Grilled Artichoke Sub

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More sandwich love coming at ya. This vegetarian option is super tasty. The featured ingredient is artichokes that have been charred in a grill pan, so they have a nice caramelization going. I love artichokes and they’re great as the “meat” in this recipe (by Jeff Mauro, btw). They are accompanied by a lemony, garlicky ricotta spread with pine nuts, which add a nice crunch, topped off by lettuce. Pretty simple, but pretty great.

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TW’s Tips

  • The ricotta spread was a little too garlicky for me; I’d cut the garlic in half.
  • When you roast the garlic, it needed a little more time than 20 minutes. I went about 40 so it was nice and tender.
  • Costco has a big jar of artichokes that worked great for this.
  • You can roast the garlic ahead of time — even make the whole ricotta spread ahead of time if you want.

Enjoy!

Grilled Artichoke Sub

Ingredients

  • 1 head garlic (I recommend cutting amount in half)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons grated romano
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Three 10-ounce jars oil-packed artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 large French baguette
  • 4 to 6 vibrant leafs of red leaf lettuce
  • 1 cup pine nuts, toasted with salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Lop off stem end of the head of garlic. Pour the olive oil over the exposed cloves, sprinkle with salt and pepper and wrap loosely in foil. Bake until soft and slightly caramelized, about 20 minutes. Let cool, squeeze out the garlic cloves and set aside. Once cool, using your knife, chop into a paste.

Mix together the roasted garlic, ricotta, basil, romano and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Gently add the artichokes to the grill pan and grill until properly charred, 4 to 5 minutes a side, then set aside.

Meanwhile, lightly toast the baguette, about 5 minutes.

For the sandwich build: Split the toasted baguette in half and schmear each half with the ricotta spread. Then pile on the grilled artichokes. Next, add the toasted pine nuts and finally the red leaf lettuce. Cut to serve your family and friends and enjoy with a side of Tony Bennett perhaps.

 

Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich

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If you think this looks impressive, you are correct. And it tasted as good as it looks. Continuing on my eat-more-veg-meals kick, I saw this recipe from Jeff Mauro and couldn’t resist. #1: obviously it’s a sandwich. My favorite. #2: it uses eggplant, also a favorite. #3: it’s Italian. Enough said.

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This recipe isn’t what I’d call easy, but it was worth it. The result is a very filling, meaty sandwich with some great flavors going. Some melty goodness from the cheese, freshness from the basil and spice/acid from the pickled peppers and roasted tomatoes. Pretty amazing if you ask me.

TW’s Tips

  • It wasn’t easy to get the oil at the right temp, despite using a frying thermometer. Watch it closely and throw in the eggplant as soon as it’s hot enough.
  • Squeeze the tomatoes when you drain them — I ended up with too much liquid and drained some off the cookie sheet when I roasted them, as well. You want to get them caramelized, which means as little liquid as possible.
  • These are best right after you cook them, but reheat them in the oven and they’re great as well.

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Ingredients

Eggplant:

  • Two 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes, drained of their liquid
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • Salt
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds (you’ll need at least 8 rounds)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Sandwich Build:

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 4 soft brioche buns
  • 1 pound burrata cheese
  • 1/2 cup pickled cherry peppers, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 16 leaves fresh basil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner and another baking sheet with a wire rack.

For the eggplant: In a bowl, toss the tomatoes with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, brown sugar and some salt. Evenly place the tomatoes on the lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast until slightly caramelized and dried out a bit, 20 to 30 minutes. Set aside.

Set the eggplant slices on the wire rack (if you don’t have a rack you can use a colander set in the sink). Sprinkle salt on each side of the eggplant and let the salt do the work for 15 to 30 minutes.

Once the salt has released moisture from the eggplant, pat the slices dry with paper towels. Then sprinkle each side of the eggplant with pepper.

Set up a standard breading station with the flour in one shallow dish, the eggs in another and the panko mixed with the Parmesan in a third dish. Dredge each eggplant slice in the flour, shake off any excess, dip in the egg, let any excess drip off and then coat in the panko. Set aside on the wire rack and repeat.

In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 1-inch vegetable oil to 350 degrees F.

Working in small batches, fry the eggplant slices, turning once, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes a side. Using a pair of tongs, transfer back to the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining eggplant. Make sure to season the eggplant as it comes out of the oil.

