Have you ever gone somewhere and eaten something and couldn't get it out of your head? It happens to me quite a bit. Well, more often these days. You see, I was on a streak of something like 10 days having dined out for at least one meal. Easily record-breaking, possibly impressive, and slightly gluttonous, I know.
Lots of visitors and celebratory meals for one occasion or another has us touring the city's culinary offerings. We hit up many of the usual places but one new place that made quite an impression on me: Coca Cafe in Lawrenceville. Fresh salads, creative sandwiches, and fragrant soups. Fun fact: A sampling of the Tuscan French onion soup inspired me to make some at home. Anyway, the service is spunky and friendly and the food is just so fresh. Not just the ingredients, but the concepts.
Exhibit A: Roasted red peppers and portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions, chicken, Jarlsberg cheese with ricotta on thick toasted sourdough bread. I'll give you a minute to reread that and let everything sink in.
Got it? Good! And it was indeed good. So good that I had to make it at home. But I made a few changes to suit my tastes. While the Swiss cheese was good, I had some pepperjack left and thought the spicy kick would be a great contrast to the sweet ricotta. And the onions? Welp, I thought I picked up an extra onion at the store that week, but it appeared as though I imagined the whole thing. Typical Katy.
So adapt I did, and you know what? It was a
Sweet and creamy ricotta going toe to toe with the spicy jalapeno-laced pepperjack cheese.
All together now! Talk about a sandwich to write home about. Made even better by the always-essential diagonal cut down the middle before devouring. Who would've thought that ricotta makes a great sandwich condiment? It also makes a great quickie Italian dessert, hint hint. Wink wink. Don't worry, I wink because I like you. :) Almost as much as I like this sandwich. Try it and you'll see why!
Roasted Pepper and Mushroom Sandwich with Chicken and Cheeses
(inspired by Coca Cafe)
-makes 2 sandwiches
A few notes: As I always say, play with the elements at will. If you have already-roasted-and-jarred peppers, feel free to use those. And any sort of crusty bread will do. You know I will happily support any form of carbohydrate.
1 red pepper
1 large portobello mushroom, stem removed
1/2 pound chicken breast tenders
Ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons ricotta cheese
2 slices pepperjack cheese
4 slices bread
Preheat oven to 450F. On a lined baking sheet, drizzle pepper, mushroom, and chicken with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping mushroom and pepper halfway through, until chicken is opaque, mushroom is slightly shriveled, and pepper is a bit charred. Set aside chicken and mushroom to cool on plate. Meanwhile, use remaining foil to wrap pepper tightly and allow to sit for 20 to 30 minutes or so.
Unwrap pepper, remove outer skin, and slice into thin strips. Toast 4 slices of bread on both sides. Spread ricotta cheese on two slices and top each with a slice of pepperjack cheese and return to broiler just until cheese begins to bubble. Meanwhile, on remaining two slices of bread, spread ricotta evenly.
Remove bread from broiler, top with peppers, mushrooms, chicken, and remaining piece of bread. Cut and serve immediately. Enjoy!