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FRONT BURNER | GOOD COOKING / ABBY MANDEL

Sandwich Meals

April 22, 1998|ABBY MANDEL

As far as I'm concerned, grilled sandwiches--evenly browned with a crisp exterior and flavorful filling--are irresistible. Pair them with a green salad, coleslaw and/or soup for a complete meal.

Mandel's latest book is "Celebrating the Midwestern Table" (Doubleday & Co., 1996).

ROASTED VEGETABLE SANDWICHES

4 (1/3-inch-thick) slices onion

1 zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick slices

8 cherry tomatoes, halved and seeded

Olive oil cooking spray

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon light mayonnaise

4 slices sourdough bread

2 bottled roasted red bell peppers, drained

1 tablespoon butter, softened

* Arrange onion slices, zucchini and tomatoes in single layer on baking sheet sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. Spray vegetables lightly with oil. Drizzle vinegar on vegetables, then spread over each vegetable with fingers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

* Roast vegetables at 450 degrees in lower area of oven until tender, 20 to 25 minutes, removing vegetables as they become tender. (Vegetables can be roasted up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated, wrapped airtight. Let come to room temperature before using.)

* Spread mayonnaise on 1 side of each bread slice, dividing evenly. Cut zucchini to fit bread. Layer zucchini, tomatoes, onion and roasted red peppers on 2 slices. Close sandwich, mayonnaise side down, and lightly compress.

* Spread 1/4 butter on 1 side of each sandwich. Place sandwiches, buttered side down, in heavy 12-inch skillet preheated over medium-low heat. Spread remaining butter on top of each sandwich. Cover and cook until medium brown and hot throughout, about 6 minutes. Turn with spatula and cook, uncovered, until well browned, about 4 minutes. Remove top slices and quickly blanket vegetables with basil leaves. Close sandwich and cut in half. Serve hot.

2 sandwiches. Each sandwich: 309 calories; 995 mg sodium; 20 mg cholesterol; 12 grams fat; 44 grams carbohydrates; 11 grams protein; 2.29 grams fiber.

GRILLED REUBEN SANDWICHES

Smoked turkey replaces the corned beef typically used in this sandwich. Try to find smoked turkey that is lightly smoked and not salty.

1 tablespoon light mayonnaise

1 teaspoon chili sauce

4 slices rye bread

4 thin slices smoked turkey breast, about 3 ounces

1/2 cup refrigerated sauerkraut, rinsed well, blotted dry

2 slices Swiss cheese, about 1 1/2 ounces

1 tablespoon butter, softened

* Stir together mayonnaise and chili sauce. Spread mayonnaise mixture on 1 side of each bread slice, dividing evenly. Put 2 slices smoked turkey breast on 2 bread slices. Top each with sauerkraut and spread evenly. Add cheese. Close sandwich, mayonnaise side down, and lightly compress.

* Spread 1/4 butter on 1 side of each sandwich. Place sandwiches, buttered side down, in heavy 12-inch skillet preheated over medium-low heat. Spread remaining butter on top of each sandwich. Cover and cook until medium brown and hot throughout, about 6 minutes. Turn with spatula and cook, uncovered, until well browned, about 4 minutes more. Cut in half. Serve hot.

2 sandwiches. Each sandwich: 356 calories; 890 mg sodium; 76 mg cholesterol; 16 grams fat; 32 grams carbohydrates; 24 grams protein; 0.85 gram fiber.

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