gastronome
April 27, 2004
sandwich night

If I'd had the energy last night I would have baked the toasted hazelnut focaccia the May 2004 issue of Cooking Light suggests you serve these sandwiches on, but I wimped out and used Acme walnut levain instead and still got plenty of compliments tonight:

Ham and brie sandwich
Sweet potato chips
Honeydew melon wedge

For the sandwiches, spread 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard on bottom half of each sandwich. Place 1 ounce thinly sliced smoked ham, 3 thin apple slices, and 1 ounce sliced brie cheese over bottom half of each sandwich. Place bottom halves of sandwiches on a baking sheet, broil for 1 minute or until cheese melts. Top with top halves of sandwich.

Posted by astraea on April 27, 2004
April 12, 2004
Picnic Potato Salad

Burning with guilt over my lack of participation, I offer up this recipe from my food guru, Deborah Madison. I made this yesterday for a li'l Easter bbq. Quite yum: Picnic Potato Salad with Marjoram and Pickled Onions. Note: I used ground thyme and left out the bell pepper and capers because, yes, I'm a freak.

1 lg. dark red onion, finely diced
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
Salt and freshly milled pepper
1/2 c. olive oil
3 lbs boiling or waxy potatoes
2 T dijon mustard
3 lg garlic cloves, pounded or put through a press
3 T capers, rinsed
1 bell pepper, any color, finely diced
4 celery ribs or 1 fennel bulb, finely diced
3 T chopped marjoram
1 T chopped thyme or lemon thyme

Put the diced onion in a strainer. Bring a kettle of water to a boil and pour it slowly over the onion. Shake the onion dry and put it in a large salad bowl. Add the vinegar, 1 t. salt, several grinds of pepper, the oil and set aside.

Cook the potatoes, then peel and slice them. While still warm, add them to the onion along with the mustard, garlic, and capers. Toss gently with a soft rubber spatula. Spank yourself with the soft rubber spatula. Caress your--oops. Sorry. Got distracted. Add the bell pepper, celery, and herbs and toss once more. Taste for salt and grind in plenty of pepper.

[I'm assuming you are all smarter than I am and don't need the potato-cooking directions.]

Posted by leek on April 12, 2004
April 02, 2004
tofu cheesecake

A dreamy version of a classic New York-style cheesecake. Touched with lemon, it contains far less cholesterol than conventional cheesecake, without sacrificing any taste or creaminess. Recipe from The Joy of Soy by Dana Jacobi (Prima Health; 1996).

World's Creamiest Tofu Cheesecake
crust
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup finely ground almonds
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons low sodium vegatable spread

filling
16 oz. soft silken tofu
16 oz. tofu cream cheese
3/4 cup unbleached cane sugar
2 eggs
4 tablesppons grated lemon zest
2 tablesppons fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder (or corn starch)

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Prepare the crust: (Note: if you purchased a pre-made crust you can pop the crust in the 'fridge to chill, skip the crust-making step and go straight to making the filling.) In a bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs with the ground almonds and sugar. With a fork, blend the veggie-spread into the mixture until it clings together when you press a teaspoon of it between your fingers. Turn half the mixture into a 7-inch springform pan. With your fingers or the back of a spoon, spread and pat the crust until it covers the bottom of the pan. Spoon the remaining crust mixture around the sides of the pan with your fingers. Pat and press the crust up the sides of the pan tot a height of about 2 inches, leaving it thicker around the bottom edge where the sides and bottom of the pan meet. Make the crust thinner around the top edge. Set it in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

Prepare the filling: Puree the tofu in a food processor. Add the cream cheese and process to blend. Add the suagr and eggs and process to incorporate them completely. Blend in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Blend in the arrowroot.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust, filling it to within 1/2 inch of the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 50 to 60 minutes. The cake will be lightly browned around the edges, and should jiggle slightly in the center. Turn off the heat but leave the cake sitting in the oven for another 60 minutes. The top of the warm cake should be lightly golden-browned and just soft to the touch in the center. Set the cake on a rack and let it cool to room temperature. Cover the cake with foil and refrigerate in the pan overnight before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Posted by rebecca on April 02, 2004