Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gourmet Tribute: Grilled Chicken and Hot Cherry Pepper Panino

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While the published recipe only serves one, I "double-and-a-halfed" the amounts to serve a couple and a little one... or provide a few extra bites to sneak while tidying up the kitchen. Yeah, you know you do it!
These sandwiches are crispy, gooey, and can make you feel a little light-headed if you take a heavy hand with the cherry peppers.

Event: Turn-Around Night II

Menu: Grilled Chicken and Hot Cherry Pepper Panino with Tomato Basil Salad

4 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp finely chopped fresh oregano
kosher salt and black pepper
1 loaf ciabatta bread (Sliced horizontally (through the center), then into two 4 inch wide pieces, and one two inch wide piece. This will make two large sandwiches, and one mini.)
1 lb pkg thin-sliced boneless-skinless chicken cutlets
2 tbsp bottled hot sweet diced cherry pepper (such as San-Deli brand)
3 balls (bocconcini sized) fresh buffalo mozzerella, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
4 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp red-wine vinegar
Special Equipment- Grill Pan (Although, this could be done on the outdoor grill OR panini press.)

In a small bowl, stir together 3 tbsp of oil, garlic, oregano, and 1/4 tsp salt and pepper.
Heat grill pan over med heat until hot. (Or fire up outdoor grill.)
Brush crusty sides of ciabatta with some of garlic oil and place bread, oiled sides down, on clean work surface. Grill chicken, turning once, until just cooked through. Divide chicken pieces between sandwiches, cutting or trimming as necessary. Layer mozzarella slices, cherry peppers (Note: Leave cherry peppers off the little sandwich, if serving to young'uns!!!), and another slice of bread on top of chicken, creating a sandwich.
Place sandwiches on grill pan and weight with a heavy skillet. (If skillet does not press down, add a few unopened food cans on top!) Cook, turning once, until cheese has melted and bread is slightly charred and golden. (About 6 minutes)
Meanwhile, toss tomatoes, basil, 1 tbsp oil, and vinegar in a small bowl. Season with kosher salt to taste. Cut sandwiches in half and serve with salad.
Kiddie Mods: Leave out cherry peppers. Tear chicken into pieces before putting on sandwich. Ciabatta is a chewy bread that may not be suitable for all young toddlers. (Sounds like a disclaimer before graphic television shows!) The same ingredients would be just as tasty on a softer sandwich bread.

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