Category: Sandwiches

Fish and Bacon Whirls – A Cinderella Story

Hello friends, today I am bringing you a fairy tale in the guise of a song.  A song of the sea.  Which as anyone of a certain generation will tell you, can only mean one thing.  Not only are we taking a second dip into the Frozen Food Shortcuts  Section of the A-Z of Cooking but also into one of my childhood favorites and guilty pleasures as a grown up. Yes, Fish Fingers are on the menu!  Yayyyy!!!! 

But not just plain fish fingers..  No way.  The A-Z of Cooking and I are jointly acting as the Fish Fingers’ fairy godmother and getting  them ready for the Royal Ball.  Or, slightly closer to their humble roots, maybe the Over 40’s singles night at the local piano bar. 

Fish and Bacon WhirlsBefore we continue, for my American readers a fish finger is what you more prosaically call a fish stick.  It’s so sad that you are missing out one of the best things about fish fingers.  Which is messing about with small children’s minds – just watch the total look of bafflement when you tell them for the first time they are having fish fingers for dinner.  Even the boldest will pause.  “But…fish don’t have fingers.”  Opportunity lost, America. 

So, what does joint fairy God Mother, The A-Z of cooking have in store for our fishy Cinderella?  Well the name of the post might have spoiled the surprise but it’s bacon.  Which is almost cheese-like in its ability to make anything taste better!  Nice move, A-Z of Cooking!

The idea is quite simple.  Wrap your fish finger in bacon.

Cook. 

Fish and Bacon Whirls2

If the bacon forms the Pumpkin Coach, then the Glass Slippers are my spicy tartare sauce.  ( I only just now realised some places in the world call this tartar sauce. In my world tartar is something gross that grows on your teeth.  So I’m sticking with tartare for my sauce).

My tartare sauce is a fairly fluid recipe, the only absolutes are mayo and a slug of Tabasco sauce.  The other ingredients utterly depend on what I have in the pantry or fridge.

It can include any of the following:

  • Chopped gherkins
  • Chopped Pickled Jalapenos
  • Chopped Red Onion
  • Capers
  • Chives
  • Dill
  • Lemon Juice
  • Tarragon

Fish and Bacon Whirls3Finally, lightly toast two pieces of bread.  Spread one slice liberally with your tartare sauce.

Place some crisp lettuce leaves on the other slice. 

Once cooked, to your liking, place your Fish and Bacon Whirls on the slice of bread with the tartare.  Sandwich together and voila! 

Fish and Bacon Whirls4This can be pulled together in under 5 minutes, the cost is minimal, and Captain Birdseye assures me that my fish fingers are made from sustainably farmed Hoki.

He’s suspiciously silent on what that iridescent orange coating is made from – I’m fairly sure it’s nothing from this planet.  Hey, maybe that’s what the new X-Files is about. 

Fish and Bacon Whirls5Here is the original recipe from the A-Z of Cooking:

Fish and Bacon Whirls origI think we’ve done a good job of prettying her up. 

You can go to the ball Cinderella!

Enjoy.

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Cheesy Eggplant and Salami Sandwiches

Memories, misty water colour memories….

Eggplant Salami Sandwich
Eggplant Salami Sandwich

As I enter week two of Paleo, there is one recipe that I made earlier this year that is lingering in my mind as containing pretty much all the sins of Paleo but all the glories of delicious food.  Funny, the things I thought I would be craving – coffee, chocolate, hummus…not so much…but if you put one of these in front of my right now, I would step on you to get one. 

I found this recipe in the same folder I found the recipe for the Smoked Trout Empanadas.I’ve changed it a bit to include the chili and the original chopped the salami and mozzarella and mixed them together. 

I’m not sure if the lure here is:

  • The gooey, melty cheese
  • The crispy breadcrumbs
  • The spicy salami
  • The silky sauteed eggplant
  • The slighty sweet tomato sauce
  • The little hit of chilli
  • Or all of the above

But believe me, the sirens are singing this song loud and strong.  And you will be too if you make them.  So crispy, so cheesy, so gooooood….

I’m not going to say much this time (because I might cry).  I’m just going to let the pictures speak for themselves.

Eggplant Salami Sandwiches 2
Eggplant Salami Sandwiches 2

 

Eggplant and Salami Sandwiches 3
Eggplant and Salami Sandwiches 3

 

Eggplant Salami Sandwich 4
Eggplant Salami Sandwich 4

 

Eggplant Salami Sandwich 5
Eggplant Salami Sandwich 5
Eggplant and Salami Sandwiches 6
Eggplant and Salami Sandwiches 6

Trying to remember, the way we were…

 Have a fabulous week!

PLEASE eat some cheese for me.

