Archive for the 'Sandwiches & Wraps' Category

Blackened Snapper Po-Boy

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Blackened Snapper Po-Boy

This particular sandwich combines two of my favorite Louisiana treats – blackened fish and the po-boy sandwich.

Legend has it that this sandwich’s name was coined in the Great Depression during a streetcar strike when a New Orleans restaurant owner served the strikers (a.ka. the “poor boys”) free sandwiches. When a striker came by the restaurant, the staff would call out “Here comes another po-boy!”

When making a po-boy, many consider the bread to be the most important part. It should be crispy and flaky on the outside, and soft on the inside. In New Orleans, bakeries make loaves specially designed for po-boy sandwiches. If you are outside of New Orleans, a classic French roll or baguette is the best option. As for the meat of the sandwich, the options are limitless.  Roast beef with gravy, ham and cheese, fried seafood, and grilled fish are some of the most popular. It really up to the creativity of the cook.

I like to use blackened fish on the po-boys I make at home. The main two reasons are that blackening is a really simple cooking technique and that it adds a delicious kick to an otherwise mild fish or meat. The key to blackening is the blackened seasoning. You can find blackened seasoning in the spice department at most neighborhood supermarkets. You simply dust the fish with a light coating of this dry seasoning and then cook it in a cast-iron skillet or on a grill.

I typically use red snapper when I make this sandwich since it’s a Gulf fish often found on New Orleans menus. Any firm white fish, like tilapia or grouper, can easily be substituted for the snapper.

I like to dress my po-boys with the classic lettuce, tomato, and pickle as well as a spicy remoulade sauce.

Enjoy!

Blackened Snapper Po-Boy

For the Remoulade Sauce:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
4 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely sliced scallions

For the Blackened Snapper Po-Boy:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 red snapper fillets (6 ounces each)
4 tablespoons blackened seasoning
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 crusty French rolls, split
1/2 cup sliced dill pickles
4 slices tomatoes
4 pieces tender leaf lettuce

To make the remoulade sauce: In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, ketchup, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the scallions. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the blackened snapper po-boy: Season both sides of the fish with the blackened seasoning. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pan.

Sear the fish on one side until the meat is well browned and releases easily from the pan, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn over the fillets and cook until desired doneness, about 5 more minutes.

About 1 minute before the fish is done, lightly toast the rolls.

To serve, spread remoulade sauce on the top and bottom of each roll. Place the fish on the bread and garnish with the pickles, tomatoes, and lettuce.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tips:

Don’t like it spicy? Just omit the blackened seasoning and season your fish with salt and pepper.

This fish can be cooked on a grill.

 

 

Recipe from Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler

Story excerpted from Jennifer Chandler’s bi-weeky Commercial Appeal newspaper column Dinner Tonight.

Photo by the talented Justin Fox Burks.  Food Styling by Jennifer Chandler.

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Spinach and Mushroom Quesadilla

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Spinach and Mushroom Quesadilla

Like most weekdays … it’s often a busy night with the kid’s sports practices so I often need a quick and easy option for supper.

Quesadillas are always a good option for a super fast dinner.  I always have tortillas and some type of cheese in my fridge.  They are a great way to use up leftover veggies.  If nothing fresh is in the fridge, grab some frozen spinach or corn or canned black beans. This recipe is from my cookbook Simply Grilling.  I love the smoky flavor a grill gives a quesadilla … but they can easily be made indoors on a grill pan or in a skillet.

Enjoy!

Spinach and Mushroom Quesadilla

Cooking quesadillas on the grill gives them a deliciously smoky flavor.

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound white button mushrooms, stems removed and discarded, and sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bag (6-ounce) fresh baby spinach
8 fajita-size (6-inch) flour tortillas
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Vegetable oil, for the grates

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pan. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and thyme. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet and set aside.

Return the skillet to the stove top and add the remaining olive oil. Add the spinach and cook, stirring often, until just wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Place 4 tortillas on a work surface. Evenly sprinkle each with 1/4 cup of the cheese, 1/4 of the spinach, and 1/4 of the mushrooms. Cover with the remaining tortillas.

Preheat a clean grill to medium-high with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Lightly brush the grates with oil.

Place the quesadillas on the grill. Close the lid and cook, turning once, until golden brown and the cheese is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

To serve, cut the quesadillas into wedges and serve warm.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tip: The varieties of quesadillas that can be prepared are endless—the only requisite ingredient is cheese. Have fun experimenting with your favorite ingredients.

Grill Pan Friendly: This recipe can easily be made indoors on a grill pan or cast iron skillet.

Source: Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler

Photo by the talented Justin Fox Burks.

