Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pastrami,White Cheddar and Apple Grilled Cheese on French Bread

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Originally called "Johnny Apple Cheese", aka Johnny Pastrami by , this hearty grilled cheese sandwich features an apple butter, Dijon mustard and honey spread that is a perfect complement to the thinly sliced apples that are layered in along with the beef pastrami and white cheddar cheese. I first saw this recipe in Fine Cooking and was intrigued not only by the beautiful image of the sandwich with enticing drips of melted cheese, but also by the name of the sandwich.

Eric Greenspan graduated from the Berkley Hass School of Business and the Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Paris and has worked with the top chefs in the world. However, he is well known for his grilled cheese sandwiches, having been inspired to transform the traditional cheese plate into a sandwich. His premier sandwich, dubbed-The Champ, was filled with taleggio cheese, raisin walnut bread, apricot caper puree and beef short ribs.

Instead of using the homemade apple chutney that Chef Greenspan uses, a tangy apple spread made from apple butter, Dijon mustard and honey mimics the chutney flavors perfectly-  Fine Cooking

While the recipe calls for sourdough bread, I thought my homemade French bread loaf made a good substitute.
Pastrami, White Cheddar and Apple Grilled Cheese
  • 3 tablespoons apple butter
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 4- 1/2-inch thick slices sourdough or French bread
  • 8 ounces white cheddar cheese, thinly sliced or coarsely grated (about 2 cups)
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced salami
  • 6-10 thin slices of apple, honey crisp is a good choice
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  1. Combine the apple butter, honey, Dijon  mustard and a pinch of the salt in a bowl. Spread on both sides of the bread and top with half the cheese and half the pastrami. On top of that, layer the sliced apple, overlapping slightly, and the remaining cheese. Repeat with the other two slices of bread to make two sandwiches.
  2. In a heavy duty skillet over low heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter until lightly browned. Add the sandwiches and cook, adjusting heat if necessary, until golden brown on one side. Flip, adding the remaining tablespoon of butter, and cook, lifting the edges of the bread to allow the butter to run under. Again, adjust the heat as necessary, until the cheese has melted and other side is a golden brown. Slice in half and serve.

Easy French Bread Loaf

Using the bread machine to process the dough, then baking the bread in a conventional oven makes this an easy everyday bread.

  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1-1/3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  1. Process the ingredients according to the manufacturer's instruction for basic bread dough. When cycle has completed, remove the dough from the machine to a lightly floured surface. Punch down and let rest, covered, about 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Using your palms and fingers, flatten the dough into an oval about three times the width of your baking pan. Fold over the edges, as if you were making an envelope. Place the loaf in the pan, seam side down, ends tucked under. This ensures a loaf that is higher in the middle and rounded on top.
  3. Place the bread in the preheated oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove the loaf from the pan and let cool on a rack. For a softer crust, immediately rub the top of the loaf lightly with butter.

The black and white image above is my contribution to Black and White Wednesday #151, hosted this week by Sanhita from the blog, Pocket Full of Spices. BWW is an ongoing blog event begun in July 2011 by the talented Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook. Susan handed the reins over to the also talented Cinzia of, Cindy Star Blog. It is a delight to post my black and white culinary images to this event.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Black and White Wednesday #149 - The Gallery

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Welcome to the 149th edition of Black and White Wednesday! Halloween is upon us in a few days and we have in the gallery today some exotic pumpkins in black and white as well as a delicious vegetable paneer dish perfect for the Fall when greens are plentiful. Hope you have a spooky, but safe Halloween! Next week for BWW #150, November 5, 2014 our host will be Cinzia. Direct your information  to  casacortella AT tin DOT it. To begin this Halloween gallery, here is a ghostly image for you!

Mongago su Mineiro-From Brazil
Cinzia-CindyStar Blog
Potiron Galeux d'Eysines-from the Bordeaux Area of France
Cinzia-CindyStar Blog

Mini Pumpkins
Lynne-Cafe Lynnylu

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Announcing Black and White Wednesday # 148-Halloween Edition

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Also known as All Hallows Eve, Halloween is celebrated in many countries throughout the world and is said to be the time of the Christian or liturgical year dedicated to remember the dead, including saints, martyrs and all faithful departed believers. Source

For many, it welcomes the fall of the year when the leaves have turned colors of orange, red and gold and is the time of harvest and preparing for winter months. 

Black and White Wednesday is a day in the week in which we post our culinary images not in color, but in varying shades of black and white. To strip the color from a culinary images allows us to see in a different light textures, lighting and many other facets of an image that are overlooked when colors are abundant. I am happy to be hosting BWW #148, created by the very talented Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook and continuing in her footsteps, Cinzia of Cindy Star Blog and on whose blog you can read the rules and host line-up for this very popular blog event. 

