Thursday, September 11, 2014

Late Night Munchies

"Mexican" Grilled Cheese

This was one of those "accidental meals" that I so love to discover. It's been a very busy week already, and this was the perfect late night meal. I went from work to book club last night, and just bolted down a quick bowl of soup in-between. Naturally by the time I got home from Book Club I was already hungry again. Not wanting to make a huge production out of my meal, I just started digging around in the refrigerator and found some cilantro that needed to be used before it was too late. Naturally when you grow your own tomatoes and have cilantro, the first thing that came to my mind was salsa. Already having a full jar of homemade salsa my mind just kept jumping through my refrigerator...the discovery of some habanero jack cheese was the clincher. "Mexican" grilled cheese it is.

Cutting Board
Sharp Knife
Butter Knife
Griddle (frying pan works too)

Soft Butter
Chipotle Ranch (I make my own)
Habanero Jack Cheese
Turkey Deli Meat
Rough Chopped Cilantro
Sliced Tomatoes

I sincerely hope nobody needs measurements for grilled cheese, it is after all a very personal dish. We all have our own taste in the amount of cheese that is used.
Slather one side of your bread with the chipotle ranch, then begin to build the sandwich. I built in the following order...Chipotle Ranch, Habanero Cheese, Turkey, Tomatoes, Cilantro, and more Habanero Cheese. Once you have assembled your sandwich, slather one side with butter and put in your hot pan (medium heat) and slather butter on the other side. Buttering the bread gives you a nice crust on your bread as well a good flavor. I generally flip my sandwich three times, so each side has made contact with the pan for a couple minutes at least twice. Of coarse things will vary by how crispy you like your bread and the temperature of your stove...and did I mention how much patience you may posses?
Well you've made your sandwich and it is now ready for consumption. I enjoyed mine with a glass of Hard Blackberry Cider while watching Beasts of The Southern Wild.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Garlic Chicken AND Poached Eggs

Garlic Chicken, Sauted Chard with Onions and Poached Eggs

So, last night I had a couple friends over for dinner. One of them is currently not eating any dairy, beans (I don't think I could live without beans) sugars, or grains. Needless to say a bit of thought was required for dinner...though if I'm being honest this meal was one of the easiest and simplest meals I've made in a long while. Did I mention it was also one of the tastiest I've made in a while? No? Well it was. The meal brought home what we so often forget...less is more. There are very few ingredients for this meal and also very little salt. Allowing the vegetables and creaminess of the poached eggs to speak for themselves is really all you need. Ok, so a little bit of salt helps. Basically what i'm trying to say is, thank you to my friend and her dietary requirements for pushing me out of my "norm". Last night also marked the end of my procrastination to make poached eggs...I just did it!

Large Pan with High Sides
Large "Frying" Pan
Cutting Board
Sharp Knife
Wooden Spoon

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast - Either tenders or smash them thin yourself
5 Cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
1 Bushel of Parsley, chopped
1 Lemon, cut into wedges
Fresh Ground Pepper

Brush the chicken with oil on both sides, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat pan to medium-high heat with a little extra oil in it. When pan is hot and oil is shimmering, put chicken in. Cook about 2 minutes on each side. With thin chicken it will not take long to cook on each side at all. Remove chicken and set aside (tent or keep warm in oven) Remove pan from eat and toss in garlic, parsley and a squeeze or two of lemon. Cook just so garlic is fragrant and slightly browned. Serve over chicken.

1 Medium Yellow Onion, chopped
1 Bushed Swiss Chard, trimmed and chopped (use stem and leaves)
Olive Oil
2T Fresh Oregano, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat large pan (with high sides and a lid) on medium heat, add oil. When oil is beginning to shimmer add in chard ribs and onions with a pinch of salt. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover with lid and let cook about 4 minutes. Remove lid and add oregano and chard leaves. Cook until leaves are cooked through. Add salt and pepper as needed. Plate alongside the chicken and top with a poached egg.*

*I'm not putting the directions for poached eggs in here, because I feel it needs step by step photos if you've never done them before. I will do a poached egg tutorial post soon, hopefully in the next couple of days. Perhaps I will attempt Eggs Florentine this weekend.