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Posts Tagged ‘lunch’

by Caitlin Saniga

Eggs Benedict bread pudding

I served this casserole for a brunch with friends, but it would be a perfect make-ahead dish for Easter morning. Just be sure to prepare the hollandaise sauce right before serving. If the sauce gets too thick, add about 1 tablespoon of hot water at a time until it thins to the desired consistency.

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by Sarah Steimer

This open-face sandwich is my riff on the “Train to Tuscany” at Publican Quality Meats here in Chicago. I love Publican Quality and have been absolutely nuts about the place since my first visit a year ago. The store is one part market, one part butcher and one part cafe. I always leave so inspired and want to copy everything, from the sandwiches down to the table settings.

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by Caitlin Saniga

The most beautiful colors

Someone recently told me that his guiding principle for cooking is: “Cook with color.” I love that idea! (My favorite color is rainbow.) And this dish, to me, is what that motto is about. I picked beautiful, colorful ingredients and put them together in a bowl. The greens I chose provided a variegated base of pale green, grass green and pinky-purple. The pistachios added bright green, brown and more hints of purple. The pomegranate seeds (which have always reminded me of rubies) added a pop of deep red. And last but not least, the blood orange dressing was the most beautiful rosy gold color. Together, it’s a feast for your senses!

If you haven't worked with blood oranges before, like I hadn't, it's good to know that the coloration of the flesh and juice can vary greatly between fruits. The inside of the oranges I chose looked similar to the color of grapefruit with streaks of crimson. The juice was a deep pink color. Other blood oranges can be solid pink, to solid red to almost black. And the flavor tends to be florally sweet, with a hint of grapefruitlike bitterness.

If you haven’t worked with blood oranges before, like I hadn’t, it’s good to know that the coloration of the flesh and juice can vary greatly between fruits. The inside of the oranges I chose looked similar to the color of grapefruit with streaks of crimson. The juice was a deep pink color. Other blood oranges can be solid pink, to solid red, to almost black. And the flavor tends to be florally sweet, with a hint of grapefruitlike bitterness.

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup blood orange juice (from one large orange)
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Salad:

  • 12 ounces torn greens (I used frisee, arugula and radicchio.)
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded (See a video I made on prepping pomegranates.)
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios (I used the roasted and salted type.)
The pomegranate I chose seemed almost perfect. The seeds were large and sweet and deep red. Some tips I picked up in the process: Look for a pomegranate with deep red, smooth skin (not pink) and no bruises or soft spots. And if you find one like this, use it within a day or two of purchasing.

The pomegranate I chose seemed almost perfect. The seeds were large and sweet and deep red. Some tips I picked up in the process: Look for a pomegranate with red, smooth skin (not pink) and no bruises or soft spots. And if you find one like this, use it within a day or two of purchasing.

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together all of the ingredients in a medium bowl.

Toss the torn greens in the vinaigrette, and divide the mixture among salad bowls. Top with pomegranate seeds and pistachios, and serve immediately to avoid wilting. If serving later, seal the vinaigrette in and airtight container and store in the fridge, separate from the greens and toppings.

Makes 4 servings.

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by Sarah Steimer

Bill and I love making awesome sandwiches. An old roommate of Bill’s once even said that he’s never seen someone make a sandwich that looked so good.

Note: I did not include specific ingredient amounts for this recipe because it really depends on how many sandwiches you’re making, how big the bread is, etc.

  • ciabatta bread
  • roast beef
  • gouda (we used a non-smoked gouda)
  • sauerkraut
  • spinach
  • Dijon mustard

Layer the roast beef, sauerkraut and spinach on the bread – if you work in this order, the spinach acts as a barrier between the sauerkraut and the bread so the bread does not get mushy.

Heat the sandwich in a panini press (I use my small George Foreman machine) or in the oven until the bread is browned. Remove the sandwich’s lid and add the Dijon mustard.

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by Sarah Steimer

I made a similar sandwich for our grilled cheese guide last year, but this dish uses both a different cheese and herb. What really took this to another level for me was rubbing the bread with garlic. It really cuts back on the grapes’ sweetness and gives the meal a more robust flavor.

I’m keeping the ingredient measurements open-ended. You can pretty much guess how much of everything you’ll need depending on whether you’re just making this for lunch or as an appetizer for company. If you would like me to be more specific, just say so in the comments and I’ll happily oblige.

—S

  • olive oil
  • grapes, rinsed and sliced in half (not necessary to slice, but it keep them from rolling off the bread)
  • thyme leaves (pulled from the stem), plus a few springs for garnish
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • bread
  • 1/2 piece of garlic
  • goat cheese or other spreading cheese

Heat enough olive oil in a small pan to just cover the bottom. Over low heat, add the grapes, thyme, salt and pepper. Be careful when adding the grapes, the natural juices from the fruit will cause the oil in the pan to spit a little. Sauté the grape mixture until the grapes have browned some and softened.

While the grapes are cooking, toast the bread. Rub the garlic half over the toasts generously, then spread with the goat cheese — try to keep it within 1 tablespoon per piece of bread, you don’t want the cheese to overpower any of the other flavors.

Top the goat cheese toasts with the cooked grapes and add sprigs of thyme, if desired, as a garnish.

Recipe adapted from: Mango & Tomato

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by Sarah Steimer

This is a very simple recipe, but sometimes it’s good to have a quick standby — especially for lunch. Plus, I’ve had a few people tell me they’re never quite sure of what to do with kale so I wanted to share something that is easy on the taste buds but still really healthy.

  • 2-3 large leaves of kale
  • water
  • olive oil
  • 2 small soft corn tortillas
  • 4 tablespoons or so of crumbled feta cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Rinse the kale and finely chop. Toss the kale in a small sauté pan over medium- low heat with salt and pepper, adding a few tablespoons of water as you go so the kale may wilt. Remove the kale from the pan and set aside.

While the pan is still hot, add enough olive oil to coat the pan. The heat should still be medium-low. Wipe one side of one of the tortillas in the oiled pan and set the tortilla aside. Place the other tortilla in the pan and top with half of the feta cheese, the kale and then the rest of the feta. Place the oiled tortilla on top, oiled side up.

Let the bottom tortilla crisp and brown, about 3-4 minutes. Pick the quesadilla up with a spatula and flip over. This is a little easier if you lean the pan on an angle when you flip it. Cook for another 3-4 minutes or until this opposite side is browned and crisp.

Remove from the pan and cut into four pieces. Serve with fresh salsa or guacamole.

Makes one serving.

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by Sarah Steimer

I’ve been eating a variation of this sandwich for lunch for a few days now. This is one of the best breads I’ve used – it has walnuts, carrots and other interesting ingredients, from Bennison’s Bakery in Evanston, Ill.

  • 2 slices of good bread
  • olive oil
  • 2 leaves of chard (any kind will do, I’ve used both rainbow chard and ruby chard)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1-2 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2-4 slices fresh mozzarella

Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the onions and garlic, cooking until fragrant.

Remove the stems from the chard leaves, cutting a bit into the leaf itself to remove some of the thicker stem/rib. Chop the stems into about 1/2-inch pieces. Add to to the pan with the onion and garlic, also adding the chopped tomatoes.

Roughly chop the chard leaves and add to the pan as well, adding salt and pepper. Toss the ingredients in the pan, allowing the leaves to cook down. Once the chard is wilted, remove from the heat.

Place the mozzarella cheese on the bread slices, then top with the chard mixture.

Makes one serving.

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