The Ultimate BLT Sandwich

I don’t know about you but our vegetable garden is off the charts right now. Tomato plants are taller than I am and blooming like you won’t believe. We’ve picked our share of beans, peas, broccoli, napa cabbage, and berries. It’s a real pleasure to head to the yard every day and harvest what we can, and then prepare a meal with fresh produce. To me, there is nothing more satisfying than that, and I wish I had more land to plant four times the amount that we already have. With that said, it’s tomato season and that means a few things, but one important one. That is it’s BLT season, and I love that season. The BLT screams summer time grub to me, and as I love the basic BLT, I also love changing it up a bit. This is where the ultimate BLT comes into play. This BLT has avocado, and a great garlic hummus that holds everything together.

The Ultimate BLT Sandwich
The Ultimate BLT Sandwich

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of thick cut bread, lightly toasted
  • 3 slices of Nueske’s (or your favorite) thick cut bacon, cooked
  • 1 cup lettuce, chopped
  • 1 whole avocado, mashed
  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • 4 slices of your favorite tomato
  • salt and pepper to taste

Super simple sandwich, and that’s what I love about this one, well, that and everything else that goes into it.

Start by smearing hummus on one piece of the lightly toasted bread. Smear the mashed avocado on the other slice of bread.

Top the hummus with the lettuce, then the bacon, then the tomato slices.

Bacon Lettuce Tomato Avocado and Hummus Sandwich
Bacon Lettuce Tomato Avocado and Hummus Sandwich

Top with the sliced bread with the avocado smear, smear down, and then give a gentle push on the sandwich, binding all of the ingredients.

Now dig in. Open wide on this one. That lightly toasted bread gives great texture to the sandwich. Your bites include everything you want in a sandwich. Light garlic flavor from the hummus, and the creaminess of the avocado pairs so well with the awesomeness of the smokey bacon. This is a true winner of a sandwich. Try adding the hummus and avocado smear to your next BLT, and make it the ultimate BLT sandwich. Hope you enjoy!

The Ultimate BLT Sandwich
Author: 
Recipe type: Sandwiches
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 2 slices of thick cut bread, lightly toasted
  • 3 slices of Nueske’s (or your favorite) thick cut bacon, cooked
  • 1 cup lettuce, chopped
  • 1 whole avocado, mashed
  • ½ cup hummus
  • 4 slices of your favorite tomato
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Start by smearing hummus on one piece of the lightly toasted bread. Smear the mashed avocado on the other slice of bread.
  2. Top the hummus with the lettuce, then the bacon, then the tomato slices.
  3. Top with the sliced bread with the avocado smear, smear down, and then give a gentle push on the sandwich, binding all of the ingredients.

 

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Grilled Flatbreads

My in-laws wedding anniversary this past weekend. 46 years. Yep, 46. I think (such a guy not knowing) we have only been married for 14, but 46? Great stuff to say the least. As my wife wanted to plan to take them out for dinner, I made the suggestion to have them over to our house and cook them a comforting meal. I had no idea what I was going to make, but then quickly took into account what I thought they might like. I decided on a couple of appetizers, of which one was a grilled flatbreads, an array of cheese, and a couple of roasted chickens with wild rice and roasted asparagus. The meal turned out great, but one thing I really loved (besides the cheese, of course) was the grilled flatbreads.

How to make Grilled Flatbreads

One thing I love about making these flatbreads, much like making pizza, is that you can go in any direction in terms of cheeses, spices, and sauces. I went with simple flatbreads, using simple ingredients.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • plastic wrap
  • 2 cups fresh mozzarella balls
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dry parsley flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • salt and pepper to taste

To a mixing bowl, or KitchenAid, add the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. With your dough attachment, give it a good mix. Use a wooden spoon towards the end to finalize your mix.

On a low mixing speed, slowly add in the water, and mix until the dough begins to form. Once it is loosely formed, turn off the mixer, and let it rest for about 10 minutes.

After ten minutes, increase the speed to medium, and mix for about 5 minutes. Add a tablespoon of water at a time if the dough seems too dry. Be careful not to add too much water.

Once the dough is kneaded using your mixer, drizzle in the olive oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a room area of your kitchen, and let it rise until it has doubled, if not more, in size.

How to make grilled flatbread

Once the dough has risen, punch it down, and place on a lightly floured board or counter.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces, and gently roll each one into a ball. Let rest for about 20 minutes.

Next, take a ball, lightly flour, and stretch, or roll with a baking pin into a 1/4 to 1/2 inch round, almost like a pizza. It does not have to be perfect.

Heat your grill. If you are using coals or gas, heat only one side. You will cook the pizza over indirect heat. Me? I used my KettlePizza (I love it).

Once heated, finish your flatbreads.

Add the oil and parsley together and give a good mix.

Brush each flatbread with the oil mixture. Season with salt and pepper, then add some mozzarella balls, sliced tomatoes, and fresh dill. Arrange to your liking.

Slide a flatbread onto your grill, and cook, moving around when the dough begins to cook on the bottom.

Cover, and cook until the flatbreads are cooked, about 5-7 minutes per flatbread. Repeat with the remaining flatbreads.

Not only are these a perfect appetizer, but they are also a really great side dish. The dill and lightly charred underside of these really make these flatbreads shine. So happy anniversary in-laws. May you have many years ahead!