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Sauteed Eggplant and Salami Sandwiches
Yields 12
A delicious take on Eggplant Parmigiana.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 eggplants, each cut into 12 slices about 5 mm thick
  2. 250g mozzarella cut into 12 slices
  3. 12 slices of salami - I used hot Hungarian
  4. 12 slices pickled jalopeno chillies (optional)
  5. 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1 cup breadcrubms
  8. 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  9. salt and pepper
  10. Chopped herbs - mint, chives, coriander to garnish
Tomato Fondue
  1. 1 onion, finely chopped
  2. 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  3. 15g butter
  4. 1 large can tomatoes
  5. bouquet garni
  6. salt and pepper
Tomato Fondue
  1. Saute the onion in the butter over a moderate heat until it is softened and golden.
  2. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.
  3. Add the tomatoes, bouquet garni, salt and pepper.
  4. Cook covered for about 10 minutes over a gentle heat.
  5. Remove the lid and continue cooking over a moderately high heat until the sauce is thick.
  6. Discard the bouquet garni.
For The Sandwiches
  1. Brush the eggplant with oil. Place in frying pan and cook until softened and golden on both sides.
  2. Remove from pan.
  3. Brush one side of the eggplant with some tomato fondue.
  4. Place a slice of salami on half of the pieces of eggplant.
  5. Place a slice of chilli on top of the salami.
  6. Cover with a slice of mozzarella and top with a slice of eggplant, tomato side down.
  7. Press down around the outer rim to stick the two slices of eggplant together.
  8. In a small bowl whisk the eggs.
  9. Add the breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt and pepper to another bowl.
  10. Dip the sandwiches in the egg , then dredge them into the breadcrumbs.
  11. In a large frying pan, heat the oil and fry the sandwiches in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown.
  12. Once done, transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, then keep them warm in a single layer in a dish in a low oven.
  13. Serve with the tomato fondue, sprinkled with chopped herbs.
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/

Molten Umami Meatball Sandwiches

 Hello, hello it’s good to be back!

Umami Meatball Sandwich
Molten Meatball Sandwich

Did you miss me? I’ve been on holidays – three weeks out of the grey Melbourne cold and into the warmth of sunny Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia. The holiday was amazing and I will fill you in on the details over the next few weeks, most particularly about the amazing food.

Here is (literally) a taster….

You know how in most supermarkets you get tasting plates?  For example, earlier today in my local supermarket I got to sample 3 kinds of dumplings (prawn, scallop and mushroom), 5 flavours of kombucha tea and some chia pudding…(yeah, my local supermarket is awesome!)  Well, in Cambodia, the taster plates consist of Bamboo Worms…and only  $2 a kilo!

Bamboo Worms
Bamboo Worms

 And these are deep fried crickets….an even better bargain at half the price of the worms…

Crickets
Crickets

 This is me about to taste one of the bamboo worms:

Cambodia Taste Testing
Cambodia Taste Testing

 But before we go there, I wanted to talk to you about meatballs. As much as we love Asian food, after three weeks of it we were craving something that wasn’t.  Funnily enough, we both had cravings for pretty much the same thing. 

He wanted spaghetti bolognese.  I wanted spaghetti and meatballs.  I was doing  the cooking so spaghetti and meatballs it was!  As I was cooking these, I realised why this is such awesome comfort food (it’s not like either of us has Italian heritage). My meatballs are crammed full of umami flavours – parmesan, mushrooms, tomatoes, red wine….Hmmm…is red wine umami?  Well it’s pretty damn good even if it isn’t.  Also, the original recipe for this called for an anchovy fillet.  I didn’t happen to have any so I added saltiness with a dash of fish sauce…guess what?  More umami!

Spaghetti and Meatballs
Spaghetti and Meatballs (and the joys of a plate on your knee  in front of the telly…it really is good to be back)

The spaghetti and meatballs were delicious and everything I wanted – something to warm our bones in the winter cold, something that was quick and easy to cook after a day of travelling and something familiar – comfort food at it’s best!!!

They also require very little in terms of fresh ingredients so you can keep shopping to a minimum.  And, if you were super organised, you could make a batch and pop them in the freezer before you left.  (Massive sigh).  I would love to be that organised!!!!  

So, it was spaghetti and meatballs for dinner and then, (this mixture makes a lot of meatballs) I made a molten meatball mountain (i.e, a meatball sandwich ) for my lunch the next day.  The meatballs were great with the spaghetti but for my mind, even better in the sandwich the next day.  And Oscar was on hand for any leftovers.

Of which there were none!

