December 17, 2014

Grilled Cheese with Sauteed Mushrooms & Kale Pesto

Grilled cheese sandwiches are great to eat when.....
EVER.   That's right- whenever.  On a weekday or night,
on a weekend, on a rainy day, or a sunny day.
They are  great!

To add a teeny bit of flair to my grilled  cheese-
I added some sauteed mushrooms and some bright green
kale pesto. You know, to make it a little healthier and prettier.
To make kale pesto or any type of pesto for that matter,
all you have to do is give the veggie a rough chop and add it
to a food processor or blender with a splash of water and
a heavy drizzle of some olive oil. You can add other
herbs and seasonings to your liking or depending on what
type of cuisine you are making it for. Some veggies are
a little hardier than others like carrots, cabbage & kale
just to name a few. Because kale is a a little thick and tougher
I recommend blanching it first. Boil some water-
as soon as the water starts to boil- turn your stove off
and add your roughly chopped kale into the hot water.
Stir it around so that all the pieces of kale get their fair
share in the hot tub of boiling hot water.
After about 5-7 minutes- strain the water and add the kale to
the blender or food processor with olive oil and a sprinkle
of salt & pepper for tasting.

Toast your bread right on the stove with a little butter
for the best texture.  As the bread is toasting on a low heat-
Add a slice of cheese and smear your kale pesto and add your
already sauteed mushrooms. Next, you want to add whichever
cheese 'melts' your heart.  'Cheesy'! right!?!
Lastly, add your other piece of bread on top and carefully flip
the whole sandwich over so that the other side
of your grilled cheese gets toasty as well.

Zestfully Let's Cultivate Food

Muffuletta Sandwich

Have you ever had a muffuletta sandwich?
A muffuetta is a round, flattened loaf bread that is
often 8-10 inches round. The sandwich
originated in New Orleans.

Here s is an easy way to make the best muffuletta.

Start with some olives. It doesn't matter what brand or type.
You can call this olive salad or olive salsa or an olive spread.

Take your olives, maybe  3-4 spoonfuls
(depending on how many sandwiches you are making).
I usually do 2 spoonfuls per sandwich.
Dice the olives up, add a tablespoon of vinegar, a tablespoon
of sugar, 2 cloves of minced garlic and some dry oregano.
Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil &add a sprinkle of salt & pepper.

Purchase your favorite ham, salami and provolone cheese
from the deli.  While your olive salsa is marinating together
for at least 15-20 minutes- (the longer the better- overnight in
the refrigerator is best) take this time to toast the bread.
I think it's best when you toast it on a frying or saute pan
on the stove with a little melted butter. This gets the bread
toasty and a little crispy and crusty. Spread the olives on
your toasted bread- both the top and the bottom piece of the bread.
Layer your ham, salami and cheese. This is great served with
some pickles.  Your family or friends will smile when they
take their first bite!  YUM!

Zestfully Let's Cultivate Food

December 12, 2014

Kimchi fried rice in Vietnamese summer rolls

I often enjoy foods that are fusion.
When it's either an ingredient or a technique
known to a certain region, country or area.

These rolls are a fusion of Korea and Vietnam.
Kimchi (fermented spicy napa cabbage) is a staple
side dish of Korean cuisine. Rice that is boiled
and made almost into a porridge like texture,
then laid on bamboo trays/baskets to make sheets
of rice paper is a Vietnamese wrapper.
Have you ever noticed the texture or pattern
on these rice paper sheets prior to being soaked in water?
Yup! that is from being laid on bamboo.

I took some kimchi fried rice and cut Romaine lettuce
(cut chiffonade- ribbon like)  and filled the rice paper.

This is very easy to do and what's super convenient is
that you don't need any other seasonings or sauces
with this roll because the flavor is in the spicy kimchi fried rice.

Zestfully Let's Cultivate Food