Open-Faced Sardine and Onion Sandwich

I don’t know what it is, but when I am home alone and my wife and kids are out running errands, I decide to make something a bit naughty. I mean naughty in the sense where I don’t need a comment from any of the family members such as ‘gross’ or ‘what the heck is that?’. This was one of those times. A can of sardines and I have been having a stare down for some time now. You know that can I’m talking about. That can you quickly go past when shopping at the store. Not me. Those cans are something I take a look at carefully, and actually loved those darn little smoked oysters years ago, especially when served on a cracker. Sardines are no exception to that.

You can buy an array of sardines in a can, whether they are boneless and skinless and packed in oil, or mustard, or tomato sauce. For me, I like mine packed in olive oil, and I could not care less whether they are boneless or skinless.

So as I sat alone, and hungry on a Saturday morning, I decided to win that stare down and come up with a pretty darn good open-faced sardine and onion sandwich. If you are scared of sardines, don’t be.

Open-Faced Sardine and Onion Sandwich
Open-Faced Sardine and Onion Sandwich

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 whole sardines, boneless and skinless
  • 1 slice of Texas toast, toasted, or standard sandwich slice
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 lemon, lightly squeezed

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Upon the preheat, add the sardines to a oven safe plate, and place in the oven during the preheat to warm through.

Place your bread in the toaster.

How to make a sardine and onion sandwich
How to make a sardine and onion sandwich

When the bread has toasted, remove it from the toaster and slather on the Dijon mustard, from edge to edge.

Place on half of the sliced onions on the mustard. Remove the sardines from the oven and arrange them on the toast.

Place the remaining onion onto the sardines, and squeeze a bit of lemon over the top.

Open-faced Sardine and Onion Sandwich
Open-faced Sardine and Onion Sandwich

Was this sandwich good? Are you kidding me? It was so satisfying. The sardines themselves lend the flavor and texture of what you might expect from tuna, but possibly better in this case. The slight bite of onion along with the tangy lemon and mustard made every bite memorable, especially with the crunch of the toast.

Did I mention how good sardines, in moderation, are good for you?

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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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Indian Aloo

I’ve told you that lately I have been on the Indian food craze. I must go in spurts on this kind of stuff, whether it be Asian cuisine, American comfort, or Mexican style food, but this whole flavor arena of Indian cooking has got me sold. What I love about much of Indian cuisine is not only all of the earthy spices, but the warmth that surrounds you when eating it. Anything similar to a curry sauce has got me, and this one in particular got me real good. It’s basically a lightly fried potato that gets bathed in an awesome sauce. It’s a great side dish, or heck even a main course.

Indian Dum Aloo

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 20 baby yukon gold potatoes, cleaned
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 whole roma tomatoes
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 whole green chili peppers, stems removed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
  • rice, cooked (optional)
  • naan, optional
  • 2 tbsp canola oil

Start by adding your potatoes to a pot and fill with cool water. Bring the potatoes to a boil, and cook just until fork tender.

During this time, make the paste, or sauce if you will.

Add the ginger, tomatoes, turmeric powder, and green chilies to a food processor. Pulse until you have a salsa like nice sauce.

How to make Indian Aloo

 

Once the potatoes are cook, strain and set to the side.

Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat, and after a minute or two, add the canola oil. Once heated, add the potatoes to the skillet, and give the skillet a nice swirl. You going to crisp the skin on these potatoes for about 8 minutes. Once they are getting crispy remove the potatoes to a plate and reserve for later.

To the same skillet add in the cumin and mustard seeds, and let them sizzle for about a minute, stirring along the way.

Next add in your onions, and cook these until they are super tender, but not caramelized, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the cinnamon, garam masala, and coriander powder.

Add in the sauce and continue to stir. Add in your salt, and yogurt and give another good stir. Once the sauce begins to simmer, add in the potatoes, and again stir. Cook for about 10 more minutes to let the flavors meld.

Now you are ready to plate. If you are not already anxious to eat this due to the aroma in your kitchen, then I don’t know what’s wrong with you!

Serve alongside rice or naan, or other warm Indian bread, and shower with fresh cilantro if you desire.

Hope you enjoy!

