Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Yield: 8 min
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
1 tablespoon butter
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 2 teaspoons dried
1/2 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup half-and- half or heavy cream
1 can (15 ounces) artichoke hearts in water, drained and coarsely chopped
2 boxes, 10 ounces each, chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry in kitchen towel
1 1/2 cups shredded Italian 4 cheese blend (provolone, Parmesan, mozzarella and Asiago) available in 10-ounce pouches on the dairy aisle of your market
Salt and pepper
1 round loaf crusty bread: top removed and cubed, bottom hollowed out to use as serving bowl
1 loaf multigrain or whole wheat baguette, sliced at bakery/bread counter in market
To a medium saucepot preheated over moderate heat, add about 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan in a slow stream. Add butter to oil. When butter melts, add garlic and onions to the pot. Sprinkle in thyme leaves. Saute 2 minutes, add chopped red pepper. Saute mixture a minute more. Sprinkle in flour, stir to coat vegetables. Cook flour 1 minute. Whisk in wine and reduce by half. Whisk in stock and thicken sauce 1 minute. Stir in half-and-half or cream. When sauce returns to a bubble, add artichokes, spinach and cheeses. Keep stirring until cheeses melt and sauce is well combined. Add salt and pepper and adjust seasonings, to your taste.
Pour dip into hollow bread bowl on serving platter and surround with sliced multi or whole grain bread for dipping. Reserve extra dip to warm and refill as necessary. Cut up bread bowl when baguette slices are gone -- the bowl is the best part as it absorbs juices from the dip.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Yield: 2 servings
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 rounded tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper
1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg, eyeball it
2 teaspoons Dijon style mustard
2 slices white bread
2 large eggs
4 slices deli ham
4 slices deli Swiss cheese
Chopped parsley leaves, chives or thyme leaves, for garnish - choose from any or all on hand
Place a small sauce pot over medium low heat and melt 2 tablespoons butter in it. Whisk in a rounded tablespoon of flour and cook 1 minute or so. Whisk in milk and bring to a bubble then drop heat to low. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, nutmeg and Dijon. When sauce coats back of a spoon, turn off heat.
Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in each of 2 medium nonstick skillets, both over medium low heat. When butter melts add 2 large eggs to the first skillet, keeping the whites separate from each other. To the second skillet add 2 slices bread and toast lightly on first side then turn the bread. Top turned bread liberally with sauce and 2 slices of the ham and the Swiss cheese on each slice of bread. Use a spatula to transfer the eggs to the tops of the open faced sandwiches. Cover the pan with foil and turn off heat. Let pan stand 5 minutes to melt cheese and set sauce and eggs.
Top sandwiches with chopped herb or herbs of choice and serve. Spoon any leftover sauce over top of the eggs before garnishing.