Posts Tagged ‘sandwich’

Pioneer Woman’s Sloppy Joes

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Ah, that Pioneer Woman. Everything over there is delicious. I don’t usually consider her food to be terribly original or inventive, just a really great solid version of whatever she’s trying to make. That’s what you get with these sloppy joes. If you’ve never made sloppy joes “from scratch” and have been relying on a mix or a can, you’re definitely in for a treat. The flavors are brighter, there’s just the right amount of spice, and browning the buns with butter is a great, simple touch that really makes a difference.

(If you have made sloppy joes from scratch, there’s probably not anything earth shattering about this recipe. My family used ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar to make their sauce, and this is certainly in that family. But the onion & bell pepper adds something to the mix, as does the fresh garlic.) This recipe is extremely flexible though, so you can leave out pretty much any of the ingredients that you don’t care for.

photo courtesy of

Sloppy Joes a la Pioneer Woman
Serves 8; Adapted from

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2-½ pounds Ground Beef
  • ½ Large White or Yellow Onion, Diced
  • ½ Large Green Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1-½ cups Ketchup
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder (or use more or less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
  • ½ teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (or use more or less to taste)
  • Worcestershire Sauce, To Taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste (optional)
  • Tabasco Sauce (optional; to taste)
  • Salt To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
  • Kaiser Rolls, Hamburger Buns, or other soft sandwich rolls
  • Butter

Preparation Instructions

Add two tablespoons of butter to a large skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Drain most of the fat and discard.

Add onions, green pepper, and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until vegetables begin to get soft.

Add ketchup, brown sugar, chili pepper, dry mustard, and water. Stir to combine and simmer for 15 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Also add tomato paste, Worcestershire, and Tabasco if desired. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

To prepare the buns:

Spread both halves of each bun with butter and brown on a griddle or skillet. Spoon meat mixture over the rolls. Serve hot.

Monte Cristo Sandwiches

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

When I was in college, Bennigan’s was one of our frequent dinner spots. For one, there was a Bennigan’s in each of the malls where we shopped the most. For another, we were all pretty broke, and the food was relatively cheap.

There were also these Monte Cristo sandwiches.

monte cristo

Our friend Sarah swore they were delicious, but Leah and I were hard to convince. The sandwich itself is basic turkey, ham, and cheese on white bread. The special part is that it’s battered and fried, then dusted with powdered sugar. Bennigan’s serves the sandwich with a sauce made of raspberry preserves.

For the longest time, it didn’t sound like anything I wanted to eat. I couldn’t quite place it, but it just sounded all wrong. Too many flavors going on. Raspberry jam  and a turkey sandwich? I was definitely not on board. (It didn’t help that Sarah had tried to recreate this “treat” in our school cafeteria with some collection of french toast, turkey, and generic grape jelly). Finally, somehow, she convinced us to try it, and we had to admit we were wrong. It’s delicious.

It really is.

I use pancake mix for the batter, and deep fry a turkey, ham, and cheese sandwich, like I said. We use good quality raspberry preserves for the dipping sauce. The sandwich is a great blend of salty and sweet, which I enjoy. One thing I never seem to remember is that half a sandwich is really enough for anyone, so we always end up with too many. The recipe below tastes exactly like the Bennigan’s original. With it being deep-fried, I certainly wouldn’t recommend this as an all-the-time thing, but it’s grate for a treat, and definitely worth the trouble.

Deep Fried Monte Cristo Sandwiches
Serves 4

  • 4 slices of white sandwich bread (you want the slices that are a bit longer than your standard wonder bread square–more rectangle shaped)
  • 4 oz deli turkey, sliced thin
  • 4 oz deli ham, sliced thin
  • 4 slices medium cheddar cheese
  • Vegetable Oil, for deep frying
  • 1/2 cup raspberry preserves, for dipping
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, for dusting
  • 1 cup pancake batter, prepared according to package directions (I use a Just-Add-Water mix, and it works just fine)

1. Heat your cooking oil in a deep fryer or heavy bottomed pot. When the surface starts to shimmer, add a couple of drops of the pancake batter. If it bubbles and starts to brown at the edges, the oil is ready–if it sinks to the bottom, wait a few minutes longer and try again.

2. While the oil is heating, assemble the sandwiches. I made each sandwich with 2 ounces of turkey, 2 ounces of ham, and 2 slices of cheese. You want to assemble the sandwiches so that the cheese  is closest to the bread slices, which will help the sandwich stay together when you fry it. Cut each sandwich in half along a diagonal.

