Grilled Brie & Pear Sandwich

Grilled Brie & Pear Sandwich

Grilled Brie & Pear Sandwich

Ooooh mama, look what I got in the mail today!  If you follow my blog then you know I recently featured a posting for an almond pear cake.  Apparently someone at Frog Hollow Farm saw that posting and realized that I must be a serious pear lover, and offered to send me a box of their pears. Well Mama never turns down offers of food.

It’s a lazy Saturday afternoon and the husband and I haven’t eaten lunch yet, so I’m thinking grilled cheese and pears because it’s a perfect combination. I always have arugula and pecans on hand so this is pretty much a done deal.  It’s buttery, it’s creamy, it’s sweet, it’s crunchy…do I have your attention yet???

I really want to thank the folks at Frog Hollow Farm because these were probably the best pears I ever had, and I’m not just saying that. These particular pears that they sent were called Warren Pears, and they were sweet and juicy and devoid of that grittiness that pears can sometime have. If you’re a pear lover like me, then I would recommend you check them out.

Frog Hollow Farm

Frog Hollow Farm Pears

Grilled Brie & Pear Sandwich

  • 4 slices of bread – I chose a hearty multi grain variety
  • 1 firm, ripe pear – any variety
  • small wedge of brie, cut into 1/8″ slices
  • handful of fresh arugula
  • handful of toasted pecans
  • 1/2 stick butter, at room temperature
  1. Directions
  2. Using  a mandolin on the larger setting, slice your pears and with a sharp knife, slice out the core and seeds.
  3. Butter the four slices of bread making sure you cover every square inch of bread with butter to insure perfect toastiness.  Layer a bread slice with the arugula and pecans, several pear slices, and the brie. Then place the second bread slice on top.
  4. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium and place the sandwich in the pan.  Let the sandwich get a nice sear on it, then cover the pan with a lid to allow the cheese to melt better. When the sandwich is golden on the first side.  Flip it over until it browns on the other side.

Makes 2, darn good sandwiches

Pear Chips

Pear Chips

I just couldn’t get enough of these scrumptious pears, so I sliced some up on the thinner setting of the  mandolin and made some pear chips to serve along with our sandwiches. However, to really savor the loveliness of this fruit, one should just eat it in it’s natural state!

Recipe: Easy


Salmon Burgers with Fresh Dill Sauce

Salmon Burger

Some foods just bring back memories of childhood. I am very fortunate that the memories I have of those times are warm and happy ones. Every night, my parents and me and my two brothers sat around our red kitchen table and had dinner together. One of the things that my mother made every week was salmon croquettes. It’s not something you would think kids would have liked necessarily, but oddly my brothers and I loved them. At least I think they did. I’ll have to ask them.

Anyway, I’ll take a salmon burger over a beef burger any day. Hamburgers are so 29 seconds ago. These aquatic burgers are filled with so many different ingredients they just exude flavor. I love to pair it with the fresh dill sauce which is the perfect creamy and lemony partner for the fish. Then you top the burger with the peppery arugula, and a toasted bun for crunch, and I promise you, you’ll never look at a beef burger again.

Mini Salmon Burgers in Pita Pockets

Salmon Burgers

Adapted From Food Network

  • 1 1/4 pounds fresh salmon filet
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons panko crumbs, plus extra to coat patties
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • sandwich buns
  • fresh arugula
Directions
  1. Pulse 1/4 pound salmon in a food processor with 2 tablespoons dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest and a pinch of cayenne pepper. 
  2. Transfer this mixture to a medium bowl and mix with 1 pound of salmon that has been finely diced. You want it to be a little chunky so you can really taste the salmon. Add in 2 chopped scallions, 2 tablespoons of panko crumbs, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. I used a cookie cutter about the same size as my bun and pressed the mixture into the cutter to create uniform sized patties. Pressing the mixture into the cutter also helps it keep it’s shape. Place on an oiled cookie sheet and chill for at least 30 minutes. You want the patties good and chilled so they will retain their shape. Heat canola oil in a cast iron skillet on medium-high. Cook the patties about 3-4 minutes on each side. You want them to cook through, but be careful they don’t burn. Don’t let the oil get too hot.
  4. Drain the patties on a paper towel.
  5. Toast buns, top pattie with dill sauce and fresh arugula.

Mini Salmon Burgers in Pita Pockets

Dill Sauce 

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
  • fresh, ground pepper to taste
Directions
Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Salmon Burger

Salmon Burger

Mama’s Tips:

To make this sandwich even more perfect, butter a griddle and toast your buns til golden on the edges. It gives this sandwich a lovely added crunch.

If you have a cast iron skillet, use it instead of a regular frying pan. Fill you pan with the oil about 1/4 inch deep and don’t place the patties in the pan until the oil is hot. Cast iron skillets retain heat and evenly distribute the heat better than the standard frying pan.. Your patties will also get a nice crust on them. That’s a good thing.

To clean your skillet, use a washcloth and rinse with hot water and immediately dry the skillet. Never, ever put one in a dishwasher. Season your pan by rubbing with a paper bowl and a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Gently heat the pan to help the oil soak in. (From Bon Appetit).

Recipe: Intermediate