For the sandwich build: Butter and griddle both sides of the buns until golden and crispy (you can toast the buns as well). Tear the burrata over the bottom buns, then add 2 hot eggplant slices, some roasted tomatoes, a few pickled cherry peppers and some fresh basil leaves on each bun. Serve to applause.

Grilled Steak Sandwich with Portobellos, Grilled Onions and Fontina

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This is a killer sandwich — and that’s coming from a big sandwich lover. And guess what?It’s a Tyler Florence recipe. Big surprise, I know. There are so many awesome flavors going on here: garlic and rosemary on the steak, balsamic vinegar alongside the meaty portobellos and red onion, sharp fontina cheese and the most awesome aioli, bright with spicy arugula and acid from the lemon. Just awesome. All on some crunchy, chewy ciabatta. I could seriously eat this every single night. Try me.

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TW’s Tips

  • I had some pretty big shallots and found that the roasting time wasn’t sufficient to get them nice and tender — you want them well cooked and soft to the touch. If you have bigger shallots, cut them up or break them apart.
  • You can make the mayo ahead — just keep in the fridge.
  • Get some good quality fontina to really get the good flavor you want here.
  • Be generous with the mayo — it’s delish.
  • Be prepared — it’s a messy sandwich, but SO worth it!

Steak

  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 shallots
  • Needles from 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak, preferably about 3/4 inch thick

Mayonnaise

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish
  • 2 bunches coarsely chopped arugula
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Everything Else

  • 4 portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 pound fontina
  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread, split horizontally
  • 1 bunch arugula

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the outer layers of skin from the garlic and shallot. Smash them open with the flat side of a knife to break up the cloves. Set both down on a reasonably sized square of aluminum foil. Drizzle the tablespoon of olive oil on top, and add the rosemary and bay leaf. Wrap securely in the aluminum foil. Place it on a pan if you want to be extra safe, and let it bake for 30 minutes.

While you’re waiting for your garlic and shallot to roast, start the mayonnaise. If you have a food processor, blend all of the mayonnaise ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper and pop in the refrigerator.

Once the garlic and shallot are done roasting, let them sit out to cool for a few minutes. Remove the bay leaf and carefully pour any juices into the food processor. Peel the garlic cloves and shallots and toss into the processor with 1 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper and pulse until well mixed. Coat both sides of the steak with the olive oil mixture. Set it in the refrigerator and let it marinate for at least two hours or overnight, flipping it halfway through.

When you’re ready to cook the steak, take it out to let it warm up a little while you slice your mushrooms and onions. Lay the mushrooms and onion slices in a shallow platter, drizzle with the vinegar and oil, and season with salt and pepper. Try not to break up the onion slices into rings, they are easier to grill as slices. Use a grill or heat up a pan over medium-high heat, and cook the steak for seven minutes on each side– you may need to adjust this time if your steak is thinner or thicker than recommended.

Once the steak is done, move it to a plate to let it rest for 10 minutes. Saute the mushrooms and onions over medium heat. Once they’re done, remove them from the pan (the plate you set the steak on is a good place to put them) and set your bread in the pan to toast. Slice the steak against the grain as thinly as you can.

To assemble the sandwich, spread the mayonnaise on the bread. Add the steak and veggies. Top with the cheese and a bit of arugula.

Chicken and Mushroom Reuben

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I am a HUGE sandwich fan. I love sandwiches. I’ll eat them at any meal — breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s a delicious meal between two pieces of bread — the possibilities are endless! This sandwich is pretty cool — it’s a spin on a reuben that uses chicken and mushrooms instead of the traditional corned beef filling. (It’s a Rachael Ray recipe.) The traditional Thousand Island dressing is homemade and ratcheted up with some fresh dill and parsley, and my favorite part is the portobellos cooked with sage until they’re dark and fragrant. But really, everything about this sandwich is good. It uses an unusual bread, which I love. The sauerkraut mixed with onion is awesome. And the gruyere melted on top — yum. There are so many flavors going on! Kim and I ate this for a girls TV night, and we just wanted to keep eating and eating even though we were stuffed. Now that’s a sign of a successful meal.

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TW’s Tips

  • I used jarred sauerkraut, but they also make it in little refrigerated packets if you can find them. Be prepared, it doesn’t smell good, but once you cook it, it’s delish.
  • I used a good Gruyere and it adds a little something that deli Swiss just doesn’t achieve.
  • The mushroom mixture doesn’t make a ton — I would add another 1/4-1/2 pound of mushrooms based on how my portions turned out. I had a ton of chicken and sauerkraut and not a lot of shrooms.
  • This definitely makes more than four sandwiches. I’d say at least 6-8 (if you increase the mushrooms).
  • I was also craving salt and vinegar chips with this one, in addition to the pickles.

