Lamb Patties with Red Cabbage and Radish Slaw

Lamb Patties with Red Cabbage and Radish Slaw are version of a homemade gyro sandwich with a unique sauce and a flavorful slaw.

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Lamb Patties with Red Cabbage and Radish Slaw
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of BonAppetit.com, November 2014)

4 Servings

2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. ground lamb
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 small head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 English hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
2 radishes, thinly sliced
4 pita breads

Whisk garlic, yogurt, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons oil in small bowl until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Set sauce aside.

Using your hands, gently mix lamb, onion, parsley, coriander, cumin, 2 tablespoons oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl just to combine. Form into 12 3/4-inch-thick patties. Set aside on a platter.

Toss cabbage, cucumber, radishes and remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 2 tablespoons oil in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Set aside while grilling the patties.

Heat a flat cast-iron grill plate on the grill over direct medium heat. Working in batches cook until medium-rare, about 4 minutes, per side. Transfer to a wire rack on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet, let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Serve patties on pita with a serving of slaw and a dollop of sauce.

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Steak and Egg Sandwich

Steak and Egg Sandwiches are a great way to use leftover steak from the weekend. Slicing the medium-rare steak super-thin is the key to this classic sandwich. Serve the sandwich with a few sweet potato fries and some fruit salad and you’ve got yourself a meal. These Steak and Egg Sandwiches are perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner or, even, a late night snack.

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Steak and Egg Sandwiches
(Mark Kelly, 2015)

1 loaf of ciabatta or a wide baguette
Extra-virgin olive oil
Thinly sliced leftover steak (10 – 12 ounces for 2 to 4 sandwiches)
Dried oregano
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 – 4 large eggs (one per sandwich)
4 – 8 thin slices of smoked mozzarella
Sriracha (optional)

Cut the bread into the appropriate number of portions. Drizzle the cut sides of the bread with olive oil.

Season the steak slices with salt, pepper, and oregano. Place the steak on the bottom half of each sandwich. Cook the eggs until the yolks are just firm. Place an egg on top of the steak on each sandwich. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with Sriracha, if desired. Top with slices of cheese.

Place the sandwiches in a hot panini press and cook until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted, about 3 to 4 minutes.

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Ratatouille Sandwich with Goat Cheese

Ratatouille Sandwich with Goat Cheese is a rich meatless sandwich with strong flavors emanating from the eggplant, beets and goat cheese. The toasted bread soaks up some of the liquid from the ratatouille giving the sandwich a crunchy and soft texture.

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Ratatouille Sandwich with Goat Cheese
(Mark Kelly, 2015)

Yields 2 Quarts of Ratatouille
Makes 8 – 10 Medium Sandwiches

2 large eggplants, cut into 1-inch dice
1 yellow squash, 1/2-inch dice
1 zucchini, 1/2-inch dice
12 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 medium yellow onion, peeled, medium dice
4 small yellow beet, peeled, 1/4-inch dice
3 Tbsp capers in brine
2 tsp dried rosemary leaves
2 Tbsp anchovy paste
1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes with juice
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Soft goat cheese
Crust whole grain bread
Fresh basil leaves for garnish

For mayonnaise:

Whisk together 3 tablespoons of light mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large skillet, over medium heat, saute the squash and zucchini in oil for 6 to 8 minutes, until softening but still firm. Season with salt a pepper. Remove the vegetables using a slotted spoon to a 9×13 pyrex baking dish.

Add more oil to the skillet, as necessary, and saute the eggplant for 6 to 8 minutes, until softening but still firm. Season with salt and pepper. Remove to the using the slotted spoon to the baking dish.

Add more oil to the skillet, as necessary, and saute onion, garlic, anchovy paste, rosemary and capers until onions and garlic soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and juice to the skillet, crushing the tomatoes with your fingers. Heat through, stirring. Add the tomato mixture to the other vegetables in the baking dish, along with the beets. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for up to 1 hour. The ratatouille can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and refrigerated.

Toast 1/2-inch-thick slabs of bread. Slather one toasted bread with mayonnaise and add torn pieces of basil. Slather a second slab of tasted bread with goat cheese. Ladle ratatouille juice over the goat cheese. Add several dollops of ratatouille on top of the goat cheese taking care to get some of each vegetable in each spoonful. Place the first bread, mayonnaise side down on top of the ratatouille and serve immediately.

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Fried Vegetable Sandwiches

Vegetable Fritto Misto Panino is a fancy term for Fried Vegetable Sandwiches. These sandwiches can be made using squash blossoms, squash, mushrooms or, as in this recipe, baby artichokes, asparagus and okra. When these panino are dressed with Garlic Aioli and topped with a fresh basil leaf and goat cheese, you will experience an explosion of flavors and textures. If you are not a fan of the earthy flavor of goat cheese, substitute fresh, creamy mozzarella.

