Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Leftover Lamb Open-Faced Sandwich with Cheese

I enjoyed these leftover lamb sandwiches more that the roast itself!

Regrettably, here in the States, unlike Europe, we do not eat each much lamb. Here, beef is king! That is unfortunate. Today's lamb, unlike tough mutton of years past, is mild in taste ... and tender. Today's lamb needs no mint to mask its once-assertive muttony taste!

In the States, lamb is prevalent during Easter, but pretty scarce the remainder of the year. Usually, most expensive cuts, like lamb chops show up but they are ridicuosly priced. Even more expensive than steak! An entire leg of lamb ...  Yikes ... I have never seen an entire leg of lamb where I shop here in the South. No. Not. Ever.

I especially love when it grilled and I love it a bit on the rare side with a squeeze of lemon. Lots and lots of garlic and rosemary! Juicy crispy fat!

Leftover lamb warmed up is just so-so. Maybe some gravy and a side or two. Kind of boring. Hmmm ... what to do?

SO,  I came up with these super-easy, open-faced sandwiches. How good were they? Well, let's just say that next time I roast lamb, I will make sure I have a lot extra!

For two days I debated what kind of cheese to use. ... Blue? Roquefort? Feta? All would be great. Finally, I settled on a dill Havarti for its warm melting qualities. I used a block rather than slices. The dill complements the tzatzki sauce. Tzatzki is now readily found in most supermarkets in the deli section.

This is not really a recipe .... just a process ... I imagine one could also use ham, even chicken!

I baked mine directly on the rack in a toaster oven set on the "bagel" setting until the cheese was lovingly melting and just beginning to drip. Maybe 10 minutes! In a traditional oven, I would bake at around 350 F on a cookie sheet until the cheese begins to melt.

I recommend a block of cheese because you can slice it thick and it will take longer to melt than thin slices and allow lamb to warm through.

  • 1 Kaiser roll, cut horizontally
  • Red onion, sliced razor thin
  • Tzatziki sauce, about 1/4 cup
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • Sliced, leftover lamb
  • Havarti-Dill cheese

Cut tomato in half horizontally. Squeeze out juice and seeds. Cut into thin slices.

Spread about 2 tablespoons tzatzki sauce over each half of the roll. Place a few of the razor-thin onion slices on top. Arrange lamb, as much as you like, for the next layer.  Place tomatoes on top and crown with cheese.

Bake, according to instructions set above!

This ... just great! Enjoy!

Oh, Yea!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Easy Baked Beans with Bacon

As a veteran public-school teacher, baked beans, with-or-without hot dogs, was a cafeteria staple. I never tired of them tucked away in their safe, tiny, geometric plastic compartment on the lunch tray. Remember?

Even today, I confess, I often snatch cheap, one-dollar cans of "weenie beenies" from the supermarket shelf to store in my pantry for a quick snack or lunch. I just pop open the lid and eat them cold right out of the can along with a piece of buttered white bread.  We are talking a meal fit for a hobo king!

Baked beans are the quinntesstial cornerstone of American simple fare. Think picnics! Pot-luck dinners! Church socials! What is a holiday baked-ham dinner without baked beans?

One "can" of course, prepare baked beans from scratch. It's a lot of labor. And time.

But, when I saw this particular recipe, I was intrigued. It is from a website I very much enjoy, www.southernfrugal.com. Its hostess is Phyllis Stokes who hails from South Carolina. I recommend you visit sometimes. Here is the video link for her baked beans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61N28BY90ss

I mostly stuck to the basic "structure" of her recipe. My changes were to add bacon, a jalapeno pepper, a can of cannellini beans for a bit more "bite." Instead of regular pork and beans, I used Bush's which has a thicker sauce. If you don't use the jalapeno, I do recommend a few dashes of hot sauce just for a bit of heat in the background, like Phyllis suggests.

These were excellent! Thanks, Phyllis!

  • 1, 28-ounce can Original Bush's Beans ... Seasoned with Bacon and Brown Sugar
  • 1, 14.5-ounce can Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 slices smoked bacon
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno (optional) seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2-3 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1-2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce 

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Slice the bacon horizontally down the center, then cut/chop into 1/2 inch pieces. Fry the bacon over medium heat in a medium saucepan just until it begins to turn brown. You do not want it crisp. Remove from pan and allow to drain on paper towel. Leave the drippings in the pan.

To the drippings, add the chopped red onion, chopped bell pepper and, if using, the minced jalapeno. When softened, about ten minutes, add the garlic and stir just until fragrant. Pour in the beans, ketchup, yellow mustard, molasses and Worcestershire. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. If too sweet, add a splash of apple-cider vinegar. Not enough heat? A few shakes of your favorite hot sauce ... I use Tobasco.

Pour mixture into an 11 x 7-inch oven-safe dish or equivalent. Bake, uncovered, 30-40 minutes.

Great on its own ... OR ... split a hot biscuit in half ... ladle bean mixture on top with a side of hot dogs.

Friday, December 22, 2017


As old as I am ... My mantra is still the same as long as I have lived ... Make something out of nothing. NO THING!  Create! Say YES! Every student I have ever taught ... you are NO THING. Your are YES. You are SOMEONE! Amaze yourself ...