Hi everyone! Sorry this is a day late, but I promise…..I have a really good reason. I am sure you heard that we had a pretty serious wildfire here in Reno yesterday. In fact, it is still only 50% contained, but it is raining now….so that should help. We had a record 56 days with no rain or snow, so everything was super dry. The wind kicked up, and there was no stopping this fire, yesterday.
Let me set the scene for you…..I was at my friend Amy’s house, and she looked out her window and said “what is that weird orange cloud?” I said “I don’t know”, pretty nonchalantly, and left to go shopping. As I drove away from her house, I realized that the fire seems to be pretty close to where I live. Then, I got a call from a friend telling me that the fire was said to be “racing to St. James’ Village”, which is the neighborhood behind mine. I had Paisley with me, so I tried to stay calm, but it was tough. I had to get to my dogs.
As I turned down my street, I passed a line of cars leaving, evacuation route signs that I was going in the opposite direction of, many cops and fire trucks, etc. I kept going towards my house, not really knowing where the fire was. As I approached my house, I thought “oh, there it is” as I drove towards a wall of fire. Turns out, it was still pretty far away, but close enough to scare the living crap out of me. I booked it inside, grabbed my dogs and my computer and got the hell out of there. There was a message on my answering machine telling me there was a voluntary evacuation of my neighborhood….good enough for me….I was outta there.
It’s funny, I always thought I was pretty materialistic, (I realize that isn’t a good thing), but when it came down to it, I just wanted my husband, kids and dogs. I figured everything else was replaceable. Turns out, my neighborhood was fine. But my kids and I spent the night at the Peppermill anyway. That was the bright side to this fire. I got room service;)
The news says that 26 homes were lost to this fire. My heart goes out to all that lost their homes. I hope they rebuild and stay here, because it really is a great place to live. And like I said, it’s raining now….so the fire danger is way down;)
I have two great recipes to share with you today. I like to consider these my “play-off” recipes. These aren’t my Super Bowl recipes yet…..Those are still to come.
My first recipe is for an “Italian Beef” sandwich. This is a real thing. I didn’t make it up. They originated in Chicago. The “beef” is a rump roast cooked in beef broth, lots of garlic and oregano, and then the meat is sliced thinly and put back in the broth mixture. They pull the meat from the soupy pot, put it on a crusty roll and top it with jarred giardiniera, which is pickled spicy veggies. Then, the whole thing gets a dip in the broth. Yum. I figured I could recreate this….and not to toot my own horn, but I did a helluva job.
For my sandwiches, I used deli sliced roast beef. I didn’t cook my own rump roast because I don’t have a meat slicer. Plus, that sounds hard.
I also used Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, crusty rolls, Italian Mix Giardiniera, garlic, beef broth, and fresh mozzarella.
I also used dried oregano leaves. Somehow this little guy escaped the last picture.
In a medium sized pot, I poured in beef broth, the liquid from the Giardiniera jar, minced garlic, and plenty of dried oregano. I also added Worcestershire sauce and salt & pepper. I went easy on the salt because the broth is already salty. I brought this to a simmer, and let it simmer together for about 5 minutes.
Then, I added the sliced roast beef to the pot. I let the beef heat through….about another 5 minutes.
While the beef heated in the broth, I split a crusty roll, put a little Dijon on, and added some fresh mozzarella. I broiled this in the oven until the edges were brown and the cheese was melty.
Then, I put some of the beef in the sandwich. I topped that with some chopped giardiniera.
The whole thing got a dip in the broth. Yep, the whole thing. This is messy, but so crazy good. It helps if your bread is super crusty…..this will keep the sandwich from just getting soggy.
Chris thought this was one of the best sandwiches he had ever had. I did too, but I throw that around a lot.
The great thing about these sandwiches is that the meat can sit in the broth for long amounts of time. You could totally make the broth mixture in a slow cooker, add the meat, and then let your guests help themselves throughout the game! Just keep the broth and meat set on low heat.
I think these sandwiches would rock your football party. They would taste especially good while watching the Niners beat the Giants!.....which brings me to my next recipe…….
See that treat my cute little kid is eating? That is a chocolate dipped football shaped Oreo. I am not the hugest fan of cake pops, but I really do like the “food on sticks” trend. I had to get on board with that, so I decided to stick football shaped Oreos on sticks, and dip them in chocolate. They turned out super cute.
I used the aforementioned football shaped Oreos, chocolate candy coating, and white frosting from a can.
In the immortal words of Ina Garten….”How easy is that?”
I started by splitting my Oreos. Easy enough, right?
Then, I melted my chocolate. The package I bought is meant to be melted in the microwave, but I wanted it to stay melty and smooth for a long time….so I melted mine in a double boiler. This way, I could take my time dipping. I just kept my chocolate over low heat.
I stuck the end of each stick into the melted chocolate, and then I stuck it in the middle of the frosting. I pushed down a bit….enough to get the stick in, but not hard enough to break the cookie. I also put each cookie’s lid back on while the chocolate was still melty.
Using the melted chocolate on the sticks will ensure that the cookies stay on the sticks.
I dipped each cookie in my melted chocolate.
I set my cookies on parchment paper to harden. Once the chocolate hardened, I piped on some seams. Still super easy, right?
Aren’t those the cutest thing you’ve ever seen? Tie on some red and gold ribbon and you are set. If you are supporting another team, you aren’t allowed to make these. Sorry.
I hope you try these recipes for your play-off parties, or any other time! Let me know how it goes!
Italian Beef Sandwiches….the easy way
1 ½ lbs sliced deli roast beef
4 cups beef broth
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic, or about 3 cloves
2 teaspoons dried oregano
16 ounce jar Italian Mix Giardiniera, drained and juice reserved
8 crusty Italian rolls
In a medium sized sauce pan, bring broth, giardiniera juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and oregano to a simmer. Simmer, over medium heat, for 5 minutes. Add sliced roast beef and simmer another 5 minutes.
Add mozzarella and Dijon mustard to each roll. Broil for 3 minutes, or until edges are brown and cheese is melted. Add sliced beef to each sandwich. Top with giardiniera and dip in broth, if desired.
Makes 8 sandwiches