Crepes Bonaparte – Food Truck Review

I had the pleasure of eating lunch at Crepes Bonapartes http://www.crepesbonaparte.com food truck the other day.  I am not the biggest crepe fan by any means and I am not sure I am now however; this was a wonderful lunch and inspired a similar sandwich creation at home.  I had the King Brie crepe.  The king brie is creamy brie, crisp apple slices, bacon and turkey breast.  Great combination.  Nothing was served with the crepe and I think some greens with vinaigrette would have balanced this rich lunch out nicely.

Crepes Bonaparte was featured on the Food Networks “On The Road” show.  From their Facebook page “Crepes Bonaparte gourmet food truck and private event crepe bar catering recreates the experience of enjoying French crepes on the streets of Paris, France with made to order breakfast, lunch, and dessert style crepes.”

I really enjoyed my lunch here with two exceptions; I think my crepe was a tad too crispy and it needed something clean and sharp on the side.

 

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Best Brie Sandwich – I shall call you Yum and love you forever.

Who doesn’t love a grilled cheese sandwich?  If you don’t you should leave now and forget you ever saw this place.  I love the gooey melty cheese and the most satisfying crunch of the warm toasty bread.  I usually make grilled cheese on the panini press because it works by heating and toasting the bread from the top and bottom at the same time.  The only downfall of this is that if you are using a fluffy bread like Brioche then the weight of the press counteracts that fluffiness.

Another thing I do when making grilled cheese is I melt the butter and apply it with a pastry brush.  I think this allows you better control over the amount of butter you apply.  Typically you don’t need much to give you that buttery crunchy outside.  You can also add things to the butter like garlic or tarragon or other delicious additions.

I wasn’t in the mood to present the boys with Brie today so I made them a simple sharp cheddar and green apple grilled cheese and they LOVED it.  It is really easy to adapt sandwiches to suit all the members of your families personal tastes.  All hail the sandwich.  Lets get to this sandwich called YUM.

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What you’ll need: melter butter, Sourdough: the king of breads. Creamy Brie cheese, sliced Granny Smith apples, turkey and a little bacon.   Please pre-cook the bacon; don’t expect the bacon to cook in the middle of your sandwich.

First things first, give yourself 3 good sized slices of Brie and slice your apples about 1/8 inch thick.  Next you will want to either turn on your panini press and set to medium or preheat your pan.

Lightly, really, lightly butter both pieces of bread on one side.

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Place on slice of bread in the pan or on the press, followed by the Brie, the apple slices, the bacon and finally the shaved turkey and second slice of bread.

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If you are using a panini press close the lid and let it go for 4-5 minutes until the bread is golden amber brown and the Brie is just oozing out the side of the sandwich.  If you have chosen to use a pan, then proceed as usual for creating a grilled cheese.

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Devilicious – food truck review, a little luxury at lunch.

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So there is some upcoming construction at work and they have called in the food trucks to give us more lunch options as moving our cars on our lunch break will become very difficult; nice gesture I think.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of getting my lunch from the Devilicious Food Truck http://deviliciousfoodtruck.com/.  Devilicious was part of the show The Great Food Truck Race on the Food Network.  The masterminds behind this comfort food kitchen on wheels are: Dyann Huffman, Kristina Repp and Mark Manning according to the information I found in their Food Network bio.  My apologies if there have been changes since that bio was posted.

The pleasure was all mine as I  wolfed down savored the duck confit grilled cheese with caramelized red onions, gruyere and mozzarella with a honey port reduction on freshly baked sourdough bread.  To my surprise it was served with some mixed baby greens in a balsamic vinegar dressing; more on that in a minute. “Confit is an old French technique for preserving duck legs in fat. Although most people no longer have to keep duck through the winter without refrigeration, the technique is still used a lot because it makes for delicious eating. The only difficult part is coming across enough luscious duck fat—you can order it for yourself from www.hudsonvalleyfoiegras.com orwww.dartagnan.com. You can render duck fat yourself, or you can substitute lard. Once you make confit, you can keep it in the fridge for months.” (Davis, 2006)

The grilled cheese was of a generous but not over the top size and was proportionate to its $9.00 price tag.  There was plenty of delicious duck and plenty of gooey cheese.  The bread was of a good quality; chewy with a great crust and was toasted perfectly. I am a big bread fan and this was good bread; I forgot to ask which bakery was supplying them…next time.

I thought the sandwich was soft and chewy, but don’t be fooled, this was not a soggy sandwich, something I really appreciated.  Duck is greasy on its own and luckily I had those mixed baby greens with the dressing as the vinegar helped to cut through some of the richness and duck fat. Great addition and a nice surprise.  I would most definitely order this again and again.  I’m actually craving one right now.
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Davis, M. (2006). Duck confit. Retrieved from http://www.jamesbeard.org/recipes/duck-confit

Bánh mì for me

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I have been craving a Bánh mì sandwich for about 2 weeks now.  It is an extremely satisfying sandwich; the crunch of the baguette, creamy mayonnaise, heat from the serrano chili, refreshing citrusy notes from the cilantro and the richness of the pork all combine to make kitchen magic.

They sell them everywhere in the Vietnamese section of town about 10 miles from where I live.  However close that might seem somehow, as most foodies do, I rationalized that it would be easier and better to go to the market buy the missing pieces and make it myself.

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I have never made one myself so the recipe below is mine and mine alone.  I left out the carrot because it is my kitchen after all and I couldn’t buy just one carrot.   I also substituted daikon radish sprouts for actual daikon radish; sprouts and I typically do not get along.  I like the texture and look of them but there is this certain dirty taste to them I cannot shake so I might pluck those off.

The bahn mi came out better than good, but not great – easy fix.

I marinated the pork tenderloin for 2 hours in :

1t minced garlic

1/4 t lime zest

1t chopped cilantro

1/3 cup soy sauce

3T rice vinegar

1/3 light brown sugar – not packed

I grilled the pork tenderloin until it reached an internal temperature of 160 and then removed it from the grill and wrapped it in foil until it settled and reached 170 degrees.  So far so good.  This was a great pork tenderloin; juicy and flavorful.

 

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I then split the baguette and hollowed out a small trough on both sides.  I spread the baguette with a lime mayonnaise  (1/4 cup mayonnaise with the juice of one lime) that I added a pinch of salt and 1/3 of a serrano chili minced.  This is where I went wrong.  The sandwich was missing its signature heat.  I wish I had used more serrano and I will for the next one I eat.

I then layered slices of the pork, cilantro and the daikon radish sprouts. Remember when I said I didn’t know how I would like the sprouts? I LOVED them.  They provided some of the crunch that was missing with the omitted carrot and had wonderful flavor and texture.

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Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches | Iowa Girl Eats

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches | Iowa Girl Eats.

I was just going to post this recipe to celebrate my new Crockpot, but Kristin had already done such a bag-up job I figured I would save myself the time and share her blog.

I have made this recipe many many many times and it is amazing.  I bring it to work when we have department potlucks and it is always a big hit.  My two sons, 7 and 10 both devour it as well.  My husband loves it but says it stinks up the house when I make it.

I usually brown the meat in a pan before chucking it into the Crockpot because the Crockpot doesn’t do it.  I like the extra layer of flavor that caramelizing the outside of the meat provides to the overall flavor.

The last time I made it I used something other than Chuck roast and it became too finely shredded so it is up to you, but I didn’t think it was as good.