Friday, April 30, 2010

BBQ Chicken Wings

As a general rule, wings aren't my favorite food.  Its just a lot of work to end up with such a small amount of  meat.  However, when my neighbors hosted a wing cook-off, I was game.  I have been all about the grill lately, so I knew I wanted to grill the wings, rather than deep-fry them.  I also assumed that others would bring hot wings, so I wanted to do something a little different. 

This recipe is surprisingly simple, and the results are absolutely fantastic.  I bought whole chicken wings, and butchered them myself, separating the drumstick from the wing, and discarding the wingtips.  They are then seasoned with a simple blend of salt, pepper, and cayenne, and grilled.  Cook's Illustrated uses an unusual method of grilling the wings over moderate heat first, to cook the meat and crisp the skin, then cranking up the heat to high while basting them with sauce, in order to get a nice char and glaze on them.  Their recipe for pantry barbecue sauce couldn't be any simpler, and its miles better than any bottle you can buy in the store. 

There was no voting or official winner for the cook-off, but Joey said he liked my wings the best.  Not that he's biased :-)

Barbecued Chicken Wings
adapted from Cook's Illustrated, Summer Grilling
makes about 2 dozen wings
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds of whole chicken wings
  • vegetable oil for cooking grate
Pantry Barbecue Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • salt and pepper
For the barbecue sauce, whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl, and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Prepare grill:  turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill about 15 minutes.  Turn all burners to medium-low, adjusting as needed, to maintain the temperature around 350.

Cut through the wings at the joint between the drumstick and the center wing.  Cut through the joint between the wing and the wingtip, and discard the wingtip.

Combine the salt, pepper, and cayenne in a small bowl.  Pat the wings dry with paper towels, and rub evenly with spice mixture.

Clean and oil the cooking grate, and place wings in the center of the grill.  Cover and cook until the skin is crisp and golden, about 15-20 minutes, turning once.

Turn all burners to high, and continue to cook, flipping and brushing with sauce, until glazed and deep brown, about 5 minutes longer.  Transfer wings to a platter, and brush with additional sauce before serving.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chipotle Portobello Burgers

Here is yet another successful meatless meal.  Joey was actually surprised when I told him the "patty" was a mushroom.  He just assumed it was turkey or beef given how flavorful it was.  Success!  I'm honestly not surprised that its delicious - the mushroom caps are marinated in a spicy and flavorful chipotle dressing, grilled, and served on a burger bun with grilled onions, tomatoes, pepperjack cheese, and avocado.  

However, a word to the wise:  don't make these for company or on a first date.  They are incredibly messy to eat, and I would actually almost classify this as a fork and knife burger.  Joey and I have been married long enough that neither of us cares about being neat and clean... and let's face it.  No matter what I'm eating, I still manage to wear half.  Quite honestly, Caroline may very well be a cleaner eater than her mother.

We had a few mushrooms leftover, and I turned the ingredients into a salad for lunch.  Another success!  Loved this burger, and I'll be making it again and again this summer - just not for people that we need to impress.

Chipotle Portobello Burgers
adapted from Ezra Pound Cake, originally from Steven Raichlen
makes 4 burgers

  • 3-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • coarse salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps, wiped clean with a paper towel
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into rings
  • 2-3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 buns or rolls
  • 4 slices pepperjack cheese
  • 4 tomato slices
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, and cut into slices
Combine the ingredients for the marinade in the food processor.  Puree until smooth, and pour over mushroom caps.  Turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes - 1 hour.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Skewer the onions, or prepare vegetable basket for grill.

Grill mushrooms, gill side down, on the grill, brushing with extra marinade.  Brush the onion slices with oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill alongside the mushrooms.  After 3 minutes, flip the mushrooms and onions, and brush with remaining marinade.  Allow to cook until tender and sizzling.  Lay a slice of cheese over each mushroom and continue to cook until it is melted and bubbly.

Brush buns with melted butter, and grill until toasted and lightly browned.

Starting with the bottom half of each bun, layer the onion, tomato, mushroom, and avocado.  Serve immediately.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

I made these cookies around this time last year, and I've pretty much been thinking about them ever since.  So now with the abundance of strawberries, I had plenty to use towards these little treats.  These are really tasty cookies, though Joey and I both think they have the texture closer to that of a muffin or a scone.  They are light and fluffy, with slightly crisp outside.  And they are dangerous.  Being a two-bite cookie, its hard to resist popping one after another into your mouth!

