The Yesterday-was-Thanksgiving sandwich

Welcome to gravy season!


Spatchcocked turkey from 2020 with a little bit of beer and a tiny Alice in the background.

Welcome to the week for giving thanks! Or at least it’s Thanksgiving week where I live. It’s time for Turkey and gravy and ham, bread rolls and all the side dishes and more gravy.

Today, I’m not writing about how to cook a turkey. I’m going to assume that you or someone else you are celebrating with already know how to do that. But, if you’ve never cooked a turkey before, here’s a turkey brining and cooking recipe that we’ve used many times from the Home Brew Chef.

What I want to do is show you the game plan I most often use to turn the year’s best leftovers into sandwiches.

The beer and Thanksgiving pairings

Before we jump into making leftover sandwiches, you should check out this fun infographic that my friend Em, from Pints and Panelsยฎ, created and illustrated. If you’re a beer drinker, hopefully this can give you some ideas about what beers to serve with your Turkey and gravy!

The soft dinner rolls

For my personal leftover sandwich plan, everything starts with the bread. The titular buns in which our ingredients are bounded.

I think bread and all the starchy parts of Thanksgiving are my favorite part of the meal. Just hand me a plate of all the starch and gravy and I could be happy. Maybe I wouldn’t be in the best of health, but I’d be happy until nap time. Anyway, check out these rolls.

New profile pic. What’s up?

Here’s a slideshow of the rising/proofing action that goes into soft roll production. It’s not magic, but sometimes it feels that way.

Below is my roll recipe. These aren’t just for Thanksgiving, bookmark the recipe for other holidays and gatherings or baking for slider sandwich making.

2 hours and 45 minutes
Soft dinner rolls

Need some super soft rolls for your next dinner party or holiday gathering? These squishy rolls also work great as buns for sliders or tiny sandwiches for ants.

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The three heroes of leftover Thanksgiving sandwiching

Now we need to talk about the other stars of a leftover Thanksgiving sandwich. You’re not just putting turkey and cheese on sliced white bread, are you? Don’t be basic when you have other leftovers at your disposal.

There are a lot of Thanksgiving sides that work well in a leftover sandwich. Mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and even green bean casserole could be used. But the following three Thanksgiving sides/accompaniments are my favorite for adding to sandwiches.

The cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce might be one of the most underrated sandwich ingredients. I think almost any savory sandwich could be updated with a spoonful and a spread of a tart and tangy sauce made from cranberries.

Cranberry sauce and ham or turkey is fantastic, and you should be making this recipe year round for sandwiching. Or just buy it from the can. But this recipe has better flavor and texture than the canned stuff.

Recipe Card
20 minutes
Cranberry sauce

Adding tartness and sweet elements to a regular turkey or ham sandwich can be life changing. Cranberry sauce is a staple at many Thanksgiving tables, but really, it's something we should have in our fridge all year round.

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It’s Grrrr-aavy!

There was a long time that I neglected to make homemade turkey gravy at Thanksgiving. I knew that my wife and I would be juggling the Turkey cooking time alongside all the other side dishes, and I figured gravy would be an extra distraction that would take a lot of time. So, we’d buy a jar of gravy and that was one less thing we had to worry about.

I was wrong. Gravy is easy to make!

You basically need an equal amount of fat and flour to make a paste and then you add stock/liquid which brings the liquidity that the butter and flour paste will thicken. You can easily mess up gravy by not stirring it and leaving it lumpy, but if you just pay it a little bit of attention, it’s easy make consistent, tasty gravy.

Even if you used up all of your gravy on Thanksgiving Day and there is none leftover, you should be able to grab the three ingredients you need and within 15 or 20 minutes have a suitable gravy to help lubricate your sandwich moistmaker (did I just type that?).

Recipe Card
15 minutes
Turkey gravy

Gravy is a science, but not difficult science like college science. It's easy science, like middle school science. In most cases, gravy is an equal amount of fat and flour and then you add the liquid.

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Turkey dressing or stuffing

Searing off a sandwich sized patty of dressing.

My family always makes dressing at Thanksgiving and Christmas, not stuffing. But the base ingredients of any stuffing and dressing are similar.

Whether you made stuffing or dressing for your holiday meal, you can turn it into a sandwich layer very easily. When the dressing is cold or at least room temperature, smash and shape a portion into a patty and then fry the patty in a skillet with just a tiny bit of oil. If your skillet is large enough you can also use it to warm the other ingredients for your sandwich at the same time.

Searing your dressing or stuffing in a pan is not just to heat it up, the secondary point is to add crispness which will add more texture to your final sandwich.

This is the dressing recipe that my Mom gave me that my wife and I have scaled down to be a smaller batch.

Recipe Card
1 hour
Turkey dressing

Dressing or Stuffing? The way I think it works is that dressing is typically more compact in a pan than stuffing is. I grew up with dressing that was moist, but still baked in a pan like a casserole.

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You can also add your stuffing/dressing to a searing hot waffle iron to crisp up. But that’s another sandwich blog post on its own.

Assemble these sandwiches

Let’s gather what we can and make some leftover sandwiches!

  1. Grab two adjoining rolls to make a larger sandwich, but you can make small slider sized ones too.
  2. Slice and toast your rolls.
  3. Start your dressing/stuffing searing in a pan.
  4. Heat up your gravy and leftover turkey/ham/protein.
  5. Slather the cranberry sauce on one side of your rolls.
  6. Stack everything together in a coherent way between rolls, step back and enjoy.
I even spread some leftover mashed potatoes on the bottom of this sandwich. Just load up the leftovers.
Turkey, gravy, dressing and cranberry sauce.
The dressing on the bottom with a bit of gravy on top makes me really excited.
Leftover ham, garlic cheddar and cranberry sauce make a simple but very tasty combination.
Ham and cranberry sauce might be better than turkey and cranberry sauce for me.
We really should keep cranberry sauce in our fridge throughout the year.

Hopefully you have something to be thankful for this season. I’m thankful for the fact that people are taking the time to read the things I’m writing about sandwiches.

Here’s to more sandwiches and people to share them with!


Bounded by Buns gift guide 2021

Everyone likes gifts, but no one will know if you just buy something for yourself. ๐Ÿ˜Ž


I’ve compiled a few of my favorite, fairly inexpensive, kitchen items that you can buy for friends, family or yourself. I broke out the items into sections, but honestly a lot of them cross-over from one section to another. Everything is under $40 USD and a couple of items are in the single digit dollar price range, so there’s some stocking stuffers in here.

Give the list a scroll and see what I’m recommending. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments below if you have a kitchen tool that you love.

Gift sections


I own all the items I’m recommending here unless I write otherwise. So, I’ve tested everything. Also: the prices listed may change without notice. I’m offering prices so you have an idea/guess before clicking through to the product.
Note: all of these are affiliate links. This means if you buy something using my links, I will get some benefit.


Gifts for Sandwich Enthusiasts

The wrapping papers

Wrapping your sandwiches is a good thing. I like wrapping sandwiches in paper or aluminum foil just like they do at take-out restaurants because wrapping a sandwich helps the sauces and spreads mix with the ingredients in a sandwich. If it’s a hot sandwich, wrapping also helps keep everything warm and melts your cheese.

Note: this is not for smoking drugs.

$8

Deli Squares – Wax Paper Sheets (12 x 12) (Pack of 100) (Plain)

The squeeze bottles

A set of squeeze bottles is crucial if you ever plan to make any sort of dressing or sauce for sandwiches. Salad dressings are perfectly stored in these containers, and you can even transfer your store bought mayo over if you want to squirt it instead of spread it.

$10

Pinnacle Mercantile Plastic Squeeze Condiment Bottles with Red Tip Cap 16-Ounce Set of 6 Wide Mouth

The sandwich baskets

If you or your friends throw sandwich focused parties, these are fun to have. They’re great for serving burgers or just hanging out with a few chicken tenders, french fries or bread sticks in a basket.

$13

New Star Foodservice 44140 Fast Food Baskets, 9 1/4-Inch x 6-Inch Oval, Set of 12, Red


Gifts for bakers

The flour shaker

I didn’t think a flour shaker would be very useful, but I bought this cheap one on a whim and kept it filled with a little flour and left it on the counter and it’s a mainstay now. If I’m dealing with some dough, I just reach over and can shake/dust some flour on my surface and be back in business. Buy one for your baker friends.

$4

Winware Stainless Steel Dredges 10-Ounce with Handle

The sheet pans

If you or your friends bake or cook, you probably already have at least one of these, but they can always use more or replace the aging ones they have.

As a baker, I often will have bread rolls proofing on a sheet pan, prior to baking, and I use a second sheet pan as a hat to protect the dough while it rests.

$25 (for two)

Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet, 2-Pack, Silver

The sheet pan racks

Every baker needs at least two baking racks. These are great for letting fried food rest as well as lifting cooking food up off the hot sheet pan and allowing air to circulate, crisping up cooking food as well.

Hot biscuits and bread can cool on racks so that air circulates, and we don’t end up with soggy bottoms.

$20 (for two)

Checkered Chef Cooling Rack – Set of 2 Stainless Steel, Oven Safe Grid Wire Racks for Cooking & Baking – 11 ยพ” x 17″

The bench scraper set

Every baker or biscuit maker needs a bench scraper set. Even non bakers would find a use for these for things like scooping up and transferring chopped veggies or scraping out the last of the sauce from a bowl.

The round one scrapes out bowls and the metal one is great for cutting dough or scraping up things off your cutting board. This is a fairly cheap gift for yourself, or a baker friend and it will be used. I own and use two.

