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Category Archives: Sandwiches

Bread Week, Part 4 – Go Dutch for Lunch with a Cook’s Country Dutch Crunch Roll

I always have grand ambitions to make my own sandwich rolls for things like hamburgers, sausage and peppers, or just to have for sandwiches for lunch or dinner. I do make them sometimes, but not nearly as often as I wish I had time to and have to make do with what we get from the local store (oh, how I wish we had a real bakery around here!). In any case, I was planning on making chicken sandwiches for dinner recently and decided I was going to make my own rolls for them. I had come across a recipe in Cook’s Country from April/May 2016 for a roll I had not heard of before called a Dutch Crunch. It is a regional roll that is well-known in San Francisco for its combination of a lightly sweet sandwich bread with a crunchy, unique topping. The pictures of the rolls in the magazine looked enticing, so I figured it would be a good one to attempt for dinner.

Cook’s Country Dutch Crunch Rolls

For the Dough:

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees)

3 tablespoons butter, melted

4 teaspoons granulated sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast

1 teaspoon salt

For the Topping:

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (110 degrees)

3/4 cup white rice flour

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons instant or rapid rise yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt

For the dough, using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the all-purpose flour, water, melted butter, sugar, yeast, and salt together on low speed until a cohesive mass starts to form, about 2 to 3 minutes. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Grease a large a bowl and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough briefly to form it into a smooth ball, about 30 seconds. Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl and the dough to coat it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until it is almost doubled in size and a fingertip depression in the dough springs back slowly, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Gently press down on the center of the dough to deflate it. Place the dough on a clean work surface and divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece of dough into a rough ball by pinching and pulling the dough edges under so that the top of the ball is smooth.

Flip each ball onto the smooth side and pat each ball into a 4-inch circle. Fold the top edge of the circle down to the midline, pressing on it to seal it. Fold the bottom edge of the circle up to meet the first seam at the midline and press it to seal it. Fold the dough in half, so the top and the bottom edges come together and pinch the edges together to form a seam. Flip the dough to the seam sound down and gently roll it into a 6-inch log. Arrange the rolls in 2 staggered rows of 4 on the prepared baking sheet. Set the sheet of rolls aside to rise at room temperature until they are almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

For the topping, 25 minutes before the rolls are finished rising, whisk together the warm water, white rice flour, vegetable oil, sugar, yeast, and salt together in a medium bowl. Cover the bowl and let the topping rise until it has doubled in size, about 20 minutes. Stir the risen topping to deflate it. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the topping over each roll and quickly brush the topping on to evenly coat the roll tops and sides.

Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake the rolls until the exteriors are golden brown and craggy and the centers of the rolls register 210 degrees on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center, about 22 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the cooking process. Transfer the rolls to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely before serving.

The process of creating the shape of the rolls sounds more complicated than it really is. Once you do one and get it into the form you want it, the rest are pretty easy for you to do. The topping is pretty thick when you are spreading it on (think pancake batter thick), but it forms a really nice crust onto the roll that you will definitely appreciate. The rolls are soft and chewy on the inside, like you want a sandwich roll to be, and have a really nice crunch on the outside thanks to the rice flour. It is the perfect sandwich bread for anything you might like – deli meats, turkey, chicken, tuna, vegetables – and they hold up quite nicely. We all enjoyed them with our chicken sandwiches and had them for the rest of the week to use for lunch. Like any bread or roll, you do need to plan ahead and give yourself some time to make the dough and let it rise (and buy the rice flour if you don’t happen to have any), but this one that is worth the effort.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day (it is beautiful here again, 72 and sunny and I am wearing shorts in February in NY), and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on February 24, 2017 in Breads, Cooking, Dinner, Lunch, Sandwiches

 

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17 Tips for Faster, Healthier, and Easier Weeknight Dinners | Bon Appetit

Coming up with ways to make easy, fast and healthy dinners can seem impossible sometimes. There are many days when the last thing you want to think about is what is for dinner and wish something could magically appear that you can cook quickly. Instead of turning to pizza delivery or fast food, start using some of these 17 ideas and tips Bon Appetit offers to keep healthy and easy dinner options right in your kitchen so you can throw something great together in just minutes and look like you have been thinking about it all day. Check it out!

Tomorrow should be the day our new appliances come, and hopefully, that will complete our kitchen. It’s been tough trying to cook meals just using an electric pressure cooker, a sandwich press and two small electric burners we borrowed, so it will be great to have a stove again that I can with each day. Fingers crossed it works out tomorrow, and I can get back to recipes!

Source: 17 Tips for Faster, Healthier, and Easier Weeknight Dinners | Bon Appetit

 

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What to Make with Holiday Roast Leftovers- Bon Appétit Recipe | Bon Appetit

The holiday meal is always a great one, but then you are left trying to figure out what to do with all of those leftovers from your roast, turkey, ham or other protein you made. Bon Appetit has put together 14 great recipe ideas with what you can make with some of those leftovers that you aren’t quite sure what to do with. Check it out!

