Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cacao Nib - Oat Sables and Dairy Success

My friend Julie dropped by with a bag of oat flour this week. Such a good friend! She and I share a love of oats, especially in chocolate chip oatmeal cookie form, and I promised I’d bake a treat for her using the oat flour.

While musing over the oat flour (delightful moments indeed), I thought of Abby Dodge’s Bake Together Challenge. This month’s recipe is a savory sable. I am always fond of a buttery, flaky cracker and Abby shared her recipe to get started.

With the oat and chocolate theme foremost on my mind, I decided to create a savory version for the sables. By swapping out some of the all-purpose flour for oat flour and including cacao nibs I could get the oat and chocolate flavors without the sweetness of a cookie. A little goat cheese added creamy indulgence, too.

The dough for the sables came together perfectly and was easy to work with. The resulting sable is delicate and crispy, rather like an afternoon tea biscuit. They are quite dainty and pair well with a soft topping, such as clotted cream or cultured butter.

Speaking of which, I am happy to report I had great success with making cultured butter and clotted cream this week! Small jars of each sit in my fridge now and make me very happy every time I open the door. I must admit, I’ve been in dairy heaven with all the tasting I’ve been doing. Clotted cream is a new family favorite, and I can’t wait to start dipping this spring’s fresh radishes in the butter. So much to look forward to!

Cacao Nib - Oat Sables
Adapted from Abby Dodge’s Spicy Parmesan Sables
Makes 29

Ingredients I used:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup oat flour
2 ounces soft goat cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) chilled, unsalted butter, cut into slices
2 tablespoons + 1 1/2 teaspoons cold water
1/4 cup cacao nibs
Fleur de sel for sprinkling

I followed Abby’s directions exactly, adding the cacao nibs after the cold water and pulsing a few times.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Asparagus Walnut Pesto and Changing Seasons

Happy Spring! We’ve had a few sunny days in a row and it really feels like spring has arrived. Our plum tree is full of blossoms and pretty buds are popping up out of the ground. Thoughts of baseball season (much anticipated in our house), pink nail polish and spring produce fill my mind.

A fresh season is a time for reflection, a time to pause. Similar to the beginning of a new calendar year, it can be a time for growth and inspiration. I like to think of it as an opportunity to stretch myself (sometimes literally – time for more yoga!) and discover something new.

At times the “something new” is as simple as saying, “Why didn’t I think of that?”, as I did when reading the most recent issue of Fine Cooking and saw a recipe for Asparagus Pesto. Brilliant! The first asparagus has arrived here and I just couldn’t resist picking up a green bouquet of fat stalks – not a bad impulse buy considering my other pick was a black salt and burnt sugar caramel chocolate bar.

Nothing celebrates spring like asparagus. This pesto combines raw asparagus with thyme, walnuts, garlic and Parmesan cheese. It is quick to whiz up in the food processor and is full of bright, fresh flavor.

Eggs (another sign of spring) and asparagus marry well. With this in mind, I spread the pastel green pesto on toasted bread (made with my new sourdough starter – I feel like such a proud parent!) and topped the slices with sunny-side up eggs. My son, Isaac, and I happily munched this for lunch together with the sun streaming through the window. A delightful way to welcome spring!

I’m off to try my hand at cultured butter and clotted cream now.

Asparagus Walnut Pesto
Adapted from Fine Cooking
Makes 1 cup

1 large clove garlic
8 ounces asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Drop the garlic clove in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to chop. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until a thick puree forms, scraping the sides down a couple of times. Taste for salt, pepper and additional lemon juice. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

** This recipe has been linked to the Fresh Produce Tuesday series hosted by 2 Sisters 2 Cities.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Eton Mess with Strawberries and Passion Fruit Curd

I just finished scraping the bottom of my glass to get every last delicious bite of this dessert. Meet my new favorite: Eton Mess.

