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Mary’s Memo #2216

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF
    
What better time than Memorial Day to review 400 Best Sandwich Recipes by Alison Lewis! Published by Robert Rose in April, Lewis proves that a sandwich is more than lunchtime fare. In fact her selections include new twists on traditional sandwiches and creative new ones to serve at any meal. 400 Best Sandwich Recipes has the perfect sandwich for anyone’s taste. Alison Lewis is a nationally known recipe developer, TV and social media spokesperson and consultant. She is known for creating healthy, family-friendly recipes that are easy to prepare, and she offers great and entertaining ideas on her blog, http://IngredientsInc.net. Previously, she was an
Editor on the Food Staff at Southern Living Magazine and Oxmoor House Books after completing degrees in Marketing, Advertising and Nutrition.
   
  I like the southwestern twist she gave to a classic grilled cheese sandwich by using pepper Jack, thinly sliced tomato and avocado slices.

SOUTHWESTERN GRILLED CHEESE

8 slices white or whole-grain bread2 tablespoons butter, softened4 slices pepper Jack cheese2 tomatoes, thinly sliced2 avocados, thinly sliced Toppings, optionalSalsaSour creamChopped, seeded jalapenosFreshly chopped cilantroBrush one side of each bread slice with butter. Place on work surface, buttered side down. Top 4 bread slices equally with cheese, tomato slices and avocado slices. Cover with remaining bread slices, buttered side up, and press together gently. Place sandwiches
on preheated panini grill or in a large skillet over medium heat and cook, turning once if using a skillet, for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted. Serve immediately with desired toppings. Recipe makes 4 servings.
Source: 400 Best Sandwich Recipes by Alison Lewis; Robert Rose Publishers, $24.95/softback.
     When boneless pork loin is on sale I buy one and have it cut into 1-inch chops for broiling inside or on the outdoor grill. The “other white meat” people have a new web site: www.PorkBeInspired. com that’s worth your time browsing. That’s where I found America’s Favorite Pork Chops. Chops are marinated 2 hours or overnight before grilling. Please note that my 1-inch chops will take a little longer to cook because they’re thicker and I grill by indirect heat rather than over a flame. One other thing: It’s okay
if chops are pink inside when served.

AMERICA'S FAVORITE PORK CHOPS

4 pork chops, 3/4 inch thick3/4 cup Italian dressing (reduced-fat can be used)1 teaspoon Worcestershire saucePlace all ingredients in a self-sealing bag; seal bag and place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes (or as long as overnight). Remove chops from bag, discarding marinade, and grill over a medium- hot fire, turning once, until just done, about 8 to 11 minutes total cooking time.
Source: www.PorkBeInspired.com.

PS: Many vinaigrette-type salad dressings make excellent marinades in a pinch and could spare you spending money on ingredients you’d rarely use otherwise.

PIECE DE RESISTANCE
     We’re ending on a sweet note with my sister Ann’s Crème de Menthe Bars that you can make ahead for various parties or take to a picnic. There is no baking powder or baking soda used in the cake layer.

CRÈME DE MENTHE BARS
Cake Layer:

1 cup sugar1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened4 eggs, beaten1 cup flour1/2 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon vanilla(1) 16-ounce can Hershey® chocolateBeat ingredients with electric mixer. Spoon into greased and floured 10x15x2-inch jelly roll pan. Bake in preheated 350ºF oven for half hour. Check at 25 minutes. Cool completely before spreading with mint layer.
Mint Layer:
2 cups powdered sugar2 tablespoons crème de menthe liqueur1/2 cup (1 stick) soften butterBeat mixture until light and fluffy. Spread on cooled chocolate cake. Refrigerate until firm. Spread with glaze.
Glaze:
6-ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips + 1/3 cup more1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butterMelt together over low heat and spread over chilled mint layer. Store in refrigerator until needed. Cut into bars to serve. They also freeze well.
Source: Ann Trentadue, Upper St. Claire, PA.

ARTICHOKES 101 CONTINUED: PREPARATION

     With a sharp paring knife, remove tough outer leaves and snip off leaf tips. Next, cut off and discard the stem so that artichoke stands upright. Open the leaves to expose hairy choke and purplish leaves covering it; remove with small spoon. Place artichoke
in a mixture of lemon juice and water to prevent discoloring until ready to use.
     Steam whole for approximately 25 minutes. Serve with melted butter, lemon-flavored butter or hollandaise sauce.
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