Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sandwich Night

There is a magical place in Tallahassee, FL with the very best sandwiches ever.  I've tried to find a place that compares to Hopkins everywhere else I've ever lived, but so far I've been unsuccessful.  Alas, this is probably better for my waistline and my wallet.  However, I've managed to make some pretty good sandwiches at home.  My favorite kinds of sandwiches are grilled/pannini style.  There's just something about that melty cheese and crispy bread that makes my life complete.  Last night, I was feeling bored and sad with my planned meal of only a salad (I ended up having a small one on the side anyways), and there were some random things in the fridge that I felt I should use up soon, so this delight was born. 

Tofu/Peppers/Onions/Blue Cheese Sammie (Yea, sometimes I steal lame phrases from Rachael Ray.  Sorry I'm not sorry):

Very first, if you're using frozen bread, take it out of the freezer and set it on the counter to thaw some.  It's perfectly fine to use frozen bread, but it is easier if it's somewhat soft already.

Then, chop up some bell pepper and onion and sort of caramelize them; just chop and cook over medium heat in a little bit of olive oil.  Don't forget the salt and pepper!!  Since I was only making one sandwich, I didn't use very much.  It's tempting to have a giant, overstuffed sammie, but unless you're using a sub roll, it's hard to grill those.

Let them do their thing while you make the tofu.  If you've never cooked with tofu before, might I recommend you start.  On its own, it doesn't really taste like anything, so you can make it into whatever you want.  It's a great meat substitute for your vegetarian friends, or just if you're trying to change it up and/or eat less meat.  Also, it keeps roughly forever in the fridge. 

I decided to grill this a bit, just to add some flavor and warm it up.  It's easier to make hot sandwiches if the fillings aren't stone cold.  However, it is perfectly safe to eat it cold if you like.  I just sprinkled salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning on it and grilled it with some olive oil for 3-4 minutes per side.

In my personal opinion, all sandwiches need some kind of moisture.  Often I'll use mayo/mustard, but I have this Gorgonzola dip in the fridge, so as a substitute for sliced cheese, I added a bit of that to the bread. 

Next, if you have a fancy pannini press, go ahead and heat it up.  Make sure to grease it first, or else your sandwich will end up a stuck-on pile of doom.  If you don't have one, it's not a problem, just use a regular fry pan and put a plate and a few big cans on top to weigh it down. 

Now, for delicious assembly.  Put the cooked onions and peppers onto the bread, then top with the tofu and other slice of bread.  Pop into the press and go to town!

I left mine in there for around 8-10 minutes, on medium heat.  If you're using a pan, let it go for 5-6 on one side, then flip and cook another 3-4.  Obviously, if you prefer extra crispy, leave it longer. 

Slice and enjoy!  I also had a salad with this, but I forgot to take a picture and it was super boring.  Happy sammiching. 


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