$11

Chef’n Pastrio Set Bench Scraper and Chopper, Includes Stainless Steel and Plastic, Red

The scale

You can’t be a baker without a scale. I should stop writing now, but everyone knows that isn’t going to happen.

Just buy a scale if you don’t have one and if you know someone who is aspiring to bake, this is a no brainer. Also: start looking for gram only recipes if you own a good scale and want to bake. They’re way more consistent and your results will be a lot better.

$21

Escali Primo Lightweight Scale, Standard, Pumpkin Orange

The King Arthur Baking Companion

This is a great cookbook for a baker of any experience level. It was updated and re-released in 2021 so it’s likely that the person you might be shopping for has not purchased it yet. For 20-ish bucks, this would be a great gift of a very dense baking cookbook. Highly recommended.

$20

The King Arthur Baking Company’s All-Purpose Baker’s Companion

The Pyrex bowl set

These bowls are great for anything from making biscuit dough, to whisking up homemade mayonnaise and dressings.

The lids make it so you don’t have to waste plastic wrap if you need to proof dough or store something in the refrigerator. You can find cheaper Pyrex sets without lids, but I really like having them.

$40

Pyrex 8-piece 100 Years Glass Mixing Bowl Set (Limited Edition) – Assorted Colors Lids


Gifts for burger makers

The smash burger trowel

Yes, this is a tool for fixing up your house. You can buy these at the big box home improvement store.

BUT they’re perfect for smashing two burgers on a griddle. I use one every time I make smash burgers. Just don’t use it to spread grout in your bathroom and then bring it back to the kitchen. If you’re buying one of these for smashing burgers, leave it in the kitchen and hand wash it clean like your other kitchen tools.

$15

Goldblatt G03454 11-Inch Finishing Trowel Stainless Steel Wood Handle

The infrared thermometer

You need a thermometer. One thermometer is not enough.

I use this one pretty much whenever I’m cooking to tell how hot the cooking surface is. It’s become almost second nature for me to grab this thermometer and double check things.

Unless you’re a professional cook, something like this could greatly contribute to your cooking skills.

$26

Etekcity Infrared Thermometer 774, Digital Temperature Gun for Cooking

The burger flipper or spatula

This is the spatula I use for flipping burgers. You can spend more money and get one with a wider surface, but this one works just fine for me and I recommend it since the price is really good.

$11

OXO SteeL Lasagna Turner

The griddle

I don’t own this exact griddle. The one I own is a no-name brand that I received at a white elephant Christmas party, and it works just fine. But if I was going to replace mine, I would buy this one. Lodge is a good company, and this is a pretty good price for something that will stand up for years and maybe even decades of use.

$30

Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle, 16.75 Inch, Black


Gifts for biscuit lovers

The biscuit rings

Sure, you can make biscuits without stainless steel biscuit cutters, but I usually don’t. When making biscuits with the expectation of layers, you need to cut swift and straight and you can only do that with a knife via straight line cuts or you need straight up/down cuts with a sharp circular biscuit cutter.

These cutters will get the job done and you can also change up your biscuit size and use these to cut cookies as well.

These biscuit cutters can also be used to shape sausage patties for cooking to fit your biscuits and they can be used to mold a cooking egg for the proper size for a biscuit or English muffin sandwich.

$9

12 Pieces Round Biscuit Cookie Cutter Set – Stainless Steel Circle Donut Cutter Molds Assorted Size – Including One Tin Box for Storage

The butter dish

I’m a big fan of this butter dish. This is the one I leave on the counter with the GOOD BUTTER in it. It’s easy to clean and looks nice on the counter.

$19

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Butter Dish

The rolling pin

I don’t own this exact rolling pin. BUT it’s the one I would buy right now, because it’s a reputable company and it’s only ten bucks. The rolling pin I typically use is so old that Amazon didn’t exist when it was made.

But if you are interested in making biscuits and need a rolling pin, a flat one like this with a 10-inch base is exactly what you would want. Get this one unless you need a fancier French rolling pin (a French style rolling pin is NOT very good for biscuits).

$10

Farberware Classic Wood Rolling Pin, 17.75-Inch, Natural


Gifts for home cooks

The liquid and dry measuring cup

Alton Brown introduced me to something like this back in the 90’s/2000’s. My wife and I liked it and she bought something similar at that time. We can’t find the exact version that we bought, but this one looks similar and is from a good company. I would be buying one of these if ours was lost or broken.

It’s great for measuring things like mayonnaise or molasses or most anything that needs to be scooped and spread into a container. Once you get it into this measuring cup, you can use the plunger to just slide it out, leaving almost no leftover in the container. This also makes for easy cleanup.

If you don’t have anything like this, you need one.

$13

OXO Good Grips 2 Cup Adjustable Measuring Cup

The parchment holder

My Mom gave us this parchment paper holder (and the plastic wrap holder below). I was skeptical at first and questioned why she gave it to us but once we started using it, I will never go back.

It’s hard to describe exactly why this works, I think it’s the weight and the top closure that makes dealing with and cutting parchment paper so much easier. Try it, you’ll like it.

$25

ChicWrap Baker’s Tools Parchment Paper Dispenser with 15″x 41 Sq. Ft Roll of Culinary Parchment Paper

The plastic wrap holder

You can read what I wrote about the parchment paper holder above to get the gist of why this is a great kitchen purchase for me.

Basically, everyone knows that plastic wrap can be troublesome at times. This holder and the swiping cutter magically makes plastic wrap easier to cut and handle, even with wet or messy hands in a semi-emergency situation (we’ve all been there).

$19

ChicWrap Triangle Refillable Plastic Wrap Dispenser with Slide Cutter and 250′ of Professional BPA Free Plastic Wrap

The KitchenAid measuring cups and spoons

A nice set of measuring cups and spoons. When you’re measuring wet ingredients like honey or mustard, the ingredients slide off very easily because of the smooth surface.

$12

KitchenAid Classic Measuring Cups And Spoons Set, Set of 9, Aqua Sky/Black

The OXO silicone whisk set

I really like these silicone whisks. They won’t mess up any of your non-stick pans and in my experience, they work as well for making something like whipped cream or homemade mayonnaise just as well as a metal whisk.

$20

OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Silicone Whisk Set

The KitchenAid tongs

I love tongs! This is a good pair, and the silicone tips mean you won’t scratch up any of your pots and pans. I like the quick release action on these tongs and use them all the time unless I’m grilling outdoors.

$20

KitchenAid Silicone Tipped Stainless Steel Tongs, 10.26 Inch, Black

And that’s about it for now. I did the best I could to brainstorm about the tools and utensils that I use on a regular basis. There’s a good chance that I will update this list from time to time over the next couple of weeks. If you have any questions, put them down in the comments and I’ll try to help.


Open-faced pizza sandwich

The Poor Man’s Pizza is an excellent sandwich.


wtf where are the triangle pepperoni!? Spoiler: these are all cut in triangles but not separated. I separated them and fixed it.

A man named, Bob Petrillose, invented a sandwich that he named the Poor Man’s Pizza in 1960 before restaurant delivery was really a thing. According to an article at Serious Eats, the Hot Truck at Cornell University was the home of the PMP or Poor Man’s Pizza which was two halves of French bread with sauce and melted cheese turned into a sandwich. Petrillose started his Hot Truck in the 60’s and ran it for 4 decades, working late nights to satiate the college students at Cornell.

Petrillose was not only the inventor of a fantastic sandwich, but he was apparently also an incredible person. This article from Cornell’s quarterly magazine in 2009 memorializes his death with very touching tributes from many students during his 40-year career selling sandwiches from his food truck.

The internet claims that Petrillose’s French bread pizza concept was licensed to Stouffer’s. Because of this, I figured I’d pay tribute to the inventor of French bread pizza by making Poor Man’s Pizza sandwiches and document the process with recipes.

According to the Wall Street Journal (paywalled article), Stouffer’s started putting their French Bread pizzas in the freezer aisle in 1974. Guess who else was born in 1974? GUESS!?

“Back to the Taste You Love.”
Seems like there must have been some New-Coke-style drama with the pepperoni at some point.

Petrillose’s Hot Truck is now permanently closed, so none of us can try a Poor Man’s Pizza from the source, but we can certainly make something similar at home.

We should talk about that, but first I want to revisit the French bread pizza that you can buy at the store.

The Stouffer’s French bread pizzas

I wanted to relive my history with the French bread pizza, so I bought some and baked them and imagined living in a cramped college apartment. These taste just like I remember. Each pizza is way hotter than you’d think, with extra crunchy edges and a super soft and cheesy center. The middle part of the bread, under the sauce and cheese gets a bit soggy and that sogginess along with the super crunchy and crispy sides gives you a lot of fun textures to enjoy.

I asked the only person I know who is basically some sort of pizza genius what he thought about French bread pizzas and he had this to say:

“I have a super soft spot for French bread and bagel and tortilla pizza in all its MacGuyvered forms” … “it’s a real opportunity to heighten the textural element. Pizza’s big and soft and comforting in the form most people are familiar with. Messing around with texture can heighten a lot of the experience.”

John Carruthers – Crust Fund Pizza

Check out John’s community focused pizza project, Crust Fund Pizza. And you can still buy one of his fantastic pizza cookbooks he created for charity: Pizza for Everyone.

These are Stouffer’s French bread pizzas, just like you might remember them, baked according to the directions. The crispy, sharp edges will destroy your mouth with the combination of searing heat and crunchy crust. But the memories taste so good. Be careful.

