Nov 202012
 

My cooking club theme this month was paninis!  It was a really fun theme – we had two panini makers going to make a diverse selection of sandwiches.  We had different breads, different fillings, and even a dessert panini.  (Note: We never ever skip dessert in this club!)

Here’s the lineup:

Fig and Prosciutto Panini – the salty ham and sweet fig grilled on thick bread made a great combination
Sicilian Panini – Italian coldcuts, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, and pesto grilled on crusty Italian bread; a superb replica of the sandwich served at Dave’s Fresh Pasta
Buffalo Chicken Panini – creamy buffalo chicken on toasted Pillsbury croissants; a creative and delicious way to get your ‘buffalo chicken’ fix
Greek Egg Panini – hard boiled egg, fresh baby spinach, sliced red onion, and feta cheese on whole wheat pita

And last, but not least – Paula Deen’s Sweet Dessert Paninis with banana, Nutella, marshmallows, and chocolate.  Words can’t describe it.

Here’s a few photos of the event:

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have a panini maker?  Is it gathering dust somewhere?  After Thanksgiving, drag it out and try some of these combinations!

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 Posted by at 6:00 am
Oct 172012
 

Grilled cheese just might be my favorite sandwich.  I can eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  It’s very important that the bread is crispy and the cheese is melty.  (Spellcheck doesn’t like the word “melty”, but you know what I mean!)

This fall, I’ve gotten into a kick of making grilled cheese sandwiches with Cabot 75% Reduced Fat Cheddar and fresh slices of apple on whole wheat bread.  Cheese and apples are always a great combination, and this makes for an awesome sandwich on a chilly day.

 

 

OK, so this isn’t a real recipe, but I do have some important tips.  First, cut the apples slices very thin so they’ll soften slightly as the sandwich cooks.  Second, make sure to place half of the cheese slices under the apples, and half of them on top.  This will ensure that the cheese melts onto both sides of the bread with the apple slices in between.  And finally, serve any remaining apple slices on the side of the sandwich.

I was not paid by Cabot to mention their cheese, and the cheese was not provided to me as a sample.  But I do love the fact that Cabot reduced fat cheeses have a great texture, and really melt when you make a sandwich!

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Apr 242012
 

Sometimes I end up running around on weekend days, grabbing snacks here and there, and never really sitting down to an actual meal.  These Lemon Thyme Tuna Burgers from Green Lite Bites took less than 15 minutes to make, and made a balanced meal with some whole grain crackers and grapes.

I modified the original recipe just a bit, adding some diced carrot and using a whole egg instead of just the egg white.  I may have added a little too much lemon juice because the mixture was quite wet.  The burgers fell apart a little in the pan, but still tasted great.  And after a good meal, I was ready to tackle the rest of my day.

 

 

 

Lemon Thyme Tuna Burgers

2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 (5 oz.) can tuna
1/3 c. oats
1 egg
1 T lemon juice
1 t thyme

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Form into 2 patties, and place on a pan coated with cooking spray.  Cook on medium heat for 5-6 minutes.  Flip burger carefully, and cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side.

-Lightly adapated from Green Lite Bites

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Feb 132012
 

Our cooking club theme this month was Mardi Gras, and we had quite the feast!  Our party was scheduled just ahead of actual Mardi Gras, which gives me time to share the recipes with you.  The table was colorful, and filled with gumbo, Mardi Gras slaw, and muffuletta of course.

My friend Susan made this muffaletta sandwich which was awesome.  First, you make an olive salad with black and green olives, peppers, celery, onion, and capers in a vinaigrette. Then, you assemble the sandwich with salami, ham, capicola, Provolone, and the olive salad.

 

 

 

I never would have made this on my own, or ordered it off a menu, mostly because I am not a fan of olives or peppers.  But somehow when the sandwich was all together, it tasted great.  That’s one of the things I like best about our cooking club, it pushes me to try new things sometimes, and usually I end up really liking them.

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Dec 052011
 

Last week, I finally got a chance to eat at Clover, which has a restaurant in Harvard Square and food trucks around the city.  Their menu is as permanent as a whiteboard, but I liked all of the unique vegetarian options.  I decided to try the Egg and Eggplant Sandwich: hummus, fried eggplant, sliced hard boiled egg, and cucumber and tomato salad all stuffed into a warm pita and topped with tahini sauce.  It tasted great, although it was quite messy.  I could have never eaten this while strolling down a city street, but with the help of a fork I really enjoyed it!  Yes, it’s an unusual combination of flavors and textures, but it works.

I immediately thought 2 things.  First, when can I get back to Clover to try their signature falafel?  Second, how can I make this Egg and Eggplant Sandwich at home?  A little Internet research revealed this the sandwich is known as ‘Sabich’, and served in many places in Israel.  It originated with the Iraqi Jews as a meal which could be easily prepared on the Sabbath.  I found this recipe which seems fairly authentic, although I simplified a few things when I made it for myself.

 

For both photo purposes and easier eating, I made the sandwich open face, but you could easily stuff the mixture into the pita.  This wasn’t quite as good as Clover’s, but it was still a good lunch.  I think something is missing – perhaps some fresh herbs (the original recipe calls for parsley) or maybe just some salt and pepper.  And of course, the recipe is more appropriate for late summer when eggplant is locally abundant.  But I am not sure I can wait that long to try this again!

 

Egg and Eggplant Sandwich

1 large eggplant, thinly sliced
Canola oil
1 cucumber, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced
1/4 c. + splash lemon juice, divided
Salt and Pepper
1/4 c. tahini
4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1/2 c. hummus

1. Fry eggplant slices in oil, and drain on paper towels.
2. While eggplant is cooking, toss cucumbers and tomatoes with a splash of lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, mix tahini with 1/4 lemon juice.  Add more lemon juice until the sauce is thin.
4. Place each pita on a plate.  Spread 2 T of hummus on each pita.  Top with eggplant slices, sliced egg, and cucumber and tomato salad.  Drizzle with tahini sauce.

-Adapted from Herbivoracious

 

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