Sandwiches

Roast Pork Butt Sandwich (Gebratene Spanferkelkeule Mit Brot)

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This  sandwich is as German/Austrian as can be.
Roasted, juicy, tasty pork, rustic bread, good mustard and the pan jus from the roast.
End of story 🙂
Now, if this would be a typical, old-fashioned “American Style Sandwich”, it would probably be as follows:
Tasteless, soft, soggy wonder bread or a tasteless, soggy burger bun, topped with shredded, completely over-cooked pork (better known as “Pulled Pork” around here), limp lettuce (hot meat and lettuce, what else to expect?), pickles, onions, ketchup, mustard, oceans of crappy BBQ sauce (most of the commercial ones are crap, as well as many “Home Made” BBQ sauces, what with the artificial “Smoke” most of them contain),  crappy yellow cheese substitute (pre-sliced American “cheddar cheese” anyone?) and probably another 5 fillers to make the sandwich 5 inches tall, all served with limp fries (sadly, more often than not) and even limper (probably not a word 🙂 ) cole slaw.
If this all sounds negative, it is not meant to be. I just want to point out the fundamental different opinion Americans and Germans/Austrians have to what constitutes a great sandwich. Mind you, I am a bit of an old school fart, the kids in Germany and Austria, as well as kids in the rest of the world, nowadays’ all eat mostly the same soul-less stuff . 😦
I myself enjoy both approaches to a good sandwich, having lived in America for so long and gotten used to it and able to enjoy it on countless occasions.
You’ll find many instances of the “American Style Sandwich” approach to sandwiches on the pages of ChefsOpinion. However, when it comes down to it, the sandwich of choice for me would always be the simple variety with few but impeccable ingredients instead of the “American Style Sandwich” :
“It was the best sandwich I ever ate ! – it was so big I couldn’t even finish it” .
Of course, most of the bad stuff will be found at the fast food temples, who sell Billions of sandwiches every single day.
But thankfully, there are also many restaurants and shacks out there who will serve you a truly wonderful sandwich, made of quality ingredients, properly prepared and reasonably priced 🙂
And there you have it !
Different approaches to one final result – a well-loved sandwich 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Roast Pork Leg Sandwich (Gebratene Spanferkelkeule Mit Brot)

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Roast Pork Leg Sandwich (Gebratene Spanferkelkeule Mit Brot)

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Roast Pork Leg Sandwich (Gebratene Spanferkelkeule Mit Brot)

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Roast Pork Leg Sandwich (Gebratene Spanferkelkeule Mit Brot)

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lightly toasted sourdough bread, whole grain Maillard mustard

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Preparation :
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Chicken Döner Kebab

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Döner Kebab, Sold At A Street Stand In Germany

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One of the first Exotic” dishes that had established itself in Germany after the mass-migration of millions of “Gastarbeiter” (Guest-Workers) from Italy, Turkey, Greece, and Yugoslavia in the 60’s, was the Turkish “Döner” (Doner Kebab).

It was unlike any other dish we had seen before, a huge spear of layered meat and fat, slowly spun and roasted on an upright grill, seasoned heavenly and served on a fluffy, tasty flatbread (Pita), with additions which generally contained salad or vegetables, such as tomato, lettuce, cabbage, and onions, with sumac, fresh or pickled cucumber, chili’s, and various types of sauces (often just plain yogurt). Little has changed in the preparation and the ingredients through the following decades and “Döner” has become as widespread in Germany as bratwurst and sauerkraut. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
Traditionally, Döner is sliced very thin and served wrapped in flatbread, such as pita. However, when I prepare it with chicken and at home, I prefer to slice the meat a bit thicker and serve the sandwich open-faced. If I have company, we can use fork and knife, or rip small pieces of the bread and top it with meat and condiments in individual bites (As I love to do)
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Chicken Döner Kebab

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Chicken Döner Kebab

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Chicken Döner Kebab

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Chicken Döner Kebab

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Chicken Döner Kebab

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Preparation :
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Chicken Tandoori/Naan Sandwich

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Chicken Tandoori/Naan Sandwich

