Archive for the ‘Burgers/Sandwiches’ Category


  • chopped chicken breast
  • celery, peeled and diced
  • red onion, diced
  • mayonnaise
  • dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • turmeric
  • fresh black pepper
  • paprika
  • cilantro, chopped
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • poppyseed challah
1. Chop chicken breast and mixed with the celery and red onion. Make the dressing separately by mixing mayonnaise, a bit of dijon mustard, olive oil, garlic powder, turmeric,  fresh black pepper, and paprika. Mix in chopped cilantro.
2. Combine the dressing with the chicken and sandwich between challah with lettuce and tomato.

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For those of you who have not had fish tacos, you’re missing out on a real pleasure. Chewy, dry corn tortillas can be transformed into crispy, yet pillowy ones by lightly frying them. With fish tacos, it only takes one bite to enjoy many flavors and textures: tender and flaky tilapia with a fresh grilled flavor, cool crema with a hint of tequila and the bright flavor of lime, a Margarita salsa fresca that is slightly sweet and bursting with flavor. Some fresh lettuce or cabbage slaw tops off the presentation as well as the final textural component. I served mine with crispy plantain tostones and black beans.

Tilapia: tilapia, salt, pepper, dried oregano, annatto seeds, olive oil

Season the fish with salt, pepper, dried oregano, and annatto seeds. Annatto provides a subtle peppery flavor, but mostly gives the fish an appealing orange color. Grind the annatto in a coffee/spice grinder or buy pre-ground. Coat the fish in olive oil and grill until they are almost done. Finish them off in the oven (this will prevent flaking on the grill and will allow you to make sure the fish is hot when you serve it)

Tequila Lime Crema: sour cream, lime juice, tequila, cumin, garlic, Goya Adobo seasoning

Mix sour cream with lime juice and a few tablespoons of tequila. You should be able to taste tequila and lime easily, but they should not be overpowering. Add minced garlic, ground cumin, and a little Adobo seasoning. Let the flavors marry in the refrigerator for an hour and taste again for readjustments.

Margarita Pico de Gallo: Tomatoes, onion, margarita mix, honey, Adobo, white vinegar, corn

Dice tomatoes and add diced onion. Add Jose Cuervo Margarita mix and a good drizzle of honey. Add diced mango, more of that Goya Adobo seasoning, and a bit of white vinegar.  Cilantro would make a great addition. Boil an ear of corn, char it on the grill, and add it to the Pico de Gallo.

Black Beans: olive oil, onions, garlic, oregano, Adobo

Use either canned or fresh beans—fresh must be soaked a whole day. Sauté diced onion in a pot in some olive oil with plenty of minced garlic. Add the beans and season with dried oregano and Adobo. Canned beans may be salty enough already.

Tostones: Plantains, olive oil, salt

Use plantains that are just beginning to yellow. Cut into thick slices, coat lightly in olive oil, and bake in the oven on a foiled sheet pan for about 10-15 minutes on 350°. With a spatula, press them so they’re half as thin. Brown both sides in a pan with a light coating of olive oil, transfer to some paper towels and salt generously.

Making the Taco: corn tortillas, canola oil

Heat about an inch of canola oil in a pot and fry the corn tortillas on both sides until they are crispy, yet pliable. transfer to de-grease on paper towels and serve immediately.

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Inspired by Good Stuff Eatery, this burger holds true to the name. If you like flavor in your food, you can’t go wring with horseradish mayo, a sweet onion marmalade, an arugula salad, blue cheese crumbles and parmesan-rosemary oven fries.


Parmesan and Rosemary Oven Fries:


  • Russet potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Grated parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 450°. Wash the russet potatoes, cut each in half and each half into four wedges. In a mixing bowl, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake on aluminum foil for about 30 minutes, flipping occasionally. Add more oil if they start to stick. Coat with rosemary and parmesan, cooking until soft on the inside and crispy-brown on the outside.

Really Good Burger:

  • ½ onion, chopped
  • Red wine
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Brown sugar
  • Blue cheese crumbles
  • Ground beef (80/20)
  • Salt, pepper
  • Standard burger buns
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • Horseradish
  • Mayonnaise
  • Arugula

Sauté chopped white onions in a pan with olive oil until they are soft and browned. Deglaze with a pour of red wine and a splash or two of balsamic vinegar. Reduce for about ten minutes and add about two handfuls of brown sugar. Add more wine/vinegar if necessary. It is ready when the onions are soft and the sauce is thick. Fold in blue cheese crumbles and turn off the heat.

Gently form the beef into patties without pressing too much. I make a depression in the top of the burger—this prevents the burger-beach-ball effect. Pepper and heavily salt both sides. I cooked mine in a cast-iron grill pan. You can also cook them in a regular pan. The pan should be very hot and coated with olive oil. You may finish the burgers in the oven if the room becomes smoky, but they should be pink inside.

I butter both sides of the buns, scatter on sesame seeds and toast them in the same pan.

For the condiment, just mix mayo with a little bit of horseradish to taste. Add salt, pepper, and a touch of olive oil. Make extra as a dip for the fries!

For the salad, simply hand toss the arugula, dressing it lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper.

To compose the burger, take the toasted bun, spread on the horseradish mayo, place the burger on the throne, spoon the onion marmalade, sprinkle some more blue cheese crumbles, and crown with the arugula salad and the bun top! Serve with the parmesan rosemary fries.

WARNING: this dish is not for the sensitive palate. Like I said, it’s a really good burger.

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My roommate Jordan and I made something simple for dinner. We roasted asparagus, green peppers, onions, zucchini and corn with salt, pepper, and fruity olive oil. Try 375º until the onions just start to brown. Our grilled cheese was made with muenster and shredded mozzarella cheese. We heated a grill pan to medium-high and buttered the bread. We grilled one slice on both sides to make a grilled cheese that was impossible crunchy. The two cheeses melted together in texture and flavor and the vegetables were perfectly seasoned and deliciously simple. It beats the cafeteria!

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Eating panini should never be constrained solely to modern bistros or up-scale sandwich shops. Forget the expensive machines; panini can be created in the kitchen. I decided to jazz up your average lunch-time turkey sandwich. I made mine with sliced italian bread, a pesto-mayo, turkey, swiss cheese, tomato, and basil. Just butter a hot pan and press with a spatula or another pan. I physically “press” the sandwich, but some choose to use a brick to weigh down the pan on top of the sandwich. Same taste as the fancy machines, but you have to flip it and there are no grill marks. Here are tips on becoming a seasoned paninaro:

BREAD: Some think the bread is the most important part. I have no counter rebuttal.

  • Heavy and flavorful breads work best. Ciabatta and focaccia are classics, but italian bread, sourdough, and semolina are great. Pick a bread that is naturally flat (or cut it) to promote even cooking. Pick something that is hearty enough to withstand the pressing (white bread will be mushy and nonexistent. Anything with herbs in it will give plenty of added flavor.

Meat: What you will

  • prosciutto Di Parma, genoa salami, chicken, turkey, ham, soppressata

Cheese: Anything that melts well

  • Taleggio cheese, brie, mozzarella, fontina, Gruyere, Ementhaler

Condiments: Doesn’t have to be italian

  • pesto, mayo, herb mayo, mustard, olive tapenade, chipotle mayo

toppings: Experiment

  • basil, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, red onions, tomatoes, portobello mushrooms,

Sweet: panini make great desserts

  • Try bananas and nutella. After it’s finished, coat in sugar and cinnamon.
  • Try fruits and cheeses together like Apples and brie, taleggio and pear, prosciutto and melon (I know it’s a meat), turkey and cranberry
  • Add jam or preserves to any cheese panini. You’ll be amazed.

Order: This is highly debated. If you ask me, it’s:

  • Bread-condiment-meat-cheese-topping-condiment-bread.

This way, the bread gets extra flavor and moisture. The cheese bind the whole sandwich together too. Try placing tomatoes away from the heat source (most agree on this). Stay away from lettuce on a panini (wilted lettuce is by no means tasty). Try spinach or arugula if you want some green.

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