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Take a bite out of Burnside

May 22, 2010

Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside was a man who knew his limits, yet was often thrust into situations above his comprehension and ability to control.

Such was the situation during the Battle of Antietam at the Lower Bridge, which is known today as Burnside Bridge. Burnside was in command of the 9th Corps., Army of the Potomac, because he had been removed as wing commander by his old friend, Gen. George B. McClellan. As such, Burnside ended up as a traffic cop directing the flow of men and materials across the bridge instead of commanding his corps.

In light of his command structure, I built a sandwich that reflects his dedication to the cause but will not load you up on too many flavors pulling you in every direction. It's a hearty rustic sandwich with delicious blending of artisan cheese and grilled vegetables. I have added balsamic vinegar to give the vegetables a nice snap and I'm sure the General would have approved.

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-- Scott C. Anderson is associate food service director and chef with Shepherd University dining services in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and chef ambassador to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.




Gen. Ambrose Burnside sandwich



Olive oil
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 red bell pepper
1 sweet onion
4 slices (1/2-thick) Pugliese-style bread (Artisan Italian loaf)
Balsamic vinegar
4 ounces sliced Crave Brothers Les Frres' Cheese
6 ounces grilled vegetables
Fresh basil or spinach leaves (optional)

Preheat panini grill and brush irons with olive oil so sandwich will not stick. (See Cook's note).

Cut zucchini and squash lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices. Cut bell pepper into 1/2-inch strips. Peel onion and cut in half, slice into 1/4-inch slices. Place on a lightly oiled grill grate. Cook for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from grill.

Place one piece of bread on your workspace, splash with balsamic vinegar, add on 2 slices of Les Frres' cheese, then 3 ounces grilled vegetables. Top with remaining slice of bread that has been splashed with vinegar. You can always add fresh basil or even spinach leaves if you desire, just make sure to wash your greens.

Place into panini grill at 45-degree angle to ridges on grill. Close the lid and allow to cook for at least 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese begins to melt and the bread has nice browned grill marks.

Cook's note: You can either grill your vegetables on a panini grill or grill outdoors over medium heat.

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