Posts Tagged sandwich

Roast Chicken Salad with Tarragon and Apricots

This recipe starts with Martha Stewart’s roast chicken. I suppose there are other ways you could go about cooking the chicken, but I adore Martha’s recipe. It is simple and classic and it results in perfectly cooked chicken, every single time. (A quick note about Martha’s chicken recipe. She says to cook the chicken to 180-190 °F. However, the FDA recommends that chicken be cooked to 165 °F. I side with the FDA on this one. If cooked to Martha’s recommendation, I think the chicken would be dry and overdone.)

Recently, I’ve been attempting to roast a chicken at least once a month. First off, roast chicken is so incredibly delicious. In a world full of boneless skinless chicken breasts and chicken nuggets made of pink slime, it is easy to forget that chicken is real food that comes from a real animal. I almost forgot that chicken can taste good. But let me tell you, a properly roasted chicken is one of my favorite things to eat.

In addition, a roast chicken results in multiple meals throughout the week, and a whole bunch of homemade chicken stock. (And homemade chicken stock is the best!) While there are a number of great ways to use up leftover roast chicken, I almost always end up making chicken salad. What can I say? I love a good chicken salad.

I’ve made a lot of chicken salads in my day, and this version is one of my favorites. The crunch of the celery, the sweetness of the apricots, and the vibrance of the fresh spring herbs are just perfect together. It is the perfect springtime meal.

Tarragon and Apricot Chicken Salad | Rosemarried

Tarragon and Apricot Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked chicken (mix of light & dark meat), roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon hazelnut oil (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • Optional ingredients: chopped hazelnuts or diced green onions.

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the mayo, sour cream, hazelnut oil, vinegar, and herbs.
  2. Mix together chicken, celery, shallot, and chopped apricots in a medium sized bowl. Pour the sour cream mixture over the chicken and stir to combine. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. Cover the chicken salad and store in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Serve with bread, crackers, or in lettuce cups.

http://rosemarried.com/2014/03/27/tarragon-apricot-chicken-salad/

Spring Sandwich with Avocado, Radish, and Greens.

And just like that, everything is new again.

The chill of winter has lifted and life is springing forth from the ground. I see it all around me and I feel it in my bones.

Spring has come.

With the spring comes change. For me, this time of year means many different things; it is a time of celebration, a time of plenty, and a time of joy. It is a time for farmer’s markets and radishes and ramps and spring greens. It is a time for opening up the windows, a time for letting the sunlight and fresh air in.

daffodils

For some of us, this season is also a time of remembrance. A time of fasting and prayer, in preparation for the death and resurrection of Christ. For the past few years, Nich and I have observed Great Lent (aka Orthodox Lent). For six weeks, we abstain from meat, dairy, and alcohol, in preparation for the Easter Feast (Pascha).

I am only one week into Great Lent, but I already feel the effects of fasting. I feel focused and rested, contemplative and clear-minded. I feel hopeful and grateful. And yet, I am struck by the realization that I have so much. I have the freedom to abstain from luxuries such as meat, cheese, and wine. I know that there are many (many) people in this world who aren’t afforded this choice. They abstain because they do not have.

It is a sobering realization that I do not take lightly. Such is the nature of this season – it is a time of hope and of heaviness.

All that said, here’s to spring and all that it brings.

Spring Sandwich with Radishes, Avocado, and Spring Greens

Serving Size: Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 heaping cup spring greens (baby kale, arugula, spinach, chard, lettuce, etc.), washed and patted dry.
  • 3 radishes
  • Slices of whole wheat sourdough (or other bread of your choice)
  • Whole grain mustard
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. First, I like to ‘quick pickle’ the red onion. You don’t have to pickle the red onion, but I think it adds a nice vinegary kick to the sandwich. To pickle the onion, first peel the onion and slice 1/4 of the onion into very thin slices (reserve the rest for another use). Place the onion slices in a small bowl and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt over the onions. Pour red wine vinegar over the onions, just enough to cover and stir to coat. Allow to sit for 15 minutes (or more).
  2. Meanwhile, assemble the sandwiches. In a small bowl, toss the greens with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. (Be careful not to overdress, use only a little olive oil and lemon juice.)
  3. Spread a thin layer of whole grain mustard onto a piece of bread. Top with half of the greens. Slice the avocado in half, and cut the half into thin slices (reserving the other half for a second sandwich). Arrange the avocado slices atop the greens.
  4. Using a knife or mandoline, slice the radishes into very thin rounds. Place radish slices atop the avocado.
  5. Sprinkle a few of the pickled red onions atop the sandwich. Season with a bit of salt and freshly ground pepper. Top with another slice of bread, or enjoy as an open-faced sandwich.

http://rosemarried.com/2013/03/25/spring-sandwich-with-avocado-radish-and-greens/

Wintery Grilled Cheese (with Goat Cheese, Roasted Beets & Wilted Chard).

