Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Rachael and Ginger

The two new recipes that came out of the kitchen tonight - Rachael sandwiches with a twist and chewy chocolate Ginger cookies.
First Rachael.........

I keep thinking that we don't eat enough sandwiches. This is partly because when I want a sandwich, I want something other than a couple pieces of meat thrown between two slices of bread.

Photo from

Ho-hum, nothing special, kinda boring.

I want something more like this:
Spanish Grilled Sandwich and photo from BHG

Now that's a sandwich! Interesting ingredients, fresh, crusty bread, something to make it really rock!

For some reason, it just doesn't occur to me to make sandwiches for dinner. Maybe because I think of sandwiches as something quick and easy for dinner, not something that can take time to create. But in order to make the kinds of sandwiches that I really love, it's going to require a little more than simple assembly, so I have to start thinking bigger.

The other day I was watching Food TV and caught this episode with Rachael Ray cooking up a kielbasa version of the popular Reuben sandwich. The typical Reuben ingredients are corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and Russian dressing on rye bread.

While I love the idea of the Reuben, I'm not a fan of sauerkraut, so I prefer the Rachael (which typically uses pastrami and coleslaw in place of corned beef and sauerkraut). But Rachael wasn't cooking up a Rachael, she was cooking up a Reuben. Since I prefer the Rachael, I decided to take her idea and cook up a kielbasa Rachael.

The Rachaels are ready for the skillet.

So, I got some prepared coleslaw (which I drained first to avoid soggy bread) and some swiss cheese. I couldn't find Russian dressing at the store, so I took a guess that Thousand Island dressing would make an acceptable substitute. Why don't they sell Russian dressing I wonder?

The only thing missing from our sandwiches was a killer loaf of crusty rye bread. We already had the plain old Pepperidge Farm type of rye in the freezer, so I decided to be economical and stick with that. Not bad, but not the bread of my sandwich dreams. Still, when I finally get that Griddler I'm longing for (thanks to the very bad influence of the folks over at the CLBB), and have the means of making paninis, I will get the killer crusty loaf of bread. Even without a crusty loaf of marbled rye, the sandwiches were quite good. Definitely not your boring old turkey and cheese sandwich.

Now, on to Ginger...........

I recently spotted a recipe for ginger cookies over on the CLBB that sounded unusual and yummy - Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies. They went to the top of my to try list when I visited Culinary in the Desert Country and saw he had baked them earlier this week. Wouldn't you love to be his neighbor?!

As a puny 2 dozen cookies just doesn't cut it in this house, and since we have company coming again this weekend, I doubled the recipe. The only problem this presented is that once the dough is rolled into balls, it needs to be chilled. Since I doubled the recipe, I didn't want 4 cookie sheets in the fridge, so I chilled them on some wax paper, all on one cookie sheet until I was ready to bake them. One surprise for me - these cookies don't use any eggs! I was very surprised and had to check the recipe several times before I convinced myself it wasn't a typo.

The dough balls are chillin'.
I will reserve final judgement until tomorrow - cookies almost always taste better the next day - but for now I'm not sure. They are definitely good, I'm just not sure if I love them enough to make them again. There are so many cookies that I truly love and I'm not sure these are crave-worthy. But they are good - and certainly a nice change from the kind of cookies I usually make. Although I may never crave these cookies, I would make them for a party or a cookie exchange for a nice change of pace.

Check it out - I finally got a picture with decent lighting at night without using my flash! I'll figure out how to make my digital camera work well yet! I'd really love to have a digital SLR with manual focus and more manual controls - I have a 35mm SLR, but that's not so convenient for blogging..........

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  1. Wow! I love those ginger cookies!

  2. Anonymous8:34 AM

    Sandwiches generally get ignored at our house too. Other than the occasional grilled cheese to go with soup, we rarely eat sandwiches. Maybe I need to get a Griddler too and change all that.

    We clearly have the same taste in sandwiches- your Rachael Reubens look really good!

  3. Hi Ivonne - Thanks for stopping by. :) I'm still trying to make up my mind about these cookies, but I really enjoyed one this morning with a cup of chai.

    Erika - Yes, grilled cheese is usually about it for this family too. I'm going to try to change that though. I've been doing soups just about weekly, maybe we'll have a sandwich night too.

  4. So funny, I made those self-same cookies over the weekend! (I left a comment w Joe too, not sure why it didn't post ...) Anyway I was so-so on them Day One, Day Two I had to give them away ... because I couldn't keep my hand out of the cookie jar! I loved the chocolate-spice-ginger-molasses combination. I doubled the spices too. FYI, the original recipe specifies chilling logs of dough, not the balls themselves. I just covered the dough in the bowl, worked fine. I also got 2 1/2 dozen cookies (small, yes) from a half recipe. These are a winner here, may make them again over the weekend!

  5. What is it about sandwiches for dinner? I tend to ignore those also.
    I saw that episode with the Reubens. I love kraut! I thought about making those too after seeing the show! Thanks for posting!

  6. Alanna - Thanks for the tip. My husband didn't believe me when I first told him that cookies taste better the next day - he always assumed they are best straight out of the oven - not always true! They are definitely growing on me.

    Patti - Watching those shows can be dangerous, but fun! :)