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Dos Lunas Grilled Cheese & Plum Chutney Sandwich

Dos-Lunas-Grilled-Cheese-&-Plum-Chutney-Sandwich_Delicious-cheese_Yes,-more-please!

Red juicy plums got me in trouble this time. I saw them at the market and when I grabbed them I could feel the juicy flesh of the fruit. I bought some and ate 3 on the way home, and then I went back to the market and bought some more. I think too many… so what to do with an extra pound of plums? “Chutney!”, I open my fridge what else did I have available? Oh! Yes, jalapenos! No matter what, I always have fresh jalapenos in my fridge.. (ask Ian) A little spicy green chile will always save you and kick up the flavor of any meal. I had some ginger (not too shabby) some cinnamon (great spice and aromatic) I was not even thinking about it when I realized I was already making the chutney… My mouth waters.. Juicy and sweet red plums chunks, a hint of spice from the jalapeno, aromatic cinnamon and fresh ginger to brighten up the flavor! The kitchen smelled like a sinful geisha wardrobe. (oops rewind that!) It smelled great, so I had to try it… where? In what? With what?… On a melted ham and cheese sandwich! Oh yes my friends, a sinful combination. One more time, before my eyes something so simple can become so ridiculously good.

Although, to be honest the major protagonist of this sandwich act, is the Classico cheese from Dos Lunas.

I first sampled Dos Lunas cheese at our local farmer’s market and I loved it from the start. Its made by a local artisan cheese maker named Joaquin Avellan, a Venezuelan transplant who missed his families’ cheese so much he began to make his own here in Texas. He makes several varieties from local UNPASTUERIZED cow’s milk. This allows his cheese a greater complexity of flavor which is normally ruined by heat when the milk is pasteurized. Due to regulations, unpasteurized cheese can only be sold in the US after being aged two months, hence Dos Lunas (Two Moons).

I chose his ‘Classico” cheese for this recipe because of its melting qualities and particular flavor. This cheese  has some nutty notes and taste like the grass in Schulenburg, Tx where 60 happy cows produce the milks that this amazing cheese is made off. Its creaminess greatly complements the plum chutney and smokey salty ham. This cheese Its also great as a stand alone to eat all on its own. If you’re curious about picking up some of this ‘Classico cheese’, follow the link at the end of this entry.

This delicious spicy plum chutney over melted Dos Lunas Classico cheese piled on some thinly sliced smoked ham on sprouted wheat bread will send you over the moon…or two.

Dos-Lunas-Grilled-Cheese-&-Plum-Chutney-Sandwich_warm-Gridle-ready-to-eat!_Yes,-more-please!

Dos Lunas Grilled Cheese & Plum Chutney Sandwich.

Makes 2

4 tablespoons of Red Plum, jalapeno chutney Enough cheese to make you smile!…I used Dos Lunas Classico it melts beautifully!, if you are not in Austin, Texas, you can use: Emmental, Swiss or Baby Swiss.

4 thin slices of smoked ham or Bavarian ham.

4 bread slices ( I used 7 seeds-sprouted whole wheat bread)

2-4 tablespoons of butter.

Vegans & Vegetarians: You can use any firm tofu, it will be fantastic if you saute the tofu to give extra crust. And shredded carrots with a little bit of sea salt to substitute the ham.

Use any Vegan margarine spread or coconut oil to give the bread a crusty top, It will be a fantastic sandwich!

Dos Lunas Grilled Cheese & Plum Chutney Sandwich_Red_Plums-bowl

Red Plum – Jalapeno & Ginger Chutney

Makes 2-3 cups

8-12 ripe Red plumps pitted and cut in quarters and eights.
¼ cup sugar (mascabado, or raw)
6 tablespoons of agave nectar
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1-2 small diced jalapenos
1-2 teaspoons of fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 stick of mexican cinnamon
A dash of ground clove.

Making the chutney:

Over medium high heat in a stainless steel pan place the plums, sugar, agave and cinnamon stick. Let the plums warm trough about 4-5 minutes. Once that the sugar and agave start looking bubbly, add the grated ginger, diced jalapenos, cider vinegar, olive oil and the dash of clove. Let simmer for about 5-6 minutes, until the juices look translucent and some of the plums have started to get soft and you can smash them easily with a spoon. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Dos Lunas Grilled Cheese & Plum Chutney Sandwich_Red_Plumps_halved

Ginger-+Jalapeno+Plum-Chutney_Yes,-more-please!

