Oven Baked Sandwich with Raspberry Balsamic Butter

Oven Sammich

After last week’s lively debate on the pros and cons of long vs. short recipe titles (loved your thoughts, thank you), today I’m hitting you up with the whole shebang. Well, almost. I omitted a few ingredients from the title so as not to overwhelm.

At times I need to revise my menu plan to focus on the folks in front of me (’tis far, far better to spend time with people than my stove), and The Man Of Few Words has an unpredictable work schedule and an appetite to match. I never know if he’ll walk through the door ravenous as a grizzly or in ‘snack mode.’

My solution is to throw together whatever’s lurking in the fridge and present it in “new & improved” form (shhh…) and this sandwich was the result of one of those occasions.

Oven Baked Sandwich with Raspberry Balsamic Butter

1/2 loaf of Italian Bread (or other rustic-style bread), split horizontally

Slices of leftover Roast Beef

Slices of Sharp Cheddar cheese

Thinly sliced red onions (I used caramelized onions*)

Sliced mushrooms

Roasted red peppers, drained (I used the jarred kind)

Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

Red & green lettuce leaves

Raspberry Balsamic Butter

4 Tbsp. butter, softened

1 Tbsp. whole grain Dijon mustard

1/2 Tbsp. raspberry balsamic vinegar (or to taste)

1 Tbsp. capers, drained

(*Caramelized onions are marvelous in this, but they require at least an hour of prep, unless you happen to keep a stash on hand like me…)

Combine Raspberry Balsamic Butter ingredients; set aside.

Place a piece of tinfoil large enough to accommodate the “stuffed” sandwich on a sturdy baking sheet. Preheat oven to 375° F.

In a large skillet, sauté mushrooms until nearly browned. Add roasted red peppers (pat dry, if needed) and stir until heated through.

Slather interior of bread with Raspberry Balsamic Butter, then layer with roast beef and cheese slices. Top with caramelized (or red) onions, mushrooms and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Close the sandwich (as best you can) and wrap in tinfoil.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until beef is heated through and cheese is melted. If you prefer a “crispier” sandwich, open the foil during the last 5 minutes of baking.

Transfer to a serving platter, insert lettuce leaves at will, slice, serve, and enjoy!

Oven Sammich 3

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For you football fans out there, this is an easy ‘make-ahead’ for Superbowl weekend. Assemble earlier in the day, wrap and refrigerate, then heat and eat. (Adjust baking time as needed.) This made 4 servings; feel free to multiply.

Spend time with the people you love!

Enjoying punting in the kitchen,

~ Kim

Do you cook for a spontaneous eater?

An Off The Cuff Post (and Best, Easiest, Tastiest Grilling Recipe So Far This Summer)

Green Things

One of the things I love about summer is the spontaneity inherent in the season.  Grab something and throw it on the grill!

(Even better if it’s flavored with an impromptu compound butter…)

In this particular case, I was trimming haricot verts on the veranda when my step-son mentioned his “pork chop packets” — fresh green beans, carrots, and compound butter, topped with a boneless center-cut pork chop.  Oh my!  I took it a step farther and seared the chops before encasing them in foil.  Sorry, no “after” photo… they were devoured in a heartbeat.  (Vegetarian version expounded on below…)

Summer Veggies with Compound Butter

As for the compound butter, anything goes.  Key words:  have at it… spontaneous… impromptu!

This batch included softened butter smashed with sliced green onions, basil, parsley, garlic, thyme, and freshly ground pepper — but use whatever tickles ya or whatever’s on hand.  Throw it in the fridge in plastic wrap for a bit to let the flavors “marry,” then add a dab to the packet before adding the veggies (to keep them from sticking), top with a seared chop and a generous dollop of compound butter, seal, and you’re good to grill.

(Note:  Be sure to seal the foil packet well.  Turn once during grilling.  If in doubt about “doneness,” test chops with a meat thermometer before consuming.)

Compound Butter

Regarding the off the cuff portion of this post, I’m finally home again.  Missed ya bunches.  Couldn’t resist writing.  Plus, I’m making these again for supper tonight.  So, so good.  I also imagine they’d be good with chicken.  Or salmon.  Or steak.

Or, just veggies for my vegetarian pals. :)  Use your imagination…

On a personal note, I need to restructure myself and my blog a lil’ bit.  So many ideas, so little time — up until now!  After spending the equivalent to two months away from the place that makes me happiest since January, I’m feeling out of sorts.  Off my game.  Sluggish.  Can we say move it or lose it?!  (Photos may or may not be forthcoming, lol.)

More good things to come though, including the winner of my giveaway later this week.  (Giveaway is closed.)

Happy grilling and stay tuned for transformation…

Enjoying unpremeditated meal planning, writing, and rediscovery,

~Kimby

Spring Fling (My Second Blogiversary)

Spring Fling

Two years ago, my blog was in its fledgling stages.  Frankly, so was I.

I had a wisp of an idea — lots of them, actually — but no clue how to bring them to fruition.

Since then, I’ve learned a thing or two.  (I’m still learning!)

Asparagus... The Early Years

Asparagus… The Early Years

Asparagus... Two Years Later

Asparagus… Two Years Later

Back then my heart had something to say, but I wasn’t sure how to say it — or take pictures, lol!

Still, I gave it a go.

For me, this forum wasn’t so much about cooking as connecting.

Spring Fling Art

Truthfully, I never thought of myself as a “loner” until I moved to Oklahoma — not counting The Man Of Few Words living in the same household.  (It’s easy to feel alone with one so quiet.)

That wasn’t a complaint, by the way.  I thrive on the creative “space” he affords my adventures, xo, and I could have been perfectly content without ever venturing out again.

But thank you for bringing me out of my shell!

Contentment

My soul (then and now) needed a shot of exuberance.

I found it in expressing myself.  I found it in you!

And, I found it in this Bleu Cheese Bacon Compound Butter. :)

Bleu Cheese Bacon Compound Butter

Bleu Cheese Bacon Compound Butter

1/4 c. unsalted butter, softened

1/4 c. bacon, fried & crumbled

1/4 c. Bleu cheese, crumbled

Combine ingredients in a small bowl.

Fold together gently.  (It’s a good way to cook — AND live life.)

Serve on steak, baked potatoes, or…

Asparagus with Bleu Cheese Bacon Compound Butter

“You’ve come a long way, baby!”  (Remember that?!)

Two years ago, this blog was my “baby.”  I’m content with the way it’s turned out (for now.)  And, following my songwriting stint, I’ll dream up a fabulous giveaway to acknowledge your faithful support!

In the meantime, here’s a picture of the birthday girl…

55 year old "moi"

55 year old “moi” — photo courtesy of TMOFW

Yup… we’re both older and wiser!

Enjoying living, loving, and learning along with ya,

~ Kimby

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