Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tailgatin' Pressed Sandwich Bites

Pressed Sub Sandwich Bites... Perfect for Tailgatin'
My Alabama Crimson Tide did it AGAIN last night, y'all!! Three National Championships in four years. I mean, that just doesn't happen easily. But, it feels oh-so-good to be apart of the University of Alabama. And what better than watching the game with some friends + some awesome tailgating food. Our menu consisted of these Pressed Sandwich Bites, Jalapeno Popper Dip, Pan-Fried Onion Dip, Cream Cheese + Homemade Pepper Jelly, Candied Bacon Wrapped Sausages, and Red Velvet Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese-Pecan Frosting. We were certainly stuffed. Here is our feast from last night...
So. Much. Food.
Anyway, I had never made these Pressed Sub Sandwich Bites before, but I know I will be making them again because they are so easy to assemble and everyone loved them... especially the guys. Normally, sandwiches are so clunky and take up all your time (and the room in your fridge), but these are pressed for a whole day before, so you cut down on your prep time and cooking time during the day of the big game. These would be especially easy to make for a picnic or a tailgate on the Quad. We layered ours with our favorite Italian Sub Sandwich ingredients... lots of deli meat, smoked provolone, goat cheese, hot pepper spread, fig preserves, and marinated onions, all on some ciabatta bread. But, I think a Caprese version or even a BLT pressed sandwich would be delish as well!! I didn't have exact measurements, I just kind of loaded them up with as much as the bread would hold :) I hope y'all had some good tailgatin' food for yesterday as well, I mean it is practically a national holiday in this household. Oh, and we had a few leftover that had gotten a little stale, so I threw them in a skillet to fry in some oil, and they were mighty fine as well, but let's just keep that our dirty little secret... ROLL TIDE ROLL!! Enjoy :)
Before the big sandwich had been cut into bites...
Don't forget the fancy toothpicks, they really help for serving a big crowd :)
For the Italian Sub Sandwiches:
1 Large Loaf of Ciabatta Bread, Sliced Lengthwise
Fig Preserves or Apricot Preserves
Italian Hot Pepper Spread (we like Wickles)
Smoked Provolone Slices
Assorted Deli Meats
Goat Cheese, Room Temperature
Sweet Onion, Shaved Thinly & Tossed in Olive Oil, Vinegar, and Dried Oregano

For the Caprese Sandwiches:
1 Large Loaf of Ciabatta Bread, Sliced Lengthwise
Homemade Pesto
Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella or Sliced Mozzarella
Shaved Parmesan Cheese
Fresh Basil Leaves
Sun Dried Tomatoes or Slow Roasted Tomatoes
Balsamic Reduction, For Garnishing

1. For the Pressed Sandwiches: Cut your loaf of Ciabatta bread in half, lengthwise. Spread on all of the condiments, and then layer all of the ingredients onto the bread. Wrap the large, assembled loaf tightly with plastic wrap, and then weigh the sandwich down with really heavy pots or pans (or even weights would work). This will help the ingredients together, helping to infuse all of the flavors together. It also creates a compact sandwich, so that when it is cut, none of the ingredients will fall out.
2. For Serving: Once your sandwich has been pressed overnight, cut away all of the plastic wrap, and then using a sharp knife, trim away all of the outside edges, and finally, into small, hand-held sandwich. I like to place a large toothpick into the sandwiches to hold them together while people are grabbing them up.

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