Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stong Itch for a 'Wich and a Deep Regard for Chard

"Too few people understand a really good sandwich."  ~James Beard

Hethyr:  Though I try my best to eat at least three meals a day, some days it's damned near impossible.  Sometimes breakfast is an apple.  On occasion, lunch is a handful of cashews.  And when Jon isn't home, dinner is usually a bowl of popcorn.  I really do try my best to eat a balanced plate at each meal, but when I'm busy cooking for several other families and teaching yoga I'm lucky if I get to eat at all on certain days.  Even if I have a bit of time when I'm home alone, I'm not usually one to really cook a meal just for myself.  I might make a quick gluten-free sandwich or throw together a simple salad, but it's rare for me to pull out a skillet or turn on the oven when it's just me.
This was breakfast this morning.  Oops.

However, when we're out of those quick and easy throw together things and I have a few extra minutes, I need to get creative if I want to eat.  After an early-morning yoga class, a 35-minute drive to my chiropractor's office, and a bit of client cooking, I actually had about 30 minutes to myself before having to run out again.  I checked the cupboards and fridge for a quick bite to eat and came up empty-handed.  After a more thorough search, I discovered the last little end of a homemade loaf of gluten-free bread, a small chunk of goat brie, an apple, and some sliced turkey.  I had also purchased some red chard a few days before to satisfy a craving... yep, apparently I get cravings for chard now.  Wouldn't Momma be proud?  Nope.  Knowing my Momma, she'd probably be grossed out and ask what was wrong with me.  We have both pretty much despised dark, leafy greens (except for raw spinach) most of our lives.  And yet I actually made a trip to the store specifically to get chard.  What the hell?  Well, when my body tells me it needs something, I try to listen!

My most recent craving.  What?!

Anyway, I decided to pull not one, but TWO small skillets out for this meal.  La-dee-freakin'-da.  Guess I felt like treating myself!  I would say poor Jon since he was at school and didn't get to partake in my masterpiece, but he took homemade lasagna to school for lunch yesterday and some yummy venison and veggie cabbage rolls today.  Poor Jon, my ass.  Once in a while I deserve a special meal, too!  ;)  Hope you enjoy this super-easy, super-delicious homemade lunch... though it would work just as well for a simple dinner.

Gluten-Free Grilled Turkey, Apple & Goat Brie Sandwich with Sautéed Chard

Serves 1

2 slices gluten-free bread (here's my favorite recipe that I adapt for high altitude)
Few slices goat brie
Several thin apple slices
1-2 slices turkey
1-2 tablespoons ghee (or vegan butter substitute)
1 large chard leaf with stem, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil

1.  Layer one slice of gluten-free bread with half of the goat brie, all of the apple and turkey slices, the rest of the brie, and the other slice of bread.

2.  Melt ghee or vegan butter.

2.  Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add half of the melted ghee.  Add sandwich and cook until bottom slice of bread is golden-brown.  Brush uncooked bread with remaining ghee, then carefully flip sandwich and cook until second slice of bread is golden and cheese is melted.   Remove from skillet and set aside.

3.  While sandwich is cooking on the second side, heat another small skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil.  When pan is hot, add chard and garlic and cook until wilted, about a minute or two.  Remove from pan and plate.

4.  Cut sandwich in half if desired and plate with cooked chard.  Enjoy!
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Jon:  If there is one thing I can truly appreciate in this world, it is a delicious sandwich.  I suppose that's because a sandwich has been one of my two edible staples throughout most of my life.  The other one would be that miraculous, wondrous, holiest of all holy meals... cereal.  If it weren't for cereal, I would probably have wasted away years ago.  But I digress.

Admittedly, my sandwiches used to be pretty disgusting... a couple slices of Wonderboy, a factory-cut slab of meat product, and a square of American "cheese."  That's the problem with sandwiches.  The boredom is undeniable.  A sandwich is like the Bob Dole of the food world.  But perhaps even Bob Dole can grow a mohawk, get a "Thug Life" tattoo, and base jump the Eiffel Tower.  Maybe, just maybe.  So it seems that a sandwich can get a little provocative and alluring, and dare I say... sexy?  Not that I'm saying I'm aroused by the thought of Bob Dole with a mohawk.  Um, I swear.

Bob Dole serving sandwiches wearing an apron.  If only
he was sporting a mohawk...
(Photo from the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics archives)

Giving a sandwich some personality is an art form.  Apples do it.  Avocados do it.  Spicy Tomato Jam (R.I.P.) does it.  And according to my wife, who is one-step away from injecting chard directly into her veins, chard does it, too.  Versatility and creativity are crucial to a life-long marriage between human and sandwich.

Long live the sandwich.