mealy, hothouse tomatoes that are pushed on us by the grocery store are great for tossing, but that’s about it. But then there’s that slim window of time where you can get your hands on heirloom tomatoes in a rainbow of colors, bumpy and rough on the outside, brimming with translucent tart juice in the center. When the planets align and the gods deem you worthy of an incredible tomato, you’d better recognize and step up to the plate. Continue reading Italian BLT Panini with Pesto Mayo
Nothing says summertime majesty like a tender fish filet in crisp, lacy batter, slathered in luscious tartar sauce. Correction: nothing says the perfect time of year like the aforementioned fish. A good piece of halibut, carefully breaded and fried, is a welcome addition year-round assuming that I can get my hands on some.
The secret ingredient that makes this recipe sing is the caper aioli – a homemade mayonnaise enlivened with capers, cocktail onions, tarragon and lemon, this condiment tastes of a majesty so great that one would think that you slaved over the stuff. But that’s not the case. Pop the ingredients into the blender and whirr away until the mixture thickens to absolute perfection. Continue reading Crispy Halibut Po’boy with Caper Aioli
It’d be selling them short to claim eggs as my favorite breakfast food, as that leaves out all of the other meals where eggs win my heart. Sure, I can appreciate a fluffy waffle or sugar-dusted french toast. But if eggs are one of the options, all other sweet delights are off the table. It’s eggs for me 100%.
Though I’ve yet to meet an egg that I didn’t like, there is something about perfectly scrambled eggs in sandwich form that makes me grin bigger than Christmas morning. This sandwich gilds the proverbial lily by adding tender steak to the party, and ups the egg quotient with a piquant topping of jalapeno hollandaise (made in the blender for quick and easy eating). Yes, darlings, this one is trouble. And the best kind of trouble you can get in to, no less. Comfort-food noshing, hangover staving off, one-on-one private time with you and your breakfast a la Hall & Oates kind of trouble. You know exactly what I’m talking about, so don’t even pretend. Continue reading Steak and Egg Sandwich with Jalapeno Hollandaise
When the Earl of Sandwich ordered his servant to bring him a bit of meat tucked into slices of bread so as to prevent his playing cards from getting greasy, he started a chain reaction that has left me a happy duck. If I were to live my life eating soup and sandwiches from now until the very end time, I’d be absolutely fine with it all. Chicken soup and turkey sandwiches along could keep me pleased as punch with enough variety to keep things interesting.
Continue reading Turkey Panini with Brie and Fig Jam
Ham salad or deviled ham is seemingly pedestrian, but man, is it good. Just as a rotisserie chicken can be transformed by dijon mustard, tarragon and apples, into sumptuous chicken salad, so too can baked ham be blended into deliciousness with rosemary, shallots and mayonnaise. To truly make this some devilish goodness, add some paprika and cayenne to make things a little more fiery. We used to make this after Easter with the tons of leftover ham from the feast the day before. It kept incredibly well in the fridge for quick sandwiches and was always a treat…for as long as it lasted.
This recipe makes a pretty dry salad, like I like it, but if you want things a little more moist, add a few more tablespoons of mayo to smooth things out.
1 lb. of ham (leftover baked ham or deli ham works fine)
1/4 tsp. of white pepper
1/4 tsp. of black pepper
1 tbs. of dried rosemary leaves, crushed
1 tbs. of minced shallots
1/2 tbs. of dijon mustard
3 tbs. of mayo
In a food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth. Spread on crackers or eat as a sandwich spread on crusty bread.
Ready to Shred
So rumor has it that chicken salad comes in a can? I had no idea – I’d never touched the stuff. Truly, my first taste of chicken salad came from the Corner Bakery in Tysons Corner. There, diced chicken, apples and celery (and supposedly currants and red onion according to their website – neither were memorable) are nestled between slices of pumpernickel studded with walnuts and raisins. It was insanely good, and that wasn’t even including their homemade kettle-cooked potato chips.
I haven’t been to the place in years, so I can’t speak for what the sandwich tastes like now. No matter, though, because over the years, I’ve just been making this super simple chicken salad, and it surpasses all expectations that I’ve had for that Corner Bakery sandwich. It’s the perfect marriage of sweet and savory, with the lovely zing of lemon and dijon to wake the whole thing up. Tender white meat chicken becomes moist and delicious in a fine poaching liquid of lemon and pepper. And if you can score a really good artisinal bread, it’s a treat and a half. Dennis and I ambled over to the SpaHa Bakery on 116th and Lexington, and were able to purchase some Mulitgrain Foccacia for him and a Cranberry Walnut Pullman Loaf for me. What a treat that place is! Between the excellent bread choices and the freshly prepped chicken salad goodness, Dennis put the sandwich in the Pantheon of his top 5 sandwiches of all time. I expect him to print out a certificate for this honor and frame it for me for Christmas. Continue reading Chicken Salad with Tarragon and Apples