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Chicken and Mushroom Reuben

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick), divided
  • 1/2 pound baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 package sauerkraut (1 pound), rinsed and drained
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved (6 ounces each half)
  • McCormick brand Montreal Steak Seasoning or other grill seasoning blend
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons dill relish
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped, or1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 8 slices marble rye, rye, or pumpernickel bread
  • 8 slices Gruyère cheese or deli Swiss cheese
  • 4 large deli pickles
  • 1 bunch radishes, halved and salted

Directions

In a small skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat, add the mushrooms and raise the heat a bit. Cook the mushrooms for 8-10 minutes, until tender and dark. Add the sage midway through the cooking time. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper after they’re dark and tender, as salt slows the browning by drawing out liquids.

Meanwhile, in a second small skillet over medium heat, melt another tablespoon of butter. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, 10-12 minutes. Stir in the sauerkraut, warm through and turn off the heat.

While the onion cooks, heat a cast iron pan or griddle to medium-high heat. Season the chicken liberally with Montreal Steak Seasoning. Add the EVOO to the pan or griddle and cook the chicken, turning once, for 12 minutes, or until done. Remove from the heat and wipe down the skillet or griddle and lower the heat to medium-low. Slice the chicken into thin slices on an angle.

While the chicken cooks, stir the sour cream, relish and ketchup together in a small bowl and season with the fresh herbs.

Lightly butter one side of the slices of bread with the remaining tablespoon of butter. Build the sandwiches with buttered sides facing out, in this order: dressing, cheese, mushrooms, sliced chicken, sauerkraut with onions, cheese and ending with the dressing to set in place. Grill the sandwiches for about 3 minutes on each side. Serve with the pickles and salted radishes.

Red Rocker Margarita Chicken Sandwich

I have to confess — I got a little lazy on this one. Not only did I not realize I needed to marinate the chicken (I had to pull a quickie marinade together so I don’t think I got the full effect of the flavors that were possible here), but I just didn’t have the energy to roast the red peppers or fry said roasted red peppers for the crunchy topping. (Although I do think it would be good.) Sometimes a recipe is just too much, ya know?

However, I’ve got to say that Guy Fieri’s Red Rocker Margarita Chicken Sandwich was still pretty tasty. The chicken was nice and spicy, thanks in part to the fact that I added sliced jalapeno peppers to the skillet when I cooked the chicken, and I threw some of those on top of the chicken on the sandwich. That was some serious heat. And you really can’t go wrong with a sandwich.

The cabbage slaw gave the sandwich a nice, fresh crunch, and with the cheese on top, it was nice and melty and a great combination of textures.

TW’s Tips

  • Allow time to marinate the chicken. Duh.
  • Find something good to make with the leftover cabbage — you’ll still have a lot left!
  • If you get lazy like me, use jarred roasted red peppers, although I think roasting your own will make them hold together a bit better when you’re frying them.
  • Use any kind of cheese you like — I prefer sharper/more pungent cheeses than provolone so I used cheddar.
  • Pair this with a cooling salad or maybe even cucumbers with vinegar and dill for a nice acidic accompaniment.

Red Rocker Margarita Chicken Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 2 jalapenos, thinly sliced rounds
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 tablespoons tequila
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 red bell peppers, roasted, skinned, seeded, julienne
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 4 Kaiser rolls
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces provolone cheese, sliced

Directions

In a medium mixing bowl add jalapenos, cilantro, tequila, garlic, red chili flakes, cumin, oregano, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the chicken breasts and red bell peppers to resealable gallon bag and pour in marinade. Let marinate in refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours.

Heat grill to high. Remove chicken from marinade, and add chicken to the grill.

In a small mixing bowl add flour, remaining 1 teaspoon salt and the granulated garlic.

Heat the canola oil to 350 degrees F.

Remove bell peppers from marinade and dredge in flour and fry until crispy. When done drain on paper towels.

Cook chicken thoroughly on both sides, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes. Thinly slice or shred.

Lightly toast rolls. Spread mayonnaise evenly among the rolls and then stack evenly with the cabbage, onion, chicken breast, fried peppers, and top with cheese.

