1.05.2008

Inspiration in a Jar

Sliced Pimentos

Among my favorite things we did during our recent 'vacation' from the cafe were the many hours spent cooking for ourselves. Yes, it is a little sad but very true; the thing we love doing most has become our job, and by the time the end of the day rolls around we rarely have the energy or patience to make a nice meal for ourselves. Don't get me wrong, Ali and I still enjoy cooking food at the cafe, if we didn't we would be in the wrong business. However, I think that as a result of not doing as much cooking at home, we have lost touch with the inspiration which can result from trying a new recipe.

For example, of all the food we ate over the holidays, my favorites were two new recipes that were really very simple, but packed in so much flavor that I found myself longing for another bite just as soon as I cleaned my plate. The first was a simple grilled cheese recipe which drew on the often underutilized pimento (not just for filling olives anymore) in order to create a smooth and creamy, yet slightly spicy sandwich. With a little extra cayenne pepper thrown in, this grilled cheese had both our stomachs in ecstasy, and was tasty enough to be deemed cafe worthy.

The Pimento Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Perhaps even more amazing was a new pot pie recipe that we put together on a whim. What we thought was to be our final day in Central Oregon actually turned out to be our second-to-last when a big snow storm rolled over us, dropping over a foot of snow in matter of hours and making the mountain pass virtually impassable. Given that we didn't anticipate staying away this extra day, we didn't quite have dinner figured out (when we travel we like to plan almost every meal ahead of time...to us, planning the meals can be almost as fun as making them). After looking over the food that we hadn't cooked it was pretty clear that our options were limited. We had chili makings, and we had cornbread makings. Why not combine the two and make a potpie? It seemed simple enough, and it was...

Spicy Chili and Cornbread Potpie

How did it taste? Pretty fantastic to be honest. Throw in a little avocado and honey drizzle and you have yourself quite a dangerous combo.

But don't just sit there and try to imagine what all of it tasted like. Both the grilled cheese and the potpie are on the Sunday brunch menu at the cafe this weekend. So stop in for a plate of our winter vacation. We can't promise that you'll get snowed-in, but we'll take care of the cooking and do our best to make the experience as relaxing as vacation should be.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Wow, even though I've been eating delicious Vietnamese food 3x daily, your pot pie and grilled cheese recipes are still making my stomach yearn. I have found some good coffee here though, even Weasel coffee, which is ingested and processed by the weasel before it is hulled and roasted...

Tạm biệt for now.