Monday, June 14, 2010
I have a love/hate relationship with leftovers. On one hand, they mean a night off from cooking, but on the other, they mean I have to have the same thing twice in one week. So often I try to make dishes where the leftovers can be given a makeover. This sandwich is a perfect example.
On Saturday night, I made surf and turf for dinner. We grilled one shell steak and steamed one lobster. I served them with a simple pasta with fresh tomato basil sauce. We had some of each leftover. Finding myself home alone tonight, I decided to use up the steak. I'd bought a nice crusty roll that I hadn't used so that and the steak inspired my ultimate steak sandwich.
In my opinion, sandwiches are rarely memorable and are typically unworthy of the title ultimate. But some sandwiches make the grade. Of note are the Chicken Madness from Wisemiller's in Georgetown, the fish sandwich from Linda Jean's on Martha's Vineyard, and the first muffaletta I ever ate in New Orleans. That's about it. I add this one to the list because it was just too good not to. The steak had been cooked medium rare so it stayed tender and juicy - go ahead and use leftover steak or make fresh for these sandwiches. The other thing that made it good was the ingredients - I fire roasted my red peppers and I used Divina Organic olive tapenade (I found it at Whole Foods). I also love the store-brand olive tapenade from Trader Joe's, but use your favorite.
Have other ultimate sandwiches? Leave a comment and let me know! I'm always looking for new ideas for lunch and quick suppers! I only made one, but the recipe can easily be multiplied for two or even a crowd.
Oh - and I cannot neglect my accompaniment. I was overjoyed that the local Scotch Plains Farmer's Market opened so I went a got some fresh veggies and a few other things from my favorite vendors. At the top of the list are the half sours from Pickle-licious (I simply love pickles!). Find them at farmer's markets throughout New Jersey or check out their website to find them near you.
The Ultimate Steak Sandwich
1 crusty Italian bun
A little butter
4-6 oz. cooked steak
A few slices of fire-roasted red pepper
3 slices provolone cheese (or more, who's counting?)
3 tsp. black olive tapenade
First, slice the roll lengthwise and spread a little butter on each side. Sprinkle with garlic powder and brown in a toaster oven until just golden.
Remove the bread from the toaster oven and layer the steak and peppers on one side and the cheese on the other. Put it back in the oven until the cheese melts.
Remove from the oven and spread the tapenade on the cheese. Pile the arugula on top of the steak and peppers then put the sandwich together and dig in!