The Original New York Chopped Cheese Sandwich

No, it’s not a Philly cheesesteak and no, it’s not a hamburger. It’s the chopped cheese sandwich. From what I’ve found, it originated in Harlem, NY. Specifically, Hajji’s Deli. I’ve never been there but… I love trying new food. And more than likely, you’ve got all of the ingredients for this sandwich. So… Let’s get started.

  • 2.5 lbs. of ground beef (90/10 works well)
  • 4 hoagie rolls/baguettes/sub rolls. Whichever works
  • American cheese (get a quality one from your deli, not the stuff that’s individually wrapped)
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Tomato slices
  • Mayonaise
  • Ketchup
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Brown The Beef

Take your ground beef and brown it. I prefer using a cast iron skillet because I like my beef with an extra crisp and crunch to it. Keep it moving and do not let it burn. Season with your favorite spices. I used a low sodium seasoning blend and lots of pepper.

Step 2: Toast And Prepare The Buns

Grab your roll, veggies, and condiments. I buttered the rolls and then toasted them in another pan. This softens up the roll and gives the inside a nice crunch. Next, I added mayo, ketchup, and some sciracha mayo as well. What can I say…I like spice! I also shredded the lettuce and sliced the tomatoes.

Step 3: Assemble The Sandwich

At this point, your ground beef should be cooked all the way through and have a crumbly texture. It’s at this point that you can portion it on your skillet, pan, or flattop griddle. Place a couple of slices of the American cheese and let it melt through. Once it’s melted, use your longest spatula to transfer it onto your prepared buns. It’s at this time that you can feast with your eyes at this New York classic.

Step 4: Serve With Your Favorite Side And Enjoy!

I served our with some tater tots. It’s not a Philly cheesesteak and it’s not a hamburger. The meat has a nice crust to it because it’s chopped. Every morsel of ground beef is properly seasoned and cooked to perfection. I can guarantee you this will not be the last time you make this sandwich. Buen provecho!

The Best Garlic Noodles And Shrimp

There really aren’t many better food combos like that of noodles and shrimp. What’s better than that? You guessed it! Garlic noodles with shrimp. Let’s get right down to it. No fluff or filler!

  • 1 lb. lo mein noodles or spaghetti noodles
  • 1 lb. fresh peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 10-15 minced garlic cloves
  • 4-5 chopped spring onions
  • chopped cilantro
  • 3/4 stick of butter
  • 1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • LOTS OF LOVE, BABY!

Step By Step Instructions

Bring the noodles to a boil in a pot of water. Refer to the instructions on the package for cook time. Do not add oil. This is a waste of good oil and does prevent the noodles from sticking together. Mixing while it cooks does.

Chop the cilantro, garlic, and spring onions. Take this time to season your shrimp with salt and pepper. I typically don’t use salt as the soy sauce and oyster sauce have enough sodium as it is and I don’t like waking up with sausage fingers the next morning. Bring a pan up to medium heat to sauté everything as the noodles cook.

Sauté the onions and garlic for about 2 minutes in the olive oil. Add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp are opaque and cooked through. Be careful! These little boogers cook quickly and go from done to overdone pretty fast. Add the cilantro and remove from the heat. Here’s where you add the red pepper flakes as well.

Remove the noodles and drain them really well. If you have a colander, use it! Grab a wok or wok-style pot, bring it up to medium heat, and add the butter. If you don’t have one, use your largest pan so you can toss everything easily.

Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, noodles and shrimp to the pot. Give it a good toss and WHAM! You did it. Serve ’em up and enjoy. When you are finished, make sure you give your significant other a huge, wet, garlicky kiss! They’ll appreciate it. And don’t worry when you run out. Every burp for the next 3 days will remind you of how good this was. Buen provecho!

Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Soup

Well, it’s that time of year again when we dust off the coats and jackets and iron our long-sleeve shirts. With the cold weather comes a variety of foods (including the ever popular turkey we’ll all be eating for about 3 weeks straight). One of our family favorites is soups and stews. Who doesn’t like a warm bowl of soup and a crusty loaf of french bread for dipping? One of my all time favorites is creamy chicken and broccoli soup. I must warn you though, if you are a fan or the high sodium and preservative cans, this might not be for you. This is homemade and better than anything that you’ve probably had in the past. So buckle up and let’s get to it!

Ingredients:
3 celery stalks (diced)
3 carrots (diced)
1/2 and onion (diced)
2 cloves of garlic (diced)
4 strips of peppered bacon (I always use the low sodium)
1/4 cup of flour
1 jar of chicken bone broth (or any other broth you prefer)
2 cups of water
broccoli florets
shredded chicken
1 cup of milk (or cream, depending on your intolerances)
shredded cheese
green onions (diced)
salt and pepper to taste

Place a large pot on medium heat and render down the bacon until it is crispy. You can leave them in strips to do this or dice them up before you cook. I choose to dice them up. Remove the bacon when it is done cooking and set aside.
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Add the celery, carrots, onion, and garlic to the pot and cook thoroughly. Once cooked, add in the flour and mix everything until it becomes a thick paste. If it looks pretty gnarly, you’re on the right track! You can now add in your chicken bone broth and water. Mix this around and bring it to a boil. It will thicken as it heats up.
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Next, use a stick blender and pulverize your ingredients so that it resembles a soup/stew. If you don’t have a stick blender, carefully ladle it into a blender and blend up in batches. Bring this back up to a boil and add salt and pepper to taste.IMG_20171112_151620.jpg

Once it is boiling, add the shredded chicken, broccoli, and the milk/cream. Reduce the heat and simmer until the broccoli has cooked through. Continue tasting and adding salt and pepper to your liking.IMG_20171112_151749IMG_20171112_152434

Once the soup has reduced and the flavor is just right, you can turn off the heat. Serve this up in a deep bowl and top with the rendered bacon, shredded cheese, and green onions. I like to serve this up with a loaf of French bread so we can dip and eat.
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Give this recipe a try. You will not be disappointed (unless you don’t eat dairy, pork, or chicken broccoli soup). Leave a comment and share this recipe with your friends, family, and PLN. Buen provecho!