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Posts Tagged ‘sandwhich’

Last week I posted a challenge to all you bloggers, what are your favorite foods that you want to challenge me with?  Bokkie gave me today’s secret ingredient: lamb!

Leg of lamb was the choise cut for dinner with the grandparents.  Salt and pepper the entire surface of the leg, this one was about 4 pounds, then sear all sides in a hot pan suitable to be transferred to the oven.  Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.

Roast the leg for 30 minutes.  Then add a glass of red wine (we were having a Bonterra ’08 Cabernet Sauvignon to drink, supposedly with fruit and pepper notes and was not too dry) and sprinkle herbs de Provence over the meat.  Return the leg promptly to the hot oven to roast once again for 20-30 minutes.  Roughly allow 20 minutes per pound, if left without searing it first.  I removed the leg at 70 minutes, let it rest for ten minutes before carving.  Use those drippings with a slurry of cornstarch in some more wine of course, and bring it to a bubble on the stove.  Do be mindful that pan it hot!

Leg of Lamb

The next day, I was amazed there were left overs of the lamb.  All the more to experiment with my dear!

So as the crazy chefs seem to invent dishes in kitchen stadium, I looked at the lamb with a quizzical face… what are you going to become?  The answer was homey and simple.  Grilled cheese sandwiches.

Thin slices of lamb were piled on wheat bread spread with Dijon mustard.  Some homemade pickles were finely diced and sharp aged cheddar cheese was shredded using a box grater.  I just wish we had a better loaf to include in this dish, oh well!

Throw this into your favorite grilling pan to toast both sides to a golden crisp.  Slice and serve.

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Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

 

Creativity comes from strange places sometimes.   

We’ve hit a dry and very hot spell of weather. The temperature climbs and I want to jump into the freezer to get a short reminder of where I come from and why I love the south. I wanted to be rid of snow, ice, and horrible storms in winter… I dreamt of palm trees, a soft breeze and sun-kissed skin. Be careful what you wish for!   Well, I do have a palm tree out front of the house. The wind is more like a giant hair dryer blowing hot air in my face. Turns out, my skin doesn’t appreciate the sun very much and burns without a tinsy bit of golden colour left after the throbbing pain subsides. I digress….    

I made some cucumber yogurt stuff to go along with dinner one night, there’s still some left in the fridge begging to be eaten. “What do you go with?” I asked the bowl of cool cucumber dressed in red onion and yogurt. “Chicken and tortillas was fun!”, it eagerly replied. “We’re fresh out of those, sorry”, I said with a shrug. “Oh, I know! Try me with eggs!” At this point hunger had taken over and anything sounded good. I didn’t want to dig out a frozen chunk-o-fish and have to deal with thawing, flavouring, and cooking on such a hot day when all I wanted was a late lunch. But eggs? And cucumber? That just didn’t seem possible, “um, hard-boiled eggs… What did you think I meant lady?” “Hey, now you’re talkin’!”   

To make the Eggcellent Summer Sandwiches, you will need (these are approximations):
3/4 cup finely diced cucumber
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
juice of half a key lime or tsp or so lemon
sea salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
2 -3 tbsp plain yogurt (drained) or greek yogurt
1 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1-2 tbsp light mayo
hard-boiled eggs (1 per sandwich), optional – leave out yolks for even lighter sandwich!  
 

Adjust the amount of yogurt and mayo depending on the actual volume of eggs and cucumber, and how you like mayo on your sandwiches.  I tend to go light with mayo on any sandwich, you can always add a little more later.   

This was an unusual twist on the boring old egg salad sandwich.  The tang from the yogurt mixed with the yolks since they sort of dissolve away when you mix all this up  

There are more baby cucumbers growing outside in my garden which now have more hope of being devoured in a recipe like this.   

Enjoy 🙂  

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Happiness on a bun!

 

This lunch came together with my first ever smoked pork butt and kwik kimchi I made with the leftover cabbage leaves from the attempt to make my grandmother’s cabbage rolls. 

Smoke Some Butt

I’m a big fan of Alton Brown when it comes to the right way to prepare certain foods.  There’s a science behind the method to execute it safely and make it tasty.  A brine is one of those things I looked to Alton for.  I used molasses, salt and water in a large stock pot to brine the piggy overnight (12 hours) in the fridge.  The rub was my mix of favorite flavors: brown sugar, salt, cumin, garlic powder, and chipotle chili powder.  

The smoker intimidated me slightly.  My hubby is usually the one who deals with outdoor cooking.  Although, it’s sad that I can’t do a better job of it after spending every summer growing up at Sylvan Lake where at least half of the cooking was over the fire pit.  I also had to start a fire in the sauna house, in a little old-fashioned wood stove with rocks on top and a huge pot of H2O.  The pork needed to get on the grill early if I had any hope of eating it before going off to bed that night.  I tried to start it with sticks and paper.  Paper and small branches.  Small branches, charcoal and lighter fluid.  Ah ha!  I really don’t like to taste jet fuel on my food, so lighter fluid is always a last resort.  Trust me, I had been trying for an hour before the big guns had to come out.  By this time the sun was out and hot, and I was stinky! 

All day I checked the pork and the coals.  Added a few pieces of oak for added smoke.  Ten and a half hours later, exhausted because somebody didn’t take her long afternoon nap as usual, the butt was smoked.  

This hunk of meat didn’t look pretty, but OMG it tasted like bacon, smoky salty bacon.  I had a flash back to my friend Jills’ parents’ house where I shared a dinner of salt beef (a Newfoundland dish).  The salt beef was so far outside of my saltiness spectrum at the time because I had learned somewhere when I was about 7 years old that salt was “White Man’s Death” and refused to add it to my plate ever since.  Silly girl – salt is GREAT in moderation 🙂  I digress… 

The Kwik Kimchi

I had the center of the cabbage left over from making cabbage rolls and made a kimchi out of it. 

  • some cabbage, blanched, diced
  • equal parts water and vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar), just enough to soak the cabbage, don’t make it soupy
  • tsp sugar
  • tsp salt
  • red chili flakes
  • minced fresh ginger
  • slices of ginger (optional)

Combine the water, vinegar, salt and sugar until dissolved.  Add chili flakes and ginger.  Toss in the cabbage and turn it all around to coat.  Let this sit in the fridge for half an hour to pickle.

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