the Ploobwich

The Bitwrathploob has sampled sandwiches around the world, but that doesn’t mean he turns up his battered red replacement nose at humble homemade fare.

During this weekend’s Sandwich Party, Ploobie and I enjoyed this easy, cozy meal: a hot sandwich of cheddar and tomato on beer bread, served with a brimming bowl of simple black bean soup. Continue reading

Sandwich Party #5

The Sandwich Party is underway! Friday night, The Fella and I kicked off the weekend with grilled cheddar cheese sandwiches stuffed with garlicky spinach, served with cream of tomato soup.

The sandwich looks a mite sloppy, but I assure you it was just sloppy enough: the gooey cheese held the glistening, gorgeous spinach inside the crispy bread, and the whole thing made a perfect foil for the mild, creamy soup.

Jagosaurus did some work ahead of schedule:

I made some (cucumber and honey goat cheese) sandwiches a couple of weeks ago in anticipation of this, but I might do more this weekend.

Redfox from The Hungry Tiger joined the Sandwich Party with a luscious-looking warm weather entry:

The version you see before you is a little duded up, with those sprigs of cilantro. Occasionally it might instead be topped with a very few slivers of thinly sliced red onion, or slices of tomato. But the basic scheme is:

* Slice of kalamata sourdough bread
* Butter
* Avocado
* A tiny sprinkle of salt
* A drizzle of this here chile oil

In the comments here, T.R. tells us about a sandwich with old friends!

Mmmm. Good! I had tuna steak sandwich w/ red onions, grated carrots and lemon sauce to top it off. I did not get to make it…Hobbit Cafe did where I was having lunch w/ old friends (-:

Erik went with:

a family favorite: The Beltch. My mother, the polite lady that she is, chooses to put the vowel after the L, making it a Bletch (as if that’s a polite sound!). As you might have guessed, it’s a variation on the famous BLT (bacon, lettuce, and tomato), but adding cheese (CH). For proper BELTCH construction, a fried egg should be added to achieve full letter representation, but circumstances did not allow for an egg in this production.

Carlarey has the breakfast of champions!

So here it is, nothing fancy. Just a plain old working class turkey, salami, pastrami sandwich with shredded habanero cheese and jalapenos. It was what my kid wanted for breakfast yesterday morning, and it sounded so good I made one for myself.

Macbebekin’s own Elli had a luscious-looking pita:

I had a chicken pita sandwich. I cheated* and bought it at a shop, but I did get to choose my ingredients which was easy: “All the veggies, please.”

*Elsa’s note: NOT CHEATING! Bought sandwiches welcome!

Just before the power went out, the Bitwrathploob and I enjoyed:

a hot sandwich of cheddar and tomato on beer bread, served with a brimming bowl of simple black bean soup.

J made a lamb ragu-wich capable of changing a mother’s mind:

I discovered one day that if I took some of the sourdough bread that we had, slathered it with butter and garlic powder, and fried it, it made a delicious garlic bread, which is the perfect place to put a bunch of warmed spaghetti sauce. It’s a lot like a sloppy Joe, actually, though I like the flavors of spaghetti sauce better. My mom thought this was a disgusting idea, until she finally gave it a try, and became an instant convert. She always said that sane people are willing to change their mind when they are given the proper evidence, which this sandwich clearly is.

Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? Join the fifth Sandwich Party — you still have time! Around these parts, we had a few hours without power and a looooooong stretch with no wifi, so I’m giving myself (and you!) a little extra leeway to get those last posts and links in. I can’t wait to see what sandwich you make!

I say tomato


Okay, I thought the tortilla soup I made yesterday was pretty damn fine mostly because 95% of it was from the garden around me, but then there was today. Tomatoes. We were being overrun! So I decided to make my first ever homemade tomato soup. I looked at a few recipes online and then cobbled my own together from everything I read. OH MY GOD. My first attempt may be my masterwork! It must be the exquisite freshness of it all. I can’t wait for the next bowl. Damn. Damn!

how to save dinner

Invite your mother to come for an impromptu dinner. Warn her that you have no idea what you’ll serve, and that you don’t plan to tidy up.

Then tidy up just a smidge, because you don’t want people to see it like this.

Since a) it’s chilly out, b) there’s nothing exciting in the fridge, and c) you feel like being lazy cozy, decide to make snowday food: canned tomato soup & grilled cheese sandwiches. Because your mom deserves better, decide to glam it up. Here’s how.

