Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pierogies are sandwiches, if only for one night

Now sing along with me….don’t you know that catching up is hard to do…..

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

ANTM Finale Sandwich Night

That's right, my lovelies, the wacky and unpredictable cycle 13 of America's Next Top Model is about to draw to a close. And of course we should celebrate with a Sandwich Night, right?
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

30 Rock wants to be the official TV show of Sandwiches I Have Loved
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

Pretty Sandwiches Aren't Always Good

We went to Ginger Hop last night. It was completely mediocre. Which is unfortunate, when they bring you this pretty banh mit with sweet potato fries. The sandwich fillings were fine. The bread was awful, though. It was squishy supermarket brand "French" bread. No, I take that back. It was worse! How hard is it to get a crusty baguette, folks?
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!

Pesto and Roast Beef are meant to be together

Or at least Little Angie seems to think so. Our latest Sandwich Night creation was inspired by a sandwich Beth used to order at a place in St. Paul called Francesca's. Francesca's was in a few locations in or near downtown St. Paul through the 1990's and early 2000's. They had awesome sandwiches, salads and soups, plus killer desserts. My favorite thing on their menu was an African chicken peanut stew. And the brownies with giant blackberries on them. Beth was a fan of the pesto roast beef sandwich. It was on focaccia with a pesto spread and sliced roast beef. I'm pretty sure there was lettuce, tomato and red onion on it as well.
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?