It’s the end of summer. We should celebrate!

Toast a slice of sourdough. Get it golden brown.

Top it with olive oil, shaved parmesan, basil, and heirloom tomato slices.

And maybe an egg or two.

Now pour yourself some wine. And, if you’re me, eat it while you watch RuPaul’s Drag Race. I never said I was classy. I only said I could cook.

OPEN FACED HEIRLOOM TOMATO SANDWICH

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 thick slice of crusty sourdough, toasted

Olive oil (I used about a tablespoon)

Parmesan, shaved (I used an ounce)

Basil leaves (I used 8)

4 small heirloom tomatoes

Cracked black pepper

Salt

Small pat butter

2 eggs

Recipe

Drizzle olive oil over sourdough toast. Layer parmesan across toast. Layer basil on top of parmesan. Layer tomato slices on top of basil. Sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Heat a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add enough butter to thinly coat the pan. Add  eggs and cover immediately with a lid. Turn heat up to medium high. Eggs should be done within 2-4 minutes. Just keep checking on them periodically. I like them when they are a little bit white on top (about 3 1/2 minutes).

Place egg on top or next to sandwich. Enjoy!

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Actually Grilled Cheese

February 14, 2011

Last week was COLD. Seriously cold. Daily highs of 6 degrees cold. This weather is not conducive to anything except for staying inside and cooking.

Still, Will and I went to a basketball game with some of our friends. And the walk home had a wind chill of -25. NEGATIVE 25! Have you even heard of that?? I hadn’t. But now I’ve lived it and let me tell you first hand, it’s just as you expect.

All the bitter cold led Will and me to crave one particular meal. Grilled cheese and tomato soup. I don’t know who first paired these foods together, but I would like to personally give them a hug. A really big bear hug.

I googled grilled cheese recipes for a while to see if anyone had any earth-shattering revelations about how to make grilled cheese. And what do you know, Mark Bittman did. He suggests making grilled cheese ON THE GRILL.

It’s brillant. Just brillant. The bread gets really crispy, the cheese gets really melt-y, and to top if all off you use much less fat.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but this past summer, I actually won an indoor electric grill in a hospital raffle. Though the food it produces cannot compare to the charcoal-laced flavor of a real grill, it’s a pretty good substitute when, for instance, there is a windchill of -25 degrees. So that’s how I made it.

I know you’re probably thinking that this grilled cheese is as transcendent as it gets. Bitter cold weather, warm tomato soup, actually grilled… but there’s one more thing that made it even better. Will’s parents gifted us with Edmond Fallot mustards (among other delicious treats imported from France) over Christmas. The dijon was so tangy and so perfect for this perfect winter meal.

Get the recipe for my Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup here

ACTUALLY GRILLED CHEESE (adapted for the electric grill from Mark Bittman’s Actually Grilled Cheese)

Ingredients

Sliced bread (I used ciabatta)

Cheese (I used gruyere)

Mustard (I used Edmond Fallot Dijon)

Olive oil or melted butter, for brushing

Recipe

If using a gas grill, turn heat to low. If using an electric grill, turn heat to medium high. Take 2 slices bread. Brush one side or each piece with mustard, and brush the other side of each piece with olive oil. Sandwich cheese between mustard-brushed side of bread. Place sandwich on grill. Place a heavy plate, then a weight (like a large can) on top of sandwich to weight it down and give it a panini-type effect. Check bread every few minutes, flip when lightly browned and crispy and return plate and weight to sandwich. The sandwich is finished when both sides are browned and crispy. Serve with warm tomato soup, and maybe some green olives too.

Turn the heat on the grill to medium high.

We had a few days glorious days of Spring out here last week. 60 degree weather, blue skies, birds chirping. It was the peak of loveliness. Today is 40 degrees and cloudy, but I’m still fantasizing about the days of sun and hiking and BBQs and… the farmer’s market of course! Those fantastic days where you can just sit on down with a bunch of delicious produce and just eat a meal raw fruit and vegetables. Or I could, anyway. In honor of my longing, I thought I’d share with you my favorite late Spring/early Summer meal. It comes together quickly and is simple and good.

All my favorite things to eat are simple and good. Unfussy, I suppose. A piece of chocolate. Fresh baked bread with butter. Fresh tomatoes with a little salt eaten like apples. Plain olives. I love complex flavor palates, but when you really come down to it, all I want it something well made and uncomplicated. Just like this lovely meal. Enjoy!

OPEN-FACED ROASTED TOMATO AND GOAT CHEESE SANDWICH

(Serves 2)

Ingredients

4 roasted tomato halves

6 oz goat cheese

1 loaf crusty french demi baguette

Olive oil

4 large fresh basil leaves

Salt & Pepper

Recipe

Slice tomatoes into halves. Make roasted tomatoes for the sandwich and make roasted asparagus for the side. Place loaf of french bread in the oven for last 5 minutes while tomatoes and asparagus cook so bread becomes nice and hot. Take bread out of oven, cut in half. Then slice bread lengthwise. Spread each piece with goat cheese. Salt and pepper the goat cheese generously. Place basil leaves on top of goat cheese. Place roasted tomatoes on top of goat cheese. Drizzle with olive oil. Enjoy!