Thursday, February 25, 2016

Halal Cuban Sandwich

Not every day is your day. Not every day is my day but me and you both can try our best to make it our day.

Right before I started this blog (all thanks to Syed Shumail's suggestion) I watched a movie that really inspired me to make everything I cook more presentable. That movie was Chef and it had two recipes that caught my eye. Pasta Aglio e Olio which I have made previously and the Cuban Sandwich which I could not make due to pork meat and Cuban bread.

Many times people (most recently Myla Babar did) have asked me to try and make it's halal version but I just did not bother to be honest but the idea of a Halal Cuban Sandwich has been itching me since quite some time now.

So, I sat down one day watched a couple of recipes and thought HEY! I could replace the pork with beef and add chicken or turkey deli slices like Mortadella Slices to assemble a Halal Cuban Sandwich.

Finally planned everything, started using my vivid imagination and formed everything in my head.

Now the Cuban Sandwich has 3 steps.

Marinating the beef.

Cooking the beef.

Assembling the sandwich, which is a task in itself. I thought it was easy but when I was done with it I could not believe that I did it without breaking the whole thing.

The result as follows

But before all of this started, even before I marinated the beef I bought cucumbers, vinegar. Added these both things in a jar with a little bit of salt and sugar to make pickles for the Cuban Sandwich.

Now, let me tell you how to make this beautiful and scrumptious treat.

Ingredients for Beef Marinade:

3  pound boneless beef (shoulder or thigh preferably)

6 large garlic cloves

1 cup fresh orange juice

3/4 cup of fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoon dried oregano (if you have fresh oregano then its even better)

2 teaspoon cumin powder

3-4 tablespoon oil

3 tablespoon red grapes vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Add the garlic, cumin powder, oregano, oil, salt and pepper in a blender. Blend it till everything is chopped finely.

Mix the orange juice, lemon juice and red grapes vinegar together.

Now put the beef in a container and make slits in it using a knife.

Apply the oily garlic mixture to it properly.

Add the juices.

Close the container and let it marinate overnight in the fridge.

I had the cucumbers pickled on Monday and by today which is Thursday they are all done. I've sliced them to fit into the sandwiches.

Time to cook the beef.

Put the beef in a non stick pan, with all the marinade and the juices. Add a cup of water and cover it.

Turn the heat on low.

Cook it for 3 hours minimum. I cooked it for about 3 hours 15 minutes. Keep a check on it and if you think it needs more liquid then please add another cup or half of water.

Now the beef is cooked, it will be a little dark and charred no need to worry it's not burnt.

Slice it up just like in the pictures below.

Now we come towards sandwich assembly.

Cuban bread is even hard to find in some areas of the US so any long bread would do.

I got Garlic Bread from Jalal Sons and Sub Sandwich Bread from Bread and Beyond.

Ingredients for Sandwich Assembly:

Classic yellow mustard

Butter or margarine

Pickled cucumber

K & N's Chicken Mortadella Slices

Cheese slices

Slice the bread up and apply butter on it.

Heat for a while and add a layer of mustard to the sandwich base.

Now steps wise:

1. Add a layer of the sliced beef.

2. Add a layer of mortadella slices.

3. Add a layer of cheese.

4. Add a layer of pickles

5. Put mustard on the other side of the bread and assemble your sandwich. (see the pictures below)

This does not end here. The Cuban Sandwich has a special sandwich make which we unfortunately do not have here but HEY! we can make that press in the Desi way.

You just need 2 things. A non stick tawa and a non-stick frying pan.


Turn your stove on low heat and place the tawa.

Put the Cuban Sandwich on the tawa and press it with the base of the non stick pan for 30-50 seconds.

Then flip your sandwich very carefully and press the other side with the base of the frying pan again for a 30-50 seconds.

The Halal Cuban Sandwich is ready.


Just slice the sandwich in half and your Halal Cuban Sandwich is ready to serve.

Ladies and gentlemen, the much awaited and requested Halal Cuban Sandwich.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Dynamite Chicken Burger

I've been recently told that a 9 year old sweetheart named Nur waits every week to check my snapchat for different recipes and that's the sweetest thing I have heard in a long time.

This week's recipe is dedicated to Nur as she's also my favorite as she's one hell of an amazing talented child and also very adorable.

This recipe is called Dynamite Chicken Burger and is super simple to make. This also uses the PF Chang Dynamite Shrimp sauce, I've given the link to that recipe below.


2 thin cut chicken fillets

2 burger buns

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

juice of two lemons

1 teaspoon of ginger garlic paste

6 tablespoons of PF Chang's Dynamite Sauce

Just in case you're lazy enough to open that link I will write the ingredients and procedure for the dynamite sauce AGAIN

Ingredients for Dynamite Sauce:

7 tablespoons mayonnaise

5 tablespoons ketchup

3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

4 tablespoons sriracha sauce (if not available then any other hot sauce)

4 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper

Preparing dynamite sauce is easier than cake.

In a bowl add mayonnaise, salt, black pepper, red pepper, ketchup, sweet chili sauce, soy sauce and sriracha sauce. Whisk it till everything in the bowl is properly mixed.

This is your dynamite sauce.

Keep the sauce aside.

Time to marinade the chicken.

Add salt, pepper, paprika, ginger garlic paste and lemon juice to the flattened chicken fillets and let it marinade for 15-30 minutes. 

In the meantime when the chicken marinates you can prepare the sites.

I made two cabbage coleslaw by shredding some cabbage with a pinch of salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of light mayo in it. Mix it well and coleslaw is ready.

Then I prepared baked chips by slicing thin chips. Putting them in an aluminum foil wrapped dish. Baking them in the oven on medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Then sprinkling salt, pepper and some dried parsley on it.

Time to grill the chicken for the burgers.

Brush some oil on the grill pan and heat it on low.

Add both the chicken fillets and grill it for 3-5 minutes each side or even more if you like it crisp.

I was in the mood of grilling some onions slices for the burger topping so I grilled sliced onions for 2 minutes on each side as well.

Meanwhile the chicken is grilled you can cut veggies for the burgers. I shredded some iceberg lettuce, tomato slices and grilled onion of course as you saw above.

Dip the chicken in the Dynamite Sauce to complete the flavoring of your chicken.

So now everything is ready we just need to heat our burger buns on on low heat for a couple of minutes and then start assembling the burgers but before that its better to place everything next to each other so you don't make a mess out of burger assembling.

Now in numerical steps I will tell you how to prepare a burger.

1. Spread some mayo on the buns. You can also replace the mayo with mustard.
2. Add the tomato slices.
3. Add the dynamite chicken.
4. Add iceberg lettuce.
5. Add grilled onion.

That's it. Dynamite Chicken Burger is finally made.

I hope sweet little Nur loves this recipe because this is specially for her. Ladies and gentlemen, this burger needs no more words, I present Dynamite Chicken Burger.

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