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

HAM AND SWISS GRILLED CROISSANTS WITH BROWN SUGAR-BALSAMIC ONIONS

It’s hard to go wrong with anything paired with a croissant—from honey to this combination of ham, swiss, and brown sugar-balsamic onions. These sandwiches were so well received by my guys that I was charmed into making a second batch. As happens more often than not, they put away an enviable number of calories without paying the price it would cost me when it comes time to weigh in. Fabulous sandwich!

Ham and Swiss Grilled Croissants with Brown Sugar-Balsamic Onions

1 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp butter, divided

1 large red onion, quartered and sliced thin

4 large croissants split in half

8 slices black forest ham

4 slices deli swiss cheese

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (I used cherry balsamic but basic balsamic is delish too)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1) To large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and 1 tbsp butter (reserving 2 tbsp); when butter melts, add onion and cook 10 minutes until onions soften and begin to brown

2) Meanwhile, layer 2 slices of ham and 1 slice of cheese on bottom half of each croissant; set aside

3) Stir brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and salt into onions and cook additional 5 minutes; remove onions from heat and spoon over cheese; place top halves of croissants atop onions

4) Melt 2 tbsp reserved butter in large skillet (I used a grill pan) over medium heat; place croissants in skillet and grill 3-4 minutes each side until cheese melts and croissants are lightly crisp; serve and stand back

Servings: 4

SKILLET CORDON BLEU: THE SWISS CHEESE VERSION

For my family’s final night with us following our son’s graduation last spring, I went the impressive–but fairly easy–route by making skillet Cordon Bleu for dinner. Though I overcooked the chicken a bit, since they were tenderloins they were forgiving and the meal was delicious. This serves up well with yeast rolls and a spinach-romaine salad drizzled with Ken’s Steakhouse Lite Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette (yes, I’m hooked on this dressing).

Skillet Cordon Bleu ~ The Swiss Cheese Version

1 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs

1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

1/4 cup chopped parsley, divided

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

2 lbs chicken tenderloins (12-16 pieces)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

8 oz thinly slices deli ham (about 16 pieces)

8 slices Swiss cheese (halved into 16 pieces)

1) Place oven rack 5-6″ from heating element and preheat broiler

2) To large zip top bag, add Italian and Panko breadcrumbs, parsley (reserving 1 tbsp for topping), salt, and pepper; shake to combine; add chicken and shake to coat

3) To oven-safe skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil and butter; when butter melts, add breaded chicken to skillet and cook 3-4 minutes each side until done; remove skillet from heat

4) Place slice of ham on each chicken tenderloin in skillet, followed by slice of Swiss cheese; place skillet under broiler and broil 2 minutes until cheese melts and is lightly browned; remove from oven and sprinkle with reserved parsley; serve to your hungry ones!

Servings: 6

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 05/24/12.

CHICKEN-BACON-POMEGRANATE SPINACH SALAD

Sam’s Club: Four big, beautiful pomegranates for $7.98. Meaning I’m in a pomegranate state of mind and these sweet and snappy little fruits (er, arils) will likely figure into my recipes over the next week–unless Junior Too gets his hands on them. In the meantime, here’s a wonderful way to work pomegranates into a salad-as-entree that had my guys–and me–spearing forkful after forkful right down to the bottom of the bowl.

6 cups baby spinach (or a mix of spinach and romaine–Junior Too’s preference)

1/2 cup matchstick carrots

3 cups deli-roasted chicken, chopped (I used breasts only)

8 slices cooked bacon, chopped

4 oz block swiss cheese, sliced thin and cut into bite-size pieces

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced

1-1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (arils) (about 1 large seeded pomegranate)

Dressing of your choice (but–really!–give Ken’s Steakhouse Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette a try–it’s perfect with the pomegranate seeds)

Optional: Pine nuts (wish I’d had some)

1) Assemble 4 salads, equally dividing ingredients between them, as follows: spinach, carrots, chicken, bacon, swiss cheese, avocado, pomegranate seeds (and pine nuts if you some laying around); serve with dressing of your choice (a vinaigrette is a good choice)

Servings: 4 dinner-sized portions