Club Sandwich

My team at work goes out to lunch together every Wednesday. One of the team members usually orders the club any place that has one, and has been disappointed by every single one. The team member recently left our company and on the last day, I made club sandwiches for the team.

The night before I pre-cooked the bacon and the chicken. The next day I did the rest of the prep and assembled the sandwiches.

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Gooseberry Shrub

Not the plant with the vampire thorns, but the vinegared drink syrup.

Using this Cold-Processed Shrub recipe from Serious Eats as my guide, I made a batch using gooseberries.

  • 2 cups gooseberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup champagne vinegar

I used 2 cups of berries because that’s what we harvested and we had no immediate plans for cooking up the rest of the berries. I used a blend of vinegars because I was trying to use up the white balsamic vinegar, but I didn’t have enough for a double batch, so I supplemented with champagne vinegar.

I think the white balsamic, even blended with the champagne vinegar, is a little too strong to let the gooseberries shine through.

I would like to try a second batch using gooseberries, champagne or cider vinegar, and thyme. But my next batch will use limes because I bought some at Costco.


Following the recipe provided in Cariadoc’s Miscellany as my guide, I’ve made a number of sekanjabin syrups.

Champagne vinegar + sage – I love this one

Red wine vinegar + mint + thai basil – I didn’t do a blind taste test, but it tastes an awful lot like the red wine vinegar + mint versions I’ve tried in the past

It is really easy to under-dilute both of these. But the problem is easily fixed by drinking/pouring some off and adding more water/sparking water.

Asian Noodles for the Week

This week’s adventures in (gluten free) cooking has been Asian cold noodle dishes.

Step 1: Prep the veggies. This week I used raw green onions chopped, broccoli stems cut into matchsticks and blanched, cucumbers and carrots cut into matchsticks, red peppers cut into not quite matchsticks.

Step 2: Prep the noodles. For one batch I reconstituted rice stick noodles, for the other batch I rinsed shiratake noodles.

Step 3: Prep the sauce. For one batch I minced a shallot and combined it with lime juice, fish sauce, and black pepper.  For the other I mixed lemon juice, soy sauce, and Sriracha.

Step 4: Mix it up. Put some veggies, noodles, and sauce together and toss until everything is coated with sauce and the veggies are spread through the noodles more-or-less evenly.

By prepping a lot of veggies at once, varying the noodles and sauces, and adding protein I can quickly make a week’s worth of lunches that are different enough I don’t get too tired of any of it.

Here fishy, fishy

I had been meaning to check out Coastal Seafoods for a while. I went last Thursday when salmon is on sale. So I bought some. A quick trip to the grocery store yielded some asparagus that looked pretty tasty.

The fish was sprinkled with salt and pepper then baked in the toaster oven at 375F for ever so slightly more than 10 minutes. The asparagus was steamed in my bamboo steamer and sprinkled with a little salt. The short grain rice was cooked in the fuzzy logic rice cooker on the sushi rice setting.

To top it all off I made a quick sauce with the juice of an orange, some butter, a pinch of ground dried coriander, a pinch of ground sumac berries, and a generous sprig of parsley.

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Farmer’s Market Find: Romanesco

Today I went to Eastern Market to buy bacon so my new apartment starts smelling like home instead of new apartment, and as I was wending my way through the outside vendors I spotted two heads of Romanesco. Since I’ve been looking for it ever since a friend mentioned he got some in his CSA share, I was very happy to find it this week.

So I had to plan a meal around this veggie. I’m going to serve myself the whole head steamed, maybe with browned butter, and I want a meat that won’t overpower the focus of the meal. So I bought a kosher chicken.

Why a kosher chicken? Because the best attempt at roasted chicken last winter was with a kosher chicken, and I didn’t want to get it too salty or too bland. I’ve been wanting to try spatchcocking, and that’s enough experimentation. Since I didn’t know what I was doing, I headed to YouTube for a spatchcocking how-to Here’s a picture of my chicken, ready for the oven.

Such a lady-like pose.

And for a 2nd sidedish, I made scalloped garnet yams. Slice with the v-slicer, piled in a casserole dish. Fill the dish half-way with milk. Cover and cook for a while. I might dot with butter or coat in parmesan for the last 10 minutes.

The cooked birdie after I removed a leg for supper and my supper.

The sweet potatoes had a lot more of their own liquid than expected, so I added butter, salt, and smushed them with a fork to use as a base for the rest of tonight’s supper.