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This tandoori chicken sandwich needed no simple or fancy condiment to elevate it. The chicken was very juicy, very tender and VERY tasty. Usually, I would serve this with raita, sliced onions, sliced tomato, sliced cucumber, a few spritz of fresh lime, plain yogurt, finely sliced cabbage slaw, or any other addition to moisten the sandwich, elevate the texture or the flavor. But on this sandwich, that would have been a wasted effort, since it was perfect, in every aspect, the way it was.
(If I would serve this in a restaurant, I would of course “improve” the presentation to make it seem fancier and justify a higher selling price, but since this was at “Chez Bella” (our home), I did not deem this a requirement. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
I prefer to cook the chicken bone-in and tear the meat from the bones at the table. For a less messy way, you can, of course, use boneless thighs and knife and fork 😦
P.P.S.
Because I am a huge Stones fan, for obvious reasons I almost called this sandwich “Sticky Fingers”, but then something (good sense?) advised me against it.  🙂
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Garam Masala Recipe:
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You will need :
Coriander seeds, black cardamom pods, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, bay leaves, peppercorn, a small amount of cinnamon bark. Dry roast in a pan on low heat until fragrant, about one minute. Put in spice blender until powder-fine. Remove to a jar, cover airtight.
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Chicken Tandoori/Naan Sandwich

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Chicken Tandoori/Naan Sandwich

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Chicken Tandoori/Naan Sandwich

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Preparation :
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Torta De Milanesa De Res – A Dainty Little Sandwich ( NOT ! )

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Torta De Milanesa De Res – A Dainty Sandwich ( NOT ! )

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And  here we go – another beautiful, tasty example of what a sandwich can be if you love food and take it serious 🙂
(If you wonder about the name “Torta”, click the link below to learn all there is to know about this great Mexican sandwich 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
Because I used a double layer of beef, I did not use standard breading (flour, egg, and breadcrumbs) for the beef, instead, I just dipped the beef slices in a mixture of 50/50 flour and panko. However, if you use a single layer of beef, I suggest you employ the traditional breading method.
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Torta De Milanesa De Res – A Dainty Sandwich ( NOT ! )

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Torta De Milanesa De Res – A Dainty Sandwich ( NOT ! )

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Torta De Milanesa De Res – A Dainty Sandwich ( NOT ! )

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avocado, radish, and cucumber salad

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Preparation :
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See you again in 2018……….

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Dear Friends,
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.I am spending the next three weeks in Argentina, visiting friends, eating (mostly) parilla and drinking (mostly) red wine.
Since I am living with friends who keep me busy 24/7 🙂 , I will not post my usual three or four posts per week during this time.
However, I have a surplus of about 50 dishes/post’s I have cooked and photographed in the past few months, which I will post as soon as I’ll return to Florida in mid- January, together with the new stuff I’ll produce when I will be back in my own kitchen.
Until then, here is a preview of a small selection of dishes waiting to be published. Hope to see you all again in 2018 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Fried Chicken&Boursin Sandwich

Fried Chicken&Boursin Sandwich

A great sandwich can be a wonderful dish. Put a few good ingredients together, add some love and voilà, a quick and most satisfying meal can be on the table in minutes, without breaking the bank.
And yet, so many folks at home and in restaurants manage to screw up this simple task.
Substandard ingredients, lack of imagination and the absence of love for what you are doing will all prevent a good sandwich, but rather transform bread and stuff into bahhh……….
Not so this here baby !
While the choice of bread is purely a personal preference, I make most of my sandwiches with toasted sourdough bread or other rustic bread. I just love the texture and taste, but of course, you should use whatever bread rings your bells. The chicken can be grilled or fried, the cheese can be the one you love the most, and the veggies – well, you get the point 🙂
Just make sure you prepare it all with love and gusto, don’t skimp on the good stuff and prepare it with the respect a great sandwich (as well as any other good food) deserves 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
The chicken, while it has the taste and texture of fried chicken, is actually sauteed.
Classic French Cuisine defines sauteed :  “Cooked in fat, not covered by fat”
Classic French Cuisine defines fried :        “Cooked in fat, covered by fat”
In most restaurant settings, one would just fry the chicken in the fryer.
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Fried Chicken&Boursin Sandwich

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Enjoy A Super-Delicious Dish For $ 1.00 !

