Posts Tagged ‘sandwich’

Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich

December 1, 2013 1 comment
Thanksgiving Sandwich

Thanksgiving Sandwich

Thanksgiving Twenty-Thirteen has come and gone.  Unfortunately, the added pounds and leftovers did not go with the change of the calendar.  However, I’m here to help you with one of those problems. Sadly, you’ll have to deal with the pounds yourself.

Last year, I blogged about the Thanksgiving Burrito. That monster is a good way to rid yourself of those Thanksgiving goodies.

The Thanksgiving sandwich, for all intents and purposes, is the same as the burrito, only in sandwich form.  And for my money, its my personal favorite way to eat the Thanksgiving leftovers.

For one, fresh baked bread (homemade or from your local bakery) out weighs a tortilla any day of the week (unless of course you’re eating a mexican style burrito which would be extremely difficult to eat between two slices of bread.  Then again…..hmmmm….).

A burrito might be easier to eat, but I believe that a properly constructed sandwich allows all of the ingredients to meld together and I don’t think you can get the same thing when its rolled up.

And lastly, its grilled.  With butter!!!

Winner by majority decision, the sandwich. (although you can’t go wrong with either).

While I am providing a detailed recipe, please use it very loosely, but I do think the order you assemble it is important.

Also, if you don’t like cranberry sauce, feel free to omit, but it really is, in my opinion, the essence of this sandwich.



  • 2 slices of freshly baked bread (homestyle or sour dough work well
  • 2 teaspoons cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup stuffing/dressing
  • 1/4 cup mashed potatoes
  • A few slices of turkey (thinner is better) (white or dark – your preference)
  • 2 teaspoons turkey gravy


  1. Heat a cast iron (or non-stick skillet) over medium-low heat
  2. Butter one side of each slice of bread
  3. Spread 1 teaspoon of cranberry sauce on each slice of bread (the non-buttered side)
  4. Add 2 slices of turkey and top with a teaspoon of gravy (on top of the cranberry sauced piece of bread)
  5. Next, layer the stuffing and potatoes (I spread it as best I can)
  6. Top with the remaining teaspoon of gravy
  7. Top with the remaining turkey
  8. Top with the 2nd piece of bread (which should be already spread with cranberry sauce)
  9. Heat in cast iron pan until all ingredients are warmed through and bread is grilled to your liking
This is another sandwich, but wanted to show the cast iron)

This is another sandwich, but wanted to show the cast iron pan


Chicken Gyro

February 17, 2013 Leave a comment
Chicken Gyro

Chicken Gyro

Hi, are you looking for Digitally Dennis’ blog? Don’t worry you’re in the right place. I just made some minor enhancements based on a few suggestions from some of my readers.

First, and probably the biggest change, was the name of the blog itself. To be honest, when I launched last May, I wasn’t really ready to make this a full time hobby. I was however, eager to try it out so I rushed to pick a name. Needless to say, I got so much enjoyment out of sharing my stories and recipes that I ran with “Digitally Dennis” for the past 8 plus months. So when I decided to “get under the hood” so-to-speak to make my other changes, I figured I’d it was time to change the name too.  So welcome to “The Stained Cookbook.”

Your current bookmark should still get you here, but you may want to update it at some point because the redirect option will only be there for a year or so. Plenty of time.

In addition to the name change, I did two slight formatting changes.

First, you’ll now notice that the actual recipe is now in it’s own little “box”.  Some people come to the site just for the recipes so I wanted to call out the recipe to make it easier for those readers.

Secondly, the ingredients are bullet points and the steps numbered. This was something I started doing with my last couple of entries, but with this change, I went back and modified the past couple of months.

I just felt like these two changes gave the page a much cleaner look.

Finally, I added a “print and pdf” button in the “share this” section of each individual post (you can find it right beneath each entry). So for those that want to print the recipes or save it as a PDF. Just click that button and it will redirect you to a new page.  There you can decide how much of the blog entry you want to print.  Choose as much or as little of the entry as you would like.  Or if you prefer, save it as a PDF for viewing later (maybe on your eReader or tablet). You also have the option to remove the photos if you need to save on ink.  Previously printing any of my entries was just a mess so this is long overdue.

I’m sure this won’t be the last time I make changes, as I’m always looking for ways to improve the experience but I think these were some much needed immediate improvements.  Let me know what you think.  And if you have other recommendations, I’d really like to hear them.

Oh, and if you’re curious as to why I picked “The Stained Cookbook”, it’s pretty obvious…

Never claimed to be neat

Never claimed to be neat


Pronounced “Yeer-Oh” , this chicken version is a take on the Greek Sandwich traditionally made with Lamb.

