You know that time when no one is around and you are the only one home, and hungry to boot? Well, when that happens to me, I often come up with some crazy thing to eat, and this sesame fried bologna sandwich is no exception. For one, I am a huge fan of a fried bologna sandwich, and one that needs to get more attention on menus, and when you add a twist of sesame oil, and a great bagel, well then you are are in for pure pleasure.
Let’s get started.
1 1/2 thick inch of beef bologna
1 tbsp dark sesame oil
1 whole shallot, thinly sliced
2 slices of yellow American cheese
1 onion bagel, or thick slices of bread, toasted
pickled onions, optional but trust me, they make this sandwich pop
Start by heating a skillet on medium heat. Add the bologna and get a nice sear on one side. Lower the heat a bit, and add the sliced shallots. Next, drizzle the sesame oil on and around the bologna. After you have achieved a nice sear, flip over, cooking the onions and cook for about 5 minutes on medium-low heat.
Add the slices of American cheese, cover and let the cheese melt. During this time, toast your bagel.
Once the cheese has melted, add the bologna onto the bagel, top with pickled red onions (if using), and dig in. Yes, I’m a bit guilty of having this as one of those defined ‘closet sandwiches’ where you devour the heck out of it when no one is looking.
I loved everything about this creation. The subtleness of the sesame oil, along with those shallots and pickled onions, whoa, stop me now. This was a real winner, so the next time you are at the deli, don’t forget to get a slab of bologna and give this one a shot. Enjoy!
Good Lord do I ever love a chimichanga. I think I may have first had one back in my high school days at a local American-Mex joint called Chi-Chi’s. You know this was the type of place where all of us gringos thought we were having real Mexican food, only to realize years later that it was totally not, but only catered to us gringos, and the place would pack it in. Regardless, that’s where my love for the chimichanga was born. It’s essentially a deep fried burrito, loaded with goodness.
Instead of deep frying, I decided I would load these large flour tortillas up with some awesome chicken verde I made, along with rice and beans, and bake them, you know… to be a bit healthier than deep frying.
The result was awesome. Still crisp as you may expect from deep frying with way less the hassle.
Let’s get started.
Ingredients for the salsa verde:
5 whole tomatillos, husks removed
small handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves, skin on
generous pinch of salt, to taste
3 serrano chilies, seeds and ribs removed
2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed
1/2 cup (or more of water)
Ingredients for the chicken chimichanga:
3 whole chicken breasts
5 large flour tortillas
1/2 cup of Mexican or Spanish rice, per chimichanga
1/2 cup of cooked refried beans, per chimichanga
8 oz bag of Mexican Chihuahua cheese
8 oz bag of shredded cheddar cheese
hot sauce, optional
1/4 cup of canola oil
Start by making your salsa verde. Add the tomatillos, garlic, and chilies to a roasting sheet. Place in a 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until they are nicely charred. Once cooked, remove them from the oven, let cool, then remove the skin from the garlic cloves. They should pretty much just slide on out.
During this time, add the chicken breasts to a large pot of water, bring to a simmer, and cook until the chicken is fully cooked through, about 25 minutes or longer. Once cooked through, remove the chicken breasts to a plate to let cool.
Place all of the salsa ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until you have a fine salsa. Taste and adjust any salt.
Clean out that chicken pot. Next, remove the skins from the chicken breasts and discard. Shred all of the chicken and return the shredded chicken back to the pot. Pour in the salsa verde, bring to a medium heat, stirring along the way, and cook for about 20 more minutes. TRUST ME, THIS CHICKEN BY ITSELF IS AWESOME.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Take a flour tortilla and warm it on a skillet or in a microwave just until it softens. Once it is softened and more pliable, then it is time for the chimichanga making.
Lay the tortilla onto a plate, spread on the refried beans, add about a cup of chicken mixture (I use a slotted spoon to remove any excess salsa) onto the tortilla, closest to you, then add on the rice. Roll over a bit tightly, fold in the sides, and continue to roll until you have it seam side down. Lightly brush on some canola oil, and then repeat with any remaining tortillas. I made five for the family, but there is still plenty of chicken to be used for any leftovers, and as in my case enchiladas.
Take a baking sheet, add the chimichangas, and cook for about 15 minutes in the preheated oven. The goal is to get them nice and crisp. After about 15 minutes, remove, top with as much Chihuahua and cheddar cheese as you would like, and if you want, a bit more chicken mixture on top, and place back into the oven until the cheese is nicely melted.
Remove and serve. I topped mine with some nice habanero hot sauce for some kick.
