Mushroom Jack Grilled Cheese

mushroom grilled cheese header 2

Sometimes, when I decide on making a gourmet grilled cheese for dinner (and more importantly, for the blog), I am without a plan. Tonight was one of those nights; I was at the mercy of whatever was in my fridge.

Upon gazing into the fridge, I hummed. I hawed.

Then the cremini mushroom jumped out at me. Oh, and Monterey Jack cheese! Spinach! Dijon mustard! Garlic cloves!

SUCCESS!


Good thing my belly is bigger on the inside!

Grilled cheese sandwiches are always hard to photograph because they always look so damn delicious.

mushroom grilled cheese

mushroom grilled cheese 2

 

I definitely give myself 10/10  for restraint.

mushroom 6

But after a while, my hunger gets the best of me.

It was when my grilled cheese tower toppled over mid-shot that I knew it was time to just put the camera down and dig in.

mushroom tumble

 

Ingredients

  1. 2 slices of whole wheat bread
  2. 1 cup of raw spinach
  3. 1/2 cup of cremini mushrooms, sliced
  4. 3 oz of Monterey Jack cheese
  5. 1 clove of garlic, minced
  6. 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  7. Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  8. 1 tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil
  9. 2 tablespoons of butter

Heat the oil in a pan at medium-high heat.

Add the mushrooms and saute them until they are soft – approx. 5 mins.

Bring the heat down to medium-low and add the garlic. Saute until fragrant, but not browned. Add the spinach and saute until the spinach is wilted. Add sea salt  and ground black pepper to taste.

Butter the outer sides of the bread. Spread the Dijon mustard on the other side of one of the slices. On the other slice, layer some cheese (buttered side down). Spoon the mushroom mixture over the cheese, and then top that with the rest of the cheese. Close the sandwich up nice and tight, and transfer it to a non-stick skillet.

Fry the sandwich low and slow. Flip the sandwich every three minutes or so – until both sides are golden brown and the cheese has melted.

 

Beer Butter Mushrooms

mushrooms header

Yep, you read it right. BEER butter mushrooms. Not wine, BEER. Most recipes I scoped out did, in fact, call for wine but I wasn’t having any of that.

First of all, let’s make mention of how adorable these little button mushrooms are. This was the first time in ages that I’d even seen these little guys up for grabs at the supermarket. I love these mushrooms because they absorb flavours so nicely, they aren’t slimy, and they don’t taste like dirt. I always talk about how I’m such a huge fan of cremini and baby bellas, but these little buttons are up there with’em. They actually remind me of canned mushrooms once they absorb all of the delicious. In a good way. YES there is a good way. I’ve loved canned mushrooms since I was a kid, and that probably makes me gross and unable to ever claim the title of a food snob, but I’m over it. Everyone’s got their faults, and mine is that I grew up eating canned mushrooms (willingly) right out of the can.

Okay, let’s move along before you hit the unsubscribe button…

BEER. BUTTER.

Now that I’ve regained your respect.

I really wasn’t sure how these would turn out, and the pressure was on because I was making them as a side dish at my parents house, and my Dad loves his mushrooms. And when my Dad loves a dish, you don’t want to mess it up, because he will let you know.

I basically poached these mushrooms in a mix of melted butter, beer, fresh parsley, fresh thyme, sea salt, and ground black pepper. Simple! Totally simple, and absolutely perfect. The key, I think, was to cook these nice and slow. I poached them for 30 mins until all of the liquid was completely absorbed. I was a little concerned that the mushrooms would have turned out mushy, but they kept their form and were moist, tender, and packed with buttery, beer-y flavours. UMPH.

beer butter mushrooms

Ingredients

  1. 4 cups of button mushrooms, washed
  2. 3 tablespoons of butter
  3. 1 cup of beer
  4. 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley, chopped
  5. 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, chopped
  6. sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Melt the the butter in a skillet.

Add the washed mushrooms to the skillet and toss them around to coat. Pour in the beer, and bring to a simmer on medium-low heat. Add the fresh herbs, and sea salt and ground black pepper.

Poach the mushrooms for approx. 30 mins, stirring occasionally.

