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pan bagnat – a delicious French sandwich

pan bagnat - a french sandwichLooking for new ideas to make interesting sandwiches your kids will eat? Pan bagnat, the street food of Nice, is the answer.  Think of salade niçoise and you have the portable sandwich version.  I have to admit my lunches were not that inspiring…sorry mom.  To be fair, though, she had to make four lunches so some days (usually after grocery day) those would be the best-packed lunches.  To my mom’s credit, they were usually healthy with at least two servings of fruit and dessert consisted of miniature canned fruit.  I liked peaches and apple sauce but if there was a can of mixed fruit (too many chopped pears for my liking), I’d use them as a bargaining chip with some of my school friends; one fruit cup for one bag of chips or whatever was on that day.   My youngest sister used to hide her lunches behind the furnace until one day my father smelled something a bit off.  What were your school lunches like? Continue Reading →

open-face sandwich with poached egg

open-face sandwich with poached eggSandwiches have been around for centuries.  The term sandwich is believed to have been named after John Montagu who was the 4th Earl of Sandwich. Legend has it that in 1762 he asked for meat (most probably salted beef) to be served between slices of bread to avoid interrupting a gambling game.  I love a sandwich that’s loaded to the gills but eating it with some degree of grace is not easily achieved.  Introduce an open-faced sandwich and now you talkin’ (spoken like Joey Tribbiani from Friends).  Sourdough is one of my favourite types of bread.  It is lovely toasted and used as a base to build a sandwich. Continue Reading →

pork scaloppine sandwich

pork scaloppine sandwichBefore I chat about this insanely delicious pork scaloppine sandwich, I want to give a high five to the farm-to-table experience in Nova Scotia that’s been brewing here for years.  Farm-to-table movement isn’t new nor is it unique to this corner of the world.  But what I will say is this; it’s the reason I started this blog.  We were still living overseas and were deciding where in Canada we’d like to move to.  Our first visit to Nova Scotia was the summer of 2005.  We explored, ate, drank and went away feeling like we had stumbled onto something good.  We decided to take another closer look at Halifax the following year just to make sure our vacation euphoria didn’t cloud reality.  The food scene, local hospitality and a general sense of fitting in welcomed us and we were smitten.  Continue Reading →

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Ferments

grilled cheese sandwich with fermentsNothing takes me back more to my childhood than biting into a sandwich with a warm, gooey cheese center between crunchy slices of buttered toast.  As a young adult, in my first apartment, one of my favorite meals was a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of scotch broth.  Grilled cheese sandwiches these days are looking all grown up and designer-like.  I’ve seen them dressed up with prosciutto, tomato marmalade and cheese curds; artisanal sourdough with aged cheddar, Gruyère and roasted tomatoes; four cheeses with mushrooms and truffles; brie and fig jam and the ingredient list goes on.  A far cry from the quintessential American grilled cheese sandwich – white bread with processed cheese.  Americans consume more than two billion grilled cheese sandwiches a year. Continue Reading →

Fried Green Tomato Sandwich

fried green tomato sandwichAlthough fried green tomatoes (no, I’m not referring to the movie) might be a dish hailing from the southern United States, in the Maritimes we enjoy them, too.  My father loved the sight of green tomatoes in our vegetable patch.  His favorite way to eat them?  Fried with bacon and eggs, of course! Continue Reading →

Scanway Catering & Pastry (a review)

Scanway Catering & CafeFor such a small city (slightly under 400,000), we are blessed to have attracted a slew of quality restauranteurs where the owners and chefs happily promote locally grown produce. Many highlight Nova Scotian wineries which have garnered international acclaim.  There seems to be a mini explosion of late with new restaurants popping up all over the city.  Last month I was invited by Laura Oakley to attend a blogger and media VIP open house hosted by Scanway Catering & Café.   Continue Reading →

Turkey Cutlet Sandwich

turkey cutlet sandwich by The Culinary ChaseThe first recorded sandwich was by Rabbi Hillel the Elder in the 1st century BC. He started the Passover custom of sandwiching a mixture of chopped nuts, apples, spices and wine between two matzohs to eat with bitter herbs. The filling between the matzohs served as a reminder of the suffering of the Jews before their deliverance from Egypt.  The term ‘sandwich’ is believed to have been named after John Montagu who was the 4th Earl of Sandwich. Legend has it that in 1762 he asked for meat (most probably salted beef) to be served between slices of bread to avoid interrupting a gambling game.  Make this tonight and serve with a salad.

Serves 2
turkey cutlets
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs, seasoned with Italian herbs plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
olive oil
2 slices prosciutto
2 slices mozzarella or provolone cheese
2 Italian bread rolls, cut in half
tomato, sliced
pesto
handful arugula leaves

Turkey Cutlet Collage by The Culinary Chase1. Cover turkey cutlets with plastic wrap. Using a flat meat mallet, rolling pin, or heavy frying pan, gently pound cutlets between the sheets of plastic wrap until it is about 1/2-inch thick.
2. Place egg into a dish large enough to hold the cutlet. Add a splash of olive oil and mix with a fork until combined.
3. Add breadcrumbs onto a separate plate.
4. Dip turkey cutlet into egg wash and let excess egg drip off. Place in breadcrumb mixture and cover both sides. Move to a clean plate and repeat process.
5. Add enough oil to cover bottom of a large pan and place over medium heat. When oil is hot, pan-fry cutlets 3 minutes per side or until cooked through.
6. Butter each roll and spread pesto (don’t be shy) on the top and bottom. Add prosciutto slice, cheese and turkey cutlet. Top with tomato slices and arugula leaves.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:
The secret to this recipe is to make sure the breadcrumbs are well seasoned.  You can also use chicken cutlets.  Toast the bread if you like and if you have any cutlets leftover, chop and toss into a salad.  Enjoy!