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Cafe's tasty sandwiches and chicken dinner can easily be prepped at home

Here are some recipes from Ricardo Cavaco, executive chef at YOU Made It Cafe in London, Ont.

Spicy Black Jack Sandwich

This recipe makes 1.5 litres (6 cups) of pulled beef. If you don't need that much, just pull what you need and save the rest of the cooked roast for another meal.

1 carrot

2 stalks celery

2 onions

250 ml (1 cup) coffee

125 ml (1/2 cup) red wine

1 l (4 cups) tomato juice

5 cloves garlic

5 ml (1 tsp) salt

5 ml (1 tsp) pepper

1 blade roast (2.25 kg/5 lb)

Oil, for frying onion

250 ml (1 cup) barbecue sauce

Chop carrot, celery and 1 onion and place in a bowl. Combine with coffee, red wine, tomato juice, garlic, salt and pepper to make a marinade.

Pour marinade over beef in a roasting pan and cook in a 200 C (400 F) oven for 4 hours.

When meat is almost cooked, slice second onion and fry in a little oil until golden brown and caramelized.

When beef is cooked, let it cool enough to handle, then pull as much beef as you want, allowing 90 ml (3 oz) per sandwich.

Strain solids out of the marinade and mix half the remaining juice with the barbecue sauce.

For each sandwich:

90 ml (3 oz) pulled beef

30 ml (2 tbsp) barbecue sauce mixture

5 ml (1 tsp) Greek yogurt

5 ml (1 tsp) prepared mustard

5 ml (1 tsp) horseradish

1 ciabatta bun, sliced

15 ml (1 tbsp) caramelized onion

7 ml (1/2 tbsp) chopped jalapeno (pickled, if desired)

1 slice medium cheddar cheese

1/2 lettuce leaf

Combine beef with barbecue sauce mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine Greek yogurt, mustard and horseradish

Put beef-barbecue sauce mixture on bottom of bun. Top with caramelized onion, jalapeno, horseradish mixture, cheese and lettuce. Add bun top and serve.

Source: Executive chef Ricardo Cavaco, YOU Made It Cafe.


Bahn Mi Sandwich

This Asian treat features a pickled vegetable mix that includes daikon, a mild-flavoured, large white East Asian radish. The daikon, sriracha hot sauce and fish sauce are available at Asian markets. The pickled vegetables, spicy mayo and Vietnamese dressing not required for the sandwich can be used as condiments with other dishes.

Pickling Mix

250 ml (1 cup) sugar

10 ml (2 tsp) salt

625 ml (2 1/2 cups) white vinegar

500 ml (2 cups) warm water

5 whole carrots

1 daikon radish

10 red radishes

In a pot, combine sugar, salt, vinegar and warm water; mix well and heat until sugar and salt dissolve.

Peel carrots and daikon and slice into thin strips. Thinly slice red radishes.

Combine vegetables in a large, sealable container, pour hot liquid over them and seal container. When liquid cools to room temperature, the mixture can be transferred to jars, sealed and refrigerated. The vegetables should marinate overnight before use.

Makes 1.5 l (6 cups).


Spicy Mayo

500 ml (2 cups) mayonnaise

50 ml (1/4 cup) sriracha (Thai hot sauce)

30 ml (2 tbsp) honey

In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Cover and store in refrigerator.

Makes 500 ml (2 cups).


Vietnamese Dressing

125 ml (1/2 cup) fish sauce

125 ml (1/2 cup) soy sauce

15 ml (1 tbsp) brown sugar

250 ml (1 cup) rice wine vinegar

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Cover and store in refrigerator.

Makes 500 ml (2 cups).


For each sandwich:

15 ml (1 tbsp) pork pate

1 panini bun or baguette (about 15 cm/6 inches), cut in half lengthwise

15 ml (1 tbsp) spicy mayo

4 slices ham

5 thin slices cucumber

30 ml (2 tbsp) pickled vegetables

4 or 5 fresh cilantro leaves

7 ml (1/2 tbsp) Vietnamese dressing

To assemble sandwich, spread pate on bottom of bun. Top with spicy mayo, ham slices, cucumber slices, pickled vegetables, cilantro and Vietnamese dressing. Top with other half of bun. Slice in half and serve.

Source: Executive chef Ricardo Cavaco, YOU Made It Cafe.


Garlic White Wine Chicken Dinner

This tasty chicken dinner will be a treat for family or guests and can be pulled together in just over 30 minutes.

1.5 kg (3 lb) baby potatoes

15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil

50 ml (1/4 cup) butter

1 sprig fresh rosemary

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 kg (2 lb) skinless, boneless chicken breasts

15 ml (1 tbsp) canola oil

8 cloves garlic, chopped

250 ml (1 cup) white wine

250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock

7 ml (1/2 tbsp) potato starch

In a large pot, place potatoes in salted water and bring to a boil. Cook until knife just goes to centre. Drain and toss with olive oil, butter and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan, sear chicken on both sides in canola oil. Then place in one layer in an ovenproof pan and bake in a 190 C (375 F) oven for about 15 minutes, depending on size of chicken breasts.

While chicken and potatoes are cooking, make sauce by putting garlic into the frying pan used to sear chicken. On medium heat, add wine and chicken stock. Stir potato starch into a little bit of cold water. Mix well and add to sauce. Stir until garlic is soft and sauce is thickened.

Pour sauce over cooked chicken and serve with rosemary potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Executive chef Ricardo Cavaco, YOU Made It Cafe.

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