Tag Archives: Sandwiches

Grilled Zucchini Caprese Sandwiches

26 Aug

 

1 medium zucchini, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 6 slices
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 (2-ounce) ciabatta rolls, split and toasted
8 large fresh basil leaves
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

1. Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Place zucchini in a shallow dish. Add 2 teaspoons oil and garlic; toss to coat. Arrange zucchini in grill pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear. Cut each zucchini piece in half crosswise. Return zucchini to shallow dish. Drizzle with vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
2. Brush bottom halves of rolls with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Top evenly with zucchini, basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella.
3. Brush cut side of roll tops with remaining liquid from shallow dish, and place on sandwiches. Heat the sandwiches in pan until warm.

Jackie Newgent, Cooking Light, August 2011

At this time of year, there is absolutely no excuse for not eating locally farmed, locally crafted food in Chicago.  The vegetables are literally pouring off the tables at the farmers markets, peaches on being sold at reduced prices and you simply can’t go wrong with buying blueberries straight from farmers in bulk.  The reasons are endless: on average you spend the same or less than major supermarkets but your money goes straight to the hands of small farmers (no corporate middle man), you can talk to the farmers about where your food was grown, their methodologies, even the kind of weather they’ve had all week, if you’re interested.  By the end of the summer, you’ll know their faces and you’ve probably seen or made a handful of friends at the market.   It helps the environment by cutting down on fuel for shipping and encourages varied-crop farming which decreases erosion often found on massive single-crop farms and, let’s face it, it’s a whole lot nicer to look at than an endless field of corn (and yes, I am from Iowa).   And let’s be serious, the biggest reason is taste.  There is simply no comparison.  Luckily, all of these ingredients can be purchased at the farmer’s market in Lincoln Square except the salt and pepper, which hopefully you have in your pantry already.

This is one of those recipes that shines in its simplicity, bringing out the fresh tastes of the basil (from my garden), tomatoes and zucchini.  The acidity of the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar are perfectly balanced by the sweet mozzarella.  The crispy, warm bread, slightly softened by the garlicky olive oil and vinegar is the perfect texture for the softened cheese and veggies.  And I appreciated that this was a one-pan-wonder, ready in 15 minutes since I, and many others, returned back to school this week.

Smoked Mozzarella and Chicken Sandwiches with Italian Barbecue Sauce

27 Nov Smoked Mozzarella and Chicken Sandwiches Italian Barbecue Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 large cloves garlic, chopped or grated

1 14.5 oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

1/2 cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Salt & Pepper

4 pieces skinless boneless chicken breast, halved horizontally

12 thin slices smoked mozzarella (1 pound ball)

2 cups loosely packed baby arugula

1/2 cup basil leaves shredded or torn

1 loaf ciabatta bread, split lengthwise and cut into 4 pieces

1. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat.  In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil, 2 turns of the pan.  Add onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes and chicken stock and heat through, about 5 minutes.  Stir in vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and lots of pepper.  Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 7-8 minutes.

2. Drizzle chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Cook on the grill pan, turning once, for 6 minutes.  Remove from the pan and layer 1 chicken piece with 2 mozzarella slices, another chicken piece and another mozzarella slice.  Repeat 3 more times to make 4 double-decker chicken stacks.  Tenant with foil for 1 minute to soften the mozzarella cheese.

3. Combine the arugula and basil.  Pile one quarter of the greens on each of the 4 bottom pieces of ciabatta.  Pile the chicken stacks on top, then cover with the barbecue sauce and bread tops.

Everyday with Rachel Ray, December 2009

This recipe is great for a quick, hearty dinner.  The size of the sandwich and abundance of sauce makes for a messy meal, but it’s definitely worth the napkin consumption.  I made this last night for my boyfriend and me so I only used two chicken breasts. I skipped the stacking of the chicken and cheese under Step 2 and simply melted the cheese on top of the chicken during the last few minutes of cooking.  The sandwich is messy enough with a single  layer – I’m not sure how one could eat a double-decker version.  I also used the fire-roasted tomatoes with green chiles from Trader Joe’s because they are always out of plain fire-roasted tomatoes, but I thought the chiles added a nice hint of spice to the peppery sauce.  I wouldn’t actually call this meal Italian or barbecue, more a mix of both with a dash of sloppy-joe American, but it certainly satisfies the best of both worlds.