Growing up there was no baking done in our house. None. No cookies, no cakes. Except during the holidays Mama would bake a frozen apple pie and when girlfriends spent the night, which was almost never, she always and without fail prepared Pepperidge Farm Puff Pasty Apple Turnovers. But Mama had a tendency to burn things…anything…everything and these turnovers were no exception. She had one baking sheet, an old, warped aluminum sheet covered with burnt-on stains. I looked at them as friendly reminders of her past culinary disasters. Saturday mornings during sleepovers Mama couldn’t “pop” the turnovers in the oven, oh no. Everything she did was done at hyper speed, from the moment she flew out of bed in the morning until the moment she collapsed into bed at night. As Mama slammed the baking sheet into the oven, the pastries skittering wildly about the tray, the crash of metal on metal and the slamming of the oven door could be heard down the street…or at least on our side of the house. And as I stretched in my twin bed with its girly white lace bedskirt, I looked over at Dana/Andrea/Ann waking up in the matching twin bed with the identical bedskirt. We always smiled knowing we could breakfast later at their house with the utmost confidence it wouldn’t be burned. Sure enough, Mama rapped on our door on the bedroom door with the back of her hand, her middle knuckle sounding like the rat-a-tat-tat of a machine gun. “Girls! Breakfast is ready!” I always wanted to sing back, “We know. We smelled the smoke.” but that would have been sassy and disrespectful and Mama DID NOT tolerate any of that in her house. No, ma’am. She would not have batted an eye in front of anyone outside of the family, but later? Holy Mary, mother of Jesus! She was liable to wash your mouth out with an enormous, white bar of Ivory soap AND ground you. Uh uh. Don’t sass Mama. Anyway, in our soft blue or pastel pink baby doll nighties off we’d saunter into the kitchen to find a bowl of freshly cut fruit, cold glasses of milk and a gorgeous platter of beautifully arranged turnovers, the pastries were all puffed up with layers of crunchy sweetness. Sadly, the bottom of each and every turnover was a solid, black charred mess. Every.Single.Time. Without speaking, we’d peel off and enjoy the tops which hadn’t burned and scrape the apple and nut goo on the bottoms with spoons while the exhaust fan roared in the background sucking out the smoke. That was the closest Mama came to baking apples and pastry and we were fine with it. When you’re twelve or thirteen you know when life is good and our lives were good. Good and rich with Mama’s love!
Baked Dulce de Leche Apples
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon corn starch
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 apples
- 1 13-ounce can dulce de leche
- 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed and kept chilled until needed
- Line a small baking sheet with tin foil and set aside.
- Mix sugars, corn starch and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Using a melon-baller 1″ in diameter, scoop the core out of each apple beginning at the stem and stopping before you get to the bottom of the fruit. You don’t want the dulce de leche to run out of the bottom.
- Roll each apple in the sugar mixture and press the mixture into the outside and inside of the fruit.
- Open both sheets of puff pastry and lay down side by side.
- Cut both sheets to make 4 rectangles.
- Place an apple in the center of one of the rectangles and fill with 2-3 teaspoons of dulce de leche. Save the remaining dulce de leche to serve with the hot apples.
- Bring up the short sides of the puff pastry and press into the apple. Gather up the long ends of the pastry and pinch together as if it was a bundle. Pinch closed any gaps or holes. Continue with the remaining apples and pastry.
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Place apple bundles on the baking sheet and put in the freezer for 15 minutes for the pastry to firm up.
- Bake the apples 30-35 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden.
- Cool the apples 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Warm the remaining dulce de leche in the microwave until runny and serve with the baked apples.
