Sandwiches & Burgers

Uncle Rob’s Tailgate Filet Sandwiches with Whiskey Marinade

Tailgate Filet Steak Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

I ate a lot of delicious dishes at my family’s beach trip earlier this month, but my new favorite was my Uncle Rob’s tailgate filet sandwiches with whiskey marinade. He wanted to do something for Lemon & Mocha so I told him to come up with his signature dish for me to photograph while we were down at the beach. He did not disappoint with these succulent steak sandwiches.

Tailgate Filet Steak Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

During football season my Uncle is a regular tailgater at his alma mater, Villanova. He makes these regularly and I am sure they go fast. They certainly would if I was there!

Tailgate Filet Steak Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

My Uncle Rob and my Aunt Dottie, who hails from the University of Delaware, have a fun football rivalry tradition. Every fall Villanova and the University of Delaware play a big game. The person with the losing school has to place the winning school’s vanity plate on their car for the entirety of the year. My Uncle Rob wanted me to be sure to point out that Villanova has been on quite the winning streak 😉

Tailgate Filet Steak Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

No matter what team you’re rooting for this fall these delicious sandwiches will soften even the fiercest rivalry!

Tailgate Filet Steak Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt and I don’t have steak often as it is usually our splurge meal, but I will definitely be making these sandwiches soon especially since I was already craving them the next morning. Enjoy!

Tailgate Filet Steak Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

Uncle Rob's Tailgate Filet Sandwiches with Whiskey Marinade
Yield: 6 servings
  • ¼ cup whiskey
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup dijon mustard
  • ¼ packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup minced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of worcestershire sauce
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 6 1" thick filets
  • 6 pretzel buns
  • Pepper jack cheese, horseradish sauce and lettuce for serving, optional
  • 6 pack of beer for the chef, age permitting
  1. Combine the whiskey, soy sauce, mustard, brown sugar, onions, salt, worcestershire and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Place the filets on a cutting board and top with plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet pound filets until they are ½" thick.
  3. Combine the filets and marinade in a large plastic bag to marinate for 6-8 hours.
  4. Heat grill to high heat. Grill according to desired doneness. For medium-rare, grill for 3 minutes on one side, flip and grill for 2 more minutes before letting rest for 3-5 minutes before eating.
If you can't find filet, possible substitutions include eye of round steak or hanger steak.


Bruschetta Hot Dogs

Bruschetta Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Something about summertime makes me want hot dogs. I won’t eat a hot dog all fall and all winter, but the minute it gets warm outside I buy a package at the grocery store.

Bruschetta Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

If I’m at a barbecue and the hosts went all out for some delicious steak and chicken, deep down I’m disappointed I couldn’t have just a couple bites of a classic hot dog.

Bruschetta Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

As perfect as that classic hot dog is smothered in ketchup, mustard and onions, there are too many amazing hot dog variations out there that have been ignored for far too long. It’s time to elevate our barbecue hot dogs so they can stand there proud with the steak and chicken!

Bruschetta Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

These bruschetta hot dogs do just the trick. Hot dogs are grilled, placed in a toasted Italian bun, then topped with tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Dang-nabbit, these hot dogs are good!

Bruschetta Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

The bruschetta ingredients bring freshness, acidity and complexity to the hot dog, while the crusty bun envelopes the dog with enough room to hold the flavorful topping in place.

Bruschetta Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you’re someone who can’t imagine a hot dog without ketchup or mustard trust me when I say the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and olive oil provide no need for condiments. Elevate your barbecue hot dogs this summer and make some fancy bruschetta hot dogs!

Bruschetta Hot Dogs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Bruschetta Hot Dogs
Yield: 4 hot dogs
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2 large leaves fresh basil, torn
  • Salt
  • 4 hot dogs, grilled
  • 4 Italian buns, toasted
  1. In a small mixing bowl combine the diced tomatoes, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, basil, and salt to taste.
  2. Place the grilled hot dogs in the toasted buns then top with the tomato mixture. Drizzle with olive oil before serving.

Recipe from July/August 2010 issue of Food Network Magazine.

Dallas Burger with Barbecue Sauce and Coleslaw

One of my first cookbooks I purchased was Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries, and Shakes. As soon as I saw the title I knew I had to have it. I like burgers! I love fries! I would bathe in milkshakes!

Unfortunately I haven’t tried nearly enough of the mouthwatering recipes by now, but everything I have tried has been mmm-don’t-talk-to-me-right-now-I’m-busy-eating good.

One of those is the Dallas burger. Complete with creamy coleslaw, pickles and a sweet and spicy sauce, this burger is a barbecue lover’s dream. All the components add an extra flair to your average backyard burger, but this finger-lickin’ amazing sauce needs to get a special mention.

Sautéed onions, molasses and ancho chiles are just a few of the ingredients that add layer upon layer of flavor to this pourable gold. The ultimate proof for how good this sauce is? I am a cheese addict and never eat a burger without cheese. Notice something? This is a burger recipe, not a cheeseburger recipe. Now that is the delicious power of this sauce.

Impress your guests this Fourth of July and serve up these extreme barbecue burgers. They will not only thank you, but might randomly show up at your house all summer long with a six-pack of beer just hoping you’ll have an impromptu barbecue featuring these burgers. Don’t worry, you’ll want one too.

