Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day #82, Kyle and Kenzie's Special Treat

I'm going to warn you- this breakfast is pretty much a dessert. Which most people like, but of course I'm not the biggest fan of sweets in the morning.

The Kyle and Kenzie's is made with two slices of Zingerman's challah bread, served french toast style, and filled with sweetened cream cheese and fresh strawberries. It's topped with candied pecans, and served with 100% pure maple syrup.

This breakfast entree is named after Chef Jody's kids, Kyle and MacKenzie. When they were younger she would make this for their breakfast, as a "special treat". It's a popular breakfast item, especially for those who have a sweet tooth in the morning!

I thought the Kyle and Kenzie's to be very, very good. Very sweet for breakfast, in my opinion, but I can definitely see why many people order it. The sugar berries are always amazing, and the sweetened cream cheese filling was what really made this breakfast awesome. So, if you are craving a breakfast on the sweeter side, give this one a try. Chef Jody's creations always amaze!

Day #81, #41 Joyce and All the Holy Angels

The #41 is made with rare roast beef, American Spoon portobello mushroom relish, and boursin cheese on grilled Zingerman's French Farm bread.

I've learned that I don't mind roast beef. I still prefer chicken or turkey, but if those aren't options then I think I would opt for roast beef. It's not greasy, and actually has really good flavor to it, although I do prefer to eat it warm rather than cold. So I was a little excited about this sandwich, knowing right off the bat that I probably would not hate it.

The mushroom relish and boursin cheese make an interesting, yet pretty good combination. I love boursin cheese now, but I had never even heard of it before working at the Laundry. Boursin is made from cow's milk, cream, garlic, salt, white pepper, parsley, and chives.

The American Spoon portobello mushroom relish was also a pleasant surprise. It's a blend of roasted portobello mushrooms, shiitakes, and cepes. It is also made with white wine and white wine vinegar, so it does of course have a vinegar taste to it. The mushrooms relish, boursin, and roast bee compliment each other very well.

This sandwich was named after Mark's aunt, Joyce Hamel. I'm not certain of the whole story behind the name, but I will post it when I do.

Try this sandwich! I think it's the one that changed my mind about roast beef. :)

Day #80, The Laundry Artichoke Dip

I'm amazed that I have only two more items left on the dinner menu- the artichoke dip, and charcuterie plate!

Today I'm enjoying the artichoke dip, which I am always a fan of. Many restaurants have some type of spinach and artichoke dip that they offer as a appetizer. I usually order that for an appetizer when dining out, so I've had it at many restaurants.

The laundry's is different that most others that I have had before. The first time I had it, I couldn't really place the flavor that was different...and then realized..Gorgonzola cheese. For a blue cheese, I find Gorgonzola to be very mild and manageable. I think by now everyone knows that I don't like blue cheese. However I do find the addition of Gorgonzola cheese very easy to enjoy because it is not too strong of a blue cheese flavor.

The Laundry artichoke dip is made with fresh spinach, artichoke hearts, sauteed mushrooms, French brie, Parmigiano Reggiano, and Gorgonzola cheese. It is baked until golden and served with Zingerman's French Baguette.

It's a very popular appetizer and I think most people like it for the same reasons that I do- it's a different twist on an appetizer that we are all familiar with. I also love the addition of mushrooms to the dip, but that's just because I love mushrooms in anything!

I would recommend this dish to anyone as an appetizer. If I like it, I know you will as well!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day #79, #40 Floydian Slip

The #40 is by far one of our most popular sandwiches. It's made with raspberry jam, Zingerman's natural cream cheese, home made chicken salad, red onion and lettuce on a whole wheat wrap. 

The name from the sandwich comes from one of the very first line cooks that worked at the Laundry, named Floyd. The name Floydian Slip comes from a play on "the Freudian slip". Which is an error in speech, memory, or physical action that is interpreted as occurring due to the interference of some unconscious wish, conflict, or train of thought. 
For example: She: "What would you like, bread and butter, or cake?" He: "Bed and butter."

