I like to consider myself a halfway decent writer. Sometimes I think I can be funny, and on my best day’s, clever and maybe even witty, if I’m lucky. Titles, however, are my downfall. I suck at coming up with title’s – I’m the worst, seriously. I will sit and stare at my computer screen for hours, typing clever possibilities that sound hilarious in my head, but look ridiculous on screen. In typical Allana fashion, I become extremely obsessive & jealous of people that come up with clever titles for restaurants, book’s and more now especially, blogs (although, I’ll admit, “allanabytes” does make me chuckle). Maybe it’s the one word title that tickles me, but yesterday, Graham Elliot’s newest upscale sandwich joint opened up, right across from my place of work. The title? Grahamwiches.
To me, Graham Elliot, you are a genius. I absolutely wish I had a name that could somehow transform beautifully into a staple dish that represents not only childhood, but Chicago as well. Well played, sir. The only thing better than a bomb title would be a discount for Quartino employee’s … (just sayin’).
Now, considering I was at work all day yesterday, I figured I wouldn’t have a chance to try Grahamwiches. The manager’s were lucky enough to sneak some sandwiches up to their manager meeting, but sadly, all I got was a look at the menu. So I then deconstructed and analyzed every single dish on that small menu. Putting aside the fact that their sandwiches are only ten dollars (a bargain in this city, for sure), I was intrigued by the snack section. What’s more clever than allanabytes and Grahamwiches combined? G’wich. Kidding! Nothing is as clever as allanabytes!
So, there it was – g’wich popcorn: grated parmesan + chopped chives + sea salt + cracked pepper + truffle oil.
Seems like NOM CENTRAL, right? Well, I tried a few bites of the g’wich popcorn and I was hooked. Although a few bites were slathered in pepper, I blamed that on the fact that they probably mass produced their popcorn, creating tons and tons and tons of popcorn for their grand opening. So, when I got home later that night, I wanted to re-create this g’wich popcorn, only better. I knew we had chives in the fridge (wrong – robyn tossed those bad boys a couple days ago), and I figured we had truffle oil considering how gourmet the mortell taste is (wrong again – but we did have truffle SALT!) LIGHTBULB!
I made a few variations considering I didn’t have truffle oil or chives but damn, what I made was pretty delicious. And it came together in ten minutes, right before Top Chef! If that’s not fate, I’m not sure what is.
a’bytes popcorn: shaved asiago + chopped rosemary + truffle salt + cracked black pepper
I didn’t exactly write a recipe for this, since it was so incredible and so last minute, but here’s what I did – First, I popped some Amish kernels with olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Then, I chopped up some fresh rosemary and shaved some asiago (I used Trader Joe’s Asiago Cheese that’s infused with Rosemary & Olive Oil) onto a plate. When the popcorn finished popping about ten minutes later, I poured half into my bowl, poured just enough melted butter to lightly coat the kernel’s, poured some rosemary and asiago cheese on top and seasoned to taste with the truffle salt and cracked black pepper. Then, I poured another batch of popcorn on top, and repeated. Then, I did it again. I wanted to make sure all the popcorn would be coated generously with my toppings, so I did it in three short batches, which was just enough. The result? About five tons of rosemary infused, truffle tasting, cheesy, a bit spicy, unbelieveable tasting popcorn that would probably feed ten people.
My mom and I devoured the whole bowl. Closet fatty’s? Perhaps. Call us what you may, but try this popcorn first.