Please send the URL of your post and attached image no larger than 750 X 500, 72 ppi to lynnylu AT gmail DOT com by Wednesday, 10:00 am New York time. Looking forward to your contributions.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

My Lunch in Monochrome-BWW #146

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Busy day today planting more Fall vegetables in the garden plot we have at Skidaway Farms.  But time caught up with me so had to rush back home to shower before my afternoon dental appointment. Having no time to make my own lunch, I stopped by my favorite Japanese restaurant, Sushi Zen to grab a quick spicy tuna bowl. The waitress, Hitomi, always remembers exactly how I like the dish prepared and brings with the spicy tuna bowl, a refreshing glass of iced green tea. Below is the color image of the dish. Image captured with Camera+, background blurred with Big Lens app and finished off in Snapseed.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

The World Culinary ABC is on the Way

Print Friendly and PDF "Viral" is a fashionable word these days. Something goes "viral" because everybody knows it, talks about it, wants it. Well, the European Community ABC didn't go viral, but in reading again its announcement post from December 2012, I see that it talked about 16 blogs that were announcing together a virtual culinary tour of the European Community countries. This year, however, we are ready to go: the calendar has been finalized and 29 bloggers (some of them ambassadors for a country, others travelers) plus the one and only Aiuolik make up a happy caravan.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are delighted to announce:
You got it: this time we will virtually travel around the world and put it on the table one letter at a time.
This tour will feature an ambassador for each letter and we hope that again there will be many of you traveling with us — for just one leg or for the whole tour or whenever your luggage is ready and you want to join the fun.
Each letter of the alphabet is associated with a city that represents a country and the ambassador will start the festivities with a dish s/he chooses from that country's culinary tradition. During the three weeks following the opening post, anyone can publish a recipe from the same country. It's that easy.
In brief, if you'd like to participate, remember the 4W rule:
  1. WHEN: every three weeks we change letter and country; 
  2. WHAT: you can publish any recipe (or more than one) from the country represented by the letter (the initial of the recipe name does not matter); 
  3. WHERE: publish the recipe on your blog and then leave a comment on the initial post (on the ambassador's blog) containing the URL of your post; 
  4. WHO: anyone who has a blog can participate; the more the merrier. It would be great to travel together for as many stops as possible, but, as I said above, you can choose when to participate.
The post(s) you publish must include a reference to the event and to the ambassador's blog. Use of the logo (the image above) is optional but welcome. You can also contribute a recipe from your archive: add the reference to the event and to the ambassador's blog and then submit the URL as described above. Let me know if you have any questions or doubts on the process.
Here's the calendar. Each line includes the letter, the name of the representative city, then in parentheses the name of the country and continent in which the city is located, the start and end date of our stay in the country and finally the hosting blog (ambassador).
  • A - APIA (Samoa, Oceania) - October 6 through October 26, 2014 - Mangiare è un po' come viaggiare
  • B - BALARAMPUR (India, Asia) - October 27 through November 16, 2014 - Cindystar 
  • C - CANBERRA (Australia, Oceania) - November 17 through December 7, 2014 - Cook (almost) anything 
  • D - DAKAR (Senegal, Africa) - December 8 through December 28, 2014 - Cafe Lynnylu
  • E - EDMONTON (Canada, America) - December 29, 2014 through January 18, 2015 - Zibaldone culinario 
  • F - FORTALEZA (Brasil, America) - January 19 through February 8, 2015 - Torte e dintorni 
  • G - GUADALAJARA (Mexico, America) - February 9 through March 1, 2015 - Torta di rose 
  • H - HANOI (Vietnam, Asia) - March 2 through March 22, 2015 - Les madeleines di Proust
  • I - CAIRO (Egypt, Africa) [In Italian, the city is called IL CAIRO] - March 23 through April 12, 2015 - Crumpets & Co. 
  • J - JUAN CARLOS BASE (Shetland Islands, Antarctica) - April 13 through May 3, 2015 - Briggis' home
  • K - KYOTO (Japan, Asia) - May 4 through May 24, 2015 - Nato sotto il cavolo 
  • L - LUCERNA (Switzerland, Europe) - May 25 through June 14, 2015 - Kopiaste 
  • M - MINNEAPOLIS (USA, America) - June 15 through July 5, 2015 - Briciole 
  • N - NAIROBI (Kenya, Africa) - July 6 throuh July 26, 2015 - La cucina di qb 
  • O - ODESSA (Ukraine, Europe) - July 27 through August 16, 2015 - BigShade 
  • P - PORT MORESBY (Papua New Guinea, Oceania) - August 17 through September 6, 1015 - Kitchen in the city
  • Q - QUITO (Ecuador, America) - September 7 through September 27, 2015 - Ricette di cultura 
  • R - RABAT (Morocco, Africa) - September 28 through October 18, 2015 - La Melagranata
  • S - SUVA (Fiji, Oceania) - October 19 through November 8, 2015 - Santa Parmigiana
  • T - TUNISI (Tunisia, Africa) - November 9 through November 29, 2015 - Le tenere dolcezze di Resy 
  • U - ULAN BATOR (Mongolia, Asia) - November 30 through December 20, 2015 - Un Uomo dal Bagno alla Cucina 
  • V - VOLGOGRAD (Russia, Europa) - December 21, 2015 through January 10, 2016 - Un pezzo della mia Maremma 
  • W - WELLINGTON (New Zealand, Oceania) - January 11 through January 31, 2016 - Gata da plar 
  • X - XIAN (China, Asia) - February 1 through February 21, 2016 - Un'arbanella di basilico
  • Y - YEREVAN (Armenia, Europa) - February 22 through March 13, 2016 - La cucina di Cristina 
  • Z - ZAGABRIA (Croatia, Europa) - March 14 through April 3, 2016 - Burro e zucchero
Traveling with us is free, you learn a lot and you'll always find someone smiling next to you. What are you waiting for? Get that luggage ready.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Spicy Avocado Smoothie