I’ve been intrigued for quite some time by this confection that originated in England at Eton College in the 1930s. Its name caught my attention when I stumbled upon it in a British cookbook, prompting me to peruse the recipe. Cream, fruit and meringue? Yes, please.

My idea of a dreamy dessert usually includes some form of summer fruit, cream and crust or biscuit (shortcake, cobbler, pavlova ...). In fact, the first recipe I created when I was little was Whipped Cream Pie which involved folding whipped cream and diced fruit together and then spooning it into a baked pie crust (my Mom still has the recipe card I carefully wrote!).

Since I’ve been having fun celebrating my birthday this week, it seemed an ideal time to assess my wish-list of treats to try. A little extra indulgence is an important part of birthdays, wouldn’t you agree? And Eton Mess provided just that.

Dollops of crisp meringue are crumbled and swirled with whipped cream and sweetened strawberries to make ... a mess! Just in time, we have fresh, beautiful strawberries emerging here - a sure sign of spring. What a gift it is to inhale their sweet scent!

Several variations of Eton Mess appear in British cookbooks, even one with chocolate and cherries, and I decided to include some fruity curd in my version. I had been saving a lovely jar of passion fruit curd we brought home from Australia and it was time to pop it open for a taste of Aussie sunshine.

Crispy, creamy, fruity and sweet – such a heavenly combination of texture, taste and color. Eton Mess was delightful and all I had dreamed it would be.

Eton Mess with Strawberries and Passion Fruit Curd
Serves 6

2 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon
2 cups strawberries, stems removed and thickly sliced
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup passion fruit curd (you can substitute your favorite curd if passion fruit is not available)

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the egg whites in a medium sized mixing bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until the mixture is glossy and holds stiff peaks.

Drop dollops of the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet. I had about 14 meringue blobs. They don’t have to be pretty – you’ll be crumbling them. Bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, until the outsides are firm and crisp. Remove from the oven and let cool.

While the meringues are baking, combine the strawberries and remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar in a small bowl and stir gently. Leave sitting out to macerate and get juicy.

When ready to serve, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Crumble the meringues into coarse pieces.

This dessert can be served in pretty glasses or in a marvelous heap on a platter for everyone to tuck in to – you decide. To assemble, scatter a layer of half the meringue pieces in glasses or on a platter. Spoon half the whipped cream over and drop spoonfuls of half the curd over it. Spoon half the strawberries and their juices over the top. Repeat layering with the second half of the ingredients. Stir a bit to make a mess and enjoy!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pike Place Market Food Tour

After living in Seattle for nearly 20 years, it was time for me to get to know one of our most famous, well-loved spots – Pike Place Market. Sure, I’ve visited the Market innumerable times before for its beautiful bounty of fresh fish, local fruit and vegetables and specialty shops. But I have not spent time learning the rich history and tales dating back to 1907, when the high price of onions sparked an outrage and the Market was created to allow shoppers direct access to the farmers and their produce.

Knowing my love of the Market, my husband, Bob, thoughtfully booked us on a Food and Cultural Tour with Savor Seattle (an early birthday celebration for me – an amazing gift!). Bob and I met eight other food lovers and our marvelous, personable tour guide, Santino, at Starbucks to begin our Market adventure.

The day was grey and drizzly but Santino’s pink umbrella was a bright beacon to follow. The Market was alive with vibrant colors, scents and sounds. Cherry blossoms, pussy willows and tulips were visible everywhere. Flower boxes full of daffodils lined the rooftops of the Markets’ buildings. Spring is here, even if the weather doesn’t quite agree yet.

Our first stop was at the Daily Dozen, a doughnut shop. We shared bags of fresh, hot doughnuts liberally showered in sugar ... what a way to begin! From there we visited Market Spice and sipped their signature black tea flavored with cinnamon, orange and cloves. At Pike Place Fish we stopped to watch the flying fish and savor smoked salmon and salmon jerky.

