A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

For Future Vegetable Reference

Here are some novel ways to cook vegetables — roasting radishes, searing cucumbers, adding liquids other than water to the steamer.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Silly Sandwich

On Friday's All Things Considered, there was a piece announcing the results of a listener recipe contest. The winner was an odd sandwich called Diane's Dad's Summer Sandwich. I couldn't get it out of my head all weekend, so I bought all the ingredients for it while I was at the grocery store this afternoon.

The sandwich contains crunchy peanut butter, sweet onion, cucumber, tomato and sharp cheddar cheese, in that order, bottom to top, on whole grain bread.

The order, according to the recipe submitter and the NPR hosts, is paramount — the sandwich supposedly isn't as good with the ingredients in a different order.

I made one for dinner (along with an arugula salad).

Was it magical? No. But it was very, very good.

While I was eating it, I remembered that White Trash Cooking (actually an amazing tome, scholarly and warm) has a recipe for peanut butter and Vidalia onion sandwiches. Apparently the peanut butter-onion sandwich was a favorite of Ernest Hemingway, too. So that's an established flavor combo.

Then I remembered a piece I wrote about strange Southern sandwiches several years ago -- and how good many of them were. Banana-mayonnaise, peanut butter-pickle, canned pineapple-American cheese.

The crunch of the cucumbers, peanut butter and onion in the NPR sandwich was very satisfying. And the cheese does bring a nice salty roundness to the whole thing. Cheese and peanut butter together make for a very filling sandwich, though — almost too much.

Were I to make it again, I'd put a super-thin layer of mayonnaise on the top slice of bread, and I'd salt the tomato. Sriracha would also go well in there.

But I think rather than duplicating it, I might experiment with some other peanut butter-vegetable sandwiches. Maybe add a hardboiled egg for a different kind of protein.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Pork Patties with Fried Cabbage

This is a tasty and quick dish, and very economical.  Grandma used to make it.  The cumin is delicious in the pork patties.

Pork Patties with Fried Cabbage (Bitoka de Porc au Chou)

 1 pound lean ground pork
½ cup finely chopped onions
½ cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon cumin
1 egg
Salt and pepper

Mix ingredients.  Form into 6 patties.  Fry gently in olive oil and/or butter, about 10 minutes per side.

Remove patties and place on a bed of fried cabbage.  Add 1 teaspoon paprika to pan drippings and cook briefly, then add ½ cup cream.  Bring to a boil, turn off heat, and add ½ cup sour cream.  (I usually skip the sour cream because I don’t have it around the house.  I just use more cream).  Spoon sauce over pork and cabbage.

Fried Cabbage

½ head of cabbage, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper

Fry slowly, turning often, for about 15 minutes.