Sandwich Wednesday, Bavarian Bistro Series #1 – Der Red Baron

Hello friends!

Panini Time!If you’ve been following Glover Gardens, you know that Sandwich Wednesday is a thing. Ever since our blended family was established nigh on ten years ago, the Grill-Meister has been the Sandwich-Meister on Wednesdays. It might just be my favorite weekday.

A variety of bread-ensconced offerings have come my way on Sandwich Wednesday, and nary a one has disappointed. The Grill-Meister is great about taking requests, and I recently realized that I hadn’t experienced most of the sandwiches he used to produce at his restaurant, the Bavarian Bistro. This phase of his career was before my time, but I don’t want to miss out on the sandwichy goodness. The only Bavarian Bistro sandwich I had experienced to date was the U-Boat Sub, and it was worthy.

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The U-Boat, a perfect party presentation; click here for the recipe

So we decided that there should be a Bavarian Bistro series for Sandwich Wednesday, until I have experienced every sandwich. Lucky me! The Grill-Meister rooted around in his computer and dug up the 15-year-old menu, and let me pick.  The first one was:

Der Red Baron: A triple decker of real breast of turkey, lean corned beef, imported Swiss cheese, crisp lettuce, tomato, sauerkraut and thousand island dressing.

Yum!

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The Grill-Meister gets going with the Red Baron makings
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Der Red Baron: a big and beautiful sandwich

So there isn’t really a “recipe”; it is all assembly. The list below is ingredients without specific amounts.

Ingredients

  • Pumpernickel, dark rye or other sandwich bread of your choice, 3 slices per person
  • Thinly sliced turkey breast
  • Thinly sliced corned beef
  • Swiss cheese slices
  • Sauerkraut
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Sliced ripe tomatoes
  • Sauerkraut, room temperature or warmed
  • Thousand Island dressing, mustard, or other tangy condiment of your choice

Cooking Instructions

To assemble each Red Baron, slather a piece of bread with the condiment of your choice, then top with a Swiss cheese slice. Mound a generous amount of corned beef atop the cheese, then add another slice of bread. Repeat with another slice of Swiss cheese, a mound of turkey breast, and a generous dollop of sauerkraut.

Place the sandwich(es) on a panini press and cook on medium high until the bread is nicely toasted and the cheese is melted. (You can also cook in a skillet if you don’t have a panini press – press down on the sandwiches with a spatula to compress them.)

When the bread is toasty and the cheese is melted, remove the sandwiches from the heat. Open them up and add the lettuce and  tomato slices. Serve immediately, potentially with more of your preferred condiment on the side.

© 2018 Glover Gardens

 

Haiku: Homemade Soup (NaHaiWriMo)

I’ve been doing this National Haiku Writing Month thing now for a couple of weeks, and it will come to a close as February transitions into March. Today, I’m going to utilize the daily prompt from NaHaiWriMo: homemade soup. It’s a reference to a post from two years ago at around this time when some of my European colleagues made a fantastic soup at Glover Gardens during an open house for my team.

pot luck perfect
in-the-moment lentil soup
my colleagues rock

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The Europeans were the first to arrive and breezed into the kitchen with overflowing grocery bags, tons of energy, and a plan to create a homemade masterpiece. The ringleader is wearing the chef’s hat.

To read the whole story and check out their kick-butt (that’s a technical term) recipe for lentil soup, click here.

And if you want more soup recipes for a cold and rainy winter’s night, I’ve got a couple:

© 2018 Glover Gardens

A Wedgeless Wedge Salad, the Glover Gardens Way

The Grill-Meister and I love wedge salads. You know, the traditional steakhouse-style that unapologetically showcases iceberg lettuce and blue (bleu) cheese, with ample garnishes of bright red tomato and crunchy bacon?

One version that we really liked (from a steakhouse, of course) added balsamic vinegar syrup. Yeah, baby! That addition took the wedge up to a whole ‘nother level.  It is really simple to make a balsamic syrup – or rather, a balsamic reduction sauce, to use proper cooking terminology.  All you have to do is use twice as much as you want to end up with and cook it in a saucepan, low and slow, ’til it reduces by half. But not longer, or else you’ll end up with balsamic caramel candy. (I know this from personal experience.) Some recipes will tell you to add brown sugar or some nonsense like that – don’t believe ’em! There is plenty of sugar in vinegar already.

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Photo from Kraft Recipes; looks good, but not enough goodies!

