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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Eat. Brew. Cook: Tuna ranch salad and spicy chicken sandwiches

At the end of last spring semester, I swore I’d never waitress again—six years’ experience in the food industry is enough customer service experience to last a lifetime. I kept this promise to myself all summer, and a paid internship ensured that I had money to pay my bills through the fall semester. As the semester progressed, though, I quickly realized that I was not going to have enough money to buy Christmas presents and make my January car payment.

Suddenly it was November, and I was flat broke. Over Thanksgiving break, I recognized my lack of options; I broke down and realized I would need to work over the break to make ends meet and that most likely I’d have to go back to being a waitress.

I found myself sitting at a table in an upscale seafood grill that I worked at for three years—before unceremoniously quitting by walking out in the middle of a shift. At the time, resigning in this dramatic fashion had seemed my only option; however, in retrospect, it may have been wiser to avoid burning bridges. I nervously fidgeted in my seat and sheepishly explained my plight to my old managers. After a moment of extremely awkward silence, grins broke out all around—of course they’d have me back.

At first, I was excited to be making money and back in the restaurant environment. It took precisely five minutes for me to tire of it and one hour to remember how boring it could be. It took two hours for me to remember that I abhor customer service. Two hours after that I remembered how terrible it is to serve delicious food all night but not have anything available to eat besides bread and clam chowder. I resisted creating a trend on twitter “#waiterproblems,” and instead, contemplated how to survive the five-week stint. A solution in the form of two semi-inspired sandwiches—traditional lunch fare with a twist.
Tuna ranch salad sandwich

The tuna ranch salad sandwich is the less bland and more awesome cousin of the original tuna salad sandwich. This dish is crunchy, a little bit sweet and packed with vitamins for a lunch to get you through a work shift or that extra-long European topics class that you regret enrolling in.

1. Combine and mix tuna, ranch, cranberries and carrots in a small mixing bowl.

2.  Spread onto a slice of bread. Lay spinach leaves over the entire surface on the tuna.

3.  Spread honey mustard onto the other slice of bread. Place on top on the other slice and enjoy!

Makes 1 serving.

Open-face Spicy Chicken Sandwich

To make lunch really interesting, go for this inspired recipe. A friend of mine first introduced me to this style sandwich; her dish features blackened tilapia and slaw served on a thick slice of Ciabatta bread, but I usually opt for chicken and a hearty slice of whole wheat. My recipe is fairly spicy, so remember you can always tone it down to suit your taste.

1.  Combine broccoli slaw, yogurt, salt and lemon juice in a bowl and mix well.

2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a cast iron skillet on high heat for five minutes until smoking hot (be careful to put the fan on over the stove and open a window).

3.   Mix canola oil and chili oil. Fully coat chicken breast with oil and then cover with spices.

4.  Pan-fry chicken breasts for one minute on each side. Turn off stove and transfer chicken to a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for five minutes.

5.  Lightly toast a slice of bread. Top with chicken breast and a scoop of slaw. I recommend a fork and knife for this one.

Makes 2-4 servings.

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