These are flavourful enough to serve as a side on their own, but you can add them to anything!

mushrooms 5

beer butter mushrooms

mushrooms 3

mushrooms 4

Shrimp Dumplings with Apricot Soy Dipping Sauce

shrimp header

Earlier this week I was hit with an overwhelming craving for shrimp dumplings. Instead of ordering take-out, I took the hard road and hit the grocery store to buy all of the ingredients and I made them myself. Ah, the culinary pressures of being a food blogger!

Though, learning is always fun and things definitely taste better when you’ve put some labour and love into them.

This recipe was pretty good, though I’d definitely tweak the filling a bit more next time. This time around I chopped the shrimp into chunks rather than grinding them (I wanted the shrimp to have presence rather than be lost in a mish mash of mush). I also added some chopped up water chestnuts and bamboo shoots for crunchy texture, which turned out great. On the downside, this recipe called for way too much leek, which resulted in too much of an onion flavour.

Luckily the apricot soy dipping sauce remedied that. The sweet and salty flavours in this sauce could probably remedy the most foul dumplings, to be honest. It is SO. DARN. GOOD.

Ingredients

  1. 16 medium sized shrimp, chopped into chunks
  2. 1 stalk of celery, diced
  3. 1/2 red pepper, diced
  4. 1/2 leek, white and light green portion, diced (this is my adjustment; original recipe called for 1 whole leek).
  5. 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, grated
  6. 1 tablespoon of Kikkoman soy sauce
  7. 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
  8. 1/2 tablespoon of lime zest
  9. wonton wrappers
  10. 1 lightly beaten egg + 1 tablespoon of water (this is for the egg wash)

Dipping Sauce

  1. 2 tablespoons of apricot jam
  2. 2 tablespoons of Kikkoman soy sauce
  3. 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
  5. 1 tablespoon of diced scallions

Dice/grate all of the vegetables and throw them into a blender or food processor along with the soy sauce, lime juice, and lime zest.

leek

grated ginger

Pulse until you have something like this:

filling

It’s not pretty, but it’s going into a dumpling, so who cares? NOT we.

Drain any excess liquid from this blend. Set aside.

Chop the shrimp into chunks, and dice the water chestnuts. Mix them into your vegetable blend along with the bamboo shoots.

Time for wonton wrapping…

wonton wrappers

 

Lay the wontons out across a baking dish or large cutting board so you can work in an assembly line style. Scoop approximately one tablespoon of the mixture into the middle of the wontons.

Then, with a pastry brush, brush the egg wash along the outer edges of the wonton wrappers for sealing.

Take two opposing corners, pull them together, and pinch them shut.

fold 1

Grab another corner, bring it up to the sealed corners, and pinch to join.

fold 2

And again, with the last corner.

fold 3

Once all of your corners are pinched shut in the centre, pinch all of the edges to seal the wonton perfectly. You don’t want anything getting in, nor do you want any filling escaping!

Do this with all of the wontons.

Get into the zone.

Before you know it, a tray full of delicious little bundles will be present in front of you.

dumplings

 

Heat 1 – 2 inches of water in a pot and place a steamer above the pot. I have a bamboo steamer, so I place spinach leaves along the bottom to keep the dumplings from sticking to the bamboo. You can definitely boil these too, if you wish. They are delicious either way. If you do boil them, you definitely want to ensure that all of the edges are sealed shut because water filled wontons aren’t appetizing at all.

shrimp wontons

steamer

Steam the dumplings for approx. 10 mins. or until they are transparent.

As the dumplings steam, make the dipping sauce.

This recipe will  make approx. 20 delicious dumplings.

shirmp wontons close up

shrimp lighter

open shrimp dumpling

 

Watermelon & Toasted Coconut Treat

watermelon and toasted coconut

Ladies and gents, my new favourite dessert.

I can’t stop eating this. A friend told me about it this winning combination last year, but for some reason I took my sweet time before trying it. A shame, but I will surely make up for it now.

Watermelon is insanely refreshing on it’s own. Add to that a tad of crispy, crackling sweetness and BAM - the world is a better place.

watermelon toasted coconut 4

I KNOW, RIGHT?

It’s really, really simple.

Ingredients

  1. 1 heaping cup of watermelon, cubed.
  2. 1/4 cup of shredded, sweetened (or unsweetened if you prefer) coconut

Yup, that’s all.

