Tag Archives: Sandwiches

NYC Bodega Breakfast Sandwiches

One of the best parts of my holiday break was a little stay-cation Matt and I took for about three days between Christmas and New Year’s. We booked a hotel in the East Village, made a bunch of restaurant reservations*, explored an independent bookstore, found some really cute bars, went to a cat cafe (swoon!), braved a bad rainstorm to get to Kalustyan’s (totally worth it!), and just generally enjoyed a few days off.

Believe it or not, I actually brought my laptop with me and had planned to post at least one or two blog posts while we were “away”, and this one was my top priority. I’d even planned out what to write – like, oh hey, I’m in NYC for a few days and have easy access to these iconic bodega sandwiches, woohoo go me.

But, two problems emerged with that little plan: 1) our hotel was nowhere near a bodega, so we didn’t end up eating any of these; and 2) more importantly, I forgot to download the pictures off my camera before we left home. So, yeah…

It’s all good, I’m here now. And whether you live next door to an NYC bodega or you’ve never heard of these even once, it matters not, because we all need this recipe. These are incredibly fun to make at home, unbelievably delicious, and a little bird told me they are a foolproof hangover cure (wink).

Sometimes, I think we all need a little New York in our lives. The kitchen is good for that. And this is one amazing breakfast sandwich. Enjoy!

Source: recipe from Lucinda Scala Quinn, found on Martha Stewart

Ingredients:
1 everything bagel, or other bagel of choice, cut in half and toasted
1 tbs unsalted butter, plus more for buttering bagel
2 large eggs
1 deli slice of American cheese
2 to 3 slices cooked bacon
Hot sauce and/or ketchup, for serving (after testing a few hot sauces, we determined Frank’s RedHot Original to be the winner)

Directions:
Butter cut sides of each bagel half. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add butter to skillet. Carefully crack both eggs into skillet. When whites begin to set, immediately puncture yolks. If they don’t do so on their own, spread the yolks around a little.
Top one egg with cheese, then bacon. Flip remaining egg, yolk-side down, on top of bacon (like an egg-on-egg sandwich). Transfer eggs onto one toasted half of the bagel (this seems to take 2 spatulas, just FYI); top with remaining bagel half and lightly press together. Use a serrated knife to cut the sandwich in half, then serve immediately with hot sauce or ketchup, or wrap halfway in parchment paper or aluminum foil for a portable breakfast.

Serving size: 1 breakfast sandwich, can be multiplied up easily

*Restaurant Recommendations:
Gato NYC
Stanton Social
Ngam
Blue Smoke
Sushi Samba
Mighty Quinn’s Barbecue

Note: this post is not sponsored in any way, the aforementioned staycation was paid for in full by the author and her husband. Links are provided for reader curiosity/information only.

Shishito Dogs

Shishito Dogs

Shishito peppers are somewhat annoying – there I said it. Their growing season is quite short – I mean, not sour cherry short, but much shorter than I’d prefer seeing as I’ve completely fallen in love with them. Also, they can be hard to find. I have relatively easy access to about seven or eight grocery stores plus a few farmer’s markets, and I can never count on them being there, even during their height of seasonality. Like I said – annoying!

Shishito Dogs

But, their irritating qualities are quite forgivable for being so unique and delicious. The heat level can vary with these guys. Some batches I’ve made have barely registered on the spice scale where others have blown our heads off.

Shishito Dogs

If you can get your hands on a batch, you should totally put them on hot dogs. It’s probably my favorite shishito preparation yet, and I don’t anticipate being able to top it anytime soon.

Shishito Dogs

Everything about this hot dog is perfect. Highly recommend! Enjoy!

Shishito Dogs

Source: Bon Appetit Magazine, July 2016

Ingredients:

SPICY MAYO:
½ cup mayonnaise
3 tbs sambal oelek
1 tbs unseasoned rice vinegar
Salt to taste

BLISTERED SHISHITO PEPPERS:
6 oz. shishito peppers
2 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbs unseasoned rice vinegar

8 hot dogs, warmed/charred
8 hot dog buns, toasted if desired
Toasted nori sheets
Sesame seeds, for sprinkling

Directions:
To make the SPICY MAYO: Mix the mayo, sambal, rice vinegar and salt until smooth. Set aside.
To make the BLISTERED SHISHITO PEPPERS: preheat a grill or indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Toss the peppers with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until tender and blistered all over, about 3 minutes. Toss in a bowl with the rice vinegar. Let cool, then remove the stems.
You can use the grill to char/warm your hot dogs and toast the buns for convenience.
To assemble: spread one or both sides of the bun with spicy mayo – your preference there. Add a hot dog to each bun, then line one side of the bun with toasted nori sheets. Top the dog with the peppers, then sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Serve immediately.