It’s served on Gyro Bread which is a thicker, fluffier, (and in my opinion tastier) cousin of the Pita.  I’m fortunate enough to live in a city where Gyro Bread is pretty easy to find (Pita Land or Stomolis for my Pittsburgh brethren) but if you can’t get your hands on some, pita will work just fine.

Finally it’s topped with a  Tzatziki sauce (cucumber sauce) made with Greek Yogurt.  Add lettuce, tomato, and a few slices of red onion and enjoy!

Ingredients:For the Tzatziki:

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 of a large cucumber, peeled and seeds removed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced fine
  • 1 squeeze fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 drizzle olive oil
  1. Shred the cucumber and wrap in a clean dish towel.  Squeeze to remove as much moisture as possible.
  2. Combine cucumber with the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar and salt and pepper.  Mix well.
  3. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
  4. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes but overnight is preferred.

For the chicken:

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Add all ingredients to a gallon sized ziplock bag (or large non-reactive bowl).
  2. Mix well to coat the chicken.
  3. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
  4. Cook chicken using desired method (grill or in a skillet).
  5. When chicken is cooked, remove and cut in to chunks, thin slices or shread.


  1. Add one piece of gyro bread to a dry skillet that has been heated over medium heat.  Heat each side 1-2 minutes or until warmed through.
  2. Add chicken, lettuce, tomato, onion to the center of gyro bread.
  3. Top with a few heaping teaspoons of tzatziki sauce.
  4. Wrap have of the folded gyro in foil or parchment paper and twist.
  5. Serve immediately.
Homemade and healthier "Yeer-Oh!"

Homemade and healthier “Yeer-Oh!”

Roast Beef and Kielbasa Sandwich with horseradish cheese sauce

January 20, 2013 2 comments
Roast Beef and Kielbasa Sandiwich w/ horseradish cheese sauce

Roast Beef and Kielbasa Sandiwich w/ horseradish cheese sauce

The best part about food blogging is the interaction I have with other bloggers. We follow each others tweets, we’re friends on Facebook, and we connect through our blogs.  Mainly, at least in my opinion, we’re each others inspiration.

I cannot begin to tell you how many of the family dinners I’ve made over the past few years that have started by me reading a blog. I have bookmarks upon bookmarks of recipes I want to try.  Clearly I’ll never get to all of them, but I’m going to try.

In the midst of wading through the hundreds of recipes, there are probably 20 or so that have risen to the top.

The first recipe from my elite group of bookmarks is for a sandwich called “Beef and ‘Basa.”  It comes from Adam Holland who runs a blog titled “The Unorthodox Epicure – Confessions of an aspiring food snob.”  Adam doesn’t mess around with the recipes from his “Food Snob Chronicles.”  They’re good, creative ideas and best of all, most are easy to follow.  Perfect for a home cook.  Take a few minutes to check him out and if you like what you see, give him a follow.

Like any recipe I find, I try to tweak it to my liking, but this one looked as though it required no tweaking at all.  However, since I wanted to make it somewhat healthy, I traded out regular mayo for Olive Oil mayo and used turkey kielbasa.  I may have negated the fat count that I saved by upping the amount of cheese.  Also, since I really like caramelized onions, I used two. The technique is pretty much exactly the same.

My wife and I really loved Adam’s sandwiches and I’m confident that you will too.  Enjoy!

Thanks Adam!!


  • 1 pound roast beef (from the deli), sliced thin
  • 1 package of turkey kielbasa (such as Hillshire Farms) cut in to half-inch thick slices
  • 2 yellow or red onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 12-inch hoagie/sub rolls (for 4 sandwiches)
  1. To caramelize the onions, add olive oil to large skillet over medium-low heat and add onions.  Stir occasionally and cook until caramelized.
  2. Meanwhile, in sauce pan over low heat, add the mayonnaise, horseradish, mustard Tabasco, pepper and cheese.  Stir to combine. Stir occasionally to melt the cheese.
  3. In another skillet, over medium high heat, cook the kielbasa 2-4 minutes on each side until nice and browned.
  4. Once the onions are caramelized and cheese sauce is ready, toast the rolls under the broiler until just slightly brown.
  5. Assemble the sandwich by first spreading the cheese sauce to both sides of the toasted roll.
  6. To one side of the roll, add a generous pinch (or 3) of onion, a large mound of roast beef,  a few slices of kielbasa and another dollop of cheese sauce.
  7. Top with second side of roll.
Don't forget to cut it in half (or maybe not)

Don’t forget to cut it in half (or maybe not)

Steak Wedgie

October 7, 2012 5 comments
Steak Wedgie

Steak Wedgie

The picture above is a wedgie.  Yes, it resembles a calzone or stromboli but rest assured it is not either. You have to trust me when I say it is a wedgie.

