Spring into action with this “sandwich”

Originally appeared in the May 10, 2012 edition of the Southside Times.

Yeah, yeah, I know—a sandwich should contain some sort of “body”; one or more condiments; perhaps a garnish or two; and (save the open-faced variation) all these components compressed between two slices of bread (toasted or not is a topic that will have to wait for another installment of this humble column).  But who says your sandwich has to be bookended with bread?

Today’s recipe isn’t so much a recipe as it is a suggestion:  Look at your ingredients with a bit of nuance.  Here, this sandwich consists or two, sweet slices of tomato and a thick disc of fresh mozzarella “sandwiched” between a couple earthy medallions of Portobello mushroom.  The condiment is drizzled basil oil.  I’ve used skewers to hold the ingredients in place slicing and presentation.  This savory strata makes a guilt-free snack or healthful entrée—something you can eat and then retreat to a springtime activity  (I can’t remember the last time I ate a Frisco Melt, but I’m sure I didn’t feel like taking a walk around the block after consuming it).

Chips are a nice, crunchy compliment, and there are plenty of baked permutations to honor the healthy theme of this dish.  Hungry?

 

Portobello, tomato, and mozzarella sandwich skewers with basil oil

Serves 2

  • 4 large Portobello mushroom caps
  • 2 large plum tomato
  • 2 thick slice fresh mozzarella
  • 2 ounces fresh basil leaves
  • 8 ounces extra virgin olive oil

1.  For basil oil: stir basil leaves into boiling water for 60 seconds until color becomes vibrant.  Quickly “shock” the basil in ice-water to retain color.  Remove, pat dry, and add to a blender; pour in olive oil and blend (adding more oil if needed) until oil is bright green.  Strain mixture through mesh sieve and set aside.

2.  Using round biscuit cutters, cut through two thick slices of fresh mozzarella; reserve dics; and use the biscuit cutters to punch-out four medallions from the Portobello caps and reserve.  Slice tomatoes into four thick dics.

3.  Stack sandwiches as follows: mushroom, tomato, and mozzarella, then repeat backwards with another slice of tomato and mushroom.  Insert four skewers evenly at 2-, 4-, 8-, and 10-o’clock positions, and cut down between the skewers, yielding four triangle chunks.  Serve sandwich skewers with basil and crispy potato chips.

Published in: on May 21, 2012 at 5:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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Wild salmon with daikon, snow peas, enoki salad, and sweet pea-wasabi sauce

The rogue and the refined:  an evening with Bourdain and Ripert

Originally appeared in the October 07, 2010 edition of the Southside Times.

Celebrity chefs Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert made reservations at Clowes Hall last Thursday evening, leaving food-for-thought scattered across their conversational cutting boards.  But after the admirative laughter died down, after the fan-eager applause faded, what remained in the auditorium was a sustained sense of culinary camaraderie—between the chefs and, somehow, between the diverse audience.  Continued after the jump:  (more…)

Dried mushroom and goat cheese risotto

Go with the grain

Originally appeared in the September 23, 2010 edition of the Southside Times.

In case you didn’t know, September is national honey month, national all-American breakfast month, national papaya month, organic harvest month, chicken month, and hug-a-Texas-chef month.  When I find out when hug-a-Hoosier-chef month is I’ll let you know.  But among other vittles being commemorated this month, September also happens to be national mushroom and national rice month.  As such, I thought sharing a recipe spotlighting both would be apropos.  Read more after the jump: (more…)

Published in: on September 24, 2010 at 3:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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New York Strip, Cremini, and Bok Choy Kebobs

Keys for successful kebobs

Originally appeared in the August 12, 2010 edition of the Southside Times.

Spell them—pronounce them—any way you like:  kebob, kabab, kibob…the list goes on and on.  Other cultures know the skewered foods as souvlaki (Greece) or satay (Indonesia).  But really, all you need are three elements—meat and / or veg, a stick, and fire.  From there, well, the show’s all yours.  Read more here: (more…)

Published in: on August 12, 2010 at 4:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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