by Teo Schollmaier
The first step to a great grilled cheese is the bread. The bread is the foundation of the grilled cheese and should be treated as the most important ingredient. Wonder Bread is not adequate for a true life-changing grilled cheese. I use the Breadworks Batard, but any high quality, dense, doughy bread will do. Make sure the bread is thick-cut.
The second main ingredient is cheese. I use cheddar, although this can be modified to whatever cheese or cheese mixture you might want. It is very important that you shred the cheese instead of just slicing it. This will allow for it to melt more consistently. Use significantly more cheese than you think you need—when you think, “Hmmm, this can’t be a healthy or reasonable amount of cheese,” you’ll know you’re about halfway there.
The next step is to heat a griddle on medium heat. This temperature gives the cheese a chance to melt while browning the bread quickly enough that it doesn't become soggy with absorbed oil. I like to spread mayonnaise on the outside of the bread to act as cooking oil. Use enough mayonnaise to completely fill the surface of the bread, but you should still be able to see the texture of the bread through the translucence of the mayonnaise. This makes the bread brown more evenly than butter or olive oil and adds a little bit of tangy flavor.
To assemble the sandwich, put a piece of bread mayonnaise-side down on the hot griddle and dump the shredded cheese onto the bread and the general area around the bread. This cheese will become crispy and delicious, and as the cheese fats render they will help the bread brown. At this step, I sprinkle on a little bit of MSG (read this article) to act as a flavor enhancer and give a slight parmesan taste. Place the other piece of bread mayonnaise side up on top of the other half of the sandwich. Cover and grill for about 5 minutes, or until the bread is brown and the cheese is mostly melted, then flip and wait until the other side is also browned.
By far, the most important step in cooking a good grilled cheese is to slice the sandwich in half at an angle for the best possible presentation. If you skip this simple step, then the sandwich will not live up to its full potential.
This recipe is gluten- and dairy-free.
For this recipe, we spent the day with Kathlin’s Grandfather, Kauzto, a man born and raised in Japan, familiar with cooking traditional meals. We went to Hmart, a korean/mixed asian market and bought a variety of asian foods. At Kath’s house, Kauzto taught us how to make Omurice.
Traditional Japanese food is based on portions and using techniques one has learned through observation. Typically, a Japanese man or woman learns to cook through watching their elders, tasting and experimenting with flavors. Rarely do these cooks use a recipe, but instead they create meals from memory with an understanding for how different meats and vegetables cook and the mixing of flavors. The cook may use a variety of vegetables, estimating the amount based on how many people are eating. The cook would usually prepare a large amount of steamed rice to go along with the meal, and then also cook some meat (chicken, shrimp, beef, etc.), again estimating the amount based on the number of people eating. Though leftovers are always nice to have!
Prep time: 1 hour (cooking rice)
Cook time: 20 min.
Yield: about 5 servings
1 ½ cups rice (steamed)
About 10 eggs (2 per person, which will be placed on top of the dish, cooked)
About ½ onion (diced)
About 1 pound of chicken (chopped)
About 1 Tbsp Olive oil (for greasing the pan)
Start by steaming the rice for one hour (you can a pot or a rice steamer). Pour oil into a separate pan, and put the chicken (other meat(s) can be used as well) in the pan. Once the chicken is cooked mostly through (on high heat), add diced onions (other vegetable can be added if desired) and continue to cook for about 10 mins. Then, add in a few squirts of ketchup. Turn the heat down a little bit and add the cooked rice. On low heat continuously mix all the ingredients. After about 5 mins, pour ingredients into a large serving bowl. In a separate bowl, crack two eggs and beat (by hand) until mixed. Then, pour the eggs into the pan, so that there is thin sheet of egg across the pan. Once the eggs are cooked through, pour amount of omurice for one person into a bowl, place cooked egg on top. Repeat cooking eggs for as many people are eating. Add additional ketchup on top for decoration and flavor. Enjoy!
Using a MixMaster (or similar electric mixer), cream together butter and 1 cup sugar. Beat in eggs until well-blended. Stir in sour cream.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium-sized bowl. Stir dry ingredients into butter mixture and beat until smooth.
In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ½ cup sugar with cinnamon, nutmeg, and nuts.
Turn about ⅓ of the batter into a well-greased bundt pan and sprinkle ⅓ of nut mixture on top. Repeat with second and third layers, alternating batter and nut mixture. Lightly “swish” a spatula through the batter so as to incorporate the bit mixture and the layers of cake.