Toast the shredded coconut in a pan on medium-high heat for approx 10 mins., or until the coconut starts to brown. Then garnish the watermelon with the coconut. 

watermelon toasted coconut 2

 

Chai Latte Ice Cream

chai ice cream header

 

My favourite cool-me-off drink in the summertime is a chai latte frappuccino. Sure, most from the coffee shops around here are super high in calories, but it’s a nice treat – and I refuse to deprive myself of treats! #YOLO, right? (I’ll never say that again).

Recently, I decided that I wanted to make some homemade ice cream for a few people as a ‘Thank You’, though I wanted to steer away from your typical berry or chocolate flavours.

Chai was the answer! And to amp it up a bit, I added some crumbled honey/cinnamon cookies (just some Teddy Grahams, actually). I have a habit of adding crushed cookies into my homemade ice cream, and I am not sorry.

If you want to be technical and make a chai ice cream by boiling whole spices like cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise, go crazy. I kept it simple and boiled chai tea bags. You don’t have to go the uber complicated route to be considered a foodie. Have no shame in cutting corners if the corner cutting makes sense.

Ingredients

  1. 2 cups whole milk
  2. 2 cups heavy cream
  3. 3/4 cup honey
  4. 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  5. pinch of salt
  6. 4 chai tea bags
  7. 6 egg yolks
  8. 1 cup of crumbled honey or cinnamon flavoured cookies (Teddy Grahams, for example).

In a small pot, bring the milk, 1 cup of the cream, honey, vanilla, and pinch of salt to a simmer. Stir enough to dissolve the honey. Remove from heat, and set the tea bags into the hot cream. Steep, uncovered, for 15 mins. Taste the cream mixture before removing the tea bags. You should want it to taste like a strong chai latte. You can leave the tea bags in for as little or as long as you’d like – it simply depends on how strong you want the chai flavor to be. Keep in mind that you’re going to add in another cup of cream later, and that will dilute the flavour quite a bit.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. As you whisk, slowly pour a small amount (approx. half of a cup) of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks to temper them. Now transfer the yolk mixture into the cream mixture. Heat the mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the other cup of cream.

Let the mixture stand to cool, and once lukewarm in temperature, refrigerate for at least 2 hours, if not longer.

Churn in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Five minutes before the ice cream is done, slowly add the crumbled cookies.

chai ice cream 3chai ice cream 1chai ice cream 4chai ice cream 2

My Day on a Food Truck: El Gastrónomo Vagabundo!

el gastro 3

Over the last few years, food trucks have moved above and beyond the emblematic greasy-spoon chip wagons, creating a universe of gourmet eats on wheels that have even the most pretentious of foodies swooning.

If you’ve ever watched Eat St. on the Canadian Food Network, you know what I’m talking about. This show has had a hand in opening the eyes and minds of skeptics and has proven that some of the most ingenious chefs are serving their food through the window of a truck. There is a feeling of victory that cannot be matched when you score a delectable meal with loose change; when you indulge while sitting on a curbside, hunched over your meal, ensuring that you get every drip of sauce and string of cheese. Oh, and let’s not forget the bragging rights that come along with discovering the city’s best gourmet grilled cheese or epicurean tacos.

It probably comes without surprise when I say that running my own food truck is basically a dream of mine – and spending an afternoon on El Gastrónomo Vagabundo has confirmed that this is something I need to do.

So, how did I snag this awesome opportunity? You see, I know a guy who knows a guy…

A friend of mine is training under Adam Hynam-Smith, who is co-owner of El Gastrónomo Vagabundo (Ontario’s first gourmet food truck), and is also a Chef/Host on Food Network Canada’s Restaurant Takeover. My pal mentioned to Adam that I’d like to do a review on the truck (honestly, I was just planning to eat the food and write about it like any other review I’ve done!) when Adam suggested that I spend an afternoon on the truck, work behind the scenes, and get a true taste of the life of food truckers. After a mini internal freak out, without hesitation, I accepted the offer!

This is how my afternoon on the food truck went…

I arrived just in time for setup.

food trucks

ice cream

dillons 2

chalkboard menu2

The event we were working was The O.G. (Original Gourmet) Food Truckers of Ontario Brunch over at Dillon’ Distillery in Beamsville, ON.

DIllons logo 2

Right off the bat, Joel threw me an apron and Adam put me to work. I actually loved this, because it made me feel more useful and less in the way.

