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Monday, March 9, 2009

Comfort Food with a Kick

Two weeks ago, mid-rant about soul, spirit, ego and vitality compared with working, paychecks and etc. I mentioned some comfort food: "Last Monday I was experiencing a good dose of Shadow Rebellion. Ammie took seriously good care of me that evening, plying my mood with the most beneficial comfort food ever (I'll ask her to blog it, or to tell me where she has)."

What she made for me and my troubled spirit was grilled cheese and tomato soup. I know, awwwwww, right? When she offered the idea of that dinner I was at work and interpreted her suggestion the way my mom would have: 1 can of Cambell's tomato soup concentrate and 1 grilled cheese. I suspected the grilled cheese would at least be on hearty or special bread and with a nicer-than-American cheese. I mean, I do know Ammie a "little bit" at this point; however, I learned that there are many lovely surprise to come! For what I got was gourmet, warm me to the bones and heart circles, not-yo-mama's comfort food. Hm...there's a restaurant name in there somewhere. I promised I'd post the recipes, and here they are: for your mouth watering, make you feel better, pleasure.

The Grilled Cheese recipe originated with Ammie's fellow foodie friend Rose-Anne. Here are the ingredients, excerpted from Rose-Anne's blog, "Love, Life & Food: Home of a Serious Cheddar Connoisseur":
2 slices of good sandwich bread, such as pumpernickel
1-2 tsp. Better (you could also use softened butter or even a drizzle of oil, if you prefer)
1 tsp. Dijon mustard, or to taste
~1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, or to taste (use the good stuff here—it really makes the sandwich!)
4-5 fresh spinach leaves, enough to form a nice layer of spinach
Ammie adapted it to give it her own, surprising and tangy kick. She left the spinach out and used sourdough instead of Rose-Anne's pumpernickel. The cheese she chose was havarti, which was creamy and moderately mild. All of those nicely moderate flavors: the mild sourness of the bread, the creamy havarti and strong dijon mustard coalesced into something divine when she tossed a handful of dried tart cherries in the middle. OMG. What a stroke of genius! She says she's tried and failed at the recipe before (too much butter, or cheese, wrong cherries perhaps) but this time she had a task at hand and she aced it. The perfect comfort sandwich: toasted golden brown, chewy, crisp, melty, tangy and bold. That combined with the warm, acidic spiciness of her tomato soup = Oh my.

Ammie didn't have the soup recipe written out anywhere before, so I'll copy/paste it from the email in which she wrote it out for me (what can I say? the lady's got my back.)

Ammie's Not At All Average
Spicy Tomato Soup

Ingredients, all to taste:
Tomato broth (she used Trader Joe's box of tomato broth, which is creamy and good)
crushed or minced garlic
basil
salt and pepper
dash of cayenne
splash of red wine
diced ripe tomatoes
olive oil

Heat up a small amount of olive oil in a pot. Add garlic, spices, and tomatoes, and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the red wine and saute 1-2 more minutes. Add tomato broth and warm to desired temperature. Eat.

Be careful with the cayenne, it's a fine line between low burn and fiery death.
There you have it. My own soup for the soul kind of combo. Make, eat & enjoy!
Thanks to Rose-Anne and Ammie for doing the leg work on this.

1 comment:

ammie said...

Thanks sweetie! Feel free to pimp my cookbook too ;)