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Dad’s Stuffles, an open-faced hot oven treat, new take on Newfoundlander’s dinner or mainlander’s lunch
As a private cook, I’ve had some crazy requests over the years from some imaginative people, who understandably lacked the cooking skills to bring their unique visions to life.
Recently, I was commissioned to create a dish for a friend named Ted, who desperately missed the taste of his ex-girlfriend’s creative cooking and, while he could certainly manage to cook for himself when it came to a few basic meals, he was no expert and far from creative.
Being a family friend of sorts, I decided to waive my usual fees and only charge him for some choice ingredients that I thought would make for a tasty creative dish. I was also excited to see him, as it had been a long time since we last had a proper visit.
As we talked, Ted helped me prepare our ingredients. When all was said and done, we had prepared a fine Newfoundlander’s dinner (mainlander’s lunch) of open-faced hot oven sandwiches stuffed with ground beef, a variation of my own personal trump card dish called Stuffles. Here is the recipe:
- 4 extra-thick slices of soft bread, any kind
- ½ lb lean ground beef
- 1 small onion, small diced
- 4 thick slices of processed ham
- 1 green pepper, julienned
- ½ package of bacon, diced
- 1 cup shredded mozza cheese
- 1 cup shredded old cheddar cheese
- 1 cup green onions, diced
- 1 small can of pizza sauce
- ½ cup salsa
- 2 tbsp. garlic butter
- 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp. basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a large sauté pan, use a small amount of butter or oil and medium-high heat to brown your ground beef with diced onion, salt, pepper, basil and Italian seasoning.
Add pizza sauce and roughly 2 tsp of water and stir well to create a meat mixture.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Prepare bacon in a separate sauté pan on medium-high heat, drain and set aside.
Prepare remaining topping ingredients as listed and do the same in preparation for topping. On the bottom edge of each slice of bread, carefully cut a horizontal hollow out of the inside being sure to leave about an inch of bread along the edges to make a bread pouch.
Carefully spoon an even amount of the meat mixture into the hollow of each bread slice.
Next, prepare a 9” x 13” baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out each slice of stuffed bread.
Smear each slice with garlic butter, then top in order with sliced ham, cheddar cheese, peppers, green onion, salsa, bacon and mozzarella cheese.
Top with pepper and salt as desired. Bake for roughly 12 minutes or until edges become golden brown in colour.
Terry Bursey, otherwise known as the Food Dude, is a Newfoundland chef who enjoys putting his mark on traditional recipes and inventing new tasty treats with unexpected ingredients. Reach him at email@example.com.