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Sandwiches

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.

Sloppy Joes

Adapted from Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave p. 91

Makes 6-8 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions:

  1. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, brown meat and onions until meat is mostly browned.
  2. Remove drippings from pan – pour or use a turkey baster to remove them – and add bell pepper and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes.
  3. 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.

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Chicken tossed with sweet apple, tangy homemade mayo and topped with slivered almonds for a nice crunch, this Apple Almond Chicken Salad will get anyone out of a lunch rut!

Apple Almond Chicken Salad

Disclaimer #1: Thank you to #AppleWeek Sponsors: Rodelle, Dreamfarm, Casabella, Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal, Pryex, Chicago Cutlery, Rainier Fruit, and Veggie Wash for providing prizes for #AppleWeek free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #AppleWeek. All opinions are my own.

Disclaimer #2: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on the link and purchase, I make a very small percentage (at no additional cost to you!) which goes towards maintenance of this blog. Thanks for your support!

This post was updated in September 2017 for #AppleWeek.

Apple Almond Chicken Salad

Welcome to Day 2 of #Appleweek, hosted by Carlee of Cooking with Carlee. The week started off strong with my recipe for mulled cider as well as a giveaway with prize packs from our fabulous sponsors. You can head over here to read about the prize packs. Then scroll to the bottom of this post – leave a comment on this post (and any other #AppleWeek post published today) to get an extra entry. Share the giveaway via Twitter for another extra entry.

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.

That being said, 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. The mayo is tangy and homemade – but don’t let that scare you. It is easy to make and can be done in minutes. But my favorites part of this chicken salad is the almonds – I loved the crunch that the nuts given to the salad. I’ve enjoyed this chicken salad for lunch several ways: straight-up, on and English muffin and toasted bread, and on a green salad. However you choose to serve it, it won’t disappoint.

Apple Almond Chicken Salad

Adapted from The Pastry Queen p. 158-159

Yields enough for 4-6 sandwiches or salads

Ingredients for the Mayo:

Makes 1 1/2 cups of 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:

  • 12 oz. cooked, shredded (or diced) chicken breasts, cooled
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 c. diced red onion
  • 1 Tbs. minced chives
  • 1/4 c. parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 – 3/4 c. homemade mayo
  • kosher salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 c. slivered blanched almonds, toasted

Make the Mayo: In a food processor, combine eggs, yolk, salt, pepper, mustard, and lemon juice. With the mixer still running, pour oil into the plunger in the feed tube, so that oil gets added slowly and consistently. Mixture should be ready just after oil is done, or a minute after. It will be thick, but but yet mayo consistency. That came after refrigerating mayo for a couple of hours.

Store mayo in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Make the Chicken Salad: In a large mixing bowl, toss chicken, apple, onion, chives 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, English muffin (my favorite), croissant or salad, as desired.

Chicken tossed with sweet apple, tangy homemade mayo and topped with slivered almonds for a nice crunch, this Apple Almond Chicken Salad will get anyone out of a lunch rut!

Enter to win one of our awesome #AppleWeek prizes here:a Rafflecopter giveaway

And finally, more drool-worthy apple recipes to celebrate #AppleWeek

Apple Almond Butter Manchego Grilled Cheese from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Apple Almond Chicken Salad from Books n’ Cooks
Apple Bacon Jam from Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids
Apple Cinnamon Rolls from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Apple Fritter Pie from Dad What’s 4 Dinner
Apple Nachos from Simple and Savory
Apple Pecan Chicken Salad from The Chef Next Door
Apple Turnovers from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Applesauce Cake with Soft Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting from Cooking With Carlee
Autumn Apple Sipper from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Bavarian Apple Oatmeal Streusel Cheesecake from All That’s Jas
Caramel Apple Cupcakes from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
Grilled Apple Tossed Salad from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
Mini Apple Muffins with Oatmeal Streusel Topping from Family Around the Table
Nutmeg Apple Conserve from Feeding Big
Red Cabbage with Apple from Palatable Pastime
Roasted Apple and White Cheddar Soup from 4 Sons ‘R’ Us
Sauerkraut & Sausage with Apples from House of Nash Eats

Disclaimer: Thank you to #AppleWeek Sponsors: Rodelle, Dreamfarm, Casabella, Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal, Pryex, Chicago Cutlery, Rainier Fruit, and Veggie Wash for providing prizes for #AppleWeek free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #AppleWeek. All opinions are my own.

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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.

Recipe chosen by Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake, of Barefoot Bloggers, from Ina’s new book, How Easy is That? to be released this October.

The Ultimate Grilled Cheese

Adapted from Ina Garten’s How Easy is That?

Makes 6-10 Sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 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.

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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.

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Books n’ Cooks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. Some links on Books n’ Cooks may be affiliate links – links books and kitchen supplies that I love and would recommend. If you click on the link and purchase, I make a very small percentage (at no additional cost to you!) which goes towards maintenance of this blog. Thanks for your support!

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