Continue reading

herbs, onions, tomatoes, and comfort

It’s been raining and dreary here for days, and will be raining and dreary for many more days. I count myself lucky, though; friends just an hour to the south are being rained out of their businesses and homes.

I’m also lucky that my momma taught me to cook whatever is on hand in the pantry, without going out in the driving rain to pick up groceries. That’s exactly what I did last night at her house; we had a comforting but tempting dinner cobbled together from whatever I found on the pantry shelves. Most of the recipes were experiments, and they turned out so well that I wanted to document them here, for future rainy nights*.

soup: cream of tomato with golden sherry
tartines: sun-dried tomato, sautéed mushrooms, black olives, herbed neufchatel, and parmesan on onion herb bread
oven-fries: potatoes and sweet potatoes
salad: mixed greens with chile-spiced almond slivers and balsamic vinaigrette

* The next of these future rainy nights was sooner than you think: D and I had the soup, sandwiches, and sweet potato fries for dinner the very next night. I had my camera (thanks, Elli!) along, and just plain forgot to take photos. Infuriating.

Continue reading

Is My Blog Burning? 11: Thai peanut and black bean soup

When I saw that Cathy at My Little Kitchen had chosen beans (or, more specifically, legumes) as the featured ingredient for this round of Is My Blog Burning?, I was flooded with ideas. Hummus? Black bean quesadillas? Dal? Roasted chickpeas? Panzanella? As a near-vegetarian and a poor student, I rely on beans as a cheap, delicious protein source, so I make all of these dishes regularly. I have also been planning to create my own recipe for casado, the dish of black beans and rice (with assorted sides) that I was served every day of my recent trip to Costa Rica.

Then, just a few days ago, I treated myself to a cheap lunch at a local sandwich joint, and skeptically ordered something called spicy Thai peanut and black bean chili. It was rich and zingy, wholesome and surprising. I decided to recreate it as closely as possible for IMBB?

I started by examining recipes for groundnut stew and West African peanut soup in Sundays at the Moosewood Restaurant, but the final product has only a few elements in common with Moosewoos recipes. You will see that this recipe is highly improvisational, with amounts listed very approximately. I tossed this dish together from ingredients on hand, taking mental notes as I went.

I admit to being startled at the resemblance of the finished dish to that yummy, exotic, but comforting chili I was served earlier in the week. And with two legumes, this soup is doubly qualified for this edition of IMBB! Thanks, Cathy, for spurring me to give this a try!

Thai peanut and black bean soup

2 medium onions, roughly chopped
1 large white potato, diced (I used Yukon Gold)
1 sweet potato, diced (I used leftover roasted slices of sweet potato,
chopped and added with the soup stock))
1 medium carrot, sliced (I used a handful of baby carrots, sliced)
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small red chile, seeded and chopped fine *
2 teaspoons Massaman curry paste
4 cups mild vegetable stock
1 tablespoon vodka
3/4 cup natural (or old-fashioned) peanut butter
3 cups cooked black beans
chopped scallions
vegetable oil
water as necessary

* I don’t know the variety of chile I keep on hand, but they are the long, slim, ferocious kind that are sometimes served in Kung Pao dishes. They are known in my family as “the little red pods of death.” Dried chiles would work well, too, I suppose.

Heat a large pot over medium heat; add 1 – 2 teaspoons oil. Add onions, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt, and sweat until just translucent. Add potatoes (white and sweet) and carrots; cook until a golden fond develops on the bottom of your pot. Add ginger, garlic, and chile. Saute until fragrant, 2 -3 minutes, deglaze with vodka. Cook off the alcohol for a minute or two, and add vegetable stock, scraping pan to loosen fond.

Turn down heat to low; cook until potatoes soften. Stir in peanut butter. You may like to thin it first with a small amount of water or stock, which reduces clumping, but I hate to dirty an extra dish and prefer to stir like crazy, so I plunk the peanut butter right into the pot. Add black beans. Taste for seasoning: you may prefer more salt, or some hot sauce. If the soup is thick and lumpy, thin down with water.

Serve hot, topping each dish with cilantro and scallion. These additions are not garnishes, but legitimate ingredients making enormous contributions to the flavor of the dish. Lime wedges to squeeze over the soup would be zingy and refreshing, too, although I did not have any.

The restaurant served this with fresh tortilla chips, which complemented the silky texture of the peanut broth and the chunkiness of the vegetables. Tonight, I ripped open a bag of Goya brand garlic cassava chips to serve on the side. Delicious!

Another time, I think I would add some diced green chiles and maybe some tomato paste to the last stage of the saute, for an extra burst of flavor.