“Pizza bread” from the store

I was looking at the prepared foods section beside the deli in my local grocery store (shout out to Cermak) and I saw they had “Pizza bread.” I had been working on this blog post for a bit at the time, so I figured I’d give it a try since I didn’t have anything prepped for lunch that day.

There were ZERO instructions, but I figured for $3.99 I couldn’t really go wrong. All the pepperonis were whole instead of the fun little Stouffer’s triangles, so I fixed that with some kitchen shears.

Stouffer’s French bread pizza technique

In my research into the Stouffer’s French bread pizza, I found this Mashed.com article “We Finally Have Stouffer’s Iconic French Bread Pizza Recipe.” In that article, they suggest that a little fennel at the end is a required ingredient that a lot of people forget.

From that article they say that Stouffer’s actual ingredients/weights list/instructions is as follows:

  • 2.5 ounces (5 tablespoons) pizza sauce
  • Top each pizza with 1.5 ounces of shredded low-moisture mozzarella
  • 0.5 ounces of sliced pepperoni, cut into quarters
  • Bake your pizza at 375 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes until the cheese is melty and browning a little

I follow all of this in my recipe except for the baking time and temperature. 375 would probably work just fine though. I cook mine at 450 degrees F (232 C) for a shorter amount of time. All of this is in the recipe below.

The “French” bread

I’ve posted about this bread recipe a few times already. It’s my go-to long bread recipe now unless I need something really firm like a real French baguette.

This is also a super easy bread recipe. If you’re a beginning baker, it should be easy to jump in the deep end and become a baker with this recipe.

3 hours
Sub sandwich rolls

This is sort of a French style sandwich roll. Not too crusty but with a good chew for a sub sandwich or po-boy.

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The pepperoni

Boar’s Head pepperoni has a natural casing, which helps you get those pepperoni cups you see on pizzas that are cooked at higher temperatures than we’re working with here.

I try to buy Boar’s Head traditional pepperoni and slice it myself on a mandolin (WATCH YOUR FINGERS) but feel free to buy whatever pepperoni you like. The Boar’s Head brand has a natural casing which when cooked at high heat will produce the cupping pepperoni cups, holding pepperoni grease that people on Instagram like to see on their pizza. These French Bread pizzas will never get to that point, so buy the pepperoni that you like.

I’m a big pepperoni pizza fan, but for this pizza or sandwich or pizza sandwich you can use whatever toppings you’d like. Try it with mushrooms, Canadian bacon and pineapple or even just straight pizza sauce and cheese. If you have some leftover meatballs from spaghetti and meatball night, break some of those up on top and go to town.

The sauce

Here’s a big ole can of tomatoes.

My wife, Robin, has been making a similar sauce to this for a few years now.

Overall, this isn’t a copycat of the Stouffer’s sauce. It’s just a sauce that we both really enjoy, and it works great for a French bread pizza. Stouffer’s sauce is pretty sweet, and this sauce does have added sweetness that seems perfect for a pizza sandwich.

The sauce is easy to make, especially if you have a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you’re going to have to chop and mash up the tomatoes with all the other ingredients.

If possible, make your sauce the night before you plan to use it, because that will give the flavors extra time to meld.

40 minutes
Robin's pizza sauce

A slightly spicy, slightly sweet tomato sauce that's great for your next French bread pizza.

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The process

Let’s dive right in with this slideshow of the build process. This is how I build my French bread pizzas.

The French bread pizza recipe

Once you have your bread, sauce, cheese and toppings, this is a very simple recipe.

French bread pepperoni pizzas view printable page for this recipe

Much like the French bread pizzas you find in the freezer section of the grocery store, except you can tweak these to your liking with your favorite toppings and homemade sauce. Flip two French bread pizzas on top of each other for a great sandwich.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 inches of a French sub roll, split in half
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 8 to 10 tablespoons pizza sauce
  • 2 to 4 ounces low moisture mozzarella
  • 2 to 3 ounces pepperoni, cut into quarters
  • pinch fennel seed (optional)
  • grated parmesan (optional)
  • red chili flakes (optional)

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees F (232 C)

Slice your French sub rolls length wise like you're making a sandwich. 

Spread a tablespoon of butter on each slice of bread and toast under the broiler until the butter is melted and the bread is browning and crisping up. This keeps the bread from getting too soggy under the sauce/cheese. 

Add each slice to a baking sheet or cookie sheet, buttered side up. 

Spread 3 or 4 tablespoons of pizza sauce on each slice of bread. Make sure to get the sauce all the way to the edges of the bread.

Top the sauce with cheese. Make sure you have an even coating of cheese on each slice of bread. 

Add your toppings (in this case, pepperoni - but other pizza toppings would work well here too). Sprinkle the toppings around each slice for an even distribution. 

Sprinkle a pinch of fennel seed around the top. 

Add the sheet pan full of French bread pizzas to the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese is melty and browning a little. Depending on your oven, you might want to take a quick peek at your pizzas around the 10-minute mark. 

If you want a really browned top, you can turn on the broiler for just a minute or two and broil the pizzas. BUT pay very close attention if you try this, it will go from epically toasty to tragically burned quickly if you're not paying attention. 

Remove pizzas from the oven top with grated parmesan and red chili flakes (if desired) and enjoy. 

Notes:

I like to take two French bread pizzas and flip them on top of each other to create a super comforting, melty and gooey sandwich. You should try it too!

With that recipe you can just make a bunch of French bread pizzas and go nuts eating them or you can flip each half together and make fantastically pleasing and comforting sandwiches.

I’m not sure why I never thought about turned these into sandwiches as a college student, but it’s a great idea.

Look below for how awesome French bread pizzas look when turned into sandwiches

A Poor Man’s Pizza with pepperoni and nice gooey cheese.
This sandwich is yelling “comfort” so loudly that you will surely need a nap very soon.
These are great with any toppings/fillings or just plain cheese and sauce.
This is a good sandwich to wrap up in paper or aluminum foil prior to eating. The foil helps to steam everything and soften some of the crispy edges, making all the sauce and cheese blend together.
A Pepperoni PMP. Or maybe it’s a PPMP? Whoa. What about a Personal Pepperoni PMP? PPPMP?

Make French bread pizzas. You heard me, just do it. They’re fantastic comfort food.

Pizza sandwiches are a whole different experience than pizza, they’re something else and they are great. Stick around for next week when we talk about leftovers.


New Jersey’s breakfast sandwich

If you thought the Garden State would have vegetables in their state sandwich, you’d be wrong.


I was hanging out in the meat section of the grocery store, thinking about sandwiches (again) and I found a small plastic and cloth wrapped hunk of meat. I checked the label, and it was a pound of John Taylor’s Pork Roll. I had heard about Taylor ham/pork roll, but I had never seen it in real life, so I decided to buy it and see what the fuss is all about.

Some Taylor ham/pork roll history

A gentleman named, John Taylor, has been credited with the invention of pork roll back in 1856 in Trenton, New Jersey. Taylor originally called it “Taylor Prepared Ham,” but was forced to change the name since this product didn’t meet the legal definition of ham at that time.

In 1906 Taylor Prepared Ham was renamed Taylor’s Pork Roll. Around this time or a few years later, there were several competing companies that were marketing similar products using the words “pork roll,” “rolled pork” and “roll of pork” in their product names. Taylor tried to sue at least one of these companies and the court ruled that “pork roll” and “roll of pork” couldn’t be held as trademarks.

Fast forward to the current time and there are still multiple companies making a product classified as pork roll, Taylor Provisions (John Taylor’s original company) and Case’s are two of the most well-known. The phrase “Taylor ham” is still being used by Northern New Jerseyites and those living in Southern New Jersey (and Philadelphia) typically will say “pork roll.” People living in Central New Jersey are known to say one or the other.

This is a much bigger rivalry than I originally knew about when starting to research this blog post. There are several well documented investigations into this naming convention rivalry and one of those was posted last year on the New Jersey Digest: “Taylor Ham or Pork Roll? A New Jersey Civil War.”

If you want to see the Taylor ham/pork roll divide on a map, the tweet below is citing a map created from a poll that NJ.com held in 2016. More than 40,000 votes were cast in the poll that created this map, and many folks joined in the conversation, including such notable names as Chris Christie and Bill Clinton. The live google results map is no longer available, but the map in this tweet will give you a good representation of the demarcation of the Taylor ham/pork roll divide.

What is Taylor ham/pork roll?

One pound of John Taylor’s Pork Roll

John Taylor’s pork roll is not just a big hunk of meat like an actual ham. It’s finely ground pork shoulder with added spices merged in a way similar to other processed pork like bologna or mortadella. It’s fully cooked, so you could just grab a big hunk and start taking bites out of it like an animal. But we’re not animals, we’re sandwich enthusiasts. I did take a bite of one of my first slices, but no one needs to know about that.

The flavor of this brand of pork roll actually reminds me a little bit of country ham that I grew up eating in the Southeastern part of the United States. John Taylor’s pork roll isn’t quite as salty as country ham, but it does taste saltier to me than most regular ham. I would say it reminded me of a combination of country ham and bologna and some of the bologna flavors are coming from the similar way that the two meats are traditionally seared for sandwiching.

The way that pork roll seems to be cooked most often is on a flat griddle or flat top. Almost every video or photo of pork roll being prepared for sandwiching has three or four slits cut into the edge of the meat. This is not done for looks. The slits are cut so that the pork roll slice doesn’t curl up or cup on the flat, hot surface.

