Sunday, April 25, 2010

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Madness!

Ok. I saw a Top Chef Masters episode a couple weeks ago, where the quick fire was based on grilled cheese sandwiches. Last week, I got an email from Thrillist telling me about a Grilled Cheese Invitational in LA. I think some one was trying to tell me to make grilled cheese.

I really wanted to try the one that won the quick fire from Top Chef Masters. I remembered it was some kind of North African goodness, so I went from there and developed my own (delicious) grilled cheese. I wasn't going to post this initially, but Dan ended up taking some iPhone pictures and I just couldn't help myself.

Sandwich 1: Moroccan Delight

2 pieces of Potato bread
3 dates (chopped)
3 figs (chopped)
less than 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Goat Cheese
less than 1/4 cup of fennel


In small saucepan, heat oil. Put fennel in the oil and allow to cook for 1 minutes. Put chopped dates and figs in with the fennel and add a tid bit (about 1-2 tablespoons) of water.

Butter outside of bread.

Spread Goat Cheese on BOTH sides of the bread. Sprinkle chopped walnuts on one side of the bread. When the water has pretty much been absorbed into the dried fruits, take off heat and place on bread.

Grill in pan til golden brown on both sides.

Sandwich 2: Curry Wonder

2 slices Potato bread
1/8 cup yellow squash cut into small pieces
1/8 cup green pepper cut into small pieces
curry powder
Cheese (we used a flagship cheese- I think I'd want to try something a bit creamier for this next time)

Place julienned veggies into a heated pan with oil. Allow to get hot. Add curry (approx. 1-2 teaspoon) and water. Allow to heat through and coat the veggies. There was will a nice thicker consistency when done.

Butter outside of bread.

Layer Flagship cheese on both sides. Place in the pan and add the veggies to one side only. Let both piece of bread grill open face. When the side of bread that has no veggies on it starts to melt then place it on the other piece of bread.

Cook til golden brown on both sides. Enjoy.

Sandwich 3: Hola Cheese

2 slices of potato bread
1/4 cup shredded or chopped spicy chicken (bought from Whole Foods)
1/8 cup green enchilada sauce
1/8 cup shredded zucchini

Directions are similar to sandwich 2.

DELICIOUS!! I think my absolute favorite was sandwich 1.
Flagship cheese

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bobby Bobby Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Corn Muffins

I was invited to a shindig that required some veggie or non-red meat friendly food. I also recently bought Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Cookbook. What a perfect opportunity to try out a new recipe and hopefully impress some new people?! I decided to make a his famous Mesa Grill Blue and Yellow Corn Muffins (sans the blue because I didn't want to put in the effort to find the blue cornmeal).It's a great recipe to make the day before and then bake the day of. I modified the recipe because I don't eat a lot of red onions. I thin muffins are best served warm with butter...and probably honey, although, I didn't try it with honey since I kind of forgot.

Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Cookbook:

Nonstick spray
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped1 and 1/3 cup whole milk (usually I use a milk alternative but I felt that the cow's milk would work better with the corn muffins)
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
2 jalapeno chiles, finely diced and de-seeded
1/2 cup frozen corn kernals
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup blue cornmeal1 cup yellow cornmeal (I just used 2 cups yellow cornmeal and did not include the blue cornmeal)
1 and 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda4 teaspoons kosher salt

If you decide to use the 1 cup blue cornmeal and 1 cup yellow cornmeal then you must split all the different steps evenly in order to make two batters and then mix the batters together (marbling).

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Place the rack in the middle of the oven. Grease a 12-muffin pan with non stick spray.

2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook for 30-40 seconds. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly. (at this point, you'd want to split the butter and garlic into 2 bowls for the 1/2 and 1/2 mixture).
3. In another bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, honey, red pepper, jalapenos, corn and cilantro. (split in 1/2 for 50-50 mixture)

4. Put the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in to a bowl and mix. Add the dry mixture to the liquid and mixture.

5. Pour the batter into the 12-muffin pan. The recipe says it makes 12 but I definitely could have made 18 or so. Place in the oven for 16 minutes (for me it took more like 21 minutes). To check the muffin batter, put a toothpick or chopstick into the muffin, when it comes out with a couple of crumbs then they are done. Let rest out of the oven, in the pan for 5 minutes.These were eaten with rave reviews. I also made Bobby's Tamarind Chicken, since I don't eat red meat. The combination was fabulous. When warm, the muffins were given a 5 out of 5 by my designated food taster. The jalapenos offered a nice bit of heat to the muffin. Honey and heat and salty are a great combination!