Barbecued Chicken Salad Sandwiches

I’m a fan of salad sandwiches- egg salad, potato salad, tuna salad, and now chicken salad.  I came across this article in the SF Chronicle one weekend and have made it several times since then.  It’s great for hiking trips, camping trips, or just plain lunch.  I like to use leftover rotisserie chicken meat- especially the one from Costco! You can mix in different ingredients as well- in the pictures, I added onion and red bell pepper.

Makes 4 sandwiches
Ingredients:
mayo and bbq sauce

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (Or leftover rotisserie chicken diced into small cubes/pieces)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 3/4 cups store-bought barbecue sauce
3 to 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 sliced green onions
1 tablespoon minced basil (I sometimes substitute cilantro)
4 soft French or potato rolls, cut in half
1/4 head butter lettuce
1 to 2 tomatoes, cut into thick slices

Instructions:
If you don’t have rotisserie chicken on hand, you can make chicken as follows:
1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and marinate in 1 1/2 cups of the barbecue sauce for 2 to 4 hours.

2. Preheat a grill to medium-high, and grill chicken until cooked through, about 6-8 minutes on each side. Alternatively, cook the chicken on a grill pan.

If you already have rotisserie chicken or leftover cooked chicken on hand, you can make chicken as follows:
1. Cut chicken into small dice. Mix with the remaining 1/4 cup barbecue sauce and mayonnaise, and season well with salt and pepper. Stir in the green onions and basil or cilantro.

2. Divide chicken salad among the bottoms of four rolls, top with lettuce and tomato slices, and cover with the tops of the rolls.

chicken salad

chicken salad- ENJOY!

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Crispy Falafel With Yogurt Dip

I’ve always enjoyed eating Mediterranean food, especially falafel.  But I never liked the fact that it was deep fried, which negated the fact that I was eating a vegetarian meal (in my mind).  So I was happy when I stumbled on a healthier falafel recipe in my Real Simple magazine.  As usual, here is the tested recipe:

Serves 4
Hands-On Time: 20m
Total Time: 20m

Ingredients

ingredients lavash

1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup low-fat yogurt (preferably Greek) (I bought Fage greek yogurt- my favorite)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cucumber (english cucumber is crunchy)
8 cups mixed greens
1 cup grape tomatoes
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 package lavash bread (can get at Trader Joe’s or Berkeley Bowl)
Pita chips (optional)
Sriracha sauce (optional)

Directions

mixture
1. Make the falafel. In a food processor, pulse the chickpeas, parsley, garlic, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper just until coarsely chopped and the mixture comes together when gently squeezed.

patties
2. Form into eight 1/2-inch-thick patties and coat with the flour, tapping off excess.

cook patties dry patties
3. Cook the falafel. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the patties, turning carefully, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. If it looks dry, add additional oil while cooking.

dip
4. Prepare the dip. Dice the cucumber into bite size pieces. In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the cucumber.

assembly
5. Open the lavash bread, and divide the greens, tomatoes, onion, and chickpea patties. Drizzle with the dressing, sriracha (for spice) and serve with the pita chips, if using.

enjoy!
6. ENJOY!

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Hummus

I got this recipe from an old coworker (Thanks Ziad!). It’s a classic recipe and never fails to appease the crowds.  You can eat hummus on its own (with some pita or naan), on sandwiches, with falafel, or some fresh veggies.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of garbanzo beans
  • 3 Tbsp Tahini sauce (Berkeley Bowl, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s all sell it)
  • lemon juice / or lime juice
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • paprika
  • cilantro (optional)

Directions

  1. Drain the water from the cans and rinse with cold water
  2. Boil the beans until they are well cooked and soft/mushy (you can scoop out the shells that fall off- or just leave them in)
  3. Drain the beans, save the stock for later use. Save a few whole beans for garnish later.
  4. Add the garlic cloves to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped
  5. Add beans to food processor, squeeze one lemon in, add 3tbsp tahini sauce, add 3tbsp of stock from boiling beans, add pinch of salt.
  6. Blend until smooth. If it is not smooth, add more stock. Add more lemon, stock, salt as necessary. Add more tahini to make more white in color.
  7. Scoop hummus out into a serving tray and garnish with sprigs of cilantro, the reserved beans, sprinkle with paprika and generously drizzle olive oil.
  8. Enjoy the hummus!

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Slow October

SORRY readers! It’s been a slow month… especially since I’ve been traveling for work for the last three weeks.  We’ve got a backlog of recipies and are working on posting them as soon as we can!  Here’s a quick rundown of whats to come…

  • Hummus
  • Falafel
  • Stewed beef
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Simple Vinaigrette Dressing

I used to love eating ranch and thousand island dressing… until I found out what they were made from.  So now I make my own 1 minute dressing from a few simple ingredients.  This is a variation of the normal vinaigrette as I add mustard. Also, I never use a recipe and usually eyeball it.. just remember that the ratio of the oil to vinegar is about 3:1. Since I like the vinegar, I tend to add a little more… you can play around with the ratios depending on how much dressing you need, but I’ve added examples to the right if you need measurements.

