Is there any actor more wonderful than Patrick Stewart? The answer is: fuck no. He obviously won everyone over with his role as sexy, commanding and sophisticated Captain Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation. But his resume is much more expansive than that. Countless Shakespearean roles. Captain Ahab. Scrooge. Professor Charles Xavier. Ridiculously amounts of stage and voice acting. There is no denying the man is one of the most talented actors we have. And did I mention sexy?
So to celebrate Sir P-Stew’s 73rd birthday (July 13th), I’m making a birthday meal in his honor. The entree is the I’ve Seen Everything Open-Face Sandwich, which will be my version of Welsh Rarebit (cheese sauce over toast), using English Cheddar and breasts (of the chicken variety). Accompanying the sandwich, is the Make It So-da, a lemon and Earl Gray sparkling soda that is refreshing and complex in flavor, though easy to make.
If you’d like to watch some hot YouTube action to better understand why I chose these recipes, please check out this Captain Picard compilation and his guest spot on Extras.
Make It So-da
Lemon and Earl Gray Sparkling Soda
(adapted from The Food Network)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 lemon rind
- 2 Earl Gray teabags*
- 1 liter club soda
- 4 lemon slices, for garnish
How to Make It So
Over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the water. Add the lemon rind and tea bags and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until reduced, about 5 minutes. Discard the rinds and teabags. Cool completely.
Distribute the lemon juice and lemon-tea syrup into four glasses. Top with club soda, stir and garnish with lemon.
Serve with the I’ve Seen Everything Open-Face Sandwich.
* Be careful to not break the teabags when preparing your syrup. If you do, make sure to strain the mixture before chilling. You can use cheesecloth, or even open up a fresh teabag, dump the contents, and use that.
The I’ve Seen Everything Open-Face Sandwich
Welsh Rarebit with Roasted Chicken Breast
(adapted from The New York Times)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp mustard powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 3/4 cup stout or porter
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 lb. English Cheddar, grated
- 1 rotisserie chicken, breast meat pulled off and shredded
- 6 pieces lightly toasted rustic bread*
- chives, for garnish (optional)
How To Do It
Preheat your oven to Broil.
Melt butter over medium heat, then stir in flour. Cook until slightly brown and fragrant (3-5 minutes). Add in mustard powder, pepper and paprika, then whisk in beer and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk until Smooth.
Add in cheese, half at a time. Whisk until smooth and melty.
Put the pulled chicken breast on the toast and then pour cheese sauce over it.
Place under broiler for a minute or two to get it bubbly and crispy.
Garnish with chives and EAT.
Serve with the Make It So-da.
Fontina Turner, a food blogger and graphic designer from Philadelphia, makes classy-as-fuck comfort food and consumes an unhealthy amount of cheeses and craft beers. She can be found in the kitchen, at the bar, on Twitter or trying to make H. Jon Benjamin love her. Contact her at email@example.com.