17 July 2009

Gourmet Mushroom-Artichoke Sandwich of Love

Last night I flew back from North Carolina to Connecticut. George braved a terrific thunderstorm to drive me home in the fay hours of night. We were both slavering and there was practically nothing in the fridge. Then I remembered a sandwich recipe from the Vegetarian Times and adapted it to our situation. Two fine sandwiches emerged, which George pronounced "tasty as hell."

Mushroom-Artichoke Sandwiches

1 package sliced portobello mushrooms, washed
1 glass jar of artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, and halved or chopped
some cheese (I used Emmenthaler)
some leftover wine
some mayo
some bread

  1. In toaster oven or real oven, stick in 2 slices of bread with slices of cheese on top. Cook at 350 or 400 degrees until cheese is melty.
  2. Toast 2 slices of bread that have a little mayo spread on them.
  3. Meanwhile, in a fry pan pour some left-over wine. Cook the mushrooms in them until they're juicy and the wine and mushroom juice have mostly cooked off. Add the artichokes and heat up everything together.
  4. To make the sandwich: One slice cheese bread, topped with artichokes, mushrooms, and the mayo bread. Makes 2 sandwiches

14 July 2009

Peanut Noodle Salad

No one has posted for a while, I know—sorry! George and I just bought a house and because our lives have been hectic we haven't been cooking anything particularly new or interesting for a while. Tonight, however, was our Farewell Dinner so we pulled out all the stops. I started planning last night (to George's disbelief), but at that time I didn't realize that today we would harvest some of our garden crops! We pulled up four shallots and picked three hot Hungarian wax peppers. The vegetables tasted so fresh that my whole body felt uplifted.

The meal deeply satisfied us all. My peanut noodle salad paired serenely with the grilled tuna steaks, grilled Hungarian and cubanelle peppers, and shallot butter. I didn't even eat any tuna steaks and my gullet couldn't take any more gorging, so I don't know how the others managed.

Would you believe that I invented the peanut noodle salad all by myself? Well, I didn't. I used Mollie Katzen's peanut sauce from the New Moosewood Cookbook. It contains a cup of peanut butter, a few tablespoons soy sauce, raw garlic, raw grated ginger, a few tablespoons brown sugar, a few tablespoons apple cider vinegar, crushed red pepper flakes, and a cup and a half of boiling water. Ambrosial.

I poured the peanut sauce over lotsa lettuce and chopped endive, boiled white asparagus, sauteed firm tofu, sliced shallot greens, and toasted chopped almonds plus noodles: wide flat rice noodles soaked in hot water until soft, then drained and thoroughly rinsed in cold water. It took me about an hour to make the whole thing at a lazy pace.

Meanwhile, people grilled the tuna steaks and the peppers. When the peppers were blackened, George sealed them in a plastic bag for 10 minutes or so, then peeled off the black outer layer. He doused them in olive oil and kosher salt and served them hot and delicious.

Lizzie made the shallot butter by melting 1/3 Cup butter with 4 finely chopped garden-fresh young shallots and 2 large minced cloves of garlic. She cooked it real slow until the shallots turned translucent. She spooned the shallot butter onto the tuna steak and for me, onto homemade whole wheat bread. De-lovely!
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