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Bahrain Grand Prix™

This weekend we cook to Bahrain. A few years back when this all started, we were all sitting at our local bar saying, “What should we cook for Bahrain?” A friend of ours Lisa, who is very clever with words giggled, “You should just make sand-wiches and desert!” Genius. It’s been a tradition ever since and the possibilities are endless.

The Bahrain Grand Prix™ is held at the Bahrain International Circuit.


Here’s a cool track diagram from Wikipedia!

Bahrain International Circuit--Grand Prix Layout.svg
Bahrain International Circuit–Grand Prix Layout” by Will PittengerOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Here’s what you need to know:
⇒This was an amazing race last year! Nico and Lewis had an epic battle that Lewis ended up winning.
⇒Last year was also the first time this race was held at night and it will be a night race again this year!
⇒Heat conditions should work in the Ferrari’s favor.
⇒Happy Belated Birthday to Sir Frank Williams!
⇒Let’s see if Nico can walk the walk, or just continue to talk, or maybe we should call it whine?

Our menu for Sunday will be carb loaded with classic sand-wiches from around the globe.
We will start with cocktails, of course. Sage put together a fruity concoction fit for a desert party with her Tequila Sunsets.

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Then for a great middle-eastern inspired sandwich, we made grilled Lamb Pita Burgers with an easy homemade Tzaziki Sauce. The unique cooking method is delicious and a must-try!

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We fancied up an Italian-American classic Caprese Sandwich with a balsamic glaze and grilled bread.

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For a light refreshing bite, we whipped up English Cucumber Sandwiches

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And what kind of sandwich party would it be without grilled cheese? We stuffed them full with our Grilled Chicken and Gruyere Sandwich with Chipotle Cream Sauce

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For “desert” we started with a classic middle-eastern ingredient: pistachios! Our homemade Pistachio Ice Cream will dust your socks off (sand pun intended).

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And why not throw in one more sandwich? Pile up a few Desert Ice Cream Sandwiches homemade gluten-free white chocolate macadamia nut cookies!

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We hope you can enjoy a few of our favorite recipes for Bahrain on Sunday! Other great options would be peanut butter and jellies, roast beef and horseradish cream sliders, BLT’s, or even a curried chicken salad sandwich. Happy Race Weekend!

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Tequila Sunset

For this race we created a twist on a Tequila Sunrise, and used a local distillery’s maraschino liqueur, orange juice, black cherry juice and topped it off with champagne! We have a little snow in Colorado, but we are imagining the warm desert breeze, and beautiful sunset!  Cheers!
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Tequila Sunset

  • Servings: 1 cocktail
  • Time: 5mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 ½ oz. blanco or silver tequila
  • 3/4 oz. Leopold’s maraschino cherry liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. black cherry juice
  • 2 oz. orange juice
  • top with champagne
  • garnish with a fresh orange slice

Directions

    1. In a cocktail shaker, add tequila, maraschino liqueur and orange juice. Shake with ice and strain over ice in a glass.
    2. Using a straw sink the cherry juice to the bottom of the glass. (Use a large straw and slowly pour the cherry juice down the side of the straw. It doesn’t need to go through the straw, just down the side.
    3. Top with Champagne and garnish with a fresh orange slice. Cheers to a beautiful desert sunset!
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Lamb Pita Burgers

Lamb is popular in the middle east so we thought a great lamb sandwich was necessary for Bahrain. These pita burgers are stuffed with raw lamb mixed with herbs and feta cheese, and then grilled to perfection! The juices and fat from the meat soak into the pita while it grills and gives a delicious, meaty, crispy treat!

Start by mixing the lamb with the spices, onions, and parsley. If you aren’t a lamb fan, any ground meat would taste delicious with this cooking method!

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Carefully mix the feta so that you get some chunks when you eat the meat.

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Split the pitas by cutting along the seam halfway around the perimeter. Then open up the insides to get it ready for the filling.

