Friday, March 30, 2007

A shout out to the North Beach Sub

I had lunch from Buon Giornio today. The old Buon Giorno in St. Paul. Not the fancy pants one in Lilydale. When I get Buon Giorno for lunch, there's no need to look at a menu. I know I'm ordering a North Beach. It's turkey, bacon, fontina chese, romaine, tomatoes and aioli on a crusty sub roll. Seriously, it's very near the top of my favorite sandwiches of all time. Add one of their awesome cookies (today was oatmeal craisin-thanks Ethan!)and you will not be disappointed!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Double sandwich whammy

In addition to the pulled pork for tonight we added a second sandwich in honor of a certain squatter who will be turning 30 tomorrow. Yes, I made ice cream sandwiches! I used our ice cream maker ball (which actually works!) to make Irish coffee ice cream, spread the ice cream out in a pan to freeze, then I used a biscuit cutter to make little rounds that would fit between two Famous Chocolate Wafers. Super easy and super delicious.

So, on to Angie's other two food groups (apart from coffee and whiskey), spicy meat and cheese! The pulled pork sandwiches started with the dream inducing all night cook of a porketta roast. I put it in the fridge for the day, to separate the fat. Then, slightly before dinner time, we tossed the defatted (well, mostly defatted) meat back into the crock pot with some red bell pepper and shredded it up. I got these big fluffy slightly sweet buns at Panaderia El Mexicano (the bakery in Mercado Central). We added provolone cheese, sliced peperoncini, and some sauteed spinach. They went into the oven to get melty and then right into our bellies. Yum!

What is next you ask? Steak Sandwiches! Now we have to agree on how we want to make it--we have some differences of opinion. Beth wants classic Minnesota diner sandwiches on toast points, Angie wants it with sauteed mushrooms and onions and cheese on hoagie rolls, and I want it on a baguette with caramelized onions and blue cheese. We may have to agree to disagree!

Porketta Dreams

We didn't get a chance to cook the porketta for our pulled pork sandwiches until last night. I never realized how hard it is to sleep with a crock pot of spicy pork cooking just downstairs. I had some crazy dreams, that's for sure. One involved trying to turn down a gas fireplace because I was too hot. That's not too hard to interpret. But why did the fire turn to a little pile of crystal that looked like a chunk of coral when I turned it down?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Yay for Spring!

It has been absolutely gorgeous here. Each day has been a little warmer than the last and we're looking forward to two or three days of 70 degree weather. In March! Yippee!

Spring fever definitely equals grilling out, right? We headed to Everett's in Angie's truck after work on Friday (which shall now be referred to as the Meat Machine) to pick up some tasty meat for the grill. Lots of folks had beaten us to it--the steaks were seriously picked over! We picked up steaks and ground beef for the weekend. We made some great hamburgers last night.

I used a recipe from Cooks Illustrated to make the patties nice and moist. You add some minced garlic, half a piece of bread mushed to a paste with milk, some bacon grease, and black pepper to the ground beef (or turkey). When you form the patties, make them higher on the sides than in the center (kind of like a red blood cell). When you grill them, they will be flat on the top and juicy, even if you cook them to well done.

We assembled the burgers with caramelized onions, bacon, smoked Gouda, lettuce, tomato, and that awesome Dijon mustard from Trader Joe's. Deeeelicious!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


There it is! The Monte Cristos came off without a hitch. Golden brown, dusted with powdered sugar, strawberry jam on the side. Fruit as an accompaniment in honor of all those skinny chicks on TV... Actually, there was one tiny hitch--my sandwich was the first and it stuck to the fry basket so I lost a piece of bread momentarily. It was recovered and I squished it all back together and it still tasted great. Preparations for this sandwich involved Everett's (of course) and Trader Joe's. The meat and cheese came from Everett's, big surprise. We got good sourdough sandwich bread and really tasty Dijon mustard at Trader Joe's. I know Dijon mustard isn't in the traditional Monte Cristo, but it sounded good to me. It's really good with jam. Try it!

I layered bread, Dijon mustard, ham, Swiss cheese, turkey, more mustard and then bread. I sliced it diagonally, battered it, and threw it in the deep fryer. Beth did pretty much the same, minus the mustard.

Angie made a monster Monte Cristo, of course. Three pieces of bread layered with lots of cheese, ham, and turkey; Dijon mustard AND strawberry jam. She cut it into quarters before battering to make it more manageable. Check it out before

And after. (Please note that she saved half for lunch tomorrow)

And we couldn't resist the greasy hands picture

Next week may be messy too. We're making pulled pork! Angie had the brilliant idea of making it from a porketta roast. (Insert Homer Simpson drool here). We better get some squishy white buns....

Monday, March 19, 2007


Here are two photos Peter sent me from his phone (thus the high quality of the images) from one of his trips to the Blue Bayou without us. This one is called "feel the sheen" and it looks like Disney replaced the apple with a side of pasta salad. Hmm..
Here is the result of eating a Monte Cristo, entitled "it done slipped right out of my hand"

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Monte Crisco

Several years ago we were eating lunch at the Blue Bayou at Disneyland. Peter ordered a Monte Cristo. Beth followed suit. It was cut in half diagonally, then deep fried. The result was two enormous triangles of golden brown perfection which filled up the entire plate. Besides a bowl of jelly, the sandwich was served with a small red apple. Perhaps to relieve some of your guilt at eating that much fat and cholesterol? When we were leaving the restaurant Beth called the sandwich a Monte Crisco by mistake. That name stuck.
Now the ritual Monte Cristo lunch at the Blue Bayou is well established. We missed it the last time we went to Disneyland because I won a huge prize package that day which included dinner at Blue Bayou, and the Monte is only on the lunch menu. (We compensated by being in the parade, then staying in the Mickey Mouse Penthouse Suite for the night--tough sacrifice!)
So, it's been a long wait for this Monte Cristo. This is going to be good. Angie hasn't even had one EVER. And we're working on my friend Patrick to come over since he has strong opinions on what makes a good Monte Cristo (sourdough bread, deep frying, and strawberry jam)
It's the little things that get us through another week of the Heroes hiatus. At least we can make fun of painfully ignorant model wannabes instead!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Panini frenzy!