The 2018 Saint Demetrios Greek Festival is upon us and I couldn’t be more excited. I am one of the thousands who love this church’s festival because of it’s authenticity…baked goods and Greek dishes prepared from old family recipes which over the years have been converted to feed the hordes of festival goers. Whether in Crete, the mainland or the islands, these festival dishes are the foods you find in the Greek home. The Greek table is a marvel regardless of lean times or times of ease and plenty. Every time I’ve been to Greece, I’ve discovered new foods or a completely new spin on an old dish. Of course, we all know feta cheese; briny and tangy sitting atop a Greek salad wearing a green and gold crown of locally grown oregano or still salty but now creamy tucked between several buttery sheets of shatteringly crisp filo dough married with spinach and sliced spring onion having been baked to perfection. How surprised I was when I was introduced to a typical appetizer, Feta Psiti, which is baked feta cheese topped with a good shower of hot pepper flakes and local oregano then doused with a liberal splash of fruity Greek olive oil! I had never had anything like that here in the States. My husband’s Greek family looked on with amusement as I dove in with abandon scooping up the melted cheese with torn off chunks of hot, crunchy bread. At another family gathering around the table, I thought I had found my new favorite food when my husband’s cousin served me Koukia, a gorgeous, creamy dish made from yellow split peas which have cooked down to a smooth, firm dip. Considered a salad, this dish is topped with Greek olive oil, chopped red onion, and a good dusting of oregano and I’m more than happy to call this dinner. My husband’s cousin was thrilled to have presented me with this humble yet unexpected treasure. The Greek table is like that. Always gathering one in, never shutting one out. “Come! Have coffee at my house and we’ll talk. I baked a cake”, is heard so often all through Greece. When you hear that, you ought to take them up on the offer for Greek coffee and baked goods are beyond delicious and the Greek table is where you’ll hear all the good village gossip. The following Greek olive oil cake is a recipe found throughout the country of Greece. Each recipe is slightly different…some add Greek yoghurt, liquors, orange or lemon but all are lovely and will bring you to the Greek table.
Dense, moist and velvety, this cake is an unlikely wonder touched with tones of orange, lemon, almond, and of course, green, fruity olive oil. Olive oil cake is a classic throughout Greece and once you have a taste you’ll know why. Somehow it works…all the flavors sing in perfect harmony. It’s a rather substantial cake so don’t be alarmed at the large amount of olive oil called for nor the fact that the batter will be rather runny. It will be gorgeous. And it’s a great do-ahead as the flavor improves the following day. Kali orexi!
Greek Olive Oil Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups extra virgin Greek olive oil, Trader Joe’s makes a decent one
- 1 1/4 cups milk, I’ve used almond milk and the cake turned out fabulous
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup orange liquor
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 3/4 cup finely, finely chopped sliced almonds. I use a mini-processor and pulse the nuts until they are small bits.
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin Greek olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- zest of one lemon
- zest of one lime
- Pre-heat oven to 350°. Butter an 11-inch cake pan and set aside.
- Into a medium-sized bowl sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl mix well the eggs, sugar, olive oil, milk, lemon juice, liquor, lemon and orange zest and almond bits. Mix well until there are no lumps of sugar and the olive oil is completely incorporated.
- Mix the dry mixture into the wet mixture until well blended, pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes.
- Allow to cool on a cooling rack.
- Run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert onto a plate.
- Allow to cool completely prior to icing the cake. If the cake is to be served the following day, prepare and drizzle the glaze right before serving.
- Combine all ingredients except the lemon and lime zest in a small bowl and whisk until smooth
- Drizzle glaze over the cooled cake.
- Sprinkle with lemon and lime zest and serve.
Winter got you down? Tired of the cold and dreariness of it all? I understand. This mushroom and brie soup will wrap you snugly in its velvety smoothness and help sooth the Old Man Winter blues. It won’t make it so you can slap on a pair of Tory strappy sandals and show off your perfectly pedicured feet but I guarantee you will feel uplifted and heartened. And, besides, spring is almost around the corner. All right, maybe not quite around the corner, however, it will be here soon enough. In the meantime, tuck into this soup with a great book or movie and treat yourself kindly. This recipe calls for three pounds of mushrooms and that’s three pounds of any kind of fresh mushroom that floats your boat. I love using one pound of shiitake, (that’s all I can afford), and two pounds of button mushrooms. I purchase the button mushrooms whole and leave the stem on when roasting them. The stems of the shiitake should be removed prior to roasting due to the fact they are tough as leather. I pinch them off and discard them although some people save them for mushroom or vegetable broth. I’m not one of those people. Shiitake mushrooms are loaded with flavor; they’re quite woodsy and smoky; and I find button mushrooms to be earthy and meaty. It’s a marvelous combination. Because this soup is so luxurious and rich, I find a double cream Brie to be perfect. Triple cream tastes wonderful but is considerably more expensive so I leave it up to you. This mushroom soup is ample enough that, truly, the only addition one could possibly want is some hot, crunchy bread to dip and sop. I typically serve my mushroom soup with hot-out-of-the-oven garlic bruschetta. Yum! And the soup gets better overnight so pack up a couple of thermoses, share some with your coworkers and they’ll love you forever.