It’s a quiet winter Sunday and I’m puttering about the house and working on various projects (cleaning, organizing, laundry, etc). It’s freezing outside and the weather is manic; alternating between snow flurries and sunshine. I’ve got a chill in my bones that I can’t quite shake, and no amount of coffee seems to do the trick. I click back and forth between the Packers game and the Golden Globes, as I can’t decide which is more depressing.

I think it’s the perfect day to make a grilled cheese sandwich.

Why? Because grilled cheese is the perfect winter meal.

In addition, the grilled cheese sandwich is a prime example of a time-tested culinary rule: melty cheese + bread = culinary magic. (If interpreted loosely, this rule also applies to pizza, quesadillas, nachos, lasagna, mac n’ cheese, cheeseburgers, etc. You get the idea.)
So, this sandwich is essentially a dressed up version of the bread and cheese rule. I took a couple slices of quality bread and added goat cheese, roasted beets, wilted chard, caramelized onions, along with a healthy dollop of creamy horseradish.

The result? My new favorite winter meal. I’m not kidding. This sandwich is a wonderful tribute to the season, and utilizes some of my favorite winter vegetables: beets, onions, and chard. The creamy goat cheese melds together perfectly with the earthy winter veggies, and the horseradish gives the sandwich just the right amount of punch.

If this is what winter tastes like, then I hope winter lasts forever.

(OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit with that last sentence. At the very least, this sandwich makes the winter much more tolerable.)

Wintery Grilled Cheese: With Goat Cheese, Roasted Beets, and Wilted Chard.
(Inspired from a similar sandwich I consumed at Bunk Bar. Thank you, Tommy. You rule.)
Makes 4 hearty sandwiches.

Ingredients:
8 slices quality bread (I splurged on Grand Central Bakery’s Sliced Campagnolo. So good.)
4 ounces goat cheese (Chevre), room temperature
3 cups of rainbow chard, roughly chopped
1 large yellow onion, sliced thinly
2 medium-large beets
Horseradish, to taste

Method:
Roast the beets: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash beets and trim off beet greens, leaving a 1/2 inch “stem”. Wrap each beet individually in tin foil. Once the oven is hot, place wrapped beets directly on the oven rack (or on a pan, if you’d rather). Roast for 40 minutes (up to an hour), until beets are soft all the way through when pricked with a fork. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, unwrap beets and remove skin. The skin should come off easily (I usually use a paper towel and gently rub off the skin). Set beets aside.

While the beets are roasting, caramelize the onions. In a medium size non-stick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium-low heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the sliced onions. Allow to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until brown and caramelized (about 30 minutes). If they begin to cook too quickly, turn the heat down to low. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside.

In the same skillet (no need to clean it, the onion flavor will just enhance the chard), heat a splash of oil over medium heat. Add in the chopped chard and allow to heat. Stir, and after a minute or two, add one tablespoon of water to the pan. Cover, and turn the heat down to medium-low. Allow the chard to cook like this for 5 minutes. Check on the chard, if the water has evaporated but the chard is still under-cooked, add a bit more water and cook for 2-3 more minutes. I like my chard leaves to be wilted, but I like the chard stems to still retain a bit of crunch. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside until ready to make your sandwiches.

Once the beets, chard, and onions have cooked, your sandwiches are ready to assemble!

I trust that you all know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich, so I’m not going to go overboard with instructions. Essentially, spread a (thick) layer of goat cheese on one slice of bread. Top with beet slices, wilted chard, and caramelized onions. Spread creamy horseradish on the other slice of bread (along with a little more goat cheese, if you so desire). Butter the exterior of your bread slices, and cook your grilled cheese sandwiches on a griddle (or non-stick skillet) over medium-high heat. Cook sandwiches for 3-5 minutes on each side, until bread is golden and the goat cheese is warm and ‘melty’.

Note: goat cheese does not “melt” like other cheeses, but it will get warm, gooey, and delicious.

On Harvest Dinners, Vacations, and Bacon-y Egg Salad.

Hello, everyone!

I’d like to start off by saying that I don’t feel the need to apologize for my lack of recent posts. I don’t feel bad about it and neither should you! Life gets busy and crazy and sometimes I don’t have a spare moment to cook (or write about cooking). So, then, rather than lament my lack of posts…I’ll just tell you what I’ve been up to.

