I love gumbo. It’s my number one go-to Cajun dish. And to really make a great gumbo you need to devote some time (and love) for it to really be something special. Give me a cold winter’s day and I won’t hesitate to take that time, but sometimes, I just don’t have the luxury. That’s where my quick fix gumbo comes in. All the flavors of a full-blown gumbo, but it takes a lot less time.
The two major timesavers for this quick fix gumbo are using rotisserie chicken instead of cooking your own, and using a pre-made roux from the store. Making a roux takes a little time to do right, and it is worth the time… when you have the time. When you don’t, grab a jar of almost-as-good roux from the store. Our local grocery store has a (sadly, small) southern foods section. That’s where I found ready-to-use roux.
You’re at this post for a reason. Maybe, like me, you actually like Steak-Umms. Like many, I was first exposed to them in a school lunch cafeteria years and years ago. And like many kids of the time, I would go home and beg mom to get them so I could have a steak sandwich there too. Mom wasn’t too keen on them, but would buy them for me as a rare treat. I’d have them about as simple as you could get: fried the Steak-Ummm, put it on a bun or white bread with ketchup, eat. Well, now I step things up with my quick fix steak sandwich, made using the Cuisinart Griddler.
The Griddler makes making a steak sandwich about as easy as you can get. Having the two big cooking griddles lets you cook several things at once. Without it, I’d end up with a skillet for the Steak-Umms, another for the onions and peppers, and I’d probably fire up the oven or toaster just to toast my sub roll. Sheesh, that’s a lot of stuff when I can do it all on my Griddler.
The history of the Steak-Umm is actually rather interesting. You can read about it here.
Open your Griddler so that the griddle plates are open flat. You want to use the smooth griddles.
Turn the Griddler Selector knob (the center one) to 'griddle'. Set the temperature know to 425 F, the maximum.
Once the green light is lit, indicating that the Griddler is at 425 F, you can being cooking.
Place the bell peppers and onion in a small bowl. Drizzle with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir and transfer to one side of one of the griddle plates. See my picture for how I arrange things on the Griddler.
On the other plate place the bread halves. Let them toast as long as desired as the rest of the ingredients cook.
Let the onion and peppers cook for 5 minutes, stirring a few times.
Add the mushrooms to the onion and peppers. Stir and cook another 5 minutes. The vegetables should be just starting to turn tender.
Place the Steak-umm on the griddle plate alongside the vegetables. Season as desired.
Continue cooking the Steak-umm until it starts to brown along the edges. Flip and continue cooking until done.
Assemble the sandwich by placing the Steak-umm on the bottom bread half. Add the cooked vegetables. Drizzle on the cheese, add the bread top.
Serve with plenty of napkins. You want that cheese to be nice and runny!
It was one of THOSE days. Not enough time to even think about dinner. But, a quick glance in the fridge and pantry and I was able to throw together a plan. Quick fix taco salads it would be. And you know, they turned out great! Crunchy shells, crunchy lettuce, and all of our favorite salad toppings.
I used chopped grilled chicken to top these salads, but any cooked meat (or no meat for that matter) would be great too. Like chilled cooked shrimp. Or warm taco beef crumbles. Just because these taco salads are quick to fix doesn’t mean that they are low on flavor.