During prep,  I couldn’t help but notice how clean and well-organized the truck and kitchen were. I’m pretty nitpicky when it comes to cooking surfaces and cleanliness, and El Gastro’s prep and cooking spaces are damn near sparkly. The cleaning and wiping of surfaces is being done  in between every task. And like Adam says to anyone who doesn’t have something to do, “If you have time to lean, it’s time to clean!

prep2

prep 3

My first task was chopping coriander (cilantro), which is humorous because everyone who knows me knows my hatred for it. I did get to use one of Adam’s knives though, and wow – I kind of/sort of fell in love with the thing. I’ve never chopped anything with such ease and precision before, and chopping things with a not-Adam knife from now on will feel…sad.

After chopping a decent portion of coriander, Adam placed a plate of his Korean BBQ chicken wings on the counter and demanded that we all dig in. Gee, twist my arm!

So let’s talk about that menu of his.

KOREAN BBQ WINGS – Yorkshire Valley organic chicken wings, Korean BBQ sauce, fresh lime, and chopped coriander

korean wings

Oh. Em. Gee.

I’m a chicken wing snob, and I’m the first to admit it. Growing up near the Buffalo, NY border has created a chicken wing monster in me. I  would have definitely given these wings two saucy thumbs up had I been able to take my saucy thumbs out from my mouth. Finger-lickin’ good is an understatement here. The flavours were incredible, and the level of spice was perfect for their particular flavour.  Out of respect, I’m not going to disclose any of the ingredients I learned about. It’s not my place. All I will say is that these bad boys are saucy, delectable, and hint around flavours of sesame and chili.

I should also add that despite my grudge against coriander, these Korean wings were so delicious, I was able to ignore it. This is probably one of the reasons that Adam is the renowned chef that he is; it would take a culinary magician to create the palatable illusion that coriander isn’t there for me. I feel like a changed woman…

FISH TACOS – battered cod, smoked pineapple and habanero hot sauce, cabbage slaw, coconut sour cream, fresh lime, and chopped coriander

fish taco

fish taco 2

Talk about edible art! And it surely tastes as good as it looks. I’d never tried a fish taco until yesterday, and what a perfect taco to be broken in with. In El Gastro’s beloved fish taco, you will find deep fried cod, pickled cabbage slaw, a sweet, spicy, and smoky pineapple habanero hot sauce, coconut sour cream, and coriander, all snug in a homemade soft shell tortilla. Oh, and definitely squeeze that lime juice on there. The flavours are already super fresh, but that lime really amplifies everything.

Last, but definitely not least…

2-BEAN TOSTADA – marinated bean salad, fresh tomatoes and fresh cucumbers, onion, guacamole, and harissa dressing all topped on a crispy tortilla with chopped coriander

tostada

 

The flavours and the textures in this dish are fantastic. Flavour-wise, you get a nice smoky and spicy nip from the harissa dressing right off the bat, yet it’s cooled down by the fresh ingredients creating a nice balance.  Texture-wise, you’re in a world of variety between the creamy guacamole, smooth beans, crisp cukes, and crunchy tortilla. So many things are happening in this dish, yet it’s done up in a way where you can appreciate each ingredient individually – nothing is lost!

Although the food and prep aspect of my day spent on the truck was of utmost importance, I can’t complete this blog without speaking about my time behind the scenes with these amazing people, and how amazing the food truck community really is.

*single tear*

Adam, Tam, and their food truck family are warm, welcoming, and grounded people. El Gastro is a tightly run ship, and they have such an awesome system down when it comes to production. One person at the window taking orders, one person at the deep fryer, one person on food layout, and one person on assembly – a perfect circle. If someone needs to travel within the tight space, communication is loud and clear in order to avoid any accidents or spills. Oh, and let’s not forget the “Whose hands are on my hips?” guessing game! It’s inevitable - everyone has to get a little cozy with one another in such a tight space, and this food truck family has a great sense of humour about it. Actually, this food truck family has a great sense of humour in general. Five minutes couldn’t pass without at least one eruption of laughter – totally my kind of place and my kind of people.

 

Something that really impressed me yesterday, and gave me such a feel-good vibe about the food truck community, was how the food trucks share with one another. At certain points throughout the day, we’d receive a tasty little package from one of the other food trucks. In return, someone from our truck would return the favour and gift the other food trucks with the same. It’s total “tradesies”, and an awesome way to build relationships with your fellow food truckers, not your competition. Face it, you’d never see restaurants doing this. I feel like the food truck industry is comprised mostly of  people whom are giving, passionate, and doing what they do because they love it.