Black Bean Burgers

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Black Bean Burgers

Forget the veggie burgers in the frozen food section of your supermarket! Homemade black beans burgers are so much tastier and better for you.

I featured this Black Bean Burger in my cookbook Simply Grilling.  It originated in the kitchen of  Nevada Presley (my dear friend and chef/owner of Get Fresh Memphis).  I so appreciate her always sharing flavorful vegetarian dishes with me.

This version is made with black beans and oats. A dash of cumin gives it a southwest spin.  Sometimes I serve it as a burger and others I serve it bun-less and topped with a spoonful of guacamole.

When making this recipe, do not be tempted to skip the step of draining the pureed vegetables. That extra moisture makes the black bean burgers too sticky to be grilled.

Also, the black bean burgers are refrigerated for an hour before cooking to help them keep their shape. To get ahead of the game, the burgers can be assembled as long as 24 hours in advance. Just be sure to cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.

Lastly, Nevada added the egg to help the burger stay together better. But for a vegan version, just omit the egg and add a tablespoon of veganaise.

Black Bean Burgers

1 can (15-ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper (about 1/2 green pepper)
1/4 cup finely diced yellow onion (about 1/2 small onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 cup rolled oats
Vegetable oil, for the grates
4 hamburger buns, split
2 ripe avocados, pits removed and sliced

In a medium bowl mash the black beans with a fork until thick and pasty.

Place the green bell pepper, onion, and garlic in food processor and process until pureed. Place the mixture into a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and press to strain the liquid. Add to the beans and stir to combine.

In a small bowl stir together the egg, chili powder, cumin, and hot sauce. Add the egg mixture and the oats to the beans and stir until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide into four patties, each about 3/4-inch thick. Cover, place in the refrigerator, and chill for at least an hour and as long as overnight.

Preheat a clean grill to medium high for 8 to 10 minutes with the lid closed. Lightly brush the grates with oil.

Place the burgers on the grill. Close the lid and cook, turning once, until golden brown and warmed through, about 5 to 6 minutes on each side. About 1 minute before the burgers are done, place the buns, cut-side down, on the grill and cook until lightly toasted.

To serve, place each burger inside a bun and garnish with avocado slices. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Grill Pan: These burgers can easily be made indoors on a grill pan.

Photo by the talented Justin Fox Burks.

Southwest Pinto Bean Burgers with Chipotle Mayonnaise

SW Pinto burger

Southwest Pinto Bean Burgers with Chipotle Mayonnaise

When I was doing my 30-day vegetarian challenge back last Fall, my friend Ellen shared a bunch of her favorite recipes.

While one of Ellen’s daughters has been vegetarian for several years, the rest of her family still eats meat.  She explained that it can be hard preparing meals that everyone at her table will eat.  Since I was in the same situation trying to feed my non-vegetarian family too, she kindly shared several dishes that consistently pleased everyone at her table.

This bean burger was a huge hit when I made it.  No one complained … and in fact, everyone asked for seconds! The chipotle mayonnaise really makes the burger stand out.

Most of the ingredients I already had in my pantry.  The only thing I needed to pick up was the cilantro and canned chipotle peppers.  You might be just as lucky.

A helpful hint (or two!) when cooking these burgers. They tend to be a little moist, so be sure to take the time to let them refrigerate for 10 minutes before cooking.  This little step really helps them stay together better. I also recommend using a non-stick skillet to cook them in for easy flipping.

Enjoy!

Southwest Pinto Bean Burgers with Chipotle Mayonnaise

Recipe from Cooking Light Magazine. Click here for the original recipe.

For the burger:
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño pepper
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained
1 (8 3/4-ounce) can no salt-added whole-kernel corn, drained

For the Chipotle Mayonnaise:
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon canned minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce

Remaining ingredients:
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 (1 1/2-ounce) whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted
4 romaine lettuce leaves

To prepare burgers, combine the first 10 ingredients in a large bowl. Add pinto beans and corn; partially mash with a fork. Divide bean mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each portion into a 3 1/2-inch patty, and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

To prepare chipotle mayonnaise, combine mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon chipotle in a small bowl; set aside.

Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties to pan, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until thoroughly heated. Place patties on bottom halves of buns; top each patty with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 1 lettuce leaf, and top half of bun.

Reuben Sandwiches

Reuben Sandwiches

Piled high with corned beef, tangy sauerkraut, and creamy Thousand Island dressing, this warm sandwich is just as tasty at home as at your local deli.

In fact, it may be even better!