This sandwich is incredibly popular, and it's easy to see why. Everyone loves our chicken salad, and that in combination with the cream cheese, fresh locally made jam, and crunchy lettuce and onion make it a very enjoyable decision. Very recently we switched from American Spoon Jam products to a locally made alternative jam, which is by far better in my opinion! Zingerman's natural cream cheese is something that took me awhile to get used to, mostly because it is so much softer than regular cream cheese. If you compare the ingredients in the two types of cream cheese you will see that Zingerman's is a much better choice- it is naturally made after all!

I really enjoy this sandwich, and I think it's one that everyone should try at least once! So if you haven't tried this sandwich yet, you must. It's one that I will definitely order again and again in the future!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day #78, Appetizer- Olive Oils

An olive oil appetizer was the first appetizer that I ever ordered from the laundry- and I was so impressed by it. Our server suggested the O orange olive oil to try, and it was absolutely amazing. Our olive oil appetizer is served with Zingerman's Paesano bread, which is the perfect bread for dipping! It's the most popular bread sold by Zingerman's. It's a very moist, holey bread. The holes are signature of this loaf, which is the traditional bread of Puglia (the region in the heel of Italy’s boot).
We do however, carry a large selection of oils, and it would take some time to try them all. I have, however, taken the time to do so- so that I can fill you all in with some of my favorites, and maybe you will request a certain oil the next time you dine with us.

-Albereto- Vibrant green color, full flavored, aromatic, fruity/peppery aftertaste.
-Ceppo Anitco- golden clear yellow, gentle floral nose. Delicate, sweet and smooth, faint taste of almond.
-Laudemio-Green, fruity, and sophisticated. Fresh aroma with hints or artichoke and pepper.
-Olio Verde-Medium green but dense hued, notable vegetal nose. Intense, rich flavor. Fresh green grass ans green olives.
-Titone-Light yellow-green and transparent. Green olive nose, mild, with pleasant rounded olive flavors and leafy green notes.
-A L'oliver- Light, peppery taste, good olive flavor that lingers.
-Castelas- Crisp and fresh with hints or artichoke and almonds.
-L'Estornell- Gold with hints of green. Fruity, touch of spice and freshness.
-Tenuta del Numerouno- Naturally rich and fruity. One of the mildest unfiltered Tuscan oils, and is prized for its complexity.
-O Meyer Lemon- Meyer lemons are a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. Great citrus flavor.
-O Lime- Exotic Thaitian limes crushed with fresh California olives. Healthy, bright, crisp.
-O Orange- Organic Moro blood oranges crushed together with fresh California olives. Made by hand in small batches with a delicate hint of fresh raspberries.
-Capezzana-Green color, fresh, zingy, olive aroma with a light, smooth texture. Long finish with a balance of fruity and bitter olive flavor.

My favorite olive oils that we carry are the O olive oil brand. The citrus flavors are absolutely amazing with the oil, and make for a very unique, but great appetizer! We also sell all of our olive oils retail if you would like to take them home with you to enjoy!

You can also visit http://www.lunchandbeyond.com/OliveOil.pdf to read more about our olive oils and olive oil production!

Day #77, Oysters Rockefeller

Going into this appetizer I realized that I have never tried oysters before. It just didn't sound like something I would like. Our oyster appetizer is a little less intimidating because the oysters are cooked, and topped with spinach, onion, bacon and Pernod mixture, and topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. It made me a little less nervous because they aren't raw, the way oysters can be often served.

Oysters Rockefeller was created at the New Orleans restaurant Antoine's. The dish was named Oysters Rockefeller after John D. Rockefeller, the richest American at the time, for the richness of the sauce. We use Pernod in the sauce, which is the brand name for an anise flavored liqueur, called a pastis.

So what did I think? I loved the topping. It was cheesy and very flavorful. It made trying oysters so much better than I had expected. The oyster itself was not horrible, almost okay in my book as far as seafood goes. The only thing that bothered me was texture, but I guess that might be better for me the next time I try oysters- I'll know what to expect then.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day #76, #38 Tiffany "Fweef" Salcini

I was so nervous about trying this sandwich!

