The first Panini Sunday of Autumn 2014 was actually last week. I made a sopressata, genoa salami and fresh mozzarella panini that turned into a greasy, sloppy mess. Worse, there were spots in the meat that got hotter than others, so in those spaces where the sandwich did hold up, you could incinerate your tongue.
Thanks to my Christmas present, Sundays have become panini night here at Al Dente HQ. I think that it’s two-fold: we’re catching up for all of the years that we didn’t have a panini press and, let’s face it, it’s an excuse to melt cheese.
I think that the world would be a better place with more melted cheese. Why do kids love pizza? Melted cheese. Why are omelets better than straight-up scrambled eggs? Melted cheese. Why are vegans always so cranky? No melted cheese. See where I’m going?
This has been on my Pinterest wall of things to cook for a while now. My worry was always fig jam. I should have known better. I was wandering through the ethnic foods section at Wegmans, en route to cans of Goya beans, when I thought I’d check out the British cuisine area. I know, oxymoron…British cuisine. Right? Anyhow, in between the Weetabix and Coleman’s Mustard was fig jam. Score one for Wegmans. Continue reading Sunday dinner: Chicken, fig and arugula panini→
This was originally going to be locavore turkey clubs. My intention was to use all locally grown ingredients and make homemade mayonnaise, but the best laid plans…you know how it goes.
Wednesday at work was pretty crazy, so I never got downtown to get my hands on a loaf of Pastabilities‘ stretch Italian bread. Since Plainville condensed their local operation, it’s tougher to get a hold of locally-raised turkey at the grocery store. So, I adapted. Instead of local, we just went fancy. Out with the mayo, in with a mild brie. A Plainville turkey breast gave way to Wegmans‘ turkey cutlets. And a multigrain baguette rounded it out. I still was able to incorporate the Bostrom Farms bacon that I picked up last weekend.
WHAT WORKED: Brie and apples. The mild cheese brought a delicious creaminess to balance the meat. The tang and sweetness of the honeycrisp apple complemented the bacon’s saltiness.
WHAT DIDN’T: The baguette. It was far too crusty and too hard to manage the sandwich. The stretch Italian would have worked much better.
WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: “The house smells so much better when you cook bacon.”
WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Can you say no to bacon?
This was supposed to be a review of El Besito, a Mexican restaurant in Huntington, N.Y., where they make your guacamole tableside. However, my sister and her friend failed to make reservations, a necessary evil during Huntington Restaurant Week. So, instead of guacamole, we had chickpeas at Tula Kitchen.
Tula serves the vegetarian crowd and their meat-eating friends in Bay Shore on a block littered with bodegas and empty storefronts. The decor is eclectic, in that Arabian Knights meets Pier 1 Imports sort of way. They had no problem squeezing five of us at their largest table when we walked in after 6:30 last night. Continue reading Tula Kitchen→