  • Four slits in the Taylor ham/pork roll = fireman’s badge style
  • One slit in the Taylor ham/pork roll = Pac-Man style

One thing to note is that the one-pound version of John Taylor’s pork roll (like the pound I bought) has a smaller diameter than the larger versions. I would assume that New Jersey restaurants are buying the six-pound version and they’re slicing theirs with a deli slicer. I was able to use a sharp knife and sliced mine into about 1/8th of an inch slices.

What is a Taylor ham/pork roll, egg and cheese?

A Taylor ham/pork roll, egg and cheese sandwich contains: seared Taylor ham/pork roll, a fried or scrambled egg and American cheese. The typical condiment options at that point are: “salt, pepper, ketchup.” The sandwich is served between a sliced Kaiser or “hard” roll.

Some griddling action shots

This is just to keep your interest and excitement levels high. We get into the process of making these a bit further down the page.

With a sharp knife, cut slits into your Taylor ham/pork roll a few times around the outside to allow it to sear evenly. Four slits in the slice = Fireman’s badge style.
A fried egg before the flip. I move the seared pork roll with melting cheese and the toasted Kaiser roll to the back, cooler spot on the griddle while the egg cooks.

The egg

From all the videos I’ve watched it appears if you order a Taylor ham/pork roll, egg and cheese you will likely get a fried (over easy) egg with a broken yolk. Wikipedia claims that occasionally it’s a scrambled egg, but I didn’t see any confirmations of that in the few videos I’ve watched or articles I’ve read.

From my non-New-Jersey perspective, the egg could be cooked to your favorite cooking style. Over easy with a breaking of the yolk before flipping is just the most common way.

The Kaiser roll or hard roll

A fresh baked Kaiser stamped Kaiser roll.

For this sandwich we need Kaiser rolls. In the process of researching this sandwich I learned that people from New Jersey (as well as some Mid-Atlantic US states like New York and Connecticut) call a Kaiser roll a “hard roll.” I get why they might call a Kaiser roll a hard roll, but it still bothers me because I don’t pride myself on making hard bread.

The use of bread flour in this recipe is crucial. Often you can substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour or vice versa, but in this case, you need the chewiness that bread flour contributes to a recipe. This texture is what leads to the roll being “harder” while still not being a heavy or dense bread.

Recipe Card
2 hours and 47 minutes
Kaiser rolls

Some areas call a Kaiser roll a "hard roll," but this roll is anything but hard. The outside is a tiny bit crusty, and the interior is firm, but still squishy where it counts. This is a great roll for sandwiches or burgers.

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A Kaiser roll doesn’t really need to have the design on top, but it’s what people expect when they hear the name. There are two techniques that I know of for making that design:

  1. Using a Kaiser roll stamp
  2. Making a fancy dough knot

I’ve done both techniques and they both taste the same, so it’s all up to personal visual preference. The Kaiser stamp takes a bit of technique to learn. You must make sure to keep flouring your stamp in between each dough stamping. The flour keeps the splits in the dough from sealing back up during the final rise. You also have to let the dough rise upside down after stamping. This can lead to some problems deflating the dough when you flip it back over.

Homemade Kaiser roll made with a Kaiser stamp
A Kaiser roll that I knotted instead of stamped. Some look better than others…

Sandwich assembly

Let’s build some New Jersey hangover breakfast sandwiches!

All the ingredients for a tasty breakfast sandwich. Look at that fancy ketchup (it’s a local version we like – my house was currently out of Heinz…).

Slideshow of the cooking process

Brought to you in 4K slideshow Dolby max stereo. Or maybe just photos.

The recipe

At this point, I’ve basically described in photos and words how to make this sandwich. It’s quick and easy, but if you are the type of person that prefers a step-by-step recipe, here you go:

Taylor ham/pork roll egg and cheese sandwich view printable page for this recipe

If you can get your hands on Taylor ham or pork roll from New Jersey, you need to know how to make this sandwich. In theory, it's a breakfast sandwich but I'm pretty sure it would be great any time of the day.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Kaiser roll (hard roll)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 or 4 slices of Taylor ham or pork roll
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 1 or 2 slices of American cheese
  • salt, black pepper, ketchup

Directions:

Slice and toast your Kaiser roll if you desire. To do this, get a medium pan or large griddle over medium heat and butter each cut side of your Kaiser roll. Cook, butter side down, for a few minutes until the roll has toasted and picked up a light brown color.

Remove the Kaiser roll to a plate and keep the pan over medium heat. If you have a large griddle, you can set one burner to be a lower heat and move your rolls to that side to keep them warm. 

Cut small slits into the edges of your slices of Taylor ham or pork roll. This helps your pork sear better. 

Place each piece of pork roll into your medium pan still over medium heat. Sear for 3 to 4 minutes per side. This meat is already fully cooked, we're just trying to brown things and get the pork warm. 

Once each slice of pork is browned to your liking, stack the meat and remove to a plate or cooler part of the griddle. If you're using multiple slices of cheese, you can add the first slice in between the pork layers to help the melting start. 

When all of your pork slices are stacked and moved off the hot part of the griddle/pan, add one tablespoon of butter to the pan. Once the butter starts bubbling (should be almost immediate), crack an egg right on top of the butter. Don't stir the egg or move it around. 

Salt and pepper the egg. 

After about 2 minutes, using a spatula or turner, flip the egg and add a slice of cheese on top of the cooked side of the egg. 

Cook the egg with cheese on top for another 2 minutes until done. If you like your egg with no runny yolk at all, you can cook it another minute. 

Assemble the sandwich: add the stack of Taylor ham/pork roll to the bottom of your Kaiser roll. Layer the egg and cheese on top of the slices of meat. If you opt for ketchup, squirt some on the Kaiser roll top and close the sandwich. 

Stand back and be proud of your creation. Take a big bite and enjoy. 

Notes:

If you can't find Taylor ham or pork roll, you can use a few slices of bologna or slices of Spam. If you do this, it WILL NOT be a Taylor ham/pork roll, egg and cheese (do not yell at me, New Jerseyites!), but it will still be a tasty sandwich. 

Some finished Taylor ham/pork roll egg and cheeses.

Gaze on these tasty beauties and let me know how you think I did down in the comments.

Pork roll/Taylor ham, fried egg and American cheese with salt/pepper/ketchup on a hard roll (please don’t call my freshly baked Kaiser roll “hard”).
Sometimes you need to add poppy seeds to your Kaiser roll just to make sure you won’t pass any of your future drug tests.
The combination of American cheese and ketchup must have some people squirming, but it really, really works in this sandwich.
All the melty cheese and all the egg combine with the juices from the seared pork roll to make some sort of fantastic sauce. The firmness of a Kaiser roll really is the perfect vessel for this sandwich. I made this one without ketchup.

A non-traditional sandwich

I made this one just for fun and I changed a couple of things up.

This is cheddar instead of American cheese, a folded egg instead of a fried egg and roasted garlic mayonnaise instead of ketchup. I honestly loved this version but if I did it again, I’d add hot sauce. Adding some hot sauce to the original sandwich would be nice too.

Is it Taylor ham or pork roll!?

I’m not going to get into this. You folks in New Jersey can work it out without me. What I can say is that this is a tasty sandwich. It might be a bit salty for some folks, but I doubt there are many people who are eating these sandwiches every day (except for the week I spent doing just that – and I seem ok?).

The main takeaway I’ll come away with from Taylor ham/pork roll week is that I think it’s fantastic to find sandwiches like this that have such a strong connection to an area. I think the North/South New Jersey naming rivalry has contributed to some of the passionate feelings that locals have to this meat product, and I think that has driven the excitement and interest for the sandwich even more.

What do you call it? Let me know in the comments or tweet it at me!


Make better Subs and Clubs

A Sub is a Club I want to be a member of.


The turkey, bacon club is one of my favorite sandwiches. But much like a BLT, a club sandwich is dependent on the seasons. Today I want to write about how you can enhance your sub/club sandwiches and how to get past the seasonality issues these sandwiches have.

I’m not going to write about the Club sandwich backstory, because someone else has already done a fantastic job of that. If you want to get deep into the history of the club sandwich, I highly recommend reading this informative edible history of the club sandwich from the Sandwich Tribunal.

A big problem with the club sandwich or the BLT is the T. The tomato is only in season for 2 to 3 months a year unless you grow them yourself. How do we fix this? I have my favorite solution in the tips down below.

Keep reading to learn about the ingredients I use to make my turkey, bacon subs and clubs.

Turkey and bacon sub with provolone
Turkey and bacon club with cheddar and the third slice of bread.

Let’s make some sandwiches

Here are all the ingredients you need:

The two breads

I’ve written about my sub roll before. In fact, I covered it just last week with my shrimp po’boy post. It’s a solid recipe and it’s great for beginner bakers because there aren’t many tricky parts other than rolling and shaping the rolls. The liquid to flour ratio is such that it’s not too sticky or messy to work with which also will help novice and experience bakers alike. I’ve even made it without my stand mixer, so you don’t necessarily need any special tools to make this dough. Give it a shot on your next sub night.

Note: your bread will be better if you use a kitchen scale and weigh out the ingredients in grams.

3 hours
Sub sandwich rolls

This is sort of a French style sandwich roll. Not too crusty but with a good chew for a sub sandwich or po-boy.

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The bread I chose to make the club-style sandwiches was King Arthur Baking’s Harvest Grains bread recipe. Often, for sandwiches like these, I will just make a quick white sandwich loaf or a sourdough sandwich loaf, but I really like the texture that the nuts/seeds bring to the mix in this recipe.