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies
Martha Stewart Living, June 2009
makes about 3 dozen cookies
  • 12 ounces strawberries, hulled and diced into 1/4-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1-2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 ounces (6 Tablespoons) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • coarse sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 375.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar in a medium bowl.  Set aside.

Whisk together the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter to the flour mixture until coarse crumbs are formed.  You can also use your fingers.  Stir in the heavy cream until the dough starts to come together, then gently fold in strawberries.

Using a 1-1/2 inch cookie scoop, drop dough onto cookie sheets, evenly spaced apart.  Sprinkle with coarse sugar.  Bake for 22-27 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  The cookies are best eaten the same day.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Grilled Steak Salad

If salads were gender specific, the Easter Salad I posted recently would most definitely be a girl.  And this steak salad would most definitely be a man.  Whereas the Easter Salad is light, fruity, and feminine, this one is manly.  Well, as manly as a salad can be, I guess.  Big, bold flavors:  steak, grilled peppers and onions, and sharp cheddar.

We had some beautiful New York Strips to use, and since we have been eating lighter dinners lately, I decided to make grilled salads out of them.  Again, here is a simple, no-fuss meal, that is tasty and light. Even my husband enjoyed it, and he usually dies a little inside when I tell him we're eating salad for dinner.

One of the things I like about this salad is how its open to so many adaptations.  Any lean steak will do, we just happen to love New York Strips.  I used a smoked garlic cheddar I picked up from Trader Joe's, but I think goat cheese or blue cheese would be great as well.  I will definitely add some tomatoes come summer, and a number of grilled vegetables would be great additions to the peppers and onions as well (mushrooms, zucchini, asparagus...).  I kept the dressing simple.  The steaks were juicy and perfect on their own, so I wanted the steak flavor to shine.  I just mixed together a little balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey.  Perfect for the salad, and perfect for a spring dinner. 

Grilled Steak Salad
serves 2-3 as a main course
  • 2 (8-10 ounce) steaks
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, sliced into rings
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced into fourth's
  • 8 ounces mixed greens
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
Prepare grill. 

Brush peppers and onions with oil, and season with salt and pepper.   Season steaks with salt and pepper, and brush with olive oil.

Grill steaks and vegetables to desired doneness, turning once.  Remove from grill and cover with foil.  Allow to rest 5-10 minutes.  Thinly slice the meat against the grain. Cut the peppers into chunks, and slice the onion rings into halves.

Meanwhile, whisk together the vinegar, dijon, and honey.  Season with salt and pepper.

Divide salad greens among plates or shallow bowls.  Top with steak, onions, bell peppers, and cheddar cheese.  Drizzle with balsamic dressing, and serve.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pasta with Goat Cheese and Asparagus

So I recently wrote that we've been eating more and more vegetarian meals lately, and here I go adding meat to a meatless pasta dish.  Contradictory much?  I saw roasted garlic chicken sausage at Trader Joe's the day I made this, and I thought it would make a nice addition.  This is seriously one of the easiest dinners I've made in awhile, and its super flavorful to boot.  The asparagus and chicken sausage roast while the pasta cooks, and then its all tossed with a goat cheese simple sauce.

Joey wasn't the biggest fan of this dish, but I really loved it.  I'm pretty much obsessed with asparagus right now (not that you can tell, right?), and I'm always obsessed with goat cheese, so this was destined to be a winner in my book.  Easy, relatively healthy, and delicious.  What more can you ask for in a weeknight dinner?

Pasta with Goat Cheese, Asparagus, and Chicken Sausage
serves 4
adapted from Everyday Food:  Fresh Flavor Fast
  • 2 bunches of asparagus (2 pounds), tough ends removed
  • olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoon unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 links Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage (optional)
  • 12 ounces short pasta shapes
  • 5 ounces fresh goat cheese, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 Tablespoons snipped fresh chives, for garnish
Preheat oven to 450.  Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and place them on a baking sheet.  Slice chicken sausage into 1-inch pieces, and place on the baking sheet alongside the asparagus.  Roast until tender, tossing the asparagus and turning the sausage, about 10-15 minutes.  Slice asparagus into 2-inch pieces.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add 1 Tablespoon of salt, and cook the pasta until al dente.  Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water, and drain the pasta. 

