All posts tagged sandwich

Meatless Monday: Basil Portobello Hoagie

Published April 14, 2014 by jenmatteson

Final trial veggie sandwich before the shower…

I must say, it was wonderful, but I sure wish I had more Portobello, because not only does the hoagie look slightly un-plump, but I could have really used a little more veg and less bread.  Don’t get me wrong, the entire thing was wonderful, but I wouldn’t have been upset with more mushrooms.  Who could be?

Basil Portobello Hoagie

I roasted my own peppers for this sandwich (soups easy), as well as used homemade hummus.  Feel free to speed up the process with jarred roasted red peppers and/or pre-made hummus.  This was another vegan try for the baby shower, and while I think taste-wise this was my favorite, it would be too difficult to keep warm and leave out for several guests.  So, I’ve decided on the Hummus Supreme!

But go ahead and give this one a try too.  I made this when it was still freezing in MN, which wasn’t too long ago, so I didn’t grill the Portobello.  I just sautéed them in some olive oil quickly on the stovetop.

Basil Portobello Hoagie

Portobello Hoagie

Servings: 2


4 large Portobello caps
2 hoagies, or about 2 5-inches pieces of French bread, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup hummus
6-8 fresh basil leaves
1 roasted red pepper (approximately 1/2 cup jarred)


1. If grilling, preheat grill to medium high heat.  Brush mushrooms with olive oil, and grill until just tender, about 2-3 minutes on each side.  Remove from heat, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and let rest.  Slice into 1/2-inch strips.  If you are using your stovetop, Slice mushrooms into long strips, about 1/2-inch thick.  Preheat olive oil in a small skillet over medium high heat.  Add mushrooms and cook over moderate heat until just softened, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let rest.

2. Meanwhile, divide hummus evenly and spread on both sides of bread.  Layer with basil leaves, roasted red pepper and sliced Portobellos.  Close and enjoy!

Tarragon Chicken Salad

Published April 9, 2014 by jenmatteson

“I’m not dead, yet!”

Monty Python, anyone?

Wondering where I’ve been?  If I’ve quit blogging?  Found another love besides cooking?  Dead?  Well, you’d be wrong.  Big news on the Pigzilla family front!  No…it’s not a tiny Pigzilla.  After being unemployed for almost 8 months, I have finally found a new position.  And I love it…so far anyway.  I don’t anticipate not liking it, but I’ve only been there for two weeks, so it’s hard to say.  That being said, I have not had a lot of time for my second love, this blog.  As you know, I’m in the midst of planning a baby shower for my girlfriend, as well as another dinner party for a small group.  In addition to feeding my husband and all the things that go along with being an adult, I’ve been basically vegging out after I get home and dinner is made.  I have to get back into the grove of writing…

I love chicken salad.  But this is one thing that I’m particularly picky about.  I don’t like fruit or nuts in my chicken salad, though I do enjoy a crunch, which is where the celery comes in.  Certainly, if you enjoy fruit or nuts in your chicken salad, feel free to add at your own discretion, but purely against my strong recommendation not to.

Tarragon Chicken Salad

This is another recipe I tried for the aforementioned baby shower – I’m sorry, you’ve heard so much about this in the last few weeks.  The pairing of tarragon and chicken salad were of my own genius, but I wanted to find a great basic recipe for the chicken salad itself.  This recipe comes from Note to Self, and claims to be the absolute best chicken salad, ever.  So I had to try it.  I just subbed the tarragon for the dill.  I really enjoyed it!  I think this salad goes well on a buttery croissant because of deep tarragon flavor, but it’s just as good on wheat, white, pita or even on a salad.  This is certainly not your ordinary chicken salad, and I love that!

Tarragon Chicken Salad

Tarragon Chicken Salad

Source: Adapted from Note to Self


3 cups chilled shredded chicken (I used two poached breasts)
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp. fresh tarragon, minced
salt and fresh ground black pepper


1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.  Add additional mayonnaise to desired consistency and adjust seasonings to taste.   Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Meatless Monday: Supreme Hummus Sandwich

Published February 17, 2014 by jenmatteson

Do you ever get sick of your same old boring lunch?  Maybe not.  But maybe you want to try something new, possibly a little healthier or fresher than that café in your building that serves pre-wrapped sandwiches.  Do you even know when those sandwiches were made?