 

I had the pleasure of tasting what the other trucks had to offer, and I need to make mention of them because it’s pretty evident that these people work hard at what they do. You can taste the passion these people have in every single bite.

Check out Dobra Jesti, Gorilla Cheese, Hometown Ice Cream, and again, of course, Dillon’s Distillery who acted as a very gracious host and got in on all of that sharing, too. I can’t help but sing high praises for all of these folks after what I witnessed yesterday.

Needless to say, I had a great time and I am extremely thankful (beyond words) for the opportunity that the El Gastrónomo Vagabundo family gave me, and how they treated me as one of them. Please check them out on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter, and Pinterest!

One thing is for sure - if I ever am lucky enough to run a food truck of my very own, I will always use my experience at El Gastrónomo Vagabundo as the prime example of what creates a successful business, and what creates such a dedicated and enthusiastic food truck family.

el gastro sign 2

 

French Toast Croissants

croissants header

French toast is amazing. Croissants are amazing. Now just imagine when the two become one! [Insert sound of angels singing here].

It was hard to not eat these on the way home from the supermarket. I mean, just look at them!

croissants 2

This recipe is super simple, because you’re really just making french toast – but replacing bread with croissants. You can play around with different styles and toppings to switch things up.

Ingredients

  1. 8 whole croissants (a rounder croissant is best)
  2. 5 whole eggs
  3. 1/4 cup Half-and-half
  4. 2 tablespoons of sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  7.  butter (for frying and serving
  8.  warm syrup (for serving)

Cut the croissants in half through the middle.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, the half-and-half, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Dunk each croissant half into the mixture and toss until fully coated. Set the pieces aside on a plate.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over low heat, then melt a small amount of butter. Add as many pieces as you can, cut side down, then increase the heat very slightly (but don’t go above medium-low!)

Allow the toast to cook on the first side for 3 to 4 minutes. Move it around in the skillet a bit to make sure it doesn’t burn. When it’s deep golden brown on the surface, flip it to the other side and let it cook for another 2 minutes or so.

Remove from the pan and cook the rest of the croissant halves.

Serve a top and bottom piece together with butter, warm syrup, and whatever toppings that tickle your fancy!

I played around with two different types: maple pecan, and raspberry syrup.

The maple pecan was pretty straightforward. Just drizzle the finished (and buttered!) croissants with maple syrup, and sprinkle on some pecans! (Toasted, or not. Either way, they are delicious).

maple pecan croissants

I also whipped up a raspberry sauce/reduction with fresh raspberries.

raspberriess

For this, all I did was heat up a cup of raspberries in a pot with 1/2 cup water, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. I brought it to a boil, and then brought it to a low simmer until the raspberries turned into a sauce. I added a tablespoon of corn starch to give the sauce a bit of thickness. Use corn starch at your discretion, though.

french toast raspberry

Restaurant Review : Sandwhich, Chapel Hill, NC

Sandwhich

This little place is fan-freaking-tastic.

To be honest, when people say we’re going out for burgers, I don’t often expect anything grand. I’m definitely a wee bit persnickety when it comes to burgers. I feel like the South is going to change this about me, though. Twice now, I’ve been blown away by hamburgers in the South. People certainly aren’t fooling around when they say that the South knows their food. I cannot wait to become a part of this.

The restaurants interior is cozy yet contemporary. There is a chalkboard menu to select from, and the selection of food is fair. Their menu offers some great variety without seeming overwhelming. They save the overwhelmingness for your plate.

I ordered the Outrageous Whichburger - and it was!

The Outrageous Whichburger is a cheeseburger topped with fresh and crisp lettuce, a slice of juicy ripe tomato, onion, whichsauce (similar to a Thousand Island dressing of sorts), crunchy bacon, creamy avocado, and roasted jalapenos for an itty bitty kick.

They ask you how you want your burger done, which is great because this means that a) their grade of chuck is high quality, and b) because of the aforementioned, you know your burger is going to be friggin’ splendid.

went with a medium cook on mine, and as a side, I went with the homemade potato chips.

20140710_185612_resized (3)

 

As you can see, the meat to bun ratio is perfect. I hate nothing more than having big meat and a small bun that tears when I take a bite, or a small patty lost in a sea of bread. This burger is easy to hold, and nothing slid out when I took a bite. As a result, this burger buff was a happy one. All of the ingredients were fresh, both in taste and texture, and it went really well with my glass of Blue Moon.

