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Sunday afternoon sun was coming through our window and our mountain-calibrated weather report said visibility was average. A morning of clicking keyboards and reviewing photos to classic rock had stirred our hunger. We have been trying to reform our weekend eating habits, which usually involve minimal snacking until late afternoon and then either a dinner out or a cooking extravaganza. Feeling like we had slighted lunch for a couple weeks, we thought it deserved some attention.

Much of my cooking style comes from the time I spent beside my dad in the back-hall like kitchen at his house. Outside of chicken on the Weber and tacos, our favorite meal was stir fry. With two guys living in the house this often turned into back-of-the-fridge stir fry – dicing whatever vegetables were around and tossing them with a sauce made from a well stocked fridge door. Though both my dad and mom owned The Joy of Cooking, it was spread open on the counter more often at my mom’s house. I seemed to pick up a style of improv, frequent tasting, and cooking by color from my Dad. A meal that got too white with potatoes or pasta had to be broken up with a green ball of broccoli or a yellow pile of corn. Now, Anna is the recipe cooker while I like to think up dinner after a good stare at the open refrigerator, which will often lead to me exclaiming an hour later that I have no idea what I’m doing, but that I think it will be good.

Photo by Anna Waigand

So, today’s lunch was a back-of-the-fridge grilled sandwich served on the latest example of the ever-present image of skating star Yu-Na Kim. Anna picked up a bagel this morning with Yuna and a bagel symbol seared into the top. I decided to try to make a sandwich to live up to Yu-Na’s talent.

The ingredients I had to work with were a grapefruit, cherry tomatoes, a bell pepper, stumpy mushrooms, pickled radishes, salsa, homemade bacon, two bags of garlic, some cheese, mackerel poaching liquid and half a dozen sauces. Fruit, spicy liquids and typical Korean ingredients were out so I decided to take the veggies and garlic. I roasted the garlic and mashed it into a spread with rosemary and then used our hand-held grilling grate to grill the pepper and mushrooms over our stove burner. The tomatoes and an onion were sauteed and the last of the cinnamon-cured bacon, which gives off a smell that can put anyone into an eating mood, topped off the sandwich.

Photo by Anna Waigand

The meaty mushrooms, juicy tomatoes and fresh taste of the grilled peppers were seasoned by the salty bacon and warmed by the garlic. It all came together into a big, juicy bite best enjoyed in the sun with a warm breeze. The grilling made some blacks and browns to balance the red and white of the veggies into a good color scheme. Anna preferred hers without the bacon, but I thought the salt and change in texture really helped the sandwich. Up to you whether to include it, unless you are a vegetarian. Then I guess you don’t have a choice.

There are a lot of steps, but the ingredients and techniques aren’t too complicated. Though this veggie combo worked out, I encourage you to make it up as the back of your fridge dictates.
Recipe after the jump

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