Molten Meatball Sandwich
Molten Meatball Sandwich

 Remember these?   Bamboo Worms

 They tasted like this: Aftermath of the Bamboo Worm

I wouldn’t say this was the worst thing I have ever eaten…but it sure wasn’t good.  The outside was kind of crunchy and not so bad.  It was the inside that was gross.  It didn’t taste so much of anything, it just had an unpleasant texture – mushy and slightly gritty. Not to mention the thought that was impossible to dispel.  “That thing in your mouth?  That’s worm guts…you’re eating worm guts…that thing you just bit into, that was probably work heart….”

Not good.  

Thank goodness I found much better things to eat in Phnom Pehn.  Which I will tell you about next time…

Have a fabulous week!    

PS – Is anyone doing the kombucha thing?  I kind of want to grow my own….if you are please let me know!

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Umami Meatballs

Umami Meatballs

These delicious meatballs are crammed with umami goodness and are the prefect comfort food for a wintery night or a delicious lunch the following day

Ingredients

  • 500g lamb mince (or you can use ground beef or a mix of pork and veal)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried herbs or 1 tbsp Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs
  • 120g grated parmesan cheese
  • 8 small mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • For the Sauce:
  • 400g can Italian tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • dash fish sauce
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • To Serve:
  • 200g spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley or basil or a mixture
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese (as much or as little as you like)
  • or
  • 1 baguette
  • 4 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley or basil or both
  • Rocket (Arugula), Baby Kale or other green of your choice
  • Shaved Parmesan or melting cheese of your choice

Instructions

  • Place the minced lamb, garlic, mushrooms, onion, herbs, grated parmesan, chilli flakes and fish sauce in a bowl.
  • Season with some pepper - the fish sauce will add saltiness.
  • Using your hands shape into walnut sized balls.
  • Place in fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large deep frying pan over medium - high heat.
  • Fry the meatballs in batches turning for 3-4 minutes until browned.
  • Set aside.
  • Heat the remaining oil in the same pan over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until soft and then add the sugar, fish sauce and wine.
  • Cook until the wine has reduced by half.
  • Add the tomatoes.
  • Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to low and cook for 5-6 minutes until slightly reduced.
  • Add the meatballs and simmer for 5-6 minutes until the sauce has thickened. If you like a thicker sauce (like me) simmer for longer.
  • For Spaghetti
  • If you are having your meatballs with spaghetti, cook this according to the directions on the packet.
  • To serve, place the spaghetti into bowls, top with the meatballs and sauce and sprinkle over some chopped parsley and some shaved parmesan.
  • For A Meatball Sandwich the following day
  • Split your baguette in two lengthwise and lightly toast.
  • Add the oil to a fry pan and heat, add the mushrooms and saute until soft.
  • Remove and set aside
  • Add the meatballs and sauce. Heat through.
  • Add your greens and mushrooms to the toasted baguette.
  • Load on your meatballs and sauce.
  • Sprinkle with herbs,
  • Top with Parmesan
  • Place under grill until the cheese has melted.
  • ENJOY!
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2014/08/10/molten-umami-meatball-mountains/

 

 

 

 

Retro Easter Part 2: Easter Lily Sandwiches

Let’s start with a caveat.

I am perfectly aware that these sandwiches do not resemble Easter Lilies and would, based on their look, be far more appropriately called Calla Lily Sandwiches.  But it’s Easter ok?

And take a look at them.  How pretty are they?  Perfect for an afternoon tea with the girls….

Easter Lily Sandwiches2
Easter Lily sandwiches

And they taste pretty damn good too!!!

There are a few recipes for these lily sandwiches floating about the interwebs. However, most of them use green onions for the stem.  I actually made it that way the first time but was disappointed in the taste.

Chomping on that big stalk made the sandwich way too oniony – I’m pretty sure no one else wants to bite into a huge chunk of onion like that either.  Or suffer the onion breath afterwards. But to use them as decoration only and take them out when it came to eating the sandwich seemed like a waste.  My first thought was to replace the onions with beans but when I went to buy the beans, I was waylaid by some gorgeous baby asparagus spears.

Easter Lily Sandwiches Ingredients
Easter Lily Sandwiches Ingredients

And my version of the Lily Sandwich was born.

If you can only get thicker asparagus you could cut the spears in half down their length.  If asparagus is not available, use beans or celery matchsticks – all of which I think would be preferable to the onion!

Oh and a tip for the frugal.  When you cut the circles out of the bread, don’t throw the rest of the bread out.  Save them to use for what my family call Ox-Eye eggs but is, I believe more commonly called,  Egg in A Hole the next morning!  Any asparagus left over can also be dipped into a runny yolk for a breakfast made in heaven!!!

Leftovers

Oh and if you don’t happen to have a rolling-pin handy, a bottle of your favourite sauv blanc works equally as well.