Next, Frank’s Quality Produce gave us incredibly sweet grapes and tangerines to sample. I also discovered fresh green garbanzo beans in their pods there, something new to me. (I bought a bag to bring home with us. The shelled garbanzo beans are similar to fresh green peas and delicious to eat raw or sautéed.)

We then meandered over to Pike Place Chowder while Santino continued to engage us with his extensive knowledge of the Market in an entertaining manner. Cups of clam chowder and seafood bisque were given out to try, and since Bob and I do not eat shellfish they graciously had vegan chowder for us.

And no visit to the Market is complete without stopping to say hello to the mascot, Rachel the Pig.

Our next stop, Beecher’s Cheese, was just plain decadent. Beecher’s makes their cheese in the heart of the Market where you can watch the process. We sampled their flagship cheddar and gooey mac and cheese (flavored with chipotle chile) ... let me just say, Beecher’s has perfected their craft!

Down the street, we stopped in at Pear Deli & Shoppe. This is a foodie paradise! Local chocolates, wine and cheese fill the shop along with an impressive selection of retro sodas (Bob and I stocked up on ginger beer, root beer, cola and orange soda for our boys). They specialize in a variety of sandwiches and served us delicious ones made with Macrina Bakery’s potato rolls. We also indulged in handmade salted caramels and I will return for more of those! The caramels are the perfect balance of sweet and salty and because they are not overly sweet they do not stick in your teeth, making it easier to eat lots of them.

We continued down the block to Etta’s Seafood, one of Tom Douglas’ fabulous restaurants. There they served crab cakes with tomatillo sauce, and again Bob and I were given an alternative option to enjoy. This time we sank our teeth into warm grilled corn pudding cake which was simply divine. Santino had kindly let Etta’s know of my upcoming birthday and they surprised me with a birthday candle on my slice!

Not only did Santino share stories and history with us, he taught us some terrific food tips. My favorite is how to tell the difference between male and female eggplants – something I had been completely unaware of before! If you look at the non-stem end of an eggplant, you will see a brownish marking. If the mark is a small dot it is male and if it is an oval shape it is female. This is significant to recognize since male eggplants have fewer seeds and are therefore less bitter in taste. I will be shopping for those sweet male eggplants from now on!

Check out these beautiful strings of chile peppers!

I highly recommend this tour if you visit Seattle or are a local and want to have fun being a tourist in your own city. If you attend the Blogher Food Conference in June (I’ll be there!) a lunch tour of Pike Place Market with Savor Seattle is offered, so be sure to sign up.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Blueberry Maple Granola

Oodles of homemade granola recipes have been popping up in the past few years – I’m sure you’ve noticed! This is not a surprise, since granola made at home is far tastier and healthier than the packaged, store-bought variety. At this point, I’ve tried just about every concoction I can think of and have found myself returning to one granola combination over and over. It’s time to share it with you!

The basis of this recipe comes from our dear family friend, Ralph. Ralph is a master at making crunchy, flavorful granola and when I first sampled a bowl I immediately requested his recipe. Over time, I’ve played around with different oils, sweeteners, nuts, seeds and fruit to make it my own, but have kept the essence of Ralph’s granola.

Oats form the foundation of granola. Ralph first toasts his oats in the oven, which is inspired. Like anything, toasting improves the flavor and fills the kitchen with a heavenly scent (when time permits I like to toast oats before making oatmeal ... mmmm). The warm oats are a canvas on which to add flavors to suit your tastes.

In a large bowl I stir together the oats, maple syrup, a touch of honey, olive oil, pepitas (love the light, crackly texture they add), ground flax seeds, walnuts and a healthy sprinkling of fleur de sel for a salty kick. After baking, a handful of dried blueberries finish off the oatmeal and add a bit more sweetness.

I try to keep a jar of granola on the kitchen counter – a handful is terrific for an after- school snack or to mix with yogurt for breakfast. Our new morning indulgence is a breakfast banana split ... scoops of yogurt grace a split banana and are topped with dollops of blueberry jam and sprinkled with granola (inspired by The Kitchn). A scrumptious morning treat!