The #38, or Tiffany "Fweef" Salcini is made with warm pastrami, red onion, scallion cream cheese, jalapeno peppers, and honey mustard on grilled Zingerman's pumpernickel bread.

Jon Foley, our bar manager, shared it with me when I finally decided that I was up for the challenge. It's one of his favorite sandwiches, along with the #13, which he also split with me. Apparently he is a huge fan of pastrami.

Pastrami is a popular delicatessen meat usually made from beef, and, like corned beef, originally created as a way to preserve meat before modern refrigeration. For pastrami, the raw meat is brined, partly dried, seasoned with various herbs and spices, then smoked and steamed. I thought it was very interesting to learn the difference between corned beef and pastrami, and now I can explain that to guests! :)

The #38 is named after a past manager of the laundry named Tiffany Salcini. Her nickname was "fweef", but no one working here now really remembers why she was called that. If you know, let us know! Tiffany also has the #36, Miss Smiles' Rainy Day Tuna named after her as well.

This sandwich wasn't so bad after all, but I think the fact the I'm not a pastrami person makes my opinion very biased. It has good flavor from the pastrami, and a little kick from the jalapenos, but that of course is calmed down just enough by the scallion cream cheese. Others are huge fans of this sandwich, but it's going to take a little more time for me to be comfortable eating pastrami....but hopefully I'm getting there!

Day #75, #37 Peeping Chicken

Today's lunch was the #37 Peeping Chicken. It was actually one of the very first sandwiches that I tried when I first started working at the Laundry.

I like it because it's made with grilled chicken, hummus and honey mustard, which are some of my most favorite items for a sandwich. It also has roasted red peppers, onions, fresh spinach and cucumbers, made on grilled Zingerman's whole wheat bread.

By now, nothing about this sandwich could make me nervous. I'm still not a huge fan of onions but the other ingredients hid them pretty well for me. I really like our honey mustard, it's called Honeycup Honey Mustard, and it's made with brown sugar, mustard flour, honey and spicy. It's sweet but has a very distinctive bite to it. If you want to try it at home we also sell it retail.

I think I had this sandwich on the perfect day- it was probably about 90 degrees, but this sandwich seemed light enough for that kind of heat. I loved the honey mustard and hummus combo as well, and that went great with the chicken and vegetables on the sandwich. I enjoyed this sandwich very much, I think it is unique, and great for those that are healthy eaters! I had nothing to dislike about this sandwich, and that's rare!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day #74, Turkey Meatloaf

I'm finally on the last dinner entree- until the menu changes at the end of September or beginning of October. Still, it will be good timing for me to try and get through some more of the sandwich menu!

Our meatloaf is made with turkey, eggs, bread crumbs, bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, tomato paste, Grafton Vermont cheddar, and french dijon. It's served with roasted baby potatoes and vegetable du jour.

Although I'm sure many people grew up eating meatloaf, and cold meatloaf sandwiches the next day (as the menu says) I was not one of them. I cannot remember a single time that my mother made meatloaf, and I can honestly say I have never tried it! So trying it here was quite the experience, but I'm so glad that I tried it because it was so much different than I expected.

For some reason I expected meatloaf to have a really odd texture to it, but it did not at all. It had good flavor, and I also liked the gravy on top. It was totally not what I had expected it to be, and that is always a pleasant surprise to me! I not only see the appeal of this entree, but I realized that it something that I might be able to actually eat (and enjoy) again in the future. I really like that the meatloaf and are chili are made with turkey rather than beef. Most of the time I am always more comfortable trying something that is made with turkey.

Well, this is the last dinner entree post! You will get a low down on the new dinner entrees in a few months!

