When the holidays roll around and you’re asked to a party, do you usually say, “What can I bring?” And what if you don’t usually cook, or can’t cook. And maybe your budget is overextended as it is. That’s when you might think Party Tray. And if you know how to assemble a Cheap Holiday Party Tray, all your problems are solved. At least the what to bring option is. I apologize that this tray isn’t decked out in Christmas trappings. Between my bad shoulder and hand, I’m a bit limited and obviously made this Cheap Holiday Party Tray right around Thanksgiving. If you follow me, you might even recognize a few of these items. I’ll link to them, too.
I wasn’t sure whether to call these Old Fashioned Marinated Carrots or Classic Marinated Carrots, but either way they’re delicious, especially in the Summer. They’re cool and refreshing. The Marinade is almost like a tangy Catalina (or “French” dressing, if you’re as old as I am) and they’re the perfect thing for a summer picnic or potluck.
Sometimes I get a little carried away at the store with my favorite veggies. I buy a big bag of them, and before I know it, I realized they need to be cooked A.S.A.P. Hello Brussels, I’m talking about you! And that’s how my Zesty Pickled Brussels Sprouts were born.
My Grandma’s Refrigerator Pickled Beets are a simple, classic pickled beet that makes just enough to fill a jar. Because Grandma’s Refrigerator Pickled Beets are so easy, you can just knock them out when you have a few minutes.
Do yanno what’s a great little thing to have on hand? Just to perk up a little Mexican food. Maybe toss on some tacos or nachos? Refrigerator Pickled Jalapenos. And not only are the pickled jalapenos great, if you’re into a little heat, the brine is fantastic dribbled in or over dishes.
Pickling is the process of preserving or expanding the lifespan of food by either anaerobic fermentation in brine or immersion in vinegar. The resulting food is called a pickle, or, to prevent ambiguity, prefaced with the adjective pickled. WikipediaRead More
Do any of you guys have that one Aunt? The one that always made you feel special and had just a little something extra to her personality? Mine was my Aunt Ginny, my Dad’s sister. She was definitely the fun Aunt, and she was fabulous. And she was a fabulous cook, too. I have a couple of her recipes on my site but my favorite is The Best Beef Stroganoff.
My Aunt Ginny’s Beef Stroganoff – she brought the recipe back from Russia during the Cold war.
Yanno, I’m always trying new recipes and this Chicken Sandwich from Bon Appetit’s March issue caught my eye. See, I was just down in Georgia and had an opportunity to eat at Chick Fil A for the second time, ever. I think it’s the best fast food – and I don’t usually quite lower myself to eat fast food! I know, I know, I’m a snob about some things…life is just too short for mediocre food.
In honor of the upcoming New Year’s (and to use up a bag of black eyed peas and a couple of ham hocks languishing in my freezer) I decided to make Black Eyed Peas. And there is no better accompaniment to Black Eyed Peas than a my home-made Chili Sauce.
Most pickling spice recipes share a number of standard ingredients with just a few variances in amounts and proportions, and many have an extra special touch or two that makes them stand out. Here’s a recipe that will work well in almost any recipe that calls for “pickling spice.”
Pickling vegetables, almost any vegetable, is a simple process, and pickling asparagus is no exception. A jar or two for the fridge can be made in literally minutes, no “canning” or “processing” required. If you can boil water, you can make these fantastic jars of Easy Refrigerator Pickled Asparagus. It’s that simple.
The Cuban sandwich – such a classic and so American, from what I understand! And like many classics, the Cubano Cuban Sandwich sparks heated debate. There are those who say the bread makes the sandwich and it’s impossible to have a great one outside of Miami – I disagree. I think you will, too, after your first bite of this one!
I think it’s the citrusy, garlicky pork shoulder and good, sweet ham (you’ll need a cut 1/4 inch thick or so, a slab, not shaved lunch meat) that really makes the sandwich. If you don’t have ham in the house, ask your deli to special cut it for you.