Pulled Veggie Sliders

Pulled Veggie Sliders

I firmly believe that this is the worst time of year to be trying to lose weight. I know because I’ve been there. Not only is the most food-centric holiday of the year approaching in one short month, but before then you’ve got the barrage of Halloween candy, then after that more holidays largely featuring lots of feasting at family dinners, cookie exchanges, and holiday candy. And that’s not even mentioning that on top of all that decadence, this is football and tailgating season!

pulled veggie sliders

Game day grub is generally not all that figure-friendly. Lots of tortilla and potato chips, fattening dips, cheese and fatty meats feature prominently. It’s tough to stick to your calorie count during this time. I know – I’ve been there.

So I wanted to offer up something appropriate for game day that is pretty figure friendly, that won’t blow your calorie allotment for the day, but isn’t a consolation prize. This little slider is incredibly tasty – Matt remarked that it was better than many pulled pork sandwiches he’s eaten – full of familiar barbecue flavors and the pulled meat texture you’re looking for, but with huge amounts of fat cut out.

pulled veggie sliders

It comes together much more quickly than a pulled pork or short rib slider would, and these babies are FILLING! I guess it’s all that fiber from the veggies, but trust me, once you’ve eaten a serving of these sliders, you won’t have any room for the loaded nachos or creamy onion dip. Oh, and obviously a fantastic option for any vegetarians at your tailgating party. Enjoy!

Pulled Veggie Sliders

Source: Vegetarian Dinner Parties by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

Ingredients:
1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
½ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs mustard powder
1 tbs smoked sweet paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp celery seeds
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp hot sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot or Texas Pete’s
1 ½ cups shredded carrots (peel them first)
1 ½ cups shredded yellow potato (no need to peel)
4 cups shredded green cabbage
1 bottle (12 oz.) dark beer, divided
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
8 slider rolls
Coleslaw, for topping the sliders
Pickled jalapenos, for topping the sliders (optional)

Directions:
Combine the crushed tomatoes, vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, mustard powder, smoked paprika, oregano, celery seeds, cloves, and hot sauce in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring until the brown sugar dissolves. Stir in the carrots and potatoes, then bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer slowly for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the cabbage and ¼ cup beer. Cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Add more beer as necessary to keep the vegetables from scorching. Your end goal is for the mixture to have the consistency of pulled barbecued meat – saucy but not at all soupy.
When the mixture is ready, mound some onto the bottoms of the slider rolls. Top with some coleslaw, the pickled jalapenos if using, then the top bun. Serve immediately.

Barbecued Sloppy Hot Dog Sandwiches

barbecued sloppy hot dog sandwiches

In what has ended up being my longest blogging hiatus yet, I’ve spent some time thinking and researching the food blogging scene in general, and wondering if I should continue this space. To make a long story short, yes I will keep blogging – because I want to, not because it makes much sense.

Food blogging has become quite a big business, and quite a crowded and competitive industry. The steps needed to just keep up, let alone pull ahead, are simply steps I don’t wish to take. Because there are now so many of us, ad revenue is stretched pretty thin, and I don’t want to do sponsored posts or accept swag. But I started this game about five years too late to financially get away with taking that stance. Also, my food photography isn’t the worst I’ve ever seen, but it’s not competitive, and I don’t enjoy photography in general enough to motivate myself to get much better. Another thing – it’s very important to Matt and me to eat dinner together as many nights as possible, but that means we eat after dark due to work schedules; ergo, bad conditions for food photography.

Barbecued Sloppy Hot Dog Sandwiches

I’ve also wondered if I really contribute anything, mainly because I don’t have too much original content here. I love recipe development, but I also genuinely love working through my cookbook collection. I learn so much from chefs and cooks far more experienced than me, and I thoroughly enjoy sharing what I’ve learned and accomplished.

So here we are: I’ve decided that for me, this space isn’t going to be a business. I’m very fortunate to have other avenues to earn a living, and I don’t really need any income off this blog. So I’m not going to pursue it anymore. I’m going old school with the blog – this space will be a hobby, and a place where I share my love of cooking and improving my kitchen skills. My food styling and photography will continue to impress pretty much no one, but this space will be lots of fun. And pretty adventurous too.

