Vegetarian Cooking with Mike: The Recipes! Episode 1

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Roasted Fennel

Of all the questions people ask my comedy husband, one of the most frequent has got to be, “Mike Paterson, according to your stand up set, you are a vegetarian; how on earth do you maintain your svelte physique and keep in prime physical shape on such a ridiculous diet?” And usually his answer will run along the lines of, “Well madam, beer is not meat.”  Five weeks ago, we came up with a more complete answer, when we released the first episode of our new vegetarian cooking show: Vegetarian Cooking with Mike.  We wanted to offer people a glimpse of what goes into the making of the delicious vegetarian meals that we enjoy in our beautiful home:

Since we’ve released this series of videos, we have gotten such an amazing response from people. One of the most common questions we’ve received has been, “MONIKA! Get me the recipes for those vegetarian meals!!!!”  And guess what? I’ve been listening! Here, finally is the first installment of Veggie cooking with Mike: the recipes! Where we will be making a Roasted Fennel Grilled Cheese Sandwich. 

Adding roasted fennel is one of the easiest ways to fancy up your grilled cheese sandwich. The fennel adds a delightful counterpoint to the greasiness of the cheese and butter, and all the good things. It’s amazing, try it today.

This is a fennel bulb:

Fennel bulb

It can be eaten raw, especially in a salad with some fresh fall apples, roasted walnuts and  cilantro. Raw it has a bit of a licorice flavor, but don’t let that scare you away! I strongly dislike licorice, but I love fresh fennel. Roasted fennel tastes completely different from raw, a bit sweet and rich, and good. Just do it, go buy a bulb.

Start by heating your oven to about 400.

Now cut off those fronds, you don’t need them:

frond

Then cut it in half and get rid of that bottom part:

cutI don’t know, what’s that bottom part called? I don’t care, get rid of it!

Then chop each half up into about four slices and toss it onto a baking sheet.

chop

Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, toss that around and throw it in the oven.

Roast for about 20 minutes, or until they look like this:

fennel

Soft, juicy and  a bit browned.

When those gimmicks are ready, get your grilled cheese sandwich on. Grab yourself some fresh bread and softened butter. Spread that butter all over that bread. Just everywhere. Both sides, don’t be shy.

bread

Grate up some sharp cheese. You can choose whichever cheese you prefer, I like Old Cheddar or Swiss cheese for this. (Or a combination of both cheeses.)

cheese

Combine:

Cheese Fennel

Oh my god yes! Cheese and fennel.

Sprinkle on some salt and some fresh-ground pepper. Then grill:

soup

And THAT’S how you make a grilled cheese sandwich with roasted fennel.

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