If you’re a purist and don’t have a Cuban bakery nearby, you can make your own bread. I’ve had pretty good luck using two types of bread, the little soft deli buns from Aldi (yes, I know! But it’s true!) or soft (not a hard, French baguette, but the “Italian”) grocery store baguette. Around here, they’re packaged up in the bakery department. Three Guys from Miami suggest stopping by a Jimmy John’s and picking up a loaf of their bread.*
Three Guys from Miami (I love these guys and they inspired my Lechon Asado, the pork shoulder roast these sandwiches were made from) state that an authentic Cubano doesn’t have mustard or mayo, tomato or lettuce. My preference is for a little mustard, probably because the first Cubano I ever had did have mustard. No fancy mustard, just the yellow ballpark kind. That’s the great thing about making your own, though! No “rules!” Make it how you want it.
If you want to make an evening of it, invite friends over, fire up your Netflix and watch “Chef.” I mentioned this movie on my post for Individual Molten Lava Cakes, but it was all the Cubano sandwiches made in the movie that really made my mouth water! Before you click, be prepared for some “bad” language. Be prepared, too, to want a Cubano and to dance around the kitchen as you make it!
While I wouldn’t discourage anyone from making a similar sandwich with any left over Pork Roast or Pulled or Shredded Pork, I would highly encourage you to take a little time, plan ahead and lovingly marinade and braise a pork shoulder for Lechon Asado. Then set aside some of it for this sandwich. They’re just insanely good!
If you want to, sneak a little of the oniony sauce from the roast into the sandwich, but not too much or it will be “slippery”. If you’d like to go wild, a touch of my Sweet Pineapple Mango Habanero Hot Sauce is great, or set some out for those who like to “dip.”
1/2 to 3/4 pounds thinly sliced Lechon Asado (Cuban Pork Roast) about 1/4″ thick
To prepare Cuban sandwiches, split bread in half then layer the sandwich with mustard, pickles, cheese, ham, pork then cheese again. Optional: drizzle a little of the sauce from the roast over the meat.
Although not strictly necessary, lightly steaming the ham and pork before assembling makes a great juicy sandwich, hot all the way through. Simple heat up your pan, place the meats in and toss in about two tablespoons of water. Lid and let cook until the water has evaporated and meats are hot and tender.
Cuban Sandwiches are not always “pressed” and can be served as is or griddled like a grilled cheese sandwich. If you’d like to press this sandwich, there are several ways, below.
Cuisinart Griddler: I had wanted one for years so when they went down in price I picked one up, but I don’t know that I would necessarily recommend it. It is perfect for Cuban Sandwiches, though. Simply butter both sides of the bread, place carefully on the griddler, close and slowly cook until the tops and bottom are crispy and golden brown.
Panini Press: A panini press is not strictly traditional, but will make a great sandwich – with lines! Butter both sides of bread.
Cast Iron Skillet: Heat a large cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Generously coat one sides of sandwich with softened butter. Place the sandwiches on the skillet, buttered side down and top with another heavy skillet and a couple of heavy weights (bricks, or cans of tomatoes work well). Press down firmly and cook for 5 to 7 minutes until the sandwich has compressed to about a third of its original size and the bread is super-crispy. Remove the top weight, butter the top and turn over. Repeat. (I like to place a piece of foil between the bottom of the skillet and the sandwich because I find, with my gas stove, my skillet bottoms are a little grody.)
Brick Method: Wrap a brick in foil (one for each sandwich) and heat in a 450 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Butter both sides of sandwich. Cook in cast iron skillet, but once the sandwich is in the skillet, carefully remove the brick and place on the top side of sandwich.
from the kitchen of www.frugalhausfrau.com
Jimmy John’s will sell a loaf of day old bread for 50 cents if they have it, or a fresh loaf for $1.00. I have on occasion stopped by Bruegger’s Bakery when I’m nearby and it’s late in the day – and picked up bagels half priced. You’ll be surprised at how many places discount items, usually unadvertised, if you take the time to look around or are brave enough to ask.
Sometimes you just don’t need a lot of words…the photos speak for themselves! But here’s a great little “recipe” for an overnight Bloody Mary. Perfect for a brunch, it can be jazzed up as you wish, but as it stands, most people will enjoy it – that equals to not too hot, but flavorful, or a great starting point, depending on tastes!
Thousand Island Dressing seems to be making a bit of a comeback, probably due, in part, to McDonald’s restaurants. It’s morphed over the years from a classic, but old-fashioned salad dressing to the “special sauce” on a Big Mac into all-purpose dipping sauce, popular with the younger generations.