Cream of Roasted Mushroom and Brie Soup
- 3 pounds fresh mushrooms, mixed is great but pull off any woody stems
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 12 garlic cloves, peeled and rough chopped
- 2 heaping tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 3 generous tablespoons of flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup white wine
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 8 ounces Brie cheese, rind cut off
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 400°.
- Place mushrooms on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle the olive oil over the mushrooms, toss them with your hands until they are completely covered with the oil and spread out in an even layer.
- Roast in the oven until they begin to brown, about 45 minutes.
- In a heavy bottomed soup pot or dutch oven melt the butter over medium high heat.
- Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until they are clear.
- Add the garlic and thyme and stir.
- Add the flour and stir well. Cook for 3-4 minutes stirring constantly.
- Add the wine and chicken broth and stir until the flour has been incorporated completely and there are no lumps.
- Add the roasted mushrooms, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender to puree to your liking. You can also blend this in a food processor or blender.
- Add the milk and Brie and stir until the cheese has melted.
- Taste for any needed salt and pepper and serve.
They’re not sweet eating bananas nor are they plantains. They’re what Hispanics, Indians and island people call “green bananas” and they’re heavenly boiled and made into a salad or cooked with root vegetables but everyone’s favorite is the meat stuffed fritter…the alcapurria, pronounced ahl-cah-POO-ree-ah. Deep fried and savory, this is what we call “un antojo”, a little craving or whim but there is a bit of work involved to make the fritters, well worth every moment spent. In Puerto Rico alcapurrias are considered street food, found all over the island but especially at the kiosks which line the beaches. Hot out of the fat, these crunchy fritters will satisfy all and are rich enough to tide one over until the next meal. My grandmother never made these and they were never served in her house. This was before the arrival of food processors and, as I mentioned, a tad bit labor intensive. Plus the green bananas stain everything they touch once peeled, from ones fingers to cutting boards and clothing. The making of both alcapurrias and pasteles was considered blue-collar work. So although these dishes are enjoyed during feast days, holidays and beach outings, they must be ordered in advance if you aren’t willing to make them yourself. Many home businesses started with women making their own money by preparing pasteles and alcapurrias then either selling them on the street or taking orders in advance. This year I made the fritters to celebrate Three Kings Day, the sixth of January, a huge holiday in hispanic countries. Growing up, my family had Christmas in Fort Lauderdale and, the following day, flew down to Puerto Rico to really start the celebration with Mama’s family. For my older sister, Cynthia, and me those were the days of dollies, tea sets, literature and the occasional treat of an alcapurria. Feliz Dia de Los Tres Reyes Magos!
- 4 ounces cured ham, roughly chopped
- 1 medium tomato, about 5 ounces, roughly chopped
- 1 medium onion, about 3 ounces, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 sweet chile peppers, seeded and diced
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 packet Sazon seasoning, found in the hispanic section of your grocery store
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 2 tablespoons green olives stuffed with pimento, roughly chopped
- 1 pound ground beef
- Place all the above ingredients except the capers, olives and ground beef in a food processor and pulse until a chunky paste is formed.
- Add the ground beef and pulse until ingredients are completely incorporated.
- To a large skillet add the ground beef mixture, the capers and olives and brown over medium heat. Stir while cooking to mix in the capers and olives.
- When the meat is completely cooked remove from heat, allow to cool, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Green banana paste (masa):
- 10 green bananas, not regular eating bananas or plantains but green cooking bananas
- 2 pounds yautia (malanga)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 packets Sazon seasoning
- Fill a large bowl halfway with tap water and 2 tablespoons of salt. Set aside.
- Using rubber gloves, score each banana lengthwise three or four times. Slide your fingernail under the scored peel and remove the entire peel from the banana. Keep a small paring knife close by to help with any trouble spots.
