We've been talking a lot about giving back via cooking. In addition to nourishing our families, many media mavens are using food to spread a message. Melissa d'??Arabianthe host of Food Network'??s '??Ten Dollar Dinners!'? has teamed up with the nonprofit Grain Foods Foundation. Together they supporting the Bread Art Project, benefiting Share Our Strength.
As a mom of four, Melissa knows all too well how important it is to feed families healthy, well-balanced meals that satisfy and provide nutrition. Melissa has developed simple tips and recipes to work bread and grains into meal-planning (click here for more recipes).
Melissa says, "My kids like sandwiches without crusts, so I am constantly cutting them off sliced bread. Instead of throwing them away, I save them in resealable freezer bags. I turn them into 'dippers' which my kids use for dunking in jam (crusts are apparently completely delicious, just not on a sandwich when you are five), or I use the crusts to make fresh and fluffy bread crumbs. And the color of the crust makes for nice browning when I cook with the breadcrumbs."
In addition to this tip, Melissa is sharing a recipe she developed for the Grain Foods Foundation called: Crispy Ham, Tomato and Mozzarella Sandwich
2 T olive oil plus 1 teaspoon, divided
1 t dried basil
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
4 thin slices ham
4 slices sandwich bread
4 slices mozzarella cheese
½ tomato, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
In a small bowl, mix 2 T of the olive oil, basil, smashed garlic clove and salt and pepper with a fork to release flavors and let sit while preparing the rest of the sandwich (at least five minutes). In a small sautÃ© pan, cook the ham in a teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat 2-3 minutes per side, or until beginning to crisp. Toast the bread. Lay the cheese on one slice of the toast and brush generously with the flavored olive oil, using a pastry brush. Add the ham, and top with tomatoes. Brush the tomatoes with the olive oil, and top with the second piece of toast. Repeat for the second sandwich.