Let’s not ignore the fact that they left a note on my tray telling me I am awesome. (And if you go there, they will tell you that you’re awesome, too!)

This joint also offers a plethora of milkshakes in a myriad of flavours; chocolate, salted caramel, root beer float, and many more. I was far too stuffed to indulge, but hopefully next time I will leave myself a little more room. A root beer float milkshake sounds like it needs to be consumed. By me.

So, if you’re ever in the beautiful Chapel Hill area of North Carolina and are looking for some grub, I highly recommend this place. They will not wrong you. In fact, they will make all of your wrongs right.

Pesto Parm Mac and Cheese

pesto mac header

See, when I said I was going to make it up to pesto for having not had much focus on pesto in this blog, I meant it.

This recipe was decided on a whim, and grateful for that decision I am. I was trying to step away from the usual mac and cheese (in case you couldn’t tell, mac and cheese along with fancy grilled cheese has sort of become my *thing*), and go for something I’d never tried before.

I’ll be honest, I was pretty nervous about how this might turn out. I really wasn’t sure just how much pesto to use, and more importantly, what types of cheese to use.

I decided on aged white cheddar and parmigiano, and golly gee whiz – it was splendid!

The pasta turned out a lot less green than I’d expected. I know this looks similar to any other old mac and cheese recipe, but the flavour of the pesto was totally present. Though I feel that a greener hue would have beautified the pesto mac, the taste is what mattered most and in that regard, we ended up with a winner.

Ingredients

  1. 1 454g box of farfalle (bow tie) pasta
  2. 8 0z of aged white cheddar, shredded
  3. 8 oz of parmigiano
  4. 8 oz of pesto (I used a jar for this one, as opposed to the homemade stuff I’ve been on about as of late)
  5. 2 tablespoons of butter
  6. 1 tablespoon of flour
  7. 1 cup of milk
  8. Pinch of sea salt

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta noodles.

As the pasta cooks, make your cheese sauce by starting off with a nice roux.

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan. Add the flour, and whisk until it thickens and a roux has formed. Add milk, and continue to whisk until you have a thickened bechamel sauce – thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Add the grated cheese to the pan and stir constantly, until the cheese is melted and a nice, thick cheese sauce is formed. Add the pesto, and mix well.

Once the pasta is ready, drain the pasta, rinse, and then add it to a large baking dish or serving bowl. Pour the cheese sauce into the pasta.

Fresh Pesto Grilled Cheese (on Harvest Pumpernickel Rye)

pesto grilled cheese header

 

I could have definitely eaten two of these bad boys. Thankfully, I have control, and I did not. But, you know, just sayin’…

For this pesto grilled cheese, I used a homemade pesto (check it out here). If it’s more convenient for you, have no shame in just buying a jar of it and dumping it onto your sandwich. Seriously. This blog is a judgement-free food zone and we don’t have room for pretentious foodies – only hungry ones!

I roasted half of a tomato to add to this sammy, but that’s optional. As long as you’ve got yourself some pesto and delicious, melty cheese, you’re on the right track.

Ingredients

  1. 2 slices of harvest pumpernickel rye
  2. 3 tablespoons of butter
  3. 2 heaping tablespoons of pesto
  4. 1/2 tomato, roasted
  5. 3 oz of mozzarella cheese

Roast half of a tomato in the oven at 375 degrees. Typically when roasting tomatoes, you’d want to toss them in olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and maybe some herbs and garlic, but all of these elements are already in the pesto. With that considered, I roasted my tomato raw, as it was, for approx 15-20 mins.

In the meantime, prep the sandwich. Butter the sides of bread that will be facing outwards (hitting the frying pan), 1 tablespoon each side. Spread the pesto on another slice, opposing side.

pesto-rye-2 (1)

Place the cheese down on the other slice, and once the tomato is roasted, peel it and topple it on top of the mozzarella.

Close up the sandwich.

Heat a skillet to medium-low heat, and melt 1 tablespoon of butter.

Fry the sandwich in the skillet for approx. 3 mins. a side, or until the cheese has melted to your satisfaction.

Dig in. Enjoy. Eat two of them if you want. I won’t blame you.

omnomnom (1)