Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Portmanteau ANTM Sandwich Night lives!

Sunday, April 4th, from 6:00 PM or so, we'll finally have the portmanteau Sandwich Night.
The portmanteau sandwich will be the ......Club Mit!
That's a bahn mit and a club, all put together. Sound good? I think so.
(To review, we are making this sandwich to honor America's Next Top Model's knack for creating new words by combining two words together, a.k.a, a portmanteau. Our first attempt at this sandwich night was foiled by my hectic work schedule.)
In addition to the Club Mit, we will have a surprise stinky but still tasty "I'm not here to make friends" appetizer. And, to honor the girls who want to "stick around" and "who aren't ready to go home" we will be making sticky Peeps s'mores.
And we"ll watch some ANTM, of course. I have the last few episodes recorded. On VHS. Jealous?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Little Angie!

Angie's girlfriend, Ramey, was visiting from California and it was the day before Angie's birthday and what better excuse do you need for a Sandwich Night?

The sandwich was the bithday girl's choice, of course. I'll give you 4 guesses about what went into them:
Steak? Check.
Mushrooms? Check.
Onions? Check.
Swiss cheese? Check.

Great job! The only thing missing were peppers, to complete the Angie food groups.
We grilled the steak, cooked the mushrooms up in gravy and caramelized the onions. Then we combined them all into a panini with ciabatta bread. Angie made hers of many layers and could barely finish it. Nice work!
Angie also brought her favorite cocktail of late: "Heritage" Dr. Pepper (the kind with sugar, not corn syrup) and vodka. Try it. It is delicious.
For entertainment, we watched some of the first season of the United States of Tara. That show totally messes with your head. It's awesome. Love me some Toni Collette!

Oh my.

I read a post about a Fluffernutter sandwich made with poundcake and Peeps on the Cakespy blog today. Click if you dare. I think this sandwich could potentially kill you. But you'd die happy, of course.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Are tacos sandwiches?

Probably not. But they are delicious. And I made some good ones the other night. I make them just the way my mother taught me (with my own touches, of course). I brown one pound of ground turkey (ground beef works, too), one chopped onion, one tablespoon whole cumin and some salt. Then I spoon some in a corn tortilla (sometimes I use flour). Here comes the important part:

Fry the taco along the fold first. Make sure you hold it there for a while, to make sure it stays folded when you lay it on its side.
Fry it on both sides until it's crispy and lightly browned. Drain on paper towels. I fill them with cheddar cheese, green taco sauce (La Victoria is the best), lettuce and tomato. And please humor me and put the cheese on the meat and not on top of the lettuce. Thank you.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hard work deserves a reward

So, we just installed a huge exhibit at work. Why not celebrate with a tasty lunch at Cheeky Monkey? Ethan and I shared a pot roast sandwich and a mushroom and brie. I don't why I've waited so long to try the mushroom and brie. It is fantastic. Meaty portobellos and tangy creamy brie--perfection. It's my new favorite!
And yes, those are beers with our lunch. Two Brothers Domaine DuPage French Country Ales, to be exact. I said we deserved a reward.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

You can't go wrong with cured meats

Northern Waters Smokehaus in Duluth, MN gets a fair amount of foodie press for its housemade bison pastrami. We get up to Duluth once in a while and I always mean to pick up some.

Well, it was worth the wait.

Beth’s hockey team played a tournament in Duluth last weekend and I was able to stop by the Smokehaus for some treats. In addition to the pastrami, I got some hard salami, brown sugar smoked lake trout and bison meat sticks. Everything was excellent.

That bison pastrami was a cut above, though. Lean, nicely spiced, not too smoky. It’s crying out for a nice slice of rye bread, Swiss cheese and some tasty mustard. That’s the sandwich I had today. It would probably make a great Reuben, too. I won’t find that out this time, though. I ate it all already!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Is a Jucy Lucy a portmanteau?

We planned to have a “portmanteau” sandwich to honor the premiere of the 14th Cycle of America’s Next Top Model. I was having a hard time coming up with the best portmanteau idea and the date was rapidly approaching. When I finally thought of something great (more on that later), it was too late to properly execute it.

So, just hours before the start of the show, Beth called and suggested ordering Jucy Lucies (or Jucies Lucy, if you prefer) from Matt’s. Perfect!

Of course it was dinner rush and of course they had the phones off the hook, so I had to go there to place the take out order. This is actually better than calling in. You get to sit at the bar and drink a little Summit Extra Pale Ale and watch the incredibly well oiled machine which is Matt’s. One cook (on a 4 foot square grill) one bartender, one server. At least 100 hungry people clamoring for the Jucy Lucy. They fit so many Jucies on the grill, they overlap the ones closest to being done. I think he was cooking 25 at a time. Plus onions. Plus a grilled cheese sandwich every once in a while for the vegetarians (ask for it with grilled onions and pickles--grown-up style). At the bar, the bartender keeps up a good banter, fills drink orders, washes glasses, tops up ketchup bottles, wraps the sandwiches and saves her best affection for the regulars. She never stops moving. Ever. And the server has to ferry all that grease and beer across the restaurant, asking potentially litigious neophytes “Have you had our Jucy Lucy before? It’s really hot. Be careful. Don’t bite into it too fast.”

It was super busy, so I got an extra half glass of beer for my wait. It’s agonizing to sit there, trying to figure out which Jucy Lucy is yours. Is that it? The next one? The next one after that?? Finally, they were done and I was out the door and home.

I missed the first 30 minutes of the show, but I don’t think I really missed much. I’m glad that Angelea from a couple seasons back has returned without her frightful manicure. And yay for makeovers right away. But boo for no major makeover drama. Rest assured, that will come.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Never a good idea...

So you're blowing off some steam by going out for a few too many drinks with your co-workers. And on the way home, after midnight, somehow White Castle sounds like a great idea. How about a sack of 10 to share? The greasy, oniony, steamy deliciousness of the slider seems so right at the time. They go down so easy!
Until you wake up at 4:30 in the morning with a painful war going on in your chest. Then you are reminded that, 1. you are older than you think, and 2. White Castles are never a good idea.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oscar paninis!

So, I've been really busy lately. But I still wanted to do something for the Oscars. What's easier than a panini Sandwich Night? Not much!
I went to Trader Joe's after work on Friday when I was stressed out and super hungry. Nice combo. I ended up with lots of salami and prosciutto. Plus provolone, mozzarella and brie. I got their nice sliced sourdough bread and some basil and arugula. Plus a lot of other stuff that sounded like a good idea at the time. Trader Joe's, you get me every time.
Our friends Kris and Doug came over and brought French munster cheese as well. French munster looks like a soft ripened cheese and tastes kind of like goat cheese. Also, it is delicious.
For our sandwiches, I added some roasted red peppers and honey to the mix. Beth and I split two paninis: prosciutto, brie, arugula, honey and French munster; and salami, red pepper, provolone, mozzarella, and basil.
I preferred the prosciutto one, but both were tasty! I should have put more honey on it. Luckily, we have lots of leftovers.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Excuses, excuses

My blogging has been sparse of late. First, there were the Olympics. I watch them obsessively. And I spend all of my internet time obsessively checking out athletes' heights, weights and ages. Which doesn't leave much time for blogging.
Then the Olympics ended and I started working a ton, getting ready for a new exhibit. So, no energy to blog.
Poor me.
What I do know is that we have two Sandwich Nights c0ming up. Tomorrow is the Oscars and we're making paninis. And Wednesday is our portmanteau sandwich ANTM Cycle 14 premiere. I still haven't decided what two sandwiches to combine for that one but I open to suggestions!
Let me know if you'd like to come over for either!