- Drop each peel banana into the salted water and continued until all bananas have been peeled.
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel the yautia, rinse under tap water and cut into chunks which will fit your food processor tube.
- Fit a food processor with the grating blade which has small holes.
- With the motor running continually, grate the bananas and yautia.
- Discard the water in the large bowl just used, dry the bowl and transfer the grated contents of the food processor to the bowl.
- Fit the food processor with the cutting blade, add the grated mixture, olive oil and the 2 packets of Sazon. Process until completely smooth.
- Spray a small pan with non-stick cooking spray, drop one or two tablespoons of banana mixture and flatten and fry until browned on both sides. This is to taste for any needed salt of seasoning. Adjust seasonings accordingly. It’s good, isn’t it?!
- Transfer the banana mixture to a large storage container, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to assemble and fry the fritters, heat one inch of oil in a large frying pan to about 300° or medium high.
- Tear a small piece of tin foil or parchment paper into a 5X3″ rectangle and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
- Holding the paper in your hand, spoon 3-4 tablespoons of the green banana mixture onto the paper and gently spread it with the back of the spoon into a 4-5″ circle. Photos are posted below the recipe.
- Top the middle of the mixture with 2-3 teaspoons of the ground beef mixture.
- Using the back of the spoon, smooth the banana mixture over the meat completely covering it. Cover any hole with a bit of the banana from the storage container. The fritter should be the shape of a torpedo without any meat showing through.
- Gently slide the fritter into the hot oil and continue shaping the fritters and adding them to the frying pan until the pan is full. Leave an inch of space between the frying fritters.
- Fry the fritters 4-5 minutes and turn them to fry on the other side for 2-3 minutes.
- With a slotted spoon, remove the cooked fritters and drain on paper towels.
- Continue assembling and frying the fritters until there is no more of the mixtures.
- Serve immediately.
I’m almost done with all my Christmas wrapping. I have two more gifts to buy both for my husband. I wish I could tell you what they are… you’d laugh your tail off. My girlfriend, Andrea, described them as the equivalent of Jimmy giving me a vacuum cleaner for Christmas. Believe me when I say, that would be a huge mistake! But I know my husband and I know he’ll be pleased. The beauty of this year is that although I have no money my modest gifts all have thought, consideration and much love behind them. For instance, and I can say this because I don’t think either of my two sisters read my blog, (thanks, y’all), I have for both Cynthia and Pamela a pretty little bag full of travel size shampoo and conditioner tubes. I get them every month in my hair color kit that comes in the mail. And as I’ve been using this hair color system for a few years now I have BAGS of these travel size products stored in my closet. They’ll love them! Of the highest quality these hair products enhance hair texture and color. Humble gifts, yes, but ones that will give sincere pleasure. I’ve taken that perspective with this meal, this humble and ordinary pot roast. It is pretty much a no-fail dish which gives such satisfaction and appreciation to the diner. My entire family will be coming over to our house this weekend to revel in each other’s company, catching up on family news and achievements of the year. It will give me great joy to serve them this simple but fall-apart tender and delicious dinner. That’s part of everyone’s Christmas gift. Glorious, unforgettable dinners at our house. Dinners full of laughter between cousins and secrets whispered in corners. More warm and loving memories to store in our ample collection. For those of you who’d like to know just what exactly it is I bought for Jimmy, keep reading. Jim, this is a spoiler alert. If you don’t want to know what you’re getting this Christmas close up this page and move on to answering your never-ending e-mails.
He’s getting a shovel. I broke his old shovel while I was digging up a palm we lost during Hurricane Irma. Now he’s getting a brand new one! But that’s not all he’s getting. I also bought him a new pool filter. Nice, huh? It’s all fine. He’ll enjoy his utilitarian gifts but most of all he’ll enjoy family time and great meals. Especially this one. This dish is infinitely easy, however, it cannot be rushed. If you don’t have the time it’s best to save this pot roast for another day. It is of paramount importance that the meat is well-browned on all sides. The browning adds mucho flavor to the dish. You’re only searing the meat not cooking it through. The hours in the oven will slow-roast it to tender, savory perfection. I don’t include potatoes in this dish as it reminds me too much of beef stew, which is fine, except I don’t want beef stew. I want pot roast. I serve it with mashed potatoes prepared with real butter, some cream cheese and a generous suggestion of sour cream. The juices left in the pot make a fabulous gravy if a bit of corn starch is whisked in and the gravy allowed to thicken. Mushrooms may be browned and included in the pot but I find they have a tendency to get soggy so it’s up to you. Oh, and the leftovers make for tremendous sandwiches when served up on toasted sour dough bread. Merry Christmas everyone! Here’s to getting it all done with peace and gladness in our hearts!
