Parsley and Feta on Pita Bread

Baking, Sandwiches, Snack, Vegetable Recipes

Feta and Parsley on Pita Bread by Tiny Chili Pepper

I love the scent of parsley, especially right after picking. One of the things I like to do with the herb is to mix it with feta cheese, fold it in filo dough sheets, and bake them—just like in the Turkish baked borek. This time, I wanted to try something different with the mixture. So, I spread it on a few pita bread, topped the bread with cherry tomatoes, and baked them. Oh, what a fantastic aroma they created as they cooked in the oven! They tasted delicious too. The fresh herb and tomato definitely added more complexity to the salty white cheese melted on the warm bread.

Feta Parsley by Tiny Chili Pepper

Here’s how I did mine:

(serve 2)

I used:

  • A handful of parsley (just the leaves)
  • About 4 oz. of feta cheese (I bought one of those 8 oz. plain regular chunk)
  • Olive oil
  • 3 pita bread
  • Cherry tomatoes

Then I heated the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, mixed/chopped the parsley and feta in a food processor, brushed the pita bread with olive oil, spread the cheese mixture on it, topped with cherry tomatoes, and baked for 6-7 minutes.

Thank you for visiting!

Parsley Feta Pita by Tiny Chili Pepper

Easy Summer/Picnic Menu: Chicken Salad Sandwich with Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto, Poultry Recipes, Sandwiches


Freshly made basil pesto is heavenly. I learned about the sauce through a food talk with a friend a long time ago and I’ve been hooked ever since! Basil really liven things up. Not to mention the fragrance…oh so delightful. I have them growing in a container outside of our apartment this summer. So I’ve been able to use them a lot for pesto, on pizza, and on tomato salad. Yumm!

Anyway, one time last month I picked a bunch of basil leaves and made pesto sauce. Then I mixed it with roasted chicken breast and made sandwiches out of the delicious combination. I packed them up along with another type of chicken salad sandwich with mayo, chives, and celery and brought them for lunch on our hiking trip. The pesto sauce, with that fantastic aroma of basil, crunchy pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and garlic, wrapped the roasted chicken so well. Super easy to make and packed with great flavors. Now that’s a great combination 🙂

What we’ll need:

  • 1 pound of thick-cut roasted chicken breast meat from the deli section. (Next time I will roast bone-in and skin-on chicken in the oven, like this recipe. I was rushing to pack for the trip since I had miscalculated my schedule that day. Hence the deli alternative to create the sandwich at the time. It worked really well though!

Chop and mix in a food processor:

  • Two handful of fresh basil leaves (maybe close to two cups)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • A tablespoon of pine nuts  (I’ve read that walnuts work fine too)
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan/Asiago cheese
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Steps:

  • Dice the roasted chicken
  • In a large bowl, mix basil pesto sauce with the chicken
  • Serve with Italian or Pumpernickel bread

Easy Summer/Picnic Menu: Chicken Salad Sandwich with Mayo, Chives, and Celery

Salad, Sandwiches

During the warmer months, Jeff and I try to squeeze in a few hiking trips. Sometimes we’d camp out and other times we’d simply go for a day hike. It all depends on location and distance. For the shorter outdoorsy excursions that we do, I like to pack up some simple and good food with us. I keep them in a small cooler in the car. Though energy bars work fine, in my humble opinion, there’s something incredibly comforting about having real food before or after a hike.

Last month we went on a day hike at the Tahquamenon Falls State Park in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. For the trip, I made a couple of chicken salad sandwiches for lunch. One with mayo dressing (inspired by Ina Garten’s recipe) and the other with basil pesto (next blog entry). The sandwiches made the perfect meal for that afternoon.

Here are the things that we will need for the chicken salad sandwich with mayo dressing:

  • 1 pound of thick-cut roasted chicken breast meat from the deli section. (Next time I will roast bone-in and skin-on chicken in the oven as the original recipe suggests. I was rushing to pack for the trip since I had miscalculated my schedule that day. Hence the deli alternative to create the sandwich at the time. It worked really well!  The second time I did the salad, I poached skinless and boneless chicken breast and it was a bit dry.)
  • 2 celery sticks (chopped)
  • ½ cup of light Mayo with Olive Oil (My friend, Leena, recommended this type a while back when I was looking for a good mayo. The suggestion worked. I like it very much.)
  • ½ tablespoon of dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon of horseradish
  • Black Pepper
  • Cayenne pepper powder
  • 4-5 fresh green stems of chives (minced). I have chives growing in my container garden. I love its mild onion-like flavor and aroma.

Steps:

  • Dice the thick-cut roasted chicken breast
  • In a large bowl, mix mayo, dijon, horseradish, chives, celery, pepper, and cayenne pepper powder
  • Add the chicken into the mayo mixture
  • Place in a container and a cooler for your picnic
  • Serve on either Italian or pumpernickel bread

Enjoy!