Most of my energies were focused upon one event: The Montavilla Farmer’s Market Harvest Dinner. I’ve been volunteering with the Market all year, but I was especially excited to help with their annual fundraising dinner. The dinner was comprised of 6 courses (omnivore or vegan), wine pairings, a silent auction, and music by a string quartet. The purpose of the dinner is to raise funds for the Market’s Everybody Eats program, which helps with food stamp matching and food accessibility.

I was charged with the task of heading up the decor and ambiance for the dinner. I had a very specific vision for the look and feel of the dinner and I if I do say so myself, it all turned out beautifully. The dinner was a great success! The food was fantastic, the wines were delicious, the ambiance was lovely, and the guests were happy.

Pictured: Harvest dinner place setting.

The day after the Harvest dinner, Nich and I escaped to the coast. I knew that we’d be exhausted from the event and thankfully I had the foresight to book us at a room at cute little hotel in Astoria, Oregon. When we arrived in Astoria, we were greeted with never-ending and miserable rain. We decided to make the best of it and proceeded to wander about the quaint little town, and ended up getting positively soaking. I looked like a drowned rat. But, we made sure to warm ourselves with a few tasty brews at the Fort George Brewing Company.

The next morning, we awoke and everything had changed. The skies were blue and the seas were calm…it was downright gorgeous. We walked along the pier, drank coffee, and read a lot of Harry Potter. Since we weren’t in a hurry (nor did we have a schedule!), we wandered around the coast aimlessly until we felt it was time to head back home. We drove home with the windows down and the music turned up loud. I sang along at the top of my lungs as the sun warmed my face and I felt that all was right with the world. It was the perfect getaway.

Pictured: Nich & I at the coast. Happy.

We arrived home feeling refreshed. Nich jumped into projects mode (he built us a picnic table!) and I set about making egg salad sandwiches. Why? Because I happen to love egg salad sandwiches! And I had a ton of eggs in the fridge. And I was too lazy to go to the store. And egg salad is delicious! This particular batch of egg salad was extra delicious, as I had the genius idea to add in bacon and caramelized shallots. These additions transformed the egg salad into something special. This is not your typical soggy deli egg salad. No, my friends, this is egg salad all grown up. You must try it for yourself! I beg of you.

So, there you have it…

This week I helped throw a fundraiser dinner, escaped to the coast, returned home, and made a damn good batch of egg salad. Oh, and I helped put on this food swap. I didn’t do much in the way of cooking or writing, but that’s OK. I wasn’t blogging, but I was busy doing a lot of wonderful things. All that to say, I had a really fantastic week. I hope you did too.

Pictured: Egg Salad Sandwich on Dave’s Killer Blues Bread with Spring Greens and Tomato

Egg Salad with Bacon, Caramelized Shallots, and Whole Grain Mustard
Note: This is what I would call a German style egg salad. The egg salad has all the classic flavors of german pub food. It is bold, smoky, and full of flavor.

4 strips bacon
1 large shallot, sliced thinly
10 eggs
1/4 cup mayo
2 Tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon honey mustard (or yellow mustard)
2 dill pickle spears, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Salt, to taste

For sandwich:
Dave’s killer bread (or other tasty whole grain bread)
Slices of heirloom tomatoes
Greens, such as arugula or spinach

My tips for perfect hard boiled eggs: Place eggs in a large pot and cover with water, until eggs are covered with about an inch of water. Place pot on stove and heat over high heat until water just barely begins to boil. Once the water boils, turn the stove off and remove pan from heat. Cover the pot and set your timer for 15 minutes (allowing the eggs to sit in the hot water during this time). After 15 minutes, pour off hot water and rinse eggs with cold water to stop the cooking process. You should now have perfectly hard boiled eggs.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon and shallots. For the bacon, cook strips in a skillet over medium heat until the bacon is crisp and the fat has rendered. For the shallots, cook in a small non-stick skillet over medium heat with a dash of olive oil. Allow the shallots to slowly brown and caramelize. If they are browning too quickly, turn the heat down to low. The shallots should caramelize in 15-20 minutes. Set aside bacon and shallots and allow to cool.

To assemble the egg salad:
Peel and dice all the hard boiled eggs and place in a bowl. Mix in the mayo, mustard(s), salt, pepper, paprika and dill. Adjust mayo & mustard levels according to your personal preference. The egg salad should be moist but thick (not runny).

