I’ve always loved taking photos, even besides food, if it captures people, places or special memories to look fondly upon, and so long as it doesn’t take away from the meaningful fun of the moment.
Recently I’ve been reflecting the deeper meaning of ‘living in the moment’ a thought mostly brought on through my email inbox deliveries essentially screaming like the sea witch in the “Little Mermaid” furiously diving into fall foods and home decorating as if it were the fashion rule of not wearing white pants or shoes after Labor Day, and like potential streams of photos, taking away the fun of the moment.
With a few just ripened peaches remaining on the counter, I still plan on making peach dumplings and enjoying those final pleasures of the season before rushing off to enjoy the next of which according to me, has just barely officially yet begun, unless you are a department store already decorated for Christmas.
Thinking in the broader picture, reflections then take on their own twists and turns, like chiding oneself for the mere audacity of even sighing on the bursting forth with fall inbox deliveries which then ultimately serve as both reminder and inspiration in truth that all people live in their own moments as they desire, just as I am free to savor the same.
Dang. It stings to be wrong.
Also staring me right in the face is the fact that there are so far no messages sitting in my inbox pressuring me on when I will be writing about the roasted fall vegetables or pumpkin soup.
Perhaps I let my own self cause my own self food blogger anxiety.
Still, in the end, reflections don’t void out that indeed there can be something special to be found ‘living in the moment’ and so I prepare a special sandwich for my youngest daughter, Alex, and me. I photograph it. We have fun just living in and sharing the moment enjoying a Portabella Mushroom Sandwich, Roasted Garlic & Red Pepper, Provolone, Baby Greens.
- 4 kaiser rolls, sliced in half
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small red onion, sliced into half moons
- good pinch or two coarse kosher salt
- few grinds cracked black pepper
- 8 portabella mushrooms, gently wiped with a damp paper towel, stem removed
- 1-2 tablespoons roasted garlic and red pepper spread per sandwich (recipe below)
- 4 slices medium thickness provolone cheese
- 1 small handful of fresh baby greens, each roll
- For the Roasted Garlic and Red Pepper Spread: (jarred red peppers may alternatively be used and then the garlic may just be roasted in a toaster oven)
- 2 red peppers
- 1/2 head garlic, outer paper and cloves all attached together
- 4-5 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, more or less to taste
- few grinds cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a small baking sheet, toss red peppers with a tablespoon or a bit more olive oil, kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Place peppers in the oven and roast until very soft and blistered in some parts, around 35-40 minutes.
- Set the half head of garlic into a very small dish with water, cover with aluminum foil and place on a corner of the baking sheet with the red pepper, remove garlic after 30 minutes, let sit covered until ready to use.
- Remove red peppers from the oven, immediately place into a plastic bag, close the bag and let sit around 15-20 minutes until cooled to room temperature. Keep oven on for toasting the sandwich rolls. Slip off the outer skin from the red peppers, pull out the stem, scrape out the seeds, gently run under cool water to remove any hidden, lodged seeds, pat peppers dry then coarse chop before placing into a small food processor. Carefully remove the garlic from the outer papery skins and place into the food processor with the roasted red pepper. Pulse around 5-6 times, sprinkle in the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, pulse 2-3 times, drizzle in the white wine vinegar, pulse again a few times until smooth, taste and adjust seasoning if desired, then using a spatula transfer the finished mixture to a small bowl.
- Heat a saute pan large enough to hold the Portabella Mushrooms on medium high temperature, pour in 2 tablespoons olive oil, tumble in the red onions and cook for around 3-4 minutes until softened and just beginning to brown, sprinkle with a small pinch each salt and pepper, stir, transfer onions to a plate. Brush both sides of Portabella mushrooms with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Position the Portabella mushrooms in the pan avoiding overcrowding the pan or cook mushrooms in batches. Add in just a bit more olive oil if needed. Cook mushrooms for around 3-4 minutes until softening before turning over and cooking approximately another 3 minutes or so, until cooked through.
- Toast roll halves on a baking sheet and place in the oven for five minutes, just until hot and a bit crispy, remove rolls. Spread a generous amount of the Roasted Garlic and Red Pepper mixture on the top half. Place 2 mushrooms each sandwich onto the bottom of the roll topping with the onion, cheese, and a small handful each of baby greens, finish by placing on the top of the roll, serve straight away.