Supreme Hummus Sandwich

I wanted to try out a few vegan sandwich recipes to serve at my girlfriend’s baby shower in a few months.  Yes, I’m already planning!  One of the best things about this sandwich is that there is absolutely no cooking.  Use store-bought hummus if you like to make this even quicker  (I made a classic creamy hummus, though a roasted red pepper hummus would be fantastic!).  I also used a store-bought 8-grain bread, but this would be even better with a thick cut gourmet bread.  Don’t forget to lightly salt your veggies before assembling your sandwich; you wouldn’t believe how much of a difference it makes.

Supreme Hummus Sandwich

The original recipe calls for pomegranate molasses, but my grocer didn’t carry it, and I didn’t want to make a special trip to find it.  I just went with regular molasses, and I thought this sandwich was absolute heaven!  Even Nate liked it, so don’t be afraid to feed it to your meat loving kids or hubbies!  The thinly cut crisp veggies paired with the smooth savory hummus is awesome.  The drizzle of molasses really brings it all together and knocks it out of the park.  I know it sounds a little weird, but trust me – it adds SO MUCH with just a tiny drizzle.

Supreme Hummus Sandwich

Supreme Hummus Sandwich

Source: Inspired by Vegan Soul Power
Servings: Makes 1 sandwich


2 slices hearty wheat or grain bread
4 tbsp. hummus
4 thin slices cucumber
4 thin slices tomato
thin sliced red onion
1/4 tsp molasses


1. Lightly toast bread (this is optional, but I like a little crisp and warmth in my bread).  Spread each slice with hummus.  Layer one slice of bread with arugula, cucumber, tomato and red onion.  Drizzle lightly with molasses and top with second prepared slice of bread.

Soft White Sandwich Bread

Published March 5, 2013 by jenmatteson

I think I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I want to dominate bread, so I’m just going to keep making it until I feel like it’s great.  I suppose technically, I should keep making the same bread over and over again, but that would be boring.  Everyone needs variety!  Although, after making this bread, I think I could easily whip up a few loaves over the weekend and store them in my new chest freezer!

Soft White Sandwich Bread

Today would have been a wonderful day to stay home from work and cook or bake all day, but alas, I do have a day job, and had to make the trek in.  It’s been snowing since late night on Sunday, with a brief interlude yesterday afternoon.  I’m not sure exactly how much we’ve got so far, but they were saying to expect about 14 inches.  Just when we think we’re on the way out of winter…I’ve once again underestimated the snowiest month of the year, and what a bitch she really can be.

But back to the bread.  I didn’t stay home and bake this today, but I did bake it on Sunday.  We flew through the sourdough bread I made last weekend, so I thought this weekend I’d give white bread a try.  Soft white bread.  Is there anything better than freshly baked soft white bread?  Not to mention the entire house smells like heaven, or at least what I think heaven should smell like.

Soft White Sandwich Bread

This turned out so great!  I had three slices that night!  I’ve yet to make a sandwich with it.  I’ve just been eating it with a little spread of butter or sometimes some good ol’ fashioned Skippy!  I was a little worried at first as the outside felt really hard, so I thought it might be more of a crusty bread.  Once it cooled though, it was nice and soft to the touch and melts away in your mouth.  This was simple and took very little effort since I used my dough hook on my Kitchenaid mixer, so I can easily see myself making this more often.  The original recipe made two loaves, but I only have one loaf pan, so I cut it in half.  After making and eating this, I feel as though I should invest in another loaf pan 😉

Soft White Sandwich Bread

Julia Child’s White Sandwich Bread

Source: Adapted from Dinner with Julie
Servings: 1 loaf


1 1/4 cup warm water
1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
1/2 tbsp sugar
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, softened


1. Pour 1/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Stir in yeast and sugar.  Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the rest of the water and 1 3/4 cups flour.  Stir until well blended.  Add the rest of the flour (1 3/4 cups), salt and butter.  Turn mixer on and mix until well blended.  Use a spoon to scrape the flour from the sides if necessary.  I let the mixer run for about 8 minutes.  remove from bowl and knead a few times by hand to be sure the dough is evenly smooth.