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 3 parts EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) (Example: 3/4 cup)
  • 1 part basalmic vinegar (Example: 1/4 cup)
  • a little Dijon mustard (Example: 1 tbsp)
  • a pinch of Kosher salt to taste
  • a few twists of ground pepper (I use ground black pepper)
  • squirt of lime/lemon
  • a whisk

Directions:

  1. Add the vinegar and mustard and mix with the whisk.
  2. Add the olive oil and whisk until the oil and vinegar are no longer separated.
  3. Add salt, pepper, lime/lemon.
  4. Enjoy!
enjoy!

enjoy!

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Pizza Dough

You will need:
3 cups of flour
1 cup of warm water
1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 large bowl
1 small bowl
A flat area to knead on

Steps:

1) In the small bowl, mix the tablespoon of honey into the cup of warm water. After the honey is fully dissolved, add the two teaspoons of yeast to the honey water and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

2) In the large bowl, mix the teaspoon of salt into 3 cups of flour and make a well (indentation) in the center to pour the wet ingredients into.

3) After the yeast has had time to wake up from hibernation, put the honey-yeast-water and 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the well you made in the flour and mix together. You can add a little more plain water if you can’t get all the flour to stick together.

pizza dough (1)

4) Sprinkle some flour onto a flat surface and knead the dough for about 15 minutes.  We use a square of parchment paper on our counter to make cleanup a little simpler. Keep some extra flour in a bowl nearby to coat your hands and re-sprinkle the kneading surface as needed; it will be sticky.

pizza dough (2)

5) After the dough is nice and smooth looking, oil the large bowl and then place the dough back in it and cover with a wet paper towel.
pizza dough (4)pizza dough (7)

6) 90 minutes later, uncover the dough and it should be roughly double in size!
pizza dough (8)
punch down the dough with your fist and then break it into four equal parts.
pizza dough (11)
That’s it, you now have four balls of dough to make mini-pizzas with.

We saved two and used two last night. Obviously, we first rolled them out,
pizza dough (15)
laid on the sauce and cheese,
pizza dough (16)pizza dough (18)
placed toppings,
pizza dough (21)pizza dough (20)
put in the oven for 10 minutes on 390 degrees,
pizza dough (23)
topped with light greens, and enjoyed!
pizza dough (31)pizza dough (28)

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Oregon Tuna Melt

Reading Food & Wine magazine is always hit or miss. But September’s issue was definitely a hit. There was an article called “Simple Acts of Sandwich Genius” that had a few recipes that looks delicious. The first one I saw was the Focaccia Reuben below and the second was the Oregon Tuna Melt.  Again, a quick visit to Berkeley Bowl and items found in my cabinet resulted in dinner.

Ingredients

ingredients

  1. Two 6-ounce cans albacore tuna
  2. 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  3. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  5. 1 tablespoon minced basil
  6. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  7. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  8. 4 ciabatta rolls, split
  9. Dijon mustard and mayonnaise, for spreading
  10. Eight 1/4-inch-thick slices of Swiss or cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
  11. Sixteen 1/8-inch-thick lengthwise slices of kosher dill pickle
  12. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1. In a medium bowl, mix the tuna with the onion, olive oil, vinegar, basil and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Heat a panini press or griddle. Spread the cut sides of the rolls with mustard and mayonnaise and top each roll half with a slice of cheese. Spread the tuna salad on the bottoms and cover with the pickles. Close the sandwiches and spread the outsides of the rolls with the butter.

3. Add the sandwiches to the press and cook over moderate heat until the cheese is melted, about 6 minutes. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.

yum (yes thats the pickle jar in the bg)

yum (yes that's the pickle jar in the bg)

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Focaccia Reuben Sandwich

Reading Food & Wine magazine is always hit or miss. But September’s issue was definitely a hit. There was an article called “Simple Acts of Sandwich Genius” that had a few recipes that looks delicious. The first one I saw was the Focaccia Reuben from SF’s very own Sentinel. I’ve been there and had this sandwich, so I knew it would be delicious. It was a last minute decision to make the sandwich and a quick visit to Berkeley Bowl did the trick.

Ingredients (for 4 servings)

  • One 1/2-pound green cabbage, thinly sliced (4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Four 4-by-6-inch pieces of focaccia, split
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • Eight 1/4-inch-thick slices of Gruyère cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced corned beef
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • Directions

    1. In a large bowl, toss the cabbage with the vinegar, sugar and salt. Let stand at room temperature, tossing occasionally, until softened, about 30 minutes.

    2. Heat a panini press or griddle (I used a griddle). Arrange the focaccia on a work surface, cut sides up. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup with the mayonnaise. Spread the dressing on the bottom halves of the focaccia. Set a slice of Gruyère on the dressing. Top with the corned beef, pickled cabbage and the remaining slices of Gruyère. Close the sandwiches and spread the outsides of the focaccia with the softened butter.

    3. Add the sandwiches to the press and cook over moderate heat until the cheese has melted and the focaccia is crisp and golden, about 6 minutes. (I covered the sandwich with a piece of foil to help melt and warm it faster)

    4. Cut each sandwich in half and serve right away. Enjoy.

    Make Ahead: The cabbage can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

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