Category Archives: Sandwiches

Sandwich recipes

Uitsmijter – Uniquely Dutch

It is Friday lunchtime, nearly weekend! I fancy something filling to eat so I decide to have an Uitsmijter. It is a Dutch dish similar to the German Strammer Max, but transformed with Dutch ingredients. There are many variations (see below) but traditionally it involves:  Dutch brood (bread), kaas (cheese), ham (ham), and spiegelei (fried egg). It’s not only filling but damn tasty too 🙂

Uitsmijter - from www.zelfmaakrecepten.nl

Uitsmijter – from http://www.zelfmaakrecepten.nl

The Uitsmijter. The name makes you take note, the Dutch word evokes images of strength, courage and forceful endings. According to the Dutch Table blog the word “uitsmijten” itself means to “forcefully throw out” so “uitsmijter” means “out-thrower”, i.e. somebody who throws something or somebody else out, and does indeed also refer to a bouncer at a nightclub. However, in the food world, it’s the name of a scrumptious open-faced sandwich with meat (although optional), cheese and fried eggs. It’s not a little snack or for those on a diet or with small appetites. The Uitsmijter addresses your hunger, your craving. It’s good…

In the south of Holland, where I was born, Uitsmijters would be served as the last “one for the road before we get thrown out” meal after a night of partying. Hence its name. Another theory says that, because the dish is made so quickly (all you have to do is fry the egg and make the sandwich), it is basically thrown out of the kitchen or the pan. It can be served quickly!

An Uitsmijter is often eaten for breakfast, brunch or lunch in Holland. Being a full meal, the sandwich is eaten with a knife and fork. Because you can decide what bread, what cheese, what meat etc. to use and how you like your eggs fried (most restaurants give this option too) it really is a win-win dish.

Usually ham is the meat used (I like a good smoked ham), but Uitsmijters can also be served with roast beef, bacon, salami, turkey, chicken, bacon or  just with cheese and perhaps a tomato. Other things which you can add are pickles, pesto, mustard, mushrooms, bacon bits sprinkled on top…

The eggs are usually served sunny-side up, with the eggs still runny. If you order an Uitsmijter for breakfast in Holland it is served as it comes. As a lunch item, it usually comes accompanied with a small salad and frieten (chips) on the side or some greens to spruce it up in a more fancy restaurant.

Uitsmijter Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread (toasted if desired)
  • Butter (GOOD quality REAL butter)
  • 2 slices of smoked ham (or whatever you fancy)
  • 4 slices of cheese (decent cheese such as Gouda, Edam, Cheddar, Emmental and so on. No processed cheese please)
  • 1 sliced tomato
  • 2 eggs

Method:

Plate up two slices of bread (or toast) and butter them. Put the slices of ham on the bread, then the tomato, then the cheese. Add butter to a frying pan or skillet and fry the eggs. Some fry their ham (or bacon) too – entirely your choice. When the eggs are done to your liking slide them on top of the cheese on the sandwich, add some salt and pepper and dig in!

Let me know how you like yours!

Uitsmijter - from www.zelfmaakrecepten.nl

Uitsmijter – from http://www.zelfmaakrecepten.nl

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Filed under Cheese, Dutch recipes, Holland life, Sandwiches, Snacks, Translation titbits

Bit pissed off – need a FUN blog to cheer me up – BURGERS & BOOZE

I have had a hard few weeks (sorry I don’t normally start a blog with “I” but you will hopefully get it as you read on).

So, I’m going to get the moaning out of the way first and get onto the stuff that inspires me….food…yeppers and alcohol; double (shot) yeppers.

Ah it’s nothing drastic, it’s just frustration at living in a country where things are done however and whenever one pleases. An example, we were at a reputable Colombo lunch restaurant recently and ordered two beers which arrived promptly. My other half asked for an ashtray (I quit 6 months and 2 days ago 🙂 – funny how one remembers inane dates like that and then forgets your best mates birthday). The ashtray arrived when our drinks were finished….errrr kind of defeats the object. He was too shy to light up and put the cigarette out on the floor because it’s a rather posh place. We declined the lunch menu because of that and went to the Colombo City Hotel which has the best chicken sandwiches at around 70 rups. No booze but plenty of other establishments around.

Another point of irritation – you get a tuk tuk from the World Trade Centre to the Galle/Matara bus stand – most ask for 250 rups. Find a metered tuk tuk and it will cost you 100, and usually the drivers are much friendlier too.