Classic Sunday Pot Roast
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- one 2 1/2-3 pound boneless beef shoulder roast (much less fat than a chuck roast)
- 6 small onions, peeled and cut in half from end to end
- 1 head of garlic, cut in half lengthwise
- 5 carrots, washed, ends cut but not peeled, cut into 3-4″ lengths
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups beef broth, don’t fret if you don’t have any. Chicken broth works just fine!
- 2-3 sprigs fresh marjoram, if you can find it
- 5 or 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 5 or 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
- salt and pepper throughout the cooking process
- Pre-heat oven to 300°.
- Over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy Dutch oven which has a lid.
- Add the onions to the pot and brown on both sides. Remove to a waiting bowl.
- Add the carrots and the garlic halves cut side down. Move the carrots to brown a bit on all sides. Remove from the pot and set aside with the onions.
- Add the third tablespoon of oil to the pot, salt and pepper all sides of the beef and sear all sides until it has been browned all over.
- Remove the beef from the pot and reserve with the vegetables.
- Pour the wine and broth in the pot and with a wooden spoon scrape off all the browned bits and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the roast back in the pot and nestle the vegetables around it.
- Tuck the fresh herbs around the pot and on top of the meat.
- Place the lid on the pot and roast for 4-5 hours.
- Check the meat for doneness at the 4 hour mark. Continue roasting until fall-apart tender.
- Shred the meat with two forks prior to serving.
Y’all. These cupcakes have me crazy. They are PERFECTION and the best to enjoy with a Hallmark Christmas movie. I know… I know. Sappy, schmaltzy and totally predictable Hallmark movies are sweet and romantic and what most girls want during the Christmas season. Back to these cupcakes. I hadn’t made them in eons and thought I’d bake a quick batch to put up here on the blog. I had forgotten how dense and rich they are… almost like pound cake. And this icing… any thoughts of sticking to a diet are rapidly going through the window. I had to get them out of the house and my reach so I took them over to our neighbors who have twin boys in middle school. They’re all skinny… let them be tempted! Anyway, these cupcakes are wonderfully flexible in that a variety of flavorings may be added to the batter and also the icing to suit your mood and craving. If extracts are added to the icing add them sparingly as they can be awfully strong. For instance, I added 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract to the whipped cream whereas if I were making a vanilla icing I would have added 1 tablespoon. So almond, peppermint, coconut and rum extracts are capped at 1/2 teaspoon. That said, feel free to use up to 2 tablespoons of liqueur to flavor the cream. Coffee, raspberry, Irish cream and orange are, singularly, heavenly additions. And with so many vibrant and richly colored sprinkles, crystals and decorations on the market, (Home Goods is a treasure trove!), a girl can go crazy. The paper baking cups and liners are also a way to transform your goodies to a higher level. I keep my baking cups and liners in a designer bag on the top shelf of my closet and when I take it down and spread all those lovely boxes on my bed it’s like an Italian fashion show. Oh, the colors and prints! The next time you’re in a discount designer store take a leisurely stroll down the baking aisle and prepare to be enchanted. Until then enjoy these goodies with the one you love and a sweet Christmas flick.
Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Peppermint Whipped Cream Icing
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk, whole milk will do but it’s not as rich
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup butter, softened but not melted
- Pre-heat oven to 350° and set baking cups on a baking sheet or line muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a medium size bowl combine eggs, milk, vanilla extract and mix well. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix until completely combined.
- Add the butter to the flour mixture and, using a hand-held mixer set on low, mix until the pieces of butter are no larger than baby peas.
- Add the egg mixture and mix on low for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue mixing on medium for 60 seconds.