Source: What to Make with Holiday Roast Leftovers- Bon Appétit Recipe | Bon Appetit

 

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The 101 Recipes You Need to Know How to Cook | Bon Appetit

Every home cook has some basic recipes that they turn to all of the time for weeknight meals, special Sunday suppers or dinner parties. There are some classics and basic recipes that you learn along the way that you can always rely on when you want to turn out a great meal. Bon Appetit has put together 101 of the basic classic recipes, with everything from appetizers to desserts and everything in between so that you can have recipes to fall back on, learn and use when you want them. Check it out!

Source: The 101 Recipes You Need to Know How to Cook | Bon Appetit

 

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Goodbye Carnegie Deli, Hello Homemade Pastrami

If you follow the news, at least here in New York, you have probably seen the story regarding the recent announcement from the Carnegie Deli. The deli is something of an institution here in New York and has been open for nearly 80 years but recently announced that they will be closing at the end of 2016. The Carnegie Deli is very famous for the different sandwiches that it offers, especially the pastrami. Pastrami can sometimes be something of an acquired taste and not everyone is a big fan of it. For me personally, pastrami is basically the only type of cold cut meat that I really eat. While you can still get pastrami in any supermarket and from of variety of different sources, there is something about the Carnegie Deli that people are particularly fond of. Personally, I have never been to the Carnegie Deli but they do offer their pastrami for sale in different supermarkets and I have tried it before. It is pretty good but I had always wondered if it could be better. Pastrami was not something I had never really considered making myself, particularly because I do not have a smoker to use, but Shawn had shown an interest recently in trying pastrami and it just so happens, that at this time of year with the Jewish holidays, that brisket is at a pretty good price. I decided I would get adventurous and started looking around for a recipe that would allow me to make it at home but make it in the oven instead of the smoker. I came across this recipe from Food52 that seemed to fit the bill. It is a bit of a process, but it seemed like it was worth a try.

Homemade Pastrami

3 1/2 tablespoons black peppercorns

3 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds

2 tablespoons mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon allspice berries

1/2 teaspoon whole cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground mace

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 bay leaf, crushed

1/4 cinnamon stick, crushed

1 1/4 cup kosher salt

2 2/3 tablespoons pink salt (sodium nitrite)

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup honey

5 garlic cloves, minced

One 5-pound brisket from the fatty end (point), untrimmed

1 1/2 tablespoons fennel seeds

1/2 cup shiro dashi

In a small skillet, lightly toast 1/2 teaspoon of the black peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon of the coriander seeds and 1/2 teaspoon of the mustard seeds over medium heat until the spices are fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the spices from the heat and allow them to cool slightly before grinding them in the spice mill.

Put the ground spices in a large pot and add the red pepper flakes, allspice berries, cloves, mace, ginger, crushed bay leaf, crushed cinnamon stick, kosher salt, pink salt, granulated sugar, brown sugar, honey, minced garlic and 4 quarts of water. Bring the brine to a simmer, stirring until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove the brine from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. Transfer the brine to a vessel large enough to hold it and the meat – which will be added later – and refrigerate the brine until it is chilled.

Put the brisket in the brine and weigh it down (with a plate or several tomato cans, for example) to keep it completely submerged. Cover the brisket and refrigerate it for 5 days. Remove the brisket from the brine, rinse it thoroughly, dry it, and place it on a large platter. Discard the brine. In a spice mill, process the remaining black peppercorns, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, and the fennel seeds. Transfer the spices to a small bowl and mix them well. Coat the brisket with the spice mixture and sprinkle the shiro dashi over it. Cover the platter and refrigerate the brisket for about 12 hours.

Preheat the oven to 250°. Put the brisket on a rack in a large roasting pan. Add a cup of water to the pan and tightly cover the pan with aluminum foil. Cook the brisket until it reaches 165° on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat, about 3 to 4 hours. If you do not have a meat thermometer, the brisket is ready when the meat is very tender. Let the meat rest for at least 2 hours at room temperature, or cover it and refrigerate it overnight. To serve, transfer the pastrami to a cutting board and cut it against the grain into thin slices. The pastrami will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Okay, this is quite a project to undertake and you not only need to have the time to put into it, and the space in your refrigerator, but you also, if you are like me, are going to need to go out and buy a number of spices. I do not typically have things like allspice berries or ground mace on hand and I certainly do not normally have the pink salt required for preserving meat. Sodium nitrite is used to help prevent the growth of dangerous bacteria and is something of a necessity if you are going to do this recipe. I was able to get some online through Amazon and probably have more than enough now to last me for a lifetime. I also had some difficulty in tracking down the shiro dashi, which they use in this recipe to help add some of the smoky flavor that you would normally get if you cook the pastrami in a smoker. Shiro dashi is a Japanese stock base that does have a bit of a smoky smell to it. I was finally able to track some down at one of the specialty food stores not too far from here. After that, I had to make space in the refrigerator for a container large enough to submerged the brisket to do the brining.

