We do not use our microwave very often. Making, even reheating, food in the microwave gives almost everything a weird texture and makes it taste bad. Case in point (and I hate to call out my mom here, but…) Thanksgiving. In order to “save time” last Thanksgiving, my mom made all the delicious Thanksgiving food the day *before* and simply reheated it in the microwave when everyone arrived the next day. It really took the “thanks” out of Thanksgiving. Now, whenever we go over to my parents’ house for a food-related event, I beg my mom to please, please, please not reheat any food in the microwave. Fresh is best. I think even the niece and nephews can appreciate that (and will happily snack on crackers until the food is ready from the OVEN).
In any case, the remaining Top Chefs were forced to make a dish using only a microwave oven and they kinda floundered (though no one attempted Thanksgiving dinner). We chose Mary Sue Milliken’s Goat Cheese and Avocado With Bacon Vinaigrette on Baguette (click here for the recipe) and removed the microwaving — thus ensuring the perfect meal for a perfect summer day.
This was one of the quickest, most simple Top Chef dishes we’ve ever made. K cooked up some bacon and broke it into bits. He combined it with shallot, olive oil and red wine vinegar and brushed it on the baguette slices. He then crisped it up in the toaster oven (as one of the biggest criticisms of Mary Sue’s dish was that the bread was tough and chewy after being microwaved). Meanwhile, I mixed avocado and goat cheese with a little lemon juice and hot sauce. We spread it on the bread and popped it back into the toaster oven so the cheese could melt a bit. We then put heirloom tomato slices and roasted yellow peppers on top and done!
We sat on the deck and enjoyed a leisurely dinner in the sun. The bread was crisp, the vinaigrette was rich and pungent, but not overwhelming. The spread was creamy and tart and the veggies were a lovely fresh addition. Maybe next time we’ll add some cilantro just for that added fresh and cool taste. Boom, perfect quick and easy summer dinner. No microwave necessary.
Alterations: We did not make this in the microwave, we used the toaster over. We drizzled the vinaigrette directly on the bread, crisped it up, added the avocado spread and put it into the oven for a few additional minutes. We also added roasted yellow peppers.
Soundtrack: Semisonic live at First Avenue.
Would we make this again: Yes indeed. It’s a quick, tasty and filling summery sandwich and smaller portions would also make great hors d’oeuvres for parties!