Posts tagged Sandwiches

Monday Morning Trauma

Smoked Salmon And Avocado Sandwich With Scallion Cream Cheese

I walked out of my apartment last Monday and greeted the world with a smile.   A Monday morning smile can be likened to a half smile, accompanied by a somewhat suspect squint of the eye and a raised brow.  Sure, nothing has gone wrong yet - that’s what I love most about mornings - but something is always bound to go awry.  It’s a part of life.  

It was a Monday.  

It was also overcast, somewhat cloudy and chilly - but I decided to go for a walk anyway.  I’ve eaten one too many pieces of pork in the past month - and topped my meals off with sweets - often 2 times a day - to let cloudiness be a valid excuse to forgo a walk.

As I neared the park, I was met with the eminent scent of poop and throughout the entirety of my walk I couldn’t escape the smell.  I lifted my sneakers and checked the bottoms, every few blocks or so, to make sure it wasn’t me.  Ever since I walked into my first grade class with poop on my sneaker, not realizing I was the harbinger of the scent, I’ve been completely paranoid.  Even when it’s not me, I think it’s me.  Childhood scars never seem to fade.

I walked alone,  to be met by what I could only imagine was a men’s meet up running group.  

I never enjoyed running much.  A long distance walk.  I could walk miles through the city or farmland and not think twice.  When I jogged, I was constantly thinking about the act itself.  Oh, my boobs are hitting my belly.  Oh, that was my ass hitting my upper thigh.  Oh, that was my arm wing hitting the side of my torso.  And on.  I used to call my walk/jog morning expeditions wogging - you know - the combined word play of walking and jogging.  I no longer wogg, I just walk.  So, as I walked - herds of men ran past me in Muscle Milk t-shirts.  Some pubescent, some with wedding bands, some moving slowly - round faces flushed and almost waddling, others with chiseled faces and movements more similar to soaring and taking flight than running.

They all breezed past me and glared at me with disdain. 
They were probably thinking: who brought the walker to this side of the river?  We are men.  We run here.  

Where was my old man, in his khakis, white undershirt and hat?
Where was my crazy Spanish friend with his old pitbull that tried to eat Josie?

Where was my familiarity?
Where was my comfort zone?
Had my world changed so much without Josie as my walking accompaniment and accessory?

Had one winter indoors left my beloved Astoria smelling like poop?
Had these giant men trampled over my friends and kicked them into the East River?  

Would I be next?

In taking this walk, I was intentionally seeking an old feeling.  I wanted familiar solitude. 

I needed a hug from mother earth, and she met me with a bitch slap.    

That’s been happening to me often…

I haven’t taken the time to sit at my kitchen table and eat breakfast, not in at least 2 months.  During the work week that is.

After my crooked morning walk, Ezekial Bread mounded with homemade scallion cream cheese, smoked lox and avocado was what I needed.  I can’t lie, the Ezekial Bread paled in comparison to the bagel I enjoyed while sunning in Socrates sculpture park yesterday - but my cream cheese was super scallion-y and defined bad breath special - which is how I like my cream cheese and bagel - super stinky.  Brooklyn Bagel was going lighter on the scallions, but their bagel is the most perfect I’ve had.  I can’t even attempt to make the bagel, so here’s the secret to super stinky scallion cream cheese: finely chop 1 whole bunch of scallions (whites and greens) and mix in to room temperature cream cheese.  Layer toast with cream cheese, lox and thin slices of avocado - on any bread of your choice.  

In case you’re wondering, I took a different route for my morning walk today.  The thought of being bombarded by a herd of running men was too scary to confront after such a quiet weekend.  

Monday, May 9, 2011 — 1 note   ()

Say Cheese

Fig, Brie & Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich

*Recipe follows story

You know what I like to do on Friday’s…

Eat in…
And watch Tiny Desk Concerts on NPR, of course…  

Last Friday was perfect, what with a goopy grilled cheese plopped on a plate with a heaping side of citrusy salad.  Raphael Saadiq and Adele, serenading me with gusto and by way of strumming guitars.  

Friday’s are meant for big plans…

The great unwind (and a great grilled cheese) at the end of a long week is a big plan.

A few rules that should be adhered to when making an epic grilled cheese, as discussed over a lovely walk last night (that was fueled by other food fodder as well): 

A grilled cheese should never skimp on butter.  Upon the first slice, cheese must gush out of the center like a molten lava dream.  Fruit spread, whole fruits, sauteed vegetables and pork product can be a fantastic accompaniment to a grilled cheese sandwich, but if and only if properly executed.   Any additions to a proper grilled cheese sandwich are welcome, but must be glued and tucked into to the bread and cheese so they amplify each bite.  Add on’s should not overpower the flavor of the cheese.  Remember, in a grilled cheese sandwich - the cheese is the hero. To achieve a proper melt, resulting in substantial cheese goop, and perfectly deep golden bread - low and slow is the only way to go.  An epic and memorable grilled cheese takes time to cook, as perfection cannot be rushed. Preceding the first bite fingers should be greasy and coated in a thin residue, otherwise ample butter was not applied.  Make the mental note for next time to use more butter, as a great grilled cheese requires the use of multiple napkins.  