3. Shape dough into a ball and return to bowl.  Cover with a tea towel and let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until dough doubles in size.

Dough after rising for 2 hours

Patting out into rectangle







4. Punch dough down, remove from bowl, and form into a rectangle, about the size of a sheet of paper.  Fold the dough, lengthwise, in thirds, and place, seam side down, in a greased loaf pan.  Cover and let rise for another hour, until dough puffs up right over the top of the pan.

Rising in loaf pan

5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake loaf on middle rack for 30-35 minutes, until the top begins to turn honey brown.  Remove from oven and immediately transfer loaf to wire rack to cool.

TBA (Turkey, Bacon, Avocado) on Tomato Basil

Published February 12, 2013 by jenmatteson

If you haven’t tried this tomato basil bread yet, you’re really missing out.  What are you waiting for?  Of course I just made it on Saturday night, and so I was dying to make a sandwich with it for lunch on Sunday.  It snowed all day on Sunday, and while Nate headed out to shovel for the second time, I started these sandwiches.  To take it to the next level, I even broke out the Panini press!  Oh yeah 😉

Turkey Bacon Avocado on Tomato Basil

I added a little mozzarella to Nate’s sandwich (we had a tiny bit in the fridge that I just wanted to use up), but of course I loved it without .  There was so much flavor, I wouldn’t even know where to begin explaining it.  Crisp salty bacon, creamy avocado, oven roasted turkey, and fresh, fluffy tomato and basil bread.  It was a perfect little lunch on a snowy day.  I also brough one for lunch today – minus the bacon and Panini pressed part.  Looking forward to lunch in a few minutes…

Turkey Bacon Avocado on Tomato Basil

TBA on Tomato Basil

Source: Pigzilla Original
Servings: 2 sandwiches


4 slices tomato basil bread
2 tbsp low-fat mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
16 leaves fresh spinach
sliced red onion
1/2 lb oven roasted turkey
4 slices cooked bacon
1/2 avocado, sliced thin
mozzarella (if desired)


1. Spread 1 tbsp of mayonnaise on two slices of bread.  After the mayonnaise, layer each slice with 8 spinach leaves, sliced red onion, 1/4 lb oven roasted turkey, two slices bacon and avocado slices (add mozzarella if desired).    Top each with remaining slices of bread.

2. Place sandwich on heated Panini grill.  Press and cook for 2-4 minutes.  Keep an eye on it so the bread doesn’t burn. Remove, slice, and enjoy!

Pulled Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches

Published August 8, 2012 by jenmatteson

I’ve seen this recipe in the blogosphere world for a while now, so I figured I better get on board.  I used Nicole, from PreventionRD‘s, recipe.  It’s a little outside of our comfort zone, as I would enjoy something, of course, on the spicier side, but I decided to give this sweet sounding chicken sandwich a try.

I’m so glad I did.  While the pineapple certainly sweetens the sandwich, the sauce is so flavorful, and I could have added more hot sauce, but honestly, I thought the flavor balance was just perfect.  I was tempted to throw the ingredients in the slow cooker, but I think the grilling gave it some deep flavor that wouldn’t have developed had I used the slow cooker.

These would be great for a crowd, assuming you grill and shred the chicken beforehand, but we just had them on a weekday evening after work.  Doesn’t take much time, and I had all the ingredients, except for the pineapple and Heinz 57, on hand.

Pulled Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches

Source: Adapted from PreventionRD
Servings: 3-4


1/2 pineapple, sliced in rings, or one can of pineapple rings in natural juices
1/3 cup Heinz 57 sauce
2 tbsp agave nectar or honey
hot sauce (I used homemade garlic hot sauce once, and mango-habanero the second) 
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
black pepper
whole wheat buns or sandwich thins


1. Heat grill to medium.  Place one ring of pineapple in food processor and process.  Add Heinz 57 and agave or honey.  Process until well combined.  Add hot sauce to taste.  Remove 3 tbsp of sauce for basting, reserve remaining sauce for serving.

2. Season chicken breasts with pepper.  Brush Hawaiian sauce on one side of the chicken breast and place on grill with sauce side down.  Just before flipping, brush opposite side of chicken breasts with Hawaiian sauce and flip.  Grill until chicken is cooked through, about 12-18 minutes total.

