Monday, February 11, 2008

Pressed Picnic Sandwich

Pressing this sandwich melds the flavors of this sandwich allowing the layers to become one incredible experience. This sandwich can be made one day ahead of time; instead of adding the vinaigrette in step three, add it just before you pack the sandwich, or one hour before serving.
Serves: 10
1 large flat loaf rustic bread
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 loaf rustic Italian bread, such as ciabatta
1/2 cup prepared black-olive paste
8 ounces fresh goat cheese
8 ounces marinated artichokes
6 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
1/4 pound peppered salami, thinly sliced
2 1/4 cups loosely packed mixed fresh herbs, such as basil, cilantro, or parsley
1. Heat a grill or grill pan to hot; alternatively, heat the broiler. Cook peppers until completely charred, turning frequently so all sides cook evenly, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Place peppers in a deep bowl, and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Set bowl aside until the skins loosen and the peppers are cool enough to handle. Using your hands, rub off the charred skin, rinsing
your hands frequently under cold running water. Slice peppers in half, and remove the seeds and stems. Cut flesh into 1-inch-wide strips.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the mustard and vinegar. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Whisk in 2 tablespoons warm water. Whisk in salt and pepper to taste, and set the vinaigrette aside.
3. Slice the loaf of bread lengthwise, and remove crumb; reserve crumb for another use. Spread the olive paste on the bottom crust, and add the pepper strips. Crumble the goat cheese on top of peppers. Arrange artichokes over goat cheese. Drizzle half of the reserved vinaigrette on top.
Arrange prosciutto and salami over artichokes. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette. Scatter herbs over meats. Place the top crust on sandwich.
4. Wrap the sandwich tightly with plastic wrap. Set a weight such as a brick or large cast-iron skillet on top for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve, slice sandwich into ten pieces.

Peanut Butter, Apple, and Bacon Sandwiches

Yields: 2 sandwiches
1/2 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
4 large slices whole-wheat bread (each about 5 by 5 inches), toasted lightly
8 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and drained on paper towels
1 small crisp apple (such as Royal Gala), cored and sliced thin
1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
Spread peanut butter evenly on bread slices. Layer bacon, apple slices, and sprouts on 2 bread slices and top with remaining bread slices.

Lobster Club Sandwich

1 1/2 pound lobster, steamed and shell removed
1 tablespoon lemon mayonnaise
3 1/2-inch slices brioche, toasted
3/4 cup mixed field greens
8 slices plum tomato, sliced 1/4-inch thick
4 slices bacon, cooked
1. Slice lobster meat from tail and claws crosswise pieces, about 3/4-inch thick. Spread the mayonnaise on the brioche slices, and place them in a row on your work surface. Arrange half the quantity of tomato, field greens, bacon, and lobster meat between two slices of brioche.
2. To assemble, stack the second layer on top of the first layer with ingredients facing up. Place the last piece of brioche, mayonnaise-side down, on top of the second layer. Pierce opposite corners of the sandwich.s top layer with lobster picks or decorative toothpicks. Slice the sandwich on the diagonal with a serrated knife.

Grilled Portobello Sandwich with Goat Cheese and Green Sauce

Serves: 4
1/4 cup baby spinach
1/4 cup basil leaves
1 teaspoon tarragon
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon capers
2 cloves roasted garlic
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 Portobello mushrooms
8 ounces goat cheese, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Puree the first 7 ingredients in a blender. Rub mushrooms with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill rib side down first for four minutes. Turn over and spoon sauce over Portobello, while on grill, and continue to grill for an additional 4 minutes. Add slices of goat cheese touch with a little bit more of the green sauce. Remove from grill and allow to cool slightly. There you go. A beautiful open-faced sandwich!

Grilled Cuban Sandwich

Serves: 4
8 slices pork loin, 1 ounce each
8 slices ham, 1 ounce each
12 dill pickle chips
8 slices Swiss cheese
4 sandwich rolls
Dijon mustard to taste
Prepare a wood or charcoal fire and allow it to burn to embers. Layer each sandwich with the
cheese, ham, pork and pickles.
Grill the sandwich, top side down for 1 minute, turn over and place a saute pan on top and continue to cook until cheese is melted about 3 to 4 minutes.

Greek Chicken Pockets

Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Preparation time: 30 minutes
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup minced peeled cucumber
1 tablespoon each minced fresh dill and minced fresh mint or
1 teaspoon each dry dill weed and dry mint
4 to 6 pita breads (each about 6 inches in diameter)
3 small firm-ripe tomatoes (about 12 oz. total), thinly sliced
2 small green bell peppers (about 10 oz. total), seeded and thinly sliced
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Prepare Herb Dressing:
In a small bowl, stir together 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt, 1/2 cup minced peeled cucumber, and 1 tablespoon each minced fresh dill and minced fresh mint (or 1 teaspoon each dry dill weed and dry mint).
Cut each pita bread in half; gently open halves and fill equally with tomatoes, bell peppers, chicken, and cheese. Then spoon dressing into each sandwich.

Fried Oyster Po’ Boy

24 shucked oysters, drained
yellow cornmeal, seasoned with freshly ground black pepper and cayenne, for coating
vegetable oil for deep-frying
2 loaves soft-crusted French bread
sliced tomatoes
shredded iceberg lettuce
Tartar Sauce
In a heavy-duty plastic bag, working in batches of 6, coat oysters with cornmeal, knocking off excess. In a heavy kettle heat 1 1/2 inches of oil to 375 deg. F. on a deep-fat thermometer and fry oysters in batches of 6, turning occasionally, until golden and just cooked through, about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer oysters with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
Halve loaves crosswise and horizontally, cutting all the way through and spread each piece with about 2 tablespoons tartar sauce. Divide tomatoes, lettuce, and oysters among bottom pieces of bread and top with remaining bread, pressing together gently.