I know that I’ve already written about pressed sandwiches here but I can’t resist coming back to fill you in on some of the culinary research we’ve been doing this summer on the topic of pressed sandwiches. We’ve taken the concept and…well….PRESSED it even further!
This summer we are very nearly empty-nesters so I’ve introduced the sandwich press as a way to manage the leftovers! I can’t stand to throw food away and it’s been too hot to enjoy cooking, so I’ve PRESSED the sandwich press into service. (Oh man, I’m just killing myself here with the puns.)
These sandwiches have been really remarkable and I can’t resist passing along the love.
Pressed Sandwiches to Make You Drool
Last night’s sandwiches included the following:
- grilled pesto chicken (chicken marinated in yogurt and pesto)
- grilled zucchini and crookneck squash
- thinly sliced onions (red onions are best)
- grated parmesan cheese
- sliced pepperjack cheese and extra sharp cheddar cheese
- leaves of fresh basil
- bacon strips, cooked
- some kind of sauce (if you like mayo best, then use that. I used a bacon horseradish sour cream last night. We also love Caesar dressing as the spread on our pressed sandwiches.)
- sliced heirloom tomatoes
I started by slicing the ciabatta the long, flat way and spreading it with the bacon horseradish sour cream. (You can use mayonnaise or Caesar dressing or whatever you prefer.)
Then I sprinkled grated parmesan on one side. On the other side I layered the sliced chicken, grilled squash, slices of cheese, thinly sliced onions, a layer of fresh basil leaves and slices of bacon.
I had to be very careful not to lose stuff out the side when I put the two halves of the sandwich together and put them on the sandwich press. This very FAT sandwich did press down to a size that was easily devoured, by the way.
We’ve decided that part of what we like about these pressed sandwiches is that the bread becomes crispy and crunchy while the insides of the sandwich becomes melty. We DO always add the tomatoes after we’ve pressed the sandwiches because adding them earlier would make the sandwich too soggy.
These were, hands down, the best pressed sandwiches thus far. I love that I can use up my leftovers in a way that tastes even more amazing than they did the first time around.
Are you asking, “What do I do if I don’t own a sandwich press?” Well, other than rushing right out to buy a sandwich press (and I don’t ever really recommend impulse buys like that) there are ways to make pressed sandwiches on the burner. I have used cast iron pans to make pressed sandwiches. You start by heating both cast iron pans and then you put the sandwich between them. The bottom pan is still on the burner so it continues to heat. Weight down the top pan with something heavy–anything from a large rock to another pan filled with water. You’ll need to flip the sandwich so that both sides gets thoroughly heated and crisped.
Late-breaking news: My dear friend, Tamara just happened to mention her BELGIAN WAFFLE MAKER (!) for making pressed sandwiches! This is a perfectly brilliant idea and I’m delighted to have yet another trick in my bag o’ tricks!
This is, by far, the best way to use up summer leftovers!
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