Friday, December 10, 2010

Food For Thought

Sometimes on a weeknight, I need a simple sandwich.  Something quick and easy to pull together ... but something hearty enough to fill up my hungry horde.  In the past several weeks, we have enjoyed these delicious chicken sandwiches ... and half our kids asked for seconds.  The other half picked through and found what they liked ... so I guess those dinners were a success!

Here are three fresh takes on chicken sandwiches ... each one is a little different.  But each one is definitely tasty!  Enjoy!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwiches
(This recipe is from Food Network Magazine, December 2010 ... with a few adjustments as usual.)

This recipe makes 4 sandwiches.

2 chicken breasts
1 1/2 T olive oil
Coarse salt and Ground pepper
4 slices of ham (Thick slices from the deli are best.)
4 slices of muenster cheese
4 hoagie rolls
3 T dijon mustard
Baby spinach

Preheat the broiler.  Slice the chicken breasts into thick slices (about 1/2 inch).  Line a cookie sheet with foil and then place the chicken evenly on the foil.  Brush the chicken with a little olive oil and then season with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Broil the chicken for about 3-5 minutes.  Turn the chicken over and broil for an additional 3-5 minutes.  When the juices run clear, the chicken is ready.

Broiling the chicken.

Top each piece of chicken with a piece of ham and a piece of cheese.  I cut the ham and cheese into smaller slices to make sure there was enough for every piece of chicken.  Pop the chicken back in the broiler and let the cheese melt, about 2 minutes.

Topped with ham.

Topped with cheese.

Melted and browned.

Meanwhile cut the hoagies crosswise and spread the bottom halves with butter and the top halves with mustard.  Add the spinach.  When the cheese is melted, add 1-2 chicken pieces to each sandwich.

Mouthwateringly Delish!

All the delicious flavor of chicken cordon bleu ... without the hassle of pounding, rolling and roasting!

Curried Chicken Sandwiches
(This recipe is from Sunset Magazine, May 2009 ... with the usual tweaks!  Courtesy of my friend, Kim.)

2 chicken breasts
Sourdough bread (I like the large, sourdough rounds by Goldminer ... from the "day old" rack!)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 T. green curry paste
Baby spinach
Cucumber, peeled and sliced

The curry and mayo waiting to mix.
First, you need to grill the chicken.  I used my grill pan, but the BBQ works just as well.  Be sure to brush the chicken with a little olive oil before grilling and add a little coarse salt and ground pepper.  When the chicken is cooked through, set it aside to cool.

Slice the sourdough bread into sandwich slices and lightly toast them.  Combine the mayo and curry paste in a small bowl.  It will turn a mustardy yellow color.  

Now it's time to assemble the sandwiches.  Spread each slice of bread with a little of the curried mayo, top with spinach, cucumbers and cooled chicken.

Fresh veggies ... with a bit of a kick!
Just a tad bit spicy ... but the cucumber cools it down.  Yum!

Poppy Seed Chicken Sandwiches
(This recipe is from Food Network Magazine, May 2010.  My new favorite chicken salad recipe!  Of course, I made a few adjustments.)

3 chicken breasts
Coarse salt
1 large orange (or I used 2 clementine cuties)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
1 T. dijon mustard
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 cup chopped nuts, toasted
1 1/2 T. poppy seeds
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
Ground pepper
Sandwich bread (They recommended pitas, but they didn't make the shopping list!  Instead I made some homemade bread ... yummmmm...)

Put the chicken in a medium-sized pot and cover with cold water.  Add 1 teaspoon salt.  Remove the zest from one clementine (or half of a big orange) and add it to the water.  Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low and let cook uncovered for about 18 minutes.  Remove the chicken and let it cool.

A vegetable peeler works swell for zesting an orange.
Watch your fingers when using this little guy ... ouch!

Grate the other clementine orange (or the other half of a big one).  Place grated zest into a large mixing bowl and add the juice from the orange(s).  Stir in the mayo, sour cream, mustard, celery, nuts, chives, poppy seeds, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste.

Once the chicken is cool, shred it into bite-sized pieces.  Toss with the dressing and mix well.  Fill sandwiches with chicken mixture.

A little roasted asparagus to round out the meal.

The citrus adds a wonderful fresh flavor to this sandwich!

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