Dallas Burger with Barbecue Sauce and Coleslaw
Yield: 4 burgers, 2 cups barbecue sauce
for the barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • Salt and pepper
for the burger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound 80% lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
for assembly
  • 4 burger buns
  • 1 cup coleslaw
  • Dill pickles
for the barbecue sauce
  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the chopped onion until softened, about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add ⅓ cup water and the ketchup and stir. Bring to a boil then let simmer for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, except the salt and pepper, and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from the heat and puree until smooth in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
for the burger
  1. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
  2. Divide the ground beef into four equal parts and create 4 uniform burgers. Make an impression with your thumb in the middle of each burger patty so it doesn’t bulge in the middle when it cooks. Season both sides of the burgers with salt and pepper.
  3. Lightly brush the seasoned patties with the prepared barbecue sauce as they cook and grill until cooked the way you prefer, turning once. For medium cook for 8 minutes total.
for assembly
  1. Lightly toast the burger buns then top with the cooked patties, some barbecue sauce, coleslaw and dill pickles.

Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries, and Shakes.

Hobo Egg Grilled Cheese

Naturally I ponder about my favorite foods multiple times throughout the day so it is no surprise that I also fantasize about ways to make them even better. To make the ultimate version of all your favorite foods, now that is the dream.

When I stumbled upon this ingenious idea to elevate my family’s beloved hobo egg I almost couldn’t breathe from the excitement. A. Hobo. Egg. Grilled. Cheese? Must. Make. One. Now.

And of course my list of recipes to try is so long I didn’t get to it until many months later, years even, but I’m so happy I finally did. Combining the best of breakfast and lunch this is a spot-on lazy Sunday brunch meal.

Cheese and eggs have been a classic combination since the stone age when a caveman accidentally knocked a bowl of cheese curds onto his sizzling dinosaur egg omelette, or so I imagine, so before even taking a bite you know this sandwich is about to blow your mind.

And it does, again and again with every bite until you find yourself standing over the stovetop already making a second one. I hope you enjoy as much as I did, and don’t forget the bacon!

Hobo Egg Grilled Cheese
Yield: 1 serving
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 slices bread
  • 2 slices cheese, preferably cheddar, American, or any cheese that melts well
  • 1-2 slices cooked bacon
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Meanwhile prepare your grilled cheese by covering one of the slices of bread with the cheese and bacon then sandwiching the other slice of bread on top. When placing the bacon on the sandwich try to keep it around the corners of the bread so it doesn’t get cut out when you later cut out the circle from the middle.
  2. When the butter is melted and the pan is hot carefully place the grilled cheese in the skillet. Place a pan lid or tent a piece of foil over-top the sandwich in the skillet to help the cheese melt.
  3. When the cheese has started to melt and the bread is very lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes, carefully flip the grilled cheese. Cook until the other side of the bread is very lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan.
  4. Using the rim of a glass or a 2” cookie cutter cut a circle out of the center of the grilled cheese. Enjoy as a pre-meal appetizer. Press down on the sandwich to flatten it slightly.
  5. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet over medium heat and return the sandwich to the pan. Carefully crack an egg in the hole of the sandwich. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes then carefully flip over. Cook until the egg is no longer jiggling, but still feels soft to the touch, about 3-4 minutes. You want to make sure the whites are cooked through, but the yolk is still runny. Remove from the pan, cut in half and serve dipping the sandwich halves into the runny yolk.


Turkey and Manchego Panini with Sun-dried Tomato Mayo

Sometimes I find myself craving a sandwich. There’s something so satisfying about a fresh deli sandwich loaded with meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and of course mayonnaise. Recently, to conquer my craving I decided to take it one step further and make a panini. While still a sandwich, a panini takes it to a whole new level with a crunchy exterior and gooey melted cheese. The panini is the queen diva of sandwiches and this one certainly stands up with the best of them.

There are many stars of this panini and one is the Manchego cheese. Manchego is a firm Spanish cheese that tastes similar to monterey jack with an added nutty flavor. It complements the roast turkey, salty crunchy bacon and the delicious sun-dried tomato mayo. I don’t have a fancy panini contraption and it was still a cinch to make. All you need is a grill pan and another heavy pan to press the sandwich. If you don’t have a grill pan a regular frying pan will do the trick as well. Now please excuse me while I make another one and continue conquering my craving, which is now for this panini.

Yield: 1 sandwich
  • 2 slices bread
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato mayonnaise
  • 2 ounces deli turkey breast, about 2-3 slices
  • 1 thin slice Manchego cheese
  • 2 strips cooked bacon
  • ¼ cup fresh spinach leaves
  1. Heat a grill pan or skillet to medium heat and lightly coat with olive oil cooking spray, or heat 2 teaspoons olive oil.
  2. Make your sandwich by spreading 1 tablespoon of sun-dried tomato on each slice of bread. Add the turkey slices, Manchego cheese, bacon and spinach then close your sandwich. Place your sandwich on the grill pan or skillet and place a heavy pan on top of the sandwich to weigh it down.
  3. Cook the panini 3-4 minutes per side or until the bread is crispy and the cheese is melted.