Day #73, Coq Au Vin

I'm down to the last two entrees on the dinner menu, the Coq Au Vin and the Turkey Meatloaf. Today I'm having the Coq Au Vin, and I'm really excited about it. I've had it before, but I ordered it with out the sauce and just at the chicken plain. It was really good that way, but I thought it to be even better with the sauce.

Our Coq Au vin is made with tender boneless chicken thighs braised in a rich red wine sauce. It's paired with roasted garlic whipped potatoes and vegetable du jour.

Coq Au Vin is traditionally a french dish, but various legends trace it to ancient  Gaul and Julius Caesar, but the recipe was not documented until the early 20th century.It is generally accepted that it existed as a rustic dish long before that.

I think it's great that we have a traditionally French dish on the menu. I think it's even better that most people like it, and it is really popular. It's not something that you are going to find very often at another restaurant and I like the idea that it is special to the Laundry.

Even I like this dish. It is a little heavy, especially with the mashed potatoes as a side. However, our mashed potatoes are AWESOME. I thought this dish to be very flavorful and delicious. Although I had reservations about eating the Coq Au Vin sauce before, now I think that it really adds great flavor to the dish. Give it a try if you are looking for something out of the ordinary!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day #72, Cheeseplates

(Cheeseplate for Two)

The first time that I dined at the Laundry, I was curious as to why something like a cheeseplate whould be on the menu. I guess more than anything, I just thought it to be a very unusual appetizer. After I started working at the Laundry, I realized how popular our cheeseplates are. People love them, and now I definitely see the appeal; who doesn't like cheese?

If you haven't tried a cheeseplate here, they come in two sizes- cheeseplate for 2 and cheeseplate for 4. The cheese plate for 4 has more of all the cheeses, plus an additional fourth cheese. Pictured above is the cheeseplate for two.

Our cheeseplates come with our famous apricot gorgonzola cheese dip. The dip is made with apricots, gorgonzola cheese, scallions, cream cheese, and bacon. Although it sounds like something that I wouldn't like, I actually LOVE it! It's always what I bring to family gatherings because it is always a hit with my family.

When ordering a cheeseplate you can request that it has your favorite cheeses on it, or you can let us pick them for you. Here's a little info  on our cheeses:

-Bleu D' Auvergne (Bluh-doe-Vairn)- From France and made with cow's milk, it's soft with a salty but edible exterior.
-Bucheron (Boosh-rawn)- Loire Valley, France. It's a riped-goat's milk cheese, with a white bloomy rind that covers a soft spreadable paste that has a tangy, yet mild flavor.
-Grafton Vermont Cheddar- It's our flagship cheddar, used on our sandwiches.
-Zingerman's City Goat Cheese- Very mild goat cheese, good American goat.
-Comte (Cone-tay)- From France. Smooth flavor with hints of fruit, hazelnut, and toffee. It's great melted!
-Emmental- From Switzerland- the valley of the Emme River. It's the world's most recognizable cheese. Nutty and fruity, with walnut sized wholes.
-Feta- A sheep's milk cheese from Greece. Crumbly, salty, and slightly tangy.
-Fontinella- Medium to hard cow's milk cheese from Wisconsin. It has a white eggshell color and is slightly sweet and tangy.
-Gorganzola- This is an Italian cheese from the Lombardy region.
-Young Gouda- Creamy, and semi-soft cow's milk cheese. It's slightly yellow in color and comes from Holland. Always made with whole milk.
-Aged Gouda- This cheese is exported from the Netherlands. It has a sharp, yet slightly sweet taste. It's very hard and amber colored. Great flavor!
-Le Chevrot- A great medium aged goat cheese from France. It has a creamy, mild taste, with hints of fresh straw.
-Manchego (Mon-chay-go) - The most popular milk cheese from Spain. It has a very pleasant, mild taste, and a slightly grainy texture.
-Maytag Blue Cheese- #1 American blue cheese. Made from cow's milk. Created through a collaboration between Maytag Dairy Farms and Iowa State University.
-Munster- From France with a supple, creamy texture and huge beefy and nutty flavor.
-Old Chatham Camembert- The largest sheepherders in the United States. Made from 1/2 sheep and 1/2 cow's milk. Very creamy and buttery, and becomes more complex over time.
-Parmigiano-Reggiano- From Italy, known as the worlds greatest cheese. Splintery, straw colored interior, enormous slightly salted flavor. Made from cow's milk.
-Provolone-From Italy, Firm, waxy texture with an oily-sharp flavor. Made from cow's milk.
-Raclette- The rind on this cheese is inedible. It's a great melting cheese, but unmelted has a full beefy flavor. It also has a very pungent odor, but don't let it fool you!
-Roquefort- A sheep's milk blue cheese. Very strong, very salty. Considered a delicacy around the world.
-Saint Andre Brie- Made from whole cow's milk, it is a triple cream cheese (75% butter fat or higher).
-Stilton- Made in England, it's ivory colored with liberal green/blue veining. Firm, yet crumble texture with huge spicy aroma.
-Swiss Emmental- Known as Swiss cheese in America. It's aged in 100lb wheels that are shipped to us right from Switzerland.
-Swiss Gruyere- It's a smooth, creamy cheese with beige interior and an assertive flavor with hints of nut and fruit. We use this cheese on our French onion soup!