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If you do not have a deep fryer like the Presto Pro Fry, you can use a deep Dutch oven but you will need a candy thermometer that clips to the side of the vessel to assure that you can maintain the oil at a boiling temperature of between 350 – 375F.

Advance preparation will make the frying process seamless. Have all vegetables cut and patted dry, have the batter mixed and resting, and have the paper-towel-lined baking sheet ready for the finished products.

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Vegetable Fritto Misto Panino
(Adapted from several recipes in The Glorious Vegetables of Italy, 2013)

Makes 4 to 6 servings

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sparkling spring water (such as San Pellegrino)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp fine sea salt or Kosher salt
8 baby artichokes
12 okra pods, stem end cut off
12 asparagus tips (top 1/3rd only)
Vegetable oil for frying
Coarse sea salt for serving
1 large crusty Italian bread loaf
2 large tomatoes, sliced ¼-inch-thick
8 oz. soft goat cheese
6 thin slices prosciutto
6 fresh basil leaves

Garlic Aioli (see recipe below)

Prepare deep fryer for 375F frying.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, water, eggs, and fine sea salt to make a smooth batter about the consistency of a heavy cream. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 – 30 minutes.

To prepare the artichokes, using your fingers or a small paring knife, strip any tough outer leaves from the artichokes. Slice off the top third and then cut them lengthwise into quarters.

Have a paper towel-lined baking sheet for draining.

Dip the artichoke pieces in the batter and then transfer them directly into the hot oil. Fry the artichokes in batches, taking care not to crowd the fryer, for 2 minutes; use a fork to turn them and fry for another 2 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Transfer the artichokes to the prepared baking sheet. Fry the okra pods and asparagus tips, turning them once as they cook.

When all of the vegetables have been fried, season them with coarse sea salt.

To prepare the panino (sandwiches): Dress both cut surfaces of the bread loaf with garlic aioli. Place a slice of prosciutto on each, a slice of tomato, a generous slice of goat cheese, and a basil leave on each. Select a variety of fried vegetables and place them on each sandwich. Serve immediately.

Garlic Aioli

Makes about 2 cups

1 large egg
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp light mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the egg, mustard, mayonnaise, garlic and lemon in a food processor and pulse until smooth. In increments of 2 tablespoons at a time, add the oil to the aioli and pulse until the mixture is emulsified. Refrigerate until ready to use and for up to 3 days.

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Ham Panini with Caramelized Onions

There are many ways to use leftover Easter ham. Ham sandwiches are a favorite leftover choice. Ham Panini with Caramelized Onions is a twist on an old family favorite that features a spread with mustard and caraway seeds in it.

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Ham Panini with Caramelized Onions
(Mark Kelly, 2014)

Serves 4

1 large focaccia bread, cut into quarters and then sliced in half
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp spicy brown mustard (such as Gulden’s)
2 tsp caraway seeds (ground in a mortar and pestle to release oils)
1/2 large red onion, sliced thin
3 garlic cloves with one end cut off
4 roasted red pepper slices, cut into strips
4 large slices cooked ham
4 slices Alpine Lace Swiss cheese
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350F.

On a rimmed baking sheet toss the onions and garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons of olive oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes and each remaining increment of 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Squeeze the garlic into a small bowl and mash with a fork until smooth. Add mayonnaise, mustard, and caraway seeds. Whisk to combine and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before assembling sandwiches to allow the flavors to meld.

To assemble the sandwiches: Spread the mayonnaise-mustard mixture evenly on the cut-side of each piece of focaccia bread. On one half of each sandwich place the ham pieces. One the other half of each sandwich place a layer of the caramelized onions, pepper slices and a slice of cheese. Put the four sandwiches together and cook, using a panini press, for about 5 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Serve immediately

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New Version of Green Chile Relish

Green Chile Relish is an awesome topping for burgers, chicken sandwiches, or salmon. This versatile relish is also great in grilled cheese sandwich or as a topping for a sub sandwich. Ample Bites particularly enjoys Green Chile Relish on a grilled Turkey Burger served with a side of Parmesan Garlic Fries.

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Green Chile Relish II uses sherry vinegar in place of red wine vinegar. Another variation can be made using cider vinegar.

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To kick the spice level up replace one poblano with two jalapeno or Serrano peppers.

Green Chile Relish II
(Mark Kelly, 2014)

4 large poblano peppers
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Roast the peppers whole over a very hot grill, cooktop burner on high, or under a broiler. Place the roasted peppers in a large ziptop bag and refrigerate for about an hour. Remove from the bag. Slice each pepper in half lengthwise, remove and discard stems and seeds, remove and discard the charred skin. Chop coarsely.

In a food processor, combine the sherry vinegar, honey, olive oil and peppers. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pulse until you have a thick relish. Can be refrigerated for up to three days.

