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Grilled Cheese on Roasted Garlic Sourdough and Microgreens from the Farmer’s Market

Grilled Cheese on Roasted Garlic Sourdough and Microgreens from the Farmer’s Market

This weekend we did a big grocery trip. I picked up a beautiful loaf of roasted garlic sourdough bread at the farmer’s market, and I got some kale microgreens at the store. The microgreens were something new for me.

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For my grilled cheese sandwich, I decided to try something new. I spread homemade ranch dressing on the bread. I know some people use mayonnaise, and I’ve never done it that way, but this sounded too good to pass up. Oh, and this batch of ranch had fresh dill and parsley.

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Then I sliced some muenster cheese and topped both slices.

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I put the kale microgreens in the middle, between the cheese slices so they wouldn’t get cooked.

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I decided to grill it on a cast iron comal instead of a skillet, so I wouldn’t have to deal with the sides of the pan getting in the way.

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Then, instead of smashing it down with the spatula, I used a small plate.

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Ingredients:

  • Roasted Garlic sourdough bread
  • Muenster cheese
  • Ranch dressing
  • Microgreens
  • Salted butter

Directions:

  • Heat a cast iron skillet or comal on medium heat on the stove
  • Slice the bread
  • Spread Ranch dressing on each slice
  • Top each slice with muenster cheese
  • Top the cheese on one slice with kale microgreens
  • Put the sandwich together
  • Melt a pat of butter in the center of the comal
  • Place the sandwich on the butter
  • Place a small heavy plate on top of the sandwich and squash the sandwich
  • Grill until the cheese starts to melt
  • Flip the sandwich and repeat the squashing and grilling
  • Flip again
  • Increase heat to medium high, squash some more and watch the cheese for adequate melting
  • Flip and repeat
  • When grilled to your liking, remove to a cutting board and cut in half

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Lemon Mustard Roasted Potatoes

Lemon Mustard Roasted Potatoes

I like to watch cooking shows while I’m doing other things. I put them on in the kitchen while I’m cleaning up or cooking, and sometimes I have them on while I’m working. The result is, I miss a lot. Sometimes I notice that I missed the one thing I wanted to see and I rewind and play that part again. And, very often I still miss it and have to repeat the process several times before I finally catch it. This recipe was inspired by one of those episodes.

I was watching Giada at Home. The episode was My Grandfather’s Favorites. So, Giada and her Aunt Raffy are recreating some of Dino De Laurentis’ favorite recipes. Giada has revamped the recipes in her own style, and it irritates Raffy to no end. They bicker. Giada grins at the camera a lot. And it feels a little weird that she’s the one in charge, instead of her aunt, given the theme of the episode. But hey! It’s her show. I think it would be interesting to see them make both versions, side by side. And, much more interesting to actually taste test both versions!

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My lemon mustard roasted potatoes are inspired by her lemon-mustard potato salad. Hers sound really yummy, but I was after roasted potatoes that could be reheated, rather than a salad dish with greens and other fresh stuff. Plus, it was important that I could use ingredients that I had on-hand. That is often a major factor in my adaptations and I hope that you will follow suit and take my recipes as an inspiration and a guideline to be adapted to the ingredients that you have, can easily get or just prefer!

Lemon Mustard Roasted Potatoes – Ingredients

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1 ½ pounds potatoes

Zest of one large lemon

Juice of 1 large lemon

3 tablespoons extra light tasting olive oil

2 tablespoons stone ground mustard

1 tablespoon fresh chives

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Shredded parmesan

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Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375

Chop chives or cut with kitchen scissors

In a bowl large enough for tossing the potatoes, whisk together all ingredients except the parmesan and potatoes

Scrub potatoes and cut into large bite-sized chunks

Dump the potatoes into the bowl with the dressing and toss until thoroughly coated

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Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper (you don’t have to, but it will make your life much easier)

Spread the potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet

Spoon any dressing remaining in the bowl over the potatoes

Bake for 20 minutes

Top with shredded Parmesan

Baked for another 20 to 30 minutes, until golden and tender

Transfer back into the bowl and toss with remaining chive fragments

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I served this with baked chicken breast and Ranch on the side. Some kind of vegetable, like steamed Brussels sprouts, broccoli florets or artichoke hearts would go great with the meal, since they are all easy to make and great for dipping.

