Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Introducing Sandwich Lunch Club!

My friend Karen took me to a fantastic sandwich place yesterday. We convened what could become the Sandwich Lunch Club. Kate(back from Israel, yay!), Karen(of course), Ethan(he of great sandwich exactitude), Kristi and I took off for the fabulous Signal Hills Mall in West St. Paul at lunchtime. Yes, the old Signal Hills Mall has a great sandwich place. I didn't believe it at first either. It was great to get out of the museum for a change, now that Pompeii is open and the frantic work pace has slowed a tad.

So here's the place--it has a few names, as you can see. Kallyste Chocolates, The Real Cafe, maybe some more. It is run by a French guy who wanted to get fantastic flavor combinations out to the people in a convenient package, i.e. sandwiches! He sells fudge, chocolates, and ice cream as well as salads, crepes, and dinner entrees.
There's the background. Now here's the sandwiches. There's a HUGE list of hot and cold sandwiches. There are lots of interesting combinations of fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses. It took us ages to choose!

Kristi had the Parisien (left): It calls for a couple kinds of cheese, butter, sour cream and ham. Since she's a vegetarian, she asked him to skip the ham. He offered to put some veggies in instead and she let him choose. Good choice! He added avocado and red onions. Yum! I had the monthly special (as yet unnamed, on the right) Chicken, fresh mozzarella, pear, and chocolate sauce. Insane! The cheese was just salty enough to play off the pear and the chocolate was genius.

Kate had the cheese sandwich, which included feta and swiss among other cheeses and had garlic and lettuce.

Ethan chose the Exotic: Turkey, spinach, mango, and swiss cheese.

Karen's sandwich (I can't remember the name!) had mandarin oranges, shrimp and goat cheese.
Ethan and Karen also had pear smoothies and I had some great iced tea.
Wow--I need to go back, of course, and eat more unique gourmet sandwiches. You should go, too. Check it out! He's looking for a place in Woodbury that will be more visible.
Speaking of visibility, Beth and I will be heading out for a driving vacation in Montana and Wyoming for the next couple weeks. I'll be back online in mid-July with sandwich updates. Maybe I'll revisit my seminal pastrami sandwich place in Hamilton, MT if it's still there!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Philly cheese steak--sort of..

It was so exciting to finally have Jane over for a Sandwich Night. We chose Philly Cheese Steaks and we made sandwiches that featured beef, onions, cheese and bread. I think if I called them Philly Cheese Steaks to a less forgiving Philadelphian than Karen, I might get smacked. But here's what we did: I thawed out the leftover roast beef from Italian Beef sandwiches and sliced it thin and heated the slices up in the pan juices (which we froze with the roast). I grilled onions on a flat griddle (perhaps the most authentic part of the sandwich!). Then we melted cheese on top of the onions (provolone and mozzarella--not cheez whiz. Jane even slipped some goat cheese on hers!)

I got supermarket french bread, which wasn't my first choice but it worked okay. We assembled them by pouring pan juices on the bread, then meat, then the onions and cheese.
The verdict--delicious! Who cares how authentic they are, if they taste good, right?

And we couldn't let Jane escape bad tv, so we made her watch America's Got Talent. The verdict--America does indeed have talent. And David Hasselhoff is a boozebag.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Philly Cheese Steak!

We're planning a sandwich night for my friend Jane Tuesday night. (She always used law school and working for a state senator as an excuse not to come over on a regularly sandwich night. Silly.)
As the guest of honor, I asked her to choose a sandwich of her liking for us to tackle. So, cheese steak it is!
I've been doing a little research (ok,I had lunch with Karen and pressed her for details) I'm going to use roast beef, sliced thin, then grilled onions and provolone cheese. So not a classic Philly cheese steak, but Karen gave me her blessing as a former Philadelphian to pursue this rather unusual route. I'm sorry, but I like real cheese better than cheeeez. And I have half a roast beef in the freezer. So there.
Look for an update on cheesy meatiness later this week!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Recent sandwich happenings...

I had a great porketta sandwich with hot giardinera peppers from Buon Giorno on Friday. They cut a slit in the side of a crusty hoagie roll and stuff the sliced porketta, au jus, and peppers into it. That way, the outside of the bread remains hard and the inside gets all delicious and squishy. As long as you eat it promptly, of course.

Yesterday I made BLTs from Everett's bacon (of course), hydroponic tomatoes from the farmer's market (I sliced them, then salted and peppered them before I put them on the sandwich), red leaf lettuce and the fancy garlic herb mayonnaise from grilled vegetable sandwich night. I put the whole works on toated English muffin toasting bread. Yum!

And finally, I made some lovely chicken sandwiches from leftover rotisserie chicken, sourdough bread, the super hot Trader Joe's Dijon mustard and red leaf lettuce. We are sadly out of the Trader Joe's mustard now. Hopefully they will still be stocking it next time we make it out there!

I am now resolved to photograph some of these sandwiches before I eat them, so you can see them! Aaaah, the lessons I learn...

Monday, June 4, 2007

I love cheese!

Here's some fancy sandwiches I made for a party a couple weeks ago. I got the recipe from the newspaper (yes, we still get the newspaper-how else would we do Isaac Asimov's Super Quiz?) You take white bread, cut the crusts off, brush the slices with melted butter and place them on a griddle. Then add gated gruyere and sharp white cheddar cheese. Grill on each side until lightly browned, then put the sandwiches on a cookie sheet and finish the melting in the oven. Cut the sandwiches into triagles for serving. You make a dipping sauce for the sandwiches by reducing balsamic vinegar by half, then stirring in some butter to thicken it. Yum! Fancy!
I continued down the cheddar and gruyere road the other day with the leftover cheese. I made a sandwich with gruyere on one side, sharp white cheddar on the other and caramelized onions in between. I made it on wheat bread because that's what we had. I think white or sourdough would be even better. Beth said it tasted like French onion soup. So there-French Onion Sandwich! Try it!