Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lunch: Ham Sandwich

I just finished reading the authorized biography of Alice Waters ("Alice Waters and Chez Panisse" by Thomas McNamee). It was a great read and the ideas behind Waters' food revolution are nutty and inspiring. In between the stories that comprise Waters' life are narrative recipes. One in particular has beckoned me back into the kitchen. Waters explains that whenever she makes a ham sandwich she goes into her garden and picks "whatever herbs" she has. She then chops "them up fine and mix them...with a little garlic...a little vinegar and oil, into a sort of savory herb paste." She then toasts day old french bread and spreads on the "herb paste." She serves the sandwich open topped with a bit of sweet onion marmalade.

Need I write more? Tonight at my friend's New Year's Eve party, I am going to make bit size ham and herb sandwiches. Here is what I am going to do:
1. Fire up my portable grill pan.
2. Place buttered, thinly sliced good bread on the grill.
3. While the bread is on the grill, I'll shmear it with the savory herb paste, then add a thin slice of fancy pants ham, carmelized onions, and a bit of gruyere cheese.
4. I'll put the sandwiches together and cut them into small squares.
5. I'll serve them and everyone will tell me how amazing I am. But I'll give all the credit to Alice. Promise.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Side: Sage Stuffing

Thanksgiving was long ago and Christmas looms ahead. Somehow Christmas magically appeared this year. It did not come in its usual saunter. It is here and I did not see it coming. But, no matter. I found a stuffing recipe that will be my forever stuffing recipe. It is not fancy and does not involve various dried fruits and nuts. It is simple, straightforward, and too yummy. If you do another turkey for Christmas, here you go.