Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Working in Manhattan, I can very easily spend around $50 a week on my lunch alone... and that's if I only frequent outdoor carts, so yeah.... that's over $2,000 a year!!!! I really need to be more frugal, so I have decided to try to brown bag it to lunch more often. I love a good sammy (Which can cost $8-$12 Downtown Manhattan), so I decided that I would start by bringing a sandwich to work at least three times a week. While average Tuna and PB&J are great, I wanted to look up some more exciting (and grown up) sandwich choices!
Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Sandwiches
4 large red or yellow bell peppers, preferably Holland
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons drained capers
1 large ciabatta bread, halved horizontally
1 (11-ounce) garlic-and-herb or plain goat cheese (recommended: Montrachet) at room temperature
8 to 10 large basil leaves
3 thin slices red onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Place the whole peppers on a sheet pan and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the skins are completely wrinkled and the peppers are charred, turning them twice during roasting. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately cover it tightly with aluminum foil. Set aside for 30 minutes, or until the peppers are cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
Remove the stem from each pepper and cut them in quarters. Remove the peels and seeds and place the peppers in a bowl along with any juices that have collected. Discard the stems, peels, and seeds. Pour the oil and vinegar mixture over the peppers. Stir in the capers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend.
To assemble the sandwiches, spread the bottom half of the loaf with the goat cheese. Add a layer of peppers and then a layer of basil leaves. Separate the onions into rings and spread out on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with the top half of the ciabatta and cut into individual servings.
2 slices 7-grain or whole wheat bread
Mayonnaise or unsalted butter
Fresh mint leaves
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Spread mayonnaise or butter on 1 slice of bread. Top with lamb, mint jelly, watercress, mint leaves, and lettuce; season with salt and pepper. Spread mayonnaise on remaining slice of bread and place on top of mint leaves to form a sandwich.
Grilled Cheese with Pulled Short Ribs and Pickled Red Onions
4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
6 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon peppercorns
Pulled short ribs:
1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil
2 pounds boneless beef short ribs
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 carrot, cut into large dice
1/2 celery, cut into large dice
1/2 onion cut into large dice
6 medium cloves garlic, cracked
1 cup red wine (such as cabernet sauvignon)
Sachet (see above)
3 cups beef broth
1 2-pound loaf sourdough bread , cut into 16 slices
12 ounces Bel Paese cheese , sliced thin
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Pickled Red Onions
4 teaspoons unsalted butter, room temperature
4 teaspoons grapeseed oil
For the sachet:
For the sachet, wrap the parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a small amount of cheesecloth and tie with butcher's twine.
For pulled short ribs:
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Beginning with a large saucepan or braising pan with a lid, heat the tablespoon of grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Sear the short ribs on either side until caramelized and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan. Add the carrot and celery to the pan and cook for 5 minutes over the same heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook together until caramelized, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally as needed. Add the short ribs back to the pan and deglaze with the red wine. Add the sachet and, stirring from time to time, allow the wine to reduce until almost evaporated, about 6 minutes. Pour in the beef broth and bring the braise up to a boil. Put the lid on and place in the oven for 2 hours. Stir occasionally.
After the first 2 hours of cooking time, remove the lid. For the next hour, baste the short ribs every 15 minutes, leaving the lid off. Cook for an additional hour, until very tender, for a total of 4 hours cooking time.
Pull the short ribs from the oven and allow them to cool in the braising juices for at least a few hours. Carefully transfer the meat to a plate and strain the juices through a fine sieve, then allow the fat to rise. Remove the fat. Using a dinner fork in each hand, lightly shred the meat along the natural grains in a pulling motion from the center outward, and set aside.
To prepare each sandwich, begin by preheating the oven to 350°F.
Take 2 slices of bread. On the bottom slice, place a layer of cheese (you'll want approximately 1 1/2 ounces for each sandwich, just enough to cover the bread to the edges), then top with 1 teaspoon of pickled red onion, spread to the sides. Place 1/4 cup of the pulled short ribs on top, add another layer of cheese, and top with the second slice of bread. Brush each completed sandwich on top and bottom with 1/2 teaspoon butter.
In a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat, add 1 teaspoon of the grapeseed oil and allow it to get nice and hot. Place 2 sandwiches in at a time and flip so they will absorb the oil on both sides. Weight them down with a small sauté pan. After 1 minute, flip the sandwiches, return the weight, and place directly in the oven.
After 2 minutes, remove the weight. Flip the sandwich one final time, and cook for 1 final minute. Pull from the oven, slice diagonally, and serve immediately. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.
Chipotle Grilled Chicken with Avocado Sandwich
3 Tbps olive oil
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (less or more depending on how much heat you want)
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 breast halves)
4 small slices of Monterey Jack cheese
4 sets of hamburger buns
1 avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced
Iceberg or lettuce of preference
1 In a shallow bowl, stir together the olive oil, lime juice, and chipotle chile powder.
2 Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of wax paper. Use a meat pounder to pound the breasts to an even thickness of about 1/2 inch. Cut off excess fat. If you are starting with 2 half-pound chicken breast halves, cut each one in half so that you have 4 pieces (to better fit the buns). Place the chicken breasts in the marinade, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes, preferably an hour.
3 Heat your grill on high heat if you are using a gas grill, or prepare coals for direct heat if you are using charcoal. You can also use a cast-iron grill pan on your stove if you do not have a grill. Grill the chicken pieces a couple minutes on each side, until cooked through. Once you have cooked the chicken pieces on one side and flipped them, add a slice of cheese to the chicken. Cover the grill for half a minute to melt the cheese. Toast the buns on the grill as well.
4 Assemble the sandwiches - bun bottom, chicken with melted cheese, avocado and lettuce, mayonnaise on the top bun.