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Split the meat into 4 equal portions and flatten into a patty that will fit into the pita pocket. Insert the meat and the press to distribute to the edges.

Heat a grill to medium low heat and add the pitas. Monitor your pitas because you don’t want them to burn before the meat is cooked!

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Shuffle them around and flip a few times to get the perfect coloring. It should take about 10 minutes total.

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Cut each pita into 4 pieces and serve with homemade Tzaziki Sauce and Sriracha.

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Grilled Lamb Pita Burger

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

    • 1 lb ground lamb
    • 1 red onion, finely chopped
    • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 2 teaspoons pepper
    • 4 large pita breads

Directions

    1. Mix lamb and next 7 ingredients well
    2. Add the feta cheese and mix in carefully leaving small chunks of feta mixed throughout the burgers
    3. Open each pita by cutting along the seam, halfway around and opening up the pocket
    4. Divide the lamb into 4 equal portions and flatten into a thin patty that will fit inside the pocket
    5. Slide into the pita pocket and press carefully to spread the filling, repeat remaining pitas
    6. Light grill to medium low heat and cook pita burgers, rotating often so they don’t burn before the meat is cooked
    7. Remove from grill after about 10 minutes and slice each pita into 4 slices
    8. Serve with Tzaziki Sauce and Sriracha!

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Tzaziki Sauce

Homemade Tzaziki Sauce takes a little extra time but is delicious and refreshing! This sauce goes great with our Grilled Lamb Pita Burgers.

Cucumbers are packed with water, so to keep the sauce from being runny and watered down you need to drain the cucumber with a little salt for at least 1 hour. Grate half of an English cucumber and place in a strain over a bowl and sprinkle with a little salt.

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Squeeze out any excess liquid and add to a mixing bowl.

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Stir in the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper and refrigerate for another hour. Serve with lamb pita burgers or as a dipping sauce.

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Tzaziki Sauce

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

    • 1 medium English cucumber
    • 1 pint plain Greek yogurt
    • 1 clove chopped garlic
    • 1 teaspoon salt, plus extra for drying the cucumber
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
    • 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Directions

    1. Grate the cucumber and place in a strainer set over a bowl
    2. Sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of salt, mix, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour
    3. Squeeze the cucumber in a towel or just press to release the remaining water
    4. Mix in bowl with remaining ingredients
    5. Refrigerate for another hour to let the flavors blend
    6. Serve with lamb pita burgers!

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English Cucumber Sandwiches

My friend Shannon makes these sandwiches every time I see her and they make a delicious, healthy snack! They are also the most traditional British sandwich so they are perfect for our “sand” wiches and “desert” Bahrain party! Her recipes calls for creamy cheese mixed with onion and herbs, a half rye toast, and thin slice of English cucumber on top! What a great refreshing treat for a desert party!

We wanted them to be extra scrumptious so we used boursin garlic and fine herbs cheese, and then added some fine-diced sweet onion and fresh dill.

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Mix them up really good!

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Cut the small rye toasts in half diagonally and spoon about two teaspoons of the cheese mix on the center of the toast. Slice about half of and English cucumber into thin, long diagonal slices. Our cucumber was a little thick so we sliced those lengthwise in half as well. Place the cucumber slice on top of the cheese and that’s it! Sprinkle a little fresh dill on top when you are done and enjoy.

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Snag a few while you are prepping them; they will go fast!


