For most families Christmas dinner is dictated by years and years of family tradition. Ham, Filet Mignon or Turkey, sitting down to a celebratory family dinner is the pinnacle moment of the holiday season. But what about lunch? With so much pre-Christmas work to do; keeping santa's helpers well fed can be a challenge. Whip up these sandwiches early in the day and enjoy them throughout the holiday weekend. As if there isn't enough to celebrate during the holidays, these sandwiches are a gift for the whole family.
Honey Roasted Squash Sandwiches with Bacon and Goat Cheese
2 medium sized butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
2 cups of baby arugula, washed and dried
1 package of thick cut bacon
1 loaf of Ciabatta bread
12 Oz goat cheese
3 Tbsps honey
2 Tbsps apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the squash cubes on a sheet tray and toss with olive oil, honey and vinegar. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and roast for 45-50 minutes until soft.
Step 2: Once the squash is soft, roughly mash it with a fork until spreadable.
Step 3: Cook the bacon over medium heat in a sauté pan until crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and reserve.
Step 4: Cut the loaf of ciabatta lengthwise in half, and smear the bottom half generously with goat cheese. Roughly chop the bacon and sprinkle it over the goat cheese. Spread the squash evenly throughout and top with arugula. Top the sandwich with the second half of ciabatta and slice into inch thick pieces.
Braised Short Rib with Melted Mozzarella and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwiches
4-8 boneless short ribs *** Tip: if the short ribs are too expensive, feel free to use chuck roast instead - the meat is great for braising and will get just as tender after a few hours on the stove
8 Oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 12 Oz jar of roasted red peppers
4-6 Cups of beef broth
2 Cups dry red wine
3 Tbsps Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsps Soy sauce
2 Bay leaves
Olive Oil for drizzling
Step 1: Heat a heavy duty pot or dutch oven over medium to high heat and drizzle with oil. Season the short ribs generously with salt and pepper, and place in the hot pan. Sear the meat on all sides until a dark brown crust develops. Remove the meat and set aside on a cooling rack.
Step 2: Lower the heat to medium and deglaze the pan with red wine. Scrape up all the bits of meat and allow the wine to simmer for about 3 minutes, to allow the alcohol to cook out. Return the meat to the pan and cover with beef broth, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and add bay leaves.
Step 3: Cover the meat and cook at a simmer for 4-5 hours, until the meat is tender and falling apart.
Step 4: Once the meat is cooked, transfer to a bowl and pull it apart into chunks. To start assembling the sandwiches, cut the ciabatta lengthwise and lay down a single layer of roasted red peppers, cheese, and top with the chunks of beef.
Step 5: Transfer the sandwiches to a sheet tray and toast in the oven (at about 350 degrees) until the cheese melts. While the cheese is melting, turn the heat on the dutch oven up to high and allow the remaining sauce to reduce into a thick gravy.
Remove the sandwiches from the oven, and cut into 1 inch thick slices. Serve with the gravy and enjoy!
A lover of food, wine and travel, Laura is a freelance writer from NYC eating and drinking her way through the world. A graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education, Laura is a trained chef with a degree in culinary arts and a WSET II award in wine & spirits.