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The Dino’s Special

8 Apr



My children all live in or around Boston.

I visit when I can and they treat me to all their favorite places.

Dinos and Monicas in the North End are my two favorites for sandwiches.

This is The Dinos Special.

I had to come home and make it or at least try to copy it.

This is as close to the real thing as you are going to get.

Only use fresh ingredients.

One loaf of Italian bread, I like a crusty ciabatta or long skinny Italian loaf.

Really good olive oil to drizzle

Good balsamic vinegar to drizzle. I love a lot because the bread soaks it up.

One juicy sliced tomato

4 to 6 nice slices of FRESH mozzarella. Spend the extra money and get the good stuff.

4 to 6 leaves of fresh basil. Let it cover the tomato.

Slice the bread into two long pieces.

Heat a skillet

Drizzle the olive oil on the inner side of the bread and lightly toast both side flipping them over when they are slightly toasted.

Place the bread on a plate and start assembling.

It goes like this ;


Drizzle of balsamic on the bread

Sliced tomatoes

Sprinkle with salt

Slices of cheese


Drizzle with olive oil

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar

Top with the bread

Squeeze together and cut in half.

Bring a towel to the table with some extra balsamic and have twenty minutes of heaven.

This is so good.

Thank you, Thank you Dino.

Fish Fillet Sandwich

11 Mar


I wait all year to overeat the fish sandwich at McDonalds.

I LOVE them and I do use the plural because I used to eat so many.

This is why I am fat.

Not this year.

McDonalds usual 2 for $3.00 has become 2 for $5.00.

I know inflation, blah, bah, blah.

But I put my foot down and refuse to pay that.

My wonderful Shaws fish department had haddock on sale and, once again, it is wonderful.

One bag of Martin potato rolls

Two pounds of haddock

Eight slices of American cheese

Good tartar sauce

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

One tablespoon butter

Cut the fish into eight pieces

Combine the cornstarch, salt and pepper in a bag.

Put the fish inside and shake until everything is lightly coated

Heat the pan with the oil and butter on medium high heat.

Add the fish but do not let it touch

You may have to do two batches and if so add more butter and oil if you have to.

The fish should have a nice golden crust before you flip it over

Add a slice of cheese on each fillet and the fish will cook for another couple of minutes and the cheese will melt.

Warm the rolls for 5 to 10 seconds in the microwave.

Spread the tartar sauce on both sides of the roll

Add the nice hot fish and cheese.

Cover with the other half of the warm roll.

Serve with pickles.

McDonalds you will never see $5.00 from me again. Maybe $3.00 on two when you have a sale…




The Ultimate Italian Grinder

4 Jun


Nothing is better than a good Italian grinder.

My son brought me a piece of a grinder his girlfriend’s father made.

Thats it!

I hand the baton over to him.

It was the most delicious grinder I have ever had plus he made his own bread.

Now I am obsessed to recreate it.

One two foot loaf of french bread.

One small container of grape tomatoes

1/2 small chopped onion

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon of salt or maybe more to taste

4 tablespoon olive oil

6 slices thin cut genoa salami

3 slices of thin sliced provolone cheese cut in half

3 thin slices mortadella

3 slices thin sliced capicola ham

3 slices thin sliced hot ham

3 slices thin cut pepperoni cut in half

Just a single layer of lettuce

3 forkfulls of sliced banana pepper, hot or mild

8 to 10 basil leaves cut into strips

Drizzle with a good balsamic vinegar

Cut the bread the long way and set aside

Make the tomato salad by mixing the tomatoes, onion, garlic powder, oregano, salt, pepper and olive oil

Place a single layer of the tomato salad on the bread

Save every drop because this is the star of the sandwich.

Start layering everything else ending with the vinegar drizzle

Try to close it and press it together.

This tastes delicious hot or cold.

Serve with A LOT of napkins.

I change the meats and cheese depending on what I have but always keep the tomato salad.

Mine is still not as good as Cafe Tempo in Warwick, R.I.