Chicago Steakhouse Sandwich

In honor of my sister and brother-in-law running the Chicago Marathon earlier this month and posting some pretty dang impressive times in the process (4:08 and 4:24 respectively), I present you the Chicago Steakhouse Sandwich (recipe courtesy of Jeff Mauro, “The Sandwich King”).

This is one delicious sandwich, and I love me a good sandwich. It starts with juicy, medium rare ribeye, topped with a garlicky spinach with a little heat from red pepper flake, topped with a blue cheese buttermilk spread on a crusty roll. Yum. I also added some super ripe beefsteak tomato slices, since everything is better with tomato. Add a pickle on the side, and you’re good. This came together so quickly — it’s a perfect weeknight meal since it won’t take you more than 30 minutes to throw it together. It’s so easy, I don’t have any tips!

Chicago Steakhouse Sandwich

Ingredients

Steak:

  • One 20-ounce boneless rib eye steak
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sauteed Garlicky Spinach:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Three 10-ounce bags fresh spinach, washed and stemmed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh dill
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Sandwich Build:

  • 1 fresh loaf crispy French bread, cut into 8-inch segments, buttered and grilled

Directions

For the steak: Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat until very hot. Sprinkle both sides of the steak with salt and pepper. Place the steak in the hot skillet, reduce the heat to medium and sear until well browned, about 4 minutes. Flip the steak and cook until medium/medium-rare, about 6 more minutes. Set aside, loosely covered with foil, and let rest before slicing.

For the sauteed garlicky spinach: Heat the oil and sliced garlic in a Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the garlic is golden brown and crispy. Remove the garlic and set aside on a paper towel to drain. Add the crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spinach and stir to combine with the oil. Cover and let cook over medium-high heat until the spinach is wilted but still bright in color, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and toss with the garlic chips.

For the buttermilk blue cheese dressing: Mix the mayonnaise, buttermilk, blue cheese, dill, mustard and pepper together in a bowl and set aside. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

For the sandwich build: Slice the rested steak against the grain into 1/4-inch slices, removing any non-rendered fat. Place the steak slices on the bottom bun, top with the spinach and schmear the top bun with buttermilk blue cheese dressing.

New England Chicken Patty Sandwiches

What makes these “New England” you ask? As a New Hampshire native, I say that’s an excellent question. And I have no idea. (The apple? Cheddar? Eh. Weak.) Despite that, they were very tasty and you should make them.

It’s no secret that I’m a sandwich girl. Sandwiches, burgers, melts, paninis — you name it, I love it. They’re so easy — everything is right there in one handy little package you can hold in your hand. What’s not to love?

I’ve got some quirks when it comes to sandwiches, though. If it’s a cold sandwich, it has to be made by someone else. I just don’t like cold sandwiches I make myself. I’ll eat them, but I won’t like them. Not so with hot sandwiches, so this one worked out just fine for me. Rachael Ray calls this a “sammie” — in my opinion, there’s not much that’s more annoying than that word. Nails on a chalkboard. So let’s just call it a sandwich, shall we? Okay then.

TW’s Tips

  • I made this with ground turkey instead of chicken because it’s easier to find and I had some on hand.
  • I thought I had an onion on hand and I didn’t (oops!) so I just sauteed the apples. I’m not a huge onion fan, but I’d definitely add *maybe* half of one for a little extra flavor. Not a fan of too much onion.
  • I made my own honey mustard with honey and Dijon mustard (duh) and it was quite tasty.
  • If you don’t want to bother with the broiler, just put the cheese on the burgers when they’re almost cooked and tent the pan with foil for the last few minutes so it melts.
  • Serve with salt and vinegar chips — my fave!

New England Chicken Patty Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 1 package of ground chicken (usually around 1 – 1 1/3 lbs)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced (I recommend 1/2)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 4 English muffins, split and toasted
  • Sliced sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 tablespoons honey mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups watercress (a small bunch), chopped

Directions

Preheat your broiler.

In bowl, mix chicken with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Form 4 thin patties. Preheat one large and one medium sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add about 2 tablespoons of EVOO, twice around the pan, to each skillet. Place chicken patties in large skillet and cook for 5-8 minutes on each side (or until cooked through).

Meanwhile, add apples and onions to second skillet, season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, 6-7 minutes.

Place a chicken patty on each English muffin bottom and top with some of the apple/onion mixture and a slice of cheese. Slide them under the broiler for a minute or two to melt the cheese. Spread each muffin top with a tablespoon of honey mustard. Top the chicken patties with a handful of watercress, set the muffin tops in place, and serve with a few chips.