Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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So I decided to try a Meatless Monday thing and made a classic grilled cheese sandwich, that I paired with a tomato bisque soup and basic salad with balsamic vinaigrette.  Who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese sandwich?  There is just something nostalgic and comforting about it.  But in the past and growing up, I always made it with slices of American cheese. Now don’t get me wrong, I actually love American cheese and think its delicious, although others might feel that it’s too processed, which I can understand.  This time, I tried to be slightly more sophisticated and used parmesan and mild cheddar cheese.  I read somewhere that it is better to use 2 different types, with one being saltier (parmesan). So I kinda went with it, and actually it turned out pretty good. Although, I don’t think you can eff up a grilled cheese unless you burn it super bad, but even then, there’s a market for that.

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Ingredients:

  • Bread (whatever kind, I just used regular good old fashioned white bread)
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Directions:

  • In a small mixing bowl, toss the 2 types of cheeses together and blend them together
  • In a skillet over medium heat, melt 1/4 tbsp of butter and add the slices of bread
  • When slightly toasted, flip the bread and add the cheese blend to both slices
  • When the cheese begins to melt, flip one slice on top of the other
  • After a few minutes, flip the sandwich to finish melting the cheese and toasting the other slice of bread
  • Cut and enjoy like your inner kid wants to

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Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Salad

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So with such heavy meals in the recent past, I opted to go for something on the lighter side – a salad. But, being me, I can’t eat lettuce and call it a day. I had to add some kind of protein, so for this salad, I went with shrimp. I made a cilantro-lime vinaigrette, so it seemed to make sense to also have cilantro-lime shrimp.

Vinaigrette Dressing (completely made up and based in no actual recipe):

  •  1/2 cup EVOO
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • Some finely chopped cilantro
  • Mix them all together in a bowl and viola

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Shrimp Marinade (also made up)

  • 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
  • Juice of 2-3 limes
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • Finely chopped cilantro

Instructions:

  • Mix the marinade and coat the shrimp evenly
  • Let the shrimp rest in the marinade for about 30 minutes
  • Skewer the shrimp and grill for a few minutes on each side (I don’t have a good grill for this, so I laid the skewers across a baking pan and put them in the broiler for about 8 minutes)

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Salad:

  • You can make your salad however you wish.  I used a spring mix and added grape tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and avocados
  • Add some dressing and toss lightly (Don’t put in too much dressing at first because it can become oily)
  • Add the shrimp and enjoy

Grilled Skirt Steak

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So tonight we had a friend over and I decided to grill a skirt steak (or 2). I topped it with a chimichurri sauce and paired it with broccolini and fried potatoes. Being an apartment with no balcony, I only have an electric grill that I use indoors. I still get a char on the meat, but not as good of a one as if I had a real grill, which I had to dump when I moved here 😦

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Steak:

  • Skirt Steak (I used about 3lbs, cut into smaller sections to fit on my grill)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup of Teriyaki Marinade (Bought from local market)
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper

Generously salt and pepper the steak. Then marinate in the garlic, teriyaki sauce, and soy sauce for about an hour.  Grill to desired temperature.

Chimichurri Sauce (recipe from here)

  • 1 cup parsley
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsps oregano
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp wine vingear
  • 1 tsp sea salt (I used kosher b/c thats all I have)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (I added a little more)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (I used less since the people I ate with don’t do spicy well)

Pulse the parsley in food processor.  Then add the garlic and oregano and pulse some more.  Transfer this to a small bowl and stir in the rest of the ingredients. This ended up making a lot more sauce than I needed and I probably could have done with 1/2 of everything, but alas I will have to remember that for next time.

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That completed the steak. For the potatoes, I just pan fried them with red and yellow bell peppers and onions, and seasoned with salt and pepper. The potatoes were good and the peppers added a nice splash of color. Overall, I think the meal turned out pretty well and it was a hearty one at that. But of course we saved just enough room for dessert to finish the meal.

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Vermicelli

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So it was super hot today, which is crazy considering it was supposed to rain this past weekend.  Weather is weird. So since it was hot, I decided to make a fresher and cooler meal today.  I opted to make Vietnamese Vermicelli noodles with grilled pork, which is pretty easy to make.  I have made this particular dish before and I got the recipe awhile ago from here.

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Ingredients:

  • Pork butt
  • Fish sauce
  • Lettuce
  • Cilantro
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Pepper
  • Sugar
  • Chili Sauce

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Recipe:

  • Mix 5 tbsp fish sauce, 4 tbsp sugar, a lot of garlic, and pepper (I guesstimated how much fish sauce and sugar)
  • Let it marinate for ~30min+
  • Grill the pork (I used a pan because I don’t have a grill, and it still came out well)
  • Cook the vermicelli noodles
  • Shred the lettuce
  • Julienne the carrots
  • Chop the cucumber
  • Chop green onions and cilantro
  • Assemble your meal

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup of fish sauce
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Minced garlic
  • Small amount of Chili paste
  • Mix, add to the final dish, and enjoy!

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