Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I’m embarrassed to see that I haven’t posted anything since our pierogie ANTM finale spectacular. Oh my. Perhaps I have a massive pierogie hangover?Let’s review. Pierogies, while not technically sandwiches, are delicious and fun to make and eat. Cycle 13 of ANTM was full of unconventional elements and thus called for an unconventional meal to celebrate it’s blessed closure.
The pierogie recipe is from Beth’s dad, who got it from his mother. We were lucky to get the family recipe from him before he passed away. The secret is to make the dough with milk instead of water. We have added some tricks of our own, such as rolling it out with a pasta maker instead of by hand, but the base recipe remains unchanged: flour, eggs, and milk. For fillings, we went with the traditional favorites: potato cheese, sauerkraut, and prune. To prepare the pierogies, you boil them in water, then fry them in butter. Then you dip them in butter as you eat them. How can you go wrong, eating all that fat while watching skinny girls battle to become yet another “America’s Top Model?”
I fried up a Polish sausage and made some caramelized onions and sour cream horseradish sauce as accompaniments. Karen brought red cabbage. It was delicious!
(In fact, just talking about it at Thanksgiving inspired us to make more for Christmas dinner at Beth’s family’s. We spent a whole day making 500 pierogies with her brothers and ate them for our holiday meal. Even the picky children loved them!)
The ANTM finale was fine. They all run together for me anymore. There was a Covergirl photoshoot and a fashion show and some teary short girl who doesn’t have an actual modeling future won. How sad is it that 5 weeks after the show I can’t remember who won. Sorry, whoever you are. I hope you are getting work. I really really do!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Since this cycle has actually been unconventional and unpredictable (short girls! go-see's in Los Angeles! two double eliminations! no recap episode! Hawaii!) we're going unconventional on the sandwich, too.
We're going to make pierogies!
Yup--those delicious Polish delicacies. Sort of like a big ravioli, but filled with sauerkraut! And fried in butter! And then dipped in butter! Sound good?
We'll be following Beth's family recipe and making up a batch over the weekend or early next week. Let me know if you want in on the ritual.
Then, come over before 7:00 on Wednesday, November 18th for the ANTM Finale! See you there!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Oh Liz Lemon, you make me love you. Every week you profess your love of all things sandwich. There was the famous Teamster sandwich episode last season. This week you inhaled several meatball subs. And then last week, as you waited to order at Fatty Fat's Sandwich Ranch, you expressed your sandwich world view:
"All of humankind has one thing in common: the sandwich...All anyone wants in this life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich."
Poetic, isn't she?
Sunday, November 1, 2009
On the positive side, the fries were quite good. And they have a nice beer menu. And I had a lovely ginger infused cocktail. Just don't order anything else!
To recreate it, and give it a good Sandwich Night twist, I started by making my own roast beef. Here's a good trick to make a garlicky roast beef. Get 4-5 cloves of garlic, slice them in half, make cuts all over the roast and shove the garlic into the meat. Then I pat the whole roast with salt, pepper, garlic powder and herbs. I roast it dry, until it's rare. I made this a couple days before Sandwich Night and Beth and I ate so much of it that I picked up some sliced roast beef at Cossetta's for backup. Whoops! Their roast beef is not as delicious as mine. Hah! It's still pretty awesome, of course.
Onto the sandwich!
I decided to offer two bread choices: ciabatta rolls and rosemary focaccia. I mixed the pesto with a little mayonnaise to make it spread nicely. Plus I offered lettuce, sliced red onion, romaine, spinach and sliced provolone cheese. I made two different sandwiches to try out the bread options. Both were delicious, but I think I liked the one on focaccia better. That Francesca always knew best!We had a feast of side dishes with the sandwiches. Jenny brought appetizers--little toasts with blue cheese and squash or Italian sausage, white beans, tomatoes and parmesan. Laura brought this lovely veggie soup. Karen brought apple crisp. I think there was another dessert, too. All I know is that I was stuffed by the end of the night!
