Thursday, April 30, 2009

Roast Chicken, Brie and Fig Sandwich with Asparagus "Fries"

As promised, here is my #1 sandwich. This is a great way to use up leftover chicken. I first found this cute little jar of Dalmatia Fig Spread at the natural food store where I cook, but I have since seen it at big-chain grocery stores, so it shouldn't be too hard to find. You can use whatever kind of bread you like, but I love making this sandwich healthier by using a sprouted-grain bread (like Ezekiel). The chewy, high-fiber texture is fantastic when grilled.




Roast Chicken, Brie, and Fig Sandwich
(makes 1 sammy)

2 slices sprouted-grain bread
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons fig jam or spread
1/2 cup cooked chicken, torn into small pieces
1/2 cup baby arugula or spinach, washed and dried
1 ounce brie cheese
fresh cracked pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon butter, divided

Spread one slice of the bread with mustard, and one slice with fig jam. On the mustard slice layer the chicken, then the arugula, then the brie. Sprinkle with fresh cracked pepper, to taste. Top with the remaining slice of bread.

Melt half of butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Swirl pan to coat evenly. Place sandwich into pan and cook 5-7 minutes on one side. Using a spatula, remove to a plate, add remaining dab of butter to the pan, melt and swirl. Flip the sandwich over and cook the other side 5-7 minutes or until golden brown.

Asparagus "Fries" with Garlic Lemon Aioli
(serves 2 or 3)

My friend Dustin made these at a dinner party and they've become one of my favorite simple sides. The only thing fry-like about this recipe is that a hot spear is dipped into a zingy sauce and eaten with the hands. I'm not sure what Emily Post would have to say about it, but as far as I'm concerned asparagus is finger food. It tastes better that way. Late-season asparagus (available now) has a bit more girth than the pencil thin shoots of last month, and is perfect for this recipe in that they don't get so floppy when cooked.


1 bunch asparagus, washed
salt
water
Garlic Lemon Aioli (recipe below)



First remove the ends from the asparagus using my tried and true method: snap them off with your fingers. The asparagus will automatically break where the woody tough part ends and you will never have to gnaw through tough asparagus again.

In a pot large enough to hold the asparagus, bring 4 inches of well-salted water to a boil (salty like the sea). Reduce heat to medium and add asparagus. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the spears, 1 to 3 minutes. The desired result here is crisp-tender, not limp. Watch closely and test often. Drain asparagus, and serve hot with Garlic Lemon Aioli

Garlic Lemon Aioli

When I'm out with friends one of the menu items I often get asked to define is aioli. What is aioli (pronounced aye-oly)? Aioli is a French or Italian condiment made from an olive oil emulsion, often thickened with egg yolks and seasoned. Common flavorings are garlic and/or mustard. This is a quick cheater recipe in that it uses mayonnaise. I love it because it's a great way to use one of my favorite healing foods: raw garlic.

2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated or minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 tablespoons mayonnaise

Using a garlic press, smash the cloves into a small mixing bowl. Add salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and stir until salt is dissolved. Add olive oil and mayo and stir to combine.

6 comments:

Margie said...

Oh Ginzo...So yummy sounding! I can't wait to make it...we've been making homemade pizza with marscapone and fig paste...so good, nice to see it as an ingriedient in something else!

Ginny Mahar said...

Niiiice Margie! So glad to hear you're making PIZZAAA! Fig spread is my fave new specialty ingredient. The other night we had some friends over for wine and I needed to come up with a super-quick hors d'oeuvre: Cut up some fresh bread, toss with a bit of olive oil, top with fig spread, a pat of brie, a sprinkling of fresh pepper and broil until golden and bubbly. It was a crispy-gooey HIT.

Sara Ohlin said...

This sounds divine!! And so does your quick hors d'oeuvre idea. Am I supposed to drool while reading your blog?

zoe said...

that sandwich looks to good to be true!!

Ginny Mahar said...

BELIEVE IT BABY!

Sonia - L'Exquisit said...

I am eating this sandwich now .... is delicious! thanks for the recipe

Greetings from Spain.

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