Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Recipe Group: Pressed Italian Sandwiches

I am really excited about this one! Last night was recipe group ... which of course means great people, good laughs, and amazing food! I really look forward to this little group of people getting together ever month! it makes my month! This month my dear friend Amanda called the theme and it was sandwiches ... holy good idea batman! E is a sandwich person ... as long as that sandwich is peanut butter and honey ... I have been needing some variety ... I am getting majorly sick of peanut butter and honey ... and I don't even eat it! Basically, the theme of sandwiches couldn't have come at a better time!

Since E is addicted to one single kind of sandwich I am not exactly an expert in this field. But, recipe group is  all about expanding your food horizons ... therefore I took to pinterest to find something that seemed worthy of the group. I found this little number to be most appetizing ... I have been obsessed with Italian subs lately ... I mean ... hello ... have you tried the vito at Jimmy Johns ... heaven in a sandwich! But here is a version of an Italian sub that is just as good and you can add your own spin to it (I mean ... I went to go and buy ingredients yesterday morning ... apparently Smiths does not have as much variety as I would have liked ... but ... with the snow storm my choices were limited as to which store to go to ... either way they turned out pretty great). So here we go:

Pressed Italian Sandwiches

6 small Ciabatta rolls (or you can use large buns or bread and slice up after … I used a giant roll)
2-3 Tbsp. butter
3 red peppers
1 large bunch of arugula, rinsed and patted dry
1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced.
Assorted Italian cold meats, about ¼ pound each (I used Genoa Salami, Pepperoni, and Hard Salami)
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Roast peppers … To roast the red peppers: Set your oven to the Broil setting. Slice the sides off the red peppers and place skin side up on a baking sheet (trim the ends so they lie as flat as possible). Place under the broiler until very well charred (black) on top, about 10 minutes (watch closely after 5 minutes. You’ll want them to be mostly blackened on top.) Remove from the oven and immediately place the peppers in a plastic ziploc bag. Pop in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes. Remove peppers from bag and peel off the blackened skin with a knife. Discard the skin and place the peppers into a small bowl. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside. Cut your ciabatta in half and butter each piece (or you could brush with a bit of olive oil, if you prefer, but butter will help prevent moisture from getting into the bread … especially butter well under the red peppers if your sandwiches will be sitting for more than a day.). Place a layer of red pepper on bottom slice of bread. Top with a generous layer of cold meats (5 or 6 layers ... don't do what I did and do 11 ... way too many [I thought my bread was thicker than it was ... kill me]). Top the cold meat with a layer of the mozzarella slices. Drizzle some balsamic vinegar over the mozzarella slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with a generous layer of arugula. Cover with top slice of ciabatta. Wrap each sandwich tightly with plastic wrap and place on a platter or baking sheet. When all the sandwiches are prepared, place the platter in the refrigerator. Place a heavy skillet on top of sandwiches to apply weight (if you don’t have a heavy skillet, top with another baking sheet and place some large cans on top for the weight).Refrigerate at least 6 hours or ideally, overnight.