We’re kind of picky, and don’t really like the iceberg lettuce to be a big ol’ single wedge.  It looks great, but once you slice into it, there is a lot more lettuce than goodies and you end up wishing you could have more of everything but the lettuce. There just isn’t enough surface space for yummies add-ons with the traditional big wedge. So we split the wedge and arrange them side by side in the salad bowl, waiting to accept all of the lovely goodness this traditional salad has to offer. Photos are at the bottom of the post.

 

We had ribeyes recently, and what goes better with a ribeye than a wedge salad? Am I right? Here is our take on it, the wedgeless wedge.

Glover Gardens Wedgeless Wedge Salad for 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, trimmed and cut into quarters
  • 2 thick slices of red onion, cut in half and separated
  • 12 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (preferably several colors)
  • 4 slices of cooked bacon, chopped
  • blue cheese dressing (purchased or homemade; I used this recipe from Epicurious.com – ingredients below)
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (“lite” is ok, homemade is better if you have it on hand)
    • 1/4 cup sour cream
    • 4 oz blue cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives (or green onion tops)
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk (or more; this dressing is pretty thick)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions

Put the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and cook on medium low for 20 minutes or more until thickened and reduced by half.  Set aside. If you are making the dressing yourself, combine all of the ingredients and whisk until smooth.

Arrange the lettuce in two salad bowls so that it covers the whole surface. Distribute the tomato halves, and then arrange slivers of the red onion in a pinwheel (see below). Put a big dollop of the dressing in the middle of each salad, then drizzle the balsamic reduction around the edge of the salad bowl (don’t be stingy with it).

Sprinkle the bacon, green onions and blue cheese crumbles atop the salad, then add a little salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.

Glover Gardens "Wedge" Salad
The foundation layer, before all the goodies.
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The finished product, after the goodies and balsamic glaze.

We served the wedgeless wedge alongside grilled ribeyes, but they could truly be main course salads. You could add grilled chicken, shrimp or even tofu to amp up the protein.

© 2018 Glover Gardens

 

Sandwich Wednesday: Pesto Mozzarella Paninis for Two

Another Wednesday, another sandwich! The Grill-Meister continues to kill it on Sandwich Wednesday; last week it was a vegetarian offering, a Pesto-Mozzarella Panini. The bright flavors of the pesto is perfectly balanced with the melty-creaminess of the fresh mozzarella and the righteous crunch of the toasted bread. Yum!

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This panini is very quick to pull together. The Grill-Meister gets everything prepped and then turns it into a do-it-yourself project, which means I can have exactly the right amounts of goodies on my sandwich. My recommendation is to go heavy on the pesto, because in this panini, it’s not just a condiment, it shares the main ingredient spotlight with the mozzarella.

The Panini Makings

  • Four slices of sourdough bread
  • 3/4 cup of pesto (the Grill-Meister makes a mint-basil pesto from one of our cookbooks, but you can use a good quality purchased one)
  • 6 oz. fresh mozzarella, in thick slices
  • 1 very ripe medium tomato, sliced
  • several slices of red onion, separated
  • salt (optional) and freshly cracked black pepper

Cooking Instructions

Slather pesto on both slices of bread, then top one with slices of mozzarella, tomatoes and onions. Add a liberal amount of freshly cracked black pepper. You may also want a bit of salt, unless your pesto is already just right, salt-wise. Top with the other slice of bread and cook in a panini maker on medium high until the bread is toasted, about 5-7 minutes. You can also cook this sandwich on the stove like a grilled cheese, for about 4 minutes on each side.

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A thick layer of pesto ensures maximum tastiness
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Next goes the mozzarella 
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Then the ripe tomatoes
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We like a lot of onion!
Liberal with the Pepper!
Don’t forget the pepper

Like it? You can find more Sandwich Wednesday recipes here.

I wonder what the Grill-Meister is going to make this week?

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens

 

 

Big Food for Good Times: The U-Boat Sub

Even non-football fans (like me) get into having the right food for the big game, so I’m reblogging a few game-day worthy recipes from the Glover Gardens cookbook section. I can highly recommend the Grill-Meister’s U-Boat Sub sandwich.

Click here to see this easy recipe and make your own U-Boat. And let me know how it tastes!

Five Lovely Poems

I am preoccupied with words, with mixing them up, getting them a little wrong to surprise, in order for the reader to forget she is mortal for one split second.”

Julie Wenglinski

Source: Julie Wenglinski – Five Poems – Peacock Journal

This poet is an important person in my life, a friend-family member by marriage gone past, and someone I admire completely. She had a full career doing important practical stuff, and then, in her retirement, unleashed her creativity. I am awestruck by her talent and will link to as many of her works as I can here, when they become publicly available. I urge you to click on the link above and be captivated, as I am, by her poetry.

