Monday, April 30, 2007

Not exactly a sandwich....

But I can't really resist posting about the My Little Pony cake I made for my niece Lila's birthday last Saturday. A cake is sort of like a sandwich, right? Cake is kind of bready. I filled it with strawberry jam. That's sandwichy.


That's strawberry flavored cake--thus the hot pink, 5-year old pleasing color. I was a little frightened of it myself!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Falafel in Paris...

I'm a little sad that I didn't have enough time to truly give my all to the falafel sandwich we had for sandwich night this week. They were delicious, no doubt about that. But they could have been even better So, indulge me while I write a little ode to Parisian falafel since I couldn't actually try to make one myself.

I've been to Paris twice. The first time I went I was in college and travelling on the super cheap. I was delighted to find such incredible street food in Paris. I was happily subsisting on crepes and cheese sandwiches when my friends took me to a place in the Marais for falafel. Falafel? In Paris? What? The falafel I had that time was as big as my head, full of tons of stuff and probably cost less than $5. I have no idea what was even on it, there were some many flavors melding together. It was a gorgeous sunny summer day and we stood on the sidewalk beside the take out window inhaling the sandwiches before they completely disintegrated into gooey deliciousness. Mmm..

A few years ago I returned to Paris with Beth. I knew I had to take her to that falafel place in the Marais. What I didn't know was that the street our hotel was located on, rue de la Huchette, is the main Greek restaurant and falafel stand street in the Latin Quarter. We kept returning to one falafel stand with a buffet of salads to garnish your sandwich. You could just point to as many of them as they could stuff in there. They had incredible pickled carrots. By the time we hit the Marais we were truly aficionados of the artform. And the falafel we had there did not disappoint either!

So, figure out how to get to Paris. Eat falafel.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


It wasn't quite Paris, but it was still quite delicious!

We got pita and jalapeno hummus from the Holyland Deli. I just got a boxed falafel mix--which was pretty good. Not as good as falafel from scratch would have been, but I was pressed for time! I also made a couple of easy salads to top our falafel sandwiches. Thinly sliced cucumbers and onions with salt; chopped up tomatoes, parsley and onions; tahina, and this French carrot salad with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, cumin and cayenne pepper. (Thanks for the recipe Kris!)

It turned out to be quite delectable. And we were all there together, including Mandy, who ate a sandwich again! Hee hee--we convert all to our sandwich ways!

And luckily, Heroes didn't get all gory until we had finished eating.

Next week we make a brief return to Wednesday night since we're all travelling this weekend. We'll make fancy grilled cheese sandwiches and watch ANTM, followed by Heroes on tape. Heaven! The choices! Beth and Angie are thinking bacon and tomato for their grilled cheese. Mandy's thinking Cotswald cheese and chutney. I'm thinkin I'll have one of each!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Mmmm...delicious bacon

I can't believe it's taken us this long to choose a sandwich with bacon on it. Especially since Everett's makes such good bacon. Yesterday Beth and Angie got their wires crossed and bought a pound of Everett's bacon each. That's a fantastic overbuy!!

The California Chicken Club lived up to its expectations. My friend Kate (who suggested the sandwich for the hat in the first place) came over to supervise. Mandy came and actually ate a sandwich! She brought her own vegetarian chik patty.

Angie marinated the chicken breasts in chipotle lime sauce. Then we grilled them. We also grilled mushrooms and jalapeno peppers for the sandwiches and asparagus to eat on the side. I made guacamole and we fried up the bacon perfectly. I usually get impatient and turn the heat up and burn it. But not for these sandwiches! I let it cook nice and slow so it got completely crispy. We stacked bacon (not for Mandy), peppers, mushrooms (not for me or Kate) on the chicken, then put Monterey Jack and Havarti (not for Kate) cheese on top and popped them in the oven to melt.

To assemble, Kate toasted sourdough bread, then we spread the guacamole on it and topped it with the melted cheese bacon chicken pile, lettuce, and tomato. It was fantastic. You should try it.

We taped ANTM so we could concentrate on the sandwiches, then we watched while we ate them. The contestants went to Australia, but I'm glad we didn't choose to have a Vegemite sandwich to celebrate. Eeww. I draw the line at spreading yeast paste on bread.

What's next? We have a short turn around because Sandwich Night is moving back to Mondays! And we're making falafel. Yum! I want to make weird pickled vegetable salads to stuff the falafel sandwiches with, just like they do in Paris. Yes, Paris has incredible falafel. Don't miss it if you ever go there!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

First Angie, now Beth!

Beth just remembered she made plans for Sandwich Night (granted it was weeks ago, before we had sandwiches on Wednesdays) so she will be ditching us this week. Do you sense doom for Sandwich Night???? NO!!!!