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Asian Tuna Burgers

Asian Tuna Burgers have most of the taste elements of a sushi roll combined in a burger form. The wasabi-lime mayonnaise can be made ahead of time as can the pickled cucumbers and red onions. The tuna mixture should also be prepared long enough ahead to allow the flavors to develop.

The burgers can be grilled as the recipe says or cooked on a stovetop griddle or flattop.

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Asian Tuna Burgers
(Adapted from recipe Cooking Light Crave, 2013)

Serves 6

6 Tbsp mayonnaise
½ tsp wasabi paste
½ tsp grated lime rind, divided
1 ½ tsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp agave nectar
4 ½ Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar, divided
1 ½ cups thinly sliced English cucumber
¾ cup sliced red onion
1 ½ pounds tuna steaks, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ cup minced onions
½ tsp toasted sesame oil
1 ½ Tbsp lower-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
Cooking spray
6 sandwich buns
½ cup small cilantro sprigs

Combine first four ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate.

Dissolve ¼ teaspoon of agave nectar in 3 tablespoons vinegar in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add cucumber and red onion; toss to coat. Refrigerate.

Place tuna in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Combine chopped tuna, green onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and salt, 1 ½ tablespoons vinegar, ¼ teaspoon lime zest and ¾ teaspoon agave nectar in a bowl. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions. Shape the tuna mixture into 6 ½-inch-thick patties. Indent the center of each with your thumb. Refrigerate.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Brush the grill rack with oil. Grill the patties for 4 minutes. Turn the patties over; grill for another 4 minutes or to desired doneness. Remove from grill and allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

While the burgers stand, spread the mayo mixture evenly on the cut side of each bun. Place a tuna patty on the bottom half of each bun. Spoon cucumber-onion mixture evenly on the top of each patty. Arrange cilantro over all. Cover with top buns and serve immediately.

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Egg and Prosciutto Panini

The classic egg sandwich has long been a favorite. The egg breakfast sandwich is an American fast food institution. Ample Bites tried the Egg and Prosciutto Panini and found it to be a great lunch or dinner sandwich.

The creamy Havarti cheese, the salty prosciutto and the hearty omelet of an egg are accented with whole grain mustard resulting in a savory sandwich.

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Egg and Prosciutto Panini
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of CuisineAtHome.com, 2013)

Makes 2 Servings

4 slices sourdough or whole grain bread, ½-inch thick
softened unsalted butter
2 Tbsp whole-grain mustard
2 ounces Havarti cheese, thinly sliced
2 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
2 eggs
2 tsp grated Parmesan
1 tsp fat-free milk
1 tsp minced fresh chives
1 tsp unsalted butter

Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread; spread mustard on the other side of two slices. Arrange Havarti and prosciutto on top of the mustard sides.

Beat eggs, Parmesan, milk and chives in a small bowl.

Melt butter in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; when the foam subsides, add egg mixture. Cook until just set, pulling the eggs to the center of the pan with a rubber spatula, and tilting pan to fill in holes with liquid. Slide omelet onto a plate, cut in half, and place halves on the prosciutto. Top with remaining bread slices, buttered sides up.

Toast sandwiches on both sides or press in Panini-maker. Serve immediately.

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Mushroom and Manchego Paninis

Paninis are just fancy grilled cheese sandwiches. The Mushroom and Manchego Panini is an excellent version of this sandwich. Ample Bites made them using shiitakes and button mushrooms. The sherry vinegar and fresh thyme in the mushroom mixture gives the sandwich nice punch. I had a few mushrooms leftover. They will make an appearance on our pizzas this week.

If you don’t have a panini press you can simply use a heavy skillet and place a dish with a little weight to it on top of the sandwich to press it. You will have to flip the sandwich halfway through cooking.

Mushroom and Manchego Panini
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine, March 2012)

Serves 4

1 tsp unsalted butter
¼ cup minced shallots
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt
8 ounces sliced exotic mushrooms (shiitake, cremini and/or oyster)
8 ounces sliced button mushrooms
1 ½ Tbsp sherry vinegar
8 slices of sourdough or multi-grain bread
3 ounces shaved Manchego cheese
Cooking spray
1 garlic clove, halved

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add shallots, thyme, minced garlic and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 10 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and liquid almost evaporates, stirring frequently. Add vinegar; cook 30 seconds or until liquid almost evaporates.

Divide the mushroom mixture evenly among four bread slices. Top evenly with cheese and remaining bread slices.

Heat a Panini press. Coat the press with cooking spray. One at a time add sandwiches to the press and close, pressing down slightly to flatten. Cook sandwiches 3 minutes or until the cheese melts and bread is toasted.

Rub the top and bottom of each sandwich with cut side of garlic clove and serve immediately.

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