Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Food Glorious Food

I think it's safe to say you all know I love food, but I'm not sure you all know just how much I love food. For example, in my head, I keep lists of the very best kinds of food I've had. For instance, best salad dressing I've ever had: 1. Cafe Rio's Spicy Ranch 2. Delsa's Poppyseed Dressing 3. Afternoon Delight's Low Cal Ranch (yes, I said low cal) 4. Common Grill's Raspberry Maple Vinaigrette. Well, yesterday Marianne and I made Paninis that just jumped up on my best sandwiches ever list. 1. Mr. Spot's Cheesesteak with peppers 2. Afternoon Delight's Pita Club 3. Amer's Dave B's Little Honey. And now, tied for fourth place are the Roasted Asparagus and Sweet Onion Panini with Gruyere and the Southwestern Spicy Beef Panini with Black Bean Pesto. Recipes as follows:

Roasted Asparagus and Sweet Onion Panini with Gruyere
2 lb medium asparagus, cut in half lengthwise
1 large Vidalia or sweet yellow onion, peeled, cut in half, and thinly sliced
3 TB olive oil
2 TB butter
2 t grated lemon peel
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
4 fresh tarragon sprigs, stems removed and leaves chopped
12 slices crusty ciabatta bread
1/4 lb prosciutto (I just used bacon bits)
6 ounces Gruyere cheese, slices
6 slices Swiss cheese
Preheat oven to 450. Place asparagus and onions on a large baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, dot with butter, sprinkle with lemon zest and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables lightly to distribute the seasonings. Bake until soft and just starting to brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer to a bowl, toss with tarragon, then set aside. Preheat panini grill. top bread with Gruyere, swiss, and remaining slice of bread. Brush the top with olive oil and transfer to hot grill, oiled side down; brush remaining side with olive oil. Grill until cheese is melted and bread is browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Pull sandwich apart and insert bacon bits and asparagus and onion mixture. Close sandwiches, slice, and serve.

Southwestern Spicy Beef Panini with Black Bean Pesto
2 TB olive oil
1 lb. shaved beef sirloin (or roast beef)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 TB chopped fresh garlic
Parsley, chopped (to taste)
1 1/2 TB chili-garlic sauce (found in Asian section of grocery store)
8 slices of ciabata bread
1 roasted red pepper, thinly sliced
6 ounces monterey jack cheese, shredded
Black Bean Pesto (use a food processor or blender to chop and combine):
2 TB minced garlic
2 Serrano chilies, seeded and minced
1 can black beans, rinsed, drained
1 TB rice vinegar
2 TB olive oil
2 TB cilantro
1 green onion, chopped
1 TB cumin
3 drops chipotle pepper sauce (I used tabasco)
Heat olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Saute beef, red onion, and garlic for about 3 minutes. Add chili-garlic sauce and continue cooking for an additional 4 minutes, until beef is cooked through. Add chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, set aside. Preheat panini grill. Spread 4 slices of bread with black bean pesto, top with beef mixture, roasted red pepper, and shredded Monterey Jack cheese; finish with remaining slice of bread. Spread butter evenly over top slices. Place sandwich on grilling surface, butter side down, butter additional sides and cook for 10 minutes until browned and crisp. Remove from heat, let rest for 3 minutes, then slice in half and serve.

Here's a photo of Marianne, my kindred spirit in the kitchen who just happens to live right across the duck pond.


Owens D.C. said...

The next "Food Network Star." You're well on your way and seriously should apply with that much passion!

KA said...

I think it would take longer for me to locate "Serrano chilies" in the grocery than it would to just drive to DC and have you make me a sandwich.