5.19.2011

Mother's Day!

05.08.11

Mother’s Day passed almost two weeks ago and only yesterday did I finally get around to editing my food photos from that day. It was a day to recognize out loud all that my mumsies does for me and my brother. And by “all” I mean she does A LOT. I’m pretty sure the word “mom” comes hand in hand with “sacrificial”. And unconditional love. Somebody loves me, yay! Haha


To show part of my appreciation, I decided to take over dinner duties that night. Easy to say, hard to execute. I couldn’t for the life of me decide on what to cook! Too many choices. 

Eventually, I came up with a compromise. Three kinds of fingerwiches: Dill lemon Tuna. Grilled cheese w/ apple chutney. And classic French toast. I really wanted to make a fourth—Croque Monsieur—but was short on time and couldn’t go out for a grocery run. 









#1: Dill & Lemon Tuna Fingerwiches
Honestly, I don’t remember the amount of any ingredient that I put in, except for the fact that I used one of small cans of tuna (dill&lemon “flavoured”). 

Here’s a quick list of what else went in: celery, chick peas, red onion, mozzarella cheese, old-fashioned grainy Dijon, mayo, smoked paprika, salt & pepper. 


Chopped/shredded/spooned, I then mixed everything together and put it in the fridge to chill. I had gone to a Chinese supermarket so I could only get my hands on packaged bread…packaged white bread. Oh well. Quickly toasted and buttered that. 


Spread the tuna mixture on half of the slices and topped them off with the other half of the bread. Quartered them and back into the fridge they went. 


Although sandwiches don’t vary much in terms of temperature, I wanted to emphasize it a little more. Tuna = cold. The other two = warm/hot. 
Great chilled and good refreshing taste…uncomplicated and simple compared to the grilled cheese below but it lacked a punch. Maybe some hot pepper next time?

3.5 out of 5 NOMs
nomnomnomnoh



#2: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Apple Chutney
Out of the three sandwiches, I’d say this one took the most effort but is still pretty easy to slap together.

Here’s what you’ll need: (I halved the recipe but I’ll write as though I used the whole recipe to “uncomplicated” things)

2               Granny Smith apples
¼              red onion
¼ cup       brown sugar
¼ cup       apple cider vinegar
¼ cup       golden raisins (can mix in some cranberries too)
pinch        cumin
¼ cup       unsalted butter, softened
12 slices  whole-grain bread
6 slices    old cheddar cheese (4-inch squares)

Cut the apples into ¼-inch slices (about 3 cups). Thinly slice the red onions (about ½ cup).
I used a mixture of raisins & cranberries.

Chutney time! Melt 1 tbsp butter in a saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add apples, red onion, brown sugar, cider, raisins and cumin. Boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer until syrupy. Set aside. 


To assemble, TWO WAYS
#1 (according to the recipe)
Spread each slice of bread with the remaining butter. Turn over 6 slices and spread with 1 tbsp of chutney each. Place 1 slice of cheese on top, then top with remaining 6 slices of bread (butter sides up). Heat large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until golden on bottom. Turn once and cook until golden and cheese has melted, around 6 minutes in total. Serve with remaining chutney on the side. (Or refrigerate for later use).

 
#2 (how I went about it)
Spread half of the bread with butter. Lay out bread (quartered). Top naked bread (no butter) with shredded cheddar. Spread chutney atop and finish off with one more sprinkle of cheese. Top with the buttered bread butter side up. 

I buttered the other side of the sandwich as I was grilling it. 

Rich with the cheese and stringy onions. Apples balances the cheese. Easy to make.

4 out of 5 NOMs
nomnomnomnom




#3. Classic French Toast
Of course I’d be without day-old French bread…so more white bread it was. Day-old bread is ideal as it’s dry and soaks up the egg mixture very nicely. To simulate this, I toasted the bread a couple of times on “low”. Next problem, the recipe calls for “1-inch thick” bread, clearly not what I have on hand. Yep, I totally melted some shredded mozzarella to act as “glue” for two pieces of bread to get my “1-inch thick” bread. And I am not ashamed of having done so. Because of my love for cheese. :)


(left), I'm constructing 1" thick bread. (right)...I'm pretty sure this photo should be for my Tuna sandwiches. oops!


The egg mixture is quite easy to make. Get your ingredients in a bowl, whisk it up real good and pour it over your bread. Let it soak up for 10 minutes before turning it over to soak for another 10 minutes. 


Was thinking of adding pureed mango to the egg mixture but held off in the last second.


The tip about keeping the toast warm in a 250 degree oven is super smart! I usually wouldn’t do this in order to save some energy but today was a special day. So off the egg soaked bread went into a frying pan (with some melted butter). 

 
The colouration turned out pretty well, I’d call it “golden brown”, but not having day-old Challah or another type of thick bread kinda killed the French toast. Lessons learned: always use the best / most ideal ingredients that you can find with your money!


3 out of 5 NOMs
nomnomnom

My mom enjoyed the fingerwiches. Of course I’d forget veggies so she blanched up some asian greens and we all sat down to a chilled and relaxed dinner. Mission dinner for mom—accomplished. Sweeet.

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