Sunday, June 17, 2012

20 Minutes and Done.

In a 90 year old craftsmen home without air conditioning, at temperatures upwards of 100 degrees, you learn to cook without actually "cooking" too much during the summer months- creativity and quick, easy recipes abound.  As much as I enjoy cooking every evening, I find it terribly difficult to turn the knob on that stove to 425 when I can barely muster the energy to wear anything but a cotton sundress sans fuss.  It is simply just too warm.  I think our kitchen alone got up to about 89 degrees today, leaving me wilted and confused about what to make for dinner. 

I surveyed the fridge.  Not much left in there on a Sunday night, but standing in it's cool, misty glow felt great.  I came across some fava beans, porcini mushrooms, various cheeses and a sourdough loaf.  Not wanting to spend more than a few minutes cooking, I figured out a speedy solution....

*Baby Grilled Cheese Sammies*
Fresh Sourdough loaf (preferably the domed type)
Pepperjack cheese
Sharp cheddar cheese
Garlic jack cheese
Olive oil
1 garlic clove, very finely minced
Pepper flakes

Simple is key.  Slice your bread into 1/2 inch thick pieces and lightly coat each slice with olive oil on the "outer" sides.  Pull out a large saute pan or griddle, place temperature on high.  Slice your cheese very thin- that way you are able to layer the different flavors.  Place your two pieces of bread oil side down in the pan, sprinkle minced garlic and pepper flakes and quickly place layers of cheese on bread.  Close your sandwich and cook on both sides until melty and crispy, about 5 minutes total.  The garlic and pepper flakes pack this little bite with a flavorful, spicy punch.  And who doesn't love a grilled cheese sandwich?

Once our sandwiches were done, I tossed the shelled fava beans and clean mushrooms into the pan.  I was sitting in a diner and overheard a biker talking about this snappy recipe, which made me laugh.  He was discussing the farmers' market with the bartender and how eating seasonally was great.  No joke, this guy was wearing full leathers and a bandanna.  He would continuously check on his bike, alternating between beers and appetizers.  He explained that "if you could get your hands on some giant favas, toss them in with some good quality mushrooms and olive oil for an awesome side dish."  I heard him saying this, so after my lunch I marched over and bought the fava and mushrooms.  He wasn't kidding!  What a great new find!  The combo creates a rich, savory flavor that goes well with just about any entree.  Add salt and pepper to taste and you are good to go.  The hubbs was puzzled but really enjoyed this new favorite, as did I.

Voila.  An easy meal on a hot day, taking up no more than 20 mins in the kitchen.  Plenty of time for  a cool glass of sparkling wine, a popsicle and an early evening out on the porch, enjoying the sunshine.

Happy Sunday to all,




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