Saturday, February 28, 2009

French Dip Sandwiches

Rachel Ray. She is one of those celebrities that people either love or hate. I loved her before she was on the path to world domination. I watched 30 Minute Meals when it was the only show she had on TV. I loved the concept of a real-time cooking show and that she was not a classically trained chef. I picked up a lot of basic cooking skills and tips from her and for that I appreciate her contribution to my development as a cook. I hesitate to say I hate her now, but she does get on my last nerve. She is just Too Much. Too much with the EVOO and the stoup and the sammies. Drives me crazy! However, if I am home sick in bed when her daytime show is on, I'll watch because there is something compelling about her.

I don't know why I wanted to make french dip sandwiches, but a search for recipes led me to Rachel's recipe on the Food Network site. These were classic Rachel Ray - quick easy, unfussy food. They were simple to throw together but felt like a special treat and were a big hit in our house. I didn't have sherry so omitted that and used a take n' bake french bread loaf from the grocery instead of rolls. I sliced the loaf into rolls, split them and toasted them lightly before adding the roast beef. A couple of slices of swiss cheese, a few minutes under the broiled and the end result was Yum-O (sorry I couldn't help myself)! A side of my version of cole slaw completed this simple meal.

French Dip Sandwiches
Rachel Ray

2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 jigger dry sherry, optional
2 cans beef broth
1 1/2 pounds deli sliced roast beef
Grill seasoning blend for steak, such as Montreal Steak Seasoning Blend, or, coarse salt and pepper
4 torpedo sandwich rolls, split
In a large, shallow skillet over moderate heat, melt butter. Add shallots to butter and saute 2 minutes. Add flour to butter and shallot and cook a minute longer. Whisk in sherry and cook liquid out. Whisk in consomme in a slow stream. Bring sauce to a bubble and allow to simmer over low heat until ready to serve sandwiches.

Pile meat loosely across your cutting board or a large work surface. Season meat with grill seasoning or salt and black pepper. Set out 4 ramekins or small soup cups for dipping sauce, 4 dinner plates and 4 split torpedo rolls. To assemble, using a pair of kitchen tongs, dip meat into loose au jus sauce and pile into rolls. Set ramekins or cups with extra dipping sauce along side the sandwiches.

Cole Slaw

1 package shredded cole slaw mix
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup mayo
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper

Place cole slaw mix in bowl. Whisk sugar, mayo, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in bowl. Pour over cole slaw and stir to moisten all of the slaw mix. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.
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