Slow Cooker Beef Madras

You know that time when you are really wanting some great Indian food, and wanting that great curry gravy? Yeah, I had one of those moments recently, and I was glad that I did! The most recent dish I made is called beef madras. It is essentially an Indian style curry made with beef, but this time I decided to prepare everything in advance, and let it cook in a slow cooker for about 8 hours until the beef was fall apart tender. This beef madras is loaded with awesome flavor, dark in color, rich, and just warms the soul. I was a bit skeptical if my kids were going to eat this, but you know what, they devoured it! All of it. That’s always a great thing.

Slow Cooker Beef Madras Sandwich Recipe
Slow Cooker Beef Madras Sandwich Recipe

Yes, I turned my beef madras into a sandwich, but traditionally it is served on a bed of rice, of which my kids could not get enough of. Your choice, but whatever route you go with, it’s going to be a great route, trust me.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs cubed beef
  • 4 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 whole roma tomatoes, chopped
  • .8 oz curry powder (yes, I used store bought, don’t judge me)
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt, adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • French baguette, optional
  • cooked jasmine rice
  • fresh onion, sliced, optional
  • fresh cilantro, chopped, optional

This sounds like a lot, but it is really a quick throw together meal, and after some initial stove work, it all gets dumped into your slow cooker, and then you can walk away only to be bombarded by some awesome smells through the day until you are ready to eat.

Let’s get going.

Start by heating a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add in half of the oil, and let it come to temperature. Once heated, add in the onion, and give a good stir. Once the onions soften, about 6 minutes or so, add in the garlic, tomatoes, and once you get that great aroma from the garlic, add in chili flakes, curry powder, salt, pepper, cumin, and ginger. Give this a good stir, and cook the seasonings for a few minutes.

Remove the mixture to a plate, and set to the side.

Beef Madras Ingredients
Beef Madras Ingredients

Rinse out your skillet, and return back to the stove.  Add the remaining oil, and keep the heat on medium-high.

Season the cubed beef with some salt, then add the cubed beef to the skillet. Your goal here is to brown the beef, not fully cook it. Once browned, add the onion and seasoning mixture back to the beef mixture, give a good stir, then add the beef stock. Stir again, then add everything to your slow cooker.

Cover, and cook on the low setting, and cook for 8 hours or longer if you desire. Stir along the way.

Now when you are ready to serve, take some rice and place into a bowl, then ladle in the beef madras. Top with fresh cilantro and onion if you desire.

The result is nothing short of fantastic. The beef is super tender, and that curry gravy will have you coming back for more. Again, I was really surprised watching my kids devour the beef madras. They came back for seconds, they loved it that much, and for me, well, I made the sandwich, and there was something about it. It almost reminded me of a beef au jus. That gravy set into the baguette, and made it that much more special. This is a real winner if you are into a great beef curry. Hope you enjoy!

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Fried Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

What a great holiday season it has been. I love this time of year when we can simply relax as a family, watch the kids open their presents, and enjoy my wife’s birthday, only to say the least. As we went through a busy Christmas day, and Eve at that, my wife’s birthday is always just right around the corner.  I decided that morning that the kids and I were going to surprise her and take her out to lunch, then to watch Star Wars, and then to take her and her parents out for dinner. My wife has been talking about this burger place that she recently enjoyed (Milwaukee Burger Company), and as we have not had a good burger lately, I figured what the heck. To say the least, we were stuffed (I actually did not even finish my food), and as we wobbled out of there, I thought for sure I would have fallen asleep at the movie. You know, comfy reclining chair, and dark theatre, plus way too full of a belly? Yeah, I was struggling, and in dangerous thoughts that I would have to eat again, only in a matter of hours. Yes, I was that full.

Regardless of the matter, I did stay awake during the movie, and a great one at that, and as I kind of got a second wind, we decided to head over to a local supper club, Diamond Jim’s. As they brought out bread and relish trays, I could not even fathom eating bread, although I watched my oldest boy probably take down two bread trays, and after I watched him inhale his bacon burger and fries at lunch, I only thought how is this even possible? By the way he also took down a rack of ribs and three huge shrimp, plus more fries after this bread contest! As much as I did not even want to order anything, as I was that full from lunch, I decided that I would try their fried chicken. I know, fried chicken in a steak house supper club, right? Anyway, I probably only had a few bites, good bites at that, and decided I would take it home to make for lunch the following day. This is when I decided I would make a fried chicken buffalo sandwich.

Fried Chicken Buffalo Sandwich Recipe
Fried Chicken Buffalo Sandwich Recipe

Now you are either fan of buffalo chicken, or not. My wife is not, and as a matter of fact I do not even think I have seen her use buffalo chicken sauce, ever. Me? I’m a huge fan, and I have even just poured stuff on a spoon before only just to have the sauce. This sandwich was a perfect use of leftover fried chicken and breaking it down into a sandwich was even better.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Leftover fried chicken (I used have a breast, and a thick), warmed in the oven
  • 1 whole bolillo roll
  • 2 tbsp ranch, or blue dressing
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite buffalo sauce
  • 1 rib of celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.

