November 24, 2012

Hot Turkey Sandwich

I love making hot turkey sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas. Traditionally I have used Texas Toast but this year I used fresh Challah bread... and oh my... it was to die for! For my DC area friends look for Parisers Challah in your local Giant.

First I lightly toasted the buttered slices on the griddle and started with a layer of incredible oyster stuffing that my brother-in-law Andrew made.


Next I piled on the turkey and drizzled with hot gravy.


Done. Gourmet is that easy.


Now if Carlty Bryer were making these sandwiches he would drizzle gravy on top of the sandwich. In that case, you are going to want to grab a fork and knife...and maybe an extra napkin :)

November 23, 2012

Aunt Peg's Wicked Good Deviled Eggs



Hands down my favorite deviled eggs are my mom's. Done correctly, deviled eggs can create a sense of elegance to any holiday spread.  Make a few extra and you have a simple breakfast the next day. I had three this morning :)

FYI- The recipe calls for hot dog relish. In case you interpret this as just the relish you put on your hotdogs that's not what I mean. Click here to see what I'm talking about.

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November 20, 2012

Oyster Stuffing

For my husband Scott, Thanksgiving and Christmas are not complete without several servings of his mom's oyster stuffing. The first time that he asked me to try to make oyster stuffing the thought of oysters in stuffing kind of turned my stomach but it was a fond family tradition for him so I gave it a shot. I'm not going to lie, my first attempt involved pulling a random recipe off of the internet and left me with less than desirable results. Scott liked it but I think that he was desperate and I knew I could do better. First, I needed his mom's recipe and then I needed to watch the master herself put this dish together.

During Thanksgiving '07 Alicia and Ernesto came to visit for Thanksgiving and our wish came true, she made her famous oyster stuffing. Wow! It was incredible. I need an actual picture of the stuffing but wanted to get this recipe up for those of you that would like to try it this Thanksgiving. The original recipe is from River Road Recipes II "A Second Helping" with slight adaptations from her good friend Ann Guillory, a New Orleans native.

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Make a double batch...trust me... it's not going to last :)

For my DC area friends, I have been going to a local Phillips Seafood to get freshly packed oysters. If you love fresh seafood and have the time to travel downtown I highly recommend visiting the Maine Avenue Fish Market, an open air fish market on DC's Southwest waterfront. There are several vendors to choose from but I have been going to Captain White's Seafood City ever since our friends Sam and Nadya have been using them for their annual lobster/crabfest.


November 11, 2012

El Rey de las Fritas (Miami)


There is a reason why the locals... and visitors with inside info (thanks to 3 Guys from Miami)... flock to an unassuming strip mall on Callee Ocho in Little Havana. And that reason is the fritas (Cuban hamburger) from El Rey de las Fritas (The King of the Fritas). Whether it's first frita ever (like me) or you frequent various frita joints often, one bite of their Original Frita and you will be hooked. Surprised by the infusion of a secret seasoning in their 100% beef patty our delighted taste buds went into overdrive.

The Original Frita from El Rey de las Fritas 

If it's your first visit I highly recommend getting the frita that made this place famous and then dive into other tasty options on their menu like the pan con bistec (steak sandwich).


Whether you are a foodie adventurer or dining on a tight budget, check out El Rey de las Fritas, your taste buds and wallet won't be disappointed.

Where is your favorite frita joint?
El Rey de Las Fritas on Urbanspoon

El Rey De Las Fritas on Foodio54

November 10, 2012

The Cuban Sandwich


Ok, here's an example of where I don't have the perfect shot but the recipe is too good to wait. And besides, those perfect shots miss what is really going on in the background... leaving out the love, effort, and balancing act of life that goes into these recipes. As you can see, Koa is waiting for a chance to reenact the Bumpus' dogs famous dinner disaster scene from A Christmas Story and that's one of Morgan's newborn toys making an appearance in the upper right-hand corner.

Traditionally we make a huge Puerco Asado con Frijoles Negro and the following day we use the leftover roasted pork for Cuban sandwiches. I haven't found traditional Cuban bread out here in the DC area so I use Giant's club rolls. My sandwiches have yet to disapoint even the most distinguished Cuban palates.

This is how I assemble my Cuban sandwiches.

1. Drizzle a little mojo on the roasted pork, cover, and warm up in the oven.
2. Preaheat George Foreman or Paninini Press.
3. Slice bread and spread mustard on both sides (optional).
4. Place a generous portion of roasted pork on bottom slice. If you have any left over crispy skin you can chop it up and sprinkle it on top of the pork.
5. Add sliced dill pickles, ham, swiss cheese, and top piece of roll.
6. Place one sandwich at a time in the grill and press down for several minutes. I really press down on my George Foreman to get the sandwich nice and crunchy. This is somewhat of an art because you don't want the fillings to squeeze out of bread... keep an eye on that.
7. I keep the oven at 200 degrees to keep sandwiches warm until ready to serve.

FYI: If you are lactose intolerant use Boar's Head Imported Swiss Cheese.

November 4, 2012

Boston's Flour Bakery Banana Bread


I love banana bread! I have tried several recipes but my favorite traditional banana bread recipe is from Boston's Flour Bakery. You know who else loves this bread? Morgan. Here are a few shots of him scarfing down a piece.







And sharing a piece with his best buddy.







November 3, 2012

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


This is a soft and chewy oatmeal raisin recipe that reminds my husband Scott of Stew Leonard's oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Any Stew Leonard's fans out there? If you are familiar with them, then you know this recipe is a keeper. If you are not a fan of raisins swap them out for chocolate chips.

Here is a quick trick that allows you to bake the cookies off as you need them in a hurry: After you prepare the dough, place it on a sheet of saran wrap, form into a log, and tightly wrap it. I like to make two logs per recipe.


Slice as many cookies as needed, bake, wrap the remaining dough and store in your fridge for future use. Halloween was a hectic day for us, especially after several days of hunkering down for Frankenstorm. I made the dough a few days ahead and then popped them in the oven right before our Halloween party.

Note: Due to the dough being chilled, you may need to bake the cookies for a few more minutes than the original recipe.

November 1, 2012

Guy Fieri's Morgan Burger


My friend Michelle recommended Guy Fieri's vegetarian burgers and raved about how fabulous they taste, that they're freezer friendly and even grill well.  Although I'm not a vegetarian, I have to say I love them.  Here are a few tips that Michelle passed along...

  • Use low-salt beans to make the burgers healthier
  • Really squish the beans so they hold together
  • They are freezer friendly so double or triple the recipe and enjoy them as needed
  • These are awesome with Chipotle Mayo!

I found that Bobby Flay's Chipotle Mayo on FoodNetwork was very flavorful and super easy... I threw the five ingredients into my Magic Bullet and BAM! I had Chipotle Mayo... and she was right.

Whether you are a full-blown vegetarian or a newbie experimenting with meatless Mondays this is definitely a burger recipe that you'll want to hang on to. Or better yet, take it and pass it on!