Indian Aloo
Recipe type: Sides
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 20 baby yukon gold potatoes, cleaned
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 whole roma tomatoes
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 whole green chili peppers, stems removed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • ¾ cup plain yogurt
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1½ tsp salt, to taste
  • rice, cooked (optional)
  • naan, optional
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
Instructions
  1. Start by adding your potatoes to a pot and fill with cool water. Bring the potatoes to a boil, and cook just until fork tender.
  2. During this time, make the paste, or sauce if you will.
  3. Add the ginger, tomatoes, turmeric powder, and green chilies to a food processor. Pulse until you have a salsa like nice sauce.
  4. Once the potatoes are cook, strain and set to the side.
  5. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat, and after a minute or two, add the canola oil. Once heated, add the potatoes to the skillet, and give the skillet a nice swirl. You going to crisp the skin on these potatoes for about 8 minutes. Once they are getting crispy remove the potatoes to a plate and reserve for later.
  6. To the same skillet add in the cumin and mustard seeds, and let them sizzle for about a minute, stirring along the way.
  7. Next add in your onions, and cook these until they are super tender, but not caramelized, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon, garam masala, and coriander powder.
  8. Add in the sauce and continue to stir. Add in your salt, and yogurt and give another good stir. Once the sauce begins to simmer, add in the potatoes, and again stir. Cook for about 10 more minutes to let the flavors meld.
  9. Now you are ready to plate. If you are not already anxious to eat this due to the aroma in your kitchen, then I don’t know what’s wrong with you!
  10. Serve alongside rice or naan, or other warm Indian bread, and shower with fresh cilantro if you desire.

 

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Baingan Bharta

I’ve been on an Indian food making deal lately. I’m not sure if my attempt is to start eating more healthy, or if it is to get rid of an array, and large quantity of Indian spices. Who knows, but I’m leaning more on the side of trying to eat more healthy, and I think Indian food, for the most part, is a good example of using great spices that are good for you, as well as getting more vegetables incorporated into the meat. This is a perfect example of this type of dish, baingan bharta.

Baingan bharta is roasted eggplant dip, similar in some ways to baba ghanoush. This one however uses different spices, and really makes it an awesome eggplant curry that is perfectly paired with naan, or other Indian style bread, or better yet served with a small bit of rice.

Baingan Bartha Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole eggplant, medium to large in size
  • 2 whole vine ripened tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 whole red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely diced
  • 2 whole green Indian chili, stem removed, or 1 for less spiciness
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro

The beauty of this is the roasting of the eggplant. Much like baba ghanoush, you can get your charcoal grill going, and place the eggplant directly onto the coals so you get that awesome smoky flavor into the dip.

If you do not have a charcoal grill, you could roast on high heat in the oven until the flesh is nice and charred all the way around the eggplant.

Once the eggplant cools, and trust me you want it to cool, remove the skin, and reserve the rest of the eggplant.

Chop the eggplant into medium sized cubes and set to the side as you prepare the remaining ingredients.

To a food processor, add the tomatoes, green chili, and ginger and pulse until you have a salsa like consistency.

How to make baingan bartha

 

To a large skillet, on medium-high heat, add in the canola oil, letting it come to temperature. Add in the cumin seeds and let them begin to pop, only a few seconds, then add in the bell pepper, and tomato mixture. Give this a good stir and let it come to a simmer.

Next add in the remaining spices, and continue to stir. Once all of the spices are incorporated, add in the chopped eggplant. Let this cook on medium heat, uncovered for about 10 minutes. Everything should begin to thicken, just a bit. Remove from the heat, and let it cool to room temperature.

Now you are ready to serve. Add some of the eggplant dip to a serving dish, top with some cilantro, and serve alongside warm naan or cooked rice.

This stuff is highly addicting. It has all of those great Indian flavors that you would expect, along with some spice from the chilies. Let’s just say my daughter loved this, and I did as well. If you are looking for another great eggplant dip, give this one a try. I hope you enjoy!

Baingan Bharta
Author: 
Recipe type: Snacks, Dips, Sides
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 whole eggplant, medium to large in size
  • 2 whole vine ripened tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ whole red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ tbsp fresh ginger, finely diced
  • 2 whole green Indian chili, stem removed, or 1 for less spiciness
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. The beauty of this is the roasting of the eggplant. Much like baba ghanoush, you can get your charcoal grill going, and place the eggplant directly onto the coals so you get that awesome smoky flavor into the dip.
  2. If you do not have a charcoal grill, you could roast on high heat in the oven until the flesh is nice and charred all the way around the eggplant.
  3. Once the eggplant cools, and trust me you want it to cool, remove the skin, and reserve the rest of the eggplant.
  4. Chop the eggplant into medium sized cubes and set to the side as you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  5. To a food processor, add the tomatoes, green chili, and ginger and pulse until you have a salsa like consistency.
  6. o a large skillet, on medium-high heat, add in the canola oil, letting it come to temperature. Add in the cumin seeds and let them begin to pop, only a few seconds, then add in the bell pepper, and tomato mixture. Give this a good stir and let it come to a simmer.
  7. Next add in the remaining spices, and continue to stir. Once all of the spices are incorporated, add in the chopped eggplant. Let this cook on medium heat, uncovered for about 10 minutes. Everything should begin to thicken, just a bit. Remove from the heat, and let it cool to room temperature.
  8. Now you are ready to serve. Add some of the eggplant dip to a serving dish, top with some cilantro, and serve alongside warm naan or cooked rice.

 

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