Tag Archive | "sandwiches"

Bacon and Blue on Rye

Add blue cheese to bacon in these sandwiches.

Food Network star Sondra Lee is known for taking already made products and combining them for maximum effect. Her “Semi-Homemade Comfort Food” (SL Books, $19.95) is loaded with tips and she even offers her favorite brands to help you with your shopping. Of course, you could make as much of the dish as you had time for.

This recipe is for a quick sandwich that matches two favorite foods: bacon and blue cheese. The end result will have you seeing a BLT in a whole new light.

Bacon and Blue on Rye

16 slices fully cooked bacon (Tyson)
8 slices light rye bread (Oroweat)
1/2 cup creamy blue cheese dressing (Bob’s Big Boy)
4 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese (Sargento)
2 roma tomatoes, sliced
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
Spring salad mix

Heat the bacon in the microwave according tot package directions.

Toast bread and spread each slice with blue cheese dressing. Place 4 slices of the bacon on half of the bread slices. Sprinkle with blue cheese. Top each with tomato slices and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the lettuce and then the other piece of bread. Slice in half and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

From “Semi-Homemade Comfort Food” by Sondra Lee

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At Hearthstone BakeryCafe, Fill Up on the Fillings

"The Tony" Montino is like a Cuban.

Hearthstone BakeryCafe in the Forum is one of those places that, well, has never been quite as good as it should be.

The fillings on its sandwiches are very good, whether you’re trying grilled portobello with feta and tzatziki sauce or meatballs with three cheeses melted on top. On a recent visit, the modified Cuban, known as “The Tony” Montino, featured pork and ham with Swiss cheese, pickle and plenty of mustard.

So, what could be so wrong?

The bread. Too many of the sandwiches are made on a flat, puffy white nothing, like a drab ciabatta, desperately in need of something — maybe salt to give it flavor and keep it from resembling cardboard. Perhaps the marbled rye is better.

There was only one item on the menu that was diabetic friendly (a Greek salad with feta, black olives and onions), but that wasn’t terribly surprising for a place that bills itself as a bakery. White flour is a given whether you’re talking bread, sweets or even pasta in the soups. Even the tomato-basil soup was advertised as having a hint of brown sugar, which made it sound suspiciously like warm ketchup and not at all attractive, diabetic or not.

The Wedge features plenty of bacon, sun-dried tomatoes and onions.

I decided on the wedge salad, minus the candied pecans. It came with plenty of crisp bacon, tangy oven-dried tomatoes and red onions with a generous portion of blue cheese dressing on the side. I enjoyed the creamy dressing coating each bite of iceberg lettuce. (In case you don’t know, the point of a wedge salad is to showcase the toppings and dressings. The lettuce has to be superfresh, as this was, so it adds crunch without adding too much flavor. I couldn’t convince my friend of this; she simply turned her nose up at the notion of eating iceberg lettuce under any circumstances. Her loss.)

An oatmeal-raisin cookie.

We shared an oatmeal-raisin cookie for dessert, which my friend enjoyed. I found it in need of more oats and less flour, though a rich brown sugar shone through. A cookie, not soup, is the right place for that.

A second Hearthstone is at 4212 McCullough Ave.

Hearthstone BakeryCafe
8096 Agora Parkway
(210) 798-8646


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Dress Up Your Leftover Ham

Ham-and-Pineapple Slaw

Do you have plenty of ham left over from Sunday and don’t know what to do with it? Try this nontraditional salad recipe, from Southern Living’s new cookbook, “101 Ways to Cook Southern” (Oxmoor House, $34.95) It gets a lively crunch from cabbage and a touch of sweetness from pineapple.

I found the pineapple a little too sweet for my tastes, so I added a half cup of chopped celery. It provided balance and a crisp texture. Onion would also work.

Cabbage for the slaw.

Ham-and-Pineapple Slaw Sandwiches

2 cups chopped cooked ham
3 cups shredded or chopped cabbage
1 (8-ounce) can pineapple tidbits, drained
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Lettuce or greens, optional
4 French sandwich rolls

Combine ham, cabbage, pineapple, mayonnaise, cheese, salt and pepper, stirring gently. Place lettuce or greens to bottoms of rolls, if using. Spoon on salad; cover with tops and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Adapted from Southern Living’s “1001 Ways to Cook Southern”

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Griffin to Go: For Super Bowl, It’s a Battle of Two Cities, Two Sandwiches

To the football fanatic, there is no greater day than Super Bowl Sunday. For Super Bowl 44, the two teams vying for the championship, the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints, are busy working on their strategies, their plays, their strengths and their weakness.

