I’m not feeling very inspired to write today. Maybe it’s because me and sloppy joes don’t really have a history. I had them at my in-law house one of the first times I went home with my hubby. Something about this recipe struck me and I ended up loving it. I think it’s the slight tang of the sauce. Sloppy joes quickly became a regular in our weeknight menu – it’s healthy & filling; it comes together pretty quickly; and it’s one of my favorite leftovers to take to work. Enjoy!
Above, served with mixed berry salad with vanilla syrup.
Adapted from Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave p. 91
Makes 6-8 sandwiches
- 1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 tsp. minced garlic (4 cloves)
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded & small diced
- 1-15.5 oz. can low-sodium red beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 1/2 c. no salt added tomato sauce
- 2 Tbs. tomato paste
- 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbs. unsulfured molasses
- 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 8 burger buns or sandwich thins for serving
- In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, brown meat and onions until meat is mostly browned.
- Remove drippings from pan – pour or use a turkey baster to remove them – and add bell pepper and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients, minus the burger buns. Cook for another 5 minutes until flavors meld together.
Serve on burger buns or sandwich this.
Make ahead and reheat in a crock-pot on low for 2-4 hours.
Nutrition: 1/2 c. of the sloppy joe mixture is 220 calories and will yield a full 8 servings.
When I was little, my mom spoiled me. She worked nights, sleeping in the morning and up by lunchtime. That meant that almost every day, Mom made me a hot lunch. No sandwiches for me and my brothers. We got pierogis and potato pancakes and mini pizzas. To this day, I still prefer a hot lunch to sandwiches. I usually resort to leftovers, soups, and frozen meals.
This chicken salad is one of the more traditional lunch items that has made it into my lunch rotation. I originally made it for a pig-in at work and loved it. The apples made the salad slightly sweet, distinguishing it from other chicken salad recipes. But my favorites part was the almonds – I loved the crunch of the almonds. I’ve enjoyed this chicken salad for lunch several ways: straight-up, on toasted bread, and on a green salad.
Apple Almond Chicken Salad
Adapted from The Pastry Queen
Yields enough for 4-6 sandwiches or salads
Ingredients for the Mayo:
~ 2 large eggs
~ 1 large egg yolk
~ 1 tsp. kosher salt
~ 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
~ 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
~ 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
~ 1/3 c. olive oil
~ 2/3 c. vegetable oil
Ingredients for the Chicken Salad:
~ 1 c. slivered blanched almonds
~ 2 whole boneless chicken breasts, boiled, shredded, and cooled (may use leftover grilled or roasted chicken)
~ 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
~ 2 stalks celery, diced
~ 1 scallion, minced OR 1/2 c. diced red onion
~ 1/4 c. parsley, chopped
~ 1/2 – 3/4 c. homemade mayo
~ kosher salt & pepper, to taste
Make the Mayo: In a blender or food processor, combine eggs, yolk, salt, pepper, mustard, and lemon juice. Very slowly, with the mixer still running, add oils. You’ll be adding the oils almost a drop at a time, until thickened. If you mayo didn’t thicken up as much as it should (like mine), try refrigerating it for an hour or so. It’s not foolproof, but I was able to salvage my mayo with a brief trip to the fridge.
Store extra mayo in an airtight container for a couple weeks.
Make the Salad: Toast almonds in a 350F oven for 7-9 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, toss chicken, apple, celery, onions and parsley. Add just enough mayo to bind the salad, 1/2 – 3/4 c. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Refrigerate until serving. Add almonds just before serving so that they don’t lose their crunch.
Serve on a roll, bread, or salad, as desired.
A couple of weeks ago, my hubby invited some friends over for the first college football game of the season. He promised light snacks, and everyone was coming over around 6:30. Light snacks? Really? Chips and dip were never going to suffice. We definitely needed something more substantial. These Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwiches satisfied that requirement – I couldn’t make them fast enough!
The only real changes I made to this recipe were the bread (my grocery store didn’t have sour dough so I used French bread) and the serving size. I don’t know if the bread was smaller or if I used less cheese and bacon, or a little bit of both, but I actually got more like 10 sandwiches out of this recipe. Ina also suggested shredding the cheese and crumbling the bacon. I ended up leaving the bacon slices whole (or halved when necessary) and “shredding” the cheese with a knife, so that I ended up with pieces larger than a traditional shredder would make. In the future (and in the recipe below), I actually changed this step, so that the cheese is thinly sliced. It will be easier to get more cheese on the sandwiches, and will keep the cheese from falling off when grilling.
The Ultimate Grilled Cheese
Adapted from Ina Garten’s How Easy is That?
