Posted at 4:04 pm , on February 22, 2019
I may have mentioned that we vacationed in the Florida Keys recently. We met up with Joe’s brother Chuck and our sister in law, Melody (whom I affectionately refer to as my sister of the heart). Mel found a little cafe tucked in the heart of Key West called Cuban Coffee Queen. She was an instant fan of their coffee and sandwiches and I am so glad she suggested we stop by for a quick bite. Her favorite is the Cuban Mix which is a more traditional Cuban sandwich with Mojo pork, sliced ham, cheese, pickles, mustard; you know what I’m talking about. But they also made some sandwiches that varied a bit from the traditional Cuban. I was intrigued by the Jose Marti which was loaded with Mojo pork, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and a horseradish mayo. Joe loves the traditional Cuban but I talked him into splitting a Jose Marti with me and it was fantastic. I immediately wanted to recreate it when we got home, of course Joe wanted his traditional Cuban with mustard and pickles so I made one of each. I researched how to make Mojo pork and found there are two ways to go about it. I could cook it low and slow in a citrus marinade until it pulls apart like shredded pork or marinate the pork first then roast it until the outer layer has caramelized leaving the inside of the pork moist and tender. I chose the latter and cut it into small bite size pieces to pile on our sandwiches. They tasted so good and much like the sandwiches we ate at the Cuban Coffee Queen. I can’t wait to make them again!
Posted at 10:17 am , on January 18, 2019
I can’t tell you how much Joe and I have enjoyed being back in New Mexico. Everything old seems new again!! Don’t get me wrong, I will always miss KC and all the memories we made over 25 years. Things change over time and we have found that many of our old favorite places to eat are no longer open. We have inspired to try out a new restaurant, cafe, diner or local favorites each week to see all that Albuquerque has to offer. One that stands out is “Hannah and Nates Market Cafe” in Corrales, NM, which serves breakfast and lunch daily. The first time we tried H & N’s was with an old friend from high school, which made it all the more memorable. The atmosphere is so homey, actually it’s located inside an old house with several rooms throughout with an old kiva fireplace that makes you feel right at home. The menu has something for everyone and it’s hard to choose with so many delectable choices. Their lunch menu has many toasted sandwiches plus some New Mexico favorites. I ordered the New Mexico BLT and it was the best BLT I have ever tasted!! Seriously I love just about any BLT but this BLT with green chile, avocado and Monterey Jack cheese put it over the top. And for $1 more you can add an egg which is very New Mexican. This has to be the easiest sandwich I’ve ever recreated at home and one of the tastiest by far. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to top this NM BLT!
Posted at 10:40 am , on September 6, 2018
Summer is almost over and I’m not ready to let it go. I still have places to explore, farmers markets to visit, things to grill outdoors. I’m just getting used to the daily routine of being in a new home, getting familiar with new surroundings and finding my way around a new kitchen. For others it probably would be a breeze, but for me it takes time. Yes, summer is leaving and fall is just around the corner. It won’t be long before summer grilling turns into fall baking and soups for the soul. It may be late in the summer but I’m still enjoying the farm grown tomatoes which highlight this incredible grilled cheese. Envision crisp bacon strips, tomato slices and grated cheese between two slices of Josh’s artisan bread, toasted on a hot cast iron comal. That makes one great sandwich! And for a slightly different taste, add a few slices of avocado. Maybe next time I’ll try a fried egg on top, I can only imagine how good that would be!
Posted at 12:26 pm , on August 7, 2018
Joe and I are enjoying being back in Albuquerque and trying some of the local restaurant favorites. While I cook most of our meals during the week, on the weekend we try to get away from the daily grind and nearly always go out for a bite to eat. One Saturday we tried a new place, at least it’s new to us called Filling Philly’s. They feature steak and chicken philly cheese steaks as well as meatball sandwiches. But what caught our eye was the Green Chile Philly. I can tell you my mouth was watering just reading the description. And it didn’t disappoint, It was delicious!! The distinct difference between my cheese steak and Filling Philly’s is the cheese sauce. They use cheese whiz which does taste good but I envisioned a creamy Oaxaca cheese sauce. Oaxaca cheese melts so creamy and makes the best cheese sauce and dips. I especially love it paired with green chile. My love of cheese steaks have no bounds, this one has to be one of the best!