The rest of us are busy working on the food we plan to consume on this festive occasion.

But what will that be? Sandwiches have long been a favorite, whether the coach in charge of the food offensive prefers to serve up a table-long sub sandwich or a series of sliders. Before you place your bets, however, consider the two sandwiches, listed alphabetically by hometown, that fans from each of the home teams will likely be serving their guests.

Indianapolis Colts: Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

Which Wich Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

Take a pork cutlet, pound it until it’s broad and flat, bread it and fry it. It’s as simple as that. Yet a good pork tenderloin sandwich has a hold on anyone who ever tried one at any of the countless drive-ins that dot the Midwest. There’s something about the hot, slightly greasy patty and the cool mayonnaise on the toasted white bun that has made it a perennial favorite with millions.

Fan testimonial from Chuck Lundquist, formerly of the Midwest and now of San Antonio:

I’m a fan of the Colts …  and I’m certainly a fan of the pork tenderloin sandwich.

When I was in college, a small drive-in diner called Porky’s was on University Avenue in Des Moines (I went to Grand View College , a Lutheran junior college for two years before transferring to the University of Iowa).  They had a great big pork loin sandwich that just hung over the outside of the bun.  Pork is fairly inexpensive up north, and we always had big pork (and chicken) family meals.  On Sunday night when the dining hall was closed, Porky’s was the place to go.  We would have that big sandwich, soda and shake and walk around and talk to the ladies who had driven in.  Lots of fun on a Sunday evening.

That big sandwich would stay with you.  Plenty of meat and always tender and moist.  Over the years, the pork tenderloin has become too packaged with too much breading.  There is still a Porky’s in Des Moines, and I still like to eat there, but the sandwiches aren’t quite the same.

For a recipe to make your own pork tenderloin sandwiches, click here.

If you want to buy a pork tenderloin sandwich in San Antonio: Check out Which Wich, with two area locations: 11224 Huebner Road, (210) 561-WICH (9424); and 10730 Potranco Road, (210) 682-WICH (9424), or click here.

New Orleans Saints: Muffalletta

Murphy's Deli "The Muffaletta"

New Orleans’ version of the pressed sandwich is the muffuletta with its blend of cheeses melted into Italian meats and the salty, tangy appeal of olive salad. The sandwich dates back to 1906 and is still served today.

Fan testimonial from Sandy White, who grew up in the Big Easy and now lives in San Antonio:

Growing up in New Orleans I remember the times we would go down to Central Grocery for a muffuletta sandwich.  We would always go in multiples of either 2 or 4 as one of Central Grocery’s creations had to be shared, the final number determined by the level of hunger.  Since there was no table service, one would approach the counter to get the sandwich and proceed outdoors to find a suitable place to consume the masterpiece.

For those not familiar, the muffuletta is the quintessential New Orleans sandwich —A large, round Italian sandwich loaf, sliced in half like a English muffin, is piled high with Italian delicacies such as mortadella, capicola and salami, layered with provolone and Swiss cheeses.  What really sets the muffuletta apart from your garden-variety lunch-meat sandwich, however, is the generous helping of rich, tangy olive salad that serves as the only condiment.  The olive oil moistens the bread while the olives, garlic, peppers, and giardiniera add texture and spice to the meats and cheeses.  For a real treat, build the sandwich, wrap in foil and heat it in the oven until the cheese has melted, then add the olive salad and enjoy the finest sandwich you ever tasted.

Geaux, Saints, Geaux!

If you want to make your own muffuletta, click here. Central Market, 4821 Broadway, has the round Italian bread needed, while many supermarkets carry the olive salad.

If you want to buy muffulettas, check out Murphy’s Deli with three area locations: 300 Convent St., (210) 212-8833; 116-123 E. Houston St., (210) 299-2600; and 7702 Floyd Curl Drive, (210) 692-9852. Or click here.

(Pork Tenderloin image provided by Which Wich, Inc.)

