Inspiration for tonight's dinner: toasty, creamy, rib-sticking classics to thaw that winter chill -- tarted-up grilled cheese and a bacon-kissed potato chowder.
We've neatly condensed the recipes below, but to read the fully fleshed-out versions (and save and print them) just click on the recipe link or photos. A colorful supper in under an hour -- dinner is served!
We're assuming that you have olive oil, butter, onions, vinegar, garlic, celery, carrots, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and sandwich bread on hand -- if not, it's time to stock up!
Potatoes First: Since the potatoes will need to boil for 20 minutes, get that going first. Saute celery, carrots, rosemary, garlic and onions in butter (about 10 minutes) and then toss in the cubed russets and 7 cups of broth (water is ok too) and bring to a boil, and then a simmer. Ignore for 20 minutes.
Whizzed Cheese: It makes sense to get the cheese filling ready now, because it's forgiving and doesn't mind sitting for a while. Break the cheddar into chunks and process until it is reminiscent of coarse gravel. Now add the peppers, garlic and mayonnaise and process until the mixture is smooth and spreadable. At this point you could pop it in the fridge for a while, or, since you're going to use it pretty immediately, just let it sit in the food processor.
Still Simmering: Unless your food processor is terribly slow, your potatoes should still need some simmering time at this point, so it's a great moment to make the bacon vinaigrette. Cook the bacon until it is nicely crisped and chop into nibble-sized pieces. Stir it together with the green onions, vinegar, olive oil and salt. Set aside.
Last steps: Assemble the sandwiches and get them in a buttered pan on medium low heat. Keep an eye on them while you pull your potatoes from the heat and toss in 1 cup of sour cream. Puree.
Sit down and eat up: As soon as the sandwiches are toasty and warm, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish the soup with the bacon vinaigrette.
Aside: Stash any leftover peppered cheese to nibble with crackers for tomorrow's lunch. You deserve it. Why? Because dinner is served.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).
I love Champagne and cheese and potato chips. In fact, that would be the most dreamtastic dinner. I have two cats and I am a proud Portlander-by-birth currently residing on Manhattan's rich and wonderful Lower East Side in a closet that has no closets. In May I finished up a masters degree in Food Studies at NYU and now I am trying to figure out exactly why I did that and what that all means. It is very fun and scary but mostly fun. I like to cook and I love to bake.