Whisk together the goat cheese, butter, Parmesan, and 1/2 cup of the pasta water.  Season with salt and pepper, and whisk until smooth.

Return the pasta to the pot, and toss with the goat-cheese mixture, asparagus, and chicken sausage.  Add pasta water a few tablespoons at at time, until a thin sauce coats the pasta. 

Divide evenly among shallow bowls, and garnish with chives.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes

Not to be dramatic, but the search is over.  These are quite possibly the most perfect cupcakes ever.  Leave it to Cook's Illustrated to take something as simple as a chocolate cupcake and turn it into a mind-blowing dessert.  A chocoholic's dream, these cupcakes hit you with chocolate from 3 sides:  a moist, rich cake, smooth ganache filling, and a silky and buttery frosting.  Seriously, these aren't for the faint of heart.  But for someone like me, who could easily subsist off of chocolate, they are perfect.

Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes
Cook's Illustrated, May/June 2010
makes 12-15 cupcakes

Ganache Filling
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon confectioners' sugar
Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 3/4 cup hot, strong-brewed coffee
  • 3/4 cup (4 1/8 ounces) bread flour
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Creamy Chocolate Frosting
  • 1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • pinch table salt
  • 12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into Tablespoon pieces
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to 85-100 degrees
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the ganache filling, place chocolate, cream, and confectioners' sugar in a small microwave-safe bowl.  Cook on high power until mixture is warm to the touch, 20-30 seconds.  Whisk until smooth, and transfer to the refrigerator.  Let stand until just chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.

For the cupcakes, Preheat the oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Place chocolate and cocoa in a medium bowl, and pour hot coffee over the mixture.  Whisk until smooth, and transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely, 20-30 minutes.

Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk oil, eggs, vanilla, and vinegar into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth.  Add flour mixture and whisk until batter is smooth.

Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups, filling each 3/4 full.  Place one slightly rounded teaspoon of the ganache filling on top of each cupcake.

Bake until cupcakes are set and firm to the touch, 17-19 minutes.  Allow to cool in pans 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, combine the sugar, egg whites, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Set over a small saucepan of simmering water, and whisking constantly, cook until the mixture is slightly thickened, foamy, and registers 150 degrees on an instant read thermometer, 2-4 minutes.

Fit bowl to stand mixer, and with the whisk attachment, beat at medium speed, until mixture is the consistency of shaving cream and slightly cooled, 1-3 minutes.  Add butter 1 piece at a time, until smooth and creamy.  The frosting may look curdled halfway through, but it will smooth out eventually. 

Once all the butter as been added, pour in the cooled chocolate and vanilla.  Mix until well combined.  Increase speed to medium-high and until light and fluffy, another 30 seconds to a minute.

Frost cupcakes as desired.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Baked Falafel

I think I've mentioned it before, but I was a vegetarian for 8 years growing up.  I was 7 when I gave up meat, and I started eating chicken and fish again when I was 15.  Even though I was vegetarian, I didn't eat "vegetarian" foods all that much.  I was perfectly happy to subsist off of macaroni and cheese, french fries, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  I was not a fan of tofu or other meat replacement type foods.  Ironically enough, now that I do eat meat, I actually really enjoy those foods.  Recently, I have been making an effort to go meatless for a few dinners per week, and I've been enjoying finding new foods and cuisines that we like. 

I had been wanting to make falafel for quite some time, but I was put off by frying them.  Both for health reasons and well, the mess it makes.  I saw Cate make baked falafel recently, and I was excited to try it.

Y'all, this is seriously one of the easiest, low mainentance meals ever.  You do have to plan for it, since the garbanzo beans need to soak overnight, but after that it comes together quite quickly.  I made mine a little bigger, and we ate them as patties, versus wrapping them in pita.  I think they are delicious either way, and I'll definitely keep this in my rotation as a vegetarian night dinner.