We watched our Minnesota girl Rae get sent home from ANTM. It was the dreadful interviewing skills week. It is my second least favorite show in each cycle. The worst is the acting challenge. So cringy! I don't they are going to do it this time. I guess the CW shows didn't want an ANTMer walk on role this year?
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I have been getting my sandwich groove back lately. Last week I had a double feature of my favorites-a North Beach sub from Buon Giorno for lunch and a curry mock duck from Bun Mi for dinner. I followed that a couple days later with a stunner from Salty Tart: roasted squash, wilted kale, blue cheese and honey butter on a baguette. Friends, do this to humor me-get some honey butter and blue cheese and spread it on French bread. Now isn't that just the most delicious thing?
Speaking of Bun Mi, I have been eating lots of sandwiches from there . I love that place. I know I've posted before but you should really check it out. My friend Ethan and I went there for lunch today, as a matter of fact. I got the Bun Mi special--that's grilled pork and special eggs. It's so good. The pork is nice and spicy and the eggs are scrambled and slightly sweet, almost like the egg you get with sushi. Ethan got the Vietnamese Classic, which is pate, bbq pork and roast pork. This is the first Bun Mi I had and it was great. I think I'll have to get it next time, now that I've mostly worked through the menu. We both got fries as well. The fires are lightly battered and served with spicy mayo. Seriously, Bun Mi, are you trying to kill me with your deliciousness?
Monday, October 19, 2009
Come on over this Wednesday. Beth's finally home from her cross country bicycle trip so she chose the sandwich! We'll be eating pesto roast beef sandwiches, just like they used to make at Francesca's in St. Paul. (And if you remember those awesome sandwiches, drop me a line and remind me what was in them--roast beef, pesto, lettuce, tomato? red onion? cheese? focaccia...). My friend Laura is dipping into her CSA box and making potato leek soup.
The show starts at 7:00. We'll be ready for you after 6:30!
Friday, September 11, 2009
I bought and fried up 3 pounds of bacon the night before and even though it was a very impressive pile, it just didn’t seem like enough. What would Sandwich Night be without a last minute Everett’s bacon run, anyway? That way, I fried up the 4th pound of bacon right before my guests arrived. I’m told they could smell it halfway down the block.
I also got farmer’s market tomatoes, avocados, lettuce, sourdough, whole wheat and Baconnaise. I whipped up some spicy mayo with sriracha and Hellman’s, too. I stood the bacon up in a deep bowl, which impressed my guest mightily. “Bowl of bacon!” became the rallying cry of the night.The twelve Sandwich lovers included lots of Sandwich Night newbies, including my friend Kristine who was making her first visit with Tinkerbelle since Tink moved from her house to mine. It was a happy reunion, although Tinkerbelle pretended not to care, the way cats do.
After the BLT’s (And yes, the bacon went. All of it. Fast.) we settled into the season premiere of ANTM. My friend Toni knows Rae, the homemaker/mom from Minnesota, so we were all excited to see how she did. Toni couldn’t make it for the sandwiches but did manage to show up for the second hour of the premiere. Thank goodness! She got to see Rae win photo of the week. Even though these poor short girls haven’t got an actual chance at modeling, it should be an entertaining season. Just like always!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
How 'bout I make it up to you with a very special Sandwich Night next week?
Wednesday, September 9 is the much anticipated premiere of America's Next Top Model Cycle 13: Revenge of the Little People. That's right--no models over 5'7" need apply! Oh, it should be grand.
I'm choosing that easy, late summer favorite, BLT's for the occasion. I'll have tomatoes, lettuce, breads, bacon, avocados, and Baconnaise. Mmmm....
The show starts at 7:00. See you next week!
Monday, August 3, 2009
The sandwich I chose was a summery beauty-chopped chickpeas with roasted red peppers, black olies, lemon confit and parsley. It was on country bread.
