Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mmm..leftover turkey sandwiches

Aren't leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches the best? There are so many options. You could pile all the leftovers on a piece of white bread, smother with gravy and microwave. You could pile all the leftovers between two slices of bread and eat it cold. Or, you could make a simple turkey and cranberry sauce sandwich. I layer turkey (salt and pepper it!) and homemade cranberry sauce between two slices of well buttered white bread. That's it.

It helps to have really good cranberry sauce and I made a tasty one:
1 bag cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
4-5 frozen strawberries
Place in a pan, bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes until the juices coat the back of a spoon. You can always cook it longer if you're not sure. You don't want runny cranberry sauce on your sandwich!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Go west, young woman!

Our little Angie stayed with us for a night on her big move out to California. We had to have an appropriate sandwich in her honor, of course. I found a good candidate in 'wichcraft: red wine-braised flank steak with roasted peppers, onions, and gruyere. The only thing it was missing to make it a true Angie sandwich was mushrooms.
The recipe called for 2 1/2 hours to braise the meat so I cooked it up the night before Angie was due. The sandwich was almost lost when the braising liquid cooked off and the steak started to burn. I was so caught up watching Sherlock on PBS that I barely noticed the buring smell coming from the kitchen. I saved it just in time, but the pan juices were ruined. I improvised some new pan juices with beef broth and was able to shred the meat in it. It was a little overcooked tasting, but not terribly so. The whole incident reminded me of the scene in Julie and Julia when Julie burns the boeuf bourguignon she's making for the food critic because she fell asleep. My intended audience was more forgiving so I didn't have to start over. Phew!
I also made some changes to the recipe. First off, I forgot my list when I went shopping and I bought gouda instead of gruyere. That was no big loss--the gouda was delicious. I sauteed up a mess of crimini mushrooms to add to the sandwich which were a lovely addition.
We assembled the sandwiches and baked them in the oven until they were good and melty. Angie built a huge sandwich, as expected.
Hopefully the meaty deliciousness of this sandwich will convince Angie to come back and visit often!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sandwich Night Celebration!

Sandwich Night regular Karen has a great reason to celebrate: she's adopting! Her new daughter is a 15 year old sandwich loving girl named Jacki. When Karen shared this news with me, you know my first response was, "Does she like sandwiches???"
And she does. And she has strong opinions about them. Such as, "all sandwiches must contain meat." I don't necessarily agree...but kudos for speaking your mind, young Sandwich Artist.
To celebrate, Karen hosted a Sandwich Night in Jacki's honor. I figured it was high time to return to 'wichcraft for some ideas. We chose two seasonally appropriate sandwiches: Cheddar cheese, smoked ham, poached pears and mustard on cranberry bread and roasted pumpkin, hazelnut brown butter and fresh mozzarella on white bread. I chose the second one as a not too subtle attempt to sway Jacki over to the dark realm of meatless sandwiches....

Karen invited lots of Sandwich Night newbies so we had some hesitation around the panini maker. It didn't last long. People started mixing up ingredients and making their own ham-pumpkin-mozzarella-pear creations pretty quick. I made one of each, according to the recipes. Just to try them, afterall. I preferred the ham, Cheddar and pear sandwich. But both were quite lovely.
My meatless sandwich trick worked too. As Jacki bit into her pumpkin sandwich, we asked if she had put any meat in it and she replied, "Pumpkin is the meat in this sandwich!" Aaah, a rule bending afficionado. I love you already.
Jacki's a fan of anime, so we watched Ponyo as our entertainment. It's kind of a crazy movie. It's best if you don't try to make too much sense of it. The character Ponyo is obsessed with ham, though. That I can understand!