asian bbq sandwiches

asian bbq sandwiches

Happy Friday! Not only is it Friday, it's the start to a long weekend! Those are the best Friday's. You've got three whole days of freedom. One last summer hurrah to eat all the grilled foods, wear flip flops and swim in the rivers. Pretty soon, it's going to be all pumpkin all the time so shove those tomatoes in your mouth, wear shorts and lay on the beach. There will be plenty of time to wear ugg's and sip pumpkin spiced lattes in the coming months.

I'll keep this post short because I know you've got lots of partying to do. I just wanted to make sure I shared these sandwiches with you before you fired up that grill, because they're pretty good and you might want to make 'em. We'll be keeping close to home this weekend, spending some time at the beach with my mom and sister, with these sandwiches in tow. Oliver is going to have to endure a lot of kisses and hugs this weekend. I sure hope he survives. 


Here's a quick recipe for asian bbq sandwiches for your last minute Labor Day weekend plans. To make these super simple, I use meat that is pre-marinated. My personal favorite is the bulgogi from Trader Joe's. 

asian bbq sandwiches // makes 4

Ingredients: 

  • 4 soft rolls, sliced horizontally, almost all the way through
  • 1 pound marinated Korean beef bulgogi (see note above)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 carrots, cut into fine matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise mixed with 1/2- 1 teaspoon of Sriracha (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1/4 of a small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • handful of cilantro leaves

Preparation: 

  1. Heat a gas grill on high heat for 15 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, stir together the sugar, vinegar and salt until fully dissolved. Add the carrots and let them sit until you're ready to use them. Drain before use. 
  3. Mix together the mayonnaise and the Sriracha. Set aside. 
  4. Cook the meat on the grill until nicely caramelized and cooked through, about 3 minutes on the first side and only a couple on the second or until done. 
  5. To assemble the sandwiches, divide the mayonnaise mixture between the rolls and top with the meat (cutting into smaller pieces if needed to make it fit on the bread). Top with the carrots, onion and cilantro. 

short menu

home

This week we are heading to my home town in the mountains for a long weekend in a cabin with some dear friends. In the forest is where my soul finds rest, where I breathe the most comfortably and where I feel most like myself. We're going to spend a whole day swimming in the lake, jumping between the water and the trees and then as the day fades away, we'll look up in wonder at the blanket of stars. I'm looking forward to Oliver to spending more time in the woods where I learned how to be a kid and where I realized how small I really was in comparison to the glory of God's creation. 

My menu this week is just about as easy as it gets and abnormally short, too. We are leaving on Thursday morning, so I wanted our meals to be simple and easy enough for me to cook with my eyes closed. I have relied a lot on pre-marinated meat and quick cooking grains, making quick work in the evenings. I'll be cleaning, packing and doing some food prep for our trip, so an easy week will help me stay on track. I'll be sharing some of the late summer recipes I'll be bringing along this weekend later in the week, so stay tuned. 

What's on for your weekend? 


menu // august 24-26 // No book this week

Monday: Grilled bulgogi from Trader Joe's with pre-cooked brown rice and quick sautéed broccoli

Tuesday: Grilled Santa Maria Tri Tip from Trader Joe's with pan roasted potatoes and kale salad

Wednesday: Beef tacos (with left over tri tip), with avocado, red onion, cilantro and salsa verde with smashed pinto beans and rice

Thursday-Sunday: CABIN! Woot!


weekly menu plan

plenty more

Menu making wasn't always fun for me. I spent a lot of time searching for recipes online or in magazines I subscribe to and it could take me hours to finally decide on the dishes I wanted to make for the week. It wasn't until my husband challenged me to use my cookbooks more often that the process became nearly efficient. Now, each week, my husband or my son pick a cookbook and I have to cook from it. I do have a little bit of veto power, but for the most part, I try to be a good sport and cook from whatever book they give me. It's a lot of fun to get everyone involved and it helps me narrow down the recipes I can use which keeps me on track. 

plenty more

I'm excited to share this part of our process with you. This is the real stuff that I do to help myself get organized, making it easier to get dinner on the table most nights. I'm a little embarrassed by the menu this week because it's a little ridiculous and it looks like I'm making it up. I'm not. This is real life here. My husband chose an adventurous book and because I'm a first born and like following the rules, I'm going for it. I know not all of you have the time for this kind of menu, and I understand. Most people don't. Just do as I say and not as I do. 