The flavors were fantastic together. There was lots of thyme, oregano, and rosemary in the chick peas and peppers. I picked up pitted olives with thyme since I didn't feel like pitting the nicoise olives called for in the recipe. They worked quite well. And the lemons were really special. They are cured in salt, sugar, onions and garlic for a few days, then packed in olive oil. They are nice and tangy and not sour at all. I would imagine that letting them sit and mellow out in the oil for a couple weeks will make them even better. Which is why I will feature them in our next Sandwich Night on August 11. More on that later.Angie came over and my friend Gina (her first SN!) Karen was feeling under the weather and couldn't make it, unfortunately. Of course Angie had to go her own way with the sandwich, but she didn't add cheese, mushrooms, or hot sauce like you might expect. No, she made a triple decker, for more deliciousness.
We cruised around what terrible options there are on summer Tuesday night TV (More to Love!?!) and finally I subjected them to the highlights show from America's Next Top Model Cycle 1. It's a doozy--Brazilian waxes, bible thumpers, snarky Elyse, and how not to behave when rich French guys take you to dinner and a show (i.e., don't read the bible the whole time.)
Next up will be a very special Sandwich Night since Kate will be here!!! She's back from Israel and stopping in town for a few days before she heads off to grad school in Michigan. In her honor we will once again consult 'wichcraft and make roasted leg of lamb with lemon confit, mustard greens and black olive mayonnaise. Entertainment TBA. I can hardly wait!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I will delve into the cookbook 'wichcraft and make "chopped chickpeas with roasted peppers, black olives, lemon confit, and parsley." (That all goes on country bread, by the way.)
And, we will delve into the past, to where it all began, and watch episodes from the first season of America's Next Top Model. Tyra Banks had enough free time to personally attend photoshoots. Jay Manuel was not yet orange. Janice Dickinson ruled the school.
Don't miss it!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I dropped Beth off in the wilds of Wyoming to continue her trek. I've got some sandwich reports from her I will post soon!
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I had some folks over yesterday for a little July 4th cookout. Originally I was just going to have the awesome hot dogs (officially the coarse ground weiners, but I giggle too much when I say weiners, so I'm calling them hot dogs from here on out) from Everett's. Then, while I was shopping at the Seward Coop, I saw their variety of bratwurst and knew that the dogs needed some company. I got wild rice brats and cheese curd brats. Unfortunately I burned the living crap out of them in our flame throwing gas grill (it's got a rusty hole in the burner). It is a testament to their quality that the large amount of carbon surrounding them did not detract from their fantastic flavor. It is also a credit to both the hot dog's and cheese curd brat's great taste that I ate them before I remembered to take pictures of them. You will have to be content with the platter of casinged goodness and condiment selection!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
That's the Bangkok Blucy. It's a recent addition to the menu at the Blue Door Pub. It's got coconut milk infused mozzarella inside the burger, then lightly pickled carrots and cucumber on top and curry peanut dipping sauce on the side. You must sub the deep fried green beans for the fries. They are crying to be dipped in that curry sauce. The burger was great. Savory and sweet. The pickled veggies were great and the sauce had the perfect amount of heat. I really love how the Blue Door is running with the whole cheese stuffed burger thing. No one can beat Matt's for the classic Jucy Lucy, of course. But if you want a fancy Lucy, this is your best bet! You will also be happy to know that they have moved the Merriam Park Blucy onto the permanent menu. That one is definitely a keeper!
There's a new Vietnamese sandwich shop in Stadium Village called Bun Mi. They serve an awesome classic banh mi with roast pork and pate. They also make some more unusual kinds like curried mock duck.
This sandwich was crazy delicious. The other thing that's great about Bun Mi is that they really stuff the sandwiches with all the goodies. They cost about twice what you'd pay for a banh mi elsewhere but you get twice as much filling. They do great bubble tea, too.
And finally, I've been back to Cheeky Monkey a few times and I have never been disappointed. I met former intern there last week and I ordered the pot roast sandwich for myself. It has pot roast, pickled red onions, arugula and horseradish cream. I was so busy devouring it that I forgot to take a picture of it until the very end. Whoops! I hope you aren't too grossed out to see a half eaten sandwich, but I think this shot captures the true glory of this fantastic sandwich.
