Now, I’m not one of those people that die – DIE, I tell you! – for grilled cheese sandwiches. They’re nice, but they’re not my thing.
C, E, and the babies LURV them though. So I’m over ruled. I have learned to make them low and slow, letting the cheese get all gooey and melty, the buttered crust get all crunchy in the pan, in order to appease the household gods.
Today, I thought I’d mix it up a little bit. In this last issue of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food there was a recipe for Parmesan-Crusted Grilled Cheese sandwiches. I’ve googled it, trolled through the food porn that is the Martha Stewart food site, but can’t seem to find the recipe. If you get the magazine, it’s the Oct 2012 issue, p.83.
It’s a pain in the ass to make. The oil olive is brushed on the bread, which is dipped in freshly grated parmesan, spread with Apricot Jam and Dijon mustard, topped with more grated cheese and some spicy arugula greens, topped with some more parmesan-dipped bread and then fried in a non-stick pan.
The cheese didn’t stick to my bread, so I sprayed the pan with a little Pam, sprinkled cheese in, laid the sandwich on top of the cheese, sprayed the top with Pam, sprinkled more cheese on top of that. Let it sit, flipped when it looked all crusty.
#1 – the cheese didn’t stick.
#2 – Don’t bother using a griddle. Since I was making 4 grown-up sandwiches and 3 plain cheese sandwiches, I opted to use the non-stick pan and the griddle to make them all at once. FAIL. Use the nonstick pan. Then your husband won’t burn his fingers when scraping up the melted cheese.
I served the sandwiches with raw baby carrots and snap peas.
Oh, and I quick made some homemade lemonade = water, sugar (lotsa sugar), lemon juice from the fridge and a dash of Almond Extract. That’s the magic right there!
OH! And the knishes! How could I forget Knishes Round 3?
My dad made lots of yummy noises while consuming them. He suggested I use larger chunks of onion next time. I like that kind of criticism. He used good noises and said ‘next time.’
Grownup Grilled Cheese by Martha Stewart, Everyday Living Magazine
4 slices of bread for 2 sandwiches
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
1/4 cup Freshly Grated Parmenan
1 teaspoon Apricot Jam
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup Arugula
1- Brush the olive oil on each slice of bread. Dip each oiled slice into parmesan. On the flip side spread the Apricot Jam and Dijon mustard. Top that with more grated cheese, then top with the arugula. Top that with a second oil-brushed-parmesan-dipped slice o’ bread.
2- Fry in a non-stick pan. Slice in half and serve hot.
Annie’s Lemonade By Annemarie Khan
1 cup Lemon Juice
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Warm Water
1 capful Almond Extract
3-4 cups Water to dilute
1- Add 1 cup warm water and 1 cup sugar together. Stir until absorbed. If it doesn’t absorb all the way, heat it up and keep stirring until it’s all dissolved.
2- Add in the lemon juice and almond extract, then dilute with the water – tasting as you go. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Knishes by Smitten Kitchen
2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Table Salt
1 large Egg
1/2 cup Vegetable oil
1 teaspoon White Vinegar
1/2 cup Water
1 1/2 pounds (about 3 medium) Russet Potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 small yellow Onion, peeled and diced small
1 Tablespoon Vegetable or Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon unsalted Butter/Margarine
1/2 teaspoon Table Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 large Egg Yolk
1 teaspoon Water
1- Make dough: Stir together your dry ingredients in the bottom of a medium/large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, vinegar and water. Pour it over the dry ingredients and stir them to combine. Once the mixture is a craggy, uneven mass, knead it until smooth, about a minute. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Set it aside for an hour (or in the fridge, up to 3 days) until needed.
2- Meanwhile, prepare filling: Put potatoes into a large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes can be pierced easily with a knife, about 20 minutes. Drain, then transfer to a large bowl to cool.
3- Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add butter and oil and once they’re fully melted and a bit sizzly, add onions and reduce to medium-low. Cook, stirring frequently, until deeply caramelized, which will take about 45 minutes. Transfer to bowl with potatoes and mash together until almost smooth. Stir in salt and many grinds of black pepper and set the filling aside.
4- Assemble knish: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 375ºF.
5- If your dough has sweated some beads of oil while it rested, fear not, you can just knead it back into an even mass. Divide the dough in half. On a well-floured surface, roll the first half of the dough into a very thin sheet, roughly in the shape of a 1-foot square.
6- For moderate size knish (smaller than the traditional “doorstops” but still hefty, about 3 inches across), create a 2-inch thick log from half your potato filling across the bottom of your dough. Roll the filling up in the dough like you were rolling a cigarette, but not too tight. A tiny amount of slack will keep the dough from opening in the oven. Keep rolling until the log has been wrapped twice in dough.
7- Trim any unrolled length and add it to the second half of the dough; it can be used again. Repeat the process with the second half of your dough and second half of filling; you might have a small amount of dough leftover.
8- Trim the ends of the dough so that they’re even with the potato filling. Then, make indentations on the log every 3 to 3 1/2 inches (you’ll have about 3, if your log was 1 foot long) and twist the dough at these points, as if you were making sausage links. Snip the dough at each twist, then pinch one of the ends of each segment together to form a sealed knish base. Use the palm of your hand to flatten the knish a bit into a squat shape and from here, you can take one of two approaches to the top: You can pinch together the tops as you did the bottom to seal them; indenting them with a small dimple will help keep them from opening in the oven. You can gently press the dough over the filling but leave it mostly open.
**I know this looks a little complicated to read. You’ll get the hang of it once you start. You’re laying out the dough, making a mashed potato log across the bottom and rolling it up, making sure the dough circles the filling twice. Then you’re gonna twist the log into sausages. You’ll take a knife and slice the log at your twist marks. Now you’ll have a series of logs on your floured counter. You’ll pick up one log and tuck the ends together, sorta mushing them into the center, closing around the mashed potato gap. That’s now the bottom. Set it down on the baking sheet. You’ll probably want to make your knish look less like a cylinder and more like a knish, so with the flat of your hand you’ll lightly flatten the knish down so it’s squat. Now you’ll bring the top of the tube in and lightly mash than down too. You should do the top with your fingertips, sorta pinching/mashing it. You’ll totally get the hang of it. You will.
9- Bake knish: Arrange knish on prepared baking sheet so that they don’t touch. Whisk egg yolk and water together to form a glaze and brush it over the knish dough. Bake knish for about 45 minutes, rotating your tray if needed for them to bake into an even golden brown color.
10- Let cool for a few minutes, otherwise you’ll burn your mouth on the really really hot potato interior. Serve with mustard and enjoy!