Barbecued Sloppy Hot Dog Sandwiches

I wanted something really special to share as my first blog “back”, so to speak, and what better recipe than one of my grandmother’s? This is a wonderfully messy, tasty comfort food dish that takes little time to whip up. My mom and her siblings grew up eating this regularly, and while I don’t specifically remember having this as a kid, the recipe was passed to me when I got married. It’s kind of like a sloppy joe sandwich made out of hot dogs but in a hoagie roll instead of a hamburger bun. The sauce, which is pretty much a simple, homemade barbecue sauce, is perfectly balanced between spicy and sweet. I hope y’all enjoy it!

Barbecued Sloppy Hot Dog Sandwiches

Ingredients:
1 (8 count) package hot dogs, each cut in half lengthwise and then across in roughly 2” pieces
4 tbs unsalted butter, divided
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbs Worcestershire sauce
¾ cup ketchup
3 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs yellow mustard
A dash or two of hot sauce, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Kosher salt, if needed
4 hoagie rolls or large hot dog buns
Melted butter, for brushing the hot dog buns

Directions:
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbs butter and once melted add the hot dog pieces. Crisp them up and render the fat, stirring occasionally. Once they are browned and crisped, remove them with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Add the onion to the skillet (do not wipe it out) and saute until softened. Add the garlic and saute another 30 seconds.
Now add the Worcestershire, ketchup, sugar, and mustard. Add the hot dogs back in and simmer for about 15 minutes, until thickened, stirring occasionally. Add the last 3 tbs butter and let them melt. Stir them into the sauce. Add hot sauce and black pepper to taste. Taste the sauce and add salt if needed.
Brush the insides of the hoagie rolls with melted butter and toast under the broiler until lightly browned. Spoon the hot dog mixture into the rolls and serve immediately.

Nacho Dogs

Nacho Dogs

Happy Tuesday. Moving sucks.

Enough about me – we should instead talk about combining two comfort/junk food classics into one incredibly tasty meal. This is for sure something to be saved for splurge day. Believe me, it’s worth it.

Which brings me to what I have discovered through my journey of shedding some pounds, and is actually a pretty important point. My new philosophy (one of them anyways) is to spend my calories the way I spend my money. No one would purposely go out and spend their hard-earned money on say, clothes that they found ugly, or that didn’t fit right; or a book you have no desire to read, or a genre of music you know you don’t enjoy. We spend money wisely, on things we know we’ll use and enjoy.

Nacho Dogs

It’s really the same with food. If I’m spending more calories than usual on a meal or snack because I’m allowing a small or occasionally a large splurge, then I’m going to do everything I can to make sure I’ll really enjoy it. Good ingredients, things I know I like, and savoring every bite.

Nacho Dogs

These nacho dogs were worth it. They’re kind of like the Kardashians – a bit over the top, and a bit trashy, but making no apologies. (Speaking of which, please, oh please watch this video if you haven’t seen it. My sides were hurting from the laughter). Unlike the Kardashian’s show though, these hot dogs were extremely enjoyable and good. Like I said, worth every extra calorie. Enjoy!

Nacho Dogs

Source: Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction by Bobby Flay

Ingredients:
4 plum tomatoes
Olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
3 tbs red wine vinegar
1 large chipotle in adobo, minced
3 tbs finely diced red onion
Small handful of cilantro leaves, minced
8 good-quality beef or turkey hot dogs
8 good-quality hot dog buns, split (I used brioche – so delicious)
1 ½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup sliced pickled jalapenos
Guacamole (homemade or good quality store-bought)
Tortilla chips, coarsely crumbled

Directions:
First make the salsa: preheat your indoor or outdoor grill to high for direct grilling. Brush the tomatoes with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Grill until charred on all sides, about 6 minutes total. Remove the tomatoes from the grill, and let cool enough so you can handle them. Slice in half, scrape out the seeds, and coarsely chop.
In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tbs olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced chipotle, red onion and cilantro. Add the tomatoes and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Now cook the hot dogs. Grill the hot dogs until golden brown and lightly charred (if you like) on all sides, about 7 minutes total. Remove to a plate, then grill the buns, cut side down, until lightly golden brown and toasted, about 20 seconds.
To assemble this wonderful hot mess: place a hot dog in the bun, then top with cheese, jalapenos, guacamole, salsa, and crumbled tortilla chips. Serve immediately.

