As we've watched this season (because dont think i've allowed jordan to escape this one), one of our favorite topics is who's restaurants we want to visit... I've been to Suvir's restaurant, Devi, but Jordan hasnt, so that's high on our list for this summer... Floyd is set to open a new restaurant in the coming months and, of course, we'll be vying for reservations the minute it opens...
In addition to my New York Indians, Traci & Mary Sue were always high on my list. Given that they round out the top 3 with Floyd, i decided to go looking and see just how long of a flight we'd need to take to get to their restaurants... turns out its a pretty long one since they are both in CA... however, my search for more info on their whereabouts landed me one of the most useful pieces of information ever...
all of the top chef recipes are available on the website.
now, i'm sure this isnt news to you, but like i said, i havent been watching this show! I had NO IDEA! Amazing!!!
so, just as i was learning this, it was about 98° outside... and the thought of cooking dinner was pretty awful because, oven, EW... however, i quickly remembered the avocado/goat cheese sandwich Mary Sue had made during the quickfire challenge just a couple of episodes ago and thought - ooh... that.
So i went on my search and lo and behold, there it was... just begging for me to recreate it... given my recent obsession with avocado (seriously, for the past 2 months, i've craved avocado every single day...) i was powerless to resist.
we did have to make one obvious tweak to it, given that i dont eat bacon, and i do suspect that real bacon would make it even better for those so inclined to eating that particular product, but even without it, this open-faced sandwich is a winner in my book - even if the microwaved version of it was a big loser on the show...
Open-Faced Goat Cheese & Avocado Sandwich
courtesy of Mary Sue Milliken, via Top Chef Masters with minor modifications by me
Note: I've listed the sandwich ingredients first, but i would suggest making the dressing first so it has some time to sit so the flavors can meld
For the sandwich:
2 pieces of baguette, approximately 6 to 8 inches long each, sliced in half
1 avocado, seed and peel removed
2 oz soft goat cheese
1/4th of a lemon, juiced (prob about 1 tbsp?)
4-5 dashes garlic chili cholula
~ 1/4 tsp black pepper (freshly ground is best)
1/2 of an heirloom tomato, sliced paper-thin
For the dressing:
(this makes way more than you will probably use on the sandwiches - dont feel compelled to use it all or you'll drown your other ingredients and end up with soggy bread...)
1 tbsp minced shallot
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp bacos (meat eaters, feel free to use real bacon instead...)
salt & pepper (a few turns of the grinder of each seemed to work for us)
Prepare the dressing - mix all dressing ingredients together in a bowl, jar, emulsifier - whatever you want - and mix well/shake/whatever to combine. Set aside.
Turn oven on to broil
Toast baguettes, cut side up, for 1 - 2 minutes under the broiler, so the edges get a bit golden and the bread itself is a little toasty.
Mash the avocado, goat cheese, lemon juice, cholula, and pepper together in a bowl. The goal is to get a cohesive mixture that is fairly smooth with a few lumps remaining (i had to use a wooden spoon to really break my avocado apart as it was just slightly under-ripe and then mashed the rest up with a fork)
Taste and season with additional black pepper and a little sea salt, if desired. (note - it will taste a little bland at this point. dont worry. have faith.)
Spread mixture on the toasted baguette pieces and place back in the broiler for a minute or so to warm it up.
Remove from the broiler and top with thin slices of tomato
drizzle each piece with some dressing and serve immediately.