One of the pizzas from Wendie’s surprise birthday party, this one has some grilled chicken (with a very nice spice blend including smoked paprika), two cheeses, olives, tomatoes, green peppers and onions. The dough is a pizza dough with honey I sort-of invented (based loosely on our Lavash crackers recipe), and the tomato sauce has a wide range of spices, most noticeably a hint of fennel. We had 13 guests and I made a total of 9 pizzas and I was stunned that there were almost no leftovers. I really had expects to fill the freezer too, but at least everyone had a great time. Next time I’ll make more!
Christmas Day we made Alton Brown’s Mighty Duck, since duck is a tradition in our family. Truth be said, we’re not sure if Alton’s recipe counts as a roasted or steamed duck, but we’re calling it roasted for now. This resulted in a delicious box of leftovers, which of course is perfect for sandwiches. So yesterday we baked ciabatta breads to celebrate the Mighty Duck.
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).
The day before we made this sandwich, Wendie cooked an amazing pork tenderloin based on an Alton Brown recipe. It is perhaps the best tenderloin I’ve ever had. Having also recently visited a Chinese grocery store, we had a few king mushrooms in our refrigerator, so we thought they would go brilliantly with the pork. We chose the pecorino romano cheese to add a little saltiness, the vinaigrette dressing to make it a bit more moist. And so, one thing led to another, and we ended up with this fantastic sandwich. It’s messy to eat, but it really brings out the best in the leftover pork. Enjoy.
For Christmas 2007, Wendie bought me a torch – one of those you use in making desserts such as creme brulee. I had seen one on TV and I wanted it desperately. When I got it, I started manically torching everything, hoping to discover new uses and develop new dishes. As it turned out, most things don’t do well being torched. Roast beef… not so good. Vegetables…nope. Cornflakes… wouldn’t recommend it. The one thing that actually has its moments is cheese.
With the torch I can melt the surface of the cheese, and when biting into it you get a a feeling of warmth on your upper lip, while the rest of the bite is cold. Not entirely unpleasant. For a cheese sandwich, this requires a huge amount of torching action, due to the surface that needs to be melted, but for appetizers it works. After two years I still haven’t made creme brulee, but I’ve managed to construct this appetizer, which in my opinion is perfect for all those torches out there collecting dust. Enjoy.
Wendie said: “This is the ultimate vegetarian sandwich. I have been threatening to make this for Anders since our recent trip to Denmark inspired us delve more deeply into the world of sandwiches. While I am convinced that Anders’ Y chromosome predisposes him to a love of all things meat, I was convinced that even he would be wooed by the taste of freshly grilled veggies united with homemade tapenade on a lightly toasted roll. What else could you ask for?”
Anders replied: “Meat!”
That’s how our discussions sometimes goes, but Wendie always wins of course. 🙂 This is, however, a great meal. We highly recommend that you take the time to go shopping for tarragon mustard, as it works much better on this sandwich than regular plain mustard. Anders loved this sandwich, so it’s not just for vegetarians.
Somewhere out there, people are making meatballs with no meat, which seems oddly disturbing to me. At least call them something else :-). This sandwich, however, has genuine meaty meatballs (danish Frikadeller), plus no less than two cheeses, and a bit of the brilliantly hot Chinese black bean chili sauce which we have found really useful for sandwiches when used modestly.