Perfect for a Cold Winter’s Night: Smooth, Creamy, Wonderful Cauliflower Soup

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My parents’ cookbook, a wonderful legacy

Brrrrr! Extraordinary winter (for this area) continues here at Glover Gardens.  We’re breaking out the soups to warm up from the inside out. I’ve had a hankering to make an old classic from my parents’ cookbook, Cauliflower Soup.

I have great memories of making Cauliflower Soup with my Mom, of developing the recipe together, in fact, but when I looked back at the cookbook she created for my Dad’s real estate company years ago, that version was …  well … unenlightened.  Literally.  It had twice as much cream and half the chicken stock, plus extra butter. As an adult, I’ve been making a lighter version, although not lately, because the Grill-Meister is NOT A FAN of cooked cauliflower. He proclaims that he hates the cooked version of most vegetables, but I’ve been working on him for the decade we’ve been married and we’re starting to see that it is OVERCOOKED vegetables that he hates.

I had all the ingredients for Cauliflower Soup when Winter Storm Inga dropped in on us this week, so I took on the Grill-Meister’s cauliflower contempt as a challenge. This warming soup comes together quickly, so on Sunday afternoon I whipped it up and took him a small portion as a late afternoon snack / taste test (I was afraid to plan on it for dinner in case it got two thumbs down).

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Two ounces of yummy, creamy goodness, garnished with sour cream, nutmeg and green onions and ready for the Grill-Meister’s taste test

He liked it! He told me to be sure and mention that he was a cauliflower hater so you’d understand the significance of his appreciation.  The Grill-Meister’s biggest compliment (in his opinion) was: “It doesn’t even taste like cauliflower!” We had cups of this creamy goodness for dinner the next night with a simple green salad, and I’m pretty sure he had two servings.

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Our warm cups of Cauliflower Soup; “Mema” rolls are the perfect accompaniment

So, now that I have the Grill-Meister’s Seal of Approval, I’m sharing this recipe with you.  Cauliflower Soup is easy and quick, warm and comforting, and yet surprisingly elegant. You can serve it in shot glasses as a fun party appetizer, as a first course for a fancy meal, or paired with a salad and crusty bread for a quick weeknight supper. It can be produced as a vegetarian soup with the substitution of vegetable broth for the chicken stock, and vegan if you do that and also use coconut or almond milk instead of the cream / half ‘n’ half.

Cauliflower Soup (serves 6-8)

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, washed and separated into florets
  • 1 bunch of green onions (about 8), chopped into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 3-4 cups of chicken stock, preferably homemade (enough to cover the cauliflower
  • and onions in the saucepan but not more)
  • 1 cup of heavy cream (substitute half ‘n’ half for part or all of the cream for a lighter version)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, freshly grated, if possible
  • Optional garnishes (you can mix and match)
    • sour cream (dollop)
    • pesto (swirl)
    • green onions, thinly sliced
    • chopped parsley
    • toasted nuts, chopped
    • more nutmeg

Cooking Instructions

Combine the cauliflower, shallot, green onions and chicken stock in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a good simmer for 10 minutes or more, until cauliflower is soft. Remove from the stove, transfer to a blender and purée. You can also use an immersion blender. Be very, very careful with the hot mixture and make sure the lid to your blender is on tight.  The purée should be as smooth as possible.

Place the purée back in the saucepan over medium heat and stir in the cream or half ‘n’ half. Bring to a simmer and then reduce to medium low, cooking at a gently simmer until thickened as desired, for 5 minutes or more.  While it is simmering, add the minimum amounts of salt, white pepper and nutmeg, then taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Serve hot, garnished (see options above).  My minimum garnishes for this lovely and comforting soup are a generous dollop of sour cream, some green onions for crunch, and a dusting of nutmeg.

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The vegetables ready to be boiled
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Barely cover the vegetables with the stock
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Cook until the cauliflower is soft
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Puree until smooth
Add the Cream
Put back on the heat and add the cream (I used part cream and part half ‘n’ half, since it wasn’t a holiday)
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After the cream, the soup thickens nicely
Adding the Nutmeg to Cauliflower Soup
Add the nutmeg; freshly grated is best
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Rich and satisfying, this soup is a winter winner

References

Copyright 2018, Glover Gardens

 

 

 

Sandwich Wednesday: The Grill-Meister’s Tuna Steak BLT Panini (the TBLT)

As I’ve said before, Sandwich Wednesday is a thing here at Glover Gardens.  The Grill-Meister breaks out the panini maker for the midweek supper and delivers deliciousness between two slices of grill-marked bread. Read more about it here.

