African Style Chicken Sandwich – Chicken Suqaar

It was not too long ago when my colleagues and I ventured out to try a new restaurant, only due to the fact that someone did a writeup on them in regards to one of their sandwiches.  The place was called Blue Star Cafe, and is located on the east side of Milwaukee. The three of us ordered sandwiches, and I decided on getting their chicken sandwich with green sauce. Not really knowing what I was going to get, beyond chicken on bread, I was completely blown away by the flavors, tenderness of the chicken, and their bread. It was known as Somali food, and I was down with it. After recognizing all of the awesome flavors, I decided to take a stab at making my own, and boy was it ever good.

African Style Chicken Sandwich Recipe
African Style Chicken Sandwich Recipe

When I was eating this sandwich, it really took me to a similar sandwich, the Banh Mi, a sandwich that is packed with tender meat, fresh herbs, and seasoning.

My kids devoured this sandwich and were wanting more. That’s always a good sign, of great food in my book, plus it is super simple to make.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tbsp lemon pepper
  • 1 tbsp chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 whole potato, peeled, cooked, and cubed
  • 2 whole carrots, peeled, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 whole onion, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 head lettuce, shredded
  • 1 whole tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 serrano chili, thinly sliced, optional
  • fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Thin, soft French baguettes

Start by adding the chicken thighs to a slow cooker. You can do this in the oven if you desire, but during a busy work week, I find that throwing these in a slow cooker was the real trick.

Toss with the garlic, salt, cumin, cinnamon, lemon pepper, chicken bouillon, and allspice. Drizzle with some olive oil, add in the water, and cook on low for 8 hours.

Once cooked, pull apart with a fork, and remain cooking until it gets folded into the vegetable mix.

To a large skillet, drizzle in some olive oil, then add in the onions, cubed potato, and carrots. Cook just until slightly tender, then fold in the chicken mixture. Gently stir, and cook on low heat.

Make the curry mayonnaise for the sauce. Add the mayo and curry powder to a bowl, and stir to combine.  Now let’s make the sandwiches!

How to make African Chicken Suqaar Sandwiches
How to make African Chicken Suqaar Sandwiches

Take one of your French baguettes, and slice lengthwise. Slather on the curry mayonnaise on both sides. Top with the chicken suqaar mixture, then add in the chilies, lettuce, tomatoes, and cilantro.  Fold, give a good push down. Open wide and dig in.

There’s something to be said about this African chicken sandwich. It’s ultra tender chicken, that is just seasoned perfectly really balances out with the curry mayonnaise, and fresh herbs and chilies. I’m really glad my colleagues turned me onto the Blue Star Cafe, as without going there, I would have no idea about this type of African cuisine. Give this one a try, I’m sure you will love it!

African Style Chicken Sandwich - Chicken Suqaar
Author: 
Recipe type: Chicken, Sandwiches
Cuisine: African
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tbsp lemon pepper
  • 1 tbsp chicken bouillon
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 whole potato, peeled, cooked, and cubed
  • 2 whole carrots, peeled, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 whole onion, cut into matchsticks
  • ½ head lettuce, shredded
  • 1 whole tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 serrano chili, thinly sliced, optional
  • fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Thin, soft French baguettes
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the chicken thighs to a slow cooker. You can do this in the oven if you desire, but during a busy work week, I find that throwing these in a slow cooker was the real trick.
  2. Toss with the garlic, salt, cumin, cinnamon, lemon pepper, chicken bouillon, and allspice. Drizzle with some olive oil, add in the water, and cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Once cooked, pull apart with a fork, and remain cooking until it gets folded into the vegetable mix.
  4. To a large skillet, drizzle in some olive oil, then add in the onions, cubed potato, and carrots. Cook just until slightly tender, then fold in the chicken mixture. Gently stir, and cook on low heat.
  5. Make the curry mayonnaise for the sauce. Add the mayo and curry powder to a bowl, and stir to combine. Now let’s make the sandwiches!
  6. Take one of your French baguettes, and slice lengthwise. Slather on the curry mayonnaise on both sides. Top with the chicken suqaar mixture, then add in the chilies, lettuce, tomatoes, and cilantro. Fold, give a good push down. Open wide and dig in.

