Thursday, November 8, 2012

Post-Sandy Sandwiches and Cocktails

Well, I have my power back, but, I am still without heat, hot water, and gas. Since I could not really cook anything, Mai & Paul invited me over for dinner. They warned that they had to throw out all their food too, given the 5-day outage. I suggested something simple. Grilled cheese? Done.

After oooh-ing and aah-ing at the newest addition to Mai and Paul's family, a sweet, baby blue colored Le Crueset, we got to work at prepping. Paul ran out to get cheese.  We were dreaming of gruyere or emmentaler, but, the cheese section at Fine Fare was thread bare. Of course, the only thing New Yorkers want to eat after not having power for 5 days are fine cheeses and charcuterie. Of course. (Ok, to be fair, I'm sure that Fine Fare had to throw away a lot of cheese because of the power outage, and just didn't get a new shipment in yet).

{No fine fare for us! Photo Credit: Paul}

{Grapefruits ready to go!}

{A perfect pour}

{Keeping it classy with grown up martini glasses}

{I should never be left in charge of the cheese}

We devoured our grilled cheese sandwiches in the blink of an eye. And yes, that is in fact a yellow fever certificate in the background. You know, usual dinner conversation. We had a side of some roasted cauliflower as well, but I was too distracted by all the cheese to photograph it. I've had roasted cauliflower all week, yay!

Ok, I know this strays from my November is tribute to flat abs posts, but really, who doesn't love melted cheese and toasted bread on a cold winter-ish night? 

Open Faced Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, a Hom Nom/Mai/Paul original recipe

Serves 3

  • A loaf of bread of your choice (I picked multigrain)
  • Melt-y cheeses, could include any or all of the following: gruyere, swiss, cheddar, extra sharp cheddar, mozzarella, brie, etc. We picked up one block of extra sharp cheddar, one block of normal  cheddar and one block of mozzarella
  • Red Onions, sliced into rings
  • Tomatoes, sliced
  • Olive oil and/or butter
  • Garlic
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Set up one baking sheet with a silpat or aluminum foil. 

Mince the garlic. In a small pan, melt the butter and sautee the garlic (not too much or they will become bitter). Once those are done browning, turn the heat off (safety first!), remove, reserve. Heat up the pan again and brown your red onions. Remove from heat and reserve. 

Slice up your cheeses and tomatoes, and keep aside. 

In another small pan, butter the bread and begin to toast it to your linking. Remove from the pan, and place on the baking sheet. Drizzle the garlic/olive oil mixture on top. Top each slice of bread with some cheese (mix and match if you want to! we combined both cheddars together, and kept the mozzarella separate), the red onions, and the tomatoes on top. Bake in your oven for about 10 minutes (note: Mai's oven is really fierce - you may need more or less time so just check in on them.). Remove from oven, and cool slightly before eating. Best served with a Salty Dog cocktail (scroll down for the recipe)!

Salty Dog, recipe from Mai

Makes 6 cocktails (or, 2 rounds of cocktails for 3 people)

  • Juice from 4 grapefruit (that should get you about 2 ounces of fresh juice per serving)
  • 1/2 of a lemon, quartered for juicing
  • 6-12 ounces of Vodka (essentially, you want 2 ounces of vodka per drink)
  • Lemon peel for garnish
Mixologist Mai says "cooling the cocktail glasses first is always a classy move". So, stick your cocktail glasses in the freezer to chill while you prep everything else for your beverage.

Squeeze your grapefruit into a bowl or large measuring cup (i.e. a pyrex). Fill your cocktail shaker with ice. Pour the grapefruit juice into your cocktail shaker and shake, shake, shake.

Remove your cocktail glasses from the fridge and place a small sliver of the lemon rind in each glass. Using your juice squeezer thing, squeeze some lemon juice into each glass. Pour in the mixture from the cocktail shaker. Then proceed to get tipsy on Sunday night while eating grilled cheese sandwiches, repeating as often as necessary. 

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