Cocktail Sammiches with Parsley Butter

Happy Birthday Matt!

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I feel like the week before Thanksgiving everyone goes crazy trying to entertain anyone who won’t be eating with them on the Sunday/Monday holiday.  Why not take some of the load off the entertainer and bring these elegant little sandwiches with you to your next gathering?  Plus these are all kinds of fancy with very little effort required.  It’s all in the artistic garnish, trust me.

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Start with 1/2 cup softened butter.

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Season that pat o’buttery goodness with all the salt and pepper your little heart desires.  To be extra fancy we used a special pepper Teedz brought back from Cambodia.  OooooooOOOOH … (I would be more pretentious if I could, but there’s only so much I can do).

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Chop up 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaved parsley and huck that over the butter.

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Give that a grand good stirring. Now, take a baguette and slice it in half along its length (you know, like you were making a sandwich).

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Smear both cut sides with all that glorious butter.

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On the bottom cut side, layer on 1lb/500g of deli sliced roast beef (or 1/2lb if you are feeling health conscious but I think the sheer amount of meat on these puppies is part of their charm).

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Plop the top on and start slicing up your baguette into 1 1/2″ segments.  Pop those onto a nice plate.  Like one with a giant WHALE on it.  That would be ideal.  If you don’t have a whale plate, maybe you should get one.  I mean, really.  Who doesn’t have a whale plate?

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I also did another baguette, but this one was filled with turkey and it was AWESOME.

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Garnish your plates with some artfully arranged fresh parsley and you’re good to go.  Both plates disappeared within two hours at our little shindig, so I guarantee they will please any palette!

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Wingin’ it Wednesday: Roast and Roasted

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It’s been raining for a while here.  I guess that means it’s fall.  The night I made this meal Fussellette drove us to Costco around 7, just after sunset.  There was a huge black cloud coming out of the west, like those ominous ones in movies where spells are cast or aliens arrive, and it blacked out the whole sky.  Yup.  Autumn on the North Atlantic.

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Anyway, before we left for Costco we had to eat early, and neither of us was particularly interested in putting much effort into food preparation.  Still, that doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with peanut butter sandwiches or eggs on toast.  You can still produce quality comfort food with very little effort.  Case in point: our roast.

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The roasts we buy here are tough and flavourless, and frankly I’m not sure why I keep picking them up.  But once I buy them they need to be eaten and so here we go.  Make sure to take your roast out of the refrigerator at least half an hour before you intend to cook it.  Just trust me on that one.  Preheat your oven to 500°F, or as high as you can get it before the broiler kicks on.

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In a roasting pan (I used our well-seasoned cast iron skillet here), you are going to make a bed of chopped vegetables.  What vegetables those are is up to you.  Onions are a perennial favourite, as are potatoes and carrots and parsnips.  I used carrots, a red pepper, cauliflower, and some potatoes.

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Chuck those in the pan and drizzle them with olive oil.  Sprinkle with some sea salt and toss to coat. Use your fingers, don’t be afraid.

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Then take your roast and rub olive oil and sea salt all over it. Plop that in the centre of your bed of vegetables.

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On the side I also decided to cut up this lovely squash.

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Doesn’t it look like a flower?

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I put the squash in a separate pan, and gave it the olive oil and salt treatment as well.

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Now pop that all in your oven, and turn the heat down to 400°F.  Give that about an hour to cook, depending on the size and cut of your roast.  Medium-rare beef serves at a temperature of about 145°F, if you have a thermometer handy.  Check your veg a couple times, and toss them about to keep them from sticking.  If they look really dry (at least, the ones under the meat), then add a bit of water to keep them from burning. You should be okay, though.

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Once your roast is cooked (ours took about 45 minutes, and then I took it out and left the vegetables still cooking for another 15 minutes), take it out and set it on a carving board to rest for at least 15 minutes.  After that, slice it up super thin and serve with your roasted vegetables.

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A bit of honey and butter on your squash won’t go amiss, either.

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YUM!

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