Kate will be coming over to make sure the California Chicken Club is up to snuff. Angie will be here. Mandy will be here. She might even eat a sandwich if we get her a veggie chick'n patty. All is not lost. We'll even save Beth some fixings so she can make her own sandwich later.

Long Live Sandwich Night!!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

One Week to Heroes

One week until the end of the hiatus. I wonder what sandwich we will make to celebrate....only the hat knows!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Aaah, yellow mustard

I had a really hard time finding the right bread for the hot pastrami sandwich. It had to be squishy but still taste good. Finally, out of desperation at 11:00 PM last night I bought soft "french baguettes" in the sandwich bread aisle at the market. They actually turned out to be perfect. We toasted the bread first, then put on Swiss cheese, provolone, and pastrami. I offered a variety of mustards. I chose yellow, as planned. Kris had the spicy Trader Joe's Dijon and put a little too much on. Beth meant to use New York deli style mustard but used Dijon because it was open. She was pretty happy with the mistake. Doug bypassed all mustards and took his sandwich neat. We wrapped them up in tin foil and put them into the oven to melt. I got impatient and took mine out a little early but it was still really good.

Angie was not to be left out of sandwich night. She had herself a sandwich day, making 4 hot pastramis before her flight. She experimented with mustards and found that yellow was best. Yes!

The question is, did the pastrami sandwich live up to my nostalgic expectations? Yes and no. The flavor was pretty close, but it wasn't soft enough. I did take it out of the oven too soon so it wasn't melted enough. I think I'll try microwaving with some of the leftovers....

In ANTM news, Tyra shockingly kicked off the remaining plus sized model, Whitney. Check out Kris's ANTM ranking page. It rules. Beth and I a few weeks behind-witty comments are hard when you write them together!

Kris and Doug did the honors and drew the next sandwich--California Chicken Club. Mmmmmmm....guacamole.....(and yes, Angie approves!)

Ditched again

Angie had a total blond moment and neglected to tell us that she will be missing Sandwich Night again this week. Why, you ask? She has to fly to San Diego at 4:30 in order to attend an invitational camp for the rugby Women's National Team. I guess we can excuse her for that.

Congratulations Little Angie! Knock their socks off!

In her absence, we invited our friends Kris and Doug over. They are ANTM super fans, so we should be sufficiently entertained.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Steak, redux

I made my caramelized onion, flank steak, and blue cheese on baguette sandwich for lunch today. I added a little mayo. It was very good--it would have been better had I toasted the bread. And maybe added a bitter green--like arugula. Or, as they call it in the UK, rocket!
We're working ourselves up for the hot pastrami. Good suggestion on the spicy mustard, Tony, but I think I'm going to kick it old school with the yellow. This baby's about nostalgia for me. Angie will go with the spicy, I'm sure.
Now to find the perfect bun.....

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Hot Pastrami!

That's our next sandwich!
I'm pretty excited because Everett's has fantastic pastrami. I love hot pastrami sandwiches with yellow mustard and white cheese (maybe Swiss)on white hoagie buns.
Sure, I've had the classic deli style hot pastrami sandwich--a huge pile of meat on rye bread, with pickles on the side. I've even had it at Katz's Deli in New York. And it was delicious.
But my favorite hot pastrami of all time was the first hot pastrami I ever ate. When I was a kid, my brother and I spent a good part of every summer in Victor, Montana visiting my aunt and uncle. Victor is pretty small, so you have to go to other towns to get pretty much anything. The nearest town of size (2400 people then) is Hamilton, about 15 miles away. There was a little sandwich shop there called the Back Door Deli(I think?) and they made an awesome hot pastrami. A decent, but not huge, pile of thinly sliced pastrami, yellow mustard, melted white cheese (I wish I knew which kind!), all on a soft white hoagie bun. It opened my eyes to what a sandwich could be. It turned me from a picky sandwich hating kid into...a less picky sandwich hating kid. I still rejected boring old ham and mayo on bread. (Still do, surprised?) But add some zing to the mix and I was open to a whole new class of foods!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Steak Yum!

We decided to go with sliced steak on a baguette with some combination of cheese, onions and mushrooms. The dilemma was, what kind of steak? I found a recipe for a steak marinade called "better than A-1" and it suggested flank steak. Mmmm... Beth wanted to get a nice little filet mignon and butterfly it. So, we got both. The marinade was awesome. Beth grilled them in the chilly back yard. (It's more like February than April today.) Then we spread Boursin garlic and herb cheese on the bread, toasted it, then layered sliced steak, more Boursin cheese, sauteed onions and mushrooms and a little spinach on it. I made french fries and a tomato salad. Delish.
The only downside is that Angie got tickets to the Twins game at the last minute and ditched sandwich night! So naughty. She's got some making up to do next week.
We have a preliminary sandwich choice, pending Miss Thing's approval but I'm not going to reveal it yet. Here's a hint--it's the first sandwich I truly loved!