Picnic Ham Sandwiches

_MG_5038Somehow the summer is almost over and I haven't had nearly enough picnics. Living on the East Coast, it seems like we wait for summer all year and then it flies by so quickly -- there's never enough time to go to outdoor movies, the beach, eat outside at restaurants...I could go on and on. The other night, Ari and I finally decided that instead of staying in and watching Netflix, as we tend to do when we both get home from work late, tired and cranky, that we need to take advantage of the warm weather while it lasts. So we threw together a few easy items and headed down to Brooklyn Bridge Park, one of my favorites in the city with gorgeous views of Manhattan (see: here). We were out the door in less than half an hour, and it made me wonder why we haven't taken advantage of it more often. Here's to the last few weeks of summer -- hope you are enjoying as much as I am!_MG_5044 _MG_5024

These sandwiches come together in minutes, and are inspired by one of my favorite French bakeries -- La Bergamote. With only a few ingredients, make sure to use great bread and ham, and don't be stingy with the butter -- that's what makes them so delicious.

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_MG_5034We leave for a whole week in the Bay Area tonight (!), so I'll be absent next week -- but you can follow along if you wish on Instagram, where I'm sure I'll be posting tons of pictures. (Mostly of tacos. Cannot wait.) Have a great week!_MG_5049

Picnic Ham Sandwiches (serves 3-4)

1 baguette, cut into 5-6 inch lengths and sliced in half

2-3 tablespoons butter

2-3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard

1/2 pound thinly sliced ham, preferably Bayonne

6-8 cornichons, thinly sliced lengthwise

 

Spread butter on one side of a baguette section, and mustard on the other. Liberally layer ham, then sprinkle cornichon slices on top (3-4 per sandwich, depending on taste). Serve with additional cornichons, potato chips, and a chilled glass of rosé, preferably while sitting on a picnic blanket.

The Ultimate BLT

_MG_4067Hi everyone. Terribly sorry for the month-long absence -- I must admit that I don't really have a good excuse, except that between work and going home to Minnesota for the holidays, December simply got away from me. Combine that with very short daylight hours, and it makes it a little difficult to take photos. In any case, I'm back just in time to give you the perfect thing to make for your (hungover) New Year's Day breakfast (or dinner). Minimal prep time + the magic combinations of egg, bacon, tomato, and arugula = happiness. This does also make a lovely meal when you are not hungover, just so you know._MG_4062 In other holiday news, Minnesota was very cold and snowy, but quite lovely for Christmas. My family had our usual meals of Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, and lefse. I know, super Scandanavian. Did you have a good Christmas? Are there any foods that you always eat at Christmas or New Year's? I would love to know! And happy New Year to you all!_MG_4081

The Ultimate BLT (inspired by a recipe in Food & Wine's newest cookbook, America's Greatest New Cooks) (Serves 1)

3 strips bacon

1/4 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons assorted herbs, such as basil, chives, or thyme, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 eggs

1 teaspoon butter

2 large slices good bread, such as  a country loaf or a baguette

1 tomato, sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices

1/2 cup arugula

Preheat oven to 350. Place bacon on a baking sheet and cook in oven until crispy, 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan and place on several paper towels on a plate to drain.

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, herbs, and garlic clove (there will be extra). Toast bread, and spread herb mayo on one side. Add bacon, tomatoes, and lettuce.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When it starts to foam, crack eggs into pan. Season with salt and pepper, and let cook until just beginning to set but middle is still runny, 1-2 minutes. Carefully flip eggs over to cook other side and cook for 30 seconds, until whites are just set but yolks are still runny (if you prefer your eggs cooked more, leave in pan for another couple of minutes).  Place one egg on each half of sandwich, top with other slice of bread, and serve immediately._MG_4071

Crispy Fish Sandwiches with Sriracha Mayo

Following the Belgian Waffles post, I realized that the recipes on this site have been a little breakfast heavy -- which is great, because honestly, who doesn't love waffles at any hour of the day? I do, clearly. However, sometimes you need something savory, and last night Ari and I decided to branch out and make something different than the usual peanut noodles/chicken/takeout. Specifically, we picked up some tilapia from The Greene Grape, made a quick mayonnaise, and pan-fried the fish -- all in all, about an hour, including picking up the fish. Not bad for a weeknight dinner! We used a baguette for the bread, but next time I would use a softer roll, as the delicate fish was somewhat overwhelmed by the crunchyness of the bread. Also, I didn't have my camera but have been playing around with the Instagram app on my phone, which is why the colors look kind of crazy.  

Crispy Fish Sandwiches with Sriracha Mayo (loosely based on this recipe from Food & Wine)

2 fillets white fish (we used tilapia, but any will do)

1 baguette, cut into 6-inch sections and halved (again, I would use a softer bread next time)

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cornmeal

1 egg

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons canola oil

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon Sriracha

1/2 teaspoon garlic

Lettuce

 

Place flour egg, and cornmeal in three separate shallow bowls. Mix egg to break up. Season cornmeal with salt and pepper. Heat oil in  a skillet over medium heat. Place fillets first in flour and coat completely, then in the egg, then in the cornmeal. Coat completely, and place in the pan and cook until browned, 5-6 minutes per side. Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise, honey, lemon juice, Sriracha, and garlic in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spread one side of bread with mayo, top with lettuce and fish fillets once  they are done. Serve immediately.

This recipe makes plenty of mayo, but you will definitely want it all. (Especially if you serve some french fries on the side...)