Baked Falafel
adapted from Cate's World Kitchen, originally from Epicurious
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup) 
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp dried coriander
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • up to 4 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
  • Olive oil, for baking.
Place the beans in a medium bowl and cover with a few inches of water.  Allow to soak 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Pour 2-4 tablespoons olive oil onto a baking sheet, and tilt to cover the entire sheet.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas, and transfer them to a food processor fitted with the steel blade.  Add the onion, parsley, salt, garlic, cayenne, cumin, coriander, and lemon, and pulse several times, until a paste forms.  Transfer to a medium bowl, add the baking powder, and mix to combine.  Add the flour, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture stays together when formed into a ball.

Working 2-3 Tablespoons at a time, form the mixture into balls, then flatten into 3/4 inch thick patties.  Line on the baking sheet, and bake 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the outsides are browned and crispy. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sweet Chili-Glazed Salmon with Snap Pea Salad

This is the cover recipe of April's Bon Appetit, and I was giddy as I carried it from the mailbox into my house.  It just looked so fresh and delicious and springy.  And well, its pretty obvious that I've become obsessed with springy recipes.  As a matter of fact, the entire issue is chock full of recipes that I can't wait to try. 

Usually when I plan dinner, I can tell if Joey will like it or not.  If it has black beans, ground beef, jalapenos, or sausage, its a safe bet.  This dish was somewhat of an unknown.  He does like salmon, but isn't always the biggest fan of Asian flavors or funny vegetables.  And when I told him what we were having, I could tell he wasn't that enthused.  But he loved it!  The glaze has that addictive sweet and spicy combo, and the salad is fresh and delicious as well.

I followed the recipe exactly for the salmon, but played around a little with the salad.  I used sesame oil instead of vegetable oil, because I just love the flavor.  And when it was finished cooking, I didn't drizzle with more oil, as the recipe instructs.  It looked plenty oily, so I drizzled it with a little rice wine vinegar instead. 

This is one of the easiest, low key recipes I've made in awhile, so I know it will be a nice fallback for busy evenings.  Plus, I can't wait to get more mileage out of the snap peas and pea shoots before they're out of season.

Salmon with Sweet Chili Glaze, Sugar Snap Peas, and Pea Shoots
adapted from Bon Appetit, April 2010
serves 6
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup Asian sweet chili sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger, divided
  • 6 6-ounce salmon fillets, with skin
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry Sherry
  • 3 cups pea tendrils or pea sprouts (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, and spray with cooking spray, and place salmon fillets, skin side down, on the sheet.

Whisk together the chili sauce, 2 Tablespoon soy sauce, and 1 Tablespoon ginger in a small bowl.  Pour over the salmon, and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat broiler.  Spoon any marinade remaining on baking sheet over the salmon.  Broil, without turning, until browned in spots and almost opaque in the center, 6-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.

Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the remaining ginger and the garlic, and stir until aromatic, about 30 seconds.  Add the sugar snap peas and stir, cooking until crisp-tender and brown in spots, 2-3 minutes.  Add the remaining soy sauce, rice wine, and pea tendrils, and cook, stirrining constantly, until the tendrils begin to wilt, about 1 minute.  Drizzle with rice wine vinegar.

Place 1 salmon fillet on each plate, and spoon the warm salad over the salmon.  Serve immediately

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Easter Salad

I've said this before, but I absolutely love making salads.  I just think it is so fun to play around with mix-ins and come up with fun dressings.  My previous favorite has dried cranberries, pears, pecans, and goat chese.  My NEW favorite is this one. 

When my mother-in-law asked me to bring a salad to Easter lunch, I was excited to come up with something fun and different.  As I perused Trader Joe's, the salad started to take shape  I picked up some stilton with apricots and decided to go for an apricot/raspberry combo.  So I bought some fresh raspberries and dried apricots,  found some pea shoots that were lovely, and I threw those in as well.  I love having toasted nuts in my salad for the crunch, so I used toasted pecans.  And finally, I made a quick apricot mustard vinaigrette. 

The resulting salad was light, refreshing, and delicious.  I loved the sweetness from the fruit, the crunch from the pecans, and the bite from the vinaigrette.  While the Stilton was much milder than I expected, it actually worked out better.  This way, the cheese didn't overpower the other mild components of the salad.

In my opinion, the flavors and textures are just perfect, and I'm already looking forward to making it all summer.

