Cheesy Meatball Sliders

Back-to-School-Meatball-Sub These are great on a football Sunday or any other day. Adapt the sauce as you desire, or make as given. It is a delicious finger food.


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 28-oz. cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 2 slices country bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 ounces finely grated Parmesan, plus more
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 slider rolls, preferably potato


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until onion is softened and translucent, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and bay leaf and bring to a low simmer. Season with salt and pepper and simmer, partially covered, while you prepare meatballs.
  • Preheat broiler. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil spray and set aside. Combine bread and milk in a small bowl and set aside, tossing occasionally, until milk is completely absorbed, 8–10 minutes. Combine chicken, 2 oz. Parmesan, parsley, garlic, eggs, salt, pepper, and soaked bread in a large bowl; gently mix with your hands until ingredients are fully incorporated. Dampen your hands, then form mixture into 12 balls; place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Broil, rotating pan once, until meatballs are browned, 8–10 minutes. Add meatballs and any juices to sauce and continue to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through, sauce is thick and chunky, and flavors have melded, 20–25 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Top each split roll with a meatball, a dab of sauce, and more Parmesan.


NOTES: You can vary this as you desire. Use turkey or pork instead of the chicken. Use your own sauce recipe or one that you like.

SOURCE: Bon Appetit


Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese

Buffalo-Chicken-Grilled-Cheese You have to be careful what you pair with tomato soup. At least I do. My husband is quite particular you see.

He allowed that this was “okay”.

In fact it was better than okay.

It was pretty darn fantastic.

So, hey, when it’s time for sandwiches, try this one.


  • 4 boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 rib of celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/3 c or less mayo
  • sriracha sauce to taste
  • 1 oz or so of blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2/3 c or so of either Monterey jack or cheddar cheese shredded
  • bread of your choice


  1. Salt and pepper your thighs and then saute them in a bit of EVOO until done and nicely browned on both sides.
  2. Remove to a plate and cool. Then dice.
  3. Mince the celery and carrot.
  4. In a bowl, add the mayo, the sriracha and blue cheese, mix thoroughly.
  5. Add the chicken and veggies, and stir until all nicely coated.
  6. Butter a griddle and heat until sizzling. Then place half bread down and brown to a golden color.
  7. Turn off the heat.
  8. Remove the bread and replace with the other half of the slices, adding more butter if needed.
  9. Place the chicken mixture on each slice and spread out evenly. Top with shredded cheese. Heat until golden brown again.
  10. Carefully turn over the sandwiches and turn off the heat. Tent a piece of foil over the sandwiches to allow the cheese to melt.
  11. Remove to a dish to serve once the cheese has melted.


NOTES: Omit the blue cheese if you don’t like it. And feel free to use any cheese that you like in place of the jack or cheddar. These taste wonderful hot or cold. So consider making extras to put in the fridge for a snack. Also consider doing this way different by using shrimp and/or crab.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Maid-Rites are Made Right

Crock-Pot-Iowa-Maid-RitesThis sandwich is something of an institution in Iowa and if my sources are correct, it has its followers in other parts of the Midwest as well.

I cannot vouch for the recipe as being authentic, but my husband ( who is Iowa born and bred) claims it sure tastes like he remembers them. I think I personally ate one during my twelve years of living in that state at an auction I believe, so my recollection is not nearly as strong.

In any case, they do taste good.

So if you want a loose-meat sandwich which is NOT a sloppy Joe, you might want to try this.

Kids, need I add, love ’em, and they are great for tailgating, Sunday football in general, or weekend grills. Start it and put it in the crock pot and forgetaboutit.


  • 3 lbs Ground Beef
  • 1 small Onion, chopped
  • 1 Beef Bouillon Cube
  • 1 Chicken Bouillon Cube
  • 1  1/2 cups Water
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • Any toppings such as ketchup, mustard, cheese, pickles, etc
  • Hamburger Buns


  1. Put the ground beef, chopped onion, bouillon cubes, water, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire and soy sauces in the crock pot. Stir together to combine ingredients and break up the ground beef.
  2. Cook on High for 4 hours.
  3. Stir occasionally to combine ingredients as they cook and to keep the beef from clumping together. After the first hour, leave the lid off until the liquid has evaporated to a consistency to put on the buns (fairly dry but not completely so). Return the lid and continue on a lower setting until ready to eat.
  4. Serve on hamburger buns with your favorite toppings.


