Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian cheese’

How to Deal in Midtown East (Part 2)

April 30, 2010

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Mantao Chinese Sandwiches
With the Asian sandwich craze comes a new, filling and delicious option. Mantao refers to the fluffy, white, steamed bread that is usually used to make buns in Northern China. At Mantao Chinese Sandwich, flatter versions of the bun dough are topped with sesame and replace the usual sandwich bread. For the vegetarian varieties, the breads are filled with spicy tofu, fried egg, or shiitake and portobello mushrooms – all of them are tasty and worth a try. They also sell a variety of salads, cold sesame noodles and pretty good pan-fried vegetable dumplings.

235 E. 53rd Street between 2nd and 3rd
212-888-2490

spicy tofu sandwich

Boi Sandwich
Though, in typical Midtown fashion, it’s fussier, less spicy and more than twice as expensive as its downtown cousins, the Boi báhn mì is a still satisfying and delicious sandwich. A large, fluffy hunk of white bread is filled with napa cabbage, avocado, peppers, fennel, basil, baby arugula and pickled daikon radish and carrots. While it may not win points for authenticity, it certainly wins for creativity – especially for a vegetarian sandwich. That said, it will rescue you from yet another trip to a deli.

708 Third Ave between 44th and 45th
212-682-1117

Oms/b
I recommend this place to the adventurous eater who is truly looking for a new food experience. For me, the concept of rice balls is not totally unfamiliar – but the flavor combinations found at Oms/b are. Take for example sesame and seaweed, or gobo with sesame mayonnaise. There are also slightly more familiar assortments as well, such as variations of hijiki/edamame and shiso/plum. If you try them out and find that you prefer something more conventional, you can always get a side of spring rolls.

156 E. 45th St. between Lexington and 3rd
212-922-9788

Chop’t
I don’t LOVE salads. I do enjoy a well-made salad but I guess the real issue is that so many of them are lacking in flavor and texture. Not at Chop’t. While I’m not going to pretend that it’s healthiest place to get your vegetables, they do offer tasty and satisfying options. I especially love their Santa Fe salad; it’s got avocado, tomato, corn, pepper jack cheese, fried onions and a base of romaine lettuce. Note: all of their low fat dressings have less than 45 calories and 3 grams of fat or fewer per serving. But at 35 grams of fat for the undressed salad, it’s not something I would indulge in everyday.

60 E. 56th St. between Madison and Park
212-750-2467

165 E. 52nd St. between Lexington and 3rd
212-421-2300

‘wichcraft
Generally I’m not the hugest fan of ‘wichcraft. My order somehow always takes ages, even though the cold stuff is pre-prepared. And on the whole, it is very overpriced. But there is one item on the menu that I will definitely go out of my way for: the marinated eggplant sandwich. It’s made up of spicy, marinated eggplant, chickpea puree, roasted peppers and watercress on ciabatta bread. It can be quite messy to eat, but boy is it packed with flavor! And at less than $8 (without tax), it might be one of the cheapest meals in midtown.

245 Park Ave. near 47th
212-661-7678

555 Fifth Ave. between 45th and 46th
212-682-6893

1 Park Ave. between 32nd and 33rd
212-685-0906


Crisp
Eclectic interpretations of the falafel are served in fresh-made pitas or as salads. While Crisp claims to be 100% vegetarian, I’d shy away from the items containing parmesan or feta if you want to be on the safe side. There are several enticingly unusual items on the menu, like the crisp africa which has north african peanut sauce, sweet potatoes, corn salad, cherry tomatoes and green onions. However, my favorite is the crisp parisian, made with sundried tomato spread, goat cheese (from Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery), roasted peppers, red onions and garden greens. They also offer a selection of refreshingly fruity, house-blended ice teas. The lines can be a bit crazy and confusing during peak lunch times, so I recommend ordering online first and then picking up.

684 Third Ave. on the corner of 43rd
212-661-0000


Click here for Part 1 of How to Deal in Midtown East.

Click here to see The Soho Sandwich Tour.