Dos-Lunas-Grilled-Cheese-&-Plum-Chutney-Sandwich_Red-Plum-chutney

Built your sandwich:

Spread butter one side of the two bread slices and place in hot griddle or pan. Build your sandwich on one slice starting with the ham, then 2 tablespoons of the chutney then cover with sliced Dos Lunas cheese. Toast the bread slices in the pan for 2-3 minutes until the buttered side gets color. Then place the pan under the broiler for about 2-3 minutes. Finally top the melted cheese and other ingredients with the plain toasted slice to create your sandwich. Eat while very warm!!! A nice glass of beer or milk will go great…enjoy.   To learn more about Dos Lunas and how to get some of their cheese:  www.doslunascheese.com Dos-Lunas-Grilled-Cheese-&-Plum-Chutney-Sandwich_triangles_Yes,-more-please!

Dos-Lunas-Grilled-Cheese-&-Plum-Chutney-Sandwich_Melted-cheese-craving

To learn more about Dos Lunas and how to get some of their cheese:  www.doslunascheese.com

The cheese used in this recipe was donated by Dos Lunas Cheese….Thank you Joaquin!

 

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Summer Soba Noodles

Summer Soba Noodles_healthy and delicious

Lusciously light noodles, that’s my description for this dish. Cold soba noodles are a popular summer dish in Japan. The Japanese people are very wise by eating like this; light, savory, vegetable based; a good way to stay cool. The traditional way to serve them is without toppings; just the delicate flavor of the noodle with some dipping sauce on the side. You dip them as you go.
In my version I decided to give the dish a little kick and add some fresh vegetables and tofu. We usually have this for lunch or a light summery dinner. The combination of fresh crunchy vegetables, sweet savory sauce and creamy tofu cubes, pairs really well with the tender noodle. The preparation could not be easier, and if we measure preparation time versus rewarding flavors it is a winner.
If you think this dish looks complicated, don’t worry, its easy to make. To save you some prep time I recommend you invest on a little kitchen gadget: get yourself a julienne peeler. It is one of my favorite tools. Its fun, easy to use, and easy to clean. You can use this peeler for any other vegetable or fruit. One of the best kitchen gadgets to have. Let’s cook!

Summer Soba Noodles_ sauce ingredientsSummer Soba Noodles_ ingredientsSummer Soba Noodles_Yes,more please!

Summer Soba Noodles

Serves 2-4

3-6 Soba noodle bundles approximately 1.5 bundle per person ( I recommend you to get the Japanese kind. You can get them at any Asian specialty aisle of a supermarket )
2-4 green onions/chives – finely sliced
2 carrots (shredded, julienne or grated)
1 seedless cucumber (julienne or thinly sliced)
½ avocado
1/4-1/2 cup unshelled and cooked edamame beans(optional)
1 block of extra firm Tofu, remove the excess water patting it with paper towels and cut into small cubes.

For the sauce:

3 tablespoons soy sauce.
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil + one extra tablespoon for finishing.
2 tablespoons of honey or agave nectar.
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove grated
the juice and the zest of one small orange.

In a bowl Whisk all the ingredients. Reserve 1/3 of the sauce to marinate the tofu squares.

Garnish with:

Thai Basil to garnish
Black or gold sesame seeds
1 Red chili, thinly sliced

Directions:

1.-

Start by making your sauce. Place all its ingredients in a bowl and whisk. Set aside 1/3 of the sauce and marinate the tofu. While the tofu is absorbing all the flavors, proceed to cut and prepare your vegetables and garnishes.

2.-

Bring a large pot of water up to a boil. Unlike regular pasta, you do not need to salt the water. Once the water is boiling place the noodles and monitor constantly, using a pasta spoon to prevent the noodles sticking. Bring the water up to simmering. Do not let it boil. Follow the instructions in the package, taste, it should have some elasticity to it. Usually takes around 4-5 minutes because they cook through quickly . Keep an eye on them to avoid over cooking. When the pasta is ready drain the noodles into a colander. Immediately return them to the pot and fill the pot with cold water. Leave the water running into the pot a bit until the noodles cool down. Gently with your hands rinse the noodles in threads.*( see picture below) until they feel less starchy. Drain them again into a colander and allow them to drain. You can transfer them to a bamboo mat, to remove the excess water.

Summer Soba Noodles_How to prepare soba noodles

3.-

In a non-stick pan proceed to saute the marinated tofu until golden brown. A little scorching doesn’t hurt either.
In a large bowl season the noodles with a tablespoon of sesame oil and add sesame seeds.

Summer Soba Noodles_Sautee_marinated_Tofu

Divide all noodles evenly into 2 or 4 bowls, garnish with the Juliane carrots, cucumbers, avocado, sautéed tofu, edamame, red chilli.
Serve a small sauce bowl per person for extra dipping the noodles. Enjoy!

Summer Soba Noodles_for two

~Enjoy!~

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