Makes 6-10 Sandwiches
- 12 slices thick-cut bacon, such as an applewood smoked
- 1 c. good mayonnaise
- 1/4 c. Dijon mustard
- 1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 loaf of sourdough bread (french bread also worked well), sliced 1/2 inch thick (12+ slices)
- 6 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 oz. aged Gruyère or Comte cheese, coarsely grated or thinly sliced
- 6 oz.good extra-sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated or thinly sliced
Equipment: Panini Press or Grill Pan
Make the Bacon: Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with foil on the bottom (optional – makes for easy clean up) and a baking rack inserted on top. Lay bacon in a single layer over baking rack. Cook about 20-30 minutes “until nicely browned.” (I cooked mine for about 40 minutes to get the bacon crunchy.) When done, set on a plate lined with paper towels.
Assemble the Sandwiches: In a small bowl, combine mayo, mustard, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Spread half of the bread with a generous serving of the mayo mixture. Add cheese (1 oz. each cheddar and Gruyère / comte, about 1/3 cup total if grated) and 1-2 slices bacon. Top with other slice of bread.
If using a Panini press on the stove, heat the Panini press over medium heat. Meanwhile, either spread butter on sandwiches (both sides), or melt butter, and when Panini press is hot, brush butter on both sides of the pan. Cook 3-5 minutes, flipping as needed. Allow to cool a couple of minutes before serving.
I was very excited when I saw that Karen of Shortbread chose Ina Garten’s Caesar Club Sandwich for Barefoot Bloggers this month. I have come across this recipe a couple times and have been waiting to try it. I was not disappointed. The sandwich was amazing – easy and flavorful. The dressing tasted way better than any bottled Caesar dressing does (I made mine without the anchovy paste, which I couldn’t find at my grocery store), and the sun-dried tomatoes were a surprising burst of flavor. I prepared everything ahead of time and assembled it shortly before my friends arrived. I have a feeling that my hubby will be adding this to his list of favorite dinners.
Caesar Club Sandwich
From Barefoot Contessa at Home and on Food Network
Ingredients for the Salad Dressing:
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 1/2 tsp. anchovy paste
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 c. mayonnaise
Ingredients for the Sandwich:
- 1 whole chicken breast (bone in, skin on, and split) or leftover rotisserie chicken
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 oz. thinly sliced pancetta
- 1 large ciabatta bread, or other bread with a slightly crunchy crust
- 2 oz. arugula or spinach, washed and dried
- 12 sun-dried tomatoes, in oil
- 2-3 oz. Parmesan, shaved (I used shredded, since that’s what we keep on hand)
Make the Chicken: Preheat the oven to 350F. Rub chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet, skin side up, and roast 35-40 minutes, until cooked through. Cook slightly. Slice meat off bone and set aside.
I used left over chicken from an rotisserie chicken I made the night before, and that worked perfectly. This is a great way to use up leftovers!
Meanwhile, prepare other ingredients:
1. Make the Dressing: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth. Or, combine all ingredients in a food processor, processing until smooth.(Refrigerate if not using immediately.)
2. Place pancetta on a baking sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes, until crispy. Pat off grease with a paper towel and set aside.
3. Slice bread in half horizontally. Place on a baking sheet (cut-side up) or directly on wire oven racks. Toast for 5-7 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
Assemble the Sandwich
Spread Caesar dressing on both piece of bread. Then layer: arugula / spinach; sun-dried tomatoes; pancetta; chicken; shaved Parmesan (or, if using shredded, sprinkle on top half of bread, so that it will stick to the dressing). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place top on sandwich and cut into pieces. Serve at room temperature.
Here’s a quick appetizer you can have on hand for unexpected guests. I have frozen this both when directed as well as the completely finished pesto (with the Parmesan), and it is good both ways. I serve this in a bowl, and let everyone help themselves, but you can also pre-spread the pesto onto toast or bread.
I’m hoping for leftovers, as I’d love to try this mixed in pasta with a little olive oil and red pepper flakes, or stuffed in a chicken breast. If you beat me to it, be sure to let me know how you liked it!
Artichoke Parmesan Pesto
Source: Giada De Laurentiis
Ingredients (Before Freezing):
- 1-8 oz. pack of frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
- 1 c. fresh parsley
- 1/2 c. chopped toasted walnuts
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 c. olive oil
More Ingredients (After Freezing):
- 2/3 grated Parmesan
- bread or cracker of your choice…. for grilling, toasting, or serving plain
In a food processor, chop the artichokes, parsley, walnuts, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper, scraping the sides as necessary. With the food processor in, add the olive oil.
If freezing, transfer to an airtight container (or pre-portion into an ice cube tray and wrap tightly with plastic wrap). Freeze for up to 1 month.
Mix in Parmesan cheese (2 tsp. per ice cube if you’re freezing it that way).
I served this as part of a platter of dips, breads, and crackers (including homemade pita toasts), and allowed everyone to “dress” their own bread or cracker. If you prefer, toast some bread, spread the pesto, and serve.