I recently tried a surprisingly delicious fig cake. (I was surprised b/c I normally dislike fresh and cooked figs.) The story behind the fig cake preparation was interesting. The baker began a challenge with her mom several years ago to cook through all the recipes in a cookbook together. After telling Mel about the cake and its story, she that it was a neat story and concluded that perhaps we should pick a cookbook to cook through together. Rather than one or the other of us preparing a recipe, she proposed we should cook the dish the same day (if possible) and compare the results. As a result, both our blogs will be featuring regular “double takes” on recipes from the New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook.
The first recipe “The Grinder” was selected by Bender (Mel’s husband). Basically, it’s a toasty, cheesy, flavorful ham sandwich. Picture it. A French baguette sliced longways and layered with ham, tomatoes, bell peppers lightly cooked with garlic and onion salt, olive oil, oregano, freshly ground black pepper, and mozzarella cheese. The sandwich was baked in the oven to allow the flavors to meld.
1/6 of the Grinder sandwich
The sandwich was a little overly toasty for my and my cotaster’s (Ruthann) preferences even though we removed the sandwich prior to the specified time. We agreed that the inside was good with its soft texture, stringy cheese, and well blended flavors. As far as ham sandwiches go, this is probably one of the better ones I’ve had.
Regarding the recipe, I found the prep time overly optimistic. Assembly went smoothly but during baking, the melting cheese contributing to sliding sandwich top and filler. To prevent shifting in the future, I would insert 4-6 toothpicks through the sandwich to secure the layers. (That was Ruthann’s idea but I think it’s a good one.) To reduce the crispiness, I’d only bake the sandwich for 10-15 minutes. The only thought I have on flavor is to add fresh basil leaves on top of the tomato slices prior to baking. Overall it’s a good sandwich and I’m not a big sandwich person. I’d rate the sandwich 7/10 and the recipe 5/10.
Note: If you decide to reheat, I recommend using a toaster oven BUT be sure to place the sandwich on a low shelf. Its height will otherwise result in a blacked top before the insides are fully warmed. This is not to say that I have any personal experience with this, of course.
Be sure to check out the other side of the double take at Mel's blog !