Whew! I think I may have missed a few, so feel free to ask if you wanted to learn about something not listed above. My favorite cheeses from this list are brie, manchego, and aged gouda. All have great flavor, but aren't to overwhelming.

I think cheeseplates make an awesome appetizer or snack. If you haven't tried our apricot gorgonzola dip, that is a must! If I love, I'm sure you will as well!

(Cheeseplate for four)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day #71, Butter and Salami Appetizer

It's really been awhile since I have blogged about an appetizer. Today I'm enjoying the Fresh Butter and Salame Plate. It's a very simple, yet very popular appetizer. We use La Baratte des Gourmets Butter, which is traditional churn butter with crystal sea salt. It's made in France from pasteurized cow's milk. The salami that we use is also authentic French salami, and we carry it it black pepper, red pepper, herb, and plain. The bread that comes with this appetizer is my absolute favorite bread that we carry- Zingerman's Paesano Bread. Paesano bread is soft, chewy, and has large holes inside. The holes are the signature of this loaf, the traditional bread of Puglia (the region in the heel of Italy’s boot).

We also serve Paesano with our olive oil appetizers, since it's the perfect bread for dipping. I really liked trying this appetizer, although it wasn't a great dinner by itself. I thought it to be the perfect appetizer to share with others though, because it is very easy to pass around the table and eat. I love the Paesano and sea salt butter combination, they go perfectly together. I also was pleasantly surprised by the salami, I didn't hate it! Our customers do love our salami though, and often authentic salami can be very difficult to find.

I would suggest this appetizer to anyone, even if you don't like salami the awesome Paesano and sea salt butter is a great start to your meal!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day #70, Aglio e Aioli

Today's dinner is a very popular Laundry entree, the Aglio. Almost everyone pronounces this wrong, so when ordering, I would suggest that you say Aglio (ahh-glee-ohh) so that this order is easily understood!

The Aglio is an Italian spaghetti style dish with olive oil, garlic, Italian sausage, capers, white wine, tomatoes, and spinach. Our menu describes it as "not your average red sauce spaghetti," and I would totally agree with that. The aglio is salty and flavorful in a whole different way than the regular pasta that most of us enjoy. The portion is huge, and I'm always very surprised when I see someone finish the entire entree. It also comes with a piece of simple bruschetta, made with Zingerman's Paesano bread.

I was glad I tried this, I definitely see why it is so popular, and will probably never be taken off of our menu. Everyone loves it! It's a great change for dinner because it has such a unique flavor.

We also serve the aglio at lunch time, and this lunch entree comes with a small tossed salad. The aglio is a small portion for lunch, but I would imagine most people would still have leftovers.

For lunch or for dinner, I think this is a great option if you would like to try something new and different! Or, if it's an old favorite...enjoy it again! :)