Tag Archives: minced onions

Hawaiian Ham & Cheese Sandwiches – and – a Goat Cheese stuffed Endives

Yesterday was filled with cooking, singing, laughing, eating and drinking!  We had our annual Christmas party.  It has come to be quite the event, my good friend plays the piano and we start out by singing Christmas carols and end the night singing anything from Billy Joel, James Taylor to Queen and finally some great Show tunes.

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The day was entirely for making all the pick up and go foods for the table and also having breakfast ready to go for the next day, there is nothing worse than having to feed a ton of people; OK maybe not a ton but we had 14 for breakfast this morning; regardless; making food with such little sleep and maybe a few too many glasses of wine is not the most enjoyable task so I make sure that breakfast is super simple while still being delicious. I made 3 dishes that either set up overnight or can wait for me to cook them.  I made a strata, hash brown casserole and French toast casserole and picked up some fresh cut up fruit as well as some fresh blueberries, raspberries and a pomegranate; combining them all in a bowl of fresh fruit to lighten up all the casseroles.

I tried out a few new recipes my daughter sent me and they all were excellent, there were definitely a couple of keepers that I want to share with all of you.  The sandwiches are warm and full of delicious flavors. The endives are crazy good and I really hope you take a chance on these and test them out. They may look like something outside your comfort zone but I think you might be pleasantly surprised by how well the different flavors work so well together. I also made a simple version of chicken and waffles that was a crowd pleaser. mini waffles oven toasted, frozen chicken tenders baked and covered with warmed real maple syrup.

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Hawaiian Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

20 +/- small Hawaiian sweet rolls cut in half crosswise (depends on what size pan you have)

1 Pound Black forest ham, sliced – you’ll want one piece per roll

20 +/- slices provolone cheese

8 oz. cream cheese – room temperature for spreading

1 tbs yellow mustard

1 tbs Worcestershire sauce

2 tbs dried minced onions

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tbs poppy seeds (optional)

Either preheat your oven to 350’ or make ahead and bake them 30-40 minutes before you are ready to serve them.

Coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with the roll bottoms, top with a slice of ham on each; then the provolone. Spread the cream cheese on the bottom half of the tops and place them on top of their bottom mates.

In a medium bowl, combine the butter, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onions and parmesan cheese.  Mix well and if baking right away pour evenly over the tops.  If making later wait to add just before baking; if using poppy seeds sprinkle on top of butter mixture.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, or until warmed through and cheese melted.

Serve warm

Endives with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1 tbs honey

Combine on a baking sheet either coated with cooking spray or better yet a silipat mat. Bake at 350’ for 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.

1 tbs honey

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

3 tbs orange juice

Combine all 3 in a small saucepan; bring mixture to a boil over high heat, and cook until reduced to 3 tbs; about 6-7 minutes.

16 endive leaves 9 about 2 heads

1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese

16 small orange sections

1 tbs minced fresh chives

¼ tsp cracked black pepper

Fill each endive leaf with 1 orange section. Top each section with 1 tsp cheese and 1 tsp walnuts; arrange on a plate. Drizzle the vinegar mixture evenly over the leaves, and sprinkle evenly with chives and pepper.

Lobster Cake with Tomato Tartar Sauce (Blanchard’s on Anguilla)

I am not sure if you have ever tried this but sometimes when I am at a restaurant I ask the server what their favorite thing on the menu is, especially if I am torn at what I might want to order.  This last Friday night was our last night of vacation we were on the Caribbean island of Anguilla.

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While we waited for our table to be set I opened a cookbook that was sitting on the table; it opened to somewhere in the middle and I saw Vermont Cheddar Soup – I thought that was odd but looked good, maybe I might purchase a copy out of sheer interest.

We had all decided; our son came with us on vacation; that were not going to order any apps.  When one of our many servers came to the table, they were all very attentive; I asked him what was his favorite thing on the menu? He mentioned the Lobster Crab Cakes; we ordered them to share and that was when I decided I was going to buy their cookbook, they were excellent and I was SO happy to see the recipe listed for Lobster Cakes.

On the plane home I read the entire cookbook cover to cover and found several things I want to try my hand at making.  Here is the first recipe I wanted to share it with you.

Oh the deal with Vermont being part of their cook book is they are originally from Vermont and now split their time between Anguilla in the winters and Vermont in the summers. Sounds like a pretty awesome gig to me.

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Blanchard’s Lobster Cakes with Tomato Tartar Sauce – I made 22 cakes – freeze cooked leftovers – re-heat in the oven just till warm – about 15-20 minutes.

5 Tbs unsalted butter

¾ cup AP Flour

2 cups Milk

1 Pound cooked lobster meat, coarsely chopped and patted dry (you can substitute crab or shrimp or any combo)

1 cup red bell pepper, diced small and patted dry

¼ scallions (white and green), thinly sliced

½ tsp cayenne pepper

¾ tsp salt

½ Tbs freshly cracked black pepper

2+ cups fresh bread crumbs

Olive oil and butter for sauteing

1 ½ cup tomato tartar sauce – see below

In a large deep sided saucepan, heat the butter over low heat until it stops foaming. Add the flour gradually and cook for 2 minutes, it is very dry, whisking continually. Add the milk ½ cup at a time, whisking constantly to get rid of the lumps. Simmer for 5 minutes, continuing to whisk until thick and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the lobster, peppers, scallions, cayenne, salt and pepper. Add 1 cup of bread crumbs, you will want this a little sticky, if too much, add a little more breadcrumb; add the milk mixture, and mix well. Cool to room temperature, shape into small 1 – 1 ½ inch balls and flatten slightly. The lobster cake should be about ½ inch thick. Coat the cakes with more breadcrumbs.

Heat butter and olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Cook the cakes until golden brown on both sides. Drain on a paper towel and serve hot with Tomato Tartar Sauce.

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Tomato Tartar Sauce

1 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise

1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp tomato paste – (I LOVE the tube tomato paste from Amore – it keeps for a VERY long time in the fridge once opened – Buy it you wont be disapointed)

2 Tbs minced onions

1 Tbs capers, rinsed, drained and chopped

¼ cup minced dill pickles, patted dry

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, lemon juice and tomato paste. Add the onion, capers, pickles, and salt and pepper, and whisk until blended

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Great Tip

an easy way to get the sweet lobster meat out of the legs is to use a rolling pin – though as a child we used to just suck the meat out – that was my first taste/joy of eating lobster.