Category Archives: Sandwiches

Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken (Ga Kho)

Being a military wife comes with certain…perks..haha I guess you could call them. It’s hard having the Mr. away for months at a time, but it’s nice to have my alone time, and we both find that it keeps the relationship fresh. Basically, we rarely get sick of each other and when we start to fight, it’s usually time for another sail! The part that I find hard when he comes home though, is figuring out what to make for dinner every night. My father in law visited us recently from Vancouver, and it was nice to have a piece of home here with us for a little while; but having two hungry men at home put a bit more pressure on me in the kitchen. I decided to pull out my signature dish (as my husband calls it), Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken; this dish is absolutely Ah-May-Zing! I got it from a blog years ago but can’t seem to track down the link, if anyone can help identify the original source that would be awesome! The recipe doesn’t call for any veggies to be added, and I’ve found that when I do, I don’t have a lot of sauce to coat my rice or noodles that I serve up with the dish; so, what I do is sauté them separately and then add them to the noodles/rice and pour the chicken and sauce over top, or just roast them seperately and serve them on the side. I have used shiitake mushrooms in the chicken (for the last 5 minutes of cooking) and it tastes fantastic. This time, I served it up with roasted market fresh purple carrots and brussel sprouts, yum!

Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken (Ga Kho)

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp canola oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled, and cut into matchsticks
2 garlic cloves, sliced
3 lb. bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed, generously seasoned with kosher salt
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried red chile flakes
3 green onions, thinly sliced

Heat a large straight-sided skillet over medium heat and add sugar. Cook until the sugar starts to melt and turn brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, swirling the pan frequently, until the caramel is bubbling and turns reddish-brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and, very carefully, pour in water. Please be sure to turn your face aside while you do this so you do not get splattered. If the caramel hardens, set the pan over medium-high heat. Stir until the caramel dissolves, then pour it into a heat-proof measuring cup or bowl.

Sugar beginning to melt

Caramel

With hot water (so the leftover caramel bits don’t seize up on the bottom of the pan), clean and dry the pan. Place the skillet over medium-high heat and heat canola oil in the skillet. Add onion and ginger. Cook for 1 minute. Add sliced garlic and cook for an additional minute. With a slotted spoon, remove the onion, ginger, and garlic from the oil and reserve in a bowl.

To the skillet, add chicken thighs. Cook until the chicken no longer looks raw on the outside, about 2 minutes per side. Yes, the pan will be crowded! Add the reserved caramel sauce, fish sauce, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, black pepper, and chili flakes. Mix to coat the chicken. Reduce the heat to medium and cook (the mixture will be simmering briskly) until the chicken is cooked through, turning the chicken every 2 to 3 minutes, about 20 minutes. Stir in the reserved onions, ginger, and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 additional minutes. Serve over chow mein noodles or rice. Enjoy!

Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken

Purple carrots from the market

Finished product


Slow Cooker Pulled Beef Sandwiches

I am so fortunate to have been blessed with some amazing friends, seriously, I consider myself to be a very lucky lady. I’m even more lucky to have friends who can cook, or in this case, a friend’s awesome boyfriend that can cook! I’ll refer to them as Mr. D and Ms. N, they had me over before I moved out East, and Mr. D made these amazing Pulled Beef sandwiches and Ms. N made this intensely seductive chocolate cake (which I’ll post soon), ever since then, me and mine have been making these at least once a month. The best part? You put the meat in the slow cooker and pull it out (literally and figuratively) in the evening when you’re ready for dinner! You MUST try this; it will blow your mind.

Slow Cooker Pulled Beef

1 Tbsp Canola oil or olive oil for searing
1 eye of round or top round beef roast
2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 ½ cups beef stock
1 ½ cups Barbecue sauce
2 Tbsp Brown sugar
2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp Grainy mustard
A few cloves of garlic, crushed
Hot pepper flakes to taste
1 tsp pepper

  1. Heat oil in frying pan over medium-high heat, sear both sides of beef
  2. Add all remaining ingredients into the slow cooker
  3. Add beef
  4. Cook for 8-10 hours on low

That’s it! We serve it on hamburger buns with mixed greens, mayo, cheese and Dijon mustard (yes, in the photo above I jammed some plain ruffled potato chips in there as well, heh). Sometimes I just put it on top of a salad or in my eggs in the morning. Delish.


An Afternoon Quickie

Since I eat so much, and so often, people are always asking me what my favourite food is. That’s kind of hard to say sometimes, especially when there are so many amazing cuisines out there. It’s like asking someone “what’s your all time favourite book?” or “What’s your favourite sexual position?” Really? I think the all-encompassing answer for all three would be something like “eating sushi, while doing it doggy style and having my lover recite Edgar Alan Poe” HAHAHAHA, could you imagine??? Truth be told, I love all food, all the time, but I have a serious weakness for a really fantastic sandwich. Ohmygod. I’m drooling right now, just thinking about one. The other day I was rummaging around looking for something to take for lunch for my night shift at work, and as per usual, there was nothing. I headed off to the grocery store and picked up the following:

Spring mix
Salami
Prosciutto
Weight Watchers pita bread (a lot less carbs in these, less bulky, more room for fillings!)
Brie Cheese
Marinated olives
Mint Jalapeno Jelly

We have a small George Foreman Grill at work; can I just say one thing? That small item alone and the Magic Bullet have changed my life forever, does anyone else feel this way? I can grill ANYTHING with no fat, and then puree it into oblivion in 5 seconds! Sorry, I get sidetracked very easily, back to the food. With the grill, I made a pita sandwich at work, using basically everything I listed above, I just separated what tasted best together and made each half of the pita something a little different. The very next day, I had to have another one for lunch, so I did!

This one is the one I made at home, something simple for a great lunch, a small salad drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and a pita filled with amazing goodness.

Lunch

1 Pita, cut in half
A few slices of apple
4 slices of brie cheese, or more, if you please
Any spread of your choice; for the one above I used Jalapeno mint jelly
Prosciutto, or any protein of your choice; this would also taste so great with a grilled piece of tofu
A handful of any greens, I used spring mix for the variety

Put it on the grill, if you have one (I don’t have one at home, so I used a frying pan) and grill until the outside of the pita is a crispy golden brown, and the cheese inside has melted

This pita is so easy to make your own, try it with salami, Dijon mustard and olives; or with brie, apple, and roasted red peppers. Try out different flavours, don’t be afraid to experiment, and don’t think you have to buy super expensive ingredients either. I splurge on my cheeses and meats, but everything else I usually buy the generic store brand, it’s usually the exact same, just cheaper because it doesn’t have a fancy label on it; case and point, my balsamic is PC and my olive oil is Kirkland. You don’t have to break the bank to have a delicious meal, save that money for lingerie! Now THAT would make for an interesting love session, pita and sex….hmmmm 😉