Pat LaFrieda’s Filet Mignon Sandwiches

Pat LaFrieda's Filet Mignon Sandwiches 4812

There are many, many celebrity chefs and cooks, but there are few celebrity butchers. Besides Pat LaFrieda, anyway. His family-owned company supplies meat and poultry to most of the high-end restaurants in the Northeast United States. In fact, a few weeks ago Matt and I were grabbing a quick lunch at the Shake Shack in the Upper West Side and looked out the window to see a LaFrieda truck unloading ground burger patties by the box.

Pat LaFrieda's Filet mignon sandwiches 4803

This fall, the company decided to publish one of the more beautiful books I’ve ever held in my hands. It’s all about their company philosophy, how to butcher different animals, and gives a detailed breakdown of different parts of animals (lamb, cows, calves, pigs, chicken, turkey, duck, and more).

Pat LaFrieda's Filet Mignon sandwiches 4825

And with each chapter on each animal, there are recipes! This is the first one I tried from the book. This sandwich is a best-seller at LaFrieda’s retail space in Citi Field, where the New York Mets play. I’ve never been to their restaurant, because I’ve never been to a Mets game. I may have moved to New York, but my sports loyalties stayed in Texas.

Pat LaFrieda's filet mignon sandwiches 4799

Upon tasting, I can completely understand the popularity of this sandwich. If you do ever find yourself in Citi Field, please seek one out. Or make it in your own kitchen! Either way, this sandwich is delicious happiness. Just going through and editing the pictures is making me drool. I have to make this again… Enjoy!

Pat LaFrieda's filet mignon sandwiches 4818

Source: slightly adapted from Meat: Everything You Need to Know by Pat LaFrieda

Ingredients:
2 tbs canola oil, plus more as needed
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
About 3 deli slices Muenster cheese
1 cup beef stock
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
¾ lbs. beef tenderloin, cut into ½-inch thick medallions
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
2 hoagie rolls, toasted if desired, cut open but not completely split in half

Directions:
In a large skillet, heat 1 tbs oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick to the pan, until they are soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Spread the onions out in a somewhat flat, rectangular shape and then top with the cheese, cutting it to fit if necessary. Shut off the heat and let the cheese melt.
To make the jus, in a small saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat once it simmers and add the vinegar. Cover the pot to keep the jus warm.
Season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper.
In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the remaining 1 tbs oil over high heat. Add as many tenderloin medallions as will fit, not crowding them, and sear them on both sides until they are caramelized, 1-2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate or cutting board and repeat with the remaining medallions. Remove them to a plate or cutting board.
Chop the first batch of medallions into bite-size chunks (they do not have to be pretty) and set aside. Now chop the second batch as you did the first.
To assemble the sandwiches, lay beef tenderloin chunks across the bread, then use a very flat spatula to transfer half the onion and cheese on top of the beef on each sandwich. Again, pretty isn’t a requirement here, just get the meat covered. Drizzle a tablespoon or so of the jus on each sandwich, close them and serve immediately.
Makes 2 sandwiches.

Lobster, Charred Corn, and Avocado Sandwiches

Lobster, Charred Corn and Avocado Sandwiches 176

About one week out of every summer, I feel like the luckiest person on earth. Why? Because my grocery store gets these small, roughly-one-pound live lobsters and puts them on sale for around $6 per pound. Yeah. You read that correctly. It’s crazy. Matt and I can dine on lobsters for less than $15 total.

We never know which week of the summer this blessed event will occur, so you have to be vigilant and alert. And sometimes, like last year, you’ll be on vacation during that week and want to cry about it. But not this year! (Whew…)

Lobster, charred corn and avocado sandwiches 158

This year, we walked into the grocery store after a long, beautiful day at the beach with a shopping list for burger makings, and that quickly got tossed as we exuberantly exited the grocery store with our $6 lobsters, some garlic, herbs and butter. We had a leisurely, romantic dinner of boiled lobster, drawn garlic-herb butter and chilled Chardonnay.

The next day, I went out and bought two more of those low-price lobsters for this amazing, glorious sandwich. Some fresh sweet corn, ripe avocados, eggy Briochoe rolls, and we were in business.