ANYWAY – I was going to complain about the new banking regulations about receiving foreign currency into a rupee account but I feel better at having vented the above so I’ll give that a miss.

So let me lighten up and share with you one of the BESTESTS comfort foods ever:

Indian Chicken Burger

Indian Chicken Burger

This is quite possibly my favourite burger in the world (although I am partial to Burger King but don’t go spreading that around). McDonalds are bearable only when enormously hungover and KFC zingers used to be ok until they started under cooking the meat and it was actually still bloody – yuk. Don’t let that put you off. This is a stunner.

Makes 4:

Ingredients:

  • 400g chicken mince (breast can be difficult to manage when minced so ask for a mix)
  • 2 or 3 ginger pieces, very finely chopped
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 2 onions – one finely chopped for the burgers, one sliced into rings (for serving)
  • as much coriander as you can stomach 😉 I use one large handful finely chopped including the stalks
  • Big tbsp of salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • bread crumbs – fresh – about 1 slice
  • 1 or 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp lime or lemon juice
  • 1/2 green chilies (optional), chopped & de-seeded
  • vegetable oil

Method:

  • Mix everything together except onion rings, rest the mix for 10/15 minutes in the fridge.
  • Mould burgers into 4 patties
  • Fry slowly in vegetable oil until slightly browned and fully cooked.

To serve:

  • Mix some mayonnaise with fresh coriander leaves, lemon, salt and pepper.
  • Toast burger buns if wished
  • Spread with mayo mix, sliced tomatoes, onions and lettuce, top with hot burger and add more mayo mix or ketchup if preferred. Or even some cheese – nom nom.

DELISH!

Oh and as for the drink. Beer (lager works best for me). If you’re not a fan…a nice glass of white would do the trick too….but no Chardonnay please 🙂 – that would be an insult to the dish. A softer Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio would work much better. If you are a red drinker you can’t go wrong with a good Merlot or Cabernet (possibly better). May be a touch heavy but it will offset the coriander. If you’re into the harder stuff…I’m afraid only a Margerita or Caipirinha would be acceptable.

 

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Filed under Drinks, Food photography, Meat recipes, Sandwiches

Happy New Year Folks – Short but Sweet Blog about Eggs

Hello all,

One of my New Years resolutions is to blog more so expect ramblings and recipes, some Dutch titbits and hopefully some useful information too.

I started the 31st of December very well, healthy dinner and in bed by 10 pm ignoring the party noises from everywhere in town. It went downhill on the 1st of January when I spent a whole day drinking with old and new friends culminating in the mother of all hangovers on the 2nd (and other embarrassing incidents which we will not go into here). Oh well….much fun was had.

Then yesterday, completely sober I broke a toe walking into a concrete table – pain….silly enormous tear-inducing pain for such a small bone so I’m trying to detox but failing somewhat (ibuprofen and beer does numb pain extremely well in case you are wondering).

The answer to a hangover in case you are not the ibuprofen & beer type is a perfect mix of carbs and protein and I have just the thing 🙂

Squidgy Cheesy Healthy Scrambled Eggs on Toast

There is no set ingredients list for this except for fresh slices of bread, eggs and cheese (preferably a medium or mature Cheddar or Gouda – cheeses like Mozzarella or Brie will not work…you need some bite). Not forgetting a lot of butter!

It’s very simple – toast your bread, spread butter on it (no margarine when hungover).

Cook your eggs in a frying pan with tons more butter, salt and pepper (milk is not needed…optional – just cook the eggs for less time if not using and keep stirring with a wooden spoon) and add grated cheese towards the end until you have a gorgeous mix of cheesy eggs and when ready, pile the very cheesy egg mixture onto the toasted bread slices and dig in.. Simplicity but effective.

You can of course become more adventurous and fry onions, tomatoes, chilis and all sorts of other ingredients first before adding the eggs but I couldn’t be bothered on the 2nd. Sometimes I can and add prawns too or tuna and it turns into a baked potato topping for dinner.

But simple is good and nutritious.

NOM

Cheesy Scrambled Eggs

Cheesy Scrambled Eggs

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Filed under Cheese, Sandwiches, Vegetarian recipes

Cucumber Sandwiches – that old English High Tea Tradition

Whilst visiting Ceylon Tea Trails two weeks ago I was presented with the most delicious cucumber sandwich at high tea. Whilst not a great lover of “High Tea’s”; one because it interferes with my sunset beer and spicy salty nibbles, two because I frankly have not had that many due to the fact that I am not from English aristocracy or sufficiently affluent to be able to afford eating out at any other time other than lunch or dinner (you don’t seriously expect me to slave away in the kitchen all day just to prepare a dainty sandwich and a home-made scone to accompany a cup of tea??).