Naked Mini Meatball Sandwich

9 Apr



I was making mini meatballs for my grandchildren and started to get hungry.

One of the best treats in the whole world is a meatball right out of the oven.

Since I didn’t have any tomato sauce I had to improvise.

One potato roll



Spring mix

diced scallions

Put everything together and take the best bite in your life.

My grandchildren didn’t even realize I ate some of their meatballs…

My Yearly Corn Beef Sandwich

19 Mar


Every year I make a boiled dinner on Saint Patricks Day.

Everything is always left over.

The potatoes and carrots I put into my chicken pot pie.

The cabbage I fry in a pan with a little butter and eat it till I can’t eat another leaf.

Sometimes I do put it into soup.

Then there is the corn beef.

After I boiled this for hours and made a mess of my stove, I have to use it.

2 slices of marble rye bread


Spicy mustard

cole slaw

Two slices American or Swiss cheese

Lots of corn beef, sliced thin or thick or shredded

Start the sandwich

Put the mustard on one side of the bread


meat and lots of it

cole slaw


Butter the outside of the sandwich and place in a frying pan

Fry on medium heat till both sides are light brown and the cheese is melted

Serve with a pickle

This is my yearly splurge.

I also fill sandwich bags with the corn beef and freeze them to make hash on the weekends.



Cauliflower Grilled Cheese

13 Mar

I saw a version of this on the Chew and it looked delicious but was too much work.

One large head of cauliflower

One egg

1/2 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

One thin sliced onion

Ten slices American cheese

Ten slices Hoffman cheddar cheese

Two tablespoon butter

Slice the cauliflower into 1/2 inch slices

I removed the bottom stem but keep most of the core so the cauliflower would keep its shape.

I got 6 slices to make three sandwiches but cook the rest of the cauliflower and you could make small sandwiches.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees

Dip all the cauliflower, including the smaller pieces, into the egg wash

Dredge in the seasoned flour

Dredge the onion in the flour

Grease a baking pan with two tablespoons oil

Place the flowered cauliflower in a single layer on the pan.

Bake for ten minutes and then flip the cauliflower over for another 5 minutes.

Try to pair the slices up so they kind of fit together.

They do not have to be perfect.

Put two slices of American cheese and two slices of Hoffman Cheddar cheese on three of the cauliflower slices.

Top with another cauliflower slice

Heat a pan with the butter and add the thin onion slices

Place the cauliflower sandwich on top of the onions and brown one side then flip it over and brown the other side.

Cook till the cheese is melted but try not to burn them so use a medium heat.

Place on a plate with sliced apples

I had to eat this with a fork and knife because it was so cheesy.

I also made about three more small sandwiches.

Mix the leftover smaller pieces of cauliflower with the remaining egg, flour and onion and pour it in the buttered pan.

Just before it was fully cooked I put some cheese on top

Plated it and microwaved it for 15 seconds until all the cheese melted

It was a delicious omelette.

You can make the cauliflower sandwiches ahead of time,  refrigerate them and cook them when you need them.


After we bake the cauliflower, we can fry the onions in the butter and then make open face sandwiches with the cheese and onion and bake them till the cheese melts.

If I had another cauliflower I would try it so off I go to the market.

These are on my favorite menu list.









Wicked Twisted Mustard

23 Feb


Once upon a time there was a huge store called Spags.

It had everything from Milamo cookies to a lug wrench.

Well it closed.

It was a very sad day.

Finally after many years Whole Foods rebuilt the building and now there is a new modern shopping center.

It does not have the ambiance of Spags and they did name the restaurant after him.

So, I was wandering around the new clean store and found this nice gentleman and his son who was giving out tastings of their mustard. It’s a family recipe.

That did it..

I am sold .

There are three different flavors and I chose the “tangy.”

I ration it out like it was gold.

There is a little sweetness to it but the tang holds its own.

This is my new treat.

I love it, love it, love it.

Wicked Twisted Mustard is on my shopping list

This is a great hospitality gift with crackers, cheese and salami.