Chicken Liver Mousse

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No, this was not at a hawker cart in Singapore, nor was it on the side of the road in Manila, it was not in the bush in Zanzibar and certainly not on the beach in Goa. This was in Miami, at “Chez Bella”.
All the ingredients for 4 portions came to about $ 4.00, which, yes, I carefully and meticulously calculated it, comes to about a buck a portion. 🙂
In all my years living in America,  I have realized that the majority of Americans say they don’t like liver or any other dish prepared with offal. However, serve them a slice of “Foie Gras” in a fancy restaurant where they are too shy to ask what they are being served, and all of a sudden you get all ahhh’s and ohhh’s. And it’s usually the same with chicken liver mousse, terrine or pate. Serve it on little canapes, put a cherry or grape on top and all of a sudden it becomes great.
Speaking of chicken liver mousse and parfait. Sadly, most of what’s being served in restaurants these days can at best be described as utter garbage. I know, because I love chicken liver mousse and have tried it a hundred times, in fact, I almost always order it if I come across it on a menu. Low-quality liver, too many distracting ingredients, overseasoned, underseasoned, grainy, broken, too long in the fridge, off-putting color, you name it.
So then, for those of my readers who share the love with me, I give you a recipe which is pretty much foolproof, as long as you use top quality liver.
Of course, you can use this recipe to make any other liver mousse. Pork liver, veal liver, duck liver, game liver. You can also, if you must, add a few additional flavors, as long as you take it easy and don’t overpower the fine taste of the liver. Armaniac, calvados, grand marnier, cognac, diced apples, garlic, herbs, sauteed shallots, orange essence, etc. You can even call it a parfait if you want to, since this recipe provides a mousse so fine, it appears to have been strained through a fine hair sieve.
All in all, a spectacular tasty dish, easy to prepare, cheap economical, and definitely better than most of the stuff you can buy ready-made or in most restaurants.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
This amount of mousse serves 4 main courses or 8-12 snacks/appetizers
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Chicken Liver Mousse

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Chicken Liver Mousse

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Chicken Liver Mousse

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Gravlax

Gravlax

I have prepared gravlax a thousand times over the years, starting at the beginning of the 70’s when I worked in  Torekov/Sweden  for the first time, and usually, it comes out perfect, or at least close to perfect. It is one of those dishes which actually require an effort to mess it up. So every time I prepare it, I am sure that the outcome Is a predictable “10” on a scale from 0 to 10. But then came this baby !!!
I had to increase the scale by another point to accommodate its level of excellence. It was so off the chart, in taste, texture, and color. Just a perfect “11” 🙂
It was probably a combination of the quality of the fish, the freshness, the amount and quality of the dill, the ratio of the ingredients of the brine and finally, the time I left the salmon in the brine to cure. Whatever it was, this gravlax is the one all future gravlax will be judged by.
But, I can not give you the EXACT amount of time or ingredients, only approximates. Like with most savory cooking, recipe-measurements and times can only serve as guidelines. Usually, there are too many variables to cook EXACTLY by a recipe. (I am sure you have often heard folks say “I followed the recipe to the dot, but it did not turn out to be like in the picture or in the book or the video?- well, that’s the reason why – too many variables. It is also the reason why a professional chef “interprets” a recipe because, with his/her experience over many years, he/she has learned to factor-in these variables and make the necessary adjustments accordingly.
To quote myself – “Cooking is easy – if you know how to do it !” 🙂
So here now is the recipe I used for this specific gravlax. Again, there are a million and one recipes out there. Every Scandinavian cook, housewife and home cook guards at least one gravlax recipe they swear by, and most of them are pretty awesome, just slightly different from each other.
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2 lbs raw salmon, skin on
2 cup kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 jigger vodka
1/2 cup sliced dill leaves plus 1/4 cup
1/2 cup red beet juice
2 tblsp dijon mustard
1 tblsp fresh-cracked>
black pepper
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Dill/Mustard Sauce
(Traditional condiment for gravlax)
Good quality mustard, white wine vinegar, kosher salt, neutral tasting oil, sugar, fresh dill leaves, pepper(optional), mix all ingredients well.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Gravlax

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Gravlax

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Gravlax

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add the salmon and onions (for a prettier presentation / restaurant presentation) put the egg and capers together with the onions on top of the salmon, however, the way I did it here will keep the capers and egg from rolling off when you eat the sandwich)

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Preparation :
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Breakfast Of Champions # 62 – Baked Breakfast Wrap

 