plenty more

Ironically, I'm going to tell you that the secret to successful menu planning is to make a menu that isn't too complicated and can be executed in a manageable amount of time. To save time on the day of, cook grains on Sunday and marinate meat in advance. As soon as you get home from the grocery store, wash and prep your vegetables so that they are easy to throw into a dish. No one wants to spend 20 minutes over the sink washing, stripping and drying kale after a long day at work when your stomach is about to eat itself. Don't make your menu too fancy and don't throw in too many new dishes in one week. The more you've made something, the faster you'll be so those old stand by recipes will be your BFF on the nights you have to get dinner on the table in a hurry. 


menu // august 16-22 // cookbook: plenty more by yotam ottolenghi

sunday: steamed eggplant with sesame + green onion / serve with sizzling oil greens (eggplant on pg 40)

monday: tomato + roasted lemon salad with bulgur/ serve with green salad (my addition) + panfried fish (salad on pg 54)

tuesday: beet, avocado + pea salad with roasted chicken + farro (beet salad on pg 65)

wednesday: free night (I use these nights for eating out, leftovers or pantry meals)

thursday: mango and curried chickpea salad with grilled chicken thighs (mango salad on pg 93)

friday: quinoa porridge with grilled tomatoes + garlic with grilled lemon shrimp (porridge on pg 101)

saturday: left overs!


a summery pantry pasta

summer pantry pasta

We always start out the week with the best intentions. On Sunday night, I make a menu for the coming week and I write up a grocery list for Monday so I'm ready to do all the shopping. The process takes me (what feels like) all day. I'm easily distracted and have been known to fall down a pretty deep rabbit hole of recipe research. I'm also pretty picky. I want to make sure I have a menu I'm excited about, one that will be healthy as well as satisfying and will be tolerated by adult and toddler. It can be a little over the top and I should probably simplify my strategy, but somehow, I find joy in the long and sometimes grueling process.

I generally have a meal planned for every night and I use the leftovers for lunches and carry over for other recipes. A whole roasted chicken can turn into many meals, which is helpful because that really cuts down on the prep time for following meals. Lately, I have been leaving one night free for going out or for left overs. This gives me a chance to use up any ingredients I didn't end up using. These are the nights I rely on my pantry to give the left overs new life. A well stocked pantry and a little knowledge can put dinner on the table with little effort which is especially useful when your toddler is losing every ounce of composure and he needs to have a face full of pasta at that very second. It's basically a zoo around here. 

summer pantry pasta

Feeding yourself, let alone your family can feel like a really big job. It takes time to plan, to cook, to clean and sometimes doesn't feel worth it, especially if cooking doesn't come easy for you. Some of that stress can be eleviated by learning some simple skills. Like being able to pull out a box of pasta and have a hearty meal for your family without thinking about it. In the next couple of weeks, I'll be launching some new categories, to help you get dinner on the table faster by learning how to use your pantry, knowing what foods go together and helping you with some time saving techniques and tips. Until then, throw together a big pot of pasta and start getting a feel for the kinds of meals you can make on the fly. If you're really wanting to dive into this process further, I'll be teaching a class on September 12th where I'll be teaching you how to become a pantry wizard. It's going to be a great time! We'll learn, eat and hopefully laugh a lot. I'd love to see you there!

summer pantry pasta

 This is a pantry recipe, so if you don't have some of the ingredients, try to see if you have a substitute already before running out the store. If you don't have corn, but you've got some peas, use those instead. If you don't have zucchini, use yellow summer squash. Take a look at what's in your fridge and use what you think will work. Experimenting is the first step toward becoming a better cook. If you're stumped, leave a comment and I'll do my best to guide you. Happy cooking!


summery pantry pasta // serves 4

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 pound dried orecchiette
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cobs of corn, kernels cut off
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 small zucchini, diced small
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups kale, stems removed and finely chopped
  • freshly grated parmesan

Preparation: 

  1. Fill a large pot 3/4 full of water. Add the kosher salt and bring to a rapid boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander being sure to save 1/4 cup pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot and set aside. 
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat the butter and olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet until the butter is melted. Add the onion, corn and oregano with a pinch of kosher salt. Saute until the corn is almost cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Add the zucchini, kale and garlic and cook until the kale is starting to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss well. Moisten with pasta water if the pasta starts to look a little dry, about a tablespoon at a time. Top with a generous amount of freshly grated parmesan and mix to combine. Divide among four bowls topping with extra parmesan, because, DUH, cheese.