Saturday, November 28, 2009

My take on the Monte Cristo sandwich

The first time I tried a Monte Cristo was at Benningan's in Panama City. I had it for lunch, but it reminded me more of a breakfast sandwich due to its sweetness.
There are different variations of the Monte Cristo, but basically is a turkey, ham and cheese sandwich that is either grilled, or dipped in batter and fried. With a sweet dipping sauce, it is delicious. You can simplify the sandwich by using french toast to make the sandwich instead of plain bread.
Here is my take on it today.
I spread some homemade blackberry jam on wheat bread then added honey roasted turkey and white american cheese. I didn't have any ham, no problem. Also, I didn't want my cheese to touch the jam so I put it in the middle. I used 1 beaten egg and added vanilla extract and cinnamon; dipped the sandwich in the egg, cinnamon and vanilla mixture and put it on a hot skillet. When it was nice and golden I took it off the skillet.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving: Tortellini Bean Salad and leftover broccoli

Thanksgiving. Probably the most famous family gathering. I'm sure our family is no different than your and we all have to bring that special dish to our thanksgiving dinner.
This year I made the same dish from last year. It is that good. It is a Tortellini Bean Salad and my wife Corina found it in the Taste of Home cookbook. I think the trick is on the salad dressing you use. Last year I used the Three Cheese Italian instead of the Creamy Italian that the recipe calls for. This year I decide to go back to the Creamy Italian, and I have to say the Three Cheese Italian is much better. You have to be careful with the red onion. I remember the first time we made it, we ended up picking off some of the onion. I usually use about half of what it asks for. You can add a twist to to it by adding some sweet corn. Also, this recipe asks to refrigerate for about 8 hours. You may want to stick to this, so plan ahead for a better flavor.
You can find this fantastic recipe here
Now its the day after thanksgiving and I am feeling a little guilty about the way I ate. What can I say, I love food as much as I love cooking it!. We dont have any leftovers here, but I have some leftover ingredients from the recipe. I saved the broccoli stalks and shredded them in order to make a slaw. Made a dressing with 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup canola oil, 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1.5 tsp. Soy sauce. Don't add it all! It depends on how much slaw you get from the broccoli. Just enough to get the broccoli nice and moist. Add some sunflower seeds, raisins, toasted ramon noodles and some slivered almonds.
There you go! a nice side salad for your meal.

Whip up dinner

Welcome to my blog about food and recipes where I share my passion for cooking.
I am a Systems Engineer by trade, however I enjoy reading and experimenting with food so much that I decided to write about it.
Have you ever wonder what to make for dinner based on the things you have in your kitchen? Well, this is what I like to do, it's fun, it's challenging, and it fits my budget.
Why do I call it whip up dinner? My wife Corina inspired me to come up with this name. You see, I get home before she does and I love preparing different things for dinner. She always comments on how I can just "whip up dinner" from the ingredients we have in our kitchen. Sometimes is good, almost gourmet like, sometimes its just the basic. Either way it's fun.
Sometimes I look on the Internet or cookbooks for inspiration. If I don't have all the ingredients, I skip it, substitute and add my own twist to it. It's challenging.
Everybody talks about the economy, and not everybody can afford to buy special ingredients for a recipe, and later let it go to waste becasue you dont use it again. Not everybody can afford to go out to dinner every day either. I like to maximize my ingredients and try to have something accessible at home. It fits my budget.
I will post links to other recipes, post my own and comment on some other cooking related things.
Welcome and enjoy.