Feelin’ For Some Bistro…
I love bistro food. I could eat soup, salad, and sandwiches every day. I’m not talking peanut butter and jam here. Check out what I made for lunch this week:
Yummy, huh? Super-easy too. Toast a sesame seed bagel, smear on some cream cheese, add two slices of tomato to each half, twist two slices of smoked turkey breast on each half, chip on some Smoked Gouda, sprinkle a bit of pepper, and voila.
I used to work at an IGA deli when I was in high school. My palette got terribly spoiled by the amazing variety of delicious cheeses and meats that were available. I am now getting my gourmet cheese and sliced lunch meat addictions satisfied at Costco. They have pretty good prices on Brie and occasionally other cheeses as well, hence the Smoked Gouda above. And, Costco consistently has the best prices on sliced lunch meats. Of course, they only have Honey Ham, Black Forest Ham, Smoked Turkey Breast, and Garlic Roast Beef, but at about $1 per 100 grams, I’m happy with those choices! If you haven’t yet tried Boursin gourmet cheese spread from there, don’t start. You will gain 10 pounds before you are able to get yourself under control… I ate 6 boxes of the stuff myself around Christmas last year. Thank goodness I was pregnant, so I had an excuse.
Here’s another recipe that is a total favourite around my house. Take some Costco garlic bread (if you haven’t tried this, go get some…now), cut it into slices about the width of a panini bun (3-4 inches or 7-10 cm), broil as many slices as you would like to eat in the oven for two minutes or until a bit crispy. Layer on two slices of black forest ham (laid flat so that the edges overhang) onto each piece of toast, broil again for two minutes (this gives the ham a bit of crispy edges and a slightly bacony flavour). Put two slices of tomato onto each piece of ham and sprinkle about 1/2-1 teaspoon of dried mint or dried tarragon on top of the tomatoes. Wrap the edges of the ham over the tomato and layer about 3 slices of brie over the ham to hold the ham around the tomato (this holds the toppings in place when you’re eating it, especially the tomato). Broil again for, you guessed it, two minutes or until the brie has gotten gooey, sprinkle a smidge of pepper on the top, and eat immediately.
Sorry there’s no picture.
I think I’m going to have to go to Costco this week…
You will need FRESH croissants. It’s best if you can buy frozen dough, proof them yourself overnight, and bake them at the butt-crack of dawn. Costco used to sell beautiful ones, but they don’t anymore (BOO!). Now I special-request a package of frozen, unbaked croissants from Save-on-Foods. If you don’t want to go to the hassle, sometimes the grocery store has them properly baked too. You want the poofy ones. Not the flat little sad things leftover at the end of the day.
Anyway, take your croissants, cut it in half (not all the way through) from the points to the back and splay that sucker open on a baking sheet. Layer some brie on one half of each croissant (about two slices should do it) and two slices of ham on the other half, do not broil yet. Scramble an egg for each croissant, seasoning with a bit of salt and pepper. When the eggs are almost done, broil the croissants for two minutes or until the cheese is gooey. Put the eggs on the ham, sprinkle dill on top of the egg, and close ‘er up. Serve in bed to adoring significant other with instant mocha (fill cup with milk or soy milk, heat in microwave to desired temperature, add one heaping teaspoon of instant coffee, one heaping teaspoon of hot chocolate mix and stir until all chunks are gone).
A word of caution: this is highly addictive and not low-fat. It is, however, (in my opinion) one of the very best ways to wake up and makes the person on the receiving end feel like a million bucks.
I love making these kinds of sandwiches and they are SO good! I’m going to have to write about the great soups to eat them with… The Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook (written by an AMAZING local to Victoria, BC restaurant) has the best cream of tomato soup recipe that I’ve ever tasted – I made some simple modifications to it to cut the prep time down significantly. I also have a killer potato-leek soup recipe that makes my mouth water just thinking about it…
By the way… SURPRISE! From May 17th until May 19th, get 15% off everything in the MindGarden Shop! Use discount code ‘surprisesale’ when you checkout.