Blueberry Maple Granola
Adapted from Ralph’s Crunchy Granola
Makes 4 1/2 cups

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (use gluten-free for a gluten-free option)
1/3 cup maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon fleur de sel or flaky sea salt
1/2 cup raw pepitas
1/3 cup ground flax seeds
3/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup dried blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the oats on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Keep the oven on.

In a large bowl, whisk together the syrup, honey, olive oil, vanilla and fleur de sel. Stir in the oats and mix to coat. Add the pepitas, ground flax seeds and walnuts and gently mix.

Spread the mixture on the rimmed baking sheet and bake for 18 minutes. Stir the granola halfway through the baking time, being sure to get the corners. Remove from the oven and let cool. Mix in the dried blueberries. Store the granola in an airtight container within easy reach for snacking.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Celery Gratin: Sharing Some Celery Love

I’ve been a long admirer of the British food writer, Jane Grigson, and I especially enjoy her lovely book, Good Things. It’s a treasure of seasonal cookery (now there’s a word I wish was in more popular use!) and she shares a wealth of information in a friendly, wise manner.

One of my discoveries is her brilliant combination of celery, butter and salt. I generally think of stuffing celery with peanut butter or cream cheese ... rather ho-hum but a decent snack. Jane Grigson shares what is by far the tastiest way to enjoy raw celery - with good butter and sea salt. If you haven’t tried this before, spread a stalk of celery thickly with your best butter and sprinkle some Maldon sea salt on top. So simple and so good.

Celery is the spotlight of this week’s Food52 recipe contest. A new challenge and stretching your imagination is always fun, and creating a recipe based on celery certainly affords this opportunity. Since I didn’t have any experience with cooking celery, other than adding it to soups, I wanted to see what I could come up with.

The first step was easy since I already knew it to be delicious - sauté the celery in butter and salt. From there a gratin began to unfold. Cherry tomatoes add a pop of color and bright flavor, and the white wine, butter, cream and Gruyere cheese ... well, you can imagine all they add! The celery flavor shines through and the softer texture from cooking it is pleasing. Sweet tomatoes, wine and cream form a tangy, rich sauce and Gruyere cheese adds a nutty, indulgent finish.

I’m appreciating celery’s versatility and happy to see it escape the crudités platter to become a more inspiring dish.

Celery Gratin
Serves 4

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 bunch of celery (approximately 1 1/2 pounds), leaves removed (save for soup) and stalks cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 teaspoon kosher salt
A few grinds of fresh black pepper
3/4 cup white wine
1 pint cherry tomatoes, rinsed and sliced in half
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, grated

Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Have an 8x8 or 9x9 inch broiler safe baking dish ready.

In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the celery slices, salt and pepper and stir to coat. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, until the celery begins to soften nicely. Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Stir in the tomatoes and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and pop it in the oven for 15 minutes. Give it a stir about halfway through.

Remove the dish from the oven, stir in the cream and sprinkle the cheese on top. Return the baking dish to the oven for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted. If desired, turn on the broiler and let the cheese brown a little. Serve warm with some crusty bread to soak up the sauce.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lemon Pistachio Sambusaks

It appears I have stuffed pastries on my mind this week ... not a bad thing, mind you. In fact, anything involving pastry is sublime to me, especially when filled with something scrumptious. Stuffed foods are traditional to eat for Purim (in addition to triangle shaped) so Lemon Pistachio Sambusaks are ideal for the holiday.

These savory crescents are Iraqi in origin. It seems like each culture has its own delightful stuffed pastry (such as calzones, samosas, empanadas and borekas – just to name a delicious few). Sambusaks have been enjoyed in the Middle East for centuries. They are quite a popular snack or appetizer in Israel – I once savored amazing ones at Abulafia Bakery in Jaffa.

