Chicken Pesto Caprese Sandwich

Apologies for the phone photo. I literally just finished eating this.  This sandwich was so fast to prepare, so summery, and so delicious that I recommend you eat this. Soon. Ingredients 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (we shredded the … Continue reading

Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches

One of my favourite indulgences is a trip to “California Sandwiches”. I always get the breaded chicken, with peppers and onions. When that monster sandwich is handed to me, loosely wrapped in foiled paper, nothing else matters. With my sleeves … Continue reading

Sloppy Joes

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So, I must admit. I enjoy these a whole lot. I can’t even attribute it to nostalgia. We did not grow up with Sloppy Joes. My only memory is from a certain Olsen twin movie. It was from this clip I figured the key factors were: 1) soft bun and 2) messy.  I had always wanted to try them, but was hesitant…as I didn’t know what a Sloppy Joe would taste like. Unfortunately, the name of the ‘dish’ nor the iconic ‘Manwich’ offer any descriptive of what a makes a Joe a Joe. A few years ago I found a recipe for them from scratch and decided I might just enjoy more than just the idea of them.

Get your napkins and give this a try.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
½ green pepper, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
Salt and pepper
1 pound lean ground beef (or any ground meat, really)
1 ¾ cups plain tomato sauce (such as Hunt’s or Primo brand)
¼ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 hamburger buns

Instructions

  1. Prepare your ingredients
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions, pepper, and celery and cook until softened (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  3. Add ground meat to skillet. Cook until no longer pink, breaking up the meat as it cooks.
  4. Stir in ketchup, tomato sauce, and Worchestershire sauce and simmer until thickened, about 6-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Spoon onto buns. Enjoy!

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Source: Martha Stewart Living

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

 

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I haven’t had a great deal of success with slow cookers, or “Crock-Pots”.  Usually I produce something that is just…’meh’. This recipe is the exception. I love this meal. This may be Andrew’s favourite thing that to come out of our kitchen. We have used the meat for sandwiches, pizza toppings, and tacos. All amazing. I also have this image of pulled pork nachos floating around in the back of my mind…hockey night, anyone??

Top the sandwiches with simply green onions, or your favourite slaw recipe.

We have tried this with cheap pork loin (as seen in these photos) when it goes on sale. It’s definitely not as moist as using shoulder, but still enjoyable.

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Ingredients
3-4 lbs pork shoulder blade roast
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons oil
2 yellow onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 bay leaves
¼ cup tomato paste
1 398mL can of plain tomato sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Green onions, thinly sliced

 Instructions

  1. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large/deep pan (or dutch oven). Brown the pork on all sides and transfer to slow cooker.
  2. Sauté the onions, until softened (about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chilli powder, coriander and bay leaves. Cook until fragrant.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook for about 2 minutes. The tomato paste will darken. Add the tomato sauce, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, scraping up those tasty brown bits. Pour into slow cooker over the pork.
  4. Cook the pork on low until tender, about 8-10 hours.
  5. When done remove the pork from the slow cooker and tent with foil for about 10 minutes. Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil and reduce to about 3 cups. Discard the bay leaves
  6. Shred the pork and add to the sauce.
  7. Serve up as desired, with green onions.

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Leftovers, anyone??
Source: Canadian Living

Sausages with Fennel, Pepper and Red Onion Slaw

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It’s pretty typical to hear a chorus of “mmm” noises coming from my side of the table whenever I am out for a tasty meal or happily digging into a successful new recipe. This meal was no exception. I was flipping through a Longo’s magazine when this recipe popped out at me. I put it on the meal plan for the week and was so pleasantly surprised by how this simple topping elevated sausages to beyond delicious.

This screams summer, so take advantage while you can prepare your entire meal on the grill. You will find oven directions below, but follow the link for instructions for cooking the slaw outdoors. As you do so, think of us sacrificing a cool home for satisfied taste buds.

Ingredients
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced *(this is often labeled as Anise in the produce section)
1 to 2 red peppers, thinly sliced
½ to 1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar + 1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or use double the fresh)
Salt and pepper

4 your favourite sausages
4 whole wheat buns

Instructions
1.  Preheat oven (or grill) to 400F
2. Combine all ingredients (except sausages and buns) and spread evenly on baking sheet, reserving the 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
3. Roast for 30 minutes or so, stirring a few times to prevent burning. (Although, a little char never hurt anyone). When ready, toss with remaining balsamic
4. Meanwhile, if preparing indoors, preheat grill pan. Brown sausages on all sides and move into oven until cooked through. Alternatively, if you do not have a grill pan, roast sausages in oven for about 20 minutes, turning once.
5. To assemble, place sausage in bun, pile on slaw. Dig in. Serve with greens (swiss chard seen above) or veggie of choice

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Oh, baby.