Chop bacon strips and dill pickles into a fine dice. Gently stir in the bacon, pickles, and dill until just combined. Serve egg salad on a piece of toast with lettuce and tomato.

Sriracha & Blackstrap Molasses Pulled Pork

June is just one giant party after another.

While I’m trying to catch my breath from the madness of May (which includes Mother’s Day and my dad’s birthday), June comes along with Father’s Day (June 19), my mom’s birthday (June 18), my parent’s wedding anniversary (June 3), and my own wedding anniversary (June 20).

There’s just so much to celebrate!

So, rather than try to celebrate each individual event, my family decided to have one celebration that would cover all the various birthdays and holidays. Originally, our plan was to BBQ and laze about in the sun and eat delicious food together. There was talk of ribs and homemade ice cream! But, the Portland forecast had other ideas. The weather this past weekend was quite lame, to say the least. A BBQ was not in the cards.

But, I wasn’t willing to let the weather win. I was feeling sassy and summery and so I decided to make pulled pork sandwiches. Pulled pork has all the flavor and attitude of BBQ, but can be done indoors with a slow cooker. Done and done.

I’ve made pulled pork a few times over the years and it is always a hit. It’s one of those dishes that is hard to screw up. Throw some pork in a slow cooker, add some seasonings, and walk away for 8 hours. That’s my kind of cooking!

Since I was making the pulled pork for a special occasion, I wanted to jazz up the recipe a bit. I’m not a big fan of ketchup (OK, I think it’s nasty), but a lot of pulled pork recipes use ketchup as part of the sauce base. I was in need of an unconventional and ketchup-free pulled pork. So, I turned to my trusty pantry to see what I could find. I was in luck! I had a few key pantry staples on hand that I knew would work together to make a fabulous BBQ sauce: tomato paste, Sriracha, and blackstrap molasses. The tomato paste would bring the tangy tomato element we’re all used to in BBQ sauce, the Sriacha would add heat, and the molasses would add depth and sweetness.

So, I went for it. I threw it all in a crock pot, walked away for hours, and crossed my fingers that would all work. Thankfully, it did work. It was absolutely and positively delicious. It was everything pulled pork should be – spicy, complex, sweet, smoky, and flavorful. My family and I happily devoured our pulled pork sandwiches (and cole slaw, and potato salad, and cantaloupe, and strawberry shortcake…) and thoroughly enjoyed our celebration of all June holidays. What can I say? I’m a lucky lady. So much to celebrate, and so many wonderful people to celebrate with.

So, here’s to you, June. Here’s to wedding anniversaries, fathers, mothers, celebrations, and a big batch of pulled pork.

Blackstrap Molasses & Sriracha Pulled Pork
(Serves 6)

1 yellow onion, sliced thinly
3-4 lbs pork shoulder

Sriracha & Blackstrap Molasses BBQ Sauce:
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
2 teaspoons Sriracha hot sauce (more/less depending on how much spice you want)
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Spice rub:
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon salt
Dash of cayenne pepper

Method:

Prepare the pork: Mix all spice rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Rub the outside of the pork with the spices, and allow to sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour before cooking (can do this the night before).

Slice the onion thinly, and place most (3/4) of the onion slices in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Cut pork shoulder down into large chunks (2-3 inches) and trim off any excess fat. Place pork pieces atop the onion slices in teh slow cooker. Toss the last onion slices on top of the pork.

Meanwhile, whisk together sauce ingredients: tomato paste, cider vinegar, molasses, Sriracha, ground mustard and black pepper. Pour 1/2 of this mixture over the pork in the slow cooker, reserving the rest of the sauce mixture for later. Cook pork on low heat for 8 hours (Note: I started my pork at 9:30am and needed it to be done by 4 pm. I cooked it on low all morning, but at 2pm I turned the heat up to high.)

When the pork is ready, it should be falling apart and ‘fork tender’. Remove pork (and onions) to a bowl. Discard gristle and shred the pork with 2 forks until desired consistency. Pour any liquid left in the crockpot into a jar, skimming off any unwanted fat. Once the pork has been shredded, place back in the crockpot. Stir in the reserved Sriracha BBQ sauce with the pork. Pour back in some of the cooking liquid, until the pork is moist and juicy.

Serve with yummy buns/bread, coleslaw, and whole grain mustard. (YUM.)

*Note: While the recipe does not start with much liquid, you’ll find the end result to be very moist. As the pork cooks down, it simmers in its own fat and juices. I found there was almost too much liquid, hence why I removed the pork from the liquid and then poured back in the desired amount of liquid. This ensures that you don’t end up with soupy pulled pork sandwiches!