This is one of the richer summer sandwiches I’ve eaten in my lifetime, but also one of the more delicious. Due to the (usual) price of lobster, I’m guessing it isn’t a sandwich most of us can have every day; I certainly can’t anyway. So once a year, I’ll thoroughly enjoy it and not feel the least bit bad. And you could always sub in jumbo shrimp for the lobster. Enjoy!

Lobster, Charred Corn and avocado sandwiches 168

{One Year Ago: Duck Fat Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Heirloom Tomato Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette}
{Two Years Ago: DrPepper Can Chicken}

Source: adapted from Barbecue Addiction by Bobby Flay

Ingredients:
2 (1-1 1/4 lb.) live lobsters
1 tbs unsalted butter
1 large ear of corn
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1/2 small jalapeno or serrano chile
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 ripe Hass avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
2 tbs sour cream
2 tbs chopped red onion
A handful of cilantro leaves, chopped, plus extra for garnish
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Few dashes of Tabasco sauce
2 Brioche buns, split and toasted

Directions:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lobsters and boil for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove with tongs to a shallow bowl or high-sided plate and let cool. When you can handle them, crack the meat out of the claws and tail. Cut the tail meat into chunks. If not continuing the recipe immediately, store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Peel the husks and silk off the corn and use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off. Add the butter to a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn, garlic clove, and chile and saute just until softened and toasted, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Transfer the garlic clove and chile to a cutting board and the corn to a large bowl.
Once cooled a little bit, mince the garlic and chile. Add to the bowl with the corn. Also add to the bowl the avocado, sour cream, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, Tabasco, and salt and pepper to taste. Mash and stir the whole thing together with a fork. You want it combined but still chunky.
Now assemble the sandwich. Dollop a hunk of avocado mixture onto the bottom bun and spread to the edges. Nestle a generous amount of lobster meat, both claw and tail, on top of the avocado. Mound a few dollops of avocado over the lobster, garnish with a few leaves of cilantro, then close the sandwich. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 sandwiches.

Heirloom Tomato Sandwiches

Heirloom Tomato Sandwiches 112

There isn’t much that can be said for this stunningly beautiful sandwich. Heirloom tomatoes speak for themselves. They are hitting their stride in my grocery store right now, and I can’t get enough. I’m thinking I’ll likely make this salad again soon.

heirloom tomatoes 068

Heirloom Tomatoes 106

This sandwich is very few ingredients and couldn’t be simpler. I found it easier to eat open faced (personally couldn’t get my mouth around the whole thing!), so that’s how I’m writing it. Yet despite its simplicity, it just sings.

heirloom tomato sandwich 118

Heirloom tomatoes 077

Heirloom tomatoes have the most luscious texture. They are less acidic and sweeter than regular tomatoes, and when you bite into this sandwich, its juiciness rivals the most ridiculous cheeseburger out there. Just amazing. Enjoy this one guys!

beautiful heirloom tomatoes 100

heirloom tomato sandwich 129

{One Year Ago: Rhubarb Scones, Shrimp and Avocado Ceviche}

Source: slightly adapted from Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches by Emeril Lagasse

Ingredients:
5 generous tbs mayonnaise
3 tbs chopped fresh basil or parsley
8 slices white sandwich bread
4-5 large heirloom tomatoes, stemmed and sliced into ½-inch thick rounds (make sure you get all different colors!)
Kosher salt and black pepper

Directions:
Combine the mayonnaise and basil or parsley in a small mixing bowl. Whisk until combined and smooth. Set aside.
Arrange the bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Preheat your broiler to HIGH and position a rack as close to it as you can get without touching it. Slide the baking sheet in the oven and broil the bread just a few minutes until it is lightly toasted and slightly golden brown. Remove and let cool a few minutes.
Spread the mayonnaise liberally on the toasted sides of each slice of bread. Layer 2 tomato slices on each slice of bread. Season each tomato slice with salt and black pepper as you lay it on the bread. Serve immediately, 2 open-faced sandwiches per person.

A Guest Post – Creole Meatball Po’Boys

Creole Meatball Po'Boys

Hey y’all! Today I am thrilled to be guest posting for my fellow food blogger Shaina, who writes the fantastic Take a Bite Out of Boca! I met her through #SundaySupper. She’s a great gal who loves to cook, eat, and dine out in her hometown. This week she’s attending a conference in the greatest food city ever,  New Orleans! She’s having a blast and eating *quite* well, I feel sure.

