Our panini maker has had a nice hiatus, but last night we brought it back into play.
This recipe is what you call “winging-it”, a jumble of what was left in the cupboard at the time, and for once, I actually wrote it down as I went along. Maybe I knew it was destined to be delicious.
Part of it anyways.
The homemade fennel focaccia… not so great. It worked fine for the panini, grilled and paired with other strong flavors, but take a bite of it raw and it tasted faintly of play-dough. I’m still a bread-beginner, and will surely keep testing the waters with other focaccia recipes. I’ll get a good one sooner or later!
Tuna & Artichoke Panini
Makes 3-4 Sandwiches
Focaccia bread, sliced in half
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 small jar artichoke hearts, chopped, liquid reserved
1 tablespoon capers
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 can tuna
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
Combine mayo, lemon zest, capers, parmesan, and 2 tablespoons of reserved artichoke liquid in food processor. Pulse 4-5 times or until well combined.
In a small bowl, combine artichoke hearts, tuna, red onion, and sundried tomatoes. Add mayonnaise mixture and stir well to combine.
Preheat panini maker or large skillet. Divide tuna mixture equally among bread, not spreading it too close to the edge (pressing the sandwich will spread out the filling, you don’t want it to ooze!). Liberally brush top and bottom with olive oil. Press or cook until filling is heated through and both sides are golden brown.
They might look like cheesesticks, but you’d be quite wrong if you assumed that’s what they were.
Nope. These babies were made in response to a few comments on our coconut shrimp post a few weeks back. Why not try the same thing with tofu? Hey, now there’s an idea!
Taylor’s given you his Kick Butt Peanut Sauce. Now it’s my turn. I present to you, Lindsay’s Kick Butt Mango Sauce! While it’s not the *ideal* dipping sauce (it’s pretty chunky and needs to be spooned on top of the tofu sticks), it has a natural sweetness and tang that is the perfect compliment to the coconut. The sauce would be a great dipping sauce for some asian spring rolls, or even as a salsa for fish tacos. I have to say, it’s pretty darn good!
As far as the coconut tofu goes, we followed the exact same recipe as our coconut shrimp, just substituting extra firm tofu in place of the shrimp. Be sure to press as much moisture out of the tofu as you can, then cut into ‘shrimp sized’ pieces. They definitely don’t have as much flavor as the shrimp – they almost need to be sweetened, but when combined with the mango sauce are quite delicious! And hey, wouldn’t it be fun to trick your friends into eating tofu by pretending they are mozzarella sticks? hehe.
Lindsay’s Kick Butt Mango Sauce
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 tablespoon (or to taste) sweet chili sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 mango, cut into a 1/4″ dice
1 kiwi, diced as well
Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Add chopped fruit. Enjoy!
I’ve never been a soup fan. But some days, especially in the middle of January, that’s all I want: a nice, steaming bowl of soup. While I’d love to indulge in some cheesy creamy soup, I know that my stomach would kill me.
I have learned, in my just over a year of cream-lessness, that there are ways to ‘cheat’. To trick the mouth into thinking it’s eating melted cheese – when really it’s just a thick, rich homemade aioli, or a creamy soup that contains not the slightest trace of cream.
This soup, in all its vegan goodness, is a hearty meal, delicious the next day, and as far as soup is concerned, lightning fast to make. We had to find the red lentils at the international food store – our regular store only carries the brown ones. But the recipe isn’t kidding that red lentils cook much quicker. This soup is done and ready to eat in less than 45 minutes. I’m sure you could substitute other lentils here, but be prepared to be cooking for a good deal of time longer.
Right now, Taylor and I are ‘chilling’ in the cold mountains of Colorado… a mini vacation so to speak, and just writing about this soup is making me hungry. I wonder how Taylor’s meat-loving family would react to the prospect of a lentil soup? You think that would go over well?
Red Lentil Soup
Makes 4-6 servings.
Recipe from Epicurious.
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 cup red lentils (7 ounces), picked over and rinsed
3 1/2 cups reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
3 cups water
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Cook onion in oil with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.
Add garlic, cumin, bay leaf, and thyme and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add lentils, broth, water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until lentils are very soft and falling apart, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Discard bay leaf and thyme sprig, then purÃ©e 2 cups of mixture in blender (use caution when blending hot liquids) and return to pan.
Stir in parsley and season with salt.
Also known as, Chocolate Grog. Grog? Yes, as you’re basically drinking a liquid candy bar with a shot of amaretto. Thick. Very thick. Grog just sounds like the best word to describe it.
But boy is it good.
I found this recipe while browsing the blogosphere the other night… this recipe came from Slashfood. I knew I had to make it IMMEDIATELY, printed out the recipe, and marched into the kitchen. Marched, according to Taylor, who knew instantly that I had my mind set on baking something. Am I that obvious?
I increased the recipe a bit, because I didn’t think 1 cup of liquid would be enough to satisfy the two of us. I would NOT recommend doing this. 1/2 cup a person is MORE than enough, believe me. Like, a shot of this is enough to put you in a sugar coma for a week. And even more so if I had actually had Ghirardelli chips instead of the cheap kind.
I de-moo’d (to de-moo; definition: to make dairy free) this recipe and simply substituted part soy milk and part soy creamer for the half and half, then topped it with mini marshmallows instead of whipped cream. You can follow the original recipe and I’m sure it would still be like a liquid candy bar.
I should also comment on the precious mugs we christened with this recipe… a gift from auntie Sal, aren’t they lovely?
Grown Up Hot Chocolate with Amaretto
4 ounces Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (or semisweet chocolate chips)
1 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon amaretto
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1â„2 cup whipped cream
Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa, for garnish
In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate chips and half-and-half over low heat and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Simmer for 1 minute or until the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from the heat; whisk in the liqueur and vanilla. Pour into four 1â„2-cup demitasse or coffee cups. Top each serving with whipped cream and dust with cocoa. Serve immediately.