What exactly is a wedgie?  In a nutshell, it is sandwich that uses pizza crust to replace the bread or bun.  It is flat, like bread, not puffy and doughy.  Additionally, while I have zero facts to back this up, the wedgie supposedly got its start right here in Pittsburgh back in the late ’60’s.

Just about anything you can put on a sandwich can go in to a wedgie.  The two most common types on the menu’s around here are Italian and my favorite the steak wedgie

Even though the wedgie is rumored to have been around my whole life, the first time I had one was the mid 90’s from Angelo’s pizza shop in Pittsburgh’s Little Italy section of the city, Bloomfield.

Their steak wedgie is PHENOMENAL.  It is one of the tastiest foods to ever find its way in to my mouth.  I’ve seen steak wedgies on other menu’s around the city and I’ve tried a few of them, but nothing comes close in taste and quality of Angelo’s version.  They set the steak wedgie bar high for me.

If you live in Pittsburgh and plan on trying one from Angelo’s, keep in mind their service around lunch time is slow.  If you order one for take out (or sit down – as they have a few tables), order ahead of time and give yourself plenty of time.  I can’t tell you about service other times of the day because that’s the only time I’ve gone.

Wait, you read my blog but you don’t live in Pittsburgh? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with my take on Angelo’s very delicious steak wedgie.  It does take a bit of pre-planning, but this nice pizza or hoagie/sub alternative is worth it.

Here are a few tips to help with this recipe:

  • To achieve the best results for the meat used in this recipe you will want to use thinly sliced steak.  Ribeye tastes best but I find a nice cut of sirloin gives me great results at a fraction of the price.  If you have a deli-slicer, just set the piece of sirloin on the slicer and slice on the thinnest setting.
  • If you don’t, place the sirloin in the freezer for about an hour or two.  Remove and slice as thin as you can until you have about 15 to 20 pieces of sirloin.
  • Another option is to slice the meat and pound it thin between 2 pieces of plastic wrap.
  • No matter how you do it, the key is to make it thin so it cooks quickly.
  • Once the meat is cut, quickly cook the meat in a pan over medium-high heat with a touch of olive oil.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towels to remove excess grease.
  • You can also use store-bought steak-like meat, but ummm, please don’t.
  • Caramelized onions take anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes, they can be made well in advance and stored in the refrigerator .
  • The garlic mayo can be made ahead of time also.
  • Make sure you have either a pizza tray or pizza screen (both can be bought for a couple of dollars at local restaurant supply stores) or a pizza stone.



  • Fresh Pizza Dough equivalent to one 16″ pizza  (basic pizza dough recipe)
  • 1 large onion, caramelized ( how to caramelize onions)
  • 15 to 20 pieces of cooked thinly sliced sirloin, then rough chopped (see info above)
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of lettuce, shredded
  • 3-4 slices of provolone cheese (mozzarella would work too)
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  1. Mix mayonnaise and garlic, set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  3. Shape pizza dough to approximately 16 inches (i.e. large pizza size).
  4. Lay out the dough on either a pizza tray/screen and brush with melted butter.  If using a pizza stone, then lay the dough out on a pizza peel and brush with butter.
  5. Place dough in oven and bake for about 2 minutes.  Just enough to start to get the dough firm.
  6. Remove dough from oven and spread the mayo/garlic mixture on the entire surface.
  7. Top half of the dough with cooked steak.  Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Then top with onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese.
  9. Fold the half of the dough that isn’t lined with the ingredients over the half that is.  Do not seal.
  10. Brush top with melted butter.
  11. Return wedgie to the oven and bake about 5-6 minutes or until the top begins to brown.
  12. Flip and brush with melted butter.
  13. Bake an additional 4-5 minutes or until golden brown.
  14. Remove from oven.   Let sit for 5 minutes.
  15. Cut in to wedges and serve.
A wedge of the wedgie

A wedge of the wedgie. Fantastic!

“Philly Cheesesteak”

July 30, 2012 Leave a comment
Philly Cheesesteak

“Philly Cheesesteak”

Being in the military, I was able to travel all over the world.  I’ve been to a few Continents and many countries.  I had my share of unique foods and met lots of interesting people.

Traveling abroad was certainly a once in a lifetime travel experience that I will cherish my entire life.

Despite being a world traveler, some of my favorite experiences, and proudest moments, happened right here in the United States.

For instance, my travels have taken me to the beautiful New England coast where the early morning fog makes way for breathtaking lush rolling green hillsides.  Off the coast, I participated in top-secret training exercises with Navy Seals.  Those guys really are bad-ass.

In Chicago, I nervously marched to the 50 yard line of Soldier Field, carrying the colors of America which I, an 18-year old kid from Pittsburgh, hoisted in front of sixty-thousand fans during the National Anthem of a Chicago Bears game, complete with a military fly-by.