This Thousand Island dressing comes from the kitchen of my friend Alison’s grandmother. It is hands down the best Thousand Island dressing I have ever had. You can’t even compare it to the bottled versions you find at the grocery.  I guarantee its worth the few extra minutes to make your own.

Enjoy!

Reuben Sandwiches

For the Thousand Island dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons chili sauce
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Dash of hot sauce (optional)

For the sandwiches:
8 slices rye bread
8 teaspoons unsalted butter
3/4 pound thinly sliced cooked corned beef
4 slices Swiss cheese
1 cup refrigerated sauerkraut, drained

To make the dressing: In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, relish, Worcestershire sauce, chili sauce, and lemon juice until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Season with the hot sauce, if desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble the sandwiches: Evenly butter one side of each slice of bread. Place 4 slices, buttered side down, on a work surface. On each slice, spread 1 tablespoon of the Thousand Island dressing. Layer each sandwich with 1/4 of the corned beef, 1/4 cup of the sauerkraut, and 1 slice of the Swiss cheese. Top each sandwich with 1 of the remaining slices of bread, buttered side up.

Preheat a griddle (or a large skillet) over medium heat. Place the sandwiches on the warm griddle and cook until the bottom is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Using a flat spatula, carefully turn the sandwiches over. Cook until the second side is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Serve hot, with a side of extra Thousand Island dressing if desired.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tip: Cook the sandwiches slowly in order to allow the cheese to melt without burning the bread. If the outside is browning too quickly, reduce the heat, cover, and cook slowly until the cheese melts.

Do-Ahead: The Thousand Island dressing will last up to 4 days covered and refrigerated.

From Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler

Photo by the talented Natalie Root.

Grilled Pizza Margarita

Grilled Pizza Margarita

Collyn Wainwright was the first person to introduce me to grilled pizzas. It was close to 10 years ago and I still remember it.  Sautéed wild mushrooms and smoked mozzarella on a slightly charred pizza crust. Heaven!

The sky is the limit on variations you can make, but this is a good starter recipe. The smoked mozzarella and the kalamata olives add great flavor to a “not-so-traditional” pizza margarita.

You can use this same technique with your favorite pizza toppings. Since the crust cooks rather quickly, it is best to use toppings that are pre-cooked or thinly sliced.

If you choose to add tomato sauce, be sure to lightly sauce your pizza. Too much liquid will result in a soggy crust.

Also when grilling pizzas, the lid is your best friend. Use the lid to control the heat as well as to help your toppings to cook and melt more quickly.

You have lots of options for the pizza dough. You can always make you own – click here for my recipe. For a short cut, you can now find pizza dough in the refrigerated section of most markets. Gourmet varieties are available, but to be honest, that first  delicious grilled pizza I had years ago at Collyn’s house was made on Pillsbury canned pizza dough! Definitely not gourmet but definitely a great short-cut option! Another route is to pick up dough from your neighborhood pizzeria. I often get dough at my local Whole Foods store from their pizza station.

Enjoy!

Grilled Pizza Margarita

Vegetable oil, for the grates
Unbaked pizza dough, enough for a 12-inch pizza
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound smoked mozzarella, coarsely shredded
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, drained and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

Preheat a clean grill to medium with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Lightly brush the grates with oil.

Let the pizza dough come to room temperature. Place the dough ball onto a baking sheet. Using your hands, gently flatten, and pull into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Brush the crust with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the dough to the grill, oiled-side down. Close the lid and cook until the dough begins to bubble on the top, about 2 minutes. Working quickly, brush the dough with the remaining oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn and top with the mozzarella, tomatoes, and olives. Close the lid again and cook until golden and crisp on the bottom and the cheese is melted, 4 to 5 minutes more.

Remove the pizza from the grill. Evenly sprinkle the basil over the top of the cooked pizza. Serve warm.

Serves 4 to 6.

Recipe from Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler.

Photo by the talented Justin Fox Burks.

Egg Salad

Egg salad sandwiches are some of the easiest sandwiches in the world to make, especially if you have some hard boiled eggs sitting around in the fridge. Dijon mustard is my secret ingredient. I like to use French’s because it has Chardonnay wine in it.

Enjoy!

Egg Salad 

6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon French’s Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced yellow onion
¼ teaspoon Frank’s RedHot
Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the chopped eggs in a medium mixing bowl. Using a fork, mash up the eggs a little. Add the French’s Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, onion, and Frank’s RedHot.  Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tip: When mashing the eggs, don’t overdo it. You want the egg mixture to have some texture.

Variation: Add fresh dill or chives for an Herbed Egg Salad or chopped olives for a classic Egg & Olive rendition.


Jennifer Chandler

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