Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Ciabatta Goodness

Can you pronounce ciabatta?

It’s a tricky one – the ‘ci’ is actually pronounced like ‘chi’, so to say the name of this lovely bread correctly, try ‘chi-batta’. I actually looked up how to pronounce it – thank you Macmillan Dictionary and your audio clips for pronunciation!

Fresh Ciabatta Goodness!
This sudden attention to the pronunciation of foreign words is a result of the intensive English Teacher training course I recently completed at the International Language Center in Paris. I can now apply for English teaching positions and the world is wide open to me once again!

During my course, I brought my lunch from home as much as possible. This was helpful to save money, since buying lunch everyday can be expensive, and to save time, especially on those afternoons when I was teaching. I often brought homemade sandwiches made with ciabatta bread and stuffed with my favorite sandwich innards: multiple types of meat and cheese, veggies and mustard.

Stacked and Packed!
I can get fresh ciabatta bread  at my local grocery store and one loaf can make multiple sandwiches, depending on the size of my appetite: 3 small or 2 large. Ciabatta is lovely bread, crusty on the outside, soft on the inside, with lots of nice little nooks and crannies to hold reserves of mustard. It’s a worthy alternative to the baguette and it makes some pretty amazing sandwiches, both fresh and toasted.

A medley of goodness and ingredients
Possible ingredients for some Ciabatta Goodness include:

Meat: Ham, salami, sausage, roast beef, roast chicken or turkey
Cheese: Emmental, gouda, camembert (so good!)
Veggies: Feuilles de chêne (salad greens), arugula, spinach, avocado, red pepper, tomato, etc.
Condiments: Butter, mustard (multiple kinds in the same sandwich!), mayo


1-Cut a fresh ciabatta loaf in half, length wise.
2-Spread butter and/or mustard on the halves, alternating or combining as per your tastes.
3-Pile on your choice(s) of meat(s) and cheese(s).
4-Top with veggies.
5-Assemble the top half of the loaf.
6-Cut to your desired size and number of sandwiches.
7-Serve and enjoy!

One Ciabatta Loaf = Multiple Sandwiches!
To create a tasty toasted ciabatta sandwich, place both halves of the bread (after the meat and cheese are in place, but before adding the veggies) in the oven under the broiler for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, top with veggies, cut and serve!

Tasty and Toasty Ciabatta Sandwich
This sandwich was a conversation starter among my new classmates during my course and it was extremely filling to eat for lunch. It also works well at sandwich parties or potlucks, where there are lot of fun ingredient combinations to play with. We brought some ciabatta to a recent gathering of sandwich lovers (friends) and they were a big hit there too.

So give it a try with your favorite ingredients and when someone asks you about your sandwich, because they will, tell them it’s all in the ciabatta bread and help them pronounce it correctly.

Just don’t talk with your mouth full!

Upside-down Ciabatta Goodness.

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