Upon digesting, recall how nommy a Friday night can taste and dream of another grilled cheese to make.   

Fig, Brie & Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich

2 slices nommy bread of your choice
1 small onion (caramelized onions: 1 tsp. butter, 1 tsp. olive oil cooked over a medium flame for 5 minutes, add pinch of salt, then turn flame low and continue to cook onions until deep brown)
2-3 oz. brie (I used a gooey and super soft triple creme, which is a bit more buttery too)
1 1/2 T. fig spread
2 T. butter (softened)

-Spread a few pats of butter on bread, dividing over each slice and do the same with the fig jam
-Layer with cheese and caramelized onions
-Melt remaining butter in a skillet, over a very low medium flame and cook grilled cheese until cheese is oozing out of the sides and bread is deep golden brown

Friday, May 6, 2011   ()

Hot. Buttered. Buns.

Crab Cake Sandwich 

Given the fact that I had only 4 hours of free time in Savannah, I think I chose wisely when I finally had the chance to sit down and nom.

The outdoor seating at The Old Pink House was completely full, and I had no intention of waiting to be fed.  The line to even set foot in Paula Deen’s The Lady & Sons was too long and I had no intention of dealing with crowds of tourists.  I walked through City Market and stumbled into a tiny spot, with outdoor seating, and a chair waiting for my butt to be planted in it.  

I took one look at the menu and my eyes shot straight to some of the most beautiful words in our beloved English dictionary:  JUMBO LUMP CRAB CAKE.

A hot buttered bun encased what was a very enjoyable crab cake.  On the side, french fries so super fried that they left oil skid marks on the plate - and crystals of sea salt that could be picked off of each deep fried fantastic wonder individually. Spicy remoulade sauce was the condiment provided and I used it for the fries, not the crab cake.  I didn’t wish to taint my crab cake experience, the fries though…salty oily fries can always benefit from a little dip in a spicy mayo bath.

I nursed the crab cake with some wine and let my belly grow with goodness and contentment.   

The best part about eating and traveling alone are the conversations had along the way. The gentleman that waited on me, a born and bred Brooklynite.  He played basketball for Thomas Jefferson H.S. and lived only a 1/2 mile from where I grew up in Canarsie.  He was about my dad’s age and his friendly nods and occasional kool-aid smile made me miss having someone to crab cake with a little less.  I wrote a card to my brother, in between bites, and I’m still wondering whether or not I should send it.

Although, I spent the better part of the morning enjoying my apartment, baking and nomming on bits of goodness - I was wishing I could’ve bundled the Savannah weather and lush greenery and taken it back to New York with me;  along with a crab cake to tote to the park this afternoon.

Weekend recipe explorations to come.  

Saturday, April 9, 2011   ()

The Manchegologues

Manchego & Anchovy Sandwich

*Recipe follows story

While walking and eating my way through Barcelona, every where I turned, I saw Manchego.
Ok, maybe not every where I turned…
I just happened to stumble upon food quite a bit - and it was always on a menu, at a market or farm stand…
And, when I stumbled upon a purveyor of the manchego, I did what any food loving woman would do; I sampled it.  
Sometimes once a day, sometimes 2 times a day, sometimes following a heaping cone of gelato.  

I had this incredibly tasty sandwich, in Gracia, on my walk down from Park Guell to La Segrada…

This sandwich was almost as amazingly tasty as my boyfriend Xuxo, the doughnut.  I would say he (Manchovy, that’s the sandwich) was Xuxo’s salty counterpart.

Layered thick with anchovies and manchego, I’m still having dirty dreams about him.

And, you know what we should do with dirty dreams, right…

Make them a reality.

Manchego & Anchovy Sandwich

1 piece of crusty hero/Italian bread (I used olive bread because I like my salty item sandwiches with more salty items embedded in it)
1 vine ripened tomato (halved)
2-3 oz manchego (shaved in thin slices to layer)
3-4 anchovies (depending upon how fishy/salty you like your sandwich)
1 T. olive oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes

-Toast bread and rub with tomatoes (discard once all juice have been extracted)
-Drizzle with olive oil
-Layer cheese and anchovies
-Sprinkle with red pepper flakes
-Open your mouth and NOM

Sunday, December 26, 2010   ()


Fig & Brie Panini

*Recipe follows story

Figs are in season and, for once, I’m not hopping a fence to steal them from some old Italian man’s tree - or taking Josie on suspect 2am walks to house them from my neighbors yard.

No, Cousin Susan was nice enough to share the fig wealth.

I’ve been biting into them and enjoying their succulent sweetness - but there are a lot of ways to enjoy the fig - from roasted, to salad, to stuffed, to sandwich.

