June 5, 2015
Pardon me while I get my eyes rolled back down in my head.
They are, you understand, rolled back in my head because I have just finished a bacon, tomato, pimiento cheese sandwich.
Homemade pimiento cheese. Homemade bread. Farmers’ market tomatoes, Wright’s bacon, and Hellman’s mayo. Don’t let anyone ever tell you the quality of your ingredients isn’t of paramount importance.
Dear Sweet Baby Jesus. This is better than a meatloaf-and-fromage d’Affinois sandwich. Better than a homemade Cubano. Better than a homemade Reuben.
And just for good measure, I’m eating a leftover from last night homemade vanilla pudding with fresh raspberries on top. Because I can.
Don’t you wish you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em were eating lunch with me?
I made the pimiento cheese yesterday, and the bread the day before, and I’ve been thinking about one of these sandwiches ever since. So this morning, I put some bacon on a broiling rack over a cookie sheet in the oven and cooked it, first. Did a whole sheet-full, as I’ll need bacon for dinner tonight (more on that plan in another post, but it should be killer), and I can always put extra in the fridge and use it along as I want to.
The pimiento cheese, I have down to an art form. I’m all but positive I’ve shared the recipe before, but I’ll do so again:
- 8 oz. extra sharp cheddar
- 8 oz. Velveeta
- 1 4-oz jar diced pimientos
- 1/2 cup Hellman’s mayo
- 1/4 tsp Lawry’s seasoned salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- pinch or two of cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1/2 tbsp cider vinegar
Put the Velveeta in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Mix the mayo, vinegar and seasonings, drain and stir in the pimientos, and set aside. Grate the cheddar in a bowl. Get the semi-frozen Velveeta out and grate it as well. Pour the dressing over and stir. Really ought to sit overnight in the fridge to let the flavors meld, if you can wait.
It’s good stuff, especially if you have it with refrigerator pickles, as I did. These are about the simplest things in the entire world. Peel and slice about three cucumbers. Sprinkle them with cup of sugar, and add a cup of vinegar. Stir them until the sugar’s dissolved, and stash them in the fridge. I added a tablespoon of dill to these, which added a nice note. I want to try some with tarragon, as well; I think the anise/licorice flavor would play nicely.
If you have it on hand — I don’t — you can add a half-teaspoon of alum to help them crisp up. Crisp these ain’t. And of course, you can add onions and bell peppers if you wish; I don’t, so I don’t.
The pudding was something I just took a notion I wanted to make last night for dinner, as a vehicle for conveying fresh raspberries, so I did. It was just a basic vanilla custard recipe, like this one here. I don’t remember if that’s the one I used or not, but it looks like it. I had a half-pint of raspberries, so I washed them, mashed about half of them with a couple of tablespoons of sugar, using the back of a fork, and stirred in the other half-of-a-half-pint of whole berries. They were quite excellent spooned over the pudding. Sometimes the best desserts are the simplest.
Speaking of simple, last night’s dinner, of which I have no photos because I forgot to take any, was pretty simple, quick and good — beef curry over rice.
I had laid out a sirloin tip steak to thaw, thinking I’d do a beef and broccoli stirfry, but for the fact I forgot the broccoli when I went to the store. So I rummaged about the pantry and found a can of coconut milk, so I decided we’d have curry.
Minced up a small onion, sauteed it and added a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste, a tablespoon of grated ginger, and a tablespoon of lemongrass paste, which is a fine, fine invention. Added a healthy dose of curry powder. Threw in the diced steak, browned it a bit, added the coconut milk, and let it simmer away, covered, while the rice cooked. Boom, done in 45 minutes. Good, but a tad on the fiery side; know the potency of your curry powder, and season accordingly.
Now, if I can keep myself from succumbing to a nap, if you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em will excuse me, I guess I’ll go back to work.