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Romance in a brown bag

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BrunchOrBust Feb 13, 2007 06:52 AM

My inexplicably single roommate is not looking forward to the onslaught of hearts and flowers tomorrow. I'd like to make her a Valentine's brown-bag lunch - any creative ideas out there? She's a meat and potatoes, crusty baguette and brie kinda girl. And it goes without saying, chocolate should be involved. TIA!

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    eriberri RE: BrunchOrBust Feb 13, 2007 07:27 AM

    Fill the bottom of the bag with Hershey's Kisses....not gourmet, but festive and fun!

    1. Katie Nell RE: BrunchOrBust Feb 13, 2007 08:12 AM

      Will she have a refrigerator or a microwave, or is it truly brown bag?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Katie Nell
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        BrunchOrBust RE: Katie Nell Feb 13, 2007 08:15 AM

        Truly brown bag! I'm leaning towards a cheese-laden sandwich of sorts...

        1. re: BrunchOrBust
          Katie Nell RE: BrunchOrBust Feb 13, 2007 08:35 AM

          What about a muffuletta? That's fun and different, and you could somewhat tailor it to her tastes. Here's a recipe from Sara Moulton: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip... You could also take some regular potato chips from the store and spice them up however you like. For the ultimate chocolate cookie, what about these Chocolate Brownie Cookies? http://www.chowhound.com/topics/28267...

      2. Kitchen Queen RE: BrunchOrBust Feb 13, 2007 09:17 AM

        Whats wrong w/the baguette sammy - I'd love one too...
        Nice thick fresh mozzarella and large slices of tomato with a thick spread of flavorful pesto and a sprig of fresh basil. I enhance w/ a sprinkle of salt. Yum Add a nifty drink to go with it. I'm not a soda person but, I love Limonada or the Grapefruit soda -both Italian and both found at Trader Joes. Orangina is nice too. Add a Toblerone or a chocolate cupcake, you know the ones..with the cute stick cartoon/heart figure added to the middle...:)KQ

        1. chowser RE: BrunchOrBust Feb 13, 2007 10:13 AM

          Things that don't have to be refrigerated: crusty bread, parmesan cheese, salami, grapes, apple slices, nutella. And then some really good chocolate.

          4 Replies
          1. re: chowser
            Katie Nell RE: chowser Feb 13, 2007 10:16 AM

            Yes, that would cover the romance for one part definitely! In fact, that's what we are doing for V-day tomorrow... crostini, goat cheese, salami, balsamic jelly, fig compote, mushroom pate, and some wine we bought on our honeymoon. Oh, and I'm going to try the chocolate risotto pudding that Michael Chiarello featured this weekend, though that wouldn't work for the brown bag occasion.

            1. re: Katie Nell
              chowser RE: Katie Nell Feb 13, 2007 10:21 AM

              That chocolate risotto pudding sounds really good--is the recipe on the food tv site?

              1. re: chowser
                Katie Nell RE: chowser Feb 13, 2007 10:23 AM

                Yep! http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/r... I think I'm going to add some Vietnamese cinnamon too.

                1. re: Katie Nell
                  chowser RE: Katie Nell Feb 13, 2007 11:21 AM

                  Thanks--I'll try it too. Sounds great!

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            Fiftyishfoodie RE: BrunchOrBust Feb 13, 2007 10:58 AM

            THis is a great make ahead sandwich, adaptable to your taste - NIGHT BEFORE, hollow out a sourdough round, and fill with assortment such as fresh mozzerella, artichokes, olives, roated red pepper, chicken, proscuitto, etc. Season w/mustards, oil, vinegar, salt pepper, fresh basil. Wrap it up and place on a cookie sheet, then weigh it down with any heavy objects. Overnight it gets a little smushed down, but cuts great and travels well.

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              BrunchOrBust RE: BrunchOrBust Feb 13, 2007 11:06 AM

              Thank you guys so much! Those sound like great ideas. I've seen her take down a wedge of brie the size of my foot in a night, so I think I'm going to try a baguette/brie/avocado/something with a bit of crunch sandwich, some sort of meat product on the side (salami! brilliant!), and a nutella themed dessert? Any ideas for an easy, one-serving nutella conduit? I'm afraid it'd be difficult to make just one crepe...

              2 Replies
              1. re: BrunchOrBust
                chowser RE: BrunchOrBust Feb 13, 2007 11:20 AM

                Nutella truffles--heat cream to simmer/just before boil, pour over chopped chocolate (about twice as much chocolate as cream), stir until melted (or pulse three times in food processor). Add nutella until it tastes right (that's the fun part). Let it harden, roll into balls with two spoons or melon scoop. In the meantime, temper chocolate (or don't if you're not that picky). Toast hazelnuts and chop. Dip nutella ganache into chocolate and then roll in hazelnuts.

                To make it easier, you could skip the chocolate coating on the outside. When you roll the balls, just roll them in toasted chopped hazelnuts. Refrigerate. It's fairly easy.

                1. re: BrunchOrBust
                  Pia RE: BrunchOrBust Feb 13, 2007 05:50 PM

                  Brie, arugula, and tomato, and some Fererro Rocher for dessert? Or if she's a starch lover, maybe a mini-croissant with Nutella.

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                  piccola RE: BrunchOrBust Feb 13, 2007 05:08 PM

                  If you can find heart-shaped chocolate wafers, make sandwich cookies with Nutella.

                  For the sandwich, I'd do brie or avocado, not both - they're both creamy and mild, too similar. Avocado needs a sharper cheese, like feta or fontina.

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