Saturday, November 27, 2010

Fiercegiving Leftovers: Triple Decker Sandwich

Ali and I are the masters of Thanksgiving leftovers. Today, Ali made a toasted sourdough sandwich with a fried egg, provolone, green bean casserole, and mustard.

I made this:

Triple-Decker Thanksgiving Sandwich
Serves 1, easily multiplied

3 slices pumpernickel bread, toasted
Cooked turkey, shredded (I prefer dark meat, but white will do fine)
1 slice pumpkin pie (or a single serving of extra pumpkin pie filling that has been baked in a mini custard dish)
Green bean casserole with caramelized onions (recipe below)
Cranberry sauce
Salt and white pepper

On the first layer of bread, thinly spread mayonnaise and top with shredded turkey, salt and pepper to taste. Top with a second slice of bread, with thinly spread mayonnaise on the side touching the turkey, and pumpkin pie filling spread on the top.

Next, cover the pumpkin pie with green bean casserole, and top with the final slice of bread, that has a thin layer of cream cheese and cranberry sauce coating it. Anchor with a toothpick or two and enjoy.

Green Bean Casserole
Fills a 9x9 square baking dish

1 pound fresh green beans, cleaned and snapped into 1-inch pieces
2 white onions, thinly sliced into rainbows
1 cup stock
1.5 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Steam or boil green beans in salted water until tender. Strain into a colander and run under cold water to stop the beans from cooking.

Caramelize the onions in a large pan with olive oil, one tablespoon of butter and salt and pepper over medium heat. Stir every few minutes, until the onions smell sweet and turn a creamy brown, about 20-30 minutes.

Melt remaining butter in a medium saucepan. Add flour and whisk in until a thick paste forms. Begin gradually adding stock and milk and whisk until all the lumps of flour have dissipated. When the sauce becomes thick, salt and pepper to taste, and remove from heat. Add green beans and stir until combined.

Pour into a 9x9 glass baking dish and top liberally with caramelized onions. Bake in a 350 degree oven until bubbly, about 30-35 minutes.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Udon with Butternut Squash and Corn

Post-Thanksgiving: dealing with leftovers, and lots and lots of stock. With some of yesterday's ingredients and this morning's stock, I concocted this soup.

Turkey Udon with Butternut Squash and Corn

Serves 4

6 cups turkey stock
1 medium sized butternut squash, cubed
1 cup corn
3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried lemongrass
3 bunches of udon, cooked to package directions
1 cup cooked turkey, shredded (I prefer dark meat, but white is also delicious)
Salt and white pepper to taste
Chopped green onions
4 eggs, optional

Bring 3 cups of turkey stock to a boil with an additional cup of water. Boil squash until fork-tender and remove with a slotted spoon. Add remaining turkey stock, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass, and simmer until fragrant (10-15 minutes). Add corn and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

Divide the udon into four large, deep bowls and top with butternut squash and shredded turkey. Cover with boiling turkey soup and garnish with green onions and a hard boiled or poached egg, if desired.

My moody squash, posing.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bacon, Cheddar, and Pear Grilled Cheese

Partially inspired by Home in Disarray's grilled cheese post from yesterday, Ali and I decided on a sandwich to accompany our asparagus salad.

This is Ali, with our asparagus salad. She's wearing the best hat.

We ended up making a bacon-cheddar-pear grilled cheese sandwich as our second course.

Bacon, Cheddar, and Pear Grilled Cheese:

For two sandwiches:

2 pieces of wheat flatbread, cut in half-moons
4 piece of turkey bacon
1 Bartlett pear, cut into slices
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
White pepper
Lime juice

Toss pear slices in a bit of white pepper and a squeeze of lime juice.

Cook the bacon until brown and fragrant, peppering each side lightly. Remove from pan to a paper towel lined plate, reserving the fat. Once cool, chop the bacon finely into pieces.

Place half of each flatbread in the pan over medium-low heat, top with some grated cheddar, then pears, then more cheddar, then top with bacon and the remaining halves of flatbread. Flip over sandwiches carefully and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the bottom later of cheese has melted.

Slice, serve, and know that if you're taking classy photos, the other diner will finish their food in the span it takes to take all the pictures. It was really freaking good.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Zucchini Frittata Sandwich

I'm reading Tom Colicchio's 'wichcraft book. I am all kinds of inspired. So, sandwich day!

Zucchini frittata sandwich with spinach and tomato

For the frittata:

Grate 1 medium zucchini and saute in olive oil, a clove of minced garlic, salt, and pepper until cooked through. Equally divide cooked zucchini into a well-greased muffin tin (a six-piece pan). Sprinkle each cup with 1/2 oz of grated swiss cheese each and top with a mixture of three beaten eggs, salt, white pepper, a tablespoon of half and half and a tablespoon of water. Bake at 325 degrees until eggs are set on top. Run a thin knife around the edge of the tins to loosen. When you plan on putting the frittata on the sandwich, you'll probably need a spoon to scoop out all the creamy eggy and zucchini goodness.

Lightly toast two slices of whole wheat pane bread (it's a mildly sour Italian loaf that I got at Trader Joe's). Ideally, 'wichcraft toasts only one side of their bread, but I'm not that magical or skilled (or maybe I'm lazy and don't want to figure out all the details with my toaster oven).

On one side, thinly spread a thin layer of mayonnaise and top with 6 slices of very thinly sliced roma tomato. Salt and pepper the tomatoes, then add a three-leaf thick layer of baby spinach leaves. Top the spinach with two of the frittata pieces. Spread a thin layer of Grey Poupon on the second piece of bread and top off the frittata with this piece of bread.