A recent delight was what he calls the TBLT, grilled tuna steaks nestled in a panini with the traditional BLT ingredients plus red onion and a spicy condiment. Oh yes, this was a wonderful winter Wednesday!

Since we are empty-nesters now, this recipe is for two; you can multiply it if you have a larger crowd.  It saves time and is fun if you let everyone assemble their own.  The Grill-Meister does that and I always have exactly the right amount of each accoutrement on my panini. 

Tuna Steak BLT Panini for Two

Ingredients

  • Two tuna steaks, at least 4 oz. each
  • Your favorite spice mix (we use our Everything Rub or Zippy Southwest)
  • Two tsp olive oil
  • Four slices of sourdough or your other favorite panini bread
  • Butter or olive oil
  • A spicy condiment – your choice!
  • Four slices of thick bacon, cooked the way you like (extra crispy for me!)
  • One medium tomato, sliced
  • Two more big leaves of romaine lettuce
  • Salt and pepper

Cooking Instructions

Gather all ingredients and prepare to assemble them for the paninis.

Pat the spice mix all over the tuna steaks.  Preheat a nonstick pan on high heat with 2 tsp olive oil, then add the tuna steaks and cook for about 2 minutes per side.  Remove from the pan and set aside. (You could also grill the tuna steaks; just be sure not to overcook them.)

Preheat a panini maker to medium.  Spread the four pieces of bread with butter on one side or brush with olive oil and turn over.  Spread your condiment of choice on the inside of the bread, then layer one side with the onion, bacon slices (2 each) and tuna steaks and top with the second slice of bread. Put the sandwiches on the panini maker, close the lid and cook until the bread is nicely toasted, about 7-10 minutes.

When the sandwiches are toasty and warm, with beautiful grill marks, remove from the panini maker. Open them up and add the tomatoes, then salt and freshly ground pepper, and then the romaine. Replace the top piece of bread and serve.

Note: you can steer the flavor profile of your panini with the condiment – we used Pain Train Green Salsa (from our local farmer’s market) the last time the Grill-Meister produced this scrumptious sandwich, but you could substitute a spicy mustard, a pepper jelly, an herb mayonnaise or some other wonderful condiment. Or just go whole hog and use soft, spreadable Boursin cheese – yum!

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Sear the tuna steaks in a hot pan
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Turn and sear for a couple more minutes
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Have all the ingredients ready before searing the tuna
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Condiments and onions go first
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Layer the tuna and bacon atop the onions
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Give the sandwiches long enough in the panini to get a good crust
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Open the paninis for the crisp, fresh garnishes
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First the tomatoes (we like a LOTTA tomato!), which is a good point to add the salt and pepper
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Then the crispy romaine
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And voila! you have a beautiful TBLT panini

More Panini Intel

For more about Sandwich Wednesday and the Grill-Meister’s perfect paninis, and methods check out:

fullsizeoutput_201aIt’s a Family Thing

One of my beloved nieces has a panini maker now (a gift from the Grill-Meister and me), and sent me this photo of a recent success.  I suspect I’ll be posting her delectable panini achievements and recipes as time goes by.

(Especially if y’all encourage her! Isn’t this photo enticing?)

Copyright 2018, Glover Gardens

Chili for a Chilly Night!

I’m leaving, on a jet plane…🎶

The Grill-Meister will be managing Glover Gardens solo while I’m traveling for a week, starting tomorrow. But I like to leave everything in good shape, so I whipped up a big ol’ batch of Glover Gardens Chili tonight. The Grill-Meister will not go hungry!

It has been really cold here (cold for Southeast Texas, at least) – dipping into the low 20s at night. Brrrrrr!  We even had snow here a couple of weeks ago! Glover Gardens looks like it has been dusted with powdered sugar everywhere.

In this “extreme cold,” a big bowl of  this bean-laden chili warms you right up, from the inside out, especially with its mix of fresh chili peppers.

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Tonight’s “bowl of red,” topped with grated cheese, chopped white onion and a bit of avocdo
Glover Gardens Chili
My original photo of Glover Gardens chili; I must have had time to style the photo…

Click here for the recipe for Glover Gardens Chili, and stay warm!

Copyright 2018, Glover Gardens Cookbook

Egg hacks that will save you time and money: Tasty

Check out these genius egg hacks, provided by Tasty, that will save you time — and, if you get in the habit of going homemade rather than paying for a breakfast sandwich every morning, you can save lots of money in the long run, too. All you need is a few minutes.

Source: Egg hacks that will save you time and money