We are finally moved in to our new house! Well technically we moved in 3 weeks ago, but I finally had a chance to move all my photography props and lights into our make shift studio. The natural lighting here is so amazing and I am excited to start working on recipes. We have so much more room here. At our last place (while we loved it) everything just felt so cramped and there was not much kitchen space. I am just so inspired here in the new space! Now lets talk about these pimento cheese burgers!
These burgers are the first recipe I photographed here! Perfectly soft onion rolls with a medium rare steak burger topped with melted cheddar and pimento cheese. The perfect side for me were these garlic sweet potato fries! We served ours with lots of dill pickles, fresh tomatoes, lettuce and crispy bacon.
After uploading these pictures I am absolutely craving another bite. We just bought a hot sauce called “the sauce”. It is so peppery and tart! I would love to tell you we did not go through a whole bottle in 2 weeks, but… we did. I highly recommend a side of hot sauce for these garlic fries.
Sometimes the Farmer’s Market is all the inspiration I need to make something truly great. We were passing the fresh baked baskets and it was all I could do not to take a huge bite out of the various ciabatta rolls. They smelled so insanely good. Right away I knew I needed them to make these steak sandwiches.
We picked up the everything, asiago, and onion flavors. That bag sat in our shopping basket taunting is with perfect baked bread smell packed full of different cheese and spices.
Next was the steak. I used sirloin that had been marinated in garlic, soy sauce, and spices for 24 hours. We grabbed some smokey provolone cheese and spicy pickles. On the way home Patrick also bought a jar of fresh pepper jelly – one of our favorite condiments!
Fast forward to the caramelized onions, horseradish mayo and fresh veggies. Now we have the perfect sandwich! My favorite part is just how fresh each bite is!
You may have noticed the trend in fried chicken on my blog. For some reason I always try and find the next bigger better fried chicken. (fun fact I also do this with chocolate chip cookies) This sandwich might be the one though. So much flavor and easy to adjust to your personal heat levels. The harissa spices bring a really nice warmth to the breading without being to spicy or salty. I picked up my harissa seasoning from World Market. I prefer the dry mix because you can add olive oil to the spices to make a paste or leave it dry.
The secret to exceptionally juicy fried chicken is using chicken thighs. I like to soak them in buttermilk before dipping them into the egg batter. They are almost melt in your mouth tender with a perfect crunchy crust. The real star of the show is the honey harissa mayo spread. It brings a really nice sweet heat that pairs well with some tangy dill pickles.
Fried chicken sandwiches with a harissa crust and sweet harissa mayo.
4 chicken thighs
1 cup of milk or buttermilk
½ cup of AP flour
1 cup of panko crumbs
2 tbsp of harissa spice
1 tsp of garlic powder
salt and pepper
½ cup of mayo
1 tsp of honey
1 tsp of harissa spice
oil for frying
soak the chicken thighs in the milk while preparing the oil
In a deep frying pan heat oil to 350 degrees. (I used canola oil)
Prepare two bowls- one with the eggs beaten and the second with the flour, panko, garlic and harissa
Dip the chicken into the egg then into the flour mix
Season with salt and pepper
Fry in the oil until up to temperature. I usually cook to 160 degrees then let rest until 165
While the chicken is resting mix the mayo, remaining harissa spice and honey.
Toast the buns lightly and spread with the mayo.
Add the pickles and chicken then top with lettuce and tomato.
You can definitely add more or less of the harissa before frying. I usually love my food extra spicy, but these are just perfect with a tiny pinch of heat. Don’t forget the potato buns! They are so soft and just soak up all the juices from the chicken.
I know I know. Another FRIED CHICKEN RECIPE!? I promise this is different. You can swap the chicken out for white fish or shrimp, but we just happened to have chicken on hand. Did I mention that once a month I load up on every cut of chicken and beef I can find and freeze them all? It makes it easy to come up with different ways to cook when I have options. I usually buy my produce every few days and fish once a week, but the rest I buy in bulk for the freezer.
When I left for work I thought I was going to be making chicken pasta so I sat some chicken out to defrost. By the time I got home I was craaaaaving a po boy. We love ordering from Red Crawfish. They make these enormous po boys filled with fresh fish, sauteed peppers and onions, and lots of yum yum sauce. I still had a bag of spicy fish fry left so I cut the chicken into strips and dipped them into a mix of flour and fish fry.
I want to start making my sub rolls from scratch, but until then I will continue to buy from the Kroger bakery. These rolls are just under 6 inches and have a beautiful crust with soft pillow-y interiors. They are perfect for these po boy sandwiches. I hollowed out the inside so I could pack in the filling without too much bread in the way.
There comes a time in everyone’s life where you have to decide: breast or thigh? I very rarely had fried chicken growing up. In an Italian home you typically have chicken roasted and incorporated into dishes. In my adult life I became very fond of the grilled chicken thigh, but never did I ever think I would be partial to frying chicken thighs. I always preferred breast. I even prided myself in being able to fry such juicy pieces of chicken while using the leanest part available.
Today I am here to introduce you to the fried chicken thigh. And I have no regrets. My signature spicy coating over a boneless skinless thigh retains so much juice and flavor while still being very easy to pull apart. This is crucial if you are serving as a sandwich. That is the biggest problem with fried breast on a sandwich. Trying to take a bite without pulling the entire piece of chicken with you.
For the seasoning I highly recommend using the Kroger brand pork seasoning. It has low salt and is almost 50% paprika which is the key to getting that super dark rich fried chicken coloring. You are welcome to make your own. It is a blend of paprika, brown sugar, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and a dash of salt.
Sometimes you just need to smash some avocado. In celebration of my new (improved) website I wanted to share something delicious. Something cheesy, covered in bacon, and spiced up with Wickles relish. This is not a sponsored post. I just LOVE Wickles. When I was shopping today I came across the spicy relish and knew I wanted to make something ASAP. This is what appeared shortly thereafter.
What you need:
Your favorite sandwich bread
6 slices of crispy bacon
Once sliced vine ripened tomato
4 slices of havarti cheese
salt and pepper
How to make it:
Butter 4 pieces of sourdough bread, mine is from publix bakery. Heat your frying pan to over a medium flame and add the bread 2 pieces at a time. Top bread with havarti and leave in pan until the cheese starts to melt. Set bread to the side to cool. Cut your avocado in half and scoop onto 2 pieces of bread. I used a fork to smash the avocado lightly. Add mayo, salt, and pepper to your liking. I used about a tsp of mayo and liberally seasoned. Top with tomatoes, bacon, and about a tsp of the relish.
Press your 2 sides together. Cut and serve! Makes 2 servings. Prepare to fall in love!