While the rest of the country is still shoveling snow and working on finding a small hint of sunlight, we are lucky to have this beautiful temperate climate. Having lived in the midwest and east coast for many years, I can't even imagine wanting to experience the cold again. For me, waking up with sun everyday, allows me to feel ever more grateful and happy, and a happy chef makes extraordinary food.
It is sort of like the routine of shopping for fresh vegetables and produce. Asparagus is now at the market, as well as those giant, sweet strawberries. Meyer Lemons are back for a short time, and I love the blood oranges for making juices, tarts, or for a beautiful garnish for a signature fruit and cheese tray or with a breakfast entree. Soemthing pretty to enjoy and then get to eat it when you are done!!
The dates are remarkable as well. I like to use them in some non traditional ways, One of the those ways is the following.
Chef Paul's CFM Grilled Cheese Sandwich
First you will need to stop by the L'Artisan Bakery stand. Pick up any of the boules, but I like to use the rosemary loaf.
Slice two thick pieces, butter on both sides and then prepare for the Winchester Cheese Company Gouda, the kadrawy dates (which spread like a gorgeous layer of fruit spread, and add a sprinking of fresh thyme or basil. Heat in a non stick skillet about a teaspoon of the Winchester Basil infused Olive Oil. This will add an extra earthy element to the bread.
Place your sandwich into the pan and lightly toast on both sides. I use a medium high burner, so everything melts evenly and does not burn. The oil will remain stable as long as you do not turn up the heat too high.
Serve with a tossed salad and you have an amazing lunch or dinner, For the salad I like to use the rainbow Chard, Romaine lettuce, zuchini, Persian cucumbers, red peppers, and whatever else I may find, as I stroll through the market.
Everything is available at the market!!! This my homage to the grilled cheese sandwich, CFM style. Bon Appette'.