Archive for February, 2011

February 11, 2011

grilled cheese & apple sandwich


grilled cheese has to be one of the best comfort foods ever. lately restaurants have been including traditional versions of both grilled cheese and mac & cheese, as well as variations on both classic dishes on their menus. yay for cheese!

this is a classic grilled cheese and apple sandwich. made with toasted whole grain sour dough bread, extra-sharp cheddar cheese and slices of gala apple you cannot go wrong. this sandwich is ideal for saturday afternoon lunch- in any season- but seems to hit the spot extremely well in late fall and winter.

to create this delicious masterpiece at home (its simple!):
1) make sure to have good, hearty bread. i prefer whole grain, 3-grain, sourdough, or something similar.
2) slice apples and cheese
3) butter the bread very lightly on two sides, layer the apples and cheese in-between the buttered bread slices (butter facing out)
4) with the stove on medium, heat a small amount of butter on a fry pan until the fry pan is thinly covered with the butter in the center
5) cook sandwich on both sides until the bread is nicely browned, usually about 3-4 minutes a side
6)  sometimes it helps to put a small plate on the sandwich to get it closer to the heat source Рthis can help make the bread crispy
7) serve with trader joe’s creamy tomato soup (highly recommended)
8) enjoy!

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February 9, 2011

what’s in season wednesday

no, that isn’t a monster vegetable… this week’s edition of what’s in season wednesday is turnips! once considered a poor man’s vegetable, turnips have a delicious, hearty and unique flavor that helps them to really stand out amongst the winter vegetables.

turnips are root vegetables, and like last week’s what’s in season wednesday, are members of the cabbage family. turnips are high in calcium, potassium and vitamin c. turnips can be white/cream colored or purple and should not be bruised on the outside.

things to remember about turnips:
1) due to a high water content they do not store long. i recommend keeping them in the fridge in a plastic bag
2) flavors and spices that enhance the turnip flavor include: curry, black pepper, lemon juice, chives, parsley, and thyme
3) turnips are fabulous in a winter vegetable stew

typically i roast turnips with carrots, parsnips and potatoes to make a delicious side dish. however, last week my friend gave me some extra turnips that she wasn’t going to use and i decided to try potato and turnip pancakes. it was a delicious alternative to simply roasting the turnips!

potato & turnip pancakes:
5-6 small to medium turnips, peeled and cut into small cubes
1-2 medium to large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 bunch of thinly sliced scallions
1 egg beaten lightly
1/2 cup flour
canola or vegetable oil
salt and pepper and chili powder
paprika
sour cream

cook the chopped turnips and potatoes to boiling water  until soft. remove from heat and mash turnips and potatoes while adding scallions, egg, flour and salt, pepper, chili powder (to your taste).

meanwhile, heat about 1/4 of an inch of oil in a large fry pan. the oil is hot enough once a few drops of water sizzle in the pan. drop small amounts of turnip and potato mixture and flatten with a wooden spoon while they fry. depending on how hot the oil is 4-6 minutes on each side will cook them through.

transfer to a paper towel and let cool 1-2 minutes. sprinkle paprika, a few raw scallions on top of each pancake and serve sour cream on the side!

February 1, 2011

food & philosophy

i knew i had to share this once i came across it, the jean-paul sartre cookbook, written by marty smith, is a hilarious look at food and philosophy.

my favorite entry, omelets and the meaninglessness of existence :

“Still working on the omelet. There have been stumbling blocks. I keep creating omelets one after another, like soldiers marching into the sea, but each one seems empty, hollow, like stone. I want to create an omelet that expresses the meaninglessness of existence, and instead they taste like cheese. I look at them on the plate, but they do not look back. Tried eating them with the lights off. It did not help. Malraux suggested paprika.”