Category Archives: Recipes

SOTMC – February 2017

It’s not easy being green in February. Green veins in Roquefort, that’s a cinch. Stepping out to the garden for winter scallions, a cinch too. They are the only green thing out there except the copious winter weeds. But the wind is howling and a cold, green, crunchy sandwich does not sound good. No it does not.

We did the hot/cold thing for the Sandwich-of-the-Month Club Sunday night special.

A forage through the fridge, freezer and pantry filled our apron with naan, cream cheese, roquefort, garlic, olive oil, romaine, parsley, pepper. Yay, plenty.

Jack up the oven to 750! Stand near it while the wind whips around the house, punching corners and pounding the trees. The dogs ears are constant radar to the dull drumming throbs. Except when her nose is snuffling fallen cheese.


Sunday Special Roquefort Pizzetta Sandwich


Jo’s Cheesy Scallion Sandwich on Naan

2 pieces naan
3-4 tablespoons cream cheese
A piece of Roquefort – about half a cup or so
2 scallions, chopped
Olive oil, to drizzle
2 leaves romaine, chopped
Several parsley springs, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

If you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as it gets.

Spread cream cheese on both pieces naan. Sprinkle with chunks of Roquefort and with scallions. Bake the naan till the edges are super crispy and the cheese is super melty.

Drizzle one naan with olive oil and cover with romaine and parsley. Grind pepper over the green stuff. Sandwich the two naan together, press gently, cut into quarters and eat.

It’s the green and salty Sunday special and it goes down easy.


Thank you, Jo, for the long distance lunch encounter. Wheeeee!





SOTMC – January 2017

You may think that stands for Squirrel-of-the-Month Club but it does not.



For this month, while the snow falls and the days are short, somethin’ hot and stackt, and heavy on the condiments. Whatever’s in the fridge. No trip to the grocery – we’re turning the cold bread into hot buttered toast.



Kewpie mayonnaise
2 slices Ezekiel bread
Thinly sliced red onion
4 slices havarti
Sliced braised beef cheek, or similar
1 slice Wonder bread
Sliced ham
Thinly sliced apple


Spread mayonnaise on the outside of both pieces of Ezekiel bread.
Layer the sandwich like this:

1 piece Ezekiel bread (mayo on the outside)
2 slices Havarti
Beef cheek
Wonder bread – mayo on both sides
2 slices Havarti
1 piece Ezekiel bread (mayo on the outside)

Grill till hot and oozing on the inside, crispy and brown on the outside.

Put another log on the fire. Sit and eat your sandwich with pickles.

Shameless Self Promotion Number 1 Ton Per Hour

Sriracha is the old gochujang. Beer is always the new brew.

Sriracha is being turned out at 1 ton per hour. Enough for every skunk-sprayed dog in the world to bath twice weekly for 2.3 years. Do your part and eat your share. On a sandwich.

Photo by Renee Comet

Styling by Yours Truly
For Meat and Livestock Australia
There are loads of wonderful recipes on their site,  including the recipe for this stellar

Hot Sriracha Grass-Fed Beef Sandwich. 

Those are oven-roasted tomatoes in there. Ta-dah!

Oh Mamka!

A direct lift, from Lucky Peach. The zine jumps into the box regularly, but rarely do I turn it’s enticingly sticky pages. Thanks to Ms. Stephenie Fu for the roundabout alert. From her inbox to my FB wall to the internets to me to you.

Not to brag or anything, but decades ago my friend Mary Lynn passed along her friend Al’s recipe for Reuben Loaf. Reuben Babka, mama! Time to bring out that chestnut, fire up the Viking, and bake. I feel a Tuesday lunch special comin’ on.

I could NOT find my recipe in the 3-ring binder so I sent out a note. Both Mary Lynn and Al responded to my Reuben Loaf recipe ask. Mary Lynn’s is below, including her peppy sign off, you betcha!

Here’s the Reuben Loaf recipe—originally from Al Gabor:

I took the liberty of changing Thousand Island Dressing to Russian.

