Friday, December 14, 2012

Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Chicken

True confessions: When I was a kid, I was a picky eater. Like suuuuper picky. (Sorry, Mom.) My Happy Meals had to have plain cheeseburgers. Everyone eats peas, right? They're sweet, for crying out loud. But not me. I also didn't like french fries (Whaaaat?!), and I refused to go out to restaurants unless I was allowed to order chocolate chip pancakes no matter what time of day it was.

Tomato soup was on the list of foods I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. After I got hitched, the husband requested tomato soup with his grilled cheese. For a couple years I would dutifully make him his soup, but I wouldn't try it.

And then one day I ladled myself a bowl, too.

Good gracious, tomato soup is delicious! Why did I deny myself for all those years? When the good folks at Campbell's offered to send me some of their Sun-Ripened Yellow Tomato Soup and a recipe for a new spin on grilled cheese to try, I was all for it. I had many missed bowls of soup to make up for.

The husband, our pal Ryan, and I sat down to tomato soup and Pesto Grilled Cheese with Chicken Sandwiches this week, and we were happy campers. The husband even went back for seconds. The Sun-Ripened Yellow Tomato Soup is delicious, a bit milder than Campbell's traditional red tomato soup, I think. As a person who used to turn her nose up at just about everything, I believe it would be the perfect gateway soup for the picky eater in your family. Let me know if you give it a whirl on your next grilled cheese night.

Speaking of grilled cheese... I whipped up these sandwiches to accompany our soup. Crazy good and crazy easy. The "recipe" below is more of a guideline. Use as much of each ingredient as you like. Follow your heart. (Did I just say "follow your heart" about a recipe? Oh, geez.)

Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Chicken
Adapted from Campbell's
Serves 2

2 torta or ciabatta rolls (or 4 pieces of bread)
3 tablespoons prepared pesto (I just buy the refrigerated stuff at the grocery store. Feel free to make your own if you're ambitious.)

1 small cooked chicken breast, thinly sliced (I hacked a breast off my rotisserie chicken for this meal.)
Salt and pepper

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
1.5 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat a panini press. (If you don't have a panini press, just make these in a skillet like a regular, old grilled cheese sandwhich.) Meanwhile, spread pesto on the cut sides of your rolls. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Layer 1/8 cup mozzarella cheese, half of the chicken, 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, and another 1/8 cup mozzarella cheese on the bottom half of each roll.

Top with the other half of the rolls. Brush the top and bottom of the rolls with melted butter. Toast sandwiches in the panini press for about 5 minutes, until cheese is melted and the rolls are toasty.

Full Disclosure: While Campbell's sent me the tomato soup to try, these opinions are all my own. Well, mine and the husband's. 

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