We’re only a third of the way through the season and most teams have already fallen into the steady rhythm of play, making it for a relatively quiet Week 6, save for the Denver Broncos and whatever it is they’re doing naming Tim Tebow as their starting quarterback.

/checks to see if Tim Teblog is still live.

Huh. You can run a website on tears.

The Steelers play the Jaguars this weekend, so it’s worth mentioning the FBI arrested Christopher Chaney of Jacksonville as a part of their “Operation Hackerazzi” crackdown on hackers going after the private cellphones and email accounts of celebrities. Accorded to Wired, Chaney is accused of leaking the private images of Scarlett Johansson and Mila Kunis to the internet along with breaking into the accounts of more than 50 entertainment types.

One of his internet handles? Jaxjaguars911.

At least he was probably in his right mind about one thing in his life.

UPDATE: Of course less than an hour after I post that it’s a boring Week 6 Mike Tomlin decides to open a can of beat-down on the Jacksonville press. Thanks for the help, Coach! Had no idea you were a reader.

Italian Pressed Sandwiches

This is one of the easiest game time and pregame tailgate items around as well as being one of the tastiest. Creamy fresh mozzarella cheese, spicy meats, smokey peppers, brightness of pesto on chewy bread. As long as you give your sandwich at least six hours to meld together — although it’s much better if you make it the day before — you will be rewarded with a sandwich worth waiting for.

Don’t want to use meat? Substitute roasted eggplant or artichoke hearts for cold cuts.

You will need:

1 large loaf of Italian ciabatta bread or a large, crusty French bread
1/4 cup pesto
12-16 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
12-16 ounces of roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry
1/4-1/3 pound of mortadella
1/4-1/3 pound of capicola
1/4-1/3 pound of salami of choice
1/4-1/3 pound of large deli pepperoni, drained and patted dry (optional)
4-6 ounces of pepperoncini (optional)
Plastic wrap and heavy items

As always, the best ingredients yield the best sandwich, so make sure to hit up your local deli counter for the cold cuts. (And honestly, the deli counter often charges a better price than the pre-packaged meats found over by the milk section.) I prefer fresh mozzarella in this recipe because it’s a softer, creamer cheese that will not fight against the texture of chewier meat and bread.

As you can see in the picture above, I used pepperoni and went with a full 1/3 pound of each meat for that particular sandwich, but omitted the pepperoncini. It was made for kick-off Sunday, so we went big.  The pictures below show 1/4 pound each of meat minus the pepperoni.

Both sandwiches were delicious.

Slice bread longways and spread half of the pesto on each half of bread

Carefully create even layers of meat, starting with the mortadella…

The salami…

and the capicola.

(Imagine there is a picture of pepperoni here if you’re using it.)

The cheese…

and peppers on the bottom half of the bread, trying not to go over the edge as much as possible.

Place the top half of the bread over your masterpiece and wrap as tightly as possible in plastic wrap, both length and width-wise.

Place flatly in the refrigerator under a a cookie sheet the size of the sandwich. Weigh down the cookie sheet as much as possible for maximum squishing.

Press for at least six hours, but preferably at least overnight.

Pressed!

Unwrap and slice into 6-8 slices about 2 inches wide.

Allow to rise slightly to room temperature and serve.

It’s the perfect one-handed sandwich, leaving you with a free hand to hold a drink, the remote, check your fantasy scores or text your friend at the game and let them know you saw them dressed up as a robot on TV.

Italian Pressed Sandwiches: Football Foodie Quick Hit
Print
Recipe type: snacks, sandwiches, lunch
Author: sarah @ sarahsprague.com
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 6 hours
Total time: 6 hours 15 mins
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 large loaf of Italian ciabatta bread or a large, crusty French bread
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 12-16 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 12-16 ounces of roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry
  • 1/4-1/3 pound of mortadella
  • 1/4-1/3 pound of capicola
  • 1/4-1/3 pound of salami of choice
  • 1/4-1/3 pound of large deli pepperoni (optional)
  • 4-6 ounces of pepperoncini, drained and patted dry (optional)
  • Plastic wrap
Instructions
  1. Slice bread longways.
  2. Spread half of the pesto on each half of bread
  3. Carefully create even layers of meat, cheese and peppers on the bottom half of the bread, trying not to go over the edge as much as possible.
  4. Place the top half of the bread over your masterpiece and wrap as tightly as possible in plastic wrap, both length and width-wise.
  5. Place flatly in the refrigerator under a a cookie sheet the size of the sandwich. Weigh down the cookie sheet as much as possible for maximum squishing.
  6. Press for at least six hours, but preferably at least overnight.
  7. Unwrap and slice into 6-8 slices about 2 inches wide.
  8. Allow to rise slightly to room temperature and serve.
Notes

Make sure you have lots of plastic wrap and heavy items on hand.

Cooking time includes pressing time in the fridge.

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6 Responses to Italian Pressed Sandwiches: Football Foodie Quick Hit (Updated)

  1. BBS says:

    Be gentle with us, Pittsburgh.

  2. Pete says:

    I’ve got to say, that looks like a fine, fine sandwich. I’m a bit skeptical of that much cheese, but I know mozzarella tends to play a bit differently than most cheeses and obviously this isn’t your first rodeo, so I suspect it’s pretty good. Leaving a sandwich overnight is a technique forgotten far too often in today’s sandwich world and I salute you for the time & effort put forth.

    • sarah sprague says:

      Thanks, Pete. High-praise from a sandwich kingmaker.

      It may seem like a lot of cheese — certainly you can add or subject as your taste — but I like that extra creaminess of the mozzarella against that much meat and bread. This is a sandwich we make pretty often around these parts just because It is easy to make ahead of time and then just pull out and slice off a piece as needed, not just on game day.

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