Archive for the ‘Sandwich’ Category

Sandwich Friday has managed to go the way of the wind, since our life has turned to total scheduling mayhem. Every week looks different, every week seems booked solid, every week we are too rushed to run out the door on time to have a well-planned meal. Fortunately this week Sandwich Monday (which doesn’t really exist) was in effect. And this was a sandwich worth a Monday night in.

I managed to finally cook this chicken perfectly; still juicy and tender on the inside with a nice layer of slight caramelization on the crust. This is something that has eluded me lately as I’ve rushed through the dinner-making process. Having it done right this time reminded me that it’s worth the extra attention for the end flavor result. Badly cooked chicken is just bad.

I know there is a whole contingency of people out there who are against “pungent” cheese, but I pretend they don’t exist. Blue or gorgonzola cheese can never go wrong on a sandwich, in my opinion. What makes this sandwich unique is the contrast that the sweetened fig jam provides against the salty cheese. (I actually had some leftover balsamic fig preserves which worked deliciously). And then the bite of the arugula that has been dipped in lemon juice for arugula is a warranted finishing touch.

Chicken Panini with Fig Jam, Arugula, and Blue Cheese
Taken from loveandoliveoil.com.  Recipe from Cooking Light.
Makes 4 servings.

1/4 cup fig jam
1 (8-ounce) ciabatta, cut lengthwise
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese or gorgonzola cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
8 ounces sliced or shredded cooked chicken breast
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups arugula leaves
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Spread jam over cut side of top half of bread. Combine cheese and butter in a bowl, stirring until smooth (if using goat cheese, skip this step). Spread cheese mixture over cut side of bottom half of bread. Arrange chicken evenly over cheese mixture; sprinkle with pepper. Place top half of bread, jam side down, over chicken.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, and add sandwich to pan. Place a heavy cast-iron skillet on sandwich; cook 5 minutes or until both sides are browned, turning once.

Place arugula in a bowl. Drizzle juice over arugula; toss gently. Remove top bread half from sandwich. Arrange arugula mixture over chicken. Replace top bread half. Cut sandwich into 4 equal portions.


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Carnitas Croissant Sandwich

Of course the minute I posted about our Sandwich Friday tradition and the tasty meat and bread combinations that came out of that venture, Nate was begging to reinstate it. Sadly for him, it hasn’t been officially reinstated, but he did get a new sandwich out of the deal.

There was no recipe for this one as it was made up mostly of leftover ingredients that we had on hand. But sandwiches aren’t really meant to be measured and quantified anyway. They are a perfect mate for anyone who likes to “eyeball” it or mess around with proportions as they see fit. This is a great one to do just that with and still come out with a tasty treat.

Carnitas Croissant Sandwich

Croissants, sliced
Lemon Pepper
Leftover pork carnitas, shredded and warmed slightly
Avocado slices
Fontina, havarti or any other cheese you find delicious, sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the open croissants on a baking sheet.  Combine lemon pepper and mayonnaise and spread on both sides of the croissant.  Layer the carnitas on the bottom side of the bread and top with the avocado.  Layer the cheese on to the top side of the bread.  Place in the oven about 8 minutes, or until sandwich is hot and cheese is melted.  Fold the croissant together and serve.

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This is a story about two runs and a walk.  Or it’s a story about clean-up.  Or maybe it’s just about sandwiches.  I don’t really know.  I do know that I tried each of these three sandwich recipes over four months ago and that they’ve been sitting in “food photography file” land ever since.  These sandwiches were part of a short-living “Friday is Sandwich Night” tradition that Nate loved and I eventually broke, as I do with all food traditions.  I have no idea why I never got around to posting each of these recipes so now I’m cleaning up and giving you all three at once. 

The Brunch Panini was one of the home runs for Nate.  He loved this easy combination of breakfast treats: bacon and French toast.  I was a little more ambivalent, considering it a good sandwich, but nothing to moon about.  However, I have since made a simplified version to serve at my church café and I can’t tell you how many little kids have asked if I will be making the “Bacon Jelly Sandwich” next week.