 

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Caribbean Style Pork

I am still working my way through my habanero peppers, and yes, that can take quiet a bit of time. A little goes a long way. As you know, I recently batched out a bunch of mango and peach habanero sauce that I am still hammering through, and day by day it just gets better and better. But as I was still staring down my bag of peppers, I decided to come up with a Caribbean style pork recipe that had that subtle kick of the habanero peppers, but one that it was not too overpowering. This pork dish is bright, vibrant, and packed full of a citrus punch that is a bit addicting.

Caribbean Style Pork Recipe
Caribbean Style Pork Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 nectarines, juiced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 whole white onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 whole habanero peppers, seeds and stem removed, chopped
  • 2 whole sprigs of thyme
  • 1 cup of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 8 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/4 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 lbs pork tenderloin, cut into thick chunks
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • cooked rice, optional

Start by making the marinade. To a bowl, add in the nectarine, lemon, and lime juice. Season with the salt, pepper, onion, habaneros, bell pepper, thyme, parsley, garlic, worcestershire, oil, and vinegar. Add in the pork, and carefully toss. Careful of those habanero peppers. I always recommend wearing gloves when using those. Once everything is coated, marinate overnight.

Caribbean Style Pork Recipe
Caribbean Style Pork Recipe

The following day, remove the marinated pork from the refrigerator and let it rest on the counter to come up to room temperature.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the pork mixture into a baking dish, seal with aluminum foil, and cook for about 2 hours, or until it is super tender. Uncover, crank up the heat to about 425, and cook a few additional minutes to get a bit crispy.

Remove from the oven, and serve over rice, if desired. Feel free to drizzle any of the remaining liquid over the pork, along with the cooked onions, garlic, and peppers.  This one is a real winner. It has an awesome citrus, and bang of the habanero that is just perfect. Hope you enjoy!

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Slow Cooker Carne Guisada

If you have never heard of carne guisada, well now you have. It is essentially stewed meat, and typically done with pork, it can be done with chicken, or beef, and in my case, pork. It’s one of those comfort foods that everyone can identify with, and one that is super versatile as it can be used in tacos, enchiladas, burritos, or event stand on its own. This is my take on a slow cooker carne guisada, as one I was pinched for time during the work week, and two, who doesn’t love the slow cooker?

Slow Cooker Carne Guisada Tacos

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of boneless pork ribs, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped, seeds removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 whole tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • flour tortillas, warmed, optional
  • fresh cilantro, optional
  • hot sauce, optional

Start by heating a large skillet on medium-high heat. Once heated, add in the oil, and let it come to temperature for about 10 seconds. Add the pork, and sear the pork on each side. Once seared, place the pork into your slow cooker. Return the skillet to the stove, and toss in the chopped onion. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add in the water to deglaze the skillet. Pour everything into the slow cooker.

With the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the tortillas, cilantro, and hot sauce, add to the slow cooker, and give everything a cook stir. Cover, and cook on low heat for 7 hours.

Carne Guisada Ingredients

Before serving, I like to lightly shred the pork, however leaving some cubes together. Now you can go ahead and serve as is, but I like to sear mine on the stove once again. So what I do is add a skillet on medium-high heat to the stove. Next I add in however much carne guisada I think will hold with two tacos, and mixing it around for a couple of minutes until some of the pork caramelizes, and some of the juices run clear.

Add to the warmed tortillas, and dig in.

Words can’t explain how awesome this meat mixture is. It’s super tender, and just loaded with great spices and flavor. It’s a definite winner for tacos, that’s for sure. So if you are looking to steer away from your standard taco meat, give this one a shot. Hope you enjoy!