1/4 cups flour
1 TBS sugar
1 tsp salt
1 package yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup Russian dressing
1TBS butter
6 oz sliced corned beef (or pastrami is you prefer it)
1/4 lb sliced swiss cheese
8 oz sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
1 egg white, beaten
caraway seed

Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water. Mix in butter, sugar, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough.  Knead about 4 minutes.

Cover and let rise in a greased bowl over hot water 20 minutes. Punch down. On greased baking sheet, shape dough into 10 x 14 rectangle.  Let rise 20 minutes.

Spread dressing down center third of dough lengthwise.  Top with layers of beef, cheese, and sauerkraut.  Cut 1 inch strips out to dough edges from filling. Fold strips across filling in alternating pattern, weaving them..  Brush with egg white; sprinkle with caraway.

Bake at 400 degrees 25 minutes. Voila!  Wisconsin Babka!


Three Sandwich-Inspired Babkas to Try Today

Not True Babkas, but delicious nonetheless.



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Childhood, in babka form. Recipe here.


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Pork in a babka might seem sacrilegious but it’s just delicious. Recipe here.


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A new take on a New Orleans classic. Recipe here.

Something to Crow About

In case you have not been around me in the last week, I’m clucking a lot about this little book, You’re the Chef, the companion to A Smart Girls Guide:Food. Charming illustrations by Elisa Chavarri, excellent editing by Trula Magruder and Darcie Johnston, mouth-watering photos by Chris Hynes, terrific art direction and design by Gretchen Becker are the bones of this book. My recipes and writing are fortunate enough to have a beautiful and sturdy form on which to hang.

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There are sandwiches. Of course there are sandwiches. You’re the Chef is for anyone happy in the kitchen and wanting to learn some basics, and on to not-so-basics. Sandwiches are foundational, says me.

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You’re the Chef

Sour Cream and Other Delights


Fermentation, baby! a natural method for preservation, touted currently for helping to maintain a ~ unpleasant word alert!~ gut (yuck, but good).

Sour Cream Sandwich Fillings Cover

That and, more importantly, sour is essential. Sour, salty, sweet, bitter and umami are the five categories of taste. Without taste, who would want to eat? Without contrast, who would want to live?

Sour Cream Sandwich Fillings

Tuna, onion, pickle, sour cream, celery = Salty, umami, sour/salty, sour, bitter

Pickle, cheddar, sour cream, bread = Salty/sour, umami, sour, bitter

Follow with Sour Cream Chocolate Cake made famous by Peter Brett, fabulous pastry chef friend and colleague.


Scan 1

I have made this a few times. If you know me, you have had this birthday cake. Sometimes – shhhh – I make it with Greek yogurt.

Sandwich Saturday – Salted Caramel Apple Grilled Cheese


What you need:

1 apple, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Two slices firm bread, not too strong in flavor – a good white, a textury wholegrain

2 good-sized slices aged white cheddar

Flaked salt

In a medium bowl, toss the apple slices with the maple syrup and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Set a skillet over medium-high heat to warm, add the apples and let them set for a couple minutes. Once the apples start to sizzle a little and caramelize, toss them in the pan. Let cook a few more minutes, tossing often, until tender and very brown. The edges should be nicely caramelized.



Return the sliced apples to the bowl. Brush one side of each bread slice with the remaining olive oil. Put one slice, oil-side-down, into the skillet. Cover the bread with half the apples, all the cheese and then the rest of the apples. Cover with the second slice of bread, oil-side-up. Set a flat pot top – that is too small for the pan – atop your sandwich and press on it to flatten your sandwich a little.


Let your sandwich grill until the bread is super brown and the cheese has started to melt. Flip it with a spatula and grill the second side. When both sides are brown and the cheese is oozing take your sandwich out of the skillet. Sprinkle both sides with salt. Let the sandwich cool for a sec and then cut it in half.

Eat while hot and oozy.



This is my current favorite sandwich.