6.05.2011

Brick Compressed Sandwich



Utah FINALLY reached a temperature of above 80 degrees.  I don't think it's been that warm since last September...maybe even August.  I just can't remember a year so wet and cold.  It's time to warm up.

I started thinking picnic.  Not like a go on many picnics...ever.  I don't know what my deal is.  When I was growing up, my friend Kathy and I loved going on picnics.  Many times we'd just run across the street with a sack lunch, sit on the grass and have a wonderful time.  She was the best friend any girl could have.  We were kindred spirits that's for sure.  I'm sure my sack lunch consisted of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or bologna with potato chips.  Oh ya I used to love potato chips on my bologna sandwich.  Now I stay away from potato chips because they are not found in the "super foods" list.  Once I find them on that list I will for sure add them to my diet.  I gave up bologna years ago.

My pallet has grown up since those lazy childhood days of summer...I think.

This sandwich is perfect for a picnic.  You can actually put it into the cooler and not care at all if the sandwich  is a little smashed.  You want to smash it.  This is a compressed sandwich.  I use a brick to compress all the goodness together, that's why I started called it "the brick sandwich".  

It's actually quite lovely (too much Jane Austen) how the flavors blend together to create one fabulous treat for your mouth.  You can make this a day in advance, which is always a good idea.




Let me tell you something else...you can really use whatever tickles your fancy.  Meaning- layer on your favorite meats and toppings.  I really enjoy the above combination of flavors:  Pesto, feta cheese, Peperoncini, roasted red peppers, fresh basil, sandwich pepperoni, thin sliced ham and roast turkey, and one fabulous Ciabatta loaf.




Slice the Ciabatta in half length wise.




If your Ciabatta is thick like mine is, remove some of the bread from the center.  .




Not all of the bread, just some.




Spread each side with some of the pesto.




Now layer your favorite deli meats.  I'm starting with the roast turkey.




Next layer the ham.




Add the sandwich pepperoni.  




I'm like feta, but you can use thin sliced Provolone, Swiss...whatever floats your boat.




I have suddenly become fond of Peperoncini.  I like the zing on a sandwich.




Layer the Peperoncini.  




You can roast your own peppers if you would like.  I'm using purchased roasted bell peppers.  You may need to blot the pepper with a paper towel if they are too wet.  If you get too much liquid on the sandwich it will go soggy.  You don't want that.




Layer on the peppers.




Cover the entire top with fresh basil leaves.  The basil will only last a day.  After that they wilt and don't look so good, but give fantastic flavor. 




Put the lid on it.




I put the loaf on a small cutting board.  You don't have to do this, but it helps me get a good compression.




Hopefully you aren't too slim and trim, because you need to put a little weight on this.  Take a long piece of plastic wrap and wrap the sandwich loaf to the board.  I just put my chest on it and press.  (That's not saying a lot, because I haven't got much of a chest) I really try to compress the layers together.




Add more layers of plastic wrap to really compress the sucker.




I just happen to have a couple of bricks from my house left over.  I have wrapped them in foil and use the bricks to smash my sandwich.  You could easily use a cast iron pan or anything that will weigh down the loaf.




I used two bricks on top and then used more plastic wrap to hold the bricks in place.  

You should probably clean your refrigerator and make room for this massive thing.

Refrigerate for at least a few hours.  I refrigerate overnight.




The next day unwrap all the plastic wrap from around the sandwich.  It generally takes a pair of scissors to cut away all the plastic wrap.

Slice into individual finger sandwiches.




Kind of pretty don't you think?  I love the layers of color and the layers of flavor.  


Compressed Brick Sandwich

1 Ciabatta loaf, cut in half length wise
3 tablespoons pesto
1/4 pound thin sliced roast turkey
1/4 pound thin sliced ham
1/4 pound thin sliced sandwich pepperoni
1/4 cup feta cheese
Peperoncini
Roasted Red Bell Peppers
1 cup fresh basil leaves


Spread pesto on the top and bottom of the ciabatta. On the bottom crust of the ciabatta, layer sliced deli meats.  Sprinkle with the feta cheese followed by the peperoncini and roasted peppers.  Top with the basil leaves. Cover with top layer of ciabatta.  Place the entire loaf on a small cutting board and wrap with plastic wrap around the loaf and cutting board.  Place two bricks or a cast iron pan on top of the wrapped loaf.  This will weight down the sandwich and compress the ingredients together.  I like to use plastic wrap to wrap around the bricks and loaf to hold the bricks tightly in place.  Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.  Remove from the refrigerator.  Cut way the plastic wrap and cut into individual sandwiches.  