Breakfast Of Champions # 62 – Baked Breakfast Wrap

Here we have the perfect breakfast for dog owners (and everybody else who loves a great breakfast and can wait awhile before breakfast is ready,) 🙂
Once the prep has been done (you can do this the previous evening), just put the wrap into the oven (hot or cold), turn to 375F and walk your dog.
Make sure you are back before the hour is over and you will be rewarded with a perfect breakfast). Generally, the egg inside will take about 35 minutes for a “sunny side up” texture, while additional time spent in the heat will obviously take the egg to the next level of doneness. This doneness will depend on various factors, such as the thickness of the wrap, the thickness of the ham and tomato, the amount of cheese and /or other fillings, and so forth.
When I made this dish the first time a few years back, I took it out of the oven WAY too early, not realizing how much time the egg actually takes to cook inside all these layers. However, if you like this dish, take some notes about the time and temperature you use in order to get it right on future occasions.
Also, and this is even more important, chose a wrap which suits this preparation. If you select the wrong one, the shell will become dry and tough after it’s considerable time in the oven. But if you find the right one (see the pic below for an example), the wrap becomes wonderfully flaky, almost like a puff pastry, as is clearly visible in the pics of the cut wrap 🙂 . The reason why I use two wraps per pocket is that the (RIGHT) wraps add a great flakiness one would not get with a single layer (there is a lot of moisture inside).
I also like to emphasize the importance of the grated parmesan cheese between the moist layers to help keep a proper texture, (you don’t want a soggy mess !) and the importance of brushing the wrap generously with whole butter before baking, both for taste and texture.
As for the sauce, I love to serve this with sweet Thai chili sauce or a honey/herb yogurt. Again – serve it with whatever makes YOU happy ! 🙂
Of course, as with most of the food I publish on my blog,  I recommend using this dish as an inspiration for your very own variations of a baked wrap. I have prepared them with seafood, ground meat, chicken, veggies, with or without cheese, with or without eggs, etc. ( one of my favorites is tomato, onion, sauteed spinach, and brie). Also, although I have this usually for breakfast, it makes a great snack or meal any time during the day or evening.

Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Breakfast Of Champions # 62 – Baked Breakfast Wrap

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Breakfast Of Champions # 62 – Baked Breakfast Wrap

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Breakfast Of Champions # 62 – Baked Breakfast Wrap

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Torta De Camarones (Lonche) (Mexican Shrimp Sandwich)

Torta De Camarones (Lonche) (Mexican Shrimp Sandwich)

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While  in most parts of the world and in many languages “Torta” or “Torte” is generally understood to be a sweet concoction, it can also describe a sandwich, made with flatbread or a leavened bread, depending on the country/region of origin.
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Wiki excerpt:
Mexican Sandwich

In Mexico, a torta is a kind of sandwich, served on an oblong 15 cm firm, crusty white sandwich roll. Depending on the region, this is called a bolillo, telera, birote, or pan francés. Tortas can be eaten cold or hot, grilled or toasted in a press in the same manner as a Cuban sandwich.
Garnishes such as avocado, chili pepper (usually poblano or jalapeño), tomato, and onion are common. The dish is popular throughout Mexico, and is also available anywhere with a large number of Mexican immigrants. In Northern Mexico, the torta is very frequently called “lonche by the influence of the English “lunch“, as it may be eaten during lunch break.
The sandwich is normally named according to its main ingredient:

  • Torta de jamón, ham-filled torta
  • Torta de aguacate, avocado-filled torta
  • Torta de adobada, adobo meat-filled torta
  • Torta de huevo, scrambled eggs-filled torta
  • Torta de milanesa, milanesa meat-filled torta
  • Tortope, chicken sope-filled torta

Although the torta ahogada (meaning “drowned” torta) of Guadalajara is so called because it is smothered in a red sauce, different fillings are available and they may be mixed to create an original torta.
Due to the practicality of being hand-carried, tortas are sold at massive events, such as football matches, parades, and outdoor concerts, but they are also available for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at dedicated establishments or sold as street food by food carts.
In Mexico, the sweet cake is normally referred to as pastel, which is also used in other parts of Latin America with this meaning.
Origin:
The origin of the torta is unclear, but some claim it sprouted in Puebla due to Spanish-French interaction. Teleras (the bread usually used in tortas) were inspired by French baguettes ”
End of Wiki excerpt.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Torta De Camarones (Lonche) (Mexican Shrimp Sandwich)

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Torta De Camarones (Lonche) (Mexican Shrimp Sandwich)

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Torta De Camarones (Lonche) (Mexican Shrimp Sandwich)

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Preparation :
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To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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