Today I have a treat for you, my friends! Since I’m so busy with school, work…life in general this quarter…several of my lovely friends have offered to write guests posts for me to share with you so that you don’t become bored to tears with my life and meals 🙂 Today is the first in a series I hope you will love as much as I do.
Today’s post comes to you from my best friend in the whole wide world. We’ve been friends since we were 12 (that’s over half my life!). We met in orchestra…yes we are nerds…and we’ve been friends ever since. She’s been there through all the big events in my life: first boyfriend, first kiss, first breakup, first trip to Europe, college applications, high school graduation, 4 years of college, first apartment, first real job, first house, my wedding…. She was there when I made the decision to go back to school, she was the maid of honor at my wedding and she’s supported me 100% in any decision I’ve ever made. My mom considers her a third daughter and she’s my sister in every sense of the word.
In addition to all that, she’s one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met. She speaks French fluently, she has an amazing job and she’s brilliant, independent and honest.
She loves my husband and my pets almost as much as I do, and she understands my frustration with people using an “e” in your name when it should be an “a”. Finally, she’s one of the few people in this world who can, without fail, make me laugh so hard I cry almost every time I talk to her. I hope you enjoy her humor as much as I do 🙂 Take it away Katharine!
Katharine F is no stranger to food. An international connoisseur, she has eaten over 27,000 meals on three continents, in dozens of states, and hundreds of counties. Currently residing in Chicago, she has been invited to dine at hip restaurants and is always seated when she has a reservation at newly opened establishments. Her celebrity in the culinary world is widely recognized: she received a personal letter of thanks from the chef at LM Restaurant, was photographed eating at The Capital Grille, and has been begged to “please come back” after 93.5% of her dining experiences. She is a regular contributor to publications that celebrate the gastronomic arts, such as Graffiti Magazine and Booklist.
For this reason, The Lean Green Bean is honored to present three recipes from the gourmande herself and to let you be the judge: céréales au lait, seafood crostini, and the signature sandwich.
Céréales au lait
This entrée is the most basic of the three and is perfect for novice chefs as no great dexterity is required in the preparation. Easily adjusted for more than one, this recipe is also great for parties or family gatherings:
Begin with a medium-sized ceramic bowl that is microwave safe. Pick a cereal of your choice–anything rich in texture and flavor is best. Some personal preferences: Capt’n Crunch, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms. [Tip: Use caution when opening the box as over-zealous packaging can require extra force to break through, which then leads to severe paper cuts as the glued box-top gives way to have one’s hand or finger sliced by the cardboard closure flaps.] Gently pour cereal into the bowl and let rest for several seconds. This is a great time to prepare your milk. Use a rich milk to compliment the flavor of your cereal, such as whole milk. For those looking for a low-fat alternative, 2% milk is also an option. Slowly add milk to the cereal mixture. The perfect pour will have the cereal resting at the bowl’s top-most rim, without losing any of the ingredients over the edge.
This recipe can be prepared and then cut in quarters to serve as a fantastic appetizer, or it can be eaten whole to satisfy as a meal:
Place about six ounces of fresh tuna in a bowl. StarKist and Bumble Bee are two types of tuna especially fresh and nuanced in taste. To this add three ounces cooked chick peas and two spears of dill pickle, finely chopped (bread and butter pickles are also permissible). Whisk in spicy mustard, barbecue sauce, and a splash of orange juice to taste. Using a medium-sized spoon, heap this mixture onto a slice of fresh-baked bread, adding thin slices of cheese on top. Broil crostini until cheese melts or the toaster oven dings.
The Signature Sandwich
Often people inquire into the source of inspiration for this one-of-a-kind chef d’oeuvre, and the only answer is innate comestible genius. This recipe and its cavalcade of ingredients requires a difficult layering technique and is recommended for only the most skilled of chefs:
Picking two matching slices of bread, orient them in a horizontal matter so that their crusts just meet but do not overlap. Any overlap could result in an imperfect alignment later in the recipe, which would basically be an all-out catastrophe, a complete disaster. With a delicate motion, smooth tahini-free hummus over one slice of bread, on its counterpart smooth a generous portion of stone-ground mustard. Slice a few thick cuts of a soft cheese of your choice, and place atop the hummus. With consideration, place a green–baby lettuces, arugla, or spinach work best–atop the cheese. Adorn this slice with thick pieces of fresh imitation crab meat and pause to admire the panoply of color. Add a few slices of pickle and then carefully crown this masterpiece with the mustard slice first prepared. Now behold, cooking at its finest.
Thanks Katharine! I love you 🙂