There were enough fixings left over so we could have paninis again last night. Yum! I made them with portobello mushrooms, pesto, sun dried tomatoes and mozzarella and provolone cheese. Delicious!
We're starting to formulate our attack for the Monte Cristos, too. We're thinking we'll definitely fry them (why mess around?) in some sort of batter. We'll probably follow the lead of the Blue Bayou restaurant at Disneyland. Now what kind of jam should we use?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Tonight was the debut of sandwich night on Wednesday. I'd say a good time was had by all. My co-worker Karen came over. She's a crazy ANTM fan and she brought yummy wine. Angie's girlfriend Mandy came, but said she had already eaten so no sandwich for her. Have no fear Mandy--you WILL have a sandwich night sandwich one day! Although the ANTM makeovers weren't as dramatic as they could have been, the paninis lived up to all of our expectations!

Check out our mad panini press. That's the most beautifully seasoned skillet ever (thanks Angie!) heated up and squashing sammiches on our $11 IKEA grill pan. Oh yeah.

We put portobella mushrooms, chicken, red peppers, pesto, mozzarella, and provolone on ciabatta rolls and grilled them. I even made a salad. We were laughing that this was our healthiest sandwich night yet. But have no fear--cholesterol is back on the menu next week--we're making Monte Christos!!!!
I'll take that with a side of Lipitor, please

Before I go any further...

I have to give my proper respect to Everett's Market. (My apologies for the delay-I took all of these shots last week on a different camera, then couldn't find the cord to hook the camera up to the computer until today.)
Aah, Everett's. Here are some tasty shots from our expedition for Dagwoods.

So many meats! So little time!

The final result. It looks so tidy on the counter. See what happened when we got it home!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Such anticipation

We are well into panini planning. I got a book out of the library called "Simple Italian Sandwiches:Recipes from America's Favorite Panini Bar" by Jennifer and Jason Denton. Did you know our nation had a favorite panini bar? Apparently we do and it's called 'ino and it's in New York City. Anyway, there's lots of delicious panini ideas in it and we have assembled ciabatta rolls, chicken breasts, pesto, mozzeralla cheese and portobello mushrooms to prepare for tomorrow night. Yippee!
It's been really warm and springy here so I'm going to make a salad to go with them.
My co-worker Karen is going to come over to celebrate the panini and to watch the fabled makeover episode of America's Next Top Model. It's really the highlight of any cycle of ANTM. One girl will get her hair cut short and cry about looking like a boy. One girl will get long blond extensions and go all diva. One girl will freak out because they want to change her hair color a little tiny bit. And one girl will barely have any change because---she's going home and they can already tell.
But I digress.
On sandwich related topics, I made a sandwich out of leftover frittata today, on multigrain with mayonnaise and lettuce. It was surprisingly delicious. I have Beth's cousin Megan to thank for the inspiration. She told me about eating sandwiches in Spain made from Spanish tortilla on baguettes.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The gift that keeps on giving

That would be all of the white paper packages of meat and cheese in our refrigerator. We went a little nuts in our Dagwood shopping. (Not surprising, since we walked into Everett's hungry!)
The result is a week's worth of great sandwiches for lunch. Today I have replicated the lower portion of my Dagwood, aka the "sweet" layer. I have 12 grain bread, honey mustard, smoked ham, Swiss cheese, bread and butter pickles, spouts, cucumbers, red pepper, tomatoes, red onion and lettuce. Yum.
Tomorrow I plan to attack the remaining "loaf" meats: pepper loaf and jalapeno loaf. That is, if someone didn't get to them first!

Monday, March 5, 2007

Oh woe is us!!!

Our happy post sandwich afterglow was RUDELY interrupted by the announcment at the end of Heroes that the next episode won't be until April 23.
Stupid NBC.
After much gnashing of teeth and despair, we decided the only logical solution is to move sandwich night to Wednesday, in honor of Tyra Banks.
So, our next sandwich will be next Wednesday (we have too many sandwich leftovers to have it this week!) and our sandwich will be.....the panini!!!
So many will take us a whole 10 days to formulate our plan


We went to Everett's in Angie's huge pickup truck tonight. We completely amused both staff and customers with our crazed deli meat frenzy. We got roast beef, smoked ham, pepper loaf, salami, and jalapeno loaf. We added havarti, sharp cheddar and co-jack cheese. At home I cut up cucumbers, red peppers, tomatoes and red onions. I got lettuce and sprouts, too. Then 5 kinds of mustard, mayo, and 4 kinds of pickles.

These sandwiches needed some serious engineering to stay together!
None of us could actually finish our sandwiches, though Beth came the closest. Wimpy was more than happy to lend a hand, but I think she was pretty disappointed when all she got was a cucumber from Angie's sandwich. Which she actually ate. That's devotion.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Winter Wonderland!

We had to wait until March, but winter fun is finally here! I know that this isn't exactly sandwich related....but we're so psyched! I think we got around 18 inches, on top of about 12 on Sunday. Yaaaaaay!!!!! Beth and I just got back from taking Charlie's childhood tobaggon for a few runs at Powderhorn Park. So awesome. Want a ride?

In sandwich news..I purchased the first ingredient for the Dagwood--frilly toothpicks!