Friday, June 27, 2014

My Oven Secret

An open sandwich with caramelized onion, charred jalapeno, roast beef and provolone toasted in an oven and topped with kale and peaches salad dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Is an oven a necessity or a luxury? The new oven was inaugurated with a Spicy Open Faced Roast Beef Sandwich

I have a secret...Well, it is not really a secret. At least I did not think it was a secret until I said it out loud and everyone's reaction was a shocked look. So, a couple of nights ago, I came home and my room-mate had bought a new oven for the kitchen. I was super-excited when I realized it was for general use.

See, I have lived in this house for almost a year and we did not have an oven because the one that came with the stove was not working. I complained once and when nothing got done, I simply just moved on with life. In the grand scheme of life, not having an oven did not seem like a big suffering.

The thing is I grew up in Nigeria and an oven was sort of a luxury. The price of gas was just too expensive to be using an oven regularly. Plus, the food I grew up were not exactly oven-friendly. When I was thirteen, I remember asking my mom for a canister of gas as a birthday gift so that I could bake when I wanted. I used to make Yorkshire puddings and bake Victoria sponge cake.

At work, I mentioned it to a couple of my friends that Iw as excited to finally have an oven. They were both speechless that I had lived in a house without an oven. It made me feel like maybe I had been slumming. However, thinking of it now, my ability to live without an oven is because it is not a necessity. I am a very adaptable person. Unless something is extremely integral to my daily happiness, I am usually able to do without it.

Now that the oven is here though, I shall start making more oven-friendly food. I am already planning on roasting some chicken breast this weekend. I am also excited to be able to make souffle and baked apples again. For the first meal I made in the oven, I wanted something simple. I settled on a sandwich, a toasted open faced sandwich with cheese. A sandwich is something you can make easily without an oven but the depth of flavor and texture the melted cheese adds is the delight of this meal.

An open sandwich with caramelized onion, charred jalapeno, roast beef and provolone toasted in an oven
The melted provolone cheese on roast beef sandwich has opened the floodgates to oven-made foods
My sandwich consisted of slices of roast beef on white bread dressed with caramelized onions and charred jalapeño pepper. I topped it all off with slices of provolone cheese before sliding it under the broiler. The sandwich was topped with a yellow peach and kale salad dressed in a touch of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  

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