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British High Tea Party: Part 2

June 1, 2009

THE SANDWHICHES

For the sandwiches, I used both whole grain and white bread for added variety. I used about 3-4 standard loaves (12-16 slices per loaf). While I would recommend using fresh bread, regular off-the shelf bread works just fine. I cut off the crusts (and put them aside to use in the bread pudding later) and cut these into triangles instead of into strips. Triangles just seem more satisfying to eat and you don’t have to worry as much about the fillings being too thick and oozing out. For 25 people, I aimed at having at least 1 whole sandwich per person. You can make less if you are also serving scones, but since almost every guest brought a bottle of champagne, I wanted to make sure there was enough food to go around. I was able to prepare the bread the evening before the party to save time the day of.

 

Egg & Cress Sandwiches

Egg salad can be a tough one to master. You have to be careful not to over boil the eggs or make the mixture too liquidy. I recommend using an ice bath after boiling the eggs to prevent over cooking. I also recommend adding the moist ingredients gradually so you can monitor the consistency of the salad.

 

Ingredients:

8 eggs

2 stalks celery

2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise

2-3 tablespoons sour cream

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

½ bunch chives

1 teaspoon capers (drained pretty well)

1 bunch watercress

20-22 slices of bread

 

Directions:

Place eggs in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Turn of heat and let the eggs sit for seven minutes. While you are waiting, you can finely chop the celery and chives. You can also wash the watercress and dry thoroughly. If you use a food processor to chop the celery, then you may want to squeeze it in a towel to remove excess liquid. Remove from the pot and place into an ice bath for 3 or 4 minutes before peeling. Mash the peeled, hard-boiled eggs in a bowl with a fork and add the celery, chives and capers. Add the Dijon mustard and slowly add the mustard and sour cream, mixing in between tablespoons to ensure that your mixture is the right consistency. It should be spreadable and moist but still pretty thick and not runny. Butter the bread on both sides (you may want to do this before cutting them into halves) to prevent the sandwiches from getting soggy. Place a small bed of cress on the bread and top with a heaping spoonful of the egg mixture. Refrigerate the sandwiches until you are ready to serve. I made about 10-11 whole sandwiches (20-22 servings) of this variety and still had some egg salad left over (which my roommate and I ate for lunch the next day).

 

Cucumber & Mint Sandwiches

I found a great recipe for these sandwiches on Epicurious. The variation I made here is that instead of combining the butter, cream cheese, and mint, I layered the ingredients preferring to keep the mint leaves whole.  So basically, I thinly buttered the bread on both sides, added a layer of cream cheese on both sides then laid on a few slices of cucumber and a few of the mint leaves. I also tripled the recipe and cut into halves instead of quarters. This way I came about with about 9 whole sandwiches (18 servings). The recipe from Epicurious is below:

 

Ingredients:

¼ cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, rinsed, spun dry, and chopped fine

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons cream cheese

6 slices of whole-wheat bread

1 3-inch length of seedless cucumber, cut into thin slices

 

Directions:

In a small bowl combine the mint, the butter, and the cream cheese and stir the mixture until it is combined well. Spread the bread slices with the butter mixture, top 3 of them with the cucumber, distributing the cucumber evenly and seasoning it with salt, and top the cucumber with the remaining bread slices. Cut off and discard the crusts [instead put them aside for the bread pudding] and cut each sandwich diagonally into quarters. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

 

Apple & Boursin Sandwiches

So what is Boursin, you ask? Boursin is a rennet-free Norwegian soft cow’s milk cheese. It has a consistency similar to that of cream cheese. It is also called Gournay cheese (Boursin being the name of the creater and the brand name of the only legitimate producer of the cheese). In addition to being vegetarian, it is also kosher and gluten-free. You can find more facts about this cheese here and here. Boursin comes in a variety of flavors, but for this recipe, I used the Garlic and Fine Herbs variety.

 

Ingredients:

2 Granny Smith Apples

1 package Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs cheese

1 lemon (for juice)

20 slices of bread (or whatever is left)

 

Directions:

Thinly slice the apples. Pour the juice of one lemon over the apple slices, toss and keep aside. Spread a thin and even layer of the cheese on to each side of the bread. Boursin has a pungent flavor, so you do not need to use too much. Place a layer of the apples in between the bread and cut in half diagonally. Makes about 10 whole sandwiches (20 servings). Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.