Up next on my field research will definitely be the cemitas at La Fonda in St. Paul. My friend Karen has been raving about them. Can't wait!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I know I have some beef on weck taste test contenders from her trip though western New York. I'll post them when I find them!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I turned my latest wellness knowledge into a very awesome sandwich cookbook, 'wichcraft by Tom Colicchio. Oh, the irony. I've been reading about low fat this and whole grain that and now I have a book with recipes for sandwiches like "roasted pork loin with prunes, dandelion greens, and mustard" and "roasted pumpkin with mozzarella and hazelnut brown butter." Yowza! Happy Tuesday to me!
I think this book demands a Sandwich Night, don't you? Details to come!
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Shining, jewel-like, in a way that said you are going to pay through the nose for the fancy sandwich you are about to buy, was an outlet of Miyou. Miyou is an upscale "sandwicherie" from a famous chef, Guy Martin. The shop was almost Japanese in its sleek minimalist design. There was a lighted display case set in a shiny black wall with a handful of fancy sandwiches in stand-up clear cellophane ziplock bags. It looked more modern art installation than restaurant, that's for sure. I was faced with some tough decisions. I knew I should go all out, but would it be with the foie gras and mango baguette for 15 Euros or with the prawn and pink grapefruit baguette for 8 Euros? In the end, I decided that the mango didn't look quite ripe enough so I went with the prawns. Nice choice! They were perfectly salty with a good snap. The pink grapefruit played off them well and there was baby spinach and butter to marry it all together. (I wish I had a picture to share with you, but I borrowed my mom's camera for the trip and had already given it back.)
Plus, it left me with enough money to blow on sudoku and ken ken books and candy bars for the plane. I left France with 25 centimes. I'm so proud of myself and my wanton spending habits!
Monday, June 1, 2009
I cut them all up so people could sample them. My aunt May made a lovely salad. And we washed it all down with French wine, of course. So yummy! Now I'm craving a baguette sandwich.
Friday, May 29, 2009
This was my third trip to Paris. My first trip, in 1993, followed a college semester abroad in Senegal. I was largely touring by myself, my French was awesome, and I was completely broke. That meant I ate a ton of sandwiches, especially chicken sandwiches. Every bakery has a little pile of sandwiches on baguette in a case. For a couple of dollars, you could get a large chunk of bread with chicken which was delicious and filling. I never sat down to eat once during that trip. That trip also introduced me to the magical Parisian falafel...
On my second trip to Paris, in 1998, Beth and I were on a budget vacation. We ate lots of street food that time, too. We were staying on rue de la Huchette, in the Latin Quarter. The street is home to the city's many Greek restaurants and take away schwarma and falafel windows. Needless to say, we ate a great deal of those delicious falafel sandwiches, piled with lots of vegetable salads and lovely sauces. Again, why pay for a restaurant meal when the take away is so awesome?
This trip to Paris was decidely different on the food front. Since I was with my parents who actually like to (and can afford to) sit down and eat, we went to a lot of restaurants. Which means I didn't eat so many sandwiches. If 1993 was the year of chicken sandwiches and 1998 was the year of falafel, then 2009 was the year of fancy raw beef concoctions eaten at fancy restaurants.
I had seared "Aller Retour" beef tartare with herbs atop the Pompidou Center.
Then there was a lovely carpaccio plate under the grand stained glass dome of the Printemps department store.
Finally, I had classic beef tartare at Chez Francis with a view of the Eiffel Tower at sunset. Magic!
So, my news on the sandwich front is a little thin. The only sandwich I ate that I actually took a picture of was the emmental and butter sandwich at the top of the post. I purchased that atop the Musee d'Orsay and it was perfection. We did have a Sandwich Night at our apartment with bakery sandwiches and falafel but my dad took those pictures since my camera battery was dead. When I get them, I'll fill you in on Nuit de sandwich!
Monday, May 18, 2009
I'm a total fry bread novice, though. For my first attempt, the bread turned out pretty well, even if they were a little small. Can you see the fry bread under all of the toppings? Also, does it look like the Indian Taco is menacing Kate? It's saying, "Don't leave us!!! There won't be Sandwich Nights like this when you're getting all fancy educated in Michigan! PhD, schmee aich dee!"