The end result is everything I love about a chimichanga, and my entire family would agree. I don’t think anyone spoke at dinner time that evening as they devoured these things. If you are looking for a great meal, loaded with great flavor and texture, then give these baked chicken verde chimichangas a try. I’m certain you will love them!
I have mentioned this in the past, but my wife is a total fan of crab rangoon, and now my middle son is as well. What’s not to love about a crab rangoon? A little wonton purse loaded with cream cheese, crab, scallions, and simple seasonings, all bursting into your mouth in a couple of bites. I’ll admit, I love them to, and it is something we commonly default to as an appetizer if going out for American-Chinese food. Lately I had a real hankering for some crab rangoon, but I did not feel like making a bunch of wontons. It can be time consuming, so after I gave it a couple of seconds of thought, I decided I would come up with the crab rangoon egg roll.
These crab rangoon egg rolls take a lot less time to make, and yield one whopper of an egg roll. It’s a one and done type of egg roll due to the richness of the cream cheese, but that one is so darn good.
Let’s get started. Keep in mind that you can half this recipe for about 8 egg rolls, however I doubled as I knew I would reuse the mixture for an upcoming holiday get together.
16 oz of cream cheese, room temperature
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
6 scallions, thinly sliced
4 sticks of imitation crab, chopped
7 oz claw crab meat, drained
1/2 tsp salt, to taste
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper, to taste
1 package of egg roll wrappers
1 egg, beaten
2 cups of canola oil
sweet and sour sauce, hot mustard sauce, or your favorite dipping sauce
Start by getting a medium sized mixing bowl ready. Add the bars of cream cheese, add the worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, crab meats, and scallions. Using a form or spoon, mix thoroughly. Just make sure everything is nicely incorporated before putting into your egg roll wrapper.
Next it is time to wrap your egg rolls. Get a couple of plates out.
One one plate, add the egg roll wrapper, diamond style, meaning the points facing you. Add a heaping tablespoon into the lower center of the wrapper. DO NOT over stuff these babies. Next, take the point nearest you and fold over the mixture, gently pulling back to you. Roll one time, then fold over the side points. Continue to roll just until about done, leaving about an inch or so, then brush on some of the beaten egg onto that point. Continue to roll, sealing the egg roll.
Repeat with however many egg rolls you desire.
To a medium size pot, enough to house a few egg rolls to cook, add the canola oil, and bring to a medium heat, just until about 350 degrees.
Add a few egg rolls, being careful not to overcrowd, and cook until golden brown. This only takes a matter of minutes. Once golden, remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate, and repeat. Let these cool for a few minutes before biting into them. They are piping hot.
Once you are ready to dig in, give a dunk into your favorite dipping sauce, and prepare yourself to an unreal crab rangoon experience. Creamy, rich, crunchy, and just down right delicious. This one really lives up to its name, but in egg roll form. My wife and I joked and said ‘this egg roll probably equates to 4 regular crab rangoons, right?’. If you are looking for something neat, and a one and done, give this one a shot. It’s a great appetizer, and perfect this holiday season.
My family is a big fan of lasagna, I mean who isn’t? I have made many attempts at putting a little twist on the classic, and this one is no exception. The temperature has dropped in Wisconsin, and we are settling in for the hibernation season, so I figured that I would come up with a soup, a lasagna soup at that. What I didn’t know is how much my family would love this recipe. I was a bit suspect on my kids eating it as they are not big soup eaters, but all I can say is that went up for seconds, two days in a row. Yep, it was that good.
Let’s get started.
1 1/4 lb of ground chuck, cooked and fat removed
4 cloves of garlic, minced
7 cups of chicken stock, more if you want it to be more ‘soupy’
1 whole onion, thinly diced
1 tsp salt, to taste
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
2 tbsp tomato paste
15 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 jar of marinara sauce
5 sheets of lasagna pasta, broken
1 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese, use to your liking
Grated parmesan cheese, to your liking
Start by getting a medium sized soup pot on the stove, and heat it to medium heat. Toss in the ground beef, and cook until browned, breaking it up along the way. Once cooked, strain and remove all of the fat. Return the ground beef back to the stove, and toss in the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add in the salt, pepper, chili flakes, and Italian seasoning. Give a good stir, then toss in the garlic, and tomato paste. Cook the tomato paste for a couple of minutes, then add in the diced tomatoes, chicken stock, and marinara sauce. Give this another good stir, and bring to a gentle boil. Once boiled, reduce the heat to medium-low, then add in the broken pasta sheets.
Cook for about 20 minutes or until the pasta is nice and tender.
When you are ready to serve, ladle into your soup bowl, shower with parmesan and mozzarella cheese, and dig in.
This is everything you love about lasagna, but in soup format, and what’s not to love about that! Hope you enjoy, and stay warm!