Sunday, June 8, 2014

Chicken Caesar Sandwiches with Dill Potato Salad

I think picnics are an under-utilized date idea.

What is more fun and romantic than packing up a homemade meal, preparing refreshing adult beverages, and enjoying dinner in the park? 

Yesterday was the first perfectly warm summer day in Boston so Cory and I wanted to be sure we spent some time outside enjoying the sunshine. A picnic down at Jamaica Pond was just what the doctor ordered!

I prepared simple but delicious Chicken Caesar Sandwiches with a side of Dill Potato Salad. A great picnic meal should be easily portable and just as delicious chilled, warm, or at room temperature. For this meal, I prepared the potato salad ahead of time and the sandwiches just before we packed up to leave. 

I think the best compliment Cory gave was saying how it felt like we had bought the sandwiches at a nice sandwich place. And they are an absolute cinch to make, for far less dough than you'd spend at a local sandwich shop! The homemade potato salad is just a bonus! I lightened it up by using greek yogurt and dijon mustard for the dressing, and tossing it with red and yellow potatoes, celery, shallots, and fresh dill. Totally fresh and delish. 

Here's what you need for Chicken Caesar Sandwiches* (Print Recipe!)

2 small baguettes of choice (I had a 5-grain bread and a traditional french baguette. Use the freshest bread you can find in the grocery store)
1/2 pound thinly sliced chicken breasts (about 4 or 5 pieces)
1 head romaine lettuce, washed and dried
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup creamy caesar dressing (we are partial to Marie's brand)

Here's what you do

Slice each baguette in half, but do not cut all the way through. Gently press the two sides apart until flat. Set aside.

Heat a grill pan over medium head and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until the chicken is cooked through and there are prominent grill marks on both sides. Remove from the pan to a paper towel to drain. 

Spread one side of the bread with a bit of the caesar dressing. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and press down gently so it "sticks" to the dressing. Top with 2 full leaves of romaine. Lay half of the chicken on top of the lettuce. Spread the other side of the bread with a little more dressing and parmesan cheese. Add an additional piece of lettuce if desired. Repeat with the second sandwich. Serve with potato salad, recipe follows.

If you are packing up the sandwiches, wrap them tightly in parchment paper and plastic wrap. Chill for about 10 minutes. Enjoy within 30 minutes to avoid soggy bread!

Here's what you need for Dill Potato Salad* (Print Recipe!)

1/2 pound red potatoes, quartered
1/2 pound yellow potatoes, quartered
1 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
1 tablespoon good dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh dill, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 stalks celery, diced
1 shallot, diced fine

Here's what you do

Fill a large saucepan with water. Add the potatoes, cover and bring to a boil. Remove the cover and reduce the heat to medium. Cook potatoes for 15 minutes or until fork-tender. Drain and run under cold water. Set aside to cool.

While the potatoes cool, combine the yogurt, mustard, dill, parsley. garlic powder. salt and pepper in a small bowl. 

Add the celery, shallot, and potatoes to a large serving bowl. Toss in half the greek yogurt mixture until well-coated. Add the remaining yogurt and toss until combined. Chill the salad covered for at least 20 minutes before serving.

*Gas Stove Girl original recipes

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