Wednesday, September 22, 2010

This explains a lot

Credit to my friend Amy T for directing me to This is Why You're Fat, a celebration of excess. I couldn't stop looking at it. There are quite a few featured sandwiches including the usual suspects circulating the web these days: Paula Deen's Lady's Brunch Burger, the KFC Double Down and the Denny's Fried Grilled Cheese. Yup, there's a lot to be scared of on the website. And of course, there's a lot to be inspired by as of these days we might just make a hamburger with grilled cheese sandwiches for buns!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sandwich Night for me

So I said I'd have a Sandwich Night tonight. But I've been crazy busy and I never got it together to invite anyone over. Sorry!
Luckily for me, Beth made spaghetti sauce with meatballs before she left on her latest bicycle adventure so I had a tasty meatball sub from the leftovers. You can't go wrong with that. I was lazy and I simply microwaved the French bread, meatballs, some sauce and a slice of mozzarella. The result wasn't the best I could make but it was pleasingly saucy and melty. I must add that Beth made an exceptionally delicious batch of meatballs so that helped!
Of course I watched America's Next Top Model. I think this season has some decent potential. It may even be about modeling!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Crazy for Caprese

Our Caprese Sandwich Night was delightful. I got heirloom tomatoes from the coop since ours aren't ripe yet. I picked the basil in the backyard. I made the mozzarella. I bought ciabatta rolls and sliced sourdough bread. Finally, I reduced some balsamic vinegar until it was nice and syrupy.
The big choice was, cold sandwich or panini? Both had their merits. I brushed the ciabatta rolls with a little olive oil and toasted them. Then we layered on the ingredients. The result was fresh and tasty. But, we also had sourdough bread and a panini maker and you know everything tastes better as a panini, right? Right! The paninis were especially good with a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar over the top. Yum!
I did learn something new about fresh mozzarella, too. I covered the cheese with water after I made it according to the directions. When I pulled it out two days later for sandwich night it was the slimiest gooiest mess. I sliced it, then the slices all oozed together. It was still super delicious, but next time I'll serve it sooner or use less water!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Easy, cheesy

Who knew making mozzarella was so easy? My friend Kris gave me a a packet of everthing I needed to make my own mozzarella (rennet, citric acid, cheese salt) ages ago. I was busy at the time so she said I could freeze it.
Well, if you've seen my freezer, you know it is a chaotic affair. Every so often, the little packet of cheese stuff would surface, only to be stuffed back in because I wasn't ready to make it.
Serendipity struck the other day as I was planning the Caprese Sandwich Night and the cheese packet resurfaced. Yay!
To make the cheese, you warm whole milk and citric acid gently, then add rennet and let it curdle. Drain off the whey and knead the curds into stretchy, shiny mozzarella. Add some salt and store it in water. I was done in 30 minutes. I hope it tastes as good as it was easy to make!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Time flies--we must be having fun!

Or at least we're making fun of the latest crop of America's Next Top Model contestants. Can you believe it's already time for Cycle 15? Seriously, I've watched this show through 14 seasons?
The first episode of Cycle 15 is this Wednesday, September 8. I know it's short notice, but we should have a Sandwich Night, don't you think? I'm thinking caprese sandwiches. I even have tomatoes and basil from my own yard to contribute. Can you make it? Let me know!
If I have caught you too late, what do you think about a second ANTM Sandwich Night next week, September 15? Sandwich TBD.
Now sing along with me, "Wanna be on top?...."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

State Fair sandwiches, revised

I have stated in the past that the Minnesota State Fair isn't really all that exciting on the sandwich front. The other non-sandwich foods are usually far more enticing.
Well, let me me tell you about a couple sandwiches I have recently discovered at the Fair that may change my opinion for good.
First, there are the grilled chocolate sandwiches at Moe and Joes Coffee. They have had the basic grilled chocolate sandwich for a few years, but this year they introduced the grilled chocolate, marshmallow and banana sandwich. I also missed the introduction of the Elvis sandwich a couple years ago. That's a grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich. I guess the bacon was too much trouble.
All of their sandwches are quite lovely. Gooey enough to be delicious, but not so gooey that you can't enjoy them while walking around. Beth and I shared the marshmallow and the Elvis and were very happy with them. It's a good base. And you could walk across the street to the All You Can Drink Milk booth if you need something to wash them down.
The other sandwich I discovered this year is at Turkey to Go, also located by the All You Can Drink Milk. I've seen the stand for years but thought they only sold turkey legs which I'm not too excited about. That's just too much food to commit to when there are so many delicious things to try. But who knew they also sell a fantastic turkey sandwich? My sister in law happened upon it while buying a lemonade. She got the "gluten free" version--which is simply shredded roast turkey in a cup. It was so good I knew I had to go back for the gluten-full variety on my next trip to the Fair. Then there was a cool article about the sandwich in the newspaper, so I knew it was meant to be. The wait was worth it. The turkey is roasted and shredded, then stuffed in a slightly sweet soft white bun. They have an assortment on condiments (bbq sauce, mayo, etc.) but it doesn't need any of them. Now, THAT'S a good sandwich!