Thursday, March 25, 2010

Barefoot Bloggers: Caesar Club Sandwich

If I had to pick my favorite food a good sandwich has to be high on the list. It is hard to beat a good New York sub or a Bánh mì. Even though I say this a good sandwich like this is something I never make.

I did make a few changes when I put this together. Since I can't ever seem to find arugula I ended up just using some leaf lettuce. Also I knew my wife wouldn't like the sun-dried tomatoes so I left those off as well. I know it would have been better without those changes but I can say that this was a terrific sandwich even with the changes I made. This has to be one of my favorite Barefoot Blogger recipes so far.

Thanks to Karen of Shortbread for this pick - I really liked this one. And check out her blog for lots of southern cooking. I have to try the ham salad recipe she has listed for another sandwich.

Caesar Club Sandwich
Serves 3

  • 2 split (1 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup good mayonnaise
  • 1 large ciabatta bread
  • 2 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
  • 12 sun-dried tomatoes, in oil
  • 2 to 3 ounces Parmesan, shaved
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan skin side up. Rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until cooked through. Cool slightly, discard the skin and bones, and slice the meat thickly. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, place the pancetta on another sheet pan in a single layer. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until crisp. Set aside to drain on paper towels.
  4. Place the garlic and parsley in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until minced. Add the anchovy paste, mustard, lemon juice, and mayonnaise and process again to make a smooth dressing. (Refrigerate the Caesar dressing if not using it immediately.)
  5. Slice the ciabatta in half horizontally and separate the top from the bottom. Toast the bread in the oven, cut side up, for 5 to 7 minutes; cool slightly. Spread the cut sides of each piece with the Caesar dressing. Place half the arugula on the bottom piece of bread and then layer in order: the sun-dried tomatoes, shaved Parmesan, crispy pancetta, and sliced chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and finish with another layer of arugula. Place the top slice of ciabatta on top and cut in thirds crosswise. Serve at room temperature.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Barefoot Bloggers: Individual Meat Loaves

I'm a big fan of meatloaf so I was happy to see this choice. I looked at the recipe though and it seemed like a pretty standard meatloaf. The only thing that seemed a little out of the ordinary was the amount of the onions and the fact that you pre-cook the onions.

After making these I can honestly say I have no idea what people commenting on these are raving about. Not that there was anything wrong with them - they just seemed pretty ordinary to me. Maybe I have spoiled myself but most good meatloaf recipes I have used have more than one type of meat, maybe some bacon, and probably something better than ketchup on top. I am clearly in the minority from what I see in the comments on foodnetwork and the barefoot bloggers that have done this so far. I might make this again in the future and try to dress it up a bit but it is definitely not my favorite meatloaf.

Thanks to Tonya at What's on my Plate for this selection. She has a very varied blog. A lot of vegetarian cooking (obviously not all if she chose meatloaf) and even has an entry on making your own butter.
Individual Meat Loaves
Serves 6

  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped yellow onions (3 onions)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup canned chicken stock or broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground chuck (81 percent lean)
  • 1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs (recommended: Progresso)
  • 2 extra-large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (recommended: Heinz)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan.
  3. Add the onions, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not brown.
  4. Off the heat, add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Allow to cool slightly.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, onion mixture, bread crumbs, and eggs, and mix lightly with a fork. Don't mash or the meatloaf will be dense.
  6. Divide the mixture into 6 (10 to 11-ounce) portions and shape each portion into a small loaf on a sheet pan. Spread about a tablespoon of ketchup on the top of each portion.
  7. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the internal temperature is 155 to 160 degrees F and the meat loaves are cooked through. Serve hot.