Well almost not! The cucumber sandwich at Tea Trails was so good that I have tried to recreate it at home today. Before I give you the recipe, here’s a little history of the little dainty sandwiches that accompany a high tea…

It is the sandwich that defines the English high (or afternoon) tea: its presentation and filling; its size and shape and slenderness; whether it is with or without the crust. Tea sandwiches should know their place—that is, before the scones and well before the cakes.

 It was in 1840 that Anna Maria Stanhope, seventh Duchess of Bedford, hit upon the idea of afternoon tea, a light repast designed to bridge the lengthy gap between lunch and dinner, which in fashionable circles wasn’t taken until 8pm. The sandwiches served at teatime are just filling enough to inhibit overindulgence in the scones, cream and jam, and iced ginger and chocolate cakes.
Afternoon tea at Ceylon Tea Trails complete with cucumber sandwiches

Afternoon tea at Ceylon Tea Trails complete with cucumber sandwiches

The cucumber sandwich may well be the apotheosis of the English teatime snack, immortalized in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest when Lady Bracknell arrives for tea, only to find that her nephew, Algernon, has scoffed the lot. Consequently he is forced to tell a little lie, with his butler’s connivance: namely that “there were no cucumbers in the market this morning… not even for ready money”.

Many varieties of the cucumber sandwich exist nowadays, the Americans have added cream cheese, mint, dill and even ground raw garlic or onion powder (which to me sounds tasty but defeats the object of having a light teatime snack) etc., the Indians (particularly during cricket matches) sometimes add green chutney and slices of boiled potato. The original, however, was just very finely sliced bread with butter and skinned slices of cucumber sprinkled with salt, pepper and a dash of lemon juice.

Cucumber sandwich

Cucumber sandwich

I didn’t want anything too fancy so I took the basics and added some different but subtle touches:

Ingredients (serves two or three):

  • 1/4 cup very finely chopped chives (in Sri Lanka I used the leaves of the tiny red shallots). You could use fresh mint here too but I couldn’t find it in Sri Lanka
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (I used Hellmans…it has to be thick mayo not runny)
  • 6 slices of bread (sandwich bread is good because it is dense…white or brown, although I would prefer brown – I only had white today)
  • 3-inch length of cucumber
  • salt
  • pepper
  • lemon (or lime) juice to taste

Method:

  • Firstly mix the mayonnaise with the chives (and/or mint) and some salt and pepper (and lemon juice if desired but take not to make it too runny) in a bowl. Chill.
  • Warm the butter to room temperature so it is spreadable.
  • Slice the cucumber as finely as you like it. Skin it first if desired.
  • Spread the butter on 3 slices of bread and ensure there are no holes for the cucumber juices to make the bread soggy.
  • Arrange the sliced cucumber on the buttered slices and dust with salt, pepper & lemon (lime) juice.
  • Spread the remaining 3 slices liberally with the chilled mayo mixture
  • Put these slices onto the bread slices with cucumber, gently push down and slice into slim fingers or little triangles (take the crust off if desired for a more authentic effect)

Brew a cup of tea and enjoy!

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Filed under Sandwiches, Snacks, Sri Lankan life, Vegetarian recipes

The Enchanting Tea Country – Ceylon Tea Trails 3 Hospitality

This is the third and final instalment of my trip memoirs to the Sri Lankan Tea Country and staying at Ceylon Tea Trails . The other two blog articles can be read here and here, where I talked about winning the Sri Lanka in Style prize, the wonderful Castlereagh Lake area (near Hatton) where we stayed and the breathtaking scenery and flora. Now I’ll be waxing lyrical about the beautiful Castlereagh Bungalow property, the exceptional hospitality and how well we were looked after from the minute we arrived to the second we (sadly) departed.

We were just time for that great tradition “high tea” on our arrival and that certainly did not disappoint…with delicately scented Orange Pekoe tea (adding milk is a crime! We were however only to find this out on our second day!), chocolate cake slices, mini lemon meringue pies, mini carrot cake pieces, delectable home-made scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam to mini cucumber, egg & cress and cheese salad sandwiches…we didn’t even have time to explore our home for the next 2 days before tucking in!