I participated in New York City’s Annual Fleet week where, as a sailor aboard the USS John F. Kennedy, I stood proudly on the flight deck as we entered New York’s famous harbor.  Greeted by police and fire boats, we were the honorees.  The Statue of Liberty and at the time, the World Trade Centers there to greet me.

My duties took me to Miami.  There I had some time off and it afforded me the opportunity to take in a college football game at the famous Orange Bowl.   At the time, 2 of the most popular and elite college teams took the field.  Penn State vs. Miami.  At the height of their popularity then, very much unpopular for their off the field scandals today.

Finally, Philadelphia, visiting the hometown of a friend of mine who I met during my time aboard the JFK.  That’s the best experience of all.  Meeting people who you would otherwise never know. The people who, like me, voluenteered to fight for and represent their county.

While In Philadelphia, I was nothing more than a tourist doing what every other tourist does. Visiting the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Rocky Statue and trying my first ever authentic Philly Cheesesteak.

I’ve made a few versions of this iconic sandwich using good quality thinly-sliced strip steak, which I get from a friend of mine who is a butcher.  However, since its not always possible to get the good stuff when the mood strikes, I pull out this recipe using strip steaks cheaper cousin, ground beef.

Nothing can live up to the authenticity of the real deal,  but in a pinch this one will satisfy the craving.

This recipe will make three 12- inch sandwiches. Enjoy!


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (80/20)
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup steak sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • Provolone cheese, sliced (approximatly 3 slices per sandwich)
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • Mayonnaise (optional)
  • 3 twelve-inch hoagie buns

Preheat broiler.

Meanwhile, over medium high heat, brown the ground beef, drain and return back to the skillet.

Add in onions, peppers, and mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes until soft.

Stir in steak sauce.  Cook 1 minute.

Add beef broth, salt  and pepper and bring to a boil.  Continue cooking until liquid begins to reduce, approximately 3-5 minutes.

Philly Cheesesteak Cooking

One skillet meals are the best

Meanwhile, split buns and add mayonnaise.  Add beef/onion/mushroom/pepper mixture and top with cheese.

Place sandwich on sheet pan and broil, open face, just long enough to melt cheese.  Enjoy!

Not quite the real thing

Not quite the real thing, but in a pinch..mmmmm!


Cuban Sandwich with Chipotle Butter

July 9, 2012 3 comments
Cuban Sandwich with Chipotle Butter

Cuban Sandwich with Chipotle Butter

Anyone with a food blog must love cooking, why else would we take the time to write about it.  However, there are times where I’m too busy (read lazy) to do anything elaborate.  Those days require a good old-fashioned sandwich.

Lucky for me, I happen to love sandwiches.

While I have many favorites, I’m particularly fond of pastrami on rye, classic grilled cheese, and my all-time favorite Italian subs.

Slowly moving up my list of favorites is the Cuban.

On the surface, the Cuban, traditionally made with pork, ham, and Swiss cheese seems like a fairly basic sandwich.  But when you put it all together with the pickles and mustard, it’s quite amazing.  But what really separates the Cuban from just another grilled sandwich is the crunchy texture it takes on by literally smashing it when grilling.

Personally, I don’t think a sandwich press can get it right (plus I don’t have one).  Therefore I use a couple of heavy bricks wrapped in foil.  It’s a great technique that can also be used when grilling a whole chicken (but that’s another day).

Here’s my version of the Cuban sandwich that adds just a touch of heat in the form of chipotle pepper butter.  If you don’t want the heat, feel free to use plain butter.

Ingredients: (no quantities of meat etc. listed – use as much or as little as you like)


Ingredients for a traditional Cuban sandwich


  • 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 chipotle  pepper in adobo sauce, minced (seeds removed – optional)
  • 1 loaf of cuban bread (I used French but you can use any similar crusty exterior bread)
  • Roasted Pork (I use leftover from any time I make a pork roast)
  • Virginia Ham
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Pickles
  • Mustard

To make the chipotle butter, mix 1 chipotle pepper with the softened butter.  Set aside.

Butter and Pepper

Butter and Pepper

Compound Butter

Compound Butter


Cut bread lengthwise and apply a generous amount of mustard to one side of bread.  Add ham, pork, pickles, and cheese. Top with other half of bread.


Would be good as is…


Slater the top of the sandwich with half of the chipotle butter.


…but lets throw some butter on top and grill it


Lay sandwich on grill or griddle (or large pan) butter side down.  Gently lay brick on top of sandwich and smash the sandwich to balance the brick.

Smash It

Homemade sandwich press


Grill a few minutes until cheese begins to melt.

Remove brick (careful, brick may be hot) and flip.  Slather with remaining butter and flip.

Almost Done

Almost Done


Once again, balance brick and grill a few more minutes until heated through.

Remove from grill and enjoy!


Muy delicioso!