Spanish Grilled Cheese With Grilled Chicken Sausage
by Fred Muller, Chef , El Meze, Taos, New Mexico
- 1 pound Smart Chicken Sweet Italian Sausage links
- 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
- Basil pesto
- 1 round loaf artisan rustic white bread; cut into ½-inch slices
- 12 ounces manchego cheese; thinly sliced
- 1 eggplant; cut into 1/8-inch slices
- 8-ounce jar roasted red peppers; cut into 1-inch strips
Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Spray grill with non-stick oil. Brush eggplant slices with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on grill and cook for 2 minutes each side until eggplant is soft and tender. Remove and place on paper towel to drain. Place chicken sausage on the grill. Turn every 2 minutes to grill all sides until done, about 8 to 10 minutes total. Place on cutting board, when slightly cooled, split in half horizontally.
Brush a slice of bread on one side with mayonnaise. Place, mayonnaise side down, on a plate and assemble sandwich with a few slices of cheese, eggplant slices, roasted red peppers and chicken sausage. Take another slice of bread and spread pesto on one side and mayonnaise on the other. Place the pesto side down on top of chicken sausage to complete sandwich.
Heat a frying pan over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low and place sandwiches in fry pan. Place a cast iron skillet or another fry pan on top to create Panini style cooking. Cook until golden brown (approx. 4 minutes). Flip and continue cooking the other side until it is golden brown.
Wine Pairing: With the spice of the sausage, a Rosè would be a great compliment.