NOTES: People have specific preferences for the toppings. Some swear by mustard, others by ketchup. Chopped onions and pickles are fairly standard. Cheese? not so much.

SOURCE: The Slow-Roasted Italian (but truthfully, this same recipe is found a lot of places, so I have no clue who the originator is.)

Real Iowa Tenderloins

IowatenMy husband specializes in what he calls “gruel”–usually concoctions that involved loose meat and cheese, but this is one of his stellar recipes and let me tell you, it’s one you will add to your repertoire once you’ve tried it.

It’s simple, yet sublime.

It’s the best of chicken sandwiches and then some.

It’s pure Iowa along with the Maid-rite sandwich.

So enjoy.


  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 2 eggs
  • flour
  • salt and pepper
  • deep frying set up


  1. Set up your work station. Three bowls: one for dusting with flour, one for egg bath and one for more flour.
  2. Heat oil to about 350-375°.
  3. Slice the tenderloin into about 1 – 1 1/2 inch slices. Pound until quite thin, but not paper thin. (Best to do this between a layer of Saran wrap.
  4. Salt and pepper each slice.
  5. Dredge in flour, then shake excess off. Then drop in the egg until coated, and then in the last flour making sure both sides are covered.
  6. Drop carefully into the hot oil and fry until golden brown.
  7. Drain on a cooling rack with paper towel underneath.
  8. Serve with buns, lettuce, tomato, onion slices, pickles and ketchup and mustard as you desire.


NOTES: Nothing fancy here, just use the condiments you normally would use on a burger. You could be creative using sliced jalapeño, a slice of cheese, cooked mushrooms and so forth.

SOURCE: Parker Peyton

Best Damn Chicken Sandwich in Town

new_mexico_chicken_sandwich-thumb-646x430-137627Get ready for this, because it is utterly amazingly good.

We were eating a few weeks ago at a fairly high-end restaurant for lunch and I ordered a chicken sandwich. While the taste was fine, the meat was dry and too thick, and I realized I could do better.

And after looking at a few recipes, I developed my own version with the stuff I like, and it was, grand, if I do say so for myself.

So follow the rules, and I tell ya, you will not be disappointed.

Seriously, follow the rules, no exceptions (except for the sauce, which is a more personal taste and if you don’t like jalapeños, well you are a sad case, but leave ’em out, and the cilantro too, but gosh that makes you a total wimp.).



  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 8 strips of bacon, cut in half and fried crisp
  • lettuce, crunchy iceberg is best
  • thinly sliced red onions (very thin)
  • panko crumbs
  • barbecue sauce or your favorite brand or recipe
  • 4 slices of provolone cheese
  • 1/2 c mayo
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • pepper to taste
  • 4 buns (your favorite type)


  1. Butterfly each breast half and then slice in half giving you 4 pieces.
  2. Prepare a bowl with warm water and about 1/2 c salt. Stir until salt has dissolved, and then place the fillets in the brine. Refrigerate for all long as 12 hours, but preferably around 4-6.
  3. When ready, dry off the fillets.
  4. Heat a fry pan with a tablespoon of olive oil.
  5. Paint one side of a fillet with barbecue sauce, press that side into a dish of panko crumbs (you can use others but I like the added crunch from these). Paint the other side and flip over and press more panko crumbs on the other side. Slide carefully into the hot pan. Do this with remaining fillets and brown the chicken on both sides.
  6. Remove to a rack and place in a preheated oven of 400° for about 20 minutes to finish cooking.
  7. When ready to finish dish, place a slice of provolone on each and shut off oven and let the cheese just melt.
  8. Meanwhile, combine the mayo, cilantro, jalapeño and pepper in a bowl and whisk until mixed.
  9. Place buns, cut side down in the fry pan and just brown a bit.
  10. Then assemble the sandwich and serve immediately.