English Cucumber Sandwiches

  • Servings: 16
  • Time: 15 min
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

    • 1 package boursin garlic and fine herbs cheese
    • 1/2 yellow onion, diced fine
    • 1 English cucumber, sliced thin on the diagonal
    • 1 mini loaf dark rye sliced bread
    • Sprigs fresh dill, some chopped and the rest for garnish

Directions

    1. Mix the cheese, onion, and 1 tablespoon chopped dill
    2. Cut the rye toasts in half on the diagonal
    3. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of cheese in the center of toasts
    4. Top with cucumber slice and sprinkle with more fresh dill
    5. Arrange on plate with fresh dill sprigs

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Grilled Caprese Sandwich

We know what you might be thinking, “Isn’t Caprese a Salad?!?” Trust us on this one.  If you are a fan, or not, of Caprese salads you are going to LOVE this!  Personally we think anything drizzled with balsamic reduction gets a gold star, but when you put it over fresh basil, roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and grilled bread?  Stop it…it is just to die for!

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Oven roasted tomatoes add a really nice roasted flavor to our caprese sandwich, and are complemented great with the grilled bread.

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We grilled our bread on a gas grill.  It was amazing, but you have to keep an eye on it!

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Grilled Caprese Sandwich

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 15mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 6 tomatoes (we used vine ripened), sliced about 1/2 inch thick
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3-4 ounces fresh mozzarella sliced
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 4 slices harvest grain bread (or anything that strikes your fancy)

Directions.

      1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes.

 

      2. Add vinegar to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a very low simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until liquid reduces by about half its amount. Remove from heat. It will continue to thicken while it cools. If it gets too think, you can reheat slightly.

 

      3. Once tomatoes are finished, heat your grill, or griddle to medium heat. Brush each side of the bread with olive oil, and grill until nice and toasted.

 

    4. Place mozzarella on one slide, followed by tomatoes and basil leaves. Drizzle with balsamic reduction.
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Grilled Chicken and Gruyere Sandwich with Chipotle Cream Sauce

We couldn’t have a Sand-Wich party without grilled cheese!  We took it up a notch, with shredded chicken, caramelized onions, super yummy melty cheese and topped it off with a sauce with a little heat!

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I think if I had it my way I would put caramelized onions on every sandwich!  They are so easy, and delicious!

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We sautéed these onions in butter, but if you prefer olive oil, you can do that as well.

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Get a nice golden sear on the chicken before adding the water.  The chicken should pull apart really easily.

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Who doesn’t love cheese!  Gruyere is perfect for this sandwich because it melts really nicely and has a strong enough flavor, it doesn’t get lost in the sandwich!

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Pile on the onions!

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Get this…the chipotle cream sauce isn’t even bad for you!!  We used nonfat Greek yogurt, so it’s guilt free!  Don’t worry, taste is not sacrificed!  It tastes like a guilty pleasure, we tested it out on the hubby!

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After you have layered all of your ingredients on the sandwich, grill on a griddle pan or skillet with butter.  SO dang good!

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Grilled Chicken and Gruyere Sandwich with Chipotle Cream Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded chicken (follow recipe below)
  • 10-12 slices Gruyere cheese
  • 1 white onion sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter (divided)
  • 8 slices of fresh bread (we used Chiabatta)

Shredded Chicken

  • 4 medium chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Chipotle “Cream” Sauce

  • 2 chipotle chilies (canned in adobo sauce)
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

    1.To make the Chipotle Cream Sauce, place all ingredients in a food processor, or blender, and blend until smooth. Approximately 45 seconds.
    2. To cook the onions, heat 1 tablespoon butter in a pan. Add onions and continue to cook on medium heat, until golden brown.
    3.To make the shredded chicken, heat a heavy duty skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook chicken 3-4 minutes on each side. The will start to turn a nice golden brown. After you have a nice golden color on each side, add the water.
    4. Reduce the heat to med-low and continue cooking for an additional 5-7 minutes. Cut into chicken to make sure fully cooked. Let cool.
    5. When completely cool, use a fork to pull apart the chicken and shred it.
    6. Assemble the sandwich. First place the cheese, then shredded chicken and onions. Top with the “cream” sauce, and another layer of cheese.
    7. Heat a pan to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter, and place the sandwich in the pan. Cook on each side until the cheese is fully melted. Serve warm, and with a side of the chipotle sauce!