Mini Burger Series – Halibut Burger

Burger, Sandwiches, Seafood Recipes

Yesterday, I posted an article about my turkey mini burger with a mention of halibut mini burgers that I also did. Though Jeff and I love a good meaty and juicy beef burgers, we also enjoy other kinds. We take pleasure in having food variety. It definitely makes mealtime a lot more exciting. So here’s another alternative to the regular beef burger.

Spring has returned to earth. It definitely came back a lot earlier this year. The warmer air and bright sun create a perfect strolling weather to check out blossoms all around. Spring also means the start of grilling season for us. I love grilling outside. (Well, actually, Jeff does a lot of the grilling in our little patio 🙂 ) Recently, I made this delicious, light but yet filling, halibut mini burgers along with my turkey mini burgers. Halibut is definitely one of my favorite white fish. I enjoy its mild flavor and its substantial but fluffy texture. A perfect selection for my mini burger.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large fillets of halibut (divide into 4 servings)
  • Olive oil to coat the fillets
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • A sprinkle of ginger powder
  • A sprinkle of dried rosemary
  • Lemon juice (from half a lemon)

We will also need 4 burger buns or dinner rolls

Sauce (inspired by Rachael Ray’s)

  • 2 tablespoon of mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoon of mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of dill
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped pickle
  • Lemon juice (from half of a lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon of Sriracha hot sauce

Steps:

  • Mix the fish with all ingredients, cover with plastic wrap, and let marinate in the fridge for at least half an hour.
  • In a small bowl, mix mayo, mustard, dill, chopped pickle, lemon juice, and Sriracha for the sauce. Refrigerate until the fish is ready.
  • Spray the grill with olive oil so that the fish won’t stick
  • Grill the fish for 5 minutes on each side
  • Grill the buns/rolls for a minute or two
  • Spread the sauce on the top and bottom of the buns/rolls and drizzle a little on the fillet. Add cheese if you prefer. Stack up the burger.
  • Serve with roasted sweet peppers with artichoke hearts salad

Sandwich Enthusiasm

Sandwiches

My Corned Beef Sandwich with Baby Arugula, Horseradish, and Spicy Mustard

I discovered my sandwich enthusiasm at Piatto Pronto deli a while back. I used to frequent this deli (on Clark and Olive) a lot when I lived in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The shop made me fall in love with hot sandwiches and paninis. I learned how they got to be so good when made with fresh ingredients and exciting combination.

I remembered walking a few blocks from my apartment to Piatto Pronto’s door to pick up a sandwich one warm spring evening. The owner waved and smiled at my arrival. From behind the counter he asked, “What would you like to have tonight?” I looked at the menu board on the wall and did not see what I came for that night.

I usually get turkey or chicken. But tonight I am craving a corned beef sandwich. Do you make those too?” I asked.

Ha! A corned beef sandwich! Of course. I just didn’t expect to hear such a request from a petite woman. But sure. I can make anything.” He replied. I just smiled.

What else do you want on it?” he asked.

I wanted a big flavor, something that kicked. So I said, “Horseradish. Everything else is up to you.” 

“Horseradish! You surprised me again!” He laughed and then proceeded like an artist creating a masterpiece. I’ve always loved this respect toward food preparation. It felt like an art—that food could be more than just something to wolf and make our stomachs full. That goodness, joy, and excitement exist in food preparation and enjoyment. A few minutes later he handed me the sandwich. The result? A superb meaty and hot sandwich made of fresh ingredients with a punch for less than $7.

(Note about Piatto Pronto: Expect a line during lunch or after-work hours. Perfect for take out. Small outdoor seating area available in warmer months.)

The deli inspired a couple of sandwich creations. One day I happened to be in the mood for sandwiches. So I gathered the following from the market:

  • A large Ciabatta bread
  • ½ pound of sliced corned beef
  • ½ pound of sliced honey roasted turkey breast
  • Baby arugula 
  • Baby swiss cheese
  • (I had horseradish and spicy brown mustard in the fridge)

The steps I did:

  • Cut the Ciabatta bread in half, sliced one in half horizontally (keep the other half for the turkey sandwich), and separated the top from the bottom. 
  • Then using a bread knife I spread a dollop of horseradish and spicy mustard on both top and bottom bread. 
  • Layered the bottom bread with baby arugula, slices of corned beef, cheese, and more baby arugula. 
  • Placed the top of the bread on the stack and cut the whole thing into three smaller sandwiches. 
  • Heated a non-stick pan (panini press works too) over medium heat, placed the sandwiches on it, and pressed gently with a lid for a minute or two. (Did the same combination for the turkey sandwich.)

I have done the same combo using Asiago bread too, which worked quite well.

Jeff and I loved the combo. The tangy and spicy horseradish and mustard along with the peppery baby arugula added extra kicks to our corned beef and turkey sandwiches. I think we’ve found our favorites!