Friday, April 10, 2015

The Best Meal I Have Made My Guy....So Far

Last week, I received the ultimate praise from my guy. This is the praise that every woman that wants her man to be happy loves to hear. What is the best way to your man's heart? Through his stomach. Ok and being loving and supporting and a good listener and all those other things. But as a girl that loves to cook, I love it when I please my man with my cooking. So what was it that I heard him say?

"This is the best meal you have ever made"

And the best part - the meal was sooooo simple, thanks to some Pinterest searching and some Food Network TV watching.

I am a huge fan of Ree Drummond, AKA - The Pioneer Woman. I love her blog, her TV show and most of all her cooking style. She is so down to earth and cooks with normal ingredients. Most of her meals are simple to make and will keep you full and satisfied.

Recently, my guy and I watched an episode of her show where she made creamy herbed potatoes. They looked absolutely fantastic and we were left just short of drooling after the episode. I knew this was something I needed to make soon. Mind you this is not a healthy dish and even though I used a few healthier ingredients than Ree, it's still a splurge side dish.

Start with sauteing some onions in a lot of butter!
I was able to use my new mandolin to slice up the potatoes. It worked like a dream and all the potatoes were the same thickness to cook the same.

Then you add cream cheese (I went with the 1/3 less fat kind)
I used just a small amount of cream (because I had it) and 1% milk to complete the creamy part of the potatoes. I didn't have any fresh herbs, so I just cut back on my dried herb usage. I have read that dried herbs can have double the flavor as fresh so you don't need to use as much.
Stir it all around until everything is smooth and combined and then pour it over the potatoes.
The it's into the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the middle is bubbly. I do think I could cut back on the butter a bit - maybe use half a cup instead of a cup, but that would probably affect the flavor.

While the potatoes were cooking, it was time to make the Paninis. 

I recently got a Cuisinart Griddler and have been trying different Panini sandwiches on it. Cafe de Arts in Waukesha makes an awesome Prime Rib Panini, so I scoured Pinterest and found something similar to try in my press. I think what makes Cafe de Arts Panini so delicious is the sauce, so I made sure to buy some fresh horseradish to use in the mix.

I started by softening some onions with a little oil over medium heat. I didn't actually caramelize them, just softened them up for the sandwich. I nuked some mushrooms for about a minute in the microwave, drained off the water and set them on the side to add to the sandwich.
I made the spread from Miracle Whip, horseradish and mozzarella cheese.  Then it was time to assemble. Oil the outside of the bread and lay that side on the heated Panini maker. Spread the spread over the bread and then put two pieces of roast beef, onions and mushrooms and then 1-2 more pieces of roast beef. Then spread the spread on another piece of bread and place the spread side against the roast beef. Spray the outside of the bread with EVOO and then close the Panini press using light pressure for about 30 seconds.
The sandwiches were done 5 minutes later and the potatoes rested. It was time to dig in. My guy was in heaven. And that's when I heard....."This is the best meal you have ever made" He loved everything about it. The crisp bread with a little heat to the sauce on the sandwich. The potatoes were rich, creamy and irresistible.
I told my mom about the delicious sandwiches and she wanted the recipe as well. I sent it to her and she made them this past week too. She agreed they are fabulous! This meal definitely goes on the list of To Be Made Again (and again and again)!

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