Monday, July 16, 2012

Pressed Picnic Sandwich

Pressed Picnic Sandwich 2

It's hot here. I know it's the same way for most of the country.

I’m not complaining. Well, maybe I am complaining a little cause I despise the heat.

At least we had electricity. I know lots of folks who didn’t have that luxury for quite a while. I cannot imagine going through a heat wave without a fan or air conditioner. I swear I would have just parked myself at the ocean until it cooled down.

So it’s hot and the last thing you feel like doing is heating up the oven, or some nights, even the stove.

You need something delicious, but cold.

Now that the garden is producing cucumbers we'll be having them as a side a lot. The kids don't like cukes. Can you imagine? It's fine with us, with 8 plants we'll be swimming in them this summer, what we don't eat, we share with neighbors and family, so nothing goes to waste.

Last weekend was humid and muggy which called for a cool meal that didn't require an oven, stove top or even a microwave.

I picked up a nice ciabatta and filled it with the most delicious cheese and meats, slathered it with pesto and added in fresh basil. Then it went into the fridge overnight to get squished.

Here it is before the squishing commenced.

Pressed Picnic Sandwich

We placed a clipboard on top of it and then a 24 pound weight. That sucker was getting flattened for sure. The next day we took it out, sliced it into thin pieces and enjoyed every chilly bite.

After squishing.

Pressed Picnic Sandwich 1

This would be perfect for a picnic, the beach, or sliced into cubes  held together with a toothpick (which is what I did with the other half of the sandwich). Little bites of deliciousiness!

Pressed Picnic Sandwich
recipe from Crepes of Wrath - great site!
1 large loaf of ciabatta bread, sliced lengthwise
3-4 tablespoons fresh pesto
1/4 lb. sliced sweet sopressata
3-4 slices good prosciutto
3-4 slices provolone cheese
3-4 slices mozzarella cheese
6-8 basil leaves, washed and patted dry
plastic wrap, for wrapping the sandwiches

Slice the ciabatta bread lengthwise, so that there is a top and a bottom slice. Spread 3-4 tablespoons of fresh pesto over the bottom piece of bread. I like a lot of pesto, but don’t use so much that the bread becomes soggy.

Top the pesto with the sopressata, then the provolone, then the prosciutto and mozzarella cheese. Top the cheese with your basil leaves, then place the top of the bread on the sandwich. Press down on the sandwiches with your hands, then very tightly wrap them in plastic wrap (seriously – do this as tight as you possible can). Place the sandwich in the fridge and top with lots of heavy books, a weighted down pot or pan, or whatever other heavy objects you can find. I used 3 very heavy books, then put a 10 pound hand-weight on top of those, and let them sit in the fridge overnight – I did mine for a full 24 hours, but even just 3-4 hours, with plenty of weight applied, will yield beautifully pressed sandwiches.

When you are ready to eat, unwrap the sandwiches and use a very sharp knife to cut the sandwich into 9-12 small sandwiches, depending on how big you want them to be. I got about 12 sandwiches out of mine, but it also depends on how big your original loaf was. These will keep well after being sliced in an airtight container for up to 2 days – we ate them as leftovers after our party and they were still absolutely delicious.
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