NOTES: You could easily grill the chicken if you wish, and leave off the panko too with just the barbecue sauce. The point of the barbecue sauce however is to give a subtle sweet twang so don’t drown it in sauce. If you wish, you could make the sauce with mayo and some avocado and whirr it up in the blender. You could also caramelize the onions.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Beefy Standwiches with Cheddar and Horseradish Sauces

beef-and-cheddar-horseradish-sauce-thumb-518xauto-395670This is a Saturday meal for sure, or any day when you don’t have a lot of time, but want something awesomely good.

Yes, I said awesome.

A stop by the deli and you’re good to go.

Make it.

And then make it again.




  • For the Cheddar Cheese Sauce:
  • 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons Frank’s Red Hot or other hot sauce
  • For the Roast Beef and Buns:
  • 1 pound thinly sliced roast beef
  • 4 pretzel buns or other rolls, split
  • For the Horseradish Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup prepared horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper



  • For the Cheddar Cheese Sauce: Add grated cheese and cornstarch to a large bowl, and toss until combined. Transfer to medium-sized saucepan. Pour in 1 cup evaporated milk and the hot sauce. Cook over low heat, whisking occasionally, until sauce is bubbly and homogenous, about 5 minutes. It will thicken considerably as it warms up. Keep warm, thinning cheese sauce with additional evaporated milk if it becomes too thick.

  • Meanwhile, for the Beef and Buns: Adjust racks to upper middle and lower positions and preheat oven to 300°F. Place roast beef slices in a heatproof dish, cover with aluminum foil, set on the bottom rack, and cook until warmed through, about 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, wrap buns in aluminum foil, set on top rack, and cook until warmed, about 5 minutes.

  • For the Horseradish Sauce: Add sour cream, horseradish, chives, and lemon juice to a medium-sized bowl. Stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

  •  Smear the cut-side of the bun bottoms with horseradish sauce, and top each with 1/4-pound of the sliced meat. Drizzle with some of the cheddar sauce and then crown with top bun halves. Serve immediately.

    SERVES: 4

    NOTES: You can use cheese wiz but my god, why would you?

    SOURCE: Serious Eats


Philly Cheese Steak

phillyThis is one of those things that a city becomes known for. Like Detroit and Coney Island hotdogs, this is a classic.

A perusal of recipes suggests that there are two authentic versions of the Philly Cheese Steak sub. One has provolone cheese, the other has Cheese Whiz. I prefer the cheddar version, but I hate Cheese Whiz so I make my own cheese sauce.

Otherwise, these are, as far as I can tell, what you get in Philly.

Great for all kinds of occasions.


  • 1 lb skirt steak, semi frozen
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 green sweet pepper, sliced
  • One batch of cheese sauce, Cheese Whiz or Provolone.
  • 4 hoagie rolls, bolillos, or sub rolls


  1. Unwrap the meat and spread out, then freeze about half way through lying flat. (the normal skirt steak is about 8 inches wide and about a foot or more long. I slice it down the long side in half and freeze in two pieces. This makes it easier to cut cross-grain later)
  2. When meat is half-frozen, remove and slice very thinly (1/16 inch) cross-grain. This is essential otherwise your meat will be very stringy and when you bite, you’ll pull out the entire slice from the sandwich.
  3. Put meat in a larger skillet with just enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring as needed until it is just done. Do this quickly on high heat. Remove to a dish.
  4. In the same pan, add the onions and peppers and saute until they are tender and done, but still have some body. Searing the edges is a bonus!
  5. Heat up your cheese sauce, or slice up your cheese fairly thin.
  6. Slice open your buns and butter lightly, then put in the oven to broil just to melt the cheese and brown slightly.
  7. Remove and add a layer of meat then onions and peppers. Put on the cheese and place back in the oven to melt if not using the cheese sauce.
  8. Serve!


NOTES: Nothing says you have to be authentic. Sliced jalapeñ0s would be a good addition, pepper jack a good cheese substitute.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton