Showing posts with label Sandwiches. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sandwiches. Show all posts

Friday, September 30, 2016

Sweet Potato Buns – Great for Burgers, and Learning How to Bake Without Fear

Not only does adding sweet potatoes to a burger bun make it more nutritious, delicious, and significantly more beautiful, but it also presents the perfect opportunity to get pass your flour amount phobia, and finally be able to make dough by feel.

Every once in a while, I’ll get an email from someone whose dough was way too wet, or dry, and I always think the same thing; why would you stop? Some actually tell me they had to throw out the whole batch, which is insane. Your dough’s too wet? Add some flour. Too dry? Add some water.

No matter how exact a recipe is written, you simply can’t go by measurements, volume or weight, and expect perfection. There are too many variables that effect how much flour is needed – like a cup of mashed sweet potatoes, for example.

The best strategy is to not add all the flour at once, and only add enough to achieve the soft, slightly tacky dough seen herein. One of the great advantages of video is being able to see what the dough should look and feel like.

Once you get comfortable with not worrying about exact amounts, but rather exact results, the world of bread opens up to you and your new-found powers. Now, you just need to practice, so with that in mind, I really hope you give these amazing sweet potato buns a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 8 large, 16 medium, or 32 slider-sized rolls:

For sponge:
1 package (2 1/2 tsp) dry active yeast (I used Fleischmann's “RapidRise” Yeast)
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup AP flour

Then add:
1 cup mashed orange sweet potato (also sold as yams)
2 tsp honey
1 1/4 teaspoons fine salt
1 large egg
3 tablespoons melted butter
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour AP flour, as needed to form the right texture dough (see blog post)

- Bake at 400 F. for 15 minutes, or until browned. Large buns may take an extra few minutes, and the sliders-sized may take a minute or two less.
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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Grilled Beef Flank Steak “Pastrami” – Backyard Deli

I’ll do a proper pastrami one of these days. Maybe right after I get a smoker. But in the meantime, this pastrami-spiced beef flank steak should do nicely. As with all "cheater" recipes, managing your expectations is key.

You can’t get the texture and color of a real “pastrami” without the curing step, where the meat is soaked in a brine, before being spiced/smoked, but you can get pretty close to the flavor, using the spice rub seen herein.

We’ve used a similar technique to turn plain corned beef into “pastrami,” as well as create a duck Reuben; one of my favorite videos of all time. By the way, the ingredient amounts below have been adjusted slightly, as my spice rub was a tad bit overpowering.

I’ve backed down the black pepper and mustard, but as with all spice amounts, that’s really up to you. If you simply put salt and pepper on a flank steak, and grill it properly, you’ll have something delicious to eat, so keep that in mind as you rub your meat. 

I ate mine fresh, but if you let it cool, slice it thin, and warm it up in a pan with a little splash of water, and a tiny pinch of sugar, you’ll have something even more pastrami-like. I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

SPECIAL NOTE: I let my meat warm to room temp before grilling, so the inside reaches my desired temp a little quicker, and before the outside spice rub gets too black. Conversely, when grilling a steak, and there's nothing to burn on the surface, I generally like the meat cold, so the outside has plenty of time to sear, before the meat inside is done. 


Ingredients for 4 large portions:
1 trimmed beef flank steak (usually 1.5 to 1.75 pounds)
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dry mustard
- For best results, cook to a medium. I pulled at about 135 F. internal temp, which will rise to about 140 F. as it rests.
-Serve with slightly sweetened mustard and rye bread
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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sandwich Rolls – Because Size and Shape Matter

As promised, here is our method for making your own sandwich rolls at home, and while “shocked” may be a bit strong, I think many people will be surprised at just how simple these are. Like, four ingredient simple. Sure you have to wait a few hours while it rises, but that gives you time to decide what sandwich to make.

Besides the super obvious reasons why these are better than the ones from the supermarket, you can make them the exact size and shape you want. We’ve all been there…you find the perfect sausage at the store, but the rolls in the bakery dept. are either too short, or too long, leaving you angry and disillusioned. 

Like I said in the video, you can pretty much use this technique with any yeast dough, and it just depends on what you’re going for. Speaking of which, a viewer who couldn’t wait for this recipe to make banh mi, used our no-knead beer bread dough, and reported they had great success.

This recipe is based on our French baguette, but if you happen to have luck using another one of our recipes, please let us know! I hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


Makes 6 Sandwich Rolls:
1 package dry active yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 1/2 cups warm water (100 F.)
1 1/2 tsp fine salt
19 ounces (by weight) bread flour (about 4 1/4 cups)
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Bánh Mì – More Than a Sandwich

I’ll never forget my first real bánh mì. It was here in San Francisco, at a place called Saigon Sandwich, and I remember thinking to myself, this just isn’t one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had to eat, but one of the best things, period.

Not only do we get amazing contrasts in flavor, and texture, but also the temperature difference between the crisp, warm, meat-filled roll, and cool, crunchy vegetables, makes this so much fun to eat.

By the way, the secret sauce should be just sweet enough to temporarily put out the fire from the sriracha and jalapenos. Which reminds me, everything here is “to taste.” The amounts below are just guidelines, and by guidelines, I mean guesses.

If you’re not into our roasted 5-spice pork for this sandwich, you can pretty much use any of your favorite sandwich ingredients. Ham is great, as is smoked turkey, and while I’ve not tried it yet, I bet many of our grilled chicken breast recipes would be stellar here. Just don’t forget the pate!

I prefer the smooth, buttery type of pate, and you don’t have to get to fancy. That one from the cheese shop, made with pork and chicken livers is just fine. Stay tuned for the French rolls video coming soon, and at some point very soon, I hope you give this a try. Enjoy!


Ingredients for one Bánh Mì:
1 crusty French sandwich roll
3 tablespoons secret sauce (mayo, seasoned to taste with hoisin sauce, and sriracha)
4 ounces roasted pork
2 ounces smooth pate
1/2 cup *pickled daikon and carrot
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
6-7 jalapeno slices
6 thin spears English cucumber

* To make the pickled daikon and carrot, use equal parts and toss in enough seasoned rice vinegar to coat well. Let sit for 15-20 minutes, or until the veggies get slightly limp. Drain and use, or refrigerate. If using regular vinegar, add a pinch of salt and sugar.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hot Baked Reuben Dip – Deli Up Your Super Bowl Party

This baked Reuben dip works so well that you’ll be racking your brain trying to think of other iconic sandwiches to convert into dip form. Of course, thanks to the Internet, most of this work has probably already been done, but something to keep in mind the next time you’re out of things to daydream about.

I went with pastrami here, but corned beef is more common, and probably the safer bet. Pastrami is heavily spiced with coriander and black pepper, and therefor your dip will be too. I love that kind of thing, but something to consider depending on your audience. No matter what meat you use, you’re going to be enjoying a truly delicious hot dip, which is also great warm, or room temp.

The seeded crackers I used in the video were great, but they’re a little on the pricey side, especially when purchased at the fancy cheese shop, so one of these days I need to show you how to make your own. Unless we all get rich betting on the game, using my guaranteed chicken wing bone method. In that case, we’ll continue to buy the crackers. I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!



Ingredients for 24 servings:
1 pound sliced corned beef or pastrami
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sauerkraut, drained well, squeezed very dry
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 rounded tablespoon ketchup
1 rounded tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
cayenne to taste
8 ounces “Swiss” cheese (4 ounces Gruyere and 4 ounces Emmenthaler)
crackers and bread
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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Spring Vegetable Tartine with White Anchovies – Food Wishes and Little Fishes

It’s not unusual for me to borrow ideas from the various restaurants I visit, but they’re normally tweaked, altered, or otherwise adapted. This time, however, I just blatantly stole this spring vegetable tartine with white anchovies, as it. Why mess with perfection?

Yes, this spring vegetable tartine, featuring the awesomeness that is the white anchovy, was lifted almost verbatim from SHED, which is my current, “favorite place to eat.” If you’re ever anywhere near Healdsburg, CA (like within 500 miles), you simply must visit this amazing store/café/charcuterie/restaurant hybrid.

Now that I’ve offset some of my guilt for stealing this recipe with such a glowing recommendation, I can move on to this intensely tasty tartine. This would be incredibly delicious with just the aioli and vegetables, but when you add the “boquerones,” this goes from great sandwich, to memorable experience.

Even if you think you hate anchovies, which you really don’t, you may still love these, since they are so completely different. They are very mild in flavor, but still extremely savory. I was going to say they're a little bit like pickled herring, but that probably won’t help. Regardless, I hope you give this spring vegetable tartine a try very soon. Enjoy! 


Ingredients for 4 generous servings:

For the aioli:
1 or 2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
pinch of cayenne

The rest:
4 large thick slices day-old French bread, toasted
16 white anchovy fillets (aka boquerones)
* 2 cups thinly peeled, sliced, or shredded fresh vegetables, moistened with a splash of lemon juice, and drizzle of olive oil.
edible flowers, optional

* Carrots, fennel root, radishes, celery root, asparagus, artichoke hearts, peppers, endive, micro greens, and any/all kinds of sprouts would work beautifully here.
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