Caesar Salad Club Sandwiches

…I opened my fridge to take out eggs to boil, and I saw caesar salad dressing and I thought to myself, Fatima, if you can somehow make your club sandwich taste like your all time favourite salad, you’re a genius. So I did.

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Party Salads

Yes. I ate my heart out in lahore instead of posting recipes like I said I would. And yes, I miss it like crazy. The dinners, the cafe’s, the family, friends, and FOOD. That’s why I’ve taken it upon myself to make myself feel better with food. Who says you need to have a party to make party food? No one. So here are a couple of recipes that are great for a party, of course, and great just for you too.

Smokey Slaw

A lot of people don’t realize how easy it is to make cole slaw. I use 4 ingredients. That’s it. And it tastes delicious every time.

2 cups finely sliced cabbage

1 1/2 cups grated carrots

1/2 cup mayo

3-4 T bbq sauce

You literally mix everything together. This is the basic recipe. You can add walnuts, seasoning or raisins if you want, but the bbq sauce takes care of adding flavor.

Pasta Salad

This one is my favorite. I sometimes make it on it’s own and have it for lunch. It’s tastes fresh and you can add any vegetables you like.

1 cup uncooked pasta shells, boiled in salted water

1/2 cup cooked peas

1/2 cup chopped carrots

2 boiled potatoes, chopped

1/2 cup roasted peanuts

salt and black pepper to taste

1/2-3/4 cup mayo

1 t mustard

Cool the boiled pasta shells and potatoes. If you want the carrots to be soft add them to the potatoes when they’re almost done. I use frozen peas so I usually add the peas and carrots to the boiling water when there’s about 3-5 minutes left of coking time. In a large bowl mix the mayo and mustard. Then add the pasta and the vegetables. Mix and season to taste. Add the roasted peanuts just before serving. It’s actually better to sprinkle the peanuts on top. If the salad looks like it could use more mayo, add one T, or add some cream. Serve chilled. No one likes a warm pasta salad!

And that’s all there is to it.

Chicken Steak Sandwiches

I don’t have a picture of these sandwiches, but, I mean, they’re sandwiches, so i’m sure you can imagine what they’ll look like.

Now there’s a little story behind these sandwiches of mine, which takes place in the best city in the world: Lahore, a city i’ve been missing a lot lately. One of my friend’s mom owns this really cute cafe/restaurant that’s near my house, and the sandwiches there are to die for. The people that answered the phone would actually laugh whenever I placed an order for home delivery, because that was like every other day. So anyways, they had these grilled chicken sandwiches that I would have at least twice a week, and now that I can’t order them anymore, I have to make them. They don’t turn out exactly the same, but they’ll do till i’m back in Lahore.

Here’s what you’ll need for 4 sandwiches:

8 slices of bread (don’t use sandwich bread), toasted

2 chicken fillets, butterflied

3/4 tsp black pepper

pinch of salt

2 Tblspn soy sauce

1 tsp mustard

1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

tomatoes + cucumbers, sliced

Mayo

Start off by placing the 4 fillets of chicken(once you butterfly the two, you’ll get 4) between some clear plastic wrap and pound them until they’re thinner and about the size of your bread. Then marinate them in the black pepper, salt, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, mustard, and red pepper. You do’t have to marinate the chicken for a long time. I recommend about 10-15 minutes, or the time it takes you to slice the veggies and toast the bread. Then a pan heat 2 Tblspn oil and cook the chicken fillets on each side for about 4 minutes. You’ll have pounded them into thin fillets so they’ll cook up very quickly. Don’t over cook them because then the chicken will become dry and stringy, and that’s horrible for the sandwich. Then it’s as simple as spread mayo on the bread and layering the chicken and veggies between them. This sandwich is ,of course, best when served hot. If, for any reason, you have to make them a couple of hours before, you can just make the sandwiches with everything except the veggies.  Then when it’s time to serve them you can heat them up in a toaster oven or oven(no microwave. the bread will get soggy) and then just add in the veggies or let the people you’re serving add them themselves, kind of like a fajita dinner!

These can be served for lunch, with tea, or even as dinner, with some french fries and a salad on the side!

A tip from me to you: don’t go easy on the mayo.

At the cafe they actually served them as club sandwiches, with two layers between three slices of bread, which you can do as well, but i’m trying to cut the carbs.

Crispy Chicken Burgers (Zinger Burgers)

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I’m a huge fried chicken fan and a strong believer that everything fried tastes better. Add in some bread crumbs and fries and i’m the happiest person alive. But there are levels of fried chicken, and the classic KFC crispy burger is right on top. It’s so hard to find a recipe that doesn’t scare you away. A few weeks ago I started searching for recipes and came across some that required you to boil chicken in really salty water for like hours, and then two more pages of instructions that followed. That’s just wrong. When you want fried chicken, you should be able to make it and eat it without having to take a nap in between. So I tried a few recipes. I even tried one that’s called “baked fried chicken”, which is very misleading. When you bake chicken, it does not taste like it’s fried, unless you slather it in oil before popping it in the oven, which doesn’t save too many calories, so for the sake of fried chicken, just fry it.

So let’s get to the recipe, which takes 20 minutes to prepare tops, even if you’re clumsy in the kitchen and end up dropping things on the counter more than into the pan.

Here’s what you’ll need for 4 burgers. I’ve split the recipe into 3 sections, and each section goes into a separate bowl.

Section 1 (Mix everything in a bowl. The marinade is supposed to be thick)

2 boneless chicken fillets, cut in half (butterflied-google butterfly chicken fillet)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp crushed red peppers

1 Tbspn Worcestershire sauce

Section 2 (Mix in a bowl)

1 egg, beaten

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp flour

1 Tbspn cornflour

Section (Mix in a wide plate)

2 Tbspns rice flour

1 cup crushed corn flakes (make sure they’re not sweetened!)

1 cup bread crumbs

*Burger buns, lettuce, mayo as required*

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After you have all three sections ready to go, get some oil on the heat for deep frying.

Dip the marinated chicken into the egg and flour mixture, then into the bread crumb mixture. If you want a really thick coating you can dip the chicken again into the egg, then the bread crumbs. I wouldn’t advise repeating the coating for a third time. Then just fry them till they’re golden brown. Since it’s boneless chicken it cooks relatively quick but keep the oil on a medium flame so it cooks through. Assembling the burger is up to you. You can add cheese, tomatoes, bbq sauce etc. I just topped the bun with some mayo and lettuce. Don’t hate the pictures I put up. It’s a slightly messy recipe so I took quick cell phone pictures!

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*If you don’t have rice flour you can just add a mixture of flour and cornflour. The reason I used rice flour is because I feel it gives a slightly different flavor and texture once it’s fried with the crumbs and corn flakes, and it absorbs less oil (i think). Also, If you don’t have worcestershire sauce i’d go with bbq sauce. It would give a really nice and smokey flavor to the chicken.