Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sandwich: Fried Bologna and Sweet Mustard Sauce on Peppered Whole Wheat Bread

Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time: 5 min

Cook Time 10 min

Serves (1)

Forget slimy bologna on white bread. This sandwich leaves the playground lunchbox behind, and kicks bologna into adulthood. With cracked pepper, crunchy onions, sweet mustard, and a cooling cucumber finish, bologna has made a bold comeback.

Ingredients: Sandwich—2 slices whole wheat bread, 6-8 thin slices BEEF bologna, cucumber, onion, mayo Mustard Sauce—2 tsp mustard, 1 tsp mayo, ½ tsp brown sugar, cracked black pepper to taste

Mix 2 tsp of mustard, 1 tsp mayo, ½ tsp brown sugar, and cracked pepper in small bowl. Set aside.

Heat pan with butter over medium heat. Spread light layer of mayo on outside of each slice of bread. Set bread aside. Cut ¼ inch slice of onion as if about to make onion rings. Cut slice of onion in half. Once pan is heated, place onions in pan until caramelized—adding extra butter and/or oil if needed. Resist the urge to add salt to the onions.

While onions are caramelizing, score each slice of bologna to the center to prevent bologna from curling while frying. Set aside. Peel cucumber. Thinly slice the cucumber lengthwise into strips, being careful not to cut into the seeds. A mandolin would work well here if available.

(Amount of cucumber will vary depending on the size of bread slices being used. Slice enough cucumber for two layers on sandwich.)

Once onions are caramelized, move to sides of pan and place bologna in pan. Do not overcrowd the bologna or slices will not fry evenly. Fry each side for about 30 seconds. Remove bologna from pan and place on bread slice (non-mayo side). Drizzle mustard sauce over bologna. Add caramelized onions and cucumber slices. Place other slice of bread on top (non-mayo side). Place sandwich in pan and crack pepper over mayo on outside of bread. Fry each side for 1 min. Slice sandwich in half while in pan to help warm the center. Remove from heat.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dessert: Cinnamon Bananas with Sugared Tortillas and Brandy Chocolate Sauce

Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time: 5 min

Cook Time: 15 min

Serves (4)

This modern take on fried bananas introduces a hint of brandy and a little architecture with sugared tortilla triangles. Quick to prepare and hard to mess up, prepare this dessert after nearly any Latin entree.

Ingredients: 1 banana, 1 flour tortilla, ¼ cup of Italian brandy, 2 oz dark chocolate (65% cocoa or less), 3 tbsp butter, oil for pan frying (light olive or canola), sugar, cinnamon, honey

Rough cut the chocolate into small pieces. Using a one quart sauce pan, heat ¼ cup brandy with 2 tbsp of butter and add chocolate pieces to mixture. Stirring constantly, boil mixture over medium-high heat for 2 min. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place frying pan on stove over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp of butter to pan, then add just enough oil to coat the pan bottom. While pan is heating, peel the banana. Cut banana in half, then lengthwise. Set aside. Cut tortilla into quarters. Cut each quarter in half to form eight triangles.

Once pan is heated, place tortilla triangles in fry pan, being careful not to overlap the triangles. (Triangles cannot be overcrowded or they will not brown evenly. If you need more room, fry two batches—four and four.) Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on triangles in pan. Once bubbles form in the tortilla, turn over. Sprinkle other side with cinnamon and sugar. As soon as the edges are light brown, remove the triangles from heat. You do not want tortilla chips, but rather lightly warmed and slightly crisp triangles. Triangles should still be pliable.

Quickly place the quartered bananas—cut side down—in the excess oil/sugar in the pan and warm for 1 min. Remove from heat. Place one triangle on plate and place one quartered banana on top. Place another triangle on top of banana. Drizzle banana and triangles with honey and chocolate sauce. Dust with cinnamon. Repeat plating with remaining ingredients.