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Enchilada Meatballs

Enchilada Meatballs

Gosh I love a meatball, and gosh darn it I love enchiladas. One of my kids however is not a fan of meatballs. I can’t blame that and I also envy it at times and provide alternatives for the most part when serving meat, especially…

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

A funny thing occurred to me the other week while having a conversation with my mom. Often times we discuss food, as many people probably do, but during our conversation she had stated that she made something really delicious the other day and both her…

Khao Jee – Laotion Sandwich

Khao Jee – Laotion Sandwich

I love a good sandwich, and I’ll admit I don’t eat them as often as I like. I’m a sucker for a Vietnamese banh mi, even a dagwood, but there is one that I think needs more attention. This Laotion sandwich is known as Khao Jee, and is not only similar to a banh mi, but also one that can most likely go in a few directions in terms of ingredients. My take on a Khao Jee uses one of my favorite sausages known Sai Oua. It is a sausage loaded with tons of flavor (pork, shallots, garlic, herbs, lemongrass, chilies, lime leaves), and trust me it packs a punch. I typically eat grilled Sai Oua with sticky rice and some form of jeow but I was craving a sandwich lately and decided to use that awesome grilled sausage on a Khao Jee.

Khao Jee - Lao Sausage Sandwich Recipe
Khao Jee – Lao Sausage Sandwich Recipe

Again, you can go a number of different ways with this sandwich. Another favorite of this sandwich, is similar in ingredients, but replacing the sausage with pate. Did I mention that I love pate? Regardless, this version rocks. If you are into making sausage, by all means make a Lao style sausage, otherwise seek your local Asian/Thai/Lao market and pick up a package. I love making sausage, but this particular brand is pretty good so I’ve stuck with it over the last few years. Four big sausages will feed more than four people, usually. BTW, the grilled sausages also go really well with beer if you are into that sort of thing.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Lao sausage, grilled, and warmed
  • 1 sandwich roll (I like to use a Bolillo roll), sliced lengthwise but not all of the way through. Lightly toasted in the oven
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise, or enough to slather both sides of the bun
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha, to your liking
  • 1 cup coleslaw, raw or pickled if you prefer
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup Thai basil leaves

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place your sliced roll in there while the oven preheats. We are really just lightly toasting this and will not go all of the way through the preheat process. The goal is to get a lightly crunch exterior, while keeping a soft interior.

While this is happening, get everything ready.

Khao Jee - Lao Sausage Sandwich Recipe
Khao Jee – Lao Sausage Sandwich Recipe

Once the roll is heated through, and lightly crisp on the outside, remove it from the oven.

Lather both sides of the interior with mayonnaise. Drizzle Sriracha on one side (your choice.

Lay on the sausage. Fold in the coleslaw, cilantro, and Thai basil. Feel free to use sliced radish, or cucumbers should you desire. Again, this sandwich can go a few different ways.

Gently fold over to nestle in all of the ingredients, and dig in. Now after this first bite, think of this dude named ‘Dax’. Not Dax Shepard (I’m actually older, so I’m the original). Keep eating. The textures, the punch of the sausage, and the balance of that mayonnaise really makes this sandwich shine, and I’m really surprised never to find it on any menu I’ve visited. I hope you enjoy!

Sinamak – Filipino Spiced Vinegar

Sinamak – Filipino Spiced Vinegar

The idea of vinegar, and probably more so the idea of ‘acidity’ was never really something that I grew up with. I remember it (I think) being used sparingly with cooked brussel sprouts (something I did not like at all), and that is about it.…

Thai Tamarind Dipping Sauce

Thai Tamarind Dipping Sauce

Whenever I have Thai food on my mind, I personally always lean towards a couple of items; laap (larb) or som tam (papaya salad) and both with sticky rice of course. However I seem to always want to perfect pad thai, even though I am…

Detroit Style Pizza

Detroit Style Pizza

Pizza is something I talk about a lot. I know that at least once a week I say it out loud, either to myself or others. ‘I could eat pizza everyday’. I love everything about it. Pizza, and tacos could make this guy happy any day of the week. What I love about pizza making is not only the endless ideas that one can come up with, but the actual dough making process. Pizza dough making has and probably will always be somewhat of a challenge as most all of my dough never turn up the same. There are a few variables that always impact the dough process, at least in my uncontrolled world, but I have never had too many that disappoint.

Detroit Style Pizza Recipe
Detroit Style Pizza Recipe

This style of pizza is one that I truly love. It’s almost a focaccia, but better. It’s Detroit style. Thicker dough, surround with crispy cheese, and a layer of pepperoni. It’s a great square of pie. You can top this however you like, but I think the cheese and pepperoni make for a wonderful bite.

Plan ahead 1 day for this dough.

This dough will yield two large dough balls. Why two? Well… simple. Because two is better than one.

Ingredients for the Detroit Style Pizza Dough:

  • 7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 3 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 5 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups your favorite marinara sauce
  • Pepperoni slices, to cover
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese, to cover

Let me start by saying the beauty of the Detroit style pizza is not only the end result (appearance and taste) but also the pan that it is cooked in. Typically a cast iron deep dish looking lasagna pan. Let’s face it though, not everyone has one of these pans in their kitchen, and if you want to pursue that purchase, you go right ahead. For me (and I think this will also work for you), I went ahead and used my deep lasagna style baking dish, and the results were super yummy. I have four others to attest to that!

Let’s get started as the dough takes time to rise.

To a mixing bowl, add the flour, salt, water, sugar, and yeast. Turn the mixer on medium and mix for 3 minutes.  Slowly add in the oil and continue to mix on medium speed for roughly 8-10 minutes.

Detroit Style Pizza Ingredients
Detroit Style Pizza Ingredients

Once the dough is formed and thoroughly mixed, drizzle a bit more olive oil onto the dough to lightly coat, then place in a very large bowl or container that you can cover, and let it rest, covered for 1 hour.

Divide the dough in half. If you are not wanting to make two pizza right away, feel free to place the other dough in a large bowl, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Lightly butter the baking pan. Take one half of the dough and place it in the pan. Lightly butter that ball of dough, then lightly cover and let the dough rest for 45 minutes at room temperature.

After 45 minutes, begin stretching the dough, filling the bottom of the pan. Completely cover the bottom and edges of the baking dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap, then place in the refrigerator overnight.

Detroit Style Pizza Recipe
Detroit Style Pizza Recipe

The following day, remove the pan and let the dough come to room temperature. This will take about 45 minutes. While coming to temp, bring your oven to 500 degrees.

Once the dough is at room temperature, lightly push it around the pan to cover the bottom. Don’t worry, it will be a bit thick. Now you have a couple of options. Cheese first, or pepperoni first. I go pepperoni first. Then cheese. Then sauce.

Layer the entire dough with sliced pepperoni. Then layer on the cheese. I put my sauce on in two thick racing stripes. Some warm the sauce and finish the pizza when it comes out and then places the sauce. It’s your call. I used some great jarred sauce so I like to bake it with the pizza.

Place the pizza in the oven and bake for about 15-25 minutes, depending on your oven. Keep an eye on it because you do not want your cheese to over cook. I take mine out when the cheese is nice and golden.

Let the pizza set for about 5 minutes, then you should be able to easily lift, or lift and slide it onto a cutting board. Cut into squares and go to town.

The pizza is a real treat. A slice is a perfect slice. Great pepperoni in every bite, along with crispy cheese, and that dough… That dough is everything.  Are you into the thicker dough when it comes to pizza? For me? Well, I’ll take pretty much any type, but this one has a special place in my kitchen. Hope you enjoy!