3. Spray remaining pineapple rings with olive oil and place on grill.  Cook until the sugars begin to caramelize and grill marks appear, about 5-7 minutes on each side.

4. Remove chicken and pineapple rings from grill when cooked through.  Let chicken rest for 5-10 minutes, and then shred with two forks.  Toss chicken with reserved Hawaiian sauce.  Scoop chicken mixture on buns and top with grilled pineapple ring.

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

Published May 5, 2012 by jenmatteson

I’ve made buffalo chicken sandwiches tons of times, but this was the first time I shredded the chicken, just to change it up a bit.  Plus, then the whole chicken breast isn’t sliding farther and farther off the bun because of the sauce, and soon you’re left with a spicy chicken breast with no bread or toppings.  You know what I’m talking about.

This version was really good, maybe a little dry though.  That quite possibly could have been due to my lack of sufficient Frank’s Red Hot on hand 😦  However, many people enjoy blue cheese or ranch dressing with their buffalo sammies, so that would be a wonderful addition, especially for those of you who are sensitive to heat.

The chicken breast could certainly be made on the grill, skillet, or the oven as I did.  Also, if you really want to keep the chicken breast whole, go for it.  Shredding takes a little extra time, but it’s NBD 😉

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

Source: Pigzilla Original
Servings: 4


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper
1/4 onion, chopped fine
3 celery stalks, chopped 1/8-inch pieces
1/2 cup cayanne pepper sauce (I like Frank’s Red Hot)
20 spinach leaves
4 hoagies or rolls
1 avocado, sliced


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Sprinkle paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper over both sides of chicken breasts.  Place on foil lined baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Bake chicken until cooked through and starting to brown, about 30-35 minutes.  Let chicken rest until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.  Turn oven heat to broil.

2.  In a medium bowl, add chopped onion and celery.  Shred chicken with two forks and add to onion and celery mixture.  Toss to incorporate chicken.  Coat mixture with desired amount of cayenne pepper sauce.

3. Place sliced hoagies/rolls sprayed with non-stick cooking spray under broiler until they begin to brown.  Place spinach leaves on hoagies/rolls, spoon on chicken mixture and top with sliced avocado.  Add cheese or dressing as desired.

Everyone knows what a Rachel is, or do they?

Published March 19, 2012 by jenmatteson

A few years back while I was in Denver for a week-long work trip, it was brought to my attention that not everyone knows what a Rachel is.  Thinking maybe it was a Minnesota thing, I asked my co-workers for back up.  They had no idea what I was talking about.  After returning home, I had to prove to myself that I wasn’t crazy, and to my newly made friends that the Rachel exists (and that I wasn’t crazy).  My best girlfriend had my back, so I knew I was right!

There seem to be a few variations of the Rachel; some are made with pastrami, and some with turkey (the right way in my opinion!).  In case you are one of the uninformed people who have no idea what I am talking about, a Rachel is basically a Reuben sandwich made with turkey (or as previously mentioned, pastrami).

I decided to make one of each for St. Patrick’s day.  The best part about this sandwich was the Russian dressing.  Instead of using the classic ketchup and mayo combination, I spiced it up with chili sauce and Miracle Whip along with a few other ingredients.  I found my inspiration for the sauce here.



4 slices marble rye bread
1/2 lb corned beef or turkey
1/4 cup Russian dressing (recipe follows)
1/2 cup sauerkraut
4 slices swiss cheese

1. Heat panini grill or press to medium heat.  You could also use a frying pan.
2. Spread each slice of bread with Russian Dressing.  Pile 1/2 of the meat on two slices of the bread.  Top each with sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and the bread.
3.  Grill the sandwiches 3-5 minutes over medium heat on each side.  Serve with extra Russian dressing if desired.

Russian Dressing


1 cup Miracle Whip
1/4 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
2 tbsp cilantro
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup dill pickle, finely chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp grated horseradish
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1. In a small bowl, combine Miracle Whip, chili sauce, yogurt, cilantro, onion, dill pickle, lemon juice, horseradish, and Worcestershire sauce.

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