Source:
Adapted slightly from: Longo’s

Teriyaki Pineapple Burgers

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I love when a burger is more than just ‘a burger’. Sometimes you want something with a little more flare to help you celebrate the beloved grilling season. Unfortunately, our apartment building does not allow barbequing on the balcony (although, with all of Andrew’s plants, I’m not sure where we would put it!!) However, we received this lovely grill pan from my sister last year and it has helped us cope until we are able to finance a yard.

We halved the recipe below as found on Skinnytaste and from it made 3 burgers. I regret halving the sauce though…because you can never have enough sauce. Try not to slice the pineapple too thick or it could overwhelm the burger. The red onion and cilantro were not originally listed, but I love red onion and pineapple together…and it was very tasty!

 Ingredients

Pineapple Teriyaki Sauce
½ tablespoon cornstarch
¼ cup cold water
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
½ pineapple juice
3 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 small garlic clove, finely minced

Burger
2 lbs lean ground beef (we used half extra lean ground beef, half ground chicken)
½ cup grated carrot
2-3 scallions, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon siracha sauce (we used a dash of chili flakes!)
slices fresh pineapple (1 slice per burger)
whole wheat burger buns (1 bun per burger)
lettuce leaves
¼ cup diced red onion
Small handful of cilantro leaves, chopped

Instructions
Pineapple Teriyaki Sauce

  1. Combine cornstarch with water until dissolved. Set aside
  2. Combine soy sauce, pineapple juice, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium low heat for about 15-18 minutes, until reduced by about half.
  3. Add the cornstarch mixture and simmer for about 2 minutes – the sauce will thicken.
  4. Remove from heat and set aside. This will be drizzled on your finished burger

Burgers

  1. Combine ground meat, carrots, scallions, ginger, soy sauce and hot sauce. Hand mix the ingredients, careful not to over mix. Form into equal sized patties of desired size.
  2. Preheat your grill/grill pan. Brush with oil to prevent major stickage.
  3. Place the patties on the grill, flipping just once after 5-7 minutes. You should see some good colour on the meat. Cook for another 5-7 minutes or until cooked through.
  4. Depending on your grill surface size, grill the pineapple slices for about 2-3 minutes per side while the burgers are cooking/after removing the cooked burgers from the heat. Grill marks aren’t just pretty, they’re delicious.

Assembly

  1. Place lettuce on the bottom bun. Add patty. Drizzle desired amount of sauce directly on top of burger. Top with slice of pineapple, red onion, and cilantro. Dig in.

Source:
Skinnytaste

Meatball Sandwiches on Garlic Toast

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Remember this post the other day for simple tomato sauce? Here is a use for those delicious onions that should not be discarded. See: Sandwich topping. They provide that little extra somethin’ somethin’ – but you’ve already done the work – win!

For me, the star here is the garlic toast.  The toasting of the bread provides a sturdy vehicle for the journey of the meatballs from plate to mouth.  The meatballs are tender, juicy and smothered in tasty sauce. Serve with a green salad for a satisfying meal. Bring napkins.

Note: This makes more meatballs than the two of us needed for dinner. What to do? Freeze, uncooked, on a baking sheet for a few hours, then store in a Ziploc bag for future dinners.

 Meatballs (use this, or your favourite meatball recipe)
Ingredients
½ lb lean ground beef
½ lb ground chicken
½ an onion, finely diced
2 cloves, minced
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or about ¼- ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
Salt and pepper
2-4 tablespoons olive oil, for cooking

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine milk and breadcrumbs until liquid is mostly absorbed.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients, mindful not to over mix!
  4. Form into balls of desired size; ours were just smaller than golf balls.
  5. Heat olive oil in a large skillet/frying pan over medium heat. Place the meatballs on the pan, browning all sides.
  6. Place the frying pan in the oven and bake until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes (depending on the size of your meatballs)

 Garlic Bread
Ingredients
Mini loaves of ciabatta bread (1 per person), split lengthwise
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine butter, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Spread on ciabatta
  3. Place in bread in oven (at 400F or even set to broil), open faced, until lightly toasted

Assembly:

  1. Warm approximately ¼ – ½ cup leftover simple tomato sauce per person and onions.
  2. Place 2-3 meatballs on bread. Smother in sauce and onions.

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