Ever thought about taking fajitas to a picnic? Of course not, because that would be crazy, messy, and way too complicated.
But it is possible.
Chef Uno's Fajita Chicken Pressed Sandwich
For the Pesto:
2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
1 jalapeno (seeds removed for less spice)
⅓ cup Parmesan cheese
⅓ cup pine nuts
3 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil
For the fillings:
1 red bell pepper, roasted and sliced
1 green bell pepper, roasted and sliced
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 tablespoon of butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
½ lb Oaxaca cheese, cut into 1/4" slices (can be substituted with mozzarella cheese)
1 lb grilled chicken breast, sliced thin horizontally
1 loaf ciabatta
First, make the pesto. In a food processor, combine the cilantro, jalapeño, Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, and kosher salt. Pulse until well-mixed. Slowly pour the olive oil into the food processor as it is running, and continue to run until the pesto comes together. Set aside.
Preheat the grill to high. Grill the bell peppers, turning frequently, until blackened on all sides. Remove from the grill, place in a Ziploc bag for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, peel the skin from the pepper, rinse, pull out the stem and seeds, and cut into strips.
As you wait for the pepper to be ready, in a saute pan, add 1 tablespoon of butter, sliced onions and a teaspoon of salt. Toss together until onions become caramelized.
Spread the pesto on both pieces of bread, layer on roasted red peppers, Oaxaca or mozzarella cheese, chicken, caramelized onions, green bell pepper, and then sandwich the two pieces together.
Press down on the sandwich, and then wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Weigh down with a heavy object and let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
When ready to serve or pack, unwrap the sandwich and cut off the very ends and sides to make them even. Then, cut the sandwich into mini sandwiches (about 10 per loaf).
Wrap the sandwiches to keep them together while traveling, if necessary, and serve at room temperature.