I have been craving tomatoes and I don't just mean a small craving, I am borderline obsessed with them lately! No big deal right? Tons of people are loving the lovely summertime treasures. Well my dear foodie friends it is very strange for me because I used to despise tomatoes. Not just dislike I seriously despised them!! I loved to cook with them, but a raw tomato? BLEK!! Oh how our tastes change right? Now I want to put them on everything.
I like to come up with food I call "nibbles". Something small for dinner so people can eat more if they are hungrier but for me 1 is just a perfect meal. I make a Deconstructed Cordon Blue sandwich that everyone here loves. In fact when my daughter Jessi came to visit last month the only request she had was that I make the Cordon Blue sandwiches.
One night I was craving a Caprese salad. It just sounded nice and fresh on a hot summer evening. But I knew better than to present Kevin with just a salad for dinner. I would have gotten the "really?" face so I tried to figure out how I could give my meat lover something that would make him happy but also satisfy my craving. A blogger friend of mine Lisa, from Lisa's Dinnertime Dish, had made Chicken Caprese that sounded awesome.That was when I thought about my Cordon Blue sandwiches. I would be able to give the rest of the family the meat and bread they like and sneak my salad in as well. A win/win situation yessssss!
The verdict? Everyone loved them. In fact they were gone so fast I wish I had made more!
Open Face Chicken Caprese Sandwiches
2 good sized chicken breasts
3 good sized vine ripened tomatoes, cut into 16 slices
1 large package of fresh mozzarella cheese (you need 16 slices)
Fresh basil leaves, shredded or cut into a chiffonade
1 clove of garlic, cracked
1 loaf Italian (or French bread), cut into 8 slices
Italian seasoning blend.
Salt and cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus some for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut chicken breasts in half (like a book) and then cut the halves in half, giving you 8 chicken tender sized pieces. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and Italian seasoning blend.
Place bread slices on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil. Bake the bread slices in the oven just until crispy, approx 5 minutes (times vary). When bread comes out rub it with the clove of garlic.
Turn the oven to broil
Meanwhile in a large skillet, over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to the pan and cook the chicken until done, 2 or 3 minutes per side.
Assemble the sandwiches by placing a piece of chicken, top with 2 slices of tomato, a bit of the fresh basil, and two slices of cheese. Place the sandwiches into the oven under the broiler and cook until the cheese begins to melt. Cook time depends on the thickness of the cheese.
Remove from oven, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle some cracked black pepper and basil on top.