This being winter, we thought we would provide a recipe for a summer garden favorite. And no, we do not find anything incongruous about this. What better time to start dreaming about the goodies of summer than now when the cold seems interminable. Okay, so as people lucky enough to live in San Diego which is as close to weather perfection as it ever gets in the US, we do not really experience winter – at least not of the snowmageddon variety. Anyway, one of the veggies that will reward you with copious production is the zucchini. Two plants can produce enough for a family of four for the growing season. With our limited space, we’ve regretfully stayed away from it. Our rationale – we have a well stocked market within 2 minutes walk of our house and it’s pretty hard to give up tomato space. So since we love zucchini but don’t always have it growing in the garden, we are so happy to be able to purchase was needed.
This little side dish is so simple, tasty and healthy. It is just bursting with flavor that we almost want to do a little dance as we eat it. Yes, it is that good.
Optionally: Add 3 tsp butter, spread out on top before baking.
Slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch thick slices. Lay them out in a casserole. Mix everything else together and pour over the potatoes. If the cheese stays on top then mix it in. Place casserole in the middle of a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. If the potatoes starts getting burned, turn oven down to 450, and cover with aluminum foil. Leave them an additional 10 minutes in that case. We have a very bad oven, we know.
This is a pizza made from leftovers in all aspects. The dough is actually from our lavash crackers, so it’s a little bit sweet from the Jamaican honey. The Italian Salsa Verde is from a tasting we did with a caterer for our upcoming wedding. The ham is the last of our Jamaican pineapple Christmas ham. Basically we got one of those inexplicable pizza-cravings while making lavash crackers and quickly improvised the little pizza that could.
We’ve never had corned beef before, but recently decided to give it a try. This is our first attempt, and while we are not quite happy with the look of this sandwich, it tasted great. This was of course also another reason to get out ye olde burner, to give the Parmesan on top a little color. The burner was a Christmas gift from a couple years ago, and besides making flan (which we have yet to do), its usefulness is being seriously challenged. However, it’s coolness is unquestioned.
If there is one thing we can’t figure out when it comes to pizza, it’s how to make them round. Tossing them in the air is a mystery which has resulted in much swearing. We’ve finally given up, and simply roll them out. This dough pizza we wanted to make extra thin crust, but the middle of the dough got stuck while rolling. After a recovery operation, folding the dough over itself and rolling again, we ended up with this half-moon shape. Looks don’t matter, taste does (or so we tell ourselves, over and over).
If you are a regular reader of this fledgling blog (Hey who am I kidding here? I don’t even think my dearly loved sister is herself a regular reader. But I can dream, can’t I?), you will note that the sandwiches here have a strong carnivore bent and as one kind reader was astute enough to note, had a bit of a “Dagwood” style. For that I blame Anders as he eats way more sandwiches than I do and so it stands to reason that this blog is populated with his preferred dinner choices. This next one is born of a weekend’s inspiration and my winning the battle in Kitchen Central! I love eggplants, even if they seem to hate the soil in my garden – which must be the reason why although I can get squash and tomatoes to grow in profusion, healthy growing eggplants continue to elude me.
Lucky for me we live close to a well-stocked Middle-Eastern supermarket which never seems to run out of eggplants. Thanks to them I was able to make this tomato eggplant marriage come to life. (P.S. The tomatoes are from our garden). An advanced warning; this recipe is not one you slap together in 10 minutes. It takes a little thought and might be best accomplished over a lazy weekend day. I have been known to do this in the middle of the week but it does take a wee bit of planning.
After making Parmesan crisps a few days ago, I had a visions of sandwiches all somehow incorporating the crisps. Well, some turned our better than other, and here we stick to what we think are the amazing ones. This one is with a favorite ingredient, mashed potatoes, topped with a bit of sun dried tomato pesto we threw together (recipe to come), green onions, a few leaves of sweet basil from the garden, and of course the Parmesan to top it off.
By the way, if you have read a lot of our recipes, you’ll notice quite a few are on ‘rustic white bread’. For us, this means homemade bread made from more than 90% white flour. It may have extras, such as olives, cumin seeds, blue cheese, etc, but it’s essentially a white bread. What makes it rustic is that it looks, well, rustic. We’ll post a recipe later, but it’s quite involved and usually takes between 1-3 days to make, including sometimes pate fermente, biga or levain.
This sandwich we have named “Bambi” because she seems to be strutting her stuff all over the place, hoping to get picked up.
Open faced sandwiches can be beautifully stacked creations, but when squeezed into a lunch-bag, carried by 10-year olds biking to school in a backpack and thrown in a community refrigerator, open-faced sandwiches may not be the first choice of lunch.
Not so for my mom. She was a firm believer in open-faced sandwiches and made them as if I was eating at home, except, she wrapped them tight in cellophane wrap before stacking them in my lunch box.
As you might image, the end result was not always… appetizing. Cod roe sandwiches with remoulade and fried onions turned into cud roe salad with wet soggy onions. A once tantalizing potato sandwich with mayonnaise and green onions turned into something wet and soggy, almost like paste.
This sandwich, a cod roe creation, is my own personal rebellion against my childhoods school sandwiches. I reject the cellophane wrap method, and embrace exuberance.
Growing up, I believe I had ham and cheese sandwiches maybe three times. My mom had found a recipe in a cookbook, and one day she announced she was going to make me a Hawaiian sandwich (The recipe included a piece of slices pineapple from a can, thus Hawaii). It was great, but once you open a can of pineapples you are committed to doing something with the remaining 9 slices, so my mom quickly stopped making the sandwich. A couple of weeks ago I had a dream about it (the dream also involved Jay Leno having purchased a personal Nuclear Missile painted bright red with warning signs, which was bolted down in his back yard with chains. Don’t ask, it was a dream). As you can imagine, it got stuck in my subconsciousness. I know, dreaming of sandwiches probably means we’re spending too much time writing this blog. Anyway, here is my variation of a Ham and Cheese Sandwich, without the pineapple.
If you are following our musing on this blog, you know by now that Anders looooves mashed potato sandwiches and we both love roasted garlics. So it should come as no surprise that we at some point had to mix the two. Of course, we also enjoy cheese, so this sandwich was inevitable. In a moment of pure inspiration (we’re very modest), Anders decided to cut up a piece of Teriyaki Beef Jerky into really fine pieces, very much like little bacon pieces, and sprinkle on top. The result was great. After you finish chewing through the first layer, you end up with little pieces of jerky at the end of each bite. Very cool.
Don’t be intimidated by the length of this lavash cracker recipe, or the ingredient list. The process is a bit involved and definitely requires more time than a sandwich but the effort is well worth it. With a little attention, even novice bakers will be able to make this a staple in their pantries. Add the spices and seeds you like, and make it your own creation.
The past few weeks have been excessively hot.. even for the normally excessively high summer temperatures in Poway. Case in point – two nights ago at 10:00 pm, I had all the windows and doors open to drop the house temperature to a respectable 8oF. With temperatures like this, there is just no way I was going to do any cooking that required more than 5 minutes over a hot stove. This makes sandwiches an ideal meal. Paired with a side salad, it’s a wonderful way to beat the heat while taking care of nutritional needs.
While this is really more of an omelette than a sandwich, it still has the basic makings of a classic. The Spanish omelette includes fried potatoes, onions and eggs, and is prepared in a pan in the oven. Topped with tomato sauce, fresh greens and air-dried Spanish ham, it is absolutely delicious by itself. However, put it on bread, and you have a sandwich from heaven (or Spain).