What's Hot in Grilled Sandwiches
Operators talk about how they put sizzle into this important menu category.
Associate Director, Dining Services
Rush-Presbytarian-St. Luke’s Medical Ctr.
"We have a Tandoori Grilled Chicken Sandwich that is on the six-week cycle of specials at our Room 500 restaurant and it always sells out."
Food Service Director (Aramark)
Sprint World Headquarters
Overland Park, KS
"We recently introduced Aramark’s new ‘10 Under 10’ light sandwich concept as a menu refresh. The grilled selections are cold, with the grilling done beforehand and the meat served cold. However, we have a panini grill for customers who want their sandwiches warmed."
VP-Merchandising & Concept Development
Whitsons Food Service
Huntington Station, NY
"We’ve been taking raw pizza dough, about four or five ounces rolled thin, splashing it with olive oil, salt and pepper and perhaps some garlic, and then tossing it on a charbroiler for 30 seconds a side. The dough comes off the grill soft, but with wonderfully attractive grill lines. We use it to make wrap sandwiches, loading it with chicken, beef or grilled vegetables (see recipe below for one glazed vegetable filling option). We also use it as a vessel to hold salads or as a pizza base."
Grilled Chili Chicken Breast Sandwich
Yield: 24 servings
24 4-in. round sourdough rolls,
split in half
3 cups sweet chili sauce
12 oz. fresh whole-leaf spinach
11Ú2 lb. fresh tomatoes, 1Ú8-inch slice
11Ú2 lb. fresh cucumbers, peeled
and 1Ú8-inch slice
24 chicken breasts,
marinated in low-cal
Italian dressing, grilled
1 tsp. whole black pepper
1. Spread cut sides of each roll with 2 Tbsps. chili sauce, and layer 1Ú2 oz. spinach, 1 oz. tomatoes, 1 oz. cucumbers, 1 chicken breast and 4 grinds of black pepper on one half of each roll. Top with other half of roll and serve immediately.
Recipe from Aramark
Yield: 27 servings
43 oz. white tuna
32 oz. cream cheese, softened
32 oz. smoked Gouda cheese
54 slices bacon, crisply cooked
27 slices tomato
54 slices bread of choice
as needed butter
1. Drain and flake tuna, and set aside. In a food processor, blend cream cheese and Gouda. Stir tuna and cheese mixture together until blended well.
2. Portion tuna/cheese mixture using 4-oz. scoop, putting one scoop on each of 27 slices of bread. Spread and top with two slices of bacon and one tomato slice. Cover with a second slice of bread, butter outsides of sandwiches and grill each side until golden brown.
Recipe from Chicken of the Sea
Tandoori Chicken Sandwich
Yield: 6 servings
1 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbsps. fresh ginger, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1Ú2 tsp. ground cumin
1Ú2 tsp. ground coriander
1Ú4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1Ú4 tsp. turmeric
6 skinless and boneless chicken
2 Tbsps. fresh lemon juice
as needed salt
12 slices sourdough bread
1 cup fresh mint leaves, packed
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed
1 jalapeno chili, seeded and
3 Tbsps. onion, chopped
2 tsps. cider vinegar
1Ú2 cup mayonnaise
1. Mix together yogurt, ginger, garlic and spices in medium bowl. Arrange chicken in single layer on large glass baking dish, sprinkle with lemon juice, season with salt and coat with yogurt mixture. Cover and refrigerate 3-8 hours.
2. Prepare barbecue or preheat broiler to medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade (do not wipe clean) and grill or broil until just cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Cool slightly (chicken can also be prepared up to 2 hours. ahead–cover and let stand at room temperature).
3. Lightly toast or grill bread. Remove from heat and spread one side generously with Indian mayonnaise (see recipe below). Slice chicken diagonally and place each sliced breast atop one slice of bread. Top with remaining 6 slices of bread, cut sandwiches in half and serve warm or at room temperature.
4. For mayonnaise (makes approx. 1 cup): combine mint, cilantro, jalapeno and onion in food processor and process until finely chopped. Mix in vinegar, add mayonnaise and process until just combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Note: can be prepared up to 3 days ahead; to store, cover tightly and refrigerate.
Recipe from Mary Spooner, Rush-Presbytarian-St. Luke’s Medical Ctr..
Tuscan-Style Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Yield: 12 servings
36 spears grilled asparagus
1 cup balsamic/garlic/olive oil
24 slices crusty sourdough bread
24 slices fontina cheese
24 slices mozzarella cheese
2 cups fresh basil leaves
2 cups roasted red pepper pieces
24 slices provolone cheese
as needed virgin olive oil
12 fresh fruit kebobs
1. Toss asparagus with vinaigrette and let stand covered and refrigerated at least 2 hrs.
2. Top 12 slices of bread with (in order) 2 slices fontina, 3 asparagus spears, 2 slices mozzarella, 6 basil leaves, 21Ú2 Tbsps. red pepper and 2 slices provolone. Cover each with second slice of bread, brush both sides of sandwich lightly with olive oil. Griddle on both sides in nonstick skillet over medium heat until golden brown, transfer to sheet pan and warm in 350°F oven 8-10 min. or until heated through.
3. To serve, cut each sandwich on the diagonal and serve with fruit kabob.
Recipe from Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
Balsamic Glazed Vegetables
Yield: 12 6-oz. servings
4 oz. olive oil
4 oz. balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 springs rosemary, chopped
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. black pepper, cracked
12 rosemary springs (garnish)
3 eggplants, cut 1Ú2-inch thick
3 zucchini, cut on bias
3 yellow squash, cut on bias
3 red peppers, quartered
1. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade. Toss with the cut eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and peppers. Let soak until well marinated. Reserve any additional marinade.
2. On a hot grill, cook the vegetables until well seared on both sides and tender. Remove and chill thoroughly.
3. Stack the vegetables into 6 oz. portions beginning with the eggplant and finishing with the red pepper. Ladle over the reserved marinade on top of each portion and skewer a rosemary skewer through the center. Place on a serving platter.
Recipe from John Whitcomb, Whitsons Food Service.