Serves 5-6 depending on the size of the ciabatta

If you are looking to kick up your picnic a notch, just toss in a brick sandwich...leave the brick at home.

34 comments:

  1. I totally love it! The slicing and wrapping idea works so well! Cute cute cite!
    I'm definitely making this!

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  2. This looks awesome! And the packaging you put the sandwiches in is adorable. I'm going on an "anniversary picnic" tonight and now I know what to bring! :)

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  3. Janet, this recipe looks fabulous. My husband has been into making ciabatta bread lately, so we have been looking for some new fun sandwich combinations, can't wait to try it!

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  4. Sneige, Thank you, thank you.

    Lindsay, Happy Anniversary!

    Melanie, I wish my husband would get into making Ciabatta. Lucky you.

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  5. look at that ciabatta! yum! and i loe the way you packaged the sandwiches! they are so cute!

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  6. Thanks, Megan. Every now and then I have a Martha Stewart moment and create.

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  7. Ah I love this recipe, I shared a recipe almost exactly like this one last summer (I even wrapped them the *exact* same way, wow!). I like that you used turkey and ham to make it healthier, mine used sopressata. Great recipe for summer picnics!

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  8. I found the colored twine at a local baking store while trying to find ideas for my son's wedding. I have noticed many caterers in my area wrapping their sandwiches with the parchment and twine. I thought it was a cute idea for the brick sandwich. I checked out your site and loved it. Your sandwich looks so perfect. Your styling is amazing. I made this sandwich years ago for a contest at our state fair. I won a blue ribbon. So much fun. Thank you.

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  9. Hopped into your blog from Foodgawker .... the brick sandwiches are fantabulous ... a great picnic idea : D
    I am having a giveaway on my blog .... you may visit it to participate.

    I absolutely like your blog and am following you.

    Cheers,
    Satrupa

    http://satrupa-foodforthought.blogspot.com

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  10. Thank you, Satrupa. Any one reading this should definitely check out her blog. I already have a list of recipes I can't wait to try. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. Hmmm ... What a FABULOUS idea for 50+ box lunches. You know, like for after a wedding ceremony or something!!! Hee hee! Seriously Janet... You should be working for Cuisine At Home. Absolutely amazing!

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  12. Beautiful Pictures. Looks very yummy!

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  13. Hey Sue, want to do me a favor? I could use about 50 boxed lunches and I was told you are the woman to ask.

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  14. Yum! I remember my grandma making sandwiches like this all the time for the family. I love how you've styled everything, it is so adorable.

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  15. Thank you, Jaclyn. I greatly love positive comments. You made my day.

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  16. This sandwich looks absolutely delicious! The brick style is definitely a plus too :) I look foward to making this

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  17. This looks absolutely delicious! Making this for one of our beach picnic dinners. Thanks so much!

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    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy it...I think you will. Perfect to toss in a cooler.

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  18. do you think this would work well with grilled vegetables? wondering if it would be too soggy. any suggestions?

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  19. This looks so yummy! When you say it serves 5-6 are you figuring one finger sandwich per person? I'm thinking about serving these at an outdoor party that we're having next week. For a main lunch entree, would I need to plan on more than one per person? Thanks so much!

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    Replies
    1. Yes. It is based on one finger sandwich per person. I cut them appox. 2" x 4-5". It depends on the size of your Ciabatta loaf. They are pretty thick, which makes them quite filling. I hope this helps.

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    2. Thank you!

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  20. Janet, you are something else. I love your ideas! For sure my grandkids will be eating these cuties very soon.

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    Replies
    1. Ha ha ha. My grandkids would only eat this if it were spread with peanut butter and Nutella.

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  21. Perfect for the beach trip I'm planning on in a few days!

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    Replies
    1. Oh what I'd give for a beach! Have a great time.

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  22. I just made these using smaller bread and homemade pesto with fresh basil. The sandwiches look fantastic. I am leaving them in the fridge and we will eat them tomorrow on our way to Florida in our motor home - if we can wait that long!!!

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    Replies
    1. I hope you had an amazing trip to Florida. Motor home trips are so fun. Thanks for your comment.

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    2. We DID have a great trip to Florida. And we LOVED these sandwiches! I made them again last night for dinner. I used Provolone instead of Feta and they were still fantastic! And they look beautiful. My new favorite - Thanks for sharing!

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  23. I am making these for a graduation party! I love to make bread. I'm using focaccia bread. Spread dough onto long baking sheet, which is how you make focaccia. You have to make two. Use one for bottom crust other for top. Then fill and smash!. Going to cut into squares with frilly toothpicks to hold together. Thanks for the idea!

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    Replies
    1. Fabulous idea. Thank you so much for passing on such a great idea.

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