3. Dip each sandwich half in the prepared pancake batter, turning to coat. It will be thick–that’s okay. Carefully drop each sandwich into the deep fryer or prepared oil to fry.  Sandwiches will float as they fry, and take about 6 or 7 minutes to fry completely. Be sure to turn them once about halfway through, so that both sides get golden brown and crisp. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain, and sprinkle the hot sandwiches with powdered sugar. Serve with warmed raspberry preserves on the side for dipping.

Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

You’re going to be seeing a few different pork recipes coming up. That’s because David and I bought a giant (over 6 pound) pork loin at Costco. It was very reasonably priced, and we bought it, intending to butcher it into loin chops and freeze them or something. Instead, we just ate pork for dinner for about a week straight.

You’d think that would’ve gotten old, but really, it was delicious. I ended up making Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches, which you’ll see here, but also Roasted Pork, Pork Wellington, and Stuffed Pork Chops. I almost snuck pork into the risotto we had one night, but I decided to go with our more traditional grilled chicken at the last minute.

These pork tenderloin sandwiches are very tasty. If you’ve never had one, you’re definitely missing out. It’s pork, pounded thin, breaded and fried. You serve them on a bun, like burgers, and while some people top them with anything you might put on a burger for me, the only thing that belongs on a pork tenderloin sandwich is mustard and pickles.


Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches

  • 1 pound pork loin or pork tenderloin, cut crosswise into four thick slices.
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup bisquick
  • 1/2 cup coarsely-crushed saltine crackers
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • large sandwich buns for serving
  • 1 tablespoon butter

1. Pound out each piece of pork with meat mallet until it is very thin. You want it to be about 1/4 inch thick. It will be larger around than the bun you eat it on–that’s how it should be.

2. Place flour in a shallow bowl, and season with salt, pepper, and paprika. In a second shallow dish, lightly beat the two eggs. In a third shallow dish, mix together the bisquick and cracker crumbs. The crackers should be broken up, but not completely turned to dust.

3. Bread each pork tenderloin piece on all sides by dredging in flour, dipping in egg, and then in the bisquick/cracker crumbs mixture. You may have to press to get some of the cracker crumbs to stick–that’s okay.

4. In a large cast-iron skillet, preheat about an inch and a half of vegetable oil. It should be hot enough that if you put your hand close to the pan, you can feel the heat radiating off of the surface of the oil, and the surface will start to shimmer ever so slightly. When the oil is ready, place the tenderloin pieces in a single layer in the skillet, and fry until they are golden and crispy, turning once about halfway through. Because the pork is pounded out so thin, this only takes about 5 or 6 minutes. Remove to a platter lined with paper towels.

5. While the pork tenderloin pieces are cooking, spread a little bit of butter over each half of the sandwich buns. On a griddle or in a large flat-bottomed skillet, grill the sandwhich bun halves over medium high heat until they are warm and toasted.

6. Serve each pork tenderloin piece on a grilled sandwich bun, with whatever burger fixings you like. Personally, mustard and pickles works just fine for me, but some people go all out with ketchup-mustard-pickles-lettuce-tomato-onion-mayo…Do what you like!

Chicken & Bacon Panini with Sun Dried Tomato Aioli

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Our first wedding or engagement gift of any kind was a panini press that David’s mom picked up for us. It’s cast-iron/enamel, similar to this one. We actually use it quite a bit. Often, our panini are just glorified grilled cheeses (and there’s nothing wrong with that!) but last time, I created something a little more special.

Chicken & Bacon Panini with Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli

For each sandwiches:

  • Two slices of good quality bread (We like this sourdough)
  • 1 tablespoon of whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato aioli (recipe follows)
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced deli or leftover chicken breast
  • 2 slices crispy bacon
  • 1 ounce fontina cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 ounce sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil

1. Preheat a panini pan and press over medium high heat.

2. Spread one slice of bread with the aioli. Top with fontina cheese, followed by chicken, bacon, and cheddar cheese, in that order. Spread the remaining slice of bread with mustard to complete the sandwich. .

3. Brush the outside of the sandwich (both slices of bread) with extra virgin olive oil.

4. Place in panini pan and top with press. The sandwich is done when the bread is crisp all around and the cheese is melted all the way through. Slice in half and serve immediately.

Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli
Makes enough for 4 sandwiches

  • 1/4 cup of mayonaise
  • 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes (oil packed), drained
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Turn on your food processor and drop garlic cloves into the bowl through the feeding tube to chop. When the garlic has been minced, scrape down the sides andadd the other ingredients. Pulse until combined, about 10 times.