The Triple-Decker Strawberry Chicken-Club Sandwich turned Triple-Decker Strawberry Steak-Club Sandwich was the walk.  Maybe it had something to do with the stronger flavor of steak as opposed to chicken, but I think we would have felt the same way regardless of meat choice.  We both found ourselves wanting to pick those strawberries right off and enjoy the goodness that is avocado without the distraction.  Perplexing, since I love a good spinach salad with strawberries and avocado, but no less true.


The Charred Chicken Caesar Sammies were a home run for both of us.  The ciabatta from Trader Joe’s was an excellent bread choice, soaking up the Caesar dressing while remaining hearty and crusty.  I loved the tangy, lemony taste that it infused throughout the lettuce, chicken and bread and subsequently used the remainder of the dressing to make a yummy salad the next night.  Of course, I’m not exactly sure if I followed thedressing recipe too well.  I know I omitted the anchovy paste because I just don’t do that.  But in general I don’t tend to measure with dressings so perhaps the delightful tang I discovered was a result of eyeballing the lemon juice or perhaps measuring and following this recipe would give you the same results.  Taste and tell.  And next time I’ll try to post sooner so that I remember my changes!  Oh but please make sure you’re grill is nice and hot because those charred edges are just the stuff.

Brunch Panini
Originally from Everyday with Rachael Ray Magazine
Yield: 4 servings
Prep: 10 min.  Cook: 6 min.

8 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
8 slices country bread
16 slices prosciutto (about 8 ounces)
1/4 cup raspberry jam
4 large eggs
3 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat a panini press. Divide half the cheese among 4 slices of the bread, then top with the prosciutto; spread 1 tablespoon jam on each and top with the remaining cheese. Set the remaining bread slices in place.

In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs with the butter. Working in batches, dip both sides of each sandwich in the egg mixture and place in the panini press. Grill until the bread is crisp and golden, about 3 minutes.


Triple-Decker Strawberry Chicken-Club Sandwich
Originally from Everyday with Rachael Ray Magazine
Yield: 4 servings
Prep: 20 min  Cook:  15 min.

12 ounces thick-cut bacon
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Salt and pepper
1 avocado, halved and pitted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup mayonnaise
12 slices whole wheat toast
2 cups baby spinach
1 1/2 cups hulled and sliced strawberries (about 10 ounces)

In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp; drain on paper towels. Pour off the fat from the skillet and heat the pan over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, add to the pan, partially cover and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides and just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes, then thinly slice.

Meanwhile, using a food processor, puree the avocado flesh with the lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the mayonnaise, then season with salt and pepper.

Spread 1 tablespoon of the avocado mayo on each toast slice. Divide the chicken among 4 toast slices and top each with one-quarter of the bacon. Cover each stack with a toast slice, avocado mayo side down. Spread more avocado mayo on top, then layer each stack with some of the spinach, strawberries and one of the remaining toast slices, avocado mayo side down. Cut into quarters.


Charred Chicken Caesar Sammies
Originally from Everyday with Rachael Ray Magazine
Yield: 4 servings

Juice of 1 large lemon 
1 large clove garlic, grated or finely chopped 
1 tablespoon anchovy paste 
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
1 teaspoon pepper 
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) 
2 large hearts romaine lettuce,halved lengthwise with stem intact 
1/3 grated pecorino-romano cheese (a generous handful) 
1 large loaf ciabatta bread, split
1 rotisserie chicken, bones discarded and meat sliced

1.       Preheat a grill or grill pan. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, anchovy paste, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and pepper. Whisk in the EVOO until thickened. Brush the romaine hearts with some of the dressing. Mix the cheese into the remaining dressing.    

2.       Grill the bread and the lettuce, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes. Trim the ends off the lettuce. Pile the chicken and lettuce on the bread bottom, top with the dressing and cover with the bread top. Cut into 4 large sammies.

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