Bounded by Buns Sub sandwich rolls
King Arthur’s Harvest Grains loaf

The mayonnaise

Get some good mayo for these sandwiches. Make your own or buy your favorite. This roasted garlic mayonnaise recipe is fantastic, and I used it for almost all of these sandwiches. Make this recipe.

10 minutes
Roasted garlic mayo

You like sandwiches. Sandwiches like you. You need this roasted garlic mayo to enhance your love with sandwiches.

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The roasted turkey

Sure, you can buy turkey from the deli for a sandwich, but I like thicker sliced turkey that I baked myself for these types of sandwiches. This Cajun turkey recipe is a super simple way to inject a little flavor into your sliced turkey sandwich. If you are buying your turkey from the grocery deli, I suggest asking them to slice it a bit thicker than usual.

1 hour and 5 minutes
Oven roasted cajun turkey

A little spicy and super seasoned moist turkey, ready for slicing. Sandwich turkey is at the next level right here.

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The bacon

Most likely, you already know how to make bacon. But if you don’t, it’s very easy if you want to bake it in the oven. With this technique, you can cook a lot of it at once or just a few slices.

The veggies

I often choose plain ol’ iceberg lettuce on these types of sandwiches. I believe that’s probably the classic choice, but if you want something like romaine or green leaf, go for it. In my opinion, if it’s not dressed, the lettuce is just there for the texture. When I’m making a sub, I like to shred or finely chop my lettuce and then dress it. When I’m making a club, I usually just use larger pieces.

Tomatoes are a huge part of a good turkey, bacon club. They’re only good a few months out of the year, so seize that season when you can. When it’s the off-season, I do have an alternative to the tomatoes down below in the tips section.

The cheese

Use cheese if you want. If you look back at club sandwich history, cheese isn’t really a traditional ingredient. Even so, I add a slice of cheese about half of the time when I’m making a turkey, bacon club or sub. Do what you want. Make yourself happy.

The sub

The staging ingredients for a turkey, bacon sub (except mayonnaise).
Cross section of the turkey, bacon sub.

The club

All the ingredients for a turkey, bacon club (except mayonnaise).
Cross section of a turkey, bacon club (including the third slice of bread).

Now that we have turkey, bacon subs or club sandwiches made, how can we improve them?

5 tips for better subs/clubs

  1. Third slice of bread?
  2. Tomato + mayo
  3. Wrap in paper
  4. Dress your lettuce
  5. Off-season tomatoes

Tip one: that third slice of bread.

I reached out to my Sandwich Friend, Jim from the Sandwich Tribunal, to get his feedback on the third/middle slice of bread that is often in the club sandwich on a restaurant menu. Here’s what he had to say:

“Historically, the club sandwich does not include the third slice of bread, but versions of it with three slices have existed for over 100 years. Historically, the club sandwich was defined by the presence of roast fowl and cured pork, but the three slices of bread are a potent visual symbol that is irretrievably associated with the club sandwich at this point. So, despite the fact that the “club sub” does not include a middle slice of bread–thank god, ’cause that would be stupid–and despite the fact that the ubiquitous fast food chicken club sandwich doesn’t include a middle slice–they just slap some bacon and Swiss cheese in there mostly–most people still think of that double-decker construction as the classic club sandwich. I have stopped fighting it. But when I make a club sandwich for myself, I leave it out.”

Jim Behymer – Sandwich Tribunal

I could easily let Jim’s very educated quote speak for itself, but instead I will also reiterate (in my words) the important things he said: The third slice of bread is bull hockey. Stop it! You don’t need extra bread in this sandwich.


Tip two: put your tomato next to the mayo

Club with no third slice and cheddar cheese. The lightly salted tomato on top of mayonnaise is currently making its own sauce.

The tomato and mayo smushed together start to make their own special sauce from the juice of the tomato. When you have an in-season, ripe, juicy tomato, this flavor combination can be a thing of beauty. Put the tomatoes directly on top of the mayonnaise next time and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Salting and black peppering the tomato when you put it in the sandwich also helps because the salt will help draw out the liquid in the tomato. Salting can help an out-of-season tomato, but for a better alternative to that, check out my last tip below.


Tip three: wrap your subs in paper

Wrap your sub sandwiches in paper. I like to wrap hot and cold sub sandwiches, even at home. Wrapping sandwiches was invented to make sandwiches prepared by a restaurant/deli easier to transport from the restaurant to the place where you plan to eat them.

The side effect of this is that it encloses the sandwich and tightens things up to help meld the contents and sauces together. Wrap your cold sandwiches and let them sit for just a few minutes for all the ingredients to mingle. If you’re eating a hot sandwich, you can use aluminum foil and it will keep more of the heat in. An aluminum foil wrapped hot sandwich will also help melt any cheese.


Tip four: dress your lettuce in oil and red wine vinegar

Dressing your lettuce with a little olive oil and red wine vinegar adds so much to a turkey club or sub.

Add olive oil and red wine vinegar to your lettuce or veggies in general. Typically, I grab a small bowl and add my lettuce to that. Pretend like you’re making a small salad and toss your lettuce in just a drizzle of olive oil followed by a splash of red wine vinegar. Add a small pinch of salt and black pepper. Mix everything around a bit and take a taste of a piece of lettuce to see how it tastes. If you like it, add it to your sandwich. Otherwise, now is the time to adjust your simple dressing.

The zing of the red wine vinegar will add so much to your sandwich. Your life will never be the same again.


Tip five: sun-dried tomato spread

A good sun-dried tomato spread changes some of the flavors up a bit, in a very good way. In the off-season when tomatoes at the store aren’t great, buy or make some sun-dried tomato spread and use that instead. Here’s my recipe, it’s quick and easy and adds huge flavor punches to the sandwich.

This is a good recipe to keep in your back pocket. Print it out and fax it to your grandma. Also: tell her you love her.

5 minutes
Sun-dried tomato spread

This spread is great on a sandwich with cheese and meat. A bagel sandwiched with cream cheese on one side and sun-dried tomato spread on the other is fantastic.

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Two halves of a turkey and bacon club stacked, and we substitute tangy sun-dried tomato spread for the out of season tomato slices.
The addition of sun-dried tomato spread is also a great option in the sub as well.

The sub club recap

Make more turkey, bacon subs and clubs! I’m not sure if anyone reads this part, but if you do, thanks for hanging out!

Check back next week when we roll out a breakfast sandwich.


The scariest sandwich

AKA: the Spooky Candy Corn Dog sandwich.


๐ŸŽƒ Happy Halloween! ๐ŸŽƒ

You might want to look away. This sandwich gets scary. This was inspired by a conversation with my friends: Shana and Jim on twitter. Jim became an innocent bystander after Shana sent me her idea in a private message. It’s all her idea, blame her.


RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS

1) buy some candy corn

This part should be easy. Believe it or not, you do need actual money to buy these.

First buy some candy corn. The people running the cash register will judge you, but that’s ok.

2) separate the orange from the white from the yellow

It’s difficult to get all the orange off of the white and the yellow. But I did my best.

Separate your colors. I found this to be easier with your fingers and not a knife.

3) melt your colors in the microwave

Note: these bowls were fun to clean up after the waxy stuff cooled off.

I melted each color for about 15 to 20 seconds in the microwave.

4) shape your melted colors into a log

CAUTION: this is very hot. If you forget that it’s very hot, it will stick to your fingers and burn you the whole time it’s stuck to your finger. How do I know this? I learned.

All the colors end up looking pretty orange unless you do a better job of separating the colors than I did.

5) stare at your multicolored candy corn log “dog”

multicolored = mostly orange

Shape your melted candy corn into a big carrot shape.

6) add your candy corn dog to a bun

I baked this bun fresh for this blog post and that tells you that I’ve lost it.

Put your candy corn dog into a fresh baked top split hot dog roll!

7) add condiments to your candy corn dog

Any condiment you’d like. I think some pickle relish would go great! Sadly, I was all out.

That’s real ketchup and mustard.

8) take a bite and enjoy!

Note: do this near the trashcan.

Some of it got in my mouth. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

9) please don’t unsubscribe.

You’re the only friends I have.

Have a great Halloween! ๐ŸŽƒ


Fried shrimp po’boy

These sandwiches are shrimply the best.


I’m a big fan of fried shrimp from way back. Growing up in eastern North Carolina, I had a lot of opportunity to try a lot of different types of seafood, but I always went back to fried shrimp. So, it only makes sense that I’d also be a big fan of fried shrimp po’boys.

Fried shrimp, hushpuppies and fries. The triumvirate of power in my youth seafood dreams.

Some stories tell that brothers, Benny and Clovis Martin, invented the po’boy in New Orleans in 1929 to feed striking streetcar operators. But like a good remoulade sauce (we’ll get to this later) the true history might be a bit spicy. An article from Nola.com details “The messy history of the po’boy.”

This article finds that Benny and Clovis were selling versions of the sandwich way before the strikes. There’s even evidence of oyster sandwiches that were similar to the modern po’boy existing back in the 1850’s. It seems that Benny and Clovis really should just get credit for the name of the sandwich and not actually inventing the sandwich itself. But enough history let’s talk about how I make my fried shrimp po’boys.

Disclaimer:
Just going to get things out there and state that the shrimp po’boy I’m describing/making in this blog post isn’t necessarily a traditional fried shrimp po’boy. But it’s a good one.

Most po’boys contain lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayonnaise and then you have a choice from many different protein selections. Anything from roast beef or sliced turkey to fried or grilled seafood could be po’boy options. We make ours with a homemade remoulade sauce instead of just plain mayonnaise, but feel free to go more traditional if you want. I also have based my fried shrimp recipe on a recipe like I grew up eating in eastern North Carolina, although most shrimp po’boy frying methods are similar.

