CHICKEN ARTICHOKE SPINACH GRILLED SANDWICHES

Sometimes you just don’t feel like cranking up the grill. The solution: a grill pan. The end result: these colorful mouth-pleasing sandwiches. Senior and Junior Too give them the nod.

1-14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

sea salt

ground black pepper

1-1/2 cups roasted deli chicken, chopped

2 cups baby spinach, chopped

8 slices sourdough bread

4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened

1-1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

2 tbsp butter, softened

1) In large skillet over medium heat, saute artichoke hearts and red bell pepper 3-4 minutes; salt and pepper to taste; stir in chicken and cook 2-3 minutes; remove from heat and immediately stir in spinach

2) Assemble 4 sandwiches as follows: sourdough bread slice spread with cream cheese, then topped with chicken-artichoke mixture, mozzarella cheese, and sourdough bread slice

3) In large skillet (I used a grill pan) over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp butter; grill sandwiches 3-4 minutes on one side; spread top slices with remaining butter and flip; grill 3-4 minutes until cheese melts and bread turns golden

Makes 4 sandwiches

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GRILLED TURKEY-SWISS-ARTICHOKE SANDWICH

Like turkey. Adore Swiss cheese. Love marinated artichokes. And so a grilled sandwich featuring all and more. A fabulous hit with my guys–four thumbs up!
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1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp chopped parsley

8 slices good quality sourdough bread

8 oz thinly sliced deli turkey

1 cup fresh baby spinach

8 slices Swiss cheese

1-12 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

4 Campari tomatoes, sliced thin

4 tbsp butter

1) In small bowl, mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, and parsley; spread mixture over four slices of bread

2) Assemble each of four sandwiches as follows, dividing ingredients evenly between them: top bottom slice of bread (with mayonnaise mixture) with turkey, spinach, Swiss cheese, artichokes, tomatoes, and top slice of bread

3) Add butter to large skillet (I used a grill pan) and heat over medium; add sandwiches and grill each side 4-5 minutes until cheese melts and sandwich is warmed through (you may have to do in two batches); serve

Servings: 4

ARTICHOKE-LEMON-RICOTTA STUFFED PASTA SHELLS

This Artichoke-Lemon-Ricotta pasta dish went over surprisingly well considering the absence of meat (my guys do like their beef, poultry, pork, and seafood). If not that it was just the three of us tonight, there wouldn’t have been a morsel left. But guess what’s for lunch tomorrow. Lucky me!

Artichoke-Lemon-Ricotta Pasta Shells

spray olive oil

1 tbsp olive oil

6 tbsp butter, divided

1 red onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

8 oz marinated artichokes, drained and chopped

1/4 cup white cooking wine

3/4 cup shredded Parmesan-Romano blend cheese

2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided

1 tsp sea salt, divided

1/2 tsp ground black pepper, divided

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

1-1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

18-20 jumbo pasta shells, cooked al dente

1 tbsp minced parsley

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly oil a casserole dish (I used a 10×10) with olive oil spray

2) To large skillet add 1 tbsp olive oil and 3 tbsp butter (reserving 3 tbsp); heat over medium-high and, when butter melts, add onion, red bell pepper, and artichoke; cook, stirring often, 7-8 minutes until vegetables soften

3) Reduce heat to medium, add cooking wine, and cook 3 minutes; stir in parmesan-romano cheese, egg yolks, 1 tbsp lemon juice (reserving 1 tbsp), 1/2 tsp salt (reserving 1/2 tsp), and 1/4 tsp pepper (reserving 1/4 tsp), and immediately remove from heat; transfer mixture to a bowl and set aside

4) To large skillet, add reserved 3 tbsp butter and melt over medium heat; scatter flour over butter and whisk until smooth; gradually add milk, whisking until smooth and sauce thickens; stir in ricotta, reserved 1 tbsp lemon juice, reserved 1/2 tsp salt, and reserved 1/4 tsp pepper; remove from heat

5) Pour half the sauce in bottom of casserole dish; fill each pasta shell with about 1 tbsp artichoke mixture and arrange over sauce; pour remaining sauce over shells; cover dish with foil and bake in oven 25 minutes; remove foil and bake additional 10 minutes; remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley, and serve

Servings: 4-6

ARTICHOKE-LEMON-OLIVE CHICKEN

This Artichoke-Lemon-Olive Chicken is one of the prettiest dishes I’ve made. Unfortunately, just because a dish looks wonderful doesn’t mean it tastes wonderful. Fortunately, this dish scores big on both fronts. Everyone left the table full and satisfied and I had a skillet that was easy to clean and put to bed.

Artichoke-Lemon-Olive Chicken

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts

1 cup diced red onion

1 cup diced red bell pepper

sea salt

ground black pepper

1/2 cup white cooking wine

2 tbsp lemon juice

12 pitted green olives

1-8.5 oz can quartered artichoke hearts, drained

1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges

1/4 cup shredded six-cheese Italian blend (or parmesan)

2 tbsp minced parsley (I used Italian)

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2) To large cast iron skillet, add 1 tbsp olive oil (reserving 1 tbsp) and heat over medium-heat; add chicken breasts and brown 2 minutes each side; remove from skillet and set aside

3) Reduce skillet heat to medium and add reserved 1 tbsp olive oil; add onions and red bell pepper and season lightly with salt and pepper; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally; stir in cooking wine and lemon juice and cook additional 3 minutes; add olives and artichoke hearts; remove skillet from heat and return chicken breasts to skillet; spoon olive-artichoke mixture over chicken and place skillet in oven; bake 15 minutes

4) Add lemon wedges to skillet and bake additional 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through; remove from oven, sprinkle with cheese and parsley, and serve

Servings: 4

Recipe adapted from: Cast Iron Skillet: Big Flavors