Posted at 9:41 am , on July 22, 2016
I love burgers, all kinds of burgers, even burgers that take on a different identity. Occasionally I come across a menu that serves a burger with a fried egg on top. I’m not sure an ordinary burger with a fried egg is that appealing to me but I did start to consider the possibilities. The burger that kept coming to mind was an enchilada burger with a fried egg dripping yolk over the sides with melting cheese and a ground beef patty drenched in chile. I’m partial to red chile enchiladas, but Joe prefers green so I made one of each. There’s no way to pick these up and take a bite without something good dripping from you chin so it’s best to eat with a knife and fork. I promise, these burgers taste delicious and are by no means ordinary!
Posted at 11:17 am , on April 22, 2016
There’s nothing better than freshly made warm flatbreads. For years I’ve been making batches of flatbreads that I could store in the fridge. My boys loved them because they could make a quick pizza or stuff them with taco meat and cheese. They can be cut into triangles and toasted for fresh pita chips that can be dipped or topped with all sorts of things. What I had in mind this time was a gyro using skirt steak. I marinated bite size pieces of steak and stir fried it in my mini wok. Chicken or pork can be substituted for the steak as well. Add some sliced onion, chopped tomato and a dollop of tzatziki sauce and you’ve got a fresh meal that tastes every bit as good as if you had gone out to a restaurant.
Posted at 1:10 pm , on January 22, 2016
I’m taking a break from the winter soups and pastas. Most of the time it’s just Joe and I at the kitchen table and we enjoy a good sandwich as much as anything. I picked up a skirt steak and some veggies to make my version of the Philly Cheese Steak sandwich. Stir frying the steak and veggies makes such a quick and easy meal. I have a mini wok that I love to use for just the two of us. It’s seasoned just like a cast iron skillet and everything tastes so good in it. Philly cheese steaks are traditionally served with onions, mushrooms and green bell peppers but I personally love the taste of the sweet ornamental peppers. I can say without a doubt that these peppers add a great new taste to an already famous sandwich.
Posted at 1:42 pm , on December 4, 2015
I had this sandwich in mind when I made the Spicy Brown Sugar Bacon. It may be the ultimate chicken sandwich with so many layers of flavors to tempt your taste buds. The grilled chicken is seasoned with some chiles and spice. Then I topped it with a thick slice of tomato that’s been warmed on the grill, 3 slices of brown sugar bacon and an avocado cilantro mayo that brings it all together. And just one more thing, add some candied jalapenos on the side. It gives this sandwich a little kick of sweet heat. Here’s another idea, add olive oil to any leftover avocado cilantro mayo to make a salad dressing. Drizzled over a grilled chicken salad with brown sugar bacon crumbled on top would taste so good!
Posted at 9:01 am , on October 23, 2015
If you’ve ever been to Detroit you know that there is a Coney Island restaurant located every few blocks. You never have to look far to find one, just go down any street and you will eventually run into one. Each diner has an extensive menu with every kind of hot dog you can imagine plus a full breakfast menu and family style entrees too. The great thing about it is that the food is good and cheap. At least it was during the time that Joe and I lived there. My favorite thing was the Detroit Coney with Cheese Sauce. Oh, that gooey cheese sauce was so good! And finally I’ve found a recipe to make a homemade cheese sauce that captures that smooth and creamy taste. I’ve tried to make it with different cheeses and thickeners but it always came out with a texture that was gritty or chalky. The recipe posted on Serious Eats breaks down the science of how cheese melts. They also tested different variations like milk, cream cheese and mayo to make the perfect cheese sauce. They figured out the components which makes cheese sauce creamy like you might find at a Fuddruckers restaurant. You will find none of the background graininess in this sauce because it doesn’t require flour to thicken it. The scientific key has much to do with the concentration of milk fat. They discovered that evaporated milk is more concentrated with much of its water content removed. Combined with cornstarch to thicken the sauce makes the cheese melt silky smooth. Thanks to Serious Eats I can now make the perfect cheese sauce!
Posted at 10:06 am , on January 30, 2015
I’ve been craving steak and decided to stretch a ribeye into a meal for two with steak sandwiches. Instead of waiting for a warm day to grill outdoors, I decided to try Josh’s method of cooking a steak on top of the stove using the constant flip method. He has been trying all sorts of different foods and cooking techniques since he moved into his own place and he’s teaching this old cook some new tricks. Instead of cooking a steak and only turning it once, you turn it every 30 seconds in a smoking hot cast iron skillet giving it a more even browning and crusting on the outside and a warm pink center that is so tender it practically melts in your mouth. Once the steak was on it’s last 30 seconds I added some butter to the pan and some chimichurri and spooned it over the steak which added so much flavor. Grill some onion and tomato in the remaining chimichurri butter and you’ve got the makings for one impressive sandwich!