Slow Cooker Carne Guisada
Author: 
Recipe type: Tacos, Stews
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds of boneless pork ribs, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped, seeds removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 whole tomato, chopped
  • ½ cup water
  • flour tortillas, warmed, optional
  • fresh cilantro, optional
  • hot sauce, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by heating a large skillet on medium-high heat. Once heated, add in the oil, and let it come to temperature for about 10 seconds. Add the pork, and sear the pork on each side. Once seared, place the pork into your slow cooker. Return the skillet to the stove, and toss in the chopped onion. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add in the water to deglaze the skillet. Pour everything into the slow cooker.
  2. With the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the tortillas, cilantro, and hot sauce, add to the slow cooker, and give everything a cook stir. Cover, and cook on low heat for 7 hours.
  3. Before serving, I like to lightly shred the pork, however leaving some cubes together. Now you can go ahead and serve as is, but I like to sear mine on the stove once again. So what I do is add a skillet on medium-high heat to the stove. Next I add in however much carne guisada I think will hold with two tacos, and mixing it around for a couple of minutes until some of the pork caramelizes, and some of the juices run clear.
  4. Add to the warmed tortillas, and dig in.

 

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Slow Roasted Beef Melt

Do you remember that song by Sir Mix a Lot? You know the one, ‘I like big butts and I cannot lie’? I’m totally with that, and when it comes to making pork butt, or beef rump, I’m all in. There is something about those pieces of meat, where you cook them low and slow, only to get a result of pull about, for tender meat that can go in so many different directions in terms of recipes. With that said, I’m on the ‘purge the freezer and purge the leftovers’ bandwagon lately. I’m tired of all of the price hikes for food lately, and I cannot wait to get our gardens started, but we are not there yet, so we purge.

My latest finding was a rump roast, and it was a great finding because I was craving some sort of Italian beef style sandwich. That’s when I decided to put this sucker in the slow cooker and come up with something the following day. That’s where the slow roasted beef melt came into play.

Slow Roasted Beef Melt

 

First, look at that cheese. I could have just been happy with that alone. But…

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb beef rump roast
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 head of garlic, lightly smashed (papers removed)
  • 2 cups of beef stock
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 1/2 cup black olives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 serrano chili, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 whole bolillo roll, or small baguette, sliced lengthwise

Start by rubbing the salt and pepper all of the beef rump roast. Pour the beef stock into the slow cooker. Add the beef rump and surround that with the smashed garlic cloves.

Cover, and cook for 8-10 hours. I set mine up before I go to bed, so that I have it ready for lunch the following day.

Next, remove the beef from the slow cooker, and strain the stock, pouring it into a sauce pot.

Bring that sauce to a low simmer on the stove.

Slow roasted beef melt

Next, thinly slice the beef. Add a generous sandwich amount to the broth, and continue to simmer as you prepare your sandwich.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Butter each side of the sliced bread, and place into the oven to get a light golden brown, and have it harden just a bit, about 7 minutes.

Remove the bread from the oven, and cover each side with two slices of the provolone cheese. Top that with the serrano chilies and black olives. Return back to the oven for about 4 minutes until the cheese is nice and melted (my favorite part).

Next, remove the cheesy bread from the oven, and with some tongs or forks, add the beef to the top of the bread. Top with the other piece of bread, and lightly press down on it.

Ladle some of the beef stock into a small dipping bowl and dig in.

The great thing about this beef melt is that you get this super tender, garlicky beef, and then that sharpness from the cheese. That in itself is a winning sandwich, but then you get that brininess from the olives and the heat from those chilies. Then you dunk into the beef stock, and that just takes it to a whole new level.

So if you are looking to purge, and have some beef in the freezer, give this one a shot. It was a perfect way to use up my leftover olives and chilies from taco night as well. Hope you enjoy!

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