High tea at Ceylon Tea Trails

High tea at Ceylon Tea Trails

After being rejuvenated it was time to explore the bungalow.  Dating back around 90 years, the lodge, or bungalow, nestles in a leafy forest glen, with the appearance of a charming single-storey colonial house. It wasn’t grand, as that would look out-of-place; it was more quaint and cabin-chic; wooden panel floors, with cream walls, a green corrugated iron roof and many picture-frame windows, all wide-open, with a ‘country-chintz’ style of décor (as Luxury Explorer so brilliantly puts it).

From the main (road side) you enter a welcoming reception room which doubles as reading room with an open hearth.

Castereagh Bungalow Reception & Reading Room

Castereagh Bungalow Reception & Reading Room

Lovely antiques and decor in the Castlereagh Bungalow Reception room

Lovely antiques and decor in the Castlereagh Bungalow Reception room

The individual guestrooms are to the right and the sitting room and  dining rooms are to the left which both lead to the veranda which overlooks the pool which in turn looks out over Castlereagh Lake.

The sitting room is extremely homely and it is easy to spend a lot of time here reading your favourite book and drinking your preferred pre-dinner (or post-dinner 😉 ) drink…

Castlereagh Bungalow Sitting Room

Castlereagh Bungalow Sitting Room

Serve yourself to drinks; a pre-dinner aperitif or a brandy to heat you up over a rainy night playing boardgames in front of the fire

Serve yourself to drinks; a pre-dinner aperitif or a brandy to heat you up over a rainy night playing boardgames in front of the fire

The Castlereagh Bungalow has 5 guestrooms and although we were in the smallest (The Tate Room) it was still enormous. The bedroom boasts a four poster bed  which would accommodate two of the tallest North Europeans with ease. The bed had so many pillows and cushions I lost count before falling asleep. There is also a huge wardrobe and a large writing desk overlooking the lake, should you feel inclined to do any work at all and a comfortable chaise longue to generally do very little in.

The best bit, however, was the bathroom…

Tate Room bathroom - Castlereagh Bungalow

Tate Room bathroom – Castlereagh Bungalow

It’s the little touches that makes this place so special…

Complimentary Tea Toiletries

Complimentary Tea Toiletries

Once cleaned up after the dusty train journey it was time for drinks and dinner. Both were served on the veranda because of the warm weather! It was still cooler than down in the Low South West and much more bearable. We did not need jackets nor the fires lighting (which I privately thought was a shame!) .

Private table set at dusk

Private table set at dusk

Just what the doctor ordered

Just what the doctor ordered

Although fairly informal (thankfully with no dress code), the first dinner was a grand five course affair:

Cream of Asparagus soup with truffle oil (with a selection of home-made brown and white crusty rolls)

Apricot and rocket salad with mandarin pieces and a blue cheese and walnut dressing (this was beautiful!!)

Second course

Second course

Then we had deep-fried cheese (I think Brie or Camembert) with a berry coulis/compot type-thing…excuse me for not remembering exactly – I was enjoying myself too much!!

For mains – a fillet steak (mine medium rare) in a red wine & taragon jus with roasted vegetables and potatoes dauphinoise…BY FAR the best steak  I have ever  had in Sri Lanka!

Main course

Main course

All I remember  is that the desert was more-ish (something with chocolate, fruits & tea!) – I was so full by this point I couldn’t eat another thing. Talk about being spoilt. There’s me looking like the cat who got the cream:

Happy and stuffed

Happy and stuffed

With such an enormous amount of food in me and exhausted from travelling there was nothing more to do than retire to the most comfortable bed complete with Egyptian cotton sheets for the night (ah bliss).

Breakfast the next day was equally scrumptious. Gallons of tea followed by a fruit plate so well-presented  you almost felt ashamed to eat it.

Tropical Fruit Plate

Tropical Fruit Plate

This was followed by a full English, which I could not finish (I would like to see somebody try!!):

  • 2 eggs cooked how you like
  • 3 rashers of bacon (cooked crispy…they ask)
  • 1 huge herby sausage (I gave half mine away…it was massive!)
  • 1 crispy potato cake with herbs

AND all this came with croissants, rolls (white, brown, crusty & soft and some sweet pastries)

Obviously if you can only stomach cornflakes in the morning they will cater for you too 😉

You need some exercise after that  so we went for a long walk only to find that on our return they had laid out the tables for lunch (!!)

