Sunday, August 30, 2009

Watermelon Margarita Salad

This is an updated version of the old "bottle of vodka in a watermelon". We twist the tasty treat with the flavors of a Margarita; Tequilla, Lime and Salt.

1 Large Oblong Watermelon that sits as flat as possible
1/2 cup Tequila (Use something a step above the well if you know what I mean)
1 Tbs Kosher Salt
1 Lime

Here comes the challenge...You need the longest serrated knife you own. If you fancy yourself artistic you can cut the watermelon into a myriad of shapes. Most commenly, people do Baskets. I am not that good with my knife (which is why the picture is not of the finished product, but heck it tasted good.)

So, cut the watermelon into some semblance of a 1/2 bowl shape. Using a melon baller, scoop out all of the watermelon and reserve in a bowl. Put empty watermelon bowl in the freezer. Add Tequila to watermelon balls and marinate in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours.

Remove bowl from freezer, add watermelon balls, salt and fresh squeezed lime.

Hard to tell how many this serves as usually one or two people just fall in love and eat it all (and sometimes drink the juice out of the bottom)!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Carmalized Chimay Onion Grilled Cheese

We are obsessed with Grilled Cheese! We even considered, at one point, when we young and foolish, about opening a restaurant dedicated to it "Homage to Fromage". Enjoy!! There will be lot's more melty cheese in your future. Stay tooned...
Only makes 2 sandwiches (Hide them from your kids, neighbors, etc. or buy double the ingredients...they are that good...)
1 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 white onions
1 shallot
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaf
1 cup Chimay Blue beer
1 tsp. Chicken stock
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. white pepper
salt and black pepper to taste
1 Tbs. Grey Poupon Country Dijon mustard
1/8 cup water
4 slices of sourdough bread
2 Tbs. Butter
1 lbs. Gruyere cheese
1 Tbs. parsley, chopped (for garnish)
1. Place a saucepan on medium heat and add butter and oil. Peel and slice your onions into circle slices. Peel shallot and slice thin. Add both to the pan, stir and sweat and simmer down for 8-10 minutes.
2. Season the onions with salt & pepper, thyme and bay leaves keep them on medium heat. Once the onions have turned translucent and cooked down by nearly half, add the cup of beer and stock. Turn heat down to a simmer. Add onion powder, white pepper and salt and black pepper to taste.
3. You want the onion mixture to be wet but not runny. Remove the mixture from the pan, set onions aside. Add 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard and dash of water and let this cook off scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spool to get the yummy grilled bits into your sauce. Let this cool and later spoon over the finished dish.
4. Shred your Gruyere cheese and set aside.
5. Choose a pan that is wide enough to fit two sandwiches. Place skillet on medium-high heat until thoroughly hot. Turn down to medium and begin grilling.
6. Butter one side of all the slices of bread. Top two of the slices with cheese and place them butter side down in the hot pan. It should sizzle but not too explosively. Add 1/2 cup of onion mixture to the cheese. Top both with the second slice of bread and press down carefully.
7. Cook until bread is golden brown. Flip it over and press down. Repeat until cheese is yummy and oozy.
8. Remove both sandwiches from heat. Let sit for 1-2 minutes under a metal colander, to let the cheese settle and gel without cooling too much. Then slice and serve. Garnish with a slather of the reduced sauce and a pinch of parsley.