Sunday, September 28, 2008

Porch Sitting and Picnicking

I must say that I got lucky, living in a cozy house/apartment with such a fantastic front porch. Not only does it allow me to sit in the fresh air and read, but it's also perfectly inviting for friends. Why, just this past week the porch was host to several impromptu chats and discussions and one planned toast in celebration of the birthday of F. Scott Fitzgerald. It's a multi-purpose porch.

Caesar salad tastes quite wonderful despite being so simple to make.

Then, yesterday, my parents game down to visit. My dad grilled burgers on his portable grill on the porch while my mom and I set up all the picnic-y foods I'd made for our comfortable September afternoon lunch. You know, the kind of lunch that you eat before walking over to the football game where your nose gets just a bit sun-burnt?

The food was good, our team won, and my nose is already less red today than it was yesterday, so I'm going to call the entire experience a success. And, now, I'm going to forgo any more chit chat and just give you these tasty recipes. My porch is beckoning.

Pesto ingredients, pre-processing.

Caesar Salad

romaine lettuce, chopped
shredded Parmesan cheese
croutons, preferably garlic, preferably homemade
Caesar salad dressing (recipe below)

Toss all the ingredients in a bowl and serve.

Caesar Salad Dressing
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (pronounced WER-ster-sher, for those curious)
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

Pulse ingredients in a food processor until combined and no large chunks of garlic remain. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve, shaking to recombine before tossing with the salad.

It may look dull in color, but trust me, it's not dull in flavor.

Pesto Pasta Salad

3 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 c lightly packed fresh basil
1/4 c fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1/3 c grated Parmesan
1/2 c olive oil
8 oz cooked pasta, preferably fusilli

Pulse all but pasta in a food processor. Add to the pasta and toss. Refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature to serve, or don't. Whichever you choose.

GCB (Garlic Cheeseburger)
inspired by Marvin's in Greencastle, IN

hamburger patty
slice American cheese
GCB hamburger roll (recipe below)

Grill the hamburger patty to your desired done-ness, adding cheese for the last few minutes so it gets melty. Serve the cooked cheeseburger on the GCB bun, adding your preferred condiments as necessary.

My first experience working with dry active yeast was a tasty success.

GCB Hamburger Rolls
adapted from Coconut & Lime

2 3/4 c flour
1/2 c milk
1/2 c water
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 oz active dry yeast
1 egg yolk
1 tsp water
Italian herbs
garlic salt

Bring the milk, water, butter, sugar, and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat and allow to cool to lukewarm, between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whisk together the flour and yeast in a large bowl. Pour in the milk mixture and stir until the dough starts to come together. Knead the dough on a well-floured surface for about 10 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, covering with a towel until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Punch down the dough and divide into 6 roll-shaped balls, making sure the tops are smooth. Place the rolls on a parchment papered-baking sheet, then cover with the towel until the rolls double in size, about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk together the egg yolk and water to make an egg wash, brushing in on the tops and sides of the rolls. Sprinkle each roll with some Italian herbs and garlic salt.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the rolls to cool, then slice.


John said...

the only thing that should toasted concerning fitzgerald is his death!

Jordan said...

that looks absolutely sure you kicked marvin's garlicy ass