During the summer, my grandma would smash them on Italian bread and make mini fig-noms.  At one point, during childhood, we had a 3’ pool docked in our backyard - on a slab of cement.  Smallish fig sandwiches remind me of tiny pools, clothing lines (with my uncles underwear and my grandma’s housecoats ever so strategically lined up from one end of the yard to the other), pool fights with ferocious splashing,  hot feet on concrete and empty kid bellies.

I decided to make a sandwich - a la nonna - but I made it for a woman.  A woman who doesn’t fear butter and cheese.  

A delightful breakfast nom it was.  Any time of day it would be a treat.  I would imagine, were all 5’7” of me sitting in a 3’ pool, right now, I’d be the happiest I’ve been in months - but alas - at my kitchen table I sit.    

Fig & Brie Panini

1 large slice rustic Italian bread (cut in  half)
1 T. of agave
1 T. of butter
5 figs (top removed and sliced)
2-3oz. brie
1 tsp. kosher salt 

-Heat grill pan or George Foreman
-Spread agave and butter on both sides of the bread
-Layer with cheese, then sliced figs
-Top with salt
-Close sandwich and press until golden brown on each side and cheese is melted and gooey (about 3 minutes per side) 

Thursday, August 19, 2010   ()

Kiss My Panini

Brie & Nutella Panini

*Recipe Follows Story

I kind of have a thing for pressed sandwiches.

In fact, I love a lot of things pressed: nice shirts, skirts, hot body on hot body. 

A panini is fast, works seemingly well with the three glasses of wine I’ve been throwing back every night - and, anything you can smother in cheese, is a winner of a dinner.

Christine and I were on the phone the other night, and she mentioned a Nutella and brie panini that she made.  She also said it was so good, she wanted to make-out with it.  

As of late, I haven’t had any explosive make-out sessions, so, a hot sandwich, oozing with Nutella and brie, is something I could probably even sleep with.

To come along for the ride to my tummy: Ray Charles (for singing and dancing), and a side of balsamic strawberries (because I can).  

I also love a dry Riesling, and I’m finishing a bottle right now.

Nom, drink and sing.  

Brie & Nutella Panini

1 piece ciabatta (I used a soft roll because that’s what I had in my apartment)
2 T. Nutella
1 oz. brie
1 c. strawberries
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 1/4 tsp. sugar
Freshly ground black pepper

-Heat grill pan on medium heat
-Smother bread in Nutella and top with brie, close and grill
-Grill until oozing with I want to make out with you goodness; about 5-7 minutes 

For Strawberries

-Wash and slice berries
-Place berries in a bowl, add vinegar, sugar and a bit of pepper
-Let sit for 30 minutes to an hour

The idea for the Brie & Nutella panini came from one of the Giada cookbooks Chris owns.  I just winged the proportions, and the above recipe made for a nice bite.   

Thursday, June 10, 2010   ()

The Perfect Saturday Sandwich

Mortadella & Provolone On Ciabatta (With Tomatoes In Olive Oil & Basil)

*Recipe Follows Story

To preface this sweet story about Italian lunch meat, Saturday afternoon sandwiches, and sick friends I love -  I must confess that I don’t just like mortadella, I LOVE mortadella.  The pure enjoyment I get out of eating a perfectly sliced piece feels so naughty, yet so nice.  The slightly oily film; and hints of spice it leaves on my tongue, makes me smile and want to kiss someone who’d like to taste it right back.  Is that gross?  I don’t care, it’s so true.  

I guess, because mortadella reminds me so much of bologna, but sounds so much prettier and tastes so much better (because it’s not really bologna), it feels a little wrong to love it as much as I do. Mortadella is one of my many naughty likes and secrets, but this isn’t a porn blog - so I won’t continue to tell you about my naughtiness here … 

I’m going to tell you all about my 24 year love affair, as I had my first slice at 6 (well, not really all about - you won’t read it all), and how this love fest began.

Friday, May 14, 2010   ()   Read more …

A Fantastic Friday Night Dinner (Normally Served As A Bang-Up Brunch)

Scrambled Eggs With Fresh Mozzarella And Avocado On Ciabatta

*Recipe Follows Story

When I told my friends about the blog, I asked that everyone write back (if they had time) and list a meal, or meals, I’ve made, that we’ve enjoyed together.

Christine, Susannah, Susana and Nancy - all said, emphatically, that I should tell the food blog lovers of the internet about one item in particular.  I’ve made the above sandwich, many times, for brunch (alone and shared with others).  This sandwich is so special, it also doubles as a light dinner (one that Nance and I nommed on it this past Friday night).  

The crunch of the ciabatta (soaked in olive oil), topped with creamy scrambled eggs and fresh mozzarella is like cutting in to a fluffy, flavorful cloud. The addition of the avocado brings another level of creaminess to every bite.

Monday, May 10, 2010   ()   Read more …