Monday, October 12, 2009
Every now and then I find myself wishing I ran a food blog.
I mean, really, who doesn’t love a well-assembled food blog ? Descriptive prose combined with some compelling shots of the ingredients and the cooking process seems like a sure fire way to get virtual crowds lined up every day to see what you’re serving up. I, for instance, devour Shauna Ahren’s posts over at Gluten Free Girl, despite the fact that I suck down gluten like a sixth grader on a pixie stick. I don’t even like most of the ingredients her dishes require—but I love the blog. Great writing and good shots seem to render actual consumption of the fare a moot point.
I once read a captivating, blow-by-blow concerning the makings of the signature Rueben-like sandwich of a northeastern town in a glossy magazine, and I could literally smell the fresh bread and taste the tang of special sauce. By the end of the article I was ready to grab my keys and take off on an all-night road trip. And I don’t even eat beef.
So I thought I’d invest today’s post in a dry run, a sort of testing of the waters to see if I’m up to the task. Let’s walk through a recent making of one of my signature dishes-- a bona-fide award winning recipe that snagged an honorable mention in what may have been a national recipe contest in which I received this cookbook as a prize:
Let me clarify that my recipe does not appear in this volume, as this book focuses on spicy southwestern fare, and my winning dish was stromboli.
So here we go…brace yourselves for that oh-so-important cooking-in-progress shot:
oops! I mean:
there--that's so much better, isn't it?
Here, I was called upon to perform one of those on-the-job quick fixes when my Labrador may have sampled—er—an object may have punctured my dough:
(the less-than-compelling clarity of this shot was the result of having my camera in the wrong mode. But I think in this case, it adds a nice touch.)
Ready to go in the oven!
Ready for the pages of Bon Appetite, don't you think?
So, there you have it—me as a food blogger for the day.
Sadly, it seems likely that my best work doesn't happen in the kitchen. My guess is that I place in the contest because other people actually had to assemble my recipe for judging, thereby eliminating presentation as a factor—because, I promise you, it is tasty! You can see for yourself, because, like every good food blogger, I’m including the recipe at the end of my post.
But first…my title promised that this was an awards dinner. I bet you thought that was some sort of cheap reference to my recipe-win, but no…there are official award issues to which I must attended.
Holly of 504 Main bestowed upon me the honor of the Over the Top Blog award.
I am truly honored, as Holly is definitely an up-and-coming blogger to watch these days. Over at her blog you’ll find a perfect blend of entertaining, kids, and style. Even better—you’ll never feel like a stranger. Holly is both a wonderful virtual hostess at her place and the perfect guest when she visits you at yours.
As is the custom, it is now my duty to pass the honor along to a couple other bloggers.
Although Joy of Joy to the Blog has a rather nice stash of accolades in her “awards cabinet,” (undoubtedly because she's interesting, honest, and funny!) I did not happen to see this one in stock. So I’m passing it along so she can add it to her collection.
I’m also passing it along to Amanda of A Silvertongued Serenade. I just because acquainted with Amanda’s blog over the weekend. She writes not only about college life and lattes, but also shares thoughts that reflect her bigger dreams of becoming a writer. ..and I’d like to encourage her by sending some followers her way.
(note to recipients: best I can tell, the only "rules" governing this award is to link back to the blogger who awarded it to you--in this case, yours truly :) and to pass it along to an indeterminate number of fellow bloggers.)
So without further delay, let's get back to that stromboli recipe:
Frozen bread-1 loaf for every 2 stromboli
1 16 count pkg. sandwich steaks
4-6 slices provolone cheese per stromboli
aprox ½ cup pizza sauce per stromboli
6 Tablespoons chopped onion
Thaw frozen bread on counter (can be done day prior to use). Cut loaf in half, flatten and shape halves into two oblongs. Sauté onions in olive oil. Cook sandwich steaks in skillet, chopping apart into pieces. You will use aprox.4 sandwich steaks per stromboli. Divide sautéed onions and spread over dough. Place 1-2 slices of provolone cheese over top of the onions. Top each oblong with 3 tablespoons of pizza sauce. Add meat, cheese, and sauce in layers Wrap the sides of the dough around ingredients and fold to seal. Fold ends over top of the seal and turn over. Cut three slits across the top of each stromboli and brush with olive oil. Bake on cookie sheets in preheated 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until browned. Two stromboli serve 4-6 people.
Note: This recipe is extremely flexible as various meats and cheeses can be substituted to suit individual taste. I've used chicken, salami, ham, pepperoni, mozzarella, and velveeta, and they all turn out great. I also often sauté peppers in with the onions.
Oh—and one more thing….those cinnamon rolls steaming invitingly at the top of the post? My only involvement was firing off some quick shots before I helped consume them, and then uploading the image so this post would look all food-bloggy.