Impromptu Rolling PinAnd would also be the perfect accompaniment to these sandwiches at your Easter afternoon tea!

Easter Lily Sandwiches3
Easter Lily Sandwiches3.

Easter Lily Sandwiches
Pretty asparagus sandwiches, perfect for a Spring afternoon tea!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 bunch of asparagus
  2. Slices of white bread, as many as you have asparagus spears
  3. 1 tub of cream cheese or a herb and garlic flavoured cream cheese like a Boursin
  4. 2 tbsp fresh chopped chives (omit if using a flavoured cheese)
  5. 1 clove of garlic, crushed (omit if using a flavoured cheese)
  6. 1/2 cup pistachios finely chopped
  7. 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  8. Carrots cut into matchsticks, the same number of matchsticks as asparagus spears
  9. Salt & Pepper to Taste
  10. Instructions
Instructions
  1. Tail the asparagus and steam until just tender.
  2. Mix the cream cheese, paprika, nuts, salt and pepper and herbs in a bowl until smooth and creamy.
  3. Using a cookie cutter, cutter cut out rounds from bread.
  4. Then with a rolling pin, roll each round so it’s about 1/8 inch thick.
  5. Spread about a teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture over each bread circle.
  6. Place the carrot stick so it peeps out of the top, and the asparagus spear so it pokes out of the bottom. Fold the bread over to seal.
  7. Voila! You have a lily sandwich.
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
One more Easter Treat to go…stay tuned!

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Retro Food For Modern Times: Good Cooking for (Almost) Everyone (1981)

Hello there, time to take a look into a new book.

Welcome to Mary Meredith’s Good Cooking for Everyone.

Good Cooking For Everyone by Mary Meredith 002

Let me just start with a little quibble.  When i think of 1981, I think of this:

1981’s finest.

And not so much this:

Mary Meredith 001

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a go at Mary here.  This book was first published in 1970 and this was a probably a perfectly acceptable photo back then.  Eleven years later, you’d think that maybe the publishers could have forked out for a new publicity photo.  Maybe one using that new technology of  colour.

The 500 “specially selected recipes” in this book do address a wide audience, if not exactly everyone.

In keeping with the Livvie theme above, there are sandwiches that would suit people watching their weight:

Lettuce and Lemon Sandwiches 001

And recipes for those who are most definitely not.

Mary calls this  “California Stuffed Forehock.” I prefer to think of it as “The Reason Elvis (Permanently) Left the Building”. The prunes in the recipe could explain why he was found on the toilet.

Californian Stuffed Forehock 001

Enough for 4 people or one bacon lovin’ popstar!

From The King, to proper royalty, Mary Meredith also provides us with a dainty dish to set before a king. Four and twenty blackbirds anyone?

Cutlet Pie

In fairness to Mary, it’s not actually blackbirds but a mix of lamb kidneys and cutlets.  In fairness to modern sensibility, I was staring at this picture wondering how to describe the sheer awfulness of a pie with bones in little bootees sticking out of it.  Mark looked at it over my shoulder. “You’re not making that are you?” he asked, sounding a little shaky.  I assured him I was not.  “Good” he said. “Because it looks fucking horrible.”  Description problem solved.

Then, there are recipes for people who want their cakes to look like footwear.  (Why? WHY???)

Shoe cake - who doesn't want to eat an old boot on their birthday!
Shoe cake – who doesn’t want to eat an old boot on their birthday!

And recipes for people who want to traumatise their children.  Never mind the chocolate-roll cats at the front, what are those weird shiny pink things with faces ? Apart from the stuff of nightmares?

Children's Party Food
Children’s Party Food

I did however manage to find one group of people for who Mary was not catering for.  I was searching the index of this book when, in the B’s,  I came across:

  • Baked Lemon Potatoes
  • Batch of scones

It’s an odd way of listing these items but there were corresponding entries under L, P and S so whilst kooky, they weren’t entirely random. (But again, maybe something that should have been corrected in the 1981 edition.)

I also noticed under M:

  • Making a jug of cocoa

Using this logic surely every recipe should be listed under M?

  • Making Lettuce and lemon sandwiches
  • Making Elvis Has Left The Building, etc.

And just to be really irritating there is no corresponding entry under C listing:

  • Cocoa, Making a jug of

I’m sorry cocoa drinkers of the world, I guess if you were of a logical mind in 1981 and wanted to find out how to make a jug of your favourite drink (without having to scan through 499 other recipes), you were S.O.L.

I’m spending the weekend with a jug of margaritas… it was going to be cocoa but the recipe was too damn hard to find!

So much for an alcohol free April!

Whatever your tipple, have a great week.

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