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Loaded Pizza Rolls

The weekends around my house always yield a few things. Time with the kids, creative and fun cooking, and laundry. As we recently wrapped up football season, I decided to make a fun appetizer that I knew would be a hit with my wife, and possibly my kids. In the past I have made these stuffed pepperoni rolls which are so incredibly addictive, and with that in mind, I decided to take those, or at least the concept to another level. This recipe uses simple, frozen bread rolls and stuffed with an array of ingredients. The cool thing about making these is that you can make them how you would want your pizza, and to me, that’s pretty awesome.

Loaded Pizza Rolls

These are perfect bites, not only for a football game, but heck, any Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Did I mention how easy they are to make?

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped and cooked until crisp
  • 1/2 cup pepperoni, diced, and cooked until slightly crisp
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded colby jack cheese, to finish
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Rhodes dinner rolls, thawed
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour

Again, you have options here for your stuffing, so go with what you love. You want mushrooms and onions? Go for it. That’s the beauty of cooking.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Melt the butter in a bowl along with the Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Once melted, give it a good stir, and set to the side.

Start by dusting a work area with flour. Take one of your thawed dinner rolls, place it onto the work surface, and gently roll it out with a rolling pin. You want it about a 1/4 inch thick or so.

How to make loaded pizza rolls

Next, take a bit of everything, enough where you think it will fit, and then fold over the bread and pinch to seal them. Some of them may open up. Don’t worry, it’s OK. When they bake it just gets even better.

Add the stuffed pizza bread to a baking dish, and continue with however many you would like to make. I made eleven of them.

Drizzle all of the rolls with that butter mixture, then top with the colby jack cheese.

Bake in the oven until the cheese is super bubbly and the bread is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.

Dig in. It’s almost like monkey bread which always works in my favor, but loaded with everything pizza in a roll form. Super yummy, fun, and perfect for watching a game. My wife and I loved these, but the kids, well, they saw that bell pepper and turned away. Their loss. Hope you enjoy!

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The Best Sausage Stuffing Recipe

I’m always curious why sausage stuffing is typically only served maybe once or twice a year, typically around the holidays. In all honesty, sausage stuffing, or sausage dressing if you will, is probably my favorite part of the Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday. No lie. I could probably just live off of that during those couple of days, with a ladle of gravy, I’m set. I’ve been making this recipe for years now, and I might add a slight twist or two depending on my mood, but this is the one, and one that many people love.

The Best Sausage Stuffing Recipe

This recipe uses fresh herbs, a couple of different types of bread, chicken livers, sausage, and an array of vegetables, all drowned in chicken stock to be baked, then crisped at the end. It’s a wonderful spoonful in every bite.

This recipe feeds a small army, probably 12 or more, so from this, you can figure out what you need, or freeze the leftovers and use them up on any day where you require a bit of comfort food.
Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup of chicken livers, pureed in a food processor
  • 2 pounds of Jimmy Dean’s Pork Sausage with Sage
  • 1/2 cup of fresh sage, minced
  • 1/2 cup of fresh rosemary, minced
  • 21 oz Pepperidge Farm herbed seasoned stuffing
  • 4 cups sour dough bread cut into thick cubes
  • 6 slices of Nueske’s bacon, cut into pieces
  • 1 head of kale, stems removed, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 medium yellow onions, minced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of raisins
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 5 cups of chicken stock, warmed
  • 2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt, to taste

Heat two skillets on your stove, on medium heat.

To one skillet add the canola oil and let it come to temperature. Once heated for a few minutes, add the pureed chicken livers and mushrooms, and give a good stir.

To the other skillet, add the chopped bacon.

Cook the livers only for a few minutes, stirring along the way, then remove the skillet from the heat and set the livers into a bowl.

Cook the bacon, just until slightly crisp, then strain some of the bacon fat, reserving for later use if you want.

To the skillet with slightly cooked bacon, add the chopped kale, and half a cup of water. Continue cooking until the kale gets nice and wilted, about 12 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Once heated, add the sour dough bread cubes to a baking sheet and place into the oven, cooking for about 12 minutes or so until the bread is nice and golden crisp.

To the skillet where you were cooking your chicken livers, heat on medium high heat, add the 2 pounds of Jimmy Dean sausage. Cook the sausage until nice and crisp, about 10 minutes. Once cooked, place into a bowl and set the sausage to the side.

To your large skillet, add the butter. Cook on medium heat and let the butter melt. Add the onions, garlic, parsley, fresh herbs, and celery. Cook for about 10 minutes or until everything is nice and tender. Season with the salt and pepper.

How to make Thanksgiving Stuffing

I used a large aluminum pan that I purchased from the store to mix all of the ingredients.

To the large pan, add the bread cubes, bacon and kale mixture, liver and mushrooms, raisins, and sausage. Give this a good mix, making sure you incorporate all of the ingredients. Next, ladle in the warm chicken stock. You want to make sure the mixture gets softened, but not mushy. You don’t want mush.

Cover the pan with foil.

To the preheated 325 degreed oven, add the stuffing pan, and cook for 30 minutes, covered. Next, uncover cook for an additional 15 minutes so the top gets a bit crisp.

How to make Thanksgiving Sausage Stuffing

The end result is pretty flipping amazing. You get sweet, savory, and great texture all around. This is my go to stuffing recipe and it’s one that I crave during the fall and winter months.

Hope you enjoy!

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