Creole meatballs

In choosing what to make for her blog today, I just had to do something NOLA inspired. Of course. And since it just doesn’t get more New Orleans than po’boys, that’s what we’ll be having. These meatball po’boys are so delicious. Decidedly Creole but not too spicy, moist and tender, flavorful, messy, and just all around amazing.

Click over to Shaina’s blog for the recipe!

Creole meatball po'boys

Chicken Shawarma #SundaySupper

Chicken Shawarma in a pita

Welcome to Sunday Supper, where today we are all bringing you the theme of Middle Eastern Cuisine! I’m sure it goes without saying that my severely unadventurous childhood palate wasn’t the least bit willing to try such food, so this culinary area of the world is relatively new to me. But I must say, I quite like it! I’m certainly not a Middle Eastern cuisine expert by any stretch, but what I’ve tried I have immensely enjoyed.

assembly of chicken shawarma

I chose to make Chicken Shawarma for today’s post. Shawarma is a classic Arabic dish of meat or poultry that is marinated then roasted on a spit, usually all day, and shaved off little by little for serving, usually in a pita with a delicious white sauce. I don’t have a spit in my NYC kitchen – shocking I know – so I just grilled strips of chicken thighs over high heat.

chicken shawarma

So what made me pick shawarma? Because 1) it’s delicious, and 2) it carries warm and fuzzy memories with it. The first time I had it was in Christiania in Copenhagen. For anyone unfamiliar, Christiania is a neighborhood in Copenhagen that started off as a hippie commune back in the day. The goal was to live off the grid, be environmentally responsible, and build a like-minded community free of materialistic and governmental intrusion. Today, it’s mostly a tourist attraction and an ode to graffiti, Bob Marley dreadlocks, and marijuana. Now, technically, marijuana is still illegal in Denmark, so the official party line in Christiania is that they do not sell it or smoke it. One deep breath tells you that ain’t true.

Christiania, Copenhagen

Rows and rows of outdoor vendors have tables set up selling all manner of weed paraphernalia, but not any actual pot. Apparently to get the stuff you have to ask locals in the right way and they’ll lead you to the sale. Matt and I were well behaved and did not partake. We were just there to see the place.

graffiti in Christiania, Copenhagen

After walking around and, you know, breathing, for about a half hour, we realized we clearly didn’t need to buy anything to partake. We looked at each other like, “I know we just had lunch, but gosh, I’m really hungry for some reason.” So we found the food vendors: an outdoor area with picnic tables, live music (and by live music I mean some stoned guy strumming a badly made guitar and intermittently hitting the pitch on whatever indecipherable song he chose) and a loose semi-circle of food stalls set up. Most stalls had really long lines – can’t imagine why – so we got in the shortest one, which happened to be selling chicken shawarma!

Christiania, Copenhagen

We got a couple of pitas, took them to the picnic table and noshed on the deliciousness, all the while giggling at nothing in particular through our contact highs and just generally having a wonderful afternoon on vacation with each other. I loved recreating (most of) this experience at home. You know, minus the spit, “live music”, and the second-hand buzz. This dish is unbelievable. I don’t care who you are or what your experience level with Arabic food is, I promise you will LOVE this. It’s insanely delicious, and we were truly blown away. Try it soon, don’t smoke pot, and be sure to check out the rest of the Sunday Supper team!

Chicken Shawarma

{One year ago: Apple Jalapeno Cheddar Scones}

Source: adapted from Food & Wine Magazine, May 2011

Ingredients:
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced and divided
3 tbs fresh lemon juice, divided
¼ cup olive oil
Kosher salt
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, visible fat trimmed and thinly sliced
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
½ cup tahini (sesame paste)
½ cup mayonnaise
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
4 pita breads, warmed, cut in half, and each half split into pockets

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the cumin, oregano, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tbs lemon juice, olive oil, and a generous pinch of kosher salt. Add the chicken and onion and let stand 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the white sauce. In a blender or mini food processor, combine the tahini with ½ cup water and the remaining garlic and remaining 2 tbs lemon juice. Puree until smooth. Add the mayonnaise and puree until very smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. Season with salt and set aside.
Heat a large griddle or grill pan over high and let it get very hot. Add the chicken and onion, along with all the marinade. Cook over high heat, turning with tongs occasionally, until the meat and onion are charred and tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to plates.
To serve, place chicken, onions, and tomato slices in the pita pocket and top liberally with white sauce.

Mezze {Appetizers}

Salata {Salads and Sides}

Main

Halwa {Desserts}