The ANTM finale was actually sort of exciting. I knew Teyona (right) would win but freaky Allison(center) made a very strong case for herself in the end. Like the contestants, I almost couldn't look at the winner's picture at the end. Anyway, here's to freaky alien looking country girls and Sandwich Nights!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Sandwich Nights have been a bit infrequent of late. I am not promising anything like a normal schedule again but we do have several great reasons to have one next week:
1.) America's Next Top Model Cycle 12 finale
2.) A tipsy plan formulated at Beth's going away to celebrate this event with sandwiches
3.)A tipsy visit to the hat which produced Indian Tacos as the suggested sandwich (purists, you are out of luck with this one.)
4.) And last but not least, this will be the last Sandwich Night before our beloved Kate leaves the Twin Cities for Israel, and then Ann Arbor for grad school.
Sounds like a good reason for a party! Let me know if you coming so we make enough fry bread! Mmm...fry bread.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I had delicious hydroponic lettuce from the Seward Co-op (it's local!) and I made some spicy mayo with Rooster sauce
Angie came over to pick up some mail so we had to invite her to stay for dinner. And Heroes was on. And there we were, the three of us, eating sandwiches and watching Heroes just like an old timey (well, 2007 era, at least) Sandwich Night. It was even a good episode. Aah, how perfect.
The sandwich was inspired by a dish (correct me here, Rhys) served at the American Club in Kohler, WI. The original meal was a blackened beef tenderloin, cumin mustard sauce, twice baked potatoes and Caeser salad.For it's sandwich transformation, Rhys grilled a sirloin steak seasoned with Paul Prudhomme's Blackened Steak rub. He chose a lovely peasant bread and offered three types of cheese: smoked gouda (the best!), parmesan, and sharp cheddar. He also made the cumin mustard which was creamy and cuminy and delicious. He and Kate made a Caesar salad from scratch as an accompaniment.
I put everything except sharp cheddar on my sandwich, which was might tasty if not very photogenic.
My verdict is that we need to keep Rhys around. I'd like to see what he'll come up with next!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
The pulled pork panini from Island Bistro in Avon, NC. She said it was strangely tasteless, except for the awesome pickles. BBQ beef (left) and Pulled Pork (right) from Currituck BBQ in Coinjock, NC. Apparently, this was the sandwich she had been looking for in North Carolina. That macaroni and cheese in making me hungry as well.
For her next assignment, she'll be driving back to Minnesota with our friend Amy. I'm going to find some places for her to try, I swear!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
We managed to stop on our way home in a lovely sleet storm. It was a good driving break and the recommended menu of roast beef sandwich, cheddar fries and jamocha shake hit the spot. The sandwich was sliced roast beef (like Arby's, but better) on a soft sesame bun. The place was lacking in condiment variety, but I made do with some horseradish sauce.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Let me know if you are interested in attending Monday the 6th at 7:00ish.
No pressure, Rhys!
Better luck next time, my sweet! And I'll make sure I include directions as well.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
It's funny. I looked for a picture of a Senegalese hamburger in my photos from that year and I don't have any pictures of food. I guess my sandwich photography IS a recent hobby!
Anyway, back to the burgers! The defining characteristics of the burger are the French fry stuffed bun and the fried egg. That's about all I remembered. After some internet searching, I came up with the rest of the ingredients: garlic mayo, Gruyere, Dijon mustard, fried onions, ketchup. I seem to remember there being shredded lettuce but I didn't find any reference to that online. (Granted, there aren't many web pages devoted to this lovely sandwich. I might have just rocketed to the top of the list.)For an extra kick, I added some Rooster brand hot sauce as well. Fantastic! These burgers were even better than I remembered. They are a little labor intensive, but totally worth it.
For company we had Angie and Kate. For entertainment we had the classy film Bandidas. What could be bad about a bank robbing buddy film starring Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek? Our friend Eileen came over later for a burger but missed the movie. And, sadly, Karen mixed the night up and missed this extravaganza. Which means we will have to do it again soon!