Lunch table

Lunch table

With a glass of crisp Pinot Grigio on offer and three courses:

  • Cauliflower and cheese cream soup
  • Grilled garlic jumbo prawns with a salad of iceberg, rocket and tri-coloured peppers
  • Apple crumble with home-made vanilla ice cream

Who was I to refuse??

I am quite embarrassed to admit that our high tea on that day was served at 5.30pm instead of 4pm and our Sri Lankan Rice & Curry at 9.30pm instead of 8.30pm 😀

More food??

More food??

All this was accommodated with a smile – hospitality at it’s best! I WILL return.

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Filed under Salad recipes, Sandwiches, Sri Lankan life

BLT – the best thing since……

In honour of today being the 250th birthday of the sandwich I will give you a quick recipe for my favourite (well one of my favorites that doesn’t involve cheese). The BLT – Bacon, lettuce and tomato. This is my simple version – simple is good and it’s tasty.

Ingredients for two people (one sandwich per person):

  • One pack of smoked back bacon (available in Sri Lanka too 🙂 )
  • Bread (preferably fresh from the bakery and still warm…if it’s older toasted works well too, sliced)
  • 2 or 3 plum tomatoes
  • Lettuce (go for gem or iceberg lettuce if you like it crunchy, in Sri Lanka – pick the inner leaves of lettuce)
  • MAYONNAISE (I say go for your favourite, mine is Hellmans….if it’s not available try making your own. I will blog a recipe soon)
  • GOOD quality butter (yes on top of the mayo – it’s all about taste here, not diets)
  • Some good quality vegetable oil or butter to fry (just a bit – good bacon gives off plenty of it’s own fat)
  • Salt and pepper.

Method:

Heat your preferred oil or butter in a large frying pan until the oil is simmering or the butter is foaming, add the bacon. Fry until slightly browned and turn.

In the meantime (or before if you’re no good at multi-tasking 😉 ) – slice the tomatoes and chop the lettuce very finely.  For each person butter one slice of bread  and keep it on a plate, spread the other slice with mayonnaise (so you now have two slices facing upwards per person, one buttered, one mayo’ed). Get back to your bacon.

Now here is where it all depends on personal preference…I like mine crispy…if you don’t then take it of the heat when it looks done. If you’re like me and like it crispy I recommend another two turns in the pan…pressing down all the fatty rind bits (take care not to get the fat spitting on you). When you’re happy place the bacon on the buttered piece of bread (so the butter melts yummy), put a pinch of pepper on if you dare, throw on the lettuce leaves and then layer the tomato on top with a sprinkle of salt and more pepper (if you like a kick like me)…..finally put the mayo’ed slice of on top and enjoy.

Don’t hold back with this recipe – it’s not for the dieters amongst us….I sometimes dribble the fat from from the pan into the sandwich for extra measure…bliss. I’ll put my own photo up soon..but here is a taster (I borrowed this one off the web)….

BLT

BLT


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Filed under Meat recipes, Sandwiches

Happy Birthday Sandwich!!

I just have to share this article on the BBC news today with you today….have sandwiches really only been in existence for 250 years? Invented by the Earl of Sandwich because he couldn’t be bothered to leave his game of cards for his normal formal meal??

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-18010424

Perhaps only in the upper classes at that time…

Croque Monsieur...dribbling yet?

Croque Monsieur…dribbling yet?

I’m finding this hard to believe because bread has been around forever….I’m intrigued and will do more research on this 😉

[found these links today (14th May 2012): http://www.loveurban.com/blog/urbanbeach/?tag=great-british-sandwich

http://www.lovesarnies.com/yum/ ]

*********************************************************************

One of my favourite things in the world is the sandwich, brown or white bread, fresh bread or toasted, buns, baguettes, ciabatta, pitta – can a hamburger be classed as a sandwich?? Your thoughts are welcome….meanwhile my thoughts are wandering….roast beef and English mustard (or horseradish), creamy not-quite hardboiled egg mayo with fresh mustard cress, light and refreshing cucumber, turkey and tangy cranberry, the classic BLT, roast chicken with mayo and rocket, a croque monsieur (or madame), tuna salad, prawn mayonnaise with iceberg lettuce, smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels, mature cheddar (or gouda) cheese with cherry tomatoes or onion chutney, chilli chicken with roast peppers, crisp little gem lettuce and the slighest hint of lime, falafel with garlic sauce on toasted pitta or something more exotic….ok….you get the point!

What’s your favourite?

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