Samusaks are filled with ground meat, chick peas, potatoes, hard boiled eggs or cheese and can include a variety of spices, herbs or seeds. They can be made with dough, puff pastry or phyllo, deep fried or oven baked.

I prefer to bake sambusaks using a pastry dough with some whole wheat flour in it. This dough is simple and easy to work with and allows you to get creative with fillings. I am rather crazy about feta cheese (my favorite is Pastures of Eden) and it’s typically the cheese for sambusaks. I like to create unique fillings so I zested and juiced a lemon to stir into my feta and yogurt mixture and finely chopped some pistachios. Topped with sesame seeds, they are pretty as well as tasty.

Sambusaks can be prepared ahead and frozen (either unbaked or baked), making it easy to bake or warm them just before serving. Served with some spicy zhoug, these flaky turnovers are crispy, cheesy, tangy and satisfying – a welcome addition to your appetizer repertoire.

Lemon Pistachio Sambusaks
Makes 20

1/2 cup olive oil (plus 1 tablespoon, if needed)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup warm water
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour

8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons plain, thick yogurt
1 lemon, zested and squeezed to yield 2 tablespoons juice
1/8 cup pistachios, finely chopped
A few grinds of black pepper

1 egg, stirred to brush on top
3 teaspoons sesame seeds (black or white)

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oil, butter, water and salt. Slowly stir in the flour, stopping to incorporate fully a few times. If the dough feels a little dry, add the additional olive oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap while you prepare the filling.

In a medium sized bowl, mash all of the filling ingredients together until well mixed.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Divide the dough in half, keeping one half wrapped in the bowl. Divide the half into 10 equal portions. Roll each ball of dough out into roughly a 3 inch circle. Place a generous teaspoon of filling on half and fold over to create a crescent shape (a spatula can help with lifting the dough). Pinch to seal and crimp the edges with a fork to decorate (it helps to seal, too).

Place the 10 sambusaks on the prepared baking pan. Brush the tops of each with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 25 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough. Serve the sambusaks warm with zhoug or za’atar to dip.

**If desired, prepare and freeze the sambusaks up to a month ahead of time (do not brush with egg). Wrap the baking pan tightly and freeze. When ready to bake, brush the tops with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hamantaschen: Purim Is Just Around the Corner!

Get out the masks and groggers (noise makers)! Purim is a merry holiday celebrating Queen Esther and Mordecai’s victory of saving the Jews of Persia from the wicked Haman. In synagogue, we gather to hear a lively telling of the story of Esther during which we sound groggers every time Haman’s name is mentioned. It is a noisy, joyous time filled with costumes, carnivals and exuberance.

Purim also means it’s time for hamantaschen baking. Hamantaschen are scrumptious pastries stuffed with various fillings such as fruity jam, chocolate, prunes or poppy seeds (our favorite is apricot jam). Apparently Haman wore a tri-cornered hat which is why hamantaschen are shaped like triangles.

There is a lovely tradition of sharing gifts of shalach manot with others – little baskets or bags filled with fruit, nuts, candy and, of course, hamantaschen. Baking dozens of hamantaschen also gives us the chance to use up our flour before Passover begins next month.

The classic recipe for hamantaschen is much like sugar cookie dough. For the past fifteen years, though, I’ve been baking flaky, light hamantaschen using a simple dough recipe I found in our local Jewish newspaper. It contains only three ingredients - cream cheese, flour and butter - and yields a rich, flaky pastry similar to rugelach, a favorite cookie of mine.

Since the dough does not have any sugar, it balances nicely with the sweet fillings. This tender dough tends to pop open easily when baking, so be sure to pinch the corners tightly when you seal them. In fact, I may go sneak a couple of popped ones myself right now ...

Chag Purim Sameach (Happy Purim)!

From Naomi Arbit via the Jewish Transcript (now the JT News)
Makes 40 cookies

1/2 pound cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
Your favorite fruit jams and/or chocolate discs for filling

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. On low speed, slowly beat in the flour a little at a time until a dough is formed. Shape the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly flour a surface to roll the dough. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut off 1/4 portion of it.

