Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Monte Cristo Sandwich

Last time we went to Disneyland we were robbed. Not literally, but robbed of our favorite sandwich, The Monte Cristo. We always get them at the Blue Bayou Restaurant. You know, the restaurant where it looks like you're sitting outside at night, even though you're inside in the middle of the day. The one that over looks the boats as they head off for Pirates of the Caribbean. We must, I say MUST, eat there every time we visit the Magic Kingdom. It's just tradition. It's just how it is. On our last trip I thought I'd be super duper clever and make reservations way ahead. So we wouldn't have to wait, so we could get a seat right on the water. On our last day in the park, we arrived 15 minutes before our 6:00pm reservation, requested a seat on the water and were seated at a lovely waterside table 20 minutes later. I was pretty pleased with myself. Then we opened our menus to discover, in horror, that the Monte Cristo isn't served at dinner. WHAT!!! Say it ain't so. I begged, pleaded and all but got on my hands and knees trying to convince the waiter to order the coveted sandwich for us but it just wasn't to be. We would leave the park without our beloved Monte Cristo. (We actually had a very nice dinner once we got over the absence of the sandwich.)

Still feeling robbed weeks later, I decided to try and make them at home. Traditionally, Monte Cristo sandwiches are deep fried. If you've read my post on Funnel Cakes, then you know how I feel about deep frying at home. YUCK, too messy. It's best left to professional chefs in professional kitchens. There must be another way. So I Googled, and Pinterested and found several grilled Monte Cristo sandwich recipes. I read through them, got the general idea, tweaked the proportions, meats and cheeses for our tastes and came up with the following recipe. I'm using our George Foreman grill which makes the whole process super easy but you can use a grill pan or skillet if you prefer. Check it out. . .

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fudgey Chocolate Almond Torte

Don't let the simple look of this torte deceive you. It is a textural delight. Dense, fudgey* and moist. The perfect end to a meal. Simple yet satisfying. I hadn't made this in a long long time. And now I'm kicking myself. It's so good. And so simple to make. But don't let on. It has all the qualities of a gourmet dessert, just none of the hassle. You could totes whip this up next time you have company for dinner and everyone will be impressed. Let them. No one has to know how easy it was to make. Except you, because you're headed to the kitchen right now to make it. . .

(*OK, so. . .is it "fudgy" or "fudgey"?? Actually neither word is a word. A least not according to Merriam-Webster. Google it and they both seem to pop up equally. So I say, who cares! Toe-may-toe,? Ta-maw-toe?)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Maple Pecan Fudge

I'm not feeling a long winded wind up to this recipe so I'll just get right to it. I love fudge. I love heading up to Apple Hill in the fall and getting a lovely sampler box of fudge. I love all the variety and flavors, Cappuccino, Cheesecake and Cherry Chocolate being among my favorites. But really, with fudge, what wouldn't be a good flavor? I like 'em all and for some time now I've been looking for a good, creamy, homemade fudge recipe that does NOT use marshmallow cream. Don't get me wrong, I like the "Fantasy Fudge" recipe from the back of the marshmallow cream jar but somehow, using the marshmallow cream feels a bit like cheating. Don't know why. No judgement here, I've used that recipe several times and welcome with open arms any gifts of Fantasy Fudge. I just kind of wanted to go deeper into fudge making. Making it the old fashioned way. So I came across the collection of fudge recipes at Thibeault's Table and as I just so happened to come in to a large jar of real maple syrup, I thought I'd try the Maple Cream Fudge recipe. Check it out. . .