- Fill each baking cup or paper liner 2/3 full. I use an ice cream scoop that has been lightly sprayed with non-stick baking spray.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden on top and a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool completely on a cooling rack prior to icing.
Whipped Cream Icing
- 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
- 3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint, almond, rum or coconut extract or up to 2 tablespoons flavored liqueur
- In a medium size bowl add the confectioner’s sugar and place the beaters on top. Place the bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes.
- Add the cream to the chilled bowl and whip on medium for 30 seconds.
- Change speed to high and whip until soft peaks form.
- Add extract or liqueur and continue whipping until the peaks are almost stiff.
- Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 6 hours. Whisk for a few seconds prior to using.
- This is also great over fresh, macerated berries.
This sandwich is for the meat lovers, those who appreciate dinner already prepared when they arrive home from work and the moms who have college kids home for the holidays. Or me, who loves when I plan and prepare dinner in the morning and it makes its magic all through the day without me having to lift a finger. This hearty, savory sandwich is perfect for a casual dinner by the fire or a picnic in the park. It feeds the whole family and has the flavor impact of a labor intensive dinner. Do you remember the food network’s show “The Two Fat Ladies”? Oh my gosh. I was crazy about that cooking show, the only one ever to catch my attention and keep it. It was quintessentially British. The Two Fat Ladies were incredibly well-educated, well spoken, well-traveled and both had a dry as a bone sense of humor that elicited screams of laughter from me. They had such a lust for life and often burst into rowdy, off-colored song as the spirit moved them. But their fabulous recipes were what I was truly interested in and valued. Jennifer Paterson was the dark-haired of the pair, the cigarette smoker, the driver of the sidecar featured on the show and this is her recipe. I believe this sandwich gets its name from both hunters and travelers and I find it positively charming. Apparently it was often served on British trains. For this beef and mushroom sandwich I typically use a small London broil but the recipe calls for a very thick, boneless sirloin steak and, let me tell you, the steak IS better!
I’ve changed the recipe over the years in order to have to have a bit more flavor with the addition of finely chopped garlic but, other than that, the recipe remains true to its original specifications. Jennifer’s recipe calls for the sandwich to sit quietly under a weight for a minimum of 6 hours and she’s right. In order for the juices of the steak and mushrooms to be released and soaked up by the bread the sandwich needs 6 hours or more. In the above photo I sat my hefty dutch oven in an equally heavy steel and ceramic saute pan. Make certain to carefully cram as many sautéed portobello mushroom into the bread both on top and under the meat as well as seasoning both sides of the steak with salt and pepper. When serving the meal slice the sandwich with a serrated bread knife and it won’t fall apart. I make available a clean linen towel to hold the bread in place while slicing. The Shooter’s Sandwich is not picked up but enjoyed with knife and fork. It’s fantastic the following day also, cold out of the fridge. I guarantee your people will love it. As Jennifer used to say, “Quelle treat!”
- 1 hearty grained, unsliced loaf or round of bread
- a 1 1/2-2-pound very thick boneless sirloin steak or london broil a bit smaller than the loaf of bread
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 or 7 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed and reserved for another use
- 7-8 fresh garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
- salt and freshly cracked pepper
- Cut one end off of the loaf of bread, maybe 1-2″, and reserve the end.
- Remove by hand the inside crumb of the loaf leaving it hollowed out. Take care not to rip the crust. Do the same to the cut end piece.
- In a screaming hot pan sear all sides of the steak but keep it rare. set aside.
- Coat the bottom of a frying pan with the olive oil and add the garlic and mushroom caps, cooking and stirring until soft. Turn the mushrooms occasionally to cook both sides.
- Line the bottom inside of the bread with half the mushrooms and garlic.
- Season all sides of the meat and push into the bread loaf.
- Carefully cover the top of the steak with the remaining mushrooms and garlic.
- Close the sandwich up with the cut end and tightly wrap the sandwich in parchment paper, tying with kitchen twine.
- Wrap the sandwich in a sheet of tin foil and let sit quietly under a heavy weight for at least 6 hours.
- When ready to eat slice with a serrated bread knife.
- Serve with salad greens dressed in a vinaigrette.