Fried shrimp ready for sandwiching.
Another photo of fried shrimp to think about.

When we make shrimp po’boys, we need shrimp and we need bread. Most everything else can be sourced at your grocery store, but let’s get down to business.

The Americanized French sub roll

A double batch of my sub sandwich roll.

Traditionally, po’boys are served on French style bread, but we’re not talking about real French baguettes here. Po’boys require Americanized French bread. It’s soft on the inside and a bit crusty on the outside.

This style of bread is also often a bit wider than a real French baguette which makes it much better for the type of sandwich that a po’boy is.

My sub sandwich roll is based off a NOLA inspired bread dough recipe and works great in this application.

A tip about this recipe though is that the first day you bake, these rolls are soft and fresh. They might not actually taste as much like what you’re expecting until the second or third day after you bake them. My guess is that this is how the real bakery bread is too, but we’re not typically eating this type of bread on the very first day that it is baked.

That’s a big benefit in my opinion in that you’re going to have good bread for three or four days after you bake it. This bread also freezes well. Wrap a loaf up in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze it for a few weeks if you want. Pull it out of the freezer first thing in the morning and it should be ready for sandwiching by lunch.

3 hours
Sub sandwich rolls

This is sort of a French style sandwich roll. Not too crusty but with a good chew for a sub sandwich or po-boy.

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The sauce

Remoulade is fantastic. It’s the combination of many different sandwich sauces, adding creaminess and tart and tangy flavors which complement and contrast the flavors in most sandwiches. A traditional po’boy uses mayonnaise and that’s great too, but this remoulade sauce simply adds a burst of flavor.

This remoulade sauce is a great dip for onion rings or french fries as well. It also works well on any deli style sandwich in place of mayonnaise and mustard.

Fried shrimp po’boy

Let’s make these po’boys. Slice up some tomatoes, shred up some lettuce, grab some pickles and let’s make some sandwiches.

Fried shrimp po'boy view printable page for this recipe

The best fried shrimp sandwich you'll have today! 100% money back guaranteed. Tasty fried shrimp with crisp vegetables, tangy, creamy sauce all in a soft but still slightly crunchy roll leaves you in in po'boy town perfection.

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Ingredients:

Fried shrimp
  • 1 pound large or medium sized shrimp (peeled and deveined - tails removed)
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 cup whole milk
  • 23 cup self-rising flour
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 12 teaspoon black pepper
  • peanut oil for frying (enough for 3 inches up your medium pan)
Sandwich preparation

Directions:

Peel and devein your shrimp unless you got someone else to do it. I like to dry them off with paper towels after they're peeled. 

Add a whole egg and half a cup of whole milk (can use 2% or skim if that's what you have) to a medium sized bowl or shallow dish. Whisk the egg and milk together to combine fully. 

In another medium sized bowl or dish add, flour, salt and black pepper. Stir to combine fully. 

Line a sheet pan with parchment for your shrimp to rest on prior to frying. 

Fill a medium pan with 3 inches of peanut or vegetable oil. Place pan over medium high heat. If you have a thermometer, you're trying to get the oil to 375 degrees F (190 C). 

In batches of four or five shrimp, add them to the egg/milk mixture and make sure each shrimp is fully coated. Then move them to the seasoned flour and again, make sure every bit of shrimp is coated in flour. Finally move the shrimp to rest on the parchment. Try not to let the shrimp touch or crowd each other. 

Once all your shrimp are coated and resting on the parchment, check on the temperature of your oil. If you have a thermometer, you should be able to tell exactly. If you don't own a thermometer, you can sprinkle a little flour into the oil and if the oil starts bubbling aggressively when you put the flour in, it probably is ready. 

Fry your shrimp in batches, trying not to crowd the pan. You'll want to fry each shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes, until they reach the level of browning that you like. You might want to let the oil rise in temperature between batches if it drops too much. 

Once each shrimp is nice and tan or light brown, remove it from the oil to a paper towel lined sheet pan to rest. If you want to add salt or other seasonings, now is the time to add it. 

Once all your shrimp are cooked it's time to assemble the sandwiches. 

Slice your French bread two thirds of the way through to create a hinge. 

Add your remoulade or mayonnaise to the bottom part of the bread, cover that with shredded lettuce, a couple of slices of tomato and a few pickles. 

Top all the veggies with 6 or 7 shrimp and add sauce to the top of the bread if you desire. Close the bread and serve your po'boy sandwiches. 

Sometimes po’boys get messy. But it’s a good type of messy.
Add some pickles if you want. But with the remoulade, the pickle flavors really aren’t as necessary.
Fried shrimp po’boy with lettuce, tomato and remoulade sauce on a NOLA roll.
With the crunch from the lettuce and fried shrimp and the crusty chewiness of the bread, there’s a ton of different textures in a po’boy.

Po’boys are easy to make at home. The crunch of the shrimp, mixed with the tang of the remoulade and the texture from the veggies are enough to keep you coming back for bite after bite. The chew of the bread also is incorporated into the fantastic texture and experience of this sandwich.

Bake some bread, fry some shrimp and you’re in business.

See you next week when maybe I’ll let you join my Club.


Cheesy fiery chicken-y sandwich

Recipe: ๐Ÿง€ + ๐Ÿ”ฅ + ๐Ÿ— + ๐Ÿž


Buldak is a Korean phrase that’s interpreted to mean: fire chicken (bul = fire, dak = chicken). Buldak is a heavily sauced chicken dish including course gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) and gochujang paste (Korean chili paste) in the recipe to bring the heat and spice.

Cheese buldak action shot!

In researching buldak for this post, I found a 2015 article from CNN Travel claims that for some South Koreans, eating spicy food is a stress reliever. After the year we’ve all had, I believe we can use some stress relief so I think we should make and eat more buldak.

This week we’re making cheesy buldak sandwiches inspired by a recipe from Maangchi. If you don’t know Maangchi, she’s a YouTube personality that cooks primarily Korean based food. She’s super wholesome and fun to watch. Here’s her video for Spicy fire chicken with cheese (Cheese Buldak: ์น˜์ฆˆ๋ถˆ๋‹ญ) – she’s great, go watch it and try her recipe.

Maangchi’s buldak recipe is super spicy, but still very flavorful. It is a bit sweet and savory all at the same time and it leaves you with a pleasant lingering spicy heat that will keep each bite interesting. My wife and I both get excited when we make the decision to cook this dish again.

I altered the recipe to be whole boneless skinless chicken thighs which I prefer in a sandwich, but you can use chicken tenderloins or thin sliced/butterflied chicken breast if you’d like. The rest of the recipe is similar to Maangchi’s but I change the proportions and instructions to better fit sandwich making.

I like the idea of a larger, whole piece of chicken in my sandwich, but if you want to make a batch of cheese buldak with the chicken chopped up into bite sized pieces and put some leftovers in in a bun for sandwiching later, that’s a fantastic idea too.

There’s hot chicken and love beneath that beautiful layer of cheesy goodness. This is Maangchi’s recipe, click the links above for that.

As you’ll see in the photos below, I’ve made a ton of cheesy buldak sandwiches over the past year. I like it because you can whip up the sauce and cook the chicken within just a few minutes and then broil the cheese to melt and sandwich time comes super-fast after that.

The buns

I wanted a soft bun for these sandwiches, so I fell back on my potato bun recipe that I’ve been baking and tweaking for the past year or so. I whipped up a batch and sesame seeded most of the buns. I’ve explained this before, but if you want to add sesame seeds to a bun, you simply need to apply an egg wash (one whole beaten egg mixed with a tablespoon or so of water) and then sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds right before adding the buns to the oven.

2 hours and 45 minutes
Super soft potato buns

Need six super soft perfectly sized burger buns? The kind of bun that is slightly smaller than your burger patty so that you get a solid burger to bun ratio? Try this recipe.

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Do you prefer naked buns or sesame seed dressed buns?

The special ingredients

There are three special ingredients in this recipe that you might not be able to get at your local grocery. One ingredient isn’t quite as special as the others, but I still wanted to speak about it a tiny bit here.


First you add your chicken to this very spicy paste. Course gochugaru and gochujang paste are key ingredients for success.

Gochugaru

AKA: red pepper flakes or powder

I believe that the gochugaru is the least likely ingredient that you might find at your grocery store. I get mine at our local Korean market, but it’s easily available on Amazon (link below).

Make sure you buy the COURSE grind. I bought the fine grind the first time we made cheese buldak and it does make a big difference.

Gochugaru is the magic ingredient that you can use to adjust the heat in this recipe. Add more for more heat and less for less heat.

Buy Gochugaru (Amazon affiliate link)

Gochujang comes in tubs like the one here and squeeze tubes. We use it frequently, so we buy the tub.

Gochujang

There are many brands of gochujang, the one pictured is the one available at our local grocery and we enjoy it, but we have tried a few others. Gochujang is a great addition to marinades, stir frys and even things like mayonnaise for an extra flavor kick.

In our house we add gochujang to a few of our steak marinades and it has become something we just add a small or large spoonful to a lot of sauces and even soups if we want to add depth of flavor or spice.

Buy Gochujang (Amazon affiliate link)

If you’re making the main Cheesy Buldak dish, dice up a lot of low moisture mozzarella into half inch cubes. If you’re making Buldak sandwiches, you will want slices of cheese not cubes.

Low moisture mozzarella

Blocks of low moisture mozzarella should be at most large grocery store chains, but just remember, we’re not talking about the balls of fresh mozzarella here.