Bake at 350°F for 40 - 45 minutes. After removing from oven, let cake cool in pan for 15 minutes; then, remove from pan to cool completely on a wire rack.
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed (plus more for pan)
Flour for pan
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup fresh orange juice
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
7-ounce tube almond paste
7 large eggs
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups cake flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-cup Bundt pan, by smearing butter on the inside of the Bundt pan, dusting flour on the inside, than tapping the excess flour out of the pan. For the glaze, Put lemon juice, orange juice and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan over low heat; cook until the sugar dissolves and remove from heat.
2. Put almond paste and remaining 2 cups sugar in food processor and process until well combined; add butter and continue processing until light and fluffy. With the machine running, add eggs one at a time along with zest and vanilla, and continue to process until smooth.
3. Stop the machine, add the flour, baking powder and salt, and pulse a few times — just until the dry ingredients are integrated (be careful not to over process, or the cake will become tough). Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. When a skewer or thin-bladed knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven and let cool slightly.
4. If adding the glaze, pour the citrus soak over the cake and let it sit for about 30 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the cake releases from the pan easily. Cut into slices.
Revised by Eloise Howell » source: AllRecipes.com
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Ready in: 50 minutes
3 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 ⅓ cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Whisk eggs in large bowl.
3. Stir in pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice until blended.
4. Whisk in sweetened condensed milk, milk, vanilla and salt until blended.
5. Pour mixture into 6 (6-ounce) custard cups.
6. Place custard cups in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
7. Pour boiling water into pan around custard cups to a depth of 1 1/4 inches.
8. Place dish on oven rack in center of oven.
9. Bake 35 minutes or until centers are almost set.
10. Remove custard cups from baking dish and cool on wire rack.
11. Serve warm or cold. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon just before serving.
by Lola Hemmat
Yield: about 16 large latkes or 30 small latkes
3 cups grated Idaho potatoes
1 onion, grated
3 scallions, chopped (include greens)
2 eggs, beaten well
½ cup matzo meal
1 tablespoon sugar
1½ teaspoons salt (or to taste)
Freshly ground pepper (to taste)
Oil (for pan)
Grate potatoes and onion, and place in a strainer. Rinse both potatoes and onions with cold water in strainer and drain, thoroughly squeezing out all liquid. Pat dry with paper towels. Mix grated onion and chopped scallions into well-drained potatoes. Add beaten eggs, matzo meal, and pepper, and stir well. Heat oil until it bubbles when one piece of grated potato is dropped in to test heat of pan. Then, if pan is hot enough, drop mixture into oil by heaping tablespoonful. Flatten out with spatula or knife. Fry until golden brown, then flip them over. Once both sides are golden brown, remove and drain on a cooling rack covered with brown paper grocery bag and paper towels. Serve with sour cream and applesauce.
Process all ingredients in food processor until ground to a fine powder, about 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer to airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 months.
How to make 1 cup of Hot Chocolate:
Heat 1 cup of milk (whole, 2 percent low-fat, or 1 percent low-fat) in a small saucepan over medium heat until it starts to steam and bubbles appear around the edges of the saucepan. Add 1/4 cup of hot chocolate mix and continue to heat, whisking constantly until simmering, two to three minutes longer.
Pour hot chocolate into a mug and serve, but only after making sure that the temperature will not destroy your taste buds (it's happened to me quite a bit!).
by Eloise Howell
Healthy & Easy Butternut Squash Soup
(vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo)
Prep time: 15 min.
Cook time: 1 hour
Yield: 8 servings
1 large butternut squash, peeled, halved, and seeded
2 large leeks
1 Tbsp. olive oil or butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 heaping tsp. Thyme
1 Tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
First, cut the squash into 1-inch chunks. Then, thoroughly rinse the leeks, wash out any dirt, and pat dry with a paper towel. With a sharp knife, remove the dark green leaf end and discard. Thinly slice the leek into rings and discard the root end. Pour the olive oil into a large pot, and bring to a sizzle.
Add the sliced leek and cook on medium heat until soft, until it starts to brown, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the diced squash and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and add the thyme, salt and pepper. Put a top on the pot, slightly askew, and cook for about 40 minutes or until squash is soft.
Use a hand blender to puree everything in the pot. You can also use a standing blender, but wait for the soup to cool down a bit before ladling it in. Lastly, serve it up hot with condiments.
Topping Suggestions (optional):
Dried coconut chips
Kale (steamed or sautéed)