What will you serve your lemon mustard roasted potatoes with?

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Found Recipe: Guac & Chicken Pinwheels

Found Recipe: Guac & Chicken Pinwheels

I came across a recipe for Guac & Chicken Pinwheels with Tyson Grilled & Ready on Twitter (retweeted by @therebelchick here).

Guac & Chicken Pinwheels

This is so quick, easy, and good. It looks like a great way to use up some of the ingredients you have hanging around the fridge, too. I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for inviting ways to use up the rest of the fresh spinach before it goes bad.

So what we have here is some chicken, cheese, spinach and guacamole, rolled up in a tortilla and cut into bite-sized peices. It would make a great snack, appetizer, or main dish. You could even serve it up with some homemade ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Personally, I would use sliced cheddar or pepper jack in place of American cheese, and substitute some of my cook-ahead chicken for the store-bought chicken in the original recipe, but I love the idea here!

One thing that’s pictured, but not named,in the original blog post is Wholly Guacamole, store-bought guac. While nothing beats homemade guacamole, I have found that this brand is quite good, and makes for a very acceptable substitute for the real thing. Normally I won’t touch store-bought guac, so that’s a pretty big deal.

Thanks to @therebelchick and @Momhatescooking for the headsup on this one!

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Balsamic Glazed Beets and Greens with Feta

Balsamic Glazed Beets and Greens with Feta

This is really great with baby beets, but still very good with full grown beets. You will rarely find beets with their greens still attached at the grocery store.

Beets
Preheat oven to 375. Cut green off beets and save. Rinse beets. Roast, covered, for about one hour (should pierce easily with a knife). Allow to cool. Remove skins.

Glaze
2 tablespoons butter
3 to 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 to 3 tablespoons honey
Salt and pepper

Simmer all ingredients together for a few minutes stirring occasionally.

Cut up beets into bite-sized pieces. Simmer in the glaze for about 10 minutes, tossing and stirring occasionally to coat.

Greens
Cut up greens and stems. Slice up about 4 cloves garlic. Cook in about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease, covered, stirring occasionally.

Putting it all together
Pour glazed beets over the greens and top with a bit of crumbled feta cheese. Keep covered on warm until ready to serve.

I served these with deep fried chicken livers.

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Bean, Rice, and Cheese Rolls

Bean, Rice, and Cheese Rolls

I created this recipe when I was working with a very limited budget. I had made a huge batch of homemade beans and rice and we were sick of eating it! We had plenty of rolls, butter, mozzarella, parmesan, and fresh garlic. I was not an experienced cook at that time, but I knew I could do something with what I had on hand that would be delicious and satisfying. The results were much better than I had expected.

I used black beans and 7 grain rice. I have also had good results with Anasazi beans.

Cooked beans
Cooked rice
Cooked rolls
Butter
Fresh garlic (minced or sliced thinly)
Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste

Mix beans and rice together. Pull the top off of each roll. Press the inside of the roll until you have formed a cup. Place a pat of butter in the bottom of the roll. Add garlic to taste. Press a scoop of the bean and rice mixture into the roll. Salt to taste. Sprinkle with parmesan. Add another part of butter, more garlic, bean and rice mixture, salt, and parmesan making two layers. Top with mozzarella. After adding the mozzarella press the filling firmly into the roll ( the mozzarella will protect your hand from getting gooey from the mixture). Keep adding mozzarella and pressing until the roll is well stuffed. Try not to overstuff and break through the sides of the roll.

Bake at 350 until cheese melts and starts to brown.

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Tortellini Alfredo – The Bellybutton of Venus

Tortellini Alfredo – The Bellybutton of Venus

Also from the Valentine’s Day, 2006 issue.