Even after all of that, you still have to wait for five days, the twelve hours of resting with the spices and then the four hours in the oven before the recipe is complete. That being said, I think it was certainly worth the effort put into it. The final product was very tasty. It tasted just as good or better than anything that you might be able to buy at the supermarket. The mix of spices was perfect and the pastrami was cooked perfectly and made for some great sandwiches. Of course, I served the pastrami hot on homemade rye bread with some homemade pickles, a little bit of tomato salad and some homemade ranch coleslaw and with plenty of mustard. It made for an excellent meal and there were plenty of leftovers so that Sean and I have been enjoying it for lunches ever since then and we gave some to my brother and his wife to bring home for them to enjoy. Is it something that I will make often? Not likely since the process is lengthy and brisket is often pretty expensive around here, but it is certainly a recipe that I will keep in mind to have once in a while when I get a craving for some good pastrami.

That is all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2016 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Lunch, Sandwiches, Spices

 

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Kitchen Pantry Cooking Essentials – Key Ingredients and Recipes – Food.com

The key to good cooking and easy cooking is having some basics in your pantry all of the time. When you have the right ingredients around you can put together a meal in no time at all. Food.com has a list for you of the 50 most common cooking essentials you want in your pantry so you can do anything at any time. Check it out!

Source: Kitchen Pantry Cooking Essentials – Key Ingredients and Recipes – Food.com

 

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Sometimes You Just Want a Sandwich – Chicken Sandwiches with Cabbage Slaw

For me, anytime can be just the right time to have a sandwich. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night snack – sandwiches can be versatile enough where you can make something for that time of day. This is particularly true in the summer months when it might be too hot to make a two-hour meal in the kitchen with the oven and stovetop going or just for any night of the week where you may not have a lot of effort to put into making a big meal for dinner. The boneless chicken breast, to me, is the ideal vehicle for a sandwich. On its own for dinner it does not carry much in the way of flavor and is easily dried out on the oven. However, mix it together with some nice spices, a bread coating and cook it just right and it can go well with any type of sandwich you can come up with. Sean had asked me to make chicken this week and I decided to go the easy route and make some chicken sandwiches using this recipe from Bon Appetit for chicken sandwiches with cabbage slaw.

Chicken Sandwiches with Cabbage Slaw

¼ red onion, thinly sliced

Kosher salt

¼ head of green or red cabbage, cored, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

4 tablespoons (or more) olive oil, divided

Freshly ground black pepper

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs

¼ cup cornstarch

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

cup mayonnaise

8 slices bread, toasted or sandwich rolls

Toss the red onion and a pinch of salt together in a small bowl to coat the onions. Let the onions sit for about 5 minutes to allow the onion to soften slightly. Rinse the onions under running water, then shake off the excess water. Place the onion in a medium bowl and add the cabbage, vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Toss the ingredients to combine them and season the slaw with salt and pepper.

 

Pound the chicken breasts or thighs with a meat mallet or a rolling pin between 2 pieces of plastic wrap until the chicken is about ¼” thick.

 

Place the cornstarch in a shallow bowl. Whisk the eggs, mustard, and cayenne pepper in another shallow bowl. Place the panko breadcrumbs in a third shallow bowl. Working with 2 pieces of chicken at a time, season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the cornstarch, shaking off any excess. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture, letting any excess drip back into the bowl, then coat the chicken in panko, shaking off any excess.

 

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Working in batches and adding more oil to the skillet between the batches if needed, cook the chicken until it is golden brown and cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to paper towels to drain.

 

Spread the mayonnaise over one side of the bread slices and build the sandwiches with the chicken cutlets and the slaw.
You can always get yourself a bag of coleslaw mix and use that instead of dealing with the cabbage and onions on your own if you are looking to save some time. I used chicken breasts because that is what we had, but thighs work well here too and may give you even more flavor and won’t take as long to cook through. The breasts tend to be a little thicker and bigger even after pounding them and you want to make sure they are cooked all the way through without burning the breadcrumb coating. It’s a pretty simple and basic recipe that you can then play with to make your own. You can add other toppings like bacon, avocado, pickles or really anything else that you might like. You can even spice up the coating some more if you like to have a spicier chicken sandwich by adding some Sriracha or hot sauce to the egg mixture for the coating. You end up with a nice, crunchy chicken sandwich that is great for lunch or dinner. I served the sandwiches with some waffle fries to round out an easy meal.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!
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Posted by on August 21, 2016 in Cooking, Dinner, Sandwiches, Uncategorized

 

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