I was never all that interested in cooking when I was very young. My mother would cook dinner almost every single night, and we would all sit together around the table, watching shows like The Cosby Show. It was great. But I never asked my mom how to make something or even offer to help out. Truth is I wasn’t even all that into eating til I was older. I was in one of those “you eat everything on the plate or you’re not leaving the table” type of families. This caused my mother much heartache as I would sit there and chew… and chew… and chew, until the food in my mouth was a tough and flavorless mass and virtually impossible to swallow. In other words, I was a pain in the ass. I also wasn’t a big eater. Oh how the times have changed!
I didn’t start to enjoy cooking until I was on my own and in college. I lived in a house with 4 other girls (gasp!) and we would have these dinner parties, usually in the attempt to get certain boys we had crushes on over to our place. It usually worked. Girls, beer and free food…. yeah, a no-brainer. Quickly after we started putting these little charades on, I began to realize that I actually enjoyed the cooking aspect of it. I would volunteer to cook, even if it meant spending most of my time in the kitchen.
There were some random cookbooks laying around. The Joy of Cooking was referenced often. And now that I think of it, most of the recipes were quite rudimentary. But, as any good cook knows, sometimes the simplest recipes are the best ones. I ran across this recipe at this time of my life. I think it was in some Betty Crocker cookbook, something like that. I fell in love with it instantly. French bread, basil, turkey, mozzarella, and gratuitous amounts of olive oil. You can’t go wrong. Simple and perfect enough to stay in my cooking repertoire for over 10 years!
Warm Turkey Sandwhiches
1 loaf fresh French bread
1/2 lb fresh deli turkey meat, oven-roasted, sliced thin
1/2-1 cup good quality olive oil
2 Tbsp dried basil
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
sliced part skim mozzarella
2 tomatoes, sliced
Preheat oven to 350°
Cut loaf of bread in half. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, basil and garlic. Spread mixture over each half of the bread. Be generous with it. Season with salt and pepper. Layer turkey, mozzarella, and tomatoes. Lightly salt tomatoes. Wrap in foil and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. If you cut the loaf into individual portions and wrap them in foil individually it will melt faster.