Next, break up your chicken and remove the meat from the bone. Place onto a baking sheet, and place into the oven, cooking for about 10 minutes.

During this time, slice the roll. To the bottom, slather on the ranch or blue cheese dressing, then top both sides with mozzarella cheese. Place the bun, into the oven to not only warm the bread, but also to melt the cheese.

How to make a fried buffalo chicken sandwich
How to make a fried buffalo chicken sandwich

When the cheese is slightly melted, remove both the chicken and the bread from the oven.

To the bottom of the bread, cover with the diced celery.

Add the chicken to a bowl, pour over the buffalo sauce, and give a good mix to ensure the chicken is coated.

Now place the chicken onto the roll, fold and gently press down. Now dig in.

This sandwich was awesome. Great texture from the fried chicken and celery, along with the perfect tanginess from the sauce, really made this a great use of leftovers, and the great memories from the previous day. Next time however, I will only have a light snack before heading out on a great birthday for my wife. Hope you enjoy and Happy New Year!

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Franklin’s Smoked Turkey Breast

I don’t know about you, but I am pretty exhausted from the Thanksgiving holiday. As normal, I spent hours in the kitchen cooking up the feast which included a green bean casserole, creamed corn, gravy, a dry brined turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing/stuffing, and this thing of beauty; Franklin’s smoked turkey breast. My colleague turned me onto this recipe and he swore by it. Whenever someone who cooks gets that excited about something, I figured it was worth a shot, and boy was this one ever delicious. As a matter of fact, many said it was probably their favorite, along with my Thanksgiving sausage stuffing.

This turned out awesome, and as I cannot compare as I’ve never had the honor to get to Austin, Texas to try Franklin’s BBQ, I can tell you that this was fall apart tender with just the right amount of smoke.

Franklin's Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe
Franklin’s Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 lb turkey breast
  • 2 whole sticks of butter, unsalted
  • 3 tbsp course cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • heavy duty aluminum foil
  • your favorite wood chips for smoking (I used cherry)

Start by mixing the salt and pepper in a bowl. remove the skin from the turkey breast and discard it.

Rub the turkey breast with the black pepper and salt, all over all of the sides. Now get your smoker ready. I’ve been using the Smokenator 1000 for some time now, but you could use your grill if you desire. Once the smoker comes to temperature (I shoot for about 250 degrees), add the turkey breast, cover, and let it slowly smoke for about 2.5 hours. Once the turkey is slightly browned, carefully remove it and place it on a plate.

Pull 2 big sheets of aluminum foil off, enough to easily wrap the turkey breast, and top the breast with the two sticks of butter. Cover with the foil, and return back to the smoker, butter side down. Make sure the breast is completely covered and to not have butter dripping down into your smoker! 

How to make Franklin's BBQ smoked turkey breast
How to make Franklin’s BBQ smoked turkey breast

Continue cooking for another 1-2 hours, or until the center of the breast registers around 160 degrees.

When you are ready to serve, carefully remove the foil from the turkey breast, and pull apart with a couple of forks.

This smoked turkey breast was so tender and juicy from cooking in that butter, and it was perfectly seasoned. I served mine on a couple of toasted buns, along with some barbecue sauce and pickles. I will definitely be making this again and again, plus it is perfect to serve during any holiday season. Hope you enjoy!

Franklin's Smoked Turkey Breast
Author: 
Recipe type: Turkey
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 3.5 lb turkey breast
  • 2 whole sticks of butter, unsalted
  • 3 tbsp course cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • heavy duty aluminum foil
  • your favorite wood chips for smoking (I used cherry)
Instructions
  1. Start by mixing the salt and pepper in a bowl. remove the skin from the turkey breast and discard it.
  2. Rub the turkey breast with the black pepper and salt, all over all of the sides. Now get your smoker ready. I’ve been using the Smokenator 1000 for some time now, but you could use your grill if you desire. Once the smoker comes to temperature (I shoot for about 250 degrees), add the turkey breast, cover, and let it slowly smoke for about 2.5 hours. Once the turkey is slightly browned, carefully remove it and place it on a plate.
  3. Pull 2 big sheets of aluminum foil off, enough to easily wrap the turkey breast, and top the breast with the two sticks of butter. Cover with the foil, and return back to the smoker, butter side down. Make sure the breast is completely covered and to not have butter dripping down into your smoker!
  4. Continue cooking for another 1-2 hours, or until the center of the breast registers around 160 degrees.
  5. When you are ready to serve, carefully remove the foil from the turkey breast, and pull apart with a couple of forks.

 

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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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