It's time for another Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club - that wonderful evening where 5 bloggers from around North America gather to share a virtual meal with one another. Sandi picked this month's theme: 'Dreaming of Italy'. . . something I have officially started to do now that I have two trips booked to Italy this year.
I'll have a very short trip to Bologna this summer for work - we have 36 teachers doing courses in France and Italy and I'll be popping into both to see that all is as it should be. I won't have much time there but you can bet I'll be exploring some of the wonderful foodie spots that I enjoyed so much when I was there with my friend Palma a few years ago!
My second trip is a dream I have always had - spending Christmas in Rome. . . this was the perfect year since Paul will be out of work by then we can actually go away at Christmas (Christmas vacations are not easy for folks in retail). We're renting an apartment with Palma and Brad for 2 weeks - I just paid the deposit last night so this is official! Now to find flights. LOL
See . . . dreaming of Italy is always fun!
For this theme I went simple - I made a panini - that wonderful toasted sandwich that you can pick up all over the place in Italy. Funnily, even one bought on the train tastes better than just about anything one can buy here! Now this isn't just any panini - chicken, fig jam, and blue cheese take this to a level of sophistication and deliciousness that we love!
I doubt that anyone in Italy is making a panini quite like this but let's make that a part of the dream . . . make one for yourself and share the dream!
Chicken Panini With Fig Jam
1/4 cup fig jam (I used my own, home-made fig jam)
1 (8-ounce) ciabatta, cut lengthwise
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
8 ounces sliced cooked chicken breast
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups arugula leaves
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Spread jam over cut side of top half of bread. Combine cheese and butter in a bowl, stirring until smooth. Spread cheese mixture over cut side of bottom half of bread. Arrange chicken evenly over cheese mixture; sprinkle with pepper. Place top half of bread, jam side down, over chicken.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, and add sandwich to pan. Place a heavy cast-iron skillet on sandwich; cook 5 minutes or until both sides are browned, turning once. If you have a panini maker like we do ignore this step - simple heat up the panini grill and when it is ready pop it in. If you don't have a panini grill . . . why not?????
Place arugula in a bowl. Drizzle juice over arugula; toss gently. Remove top bread half from sandwich. Arrange arugula mixture over chicken. Replace top bread half. Cut sandwich into 4 equal portions