So, this sandwich isn't really perfect since zucchini is a pretty juicy vegetable and as soon as I put the frittata on the sandwich, the weight of the egg made the zucchini juice out all over the sandwich. While this doesn't bode well for looks and cleanliness, the juiciness soaked through the bread, tomato, and spinach, which wilted the spinach and softened the toasted bread nicely.

The flavors were stunning, though. Wow.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Creamy Veggie and Shrimp Udon

I'm always looking for new things to do with udon. With a bit of cheese and milk, plus tomato and spinach and basil, add some shrimp and ginger, and you have east-meets-west udon. It may sound strange, but it's a great combination of flavors.

Creamy Veggie and Shrimp Udon

1 bundle udon

1 tablespoons olive oil

½ onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated (I like to freeze ginger, and then grate it on the fine part of a grater; no skin, no ginger hair)

3 shiitake mushrooms, chopped

½ cup spinach, chopped

1/2 cup chopped tomato

1 tablespoon dried basil (If I had fresh, I would have used two tablespoons chopped)

1 cup milk

¼ cup grated parmesan

5 raw shrimp, peeled, chopped

salt and black pepper to taste

Cook udon, drain and rinse.

Brown onion, garlic, and ginger in oil. Add spinach, tomato, shiitakes, basil, and a dash of salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the milk and parmesan bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low, add shrimp and cook until pink. Add udon and cook until heated through. Serves one hungry person, but easily multiplied for the masses.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

Today for lunch, Ali made broccoli grilled cheese... which I opted out of for my delicious BLT: turkey bacon, horseradish cheddar, spinach, and heirloom tomato.

I can't escape a broccoli and cheese temptation, though, so I made broccoli-cheddar soup this evening, and silly me, after tweeting, I got recipe requests from some friends. Enjoy.

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup:

2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, finely diced

1 stalk celery, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups broccoli (about 4 small heads) cut into very small pieces (you want them to fit on a spoon)

2 cups chicken stock (I used two chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in two cups of hot water)

2 cups milk

1/2 cup flour

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Salt and white pepper

Melt butter in a pot over medium heat, add onions and celery plus a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until soft. Add garlic, cook for another minute. Add broccoli, cook for one minute, then add the chicken stock and cover. Allow the broth to come to a boil, and cook until the broccoli is soft.

Whisk together flour and milk until combined. Add this mixture to the pot, stirring gently. The soup will thicken (yay starch!) and once it's thick and creamy looking, add the grated cheddar. Salt and pepper to taste, serve with toast.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Asparagus Salad

When I was a junior in high school, our food service program started Taste of Konawaena, an evening food festival of student-cooked dishes, for the public to enjoy. My senior year, I prepared an asparagus salad, and won first prize in appetizer and the people’s choice award. It’s still one of my favorite composed salads. Recipe follows.

Asparagus Salad:

1 pound thin asparagus, tough ends broken off, then cut or snapped into 1 inch pieces (if you want to make it really pretty, you can cut the stalks on a diagonal)

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 hard boiled eggs, sliced into circles (or ovals, whatever tickles your fancy)

4 hearts of palm, sliced into circles

Salt and fresh cracked pepper

Pecorino-romano, grated

Combine olive oil and garlic in a saute pan with a pinch of salt. Cook on medium heat until the garlic is dancing in the pan and smells cooked, about a minute. If you were to taste it, the garlic would be soft and aromatic, not crispy. Turn the heat on low, add the asparagus pieces and another pinch of salt and a grind of pepper and cook for a few minutes, until the asparagus is bright green and the center of the stalk is no longer bright white. If you were to taste the asparagus, it would be crisp and not stringy. Remove from heat immediately.

Arrange the salad on four plates, with one egg, one heart of palm, and a quarter of the asparagus on each plate. Play with circles and lines and the beautiful asparagus tips, and make it pretty. Scatter a few grinds of black pepper on the top and sprinkle with grated pecorino-romano.

(Feeds four as an salad course, or one hungry Ma’ayan who is craving asparagus, though I only used one egg and two hearts of palm for my single dish)

Monday, August 16, 2010

My Summer Dinner

Brandi and I cooked potato leek soup and inari sushi. Helena joined us.

Look at my pretty sushi!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Winter Term, Day Thirty One: Sometimes Good Things End

A final trip to West Side Market and Trader Joe's today, to get all the ingredients for our last final delicious meal.

On the menu:
Hummus by me (topped with sambal and sriracha OR za'atar and olive oil)
Oregano flatbread by Daniel
Terra chips brought by Carolyn
French onion soup with Gruyere toast by Michael
Greek salad with lemon vinaigrette by Amanda
Grilled asparagus, zucchini and red peppers by Daniel
Penne alla vodka with pancetta by me
Spaghetti with mushrooms, garlic, and olive oil by me

Nainamo bars by Eli
Chocolate espresso scones by Daniel
Lime-coconut macaroons with haupia (coconut pudding) filling and chili chocolate dipping sauce by Daniel
Grapefruit cupcakes with grapefruit curd, whipped cream, and spun sugar by Eliza

In addition to all this great food, we had lots of great people around: Mike, Hana, Carolyn, Yoshi, Chris, Sneha, Tevi, Daniel, Michael, Eliza, Amanda, Eli and Matt. Thank you all who came and brought plates. It was an incredible end to the month of food.