Easter Salad
  • 4 ounces mixed greens, such as spring mix or baby greens
  • 4 ounces arugula or spinach
  • 1/2 cup pea shoots
  • 4 ounces fresh raspberries
  • 1/3 cup Stilton with apricots, or another mild, crumbly cheese
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, cut into quarters
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecans
For the dressing:
  • 2 Tablespoons apricot preserves
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup raspberry or sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8-1/4 cup olive oil
Combine the greens in a large salad bowl.  Top with raspberries, pea shoots, pecans, crumble cheese, and dried apricots. 

For the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients except oil.  While continually whisking, stream in the oil until desired consistency.  Toss with salad or serve on the side.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Chicken Tequila Burgers

These burgers have been popping up in several food blogs recently, and for good reason.  They are easy, healthy, quick, and quite tasty!  I had this recipe starred in my google reader back when Cara first made them, but they were quickly lost in its dark recesses, seeing as how I probably star 10 recipes a day.  Then Annie made them, and I was given the reminder I needed to try them.  I actually made them over a month ago, but wanted to save them to post once the weather was nice and hot (like today - I think we hit 90 in Atlanta)!!

Like I said, these are super easy to throw together.  I pretty much always have everything needed for the burgers.  I had never made ground chicken in my food processor before, but it was really easy and kind of fun.  I actually prefer doing this now, as it is chicken breasts and chicken breasts only - no extra hidden parts like there might be in ground chicken.  I loved the flavor of the tequila, and the slight spice from the jalapeno.  I served them with some grilled peppers and onions, and made a quick cilantro-lime ketchup to top them. 

So if you are ready to break out your grill, give these a try.  They are a fun and easy alternative to classic burgers.

Chicken Tequila Burgers
adapted from Annie's Eats, originally from Cara's Cravings
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, roughly chopped
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 lb total)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1-1 1/2 ounces tequila
  • Dash of soy sauce
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/3-1/2 cup panko
To serve:
  • burger buns
  • sauteed peppers and onions
  • cilantro-lime ketchup (ketchup + 1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro + juice of half a lime)
Process the garlic, cilantro, and jalapeno in the food processor until finely chopped.

Cut the chicken breasts into chunks, and add to the food processor.  Add the lime zest and juice, tequila, soy sauce, panko, salt, and pepper.  Pulse until the chicken is uniformly ground and all the ingredients are well mixed.

Form into 3-4 patties.

Prepare grill, and grill 5-7 minutes per side, or until burgers are cooked through.  Serve with desired toppings.

Monday, April 5, 2010

BB: Chicken Caesar Club Sandwiches

I really feel like I say this every month, but when I saw this March's Barefoot Blogger selections, I was so excited.  Particularly, I was excited to try this sandwich.  I have had my eye on it every since I bought Barefoot Contessa at Home 3 years ago, and for some reason I had never gotten around to it.  So thank you to Karen of Shortbread for finally forcing me to make it.

This is now one of my favorite sandwiches, and Joey agrees that it is phenomenal.  Seriously.  I love ciabatta and caesar salad, so it should come as no shock that it interested me.  Add in a flavorful Caesar dressing, crisp proscuitto, salty Parmesan, and peppery arugula, and you have a seriously delicious sandwich.  It is quick to throw together, but its a nice elegant twist on sandwiches for dinner.

I saw that Tara made hers into a salad, and that made me think of making it as a panzanella.  I really really can't wait to try that. 

Caesar Club Sandwich
adapted from The Barefoot Contessa at Home
  • 2 split (1 whole) chicken breasts, cooked any way (grilled, baked, poached, etc), sliced thickly
  • 4 ounces proscuitto
  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, or mayonnaise
  • 1 large Ciabatta loaf
  • 2 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
  • 2-3 ounces Parmesan, shaved
Preheat the oven to 350.

Place the proscuitto on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and cook 8-12 minutes, until crisp.  Set aside to drain on paper towels.

Place the garlic and parsley in the bowl of a food processor, and process until minced.  Add the anchovy paste, lemon juice, mustard, and yogurt and process again to make a smooth dressing.

Slice the bread in half horizontally, and toast, cut side up, 5-7 minutes.

Spread the cut sides of each half with dressing.  Place half the arugula on the bottom piece of bread, then layer the Parmesan, prosciutto, and chicken.  Finish with another layer of the arugula, and drizzle with remaining dressing. 

Close the sandwich and cut into individual servings.