TND – Brief Pause in Our Asparagus Consumption for a Birthday

June 11, 2014

sandwich making

Dinner May 27th – Brief Pause in Our Asparagus Consumption for a Birthday

Zucchini-Basil Soup
Grilled Cheese Two Ways
– The Italian Stallion (aka Tomato-Basil-Cheddar Grilled Cheese)
– The Hot Brit (aka Chutney-Cheddar Grilled Cheese)
Salad with Rhubarb Vinaigrette

(Pea)nut Chocolate Bourbon Pie

Zucchini Basil Soup

Recipe Previously Given:  Dinner – September 24th

soup & sandwich

Grilled Cheese Two Ways

Basic grilled cheese for a crowd premise:  In Which Aphorisms Come True

The Italian Stallion (aka Tomato-Basil-Cheddar Grilled Cheese)
(per sandwich – multiply as needed)

1 oz cheddar, grated
¼ oz monteray jack, grated
Tomato slices
Basil leaves

Mix the cheddar and monteray jack cheeses together in a bowl.  Then, assemble your sandwiches by arranging 1 ¼ oz of the cheese blend on one slice of bread, add a layer of tomato slices and top with basil.  Grill/Bake/Roast as directed above.

italian stallion

The Hot Brit (aka Chutney Cheddar Grilled Cheese)
This was fantastic.  I used a mild mango chutney, but we all thought it would also be spectacular with a spicy red pepper jam.

1 oz cheddar, grated
¼ oz monteray jack, grated
1 Tbsp chutney

Mix the cheddar and monteray jack cheeses together in a bowl.  Then, assemble your sandwiches by spreading one slice of bread with the chutney (make sure you spread to the edges), and then arranging 1 ¼ oz of the cheese blend on top of the chutney.  Close sandwich with remaining piece of bread, and grill/bake/roast as directed above.

hot brit

Salad with Rhubarb Vinaigrette
Part of my ongoing quest to find new ways to incorporate rhubarb into my diet.  Also because I had about a pound of local rhubarb in my fridge as a result of some overzealous enthusiasm when I saw the first local rhubarb of the season.

Rhubarb Vinaigrette
1 cup sliced rhubarb
¼ cup water
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp raspberry wine vinegar (or some other mild fruit vinegar)
½ tsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup olive oil
Generous pinch of cinnamon

Simmer the rhubarb in the water for about 10 minutes, or until the rhubarb is falling apart.  Allow to cool slightly.

Combine the rhubarb with all the remaining ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.  Adjust seasoning to taste (I used extra honey).

Pea(Nut) Chocolate Bourbon Pie with Bourbon Whipped Cream
So there’s this pie called a Derby Pie which is trademarked up the wazoo.  This has not stopped anyone from recreating it at will because it’s basically a pecan pie with the addition of chocolate and bourbon.  I took it a step even further from the original by substituting peanuts (nut allergy of a Dinner member) for the pecans (sometimes you see recipes that use walnuts – which, actually, I think would be nice because the slight bitterness from the walnuts would offset the sweetness of the chocolate and sugar-egg custard that holds it all together).  Also, I added more bourbon, because when can you ever go wrong with more bourbon?

pie in progress

1 unbaked 9” pie crust
3 eggs
¾ cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup bourbon
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
7 oz (2 cups) roasted & lightly salted peanuts (or pecans or walnuts*)
½ cup bitter-sweet chocolate chips/chunks
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips/chunks

Preheat oven to 350.

Arrange your pie crust in a deep 9” pie plate.  Scatter half the nuts, and half the chocolate over the crust.

Whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, bourbon, butter, flour, vanilla and salt until well combined.  Stir in the remaining nuts and chocolate.  Pour the mixture into the pie shell.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the center of the pie is just slightly jiggly.  You will need to cover the pie lightly with foil about 20 minutes into baking or you will end up with burned crust and burned filling (trust me on this).

Allow to cool.  Pie can be made a day in advance and kept at room temperature.  Reheat (if desired) at 325 for 10-15 minutes.

* If you are using pecans or walnuts I would leave half of them whole, and roughly chop the other half.  I found peanuts small enough that this was unnecessary.

Bourbon Whipped Cream
Because as noted above, when is more bourbon ever a bad idea?  And, please let me tell you that all whipped cream should involve bourbon, and it’s possible I will never make whipped cream without a generous slug of bourbon again.

½ pint (1 cup) heavy cream
1 Tbsp bourbon
1 Tbsp brown (or white) sugar
Splash of vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whip until the cream forms soft peaks – you can do this by hand in about 5 minutes, or use a stand mixer/hand held mixer and save yourself the arm strain.  Add more sugar/bourbon to taste.



  1. […] – arugula (first of the season!) – grilled chicken – buttermilk/spice marinade stolen from this recipe – strawberries (sadly not quite local yet) – ricotta (insanely good ricotta from Maplebrook Farm in Vermont) – roasted asparagus – instructions previously cited – chopped pistachios – rhubarb vinaigrette – leftover from a couple of weeks ago […]

  2. […] Recipes can be found here. […]

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