Have a small bowl of water ready. With a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to roughly 1/8 inch thickness. Using a drinking glass or round cookie cutter, cut the dough into 2 1/2 inch circles. Place a few chocolate discs or a teaspoon of jam in the center of each circle. Dip your finger in the water and run it around the perimeter. Bring the edges of dough together to form a triangle around the filling and pinch the 3 corners together tightly to seal.

Place 10 or so cookies on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12-13 minutes, until the cookies are puffed and just starting to look a little golden. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool before indulging in them. Repeat baking until all the cookies are done.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tuna Nicoise Baguettes

Happy March! Buds are appearing on our lilac bushes, sunshine is streaming through the window and baby chicks are chirping at the feed store ... tangible signs that new life is emerging and spring is approaching. Our chickens are busily scratching and chomping any tender greens that poke up in the back yard. I’ve given up any attempts to grow flowers out back and instead focus on filling pots with flowers in front. I love the fresh feeling of this new season and planting red geraniums in our window box is always a beautiful way to celebrate it.

With thoughts of spring comes the welcome anticipation of spending more time outside. When my sons played baseball in Little League our spring evenings were spent at the ball field, eating dinner in the bleachers (usually four or five nights of the week!). Now Sam and Isaac are on the track and field team and there is only one weekly meet ... no need to be planning portable dinners quite as often.

I still welcome an easy dinner to take outside, though. One of my favorite salads is the classic Nicoise Salad. Packed with protein and an explosion of flavors, it is a meal in itself. A terrific way to enjoy this salad when on the go is to stuff a crusty baguette with it and head to the baseball game (or lacrosse, or soccer...).

When biting into this Tuna Nicoise Baguette, my taste buds came alive – salty, pungent, briny and piquant. The sandwiches improve if made ahead, so they are easy to prep and stash in the fridge until you head outdoors.

By the way, I’ve recently become a convert to tuna packed in olive oil. For most of my life I’ve been eating tuna canned in water and had no idea what I was missing. Tuna packed in water is bland and needs mayo, pickles, celery, vinegar and lots more to add taste. By the time you’re done preparing it, you no longer taste the tuna but only what you’ve added. In contrast, tuna packed in olive oil can be enjoyed unadorned. It tastes simply of tuna. Since tuna is central to Nicoise Salad it is crucial to use the most flavorful possible in these Tuna Nicoise Baguettes.

Tuna Nicoise Baguettes
Serves 4

1 12 ounce crusty baguette
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil (I use the olive oil drained from the tuna)
8 ounces red or Yukon Gold potatoes, boiled until soft and sliced thinly (I do not peel them)
4 eggs, hard boiled and sliced lengthwise into quarters
2 jars (6.7 ounces each) Tonnino tuna fillets in olive oil, drained
1/4 cup flavorful black olives (nicoise are classic but I used kalamata since I already had them), roughly chopped
4 ounces green beans, ends snipped and steamed until crisp-tender
1/4 cup capers
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the baguette into four equal lengths. Slice each in half lengthwise and pull a portion of the interior out to create a hollow area to fill. Keep the interior bread for future croutons (I have a bag in the freezer that I add to and use as needed). Lay the baguette halves out on a cutting board for assembling.

Combine the mustard, red wine vinegar and olive oil in a jar. Cover and shake until combined. Spread a little on the inside of each baguette half.

Place the sliced potatoes in a medium sized bowl and add the remaining dressing. Toss gently to coat the slices.

Begin layering the ingredients equally on the four baguette bottoms: eggs, potatoes, tuna, olives, green beans and capers. Salt and pepper to taste and place baguette tops on.

Wrap each sandwich tightly in plastic wrap and chill for a couple of hours. Remove from the fridge about 20 minutes before you plan to eat them.