Tuesday, September 15, 2015

avocado on toast: part deux

After I've gotten the kids to school, this is what my morning looks like. Literally sunshine and roses. Roses from our yard! What's not pictured here is Mrs. Fuzz's smile and evil laugh while I sit and eat in peaceful splendor. I love my kids, but this new found mornings alone thing? I could get used to that. Even better is finding myself alone with HF still at home. What?! Awesome! Then that makes for Mr. AND Mrs. Fuzz smiling and laughing until it's time for one of us to go to work. We love this new stage. Don't get me wrong. We love the baby stage, but there is something we are loving about the kids being a little older and more independent. 

Back to food. Some time ago, I posted about one of my favorite breakfasts. Avocado on toast with salt and pepper. Recently I discovered another twist on this favorite of mine that is "eyes rolling back" good. 

Here's what you need for 1 person:
2 slices of your favorite bread, toasted (We like Dave's Killer Bread)
1/2 of an avocado, sliced thin or smashed with a fork
2 teaspoons honey

While bread is toasting, slice avocado down the center, lengthwise. The centers will pull apart by gently twisting the two halves opposite one another. Remove pit and skin from one of the halves. Refrigerate the unused portion immediately, up to 2 days. Some browning is normal.

Slice avocado thinly, or mash in a small bowl. Spread avocado on both slices of warm toast. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of honey on each toast. Enjoy. So simple. And a great way to start your day. Let me know what you think if you try it! 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Bánh mì

Whenever I go to a restaurant and fall in love with one of the dishes, I always try and recreate it at home. My latest discovery is the Vietnamese sandwich, called the Bánh mì. This particular sandwich is called a Bánh mì Thit Nuong, or a grilled pork sandwich. It uses a very flavorful and delicious lemongrass marinade. These can be easily wrapped in foil or parchment for your officers to take for lunch. And it's veggie loaded. 

For the marinade:
2 pounds pork butt, sliced 1/4-inch thin
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 lemongrass stalk, finely chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. minced shallot
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Combine all ingredients and marinade at least 2 hours or overnight. When ready to cook, grill the pork until golden brown and slightly charred on each side. 

Carrot and Daikon Pickles
1 cucumber chopped into matchsticks
fresh cilantro (1/2 bunch, chopped)
Vegannaise (or mayonnaise)

Making the sandwiches:
1-2 soft French baguettes, cut into 6 sandwich rolls
1.  Cut each roll hot dog bun style and remove some of the bread inside so that you have a thinner sandwich, if desired. Lightly grill open face with a small amount of garlic butter. 
2.  Spread Vegannaise, or mayonnaise on each side of the bread and place in your thin sliced meat, the carrot and daikon pickles, cucumber, and cilantro sprigs. Roll up tightly and serve.

Makes 6 sandwiches.

Monday, September 7, 2015

World's Best Salad

There's a certain restaurant we like to frequent. Every single time we go, I get this tri-tip steak salad. It. is. the. bomb. Do people still say that? Anyway, I decided to recreate it at home and I think it is pretty spot on. It is a little time consuming, and to have all the ingredients on hand can be a little pricey, but here's how I make it easier. I buy in bulk at Costco and I cook everything up on a day where I have some extra time for food prep. Then I have enough for a dozen or so salads. Pretty awesome. Here is the recipe to make 2 large salads (although you will have ingredients for dayz to make more salads or if you are feeding a larger group.  Give 'er a try!

2 servings Tri-Tip (6-8 ounces), sliced thin and in small pieces
1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped 
2-3 ounces Arugula (3-5 loosely packed cups, depending on your taste)
4-6 sprigs of Cilantro
2-4 Tablespoons Chopped Scallions
1/2 Roasted red pepper, cut into thin strips
4 Tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
Dried cherries (a handful)
Feta Cheese
Cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half (a handful or so)
Lemon-Cilantro Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

1. We used this recipe for marinating the tri-tip. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bbq-with-bobby-flay/6-hour-tri-tip-marinade-recipe/index.html. We used olive oil instead of soybean oil, and I used real onions instead of dried, and lastly, I used Lawry’s seasoning salt instead of garlic salt.
2. We followed these instructions for grilling the tri-tip. http://www.wikihow.com/Grill-Tri-Tip . It turned out PERFECT.
3. We used this recipe by Ina Garten to roast the red pepper. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-red-peppers-recipe/index.html)

Assembling the salad:
Combine your lettuce, arugula, and scallions. Divide between two large bowls. Divide the cilantro sprigs between the two bowls as well. Then sprinkle the rest of the ingredients on both salads, adjusting amounts to your taste. Right before serving, drizzle on the Lemon-Cilantro Vinaigrette.

Lemon-Cilantro Vinaigrette
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1-2 Tablespoons white vinegar
1 bunch cilantro (rinsed well, patted dry, and just the ends trimmed)
1 heaping Tablespoon brown sugar (or honey)
1 clove garlic
¼ tsp. sea salt
¾ tsp. spicy brown mustard
¼ cup olive oil
Dash of Chipotle chili powder

I threw all the ingredients for the dressing in my Blendtec and voila! It was blended up perfectly. The dressing is supposed to be on the thicker side. Drizzle to taste (usually about ¼ cup for a salad that big!) The dressing will last in the fridge for 3-5 days.