I love warm sandwiches, and summer is a great time to enjoy them.
I recently made an amazing grilled chicken pimento sandwich that was inspired by a trip to Mississippi earlier this year. At a restaurant, I ordered a fried chicken sandwich with pimento cheese dip on top, and it was fantastic.
I wanted a healthier version, so I made homemade pimento cheese dip, slathered it on grilled ciabatta and then grilled thin chicken breasts and topped it with sweet and spicy pickles. It was a fantastic sandwich. You will have leftover pimento dip, but you can eat it as a dip or make grilled cheese pimento sandwiches later in the week. Pimento will keep for at least one week in the refrigerator.
Technically, it’s not a sandwich — it’s a burger — but it’s handheld, so I am counting my French onion burger in the mix. This burger is for anyone who loves French onion flavors because there’s soup mix in the meat, then French’s fried onions on top, plus potato chips and a smear of French onion dip. Yes, it’s over-the-top, but it’s fun.
If you want to scale back on some of the flavor, skip the French onion dip and use ketchup, mayonnaise or mustard instead — however you dress your burger.
If it’s too hot to grill, try my shrimp horseradish and sun-dried tomato sandwich, an easy option. The portion serves one, so it’s a good choice for single people. The shrimp is already cooked: All you do is add cheese, horseradish sauce, mayonnaise and sun-dried tomatoes and bake a baguette with Italian seasonings. It comes out crunchy, gooey and delicious.
I hope you enjoy the recipes.
Shrimp horseradish and sun-dried tomato sandwich
1 (6-inch) piece of French bread or baguette
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 to 2 teaspoons horseradish sauce (depends on strength and preference)
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Dash of garlic salt
1 1/2 teaspoons diced sun-dried tomatoes
8 cocktail shrimp, tails removed
1 tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese
Dash of Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice French bread in half. Mix together the mayonnaise, horseradish sauce and garlic powder. I say to add 1-2 teaspoons or horseradish sauce because the strength of those varies dramatically by brand, so taste it and start small.
Spread 3/4 of the mixture on the bottom of the sandwich. Top with sun-dried tomatoes. Layer the shrimp on top of the tomatoes. Then add the rest of the mayonnaise mixture on the top slice of bread. Sprinkle the cheese on the top slice of bread. Sprinkle the shrimp with a dash of garlic salt and Italian seasoning — just a tiny dash.
Place sandwich on baking sheet and bake 5-6 minutes until the exterior is crunchy and the cheese has melted. Serve immediately.
Grilled chicken pimento sandwich
Make 2 big sandwiches
4 thin sliced chicken breasts
2 large ciabatta rolls
Sweet and spicy pickles
Homemade pimento cheese:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 (.4-ounce) jar pimento, drained
1 tablespoon minced shallot or red onion
2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Leave cream cheese on the counter for two hours to soften. Then sprinkle spices over cream cheese and stir. Transfer to a food processor and add all remaining ingredients. Pulse until you reach desired consistency.
For the chicken:
It is important to buy the pre-packaged thin-sliced chicken breasts for this recipe because it cooks quickly and the chicken stays moist.
Preheat grill to 425 degrees.
Rub chicken breasts with generous amount of olive oil, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
Place chicken on grill and cover with the lid. Grill 4 minutes 30 seconds on first side, then flip over and grill 4 minutes but with the lid open this time.
In the last 2 minutes that the chicken cooks, put ciabatta on the grill so it warms through. When it’s lightly toasted, immediately slather the pimento dip on each side. Add the grilled chicken and pickles and enjoy!
French onion burgers
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 tablespoon dried French onion soup mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
French onion dip
French’s fried onions
Plain potato chips
3 hamburger buns
Mix together ground beef with Worcestershire, French onion soup mix and salt. Form into 3 patties.
Preheat grill to 400 degrees. Grill patties, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes per side, until no longer pink.
Toast hamburger buns, if desired. Smear some French’s onion dip on the top of the bun, then top with French’s fried onions and potato chips.
If you like cheeseburgers, you can add a slice of cheese in the last 30 seconds of cooking.
Juliana Goodwin is author of “Rotisserie Chicken Queen: 50 Fabulous Recipes That Start With Rotisserie Chicken.” If you have a question, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.