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A dark green bumpy Haas avocado will work well with this slightly spicy smoothie. To determine if ripe, the avocado should yield to gentle pressure. Cucumber imparts a exhilarating touch to the smoothie while lemon and lime juice adds some zing. With one sip, the heat of the sweet chili sauce is evident.  If you need a perk-up in your day, this will do the trick.  

Spicy Avocado Smoothie
Makes 2-3 glasses
  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • 1/2 European cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons superfine sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup apple juice or mineral water
  • 2-4 teaspoons sweet chili sauce
  • crushed ice cubes
  • chili pepper for garnish
  1. Halve the avocado and remove the pit. Scoop the flesh from each half and transfer to a blender or food processor. Add the cucumber, citrus juices, superfine sugar and salt. 
  2. Process until smooth and creamy, then add the apple juice or mineral water and a little of the chili sauce. Blend to lightly mix.
  3. Pour the smoothie over the ice cubes. Decorate with the chili pepper and serve with stirrers and extra sweet chili sauce. Recipe adapted from 650 Cocktails and Drinks.

The black and white image of the spicy avocado smoothie is  my contribution to Black and White Wednesday #145 hosted this week by the lovely Cinzia, admin for Black and White Wednesday. Going strong since July 2011, BWW is the brain child of Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook.

Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Prosciutto Fig Pizza with Arugula

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Sweet and salty marry well in this prosciutto di Parma fig pizza topped with peppery arugula and shaved Parmesan cheese.  The fig preserves are a tad sweet, but sprinkling some kosher salt over the preserves before topping with the mozzarella cheese tames some of the sweet. If you can't find the fig preserves, fresh sliced figs can be substituted. The pizza dough is easy to make and can be kept in the refrigerator for several days before using. In fact, I find the dough is more manageable and tastes much better than pizza dough used right away. 
 Proscuitto and Fig Mise En Place
Fresh Figs

Pizza is the theme for our We Knead to Bake Facebook group.  Aparna, our admin, broke her wrist and was unable to choose a bread for us to bake, so suggested pizza, sweet or savory as the bread for September. My pizza is a bit of both! Happy healing to Aparna and looking forward to October's bread. 

The pizza dough is my own creation, but the prosciutto di Parma fig arugula and shaved Parmesan topping is an adaptation from Ree Drummond's-The Pioneer Kitchen.

Pizza Dough

  • 1 envelope instant or rapid rise yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. In a medium bowl, add warm water and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the water , stir and let stand 5 minutes or until softened. 
  2. Stir in olive oil, flour and salt. Stir until dough comes together. Transfer to a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Shape into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about an hour. Alternatively, cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several days before using. Makes one large pizza or 4 pizzettes.
Proscuitto Fig Arugula Topping
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons fig spread
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 12 ounces fresh Mozzarella, sliced thin
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced Proscuitto di Parma
  • 1 bunch arugula, rinsed and spun dry in a salad spinner
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
To Make the Pizza
  1. Preheat oven to 500° F. Remove pizza dough from bowl. Transfer to a lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a round. Transfer to a large parchment lined baking sheet. Brush each piece with olive oil. Divide fig spread among the 4 rounds. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
  2. Lay slices of mozzarella cheese over each round. Sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake for 12-15 minutes in a hot oven or until crust is golden and cheese is bubbling.
  3. Remove from the oven and immediately lay the prosciutto slices over the hot pizza.  Just before serving, sprinkle on the arugula and shaved Parmesan. Serve immediately.
Please do not use images or text without my permission. 
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