*Title stolen from this great book.
What I like most about food is the way one bite can bring back a memory long-since forgotten. More often than not, dinner is more than dinner. It’s a journal of every evening meal you’ve eaten from your single to your dating to your married (with children) years. It’s the casseroles you bring to others to let them know you’re there. It’s what you want when you need comforting, or when you’re surrounded by friends.
The other day, I played Ina and made fancy sandwiches for dinner.
Then I sat down to dinner on Monday. It was a much more impromptu affair, in which my husband and I ended up eating sandwiches outside at one of our favorite local haunts. Sandwiches for dinner, two nights in a row. Hmmmmm.
Sandwiches for dinner two nights in a row sent my brain whirling. Because all of a sudden, I remembered that Pops and Wooden Nickels loved eating baguettes outside on the deck for dinner when the weather started warming up. This memory was not a particularly strong one because I never touched them. Mom and Dad put bean sprouts and healthy things in those baguettes. I probably ate a hot dog. That’s why it didn’t occur to me right away.
But sure enough, the weather is warmer now, and my husband and I are doing exactly what my parents did while I was growing up.
That’s why I love food.
We both loved Ina’s Truffled Filet of Beef Sandwiches, which for us were simply Filet of Beef Sandwiches. Truffle butter isn’t something I keep on hand at this stage of my life. These sandwiches are exactly the way one might want to usher in the warmer temperatures. They’re filling, without being heavy at all. And they’re that rare kind of dish for which a handful of top-notch ingredients equates to a stellar meal. Make sure you enjoy them al fresco, with a beverage in hand.
To make sandwiches for 6, you will need:
- a 1.5-2 lb. hunk of filet (I tied mine so it cooked evenly)
- 4 T butter, at room temperature
- a hunk of Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 500, yes, 500 degrees. While that’s cranking, slather the beef with 1 T butter, and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Place the filet on a baking tray and cook 22 minutes for rare, 25 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from oven, cover tightly with foil and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
Assemble baguette. Slice lengthwise, but not all the way through, and spread remaining 3 T butter on one side. Place layer of arugula along bottom of baguette, and top with Parmesan shavings. When beef has rested, slice thinly and layer on baguette. Slice baguette on a diagonal into individual sandwiches, and serve immediately. Like you could wait anyway.