Monday, May 30, 2011

Berkeley Sandwich Night!

I'm finishing out my trip to the Bay Area by visiting some old friends, including Sandwich Night originator Angie!
It's Memorial Day weekend, so we had to grill out, of course. Angie simmered bratwurst in beer, with mushrooms and onions. Once the brats were cooked, she reduced the remaining beer, mushroom and onion mixture into a thick yummy gravy. For the sandwiches, we toasted garlic naan, spread mushroom brie on it, then layered on tomatoes, pickles, the mushroom mixture, the brats and greens. Junior made potato salad with green beans to go with the meal.As a bonus, we had perfect weather and Jen made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for dessert!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The banh mit is the sandwich of the teens

You know it!
I'm in San Francisco for work this week and I just happened to wander past Bun Mee at supper time. They serve super fancy banh mit. I had to stop, of course. I got the "smoky eggplant" which had roasted eggplant and red curry aioli on it. It was so delicious. The eggplant and curry were a good savory contrast to the slightly sweet pickled onion, cucumber and daikon. They also put really thick cilantro stalks in there and they were fantastic.
I'm still here tomorrow so I might need to return to try another sandwich!For dessert, I ordered this sweet little sandwich cookie-chocolate cookies with coconut filling. So pretty!

Fun with no-knead bread

In a fit of frugality this spring I decided to start baking my own bread. I have been curious to try the various no-knead methods out there. I admit I’m a little late to the party. I mean, no-knead bread is so 2009, isn’t it?
No-knead bread is exactly that. You stir up your ingredients in a big bowl, let the dough rise for a while at room temperature, then store it in the fridge. The gluten develops while the big gloopy mess sits in the cold. The yeast breeds slowly, too, so you don’t get that sweet yeasty taste some homemade breads have. When you feel like fresh bread, you pull off a hunk, shape it quickly and let it rise for a bit. Then you bake it in a hot oven with steam.
It’s been a fun experiment. Other than making sure you have enough time to let the dough rise before baking, there is really no planning involved. The initial recipe makes enough dough for several loaves and it keeps for about 10 days.
That’s fine, you say, but how does it work for sandwiches?
I’ve had my hits and misses. My first attempt at a whole wheat loaf came out about 3 inches tall. Beth and I had to endure some ridicule from our coworkers while eating stubby turkey sandwiches for lunch that week.
I have yet to find the best recipe for whole wheat sandwich bread. One was too sour, the other too heavy. The too heavy whole wheat sandwich loaf was a nice match for my favorite peanut butter and pepper jelly sandwich, though. Even sliced thinly, the bread stood up to the jelly without getting soggy.
I have a feeling I’ll be playing around with no-knead bread for some time to come!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Now there’s a reality show for Sandwich Night!

I’m sort of ambivalent about Blondie, although I read it every day. My lackluster devotion does pay off occasionally. Check out this recent strip.
Nice work, Dagwood!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Food Truck Food Court=Best Thing Ever

The food truck frenzy has kicked it up a notch in downtown St. Paul. This summer, the city is setting aside half a block of metered parking for food trucks on Wednesdays. How awesome is that? Luckily, the weekly Food Truck Food Court is located a block away from my work. Could it get any better?
Of course it could. Many of these fancy trucks feature yummy sounding sandwiches. I had to pick one, so I chose Gastrotruck's Surly Coffee Bender brasied beef short rib sliders. Say that three times fast! The short ribs with delectable--very tender. I didn't pick up the taste of the beer very much but they were beefy and slightly sweet. It was served with blue cheese and what I think were sauteed ramps. The buns were soft and slightly sweet. And perfect. I'll be checking them out again since they had lots of other sliders on the menu.
The other trucks had some promising looking sandwiches, too. Grilled cheese with pulled pork and caramelized onions? Don't mind if I do!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Turkey To Go!

Beth and I bought into a season ticket package for the Minnesota Twins this year. Beth's the baseball fan. I'm the easily distracted viewer who goes for the spectacle and the food. Yes, the food. Target Field has done a great job featuring local specialties and vendors. Last year I enjoyed Kramarczuk's Polish Sausages and Angie's Kettle Corn. This year is even better because Turkey To Go has a stand!

I first discovered Turkey To Go's excellent turkey sandwiches at the State Fair last year. I have been walking right past their stand for years. Silly me.

The Turkey To Go at Target Field did not disappoint. The turkey is nice and juicy and perfectly salty. It tastes like the best Thanksgiving turkey you've ever had. The bun is slightly sweet and perfect for soaking up all that goodness. They are right behind home plate--don't miss it!

I'm looking forward to sampling some of the other sandwich options offered on my next visit. The Murray's Steak Sandwich Beth ate looked awfully tasty...