(Muffaletta image provided by Murphy’s Deli)

(NFL Team helmet images provided by the NFL)

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SoGo: Plenty of Good Reasons to Go


It’s a common dilemma when we are deciding where to eat out.  If no particular place is calling to us, we still have a list of general demands. Ours might be that we don’t want anything too far away, too expensive, too noisy or too crowded. We don’t want greasy fast food. We might want interesting but not ethnic.

The Italian Dip

The Italian Dip

This decision is not made easier if one is a restaurant reviewer, by the way. You just have more items in your mental index to slog through.  But if we lived in the way-up-north end of Stone Oak Parkway, we’d suggest SoGo as a good, all-purpose choice.

Fresh salads, imaginative sandwiches and panini, hot entrées and soups are available every day. If you look at the extensive list of entries on the Chef’s Case list (, you’ll find more of the above, all with a creative touch, that are rotated into the daily menu.

Mark Arriola is the chef, and SoGo offers catering. The baked goods are fresh and you may also pick up a bottle of wine or even a can of San Marzano tomatoes while you’re there.

Food: 3.5
Value: 3.5

Rating scale:
5: Extraordinary
4: Excellent
3: Good
2: Fair
1: Poor

The restaurant is casual; you stand in line to order your food and pick up plastic-ware and pour your drinks after paying the cashier. The interior is pleasant and bright. Our only complaint was the table tops, which are made of some composition material that feels sticky even after it’s wiped down. Our purses stuck to it, our papers stuck to it. If we’d suggest one capital investment, new table tops would be it.


Chef Mark Arriola

We had few complaints about the food.  Really, our main critical observation was that the panini fillings needed to be warmer.  I don’t think it’s cheating to do a quick warm-up of sliced meats or chicken before it goes on the bread, then into the grill.

That said, everything tasted good. Better than good was a friend’s lemon-roasted chicken. He struggled to share even a bite, but what I tasted had good lemony flavor complementing the herbs;  moist, meaty chicken and crackly skin. (At least he said the skin was crackly. He nabbed mine before the bite got to my plate.)

Meanwhile, across the table, another companion was making lustful noises at each bite of her carrrot-sweet potato and ginger soup. It was a deep, appetizing orange with a not-too-intense dose of the exotic ginger, and every bit as good as she made it sound.

Her smoked chicken panino, while not hot enough in the center, was full of flavor, and especially suited to its dressing of chipotle mayonnaise.

I had prevailed upon the cook and chef to make me a meatloaf panino, even though the meatloaf sandwich offered was cold (and looked good). I was grateful that they said yes, and I enjoyed the meatloaf. Again, it was cool at the center. On the side, though, were very hot, freshly fried sweet potato chips that were so good I ordered more as a side for the table. We dipped them into chipotle-flavored ketchup, which really was gilding the lily.


Red Beet & Bleu Cheese Salad

While I’m mentioning sides, a serving of sautéed root vegetables came with the chicken. This was worth ordering seconds of, too. The vegetables were perfectly tender and we were happy to find sliced parsnips in the mix. The humble parsnip has taken on a trendy tone lately, as cooks discover this root vegetable’s subtle flavor.

A couple of nights later SavorSA’s Web guru and remarkable photographer, Nick Mistry, checked in with his thoughts on two more Sogo specials. One, the Italian Dip, with smoked ham, salami, pepperoni, provolone on tomato foccacia made him “very happy.” He poured the homemade Italian dressing (for dipping) over the lettuce and tomato in the sandwich (we suspect he is a hoagie boy) and he’ll be back for that sandwich again.

Two of us at SavorSA have had the roasted beet salad. They roast the beets, the salad is enormous and balanced with sweet-sour from fresh oranges and balsamic vinegar. Then, add the red onions, grape tomatoes, navel oranges, bleu cheese and candied pecans tossed with baby lettuces. Oh my, yes.

At lunch that day, we shared dessert — a slice of Chocolate Italian Cream Cake.  Chocolate, coconut and pecans would satisfy the most demanding dessert-a-holic, but after finishing lunch we also picked up a nice little red velvet cupcake with a crown of creamy frosting from the baked goods case. To eat later, you know, at home.

It didn’t make it home. But it did bring me happiness on the long drive back. This was fitting, as someone reminded me later. SoGo’s motto is “Creating joy through food.”  We’d say they’ve succeeded.



19903 Stone Oak Parkway
(210) 494-8222
10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Mon. -Thurs.
10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat.
10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sun.

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