In a pinch you can use the shredded stuff for pizza, but I don’t really like pre-shredded cheese when you’re hoping for a good melt. Pre-shredded mozzarella has starches tossed in with the cheese to keep it from clumping.

If you can find a block of low moisture mozzarella, buy that.

Reheating leftovers

This recipe is quick to whip up once you have all your ingredients together. You could get it on some buns in half an hour or so. If you don’t eat all your sandwiches the first meal, you can easily reheat these for future sandwiches.

For reheating, I place a piece of chicken with a little scoop of sauce on a foil lined sheet pan and I bake it for about 7 or 8 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 C). After 7 or 8 minutes I remove the sheet pan, flip the chicken pieces (add more sauce if you have some) and cover it with cheese and return it to the oven. You can cook it another 3 minutes to melt the cheese or if you like your cheese to brown you could set it under the broiler for a minute or two.

In my experience with chicken thighs, the leftover sandwich is just as tasty as the first day.

Cheese buldak sandwiches

Here’s the recipe to try:

Cheese buldak sandwiches view printable page for this recipe

This is a spicy sandwich. The cheese and bun both help to cool things off a little, but you can adjust the heat by changing the amount of Gochugaru chili flakes. Inspired by Maangchi's Cheese Buldak recipe.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs or breast pieces
  • 14 cup gochugaru (course pepper flakes)
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 14 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup (or honey)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 14 cup water
  • 12 lb low moisture mozzarella cheese cut into slices
  • sliced green onion (garnish)
  • 6 soft hamburger buns or rolls

Directions:

In a medium bowl add gochugaru, gochujang, soy sauce, canola oil, black pepper, corn syrup, garlic and ginger. Stir well to combine. 

Add your six chicken thighs and mix everything up very well. You want all the chicken coated in the marinade. 

Place a large skillet over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Swirl the pan around to coat the bottom of the pan with oil as much as possible. 

When pan is hot, use tongs or a fork to place each chicken thigh in the hot pan. If your pan isn't large enough to cook all six thighs, you can cook in batches. 

DO NOT get rid of the bowl that has any leftover marinade in it. We will be using that to make our sauce

Cook each chicken thigh 3 minutes on the first side, flip and then cook 3 more minutes on the second side. Remove all chicken to a plate. 

Once all the chicken is done, add a quarter cup of water to the bowl where you marinaded your chicken. Mix the water around to loosen the marinade from the bowl. This will allow you to get it all into the pan. 

Pour all the leftover marinade with the water back into the pan where you cooked the chicken. Reduce the heat to medium. 

Add all of your chicken to the pan with the cooking marinade and nestle everything in together. 

Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes. 

Remove pan from heat. 

Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and add your pieces of chicken. If you're using large pieces make sure they're separated from the other pieces, if you're using small bite sized pieces make sure you place them in sandwich sized piles. If you're only making one or two sandwiches you can just add one or two pieces or chicken piles and use the rest for leftover sandwiches. 

On top of each piece of chicken add slices of mozzarella. Place sheet pan under the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes. Pay very close attention though, everyone's broiler is different and things can burn very quickly. 

Once the cheese is broiled and melted to your satisfaction, remove the sheet pan. Allow the chicken to cool for a minute or so and then add each piece to a bottom bun. Add a little extra sauce if you want and garnish with the sliced green onion. 

Top with the bun top, serve and enjoy. 

Some cheese buldak sandwiches to stare at

Here are four more examples of cheesy fire chicken sandwiches I’ve made over the past year or so.

Glorious spicy, melty goodness
Boneless chicken thigh cheesy buldak on a toasted sesame seeded bun.
A batch of chicken thighs or chicken breast pieces can be cooked in buldak over the weekend and reheated to create quick sandwiches during the week. I do this often.
If you like spice and cheese, I have the sandwich for you.

Try Maangchi’s recipe. Buy gochujang and gochugaru and keep them in the fridge for longer shelf life and you can make this recipe very quickly whenever you crave it. And believe me, you’ll start to crave this dish and sandwich.

Check back next week when you can Sea more of my Food!


One-pan fried* crispy chicken biscuit

*baked in an oven


Let’s get a few things straight. Fried food is awesome. Fried chicken is crispy and adds great texture to a sandwich. But the process of frying isn’t always so fun or pleasant.

Pros:

  • Crispy fried chicken tastes great.
  • Frying food is usually quick.
  • The crunch.

Cons:

  • Frying is messy.
  • Frying uses up a lot of oil.
  • Frying food can be less healthy than other cooking options.
Two crispy oven baked chicken thighs.

I think my biggest problem with frying food is the mess. Over the past year, I’ve spent a lot more time in the kitchen and whenever I fry something, it easily takes me twice the amount of time for cleanup. Oil splatters all over the place and your pan and utensils require extra care in cleaning.

Because of this, I decided to try to recreate some of the excitement and enjoyment of eating a fried chicken biscuit without the frying part.

I was looking up baked chicken tender recipes online and noticed that most of them are baked around 425- or 450-degrees F (230 C), which is only 25 degrees lower than my normal biscuit recipe. This led me to a train of thought where I could possibly bake the biscuits and the chicken at around the same time and oven temp.

Guess what? It works.

Once you get the biscuit dough together, you can dredge your chicken thigh (or breast meat/tenders) and bake the biscuits and the chicken on the same sheet pan.

One sheet pan with two future sandwiches on it. Note that the chicken side has aluminum foil that has been heavily sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

The biscuits

The biscuit recipe I use is in the recipe down below, but I figured I’d talk about it a bit here. I rarely bake a whole batch of biscuits at once these days. We’re a two-person household so there’s no need for us to have 7 or 8 biscuits at one time. Biscuits keep for a few days, but I find it more convenient to freeze the biscuits prior to baking if I don’t plan to eat them immediately.

This batch of biscuits bakes almost the same whether they are frozen or not. I think you might not get quite the amount of rise from a frozen biscuit, but they cook at the same oven temperature and almost the same time. You might need a couple of extra minutes on a frozen biscuit to fully brown the top. So, I suggest freezing biscuits so you can have them whenever the urge strikes you.

The chicken

You can cook this recipe with chicken thighs, breast meat or chicken tenders. If you’re going with chicken breast meat, I suggest you butterfly the breasts to make the meat a little thinner to ensure even cooking in the time required by the recipe. Anything thicker than 3/4 of an inch might not get fully cooked in 20 minutes. If you’re worried about that, I suggest you check with an instant read thermometer before biscuit sandwich time.

The whole recipe

Check out the whole recipe and give it a try next time you crave a chicken biscuit sandwich. If you’re too big of a “chicken” and afraid of making your own biscuits, you can skip that part and use the chicken part of the recipe for chicken tenders or another type of chicken sandwich. But I think you should try making biscuits.

You can also do this recipe with store bought frozen biscuits or the kind in the “can.” But those probably won’t cook at the same time or temperature, so you’ll have to cook them separately. In this case, I suggest cooking the biscuits first and chicken second.

One-pan crispy chicken biscuit view printable page for this recipe

All of the taste and excitement of a fried chicken biscuit sandwich without all the messy frying part. Oven-baked panko coated chicken thighs cook at the same time and temperature as my biscuit recipe making this an easy one pan meal. The biscuit recipe is based off of Southern Living's buttermilk biscuit recipe.

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Ingredients:

Buttermilk biscuits
  • 300 grams self rising flour (2.5 cups)
  • 1 frozen stick of butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
Crispy oven baked chicken
  • 2 sandwich sized chicken thighs (you can use breast meat too, see notes below)
  • 14 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce (your favorite brand)
  • 34 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 teaspoon black pepper
  • non-stick cooking spray (Pam or another brand)

Directions:

Biscuits: Using a box grater, grate frozen butter into the sifted self rising flour. Stir to combine until the butter is fully coated by flour. Put bowl in freezer for 10 minutes 

Combine buttermilk to bring together as a dough. Stir no more than 15 times. Overworking the dough at this stage could cause your finished biscuits to be more tough.  

On a floured surface dump out dough and roll with a rolling pin. Dust with flour as needed when dough gets sticky. Fold the dough over on itself five different times creating layers. Roll dough to 1/2 or 3/4 inch thick.

Cut biscuits into circles or squares and place on a piece of parchment paper. When cutting, you do not want to twist the cutter. Twisting while cutting will ruin the layers that you created with folding. 

Once all your biscuits are cut, place the parchment paper on a sheet pan into a freezer if you want to freeze the biscuits to cook later. If you plan to cook the whole batch now, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees F (230 C). If you choose to freeze the biscuits, leave in the freezer for an hour on the sheet pan until they get hard enough to move to a zip top bag or freezer package of your choice. They will still bake at 450 F (230 C) for just about the same amount of time. 

Crispy chicken: Get your chicken thighs out of the refrigerator and start to set up your chicken dredging station. You will need three bowls for this. 

The first bowl will contain your all purpose flour. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper to the flour.  

The second bowl will contain your whole egg, mayonnaise and hot sauce. Add these three ingredients and whisk to combine well. 

The third bowl will have the panko bread crumbs, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. whisk to combine. 

Line half of a sheet pan with aluminum foil. The other side should have a piece of parchment paper. 

Spray the aluminum foil side with cooking spray, this is where your chicken will go. 

For each chicken thigh, coat with flour in the flour bowl, then dip into the egg mixture (ensuring that it's fully coated everywhere) and finally press into the panko bread crumbs until each piece is fully coated. Place on the cooking spray sprayed aluminum foil. 

Spray the top of each piece of chicken with cooking spray, this will help the chicken brown and crisp up better. 

