Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Naughty Sandwich....and some cabbage

I've decided to take pity on you! This is one of my favorite sandwiches of all time, and the naughty part is the Velveeta melted on top. I am fully aware that the packaging on the box describes the product as "pasteurized processed cheese food"....I agree that this also scares me and I've never looked at the ingredient list because I like to use it every once in a while. There is nothing else that imparts such a salty,smooth, and [let's face it] naughty taste. The great news is that you only need a very thin slice to top the sandwich and that you will be in control of the rest of the ingredients. I'm sure all in all this is a healthier choice than most restaurant sandwiches. (and, it's super easy!!!)

When we visited Wisconsin with friends, we enjoyed porchetta. After some research into how to create this at home, (in WI they sell the seasoned and raw version in grocery stores) I discovered that this is basically an Italian pork roast. I prepare mine in the crockpot and it is perfect for a weeknight dinner or would also work well for a casual get-together.

I buy the "dark" meat version of the pork roast. (not sure what it's termed, I just ask the butcher) I think it's more tender, but it's all a personal preference. The spice rub is a combination of dried herbs, most importantly, fennel seeds and rosemary. I searched and searched in the spice section and could not find fennel seeds, so I decided to use "herbes de provence" and was thrilled with the results. For those not familiar with this, it's basically a spice blend combining ingredients commonly used in french provincial cooking (thyme, basil, savory, fennel, and lavender).

Also, as promised, here is the recipe for my sauteed cabbage....I'll give you two ideas to try cabbage (and hopefully find that you'll like it!).

Porchetta sandwiches
3 lb pork roast (with or without bone)
olive oil
salt, pepper
3 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
herbes de provence
dried rosemary

1. Slice into meat of roast. Slide garlic slivers into each slit.
2. Liberally cover meat with spices (including salt and pepper) and drizzle with olive oil. After massaging spices and olive oil into meat, cover and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
3. Place into crockpot and cook on low all day.
4. Shred meat and place onto crusty rolls, (be sure to include plenty of juices) top with Velveeta and brown sandwiches (open-faced) in oven at 300 degrees until cheese is melted.

Sauteed cabbage
two very informal recipes:

version #1
1/2 head of cabbage, sliced thinly
2 slices bacon, chopped coarsley
1 T olive oil

Brown pieces of bacon until almost crispy, add olive oil and cabbage and saute until cabbage is barely wilted.

version #2
1/2 head of cabbage, sliced thinly
2 T olive oil
pepper to taste
soy sauce

Saute cabbage in olive oil over medium heat until barely wilted and a little browned. Add pepper and soy sauce to taste, remove from heat while still crunchy.

***one more idea for using cabbage: create a chicken stir-fry with julienned carrots, cabbage slivers, onions, mushrooms, snow peas, chicken and soy sauce over brown rice***


  1. had the ribs last night and bals vinegar chicken tonight..delicious! thanks for the great ideas..they are being used!

  2. YUM. i love root veggies, i'll have to try these! regarding yeast: i'm glad you asked about that because it was something i was going to put in the post and forgot. i actually have a little trick i do if my house isn't super warm and i dont have time to wait for the thing to rise. i turn the oven on (say, to 350), let it heat up a min or two to get it warmish, then turn it off and put the bowl (w/yeast inside and plastic wrap on top) inside. shut the door and let it sit in there until doubled in size. make sure though that you don't heat the oven too much or else you'll kill the yeast (you probably know that already, sorry if it's redundant). hope this helps! --abbie

  3. thanks for the tips, Abbie! My bread has always been tough because I do things like: put the dough in front of a raging fire, jack up the heat on my oven (too long and too high)...patience is not my specialty! :)
    I'll give your idea a try...we are all "carbivores", so if I mastered bread it would be earth-shattering!!!!