Tortellini means bellybutton of Venus. Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love, was to rendezvous with Jupiter at an inn. Venus arrived first and was waiting in their room. The chef heard of her arrival, peaked through the keyhole into her room, and saw her lying partially covered on the bed. He was so inspired by the sight of her navel that he rushed to the kitchen and created the stuffed pasta in its image.

Tortellini, cooked

Butter, 1 stick
Garlic, as much as you can stand to peel and slice
Half and half, 1 pint
Parmesan, 6-8 oz
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter on medium high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add half and half and bring up to hot but DO NOT BOIL, whisking constantly. When half and half is hot add parmesan slowly, whisking constantly, it should melt pretty quickly. Whisk until thoroughly blended. Remove from heat. Combine tortellini and
Alfredo sauce in bowl or serving dish.

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Tortilla-less Burrito Bowls

Tortilla-less Burrito Bowls

You can use any kind of beans and any kind of cheese that you like. I used Anasazi beans and a mixture of cheddar and other cheeses. I think it was called the Mexican Blend or Taco Blend. I bought it already shredded. It is really better to grate your own because they use an anti-caking agent when they package it shredded.

1½ – 2 cups seasoned browned ground beef (about 1 lb raw)
1 – 1½ cups cooked Anasazi beans
8oz shredded cheese
1½ cup cooked brown rice
Homemade Pico de Gallo

Preheat oven to 350. Place rice in the bottom of a casserole dish. Mix beans, rice, and cheese together and place on top of rice. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes and then covered for about 20 minutes or until hot. Serve topped with homemade Pico de Gallo.

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Casanova Macaroni?

Casanova Macaroni?

I read a book review of a biography of Casanova that happened to mention that, “he liked his macaroni sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.”

That set me on a mission. I wanted to know how this was prepared. Macaroni by itself, even sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, will just dry out. So was it prepared with butter? Was it macaroni and cheese sprinkled with the goodness? What was it?

I pondered, I Googled, I asked my email groups, I beat my head into the monitor until bits of brain and LED goo were splattered all over the walls (OK, I made that last one up, but that’s what it felt like!), and finally I found some leads on what might possibly replicate the elusive dish.

Here is what I finally found:
The Food Journal (page 3)
Pasta: The Story of a Universal Food

So, working on limited time and a limited budget, I decided to give it a go, totaling faking it at the last minute mostly with what I had on hand and making a quick run to the grocery store (about ½ mile away at most) for some gnocchi.

I’ve never made a better, spur of the moment, bad decision in my life (OK, I probably have, but that’s none of your business!). Based on what I gleaned from these recipes here is what I created:

2 cups milk
16 oz package gnocchi
8oz medium cheddar (grated)
½ stock butter
Cinnamon
Sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Heat milk to just boiling. Meanwhile, sprinkle bottom of baking dish with cheese, cinnamon, and sugar. Add gnocchi to heated milk and simmer or warm for 3 minutes. Do not drain. Spoon about half of the gnocchi and milk on top of cheese mixture. Top as evenly as possible with pats of butter. Top with cheese, cinnamon, and sugar. Add the rest of the gnocchi and milk. Top with pats of butter and cheese, cinnamon, and sugar again. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

It was so good!!!

Next time I plan to use a more appropriate hard cheese and top it with braised meat, as suggested. From my reading, the milk can be left out when meat is served on top.

Unlike most dishes, this did not improve after sitting overnight. It was best the first day and made for mediocre leftovers which required salting, which was not necessary on the fresh serving.

In my research I learned that, at one time (in the 1500’s), pasta was almost always heavily sweetened, and that cinnamon was a common spice to add to pasta dishes. The interesting thing about that is that we now know that cinnamon helps the body properly metabolize sugar and may even help with some types of diabetes.

The recipes I found seem to be from the 1500’s. Casanova lived in the 1700’s. I still want to know exactly what it was he was eating!

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