Place your uncooked biscuits on the parchment paper side of the sheet pan and place it in the oven when it is fully up to temperature. 

Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and flip each chicken thigh. Spray the top side of the chicken again with cooking spray. 

Bake for another 10 minutes. At this point your chicken should be done and you can remove it to a wire rack to rest. Your biscuits might or might not need an extra minute or two. Check the tops of your biscuits and if they're not brown enough, cook for another 2 or 3 minutes, keeping an eye on them so that they do not brown too much. 

Once the biscuits are browned to your liking, remove from the oven. Split each biscuit and add a crispy chicken thigh and any condiments you might want and enjoy. 

Notes:

Chicken: If you want to use breast meat, you will probably need to butterfly the meat so that it is thin enough to cook in time. Your meat needs to be no more than 3/4 of an inch thick to ensure that it is cooked sufficiently in 20 minutes. Chicken tenders would work well at this oven time and temperature if you want to use those. 

Biscuits: If you're using store bought biscuits, you will need to check the time/temperature and follow the instructions on the package. This one pan method works because the biscuit recipe I use works well with the time/temperature that the chicken needs to cook at. 

More crispy chicken biscuit sandwiches

Add a little honey mustard and you’re in heaven.

If you like your fried chicken biscuits with honey mustard, this is a great recipe you might be interested in

10 minutes
Honey mustard sauce

Add a fantastic pop of flavor to a sandwich or make this sauce as a dip for your next chicken tender night.

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This one has pickled jalapenos and a creamy chipotle sauce.

Below is my recipe for a chipotle sauce. It’s great on tacos, nachos, burgers and chicken sandwiches. Try it on your next sausage biscuit. You may remember, I used it in my Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco post.

10 minutes
Spicy Chipotle Sauce

Similar to the sauce they have at Taco Bell, this is a flavor explosion that can be added to pretty much any sandwich.

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A little melted cheddar makes every chicken biscuit better.
One-pan crispy chicken biscuit sandwich with a spicy avocado salsa. I bought the avocado salsa from the deli section of our local grocery.

This is a fairly easy recipe to replicate a fried chicken biscuit at home with less guilt. It totally scratches my chicken biscuit itch without leaving my kitchen covered in splattered oil. I’d love to hear what you think if you try this recipe.

Comment down below or tag @beerinator in your instagrams or tweets!


Curderburger for your thoughts

On October 15th, for one day only, Culver’s plans to release the Curderburger. Instead of waiting, I made my own.


I didn’t expect to write about two fast food copycat recipes/sandwiches in a row, but because of timing and what some real writers would call an “editorial calendar,” here we are. Let’s Curderburger and enjoy it.


The April Fools joke 2021. A big fried cheese curd in a bun.

A Wisconsin based burger chain known as Culver’s shared an April Fools’ joke on social media earlier this year that jokingly announced The Curderburger. Cheese fans across the land got excited.

If you don’t know what a fried cheese curd is, congratulations; you’ve never been hungry in a bar in the Midwest of the United States. Cheese curds themselves are young unaged cheese — typically cheddar — that is separated from the whey. Instead of packing that cheese up and molding it into huge wheels, it’s chunked up into small pieces and sold immediately as cheese curds.

The Midwest delicacy known as fried cheese curds, takes these fresh curds and batters or coats them in breadcrumbs and they are fried to order. Much like the more well-known mozzarella stick, you end up with a crispy exterior and a tender, slightly melty interior.

The feedback from the comments on the April Fools’ joke convinced Culver’s to follow through and create a Curderburger. They’ve announced that it’s coming October 15th, at a Culver’s near you!

The original joke concept was just a big ole fried cheese curd in between a top and bottom bun. But Culver’s concept brought to life is their Deluxe butter burger with a fried cheese curd disk placed on top of the burger patty. Witness the following promo photos and action shots for the Curderburger coming out on October 15th.

The Curderburger promo photo.
A real-world version of the Curderburger. I think Dan Higgins/USA Today has credit for this photo.

It appears that Daniel Higgins/Green Bay Press Gazette gets credit for the real world Curderburger above.

If you want to know more about how Culver’s makes their burgers, this video should be instructive.

Culver’s is pretty good for a fast-food burger, but this is NOT what most Wisconsin butter burgers are actually like.

[side discussion/rant on butter burgers]

A Wisconsin butter burger often has scoops of butter on top of the burger patties before the patty is sealed up and then everything below gets all buttery. The only butter in a Culver’s “butter burger” is a spread of butter on the top bun before it gets toasted. That’s just fine, but it’s not what you’ll find at other burger joints in Wisconsin. I must stand up for my northern Wisconsin neighbors. Many burgers around the world are served on butter toasted buns. That doesn’t make them a butter burger.

Maybe one day I’ll attempt a Wisconsin butter burger for a blog post. I’ll make sure my doctors are all alerted before I start down that path, though.

[/side discussion/rant on butter burgers]

I’m going to use the techniques in that video plus all the promo photos and make a Curderburger.

A disk of cheese curds

Somehow, I opened this bag from the bottom because it’s chaos in sandwich land.

First, we need a big ole fried cheese curd patty.

My goal was to make disks out of cheese curds and then coat them in breadcrumbs and fry them just like normal people do.

At first, I thought that I would just coat some curds in an egg wash and then freeze them all together in a disk. The more I thought about it, it seemed that this would never really make a solid disk.

My second plan was to melt the curds and then shape them into disks. I had never melted cheese curds before, but about 30 seconds in the microwave does the trick. Turns out, lightly melting the curds and pouring the slightly melted cheese into a ring mold in the freezer for an hour will give you perfect disks of cheese curd ready for frying.

Here’s a two-photo slideshow of that process.

Then I lightly coated my curd disks in breadcrumbs and fried them. Culver’s uses breadcrumbs and not a batter so that’s what I did.

1 hour and 35 minutes
Fried cheese curd disks

Q: What's better than a bunch of fried cheese curds?
A: A bunch of really big fried cheese curds.

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Two fresh fried cheese curd disks.
A cross section of a fried cheese curd disk.
A big ole frying cheese curd hockey puck.

I made two different colors of curd disks because I spare no expense bringing you sandwich content.

Once you have your frozen disks of formed cheese curds, you coat them in all purpose flour, then run them through an egg wash and then coat with seasoned breadcrumbs.

Fry all your cheese curd pucks for 2-ish minutes at around 375 degrees F and you’re left with nice crunchy, soft in the middle cheese curds to turn into Curderburgers.

Once the cheese curds are fried, you’ll want to drain them on a wire rack, or a tray lined with paper towels. You can place your fried cheese curd disks in a 200-degree F oven to keep warm while you make the rest of your burger (don’t put paper towels in a hot oven though, watch out).

The smash burger

Frying curd disks and cooking cheeseburgers at the same time does take a bit of timing. But your burgers will be smash burgers which means they will cook only two or three minutes for a super thin patty.

I’ve covered smash burgers in a post before, and they’re easy as long as you have a hot surface and some way to smash the patty. I attempt to detail the process again in the full recipe down below.

Curderburger assembly time

Here’s the layering process if you’re writing these things down (and you should be):

  • Top bun
  • Butter (toasted on bun)
  • Fried cheese curd patty
  • Smashed burger patty (4 ounces)
  • Tomato slice
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Two slices of red onion
  • Three pickles
  • Bottom bun (toasted)

The toppings going in as bottomings here really gives me a bit of pause, but this is how Culver’s does it, so I did my best to do it as well.

Theirs vs mine

Overall, I think I did a pretty good job, but I won’t really know until I try a real life Curderburger. I will probably update the post at the very bottom after October 15th, 2021, with updates if I get the opportunity to try one.

30 minutes
Fried cheese curd smash burger

Based on the Culver's Curderburger, this is a fully loaded smash burger with a fried cheese curd patty on top.

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I’m going to attempt to try the Culver’s Curderburger on Friday. I’m not sure what the interest level will be or whether things will sell out, but if I get the opportunity I will try one, take a photo and give my review via @beerinator on twitter and @beerinator on instagram. I will also post more details on the new Bounded by Buns facebook page. Check out one of those and follow or like the page for this and future updates.


BREAKING: CURDERBURGER UPDATE

Updated: October 15th, 2021
I got the chance to try an official Curderburger today and it was pretty good. The curd disk was about a quarter of an inch think, where some of mine were closer to a half inch. If I were to make mine again and adjust the recipe I think that’s about the only thing I would change. My homemade bun was lighter and fresher than theirs, but everything else was pretty similar.

The thickness of the curd disk made a pretty big difference in texture. In some bites of the official Curderburger you couldn’t even tell that it was there other than the cheese flavor. The edge bites of the Curderburger were definitely the best parts because you not only got the texture from the smashburger patty, you also got the crunchy fried breadcrumb exterior from the fried cheese curd disk.

Overall, I enjoyed this burger. I would order it again, but I don’t think I’d order it every visit to Culver’s. If the Curderburger was a once a year or seasonal menu item then I would definitely use that opportunity to come back and try one.

An official Culver’s Curderburger. There’s lettuce, red onion, pickles, and tomato under there along with a slathering of mayo. Cheese is oozing out the side of the fried curd disk.
This guy’s name is Curdis. You can get him if you upgrade to a family sized cheese curd. I didn’t need him or the family sized cheese curd order but sometimes things happen for a reason. This was not one of those times because it happened for no reason.

If you didn’t get a chance to try this, I’m hoping that Culver’s brings it back from time to time. Maybe it’ll be a once a year thing they do for #NationalCheeseCurdDay.