Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Way Delicious Wednesdays - Panini

I love anything Italian and anything with melted cheese on it. That's why I think Panini is a beautiful thing. My sister gave me a Panini maker awhile ago and it's always in good use in my kitchen. The best thing about Panini is you don't really need a recipe. You just grab some good bread and any filling ingredients that sound like they go good together. Panini is a great thing to make when it's 5:00 p.m. and you don't have any idea what you are going to make for dinner. Just scour your fridge for leftovers - grilled meats and veggies, cheeses, and you've got the makings for great panini!

Getting the sandwiches ready....

Last night I had my ladies prayer group over for dinner and decided to make Panini for them. I made two types - for the first I used Roast Beef, sharp white cheddar cheese, sundried tomatoes, and horseradish-garlic mayo. The second one was fresh mozzarella, pesto, artichoke hearts, and roasted red bell peppers. They both turned out superb. I assembled the sandwiches earlier in the afternoon, wrapped them in foil and refrigerated them, so all I had to do was brush them with olive oil and grill them when the girls arrived. Incidentally, if you don't have a Panini maker, you can make do with a skillet. Just put a heavy object (like a cast iron skillet) on top of the sandwich while it cooks. You won't get the fancy little grill "wedges", but it will taste mighty good just the same.

I love you, Cabot extra sharp white cheddar.

The ingredients I used sound exotic, but I just got everything at Trader Joe's. If you haven't had the Cabot extra sharp white cheddar they sell at TJ's, well, I'm really sorry. Drop everything and go get some. It's kind of like a cross between cheddar and parmigiano reggiano, it has those little crystally things going on and it is a fine little cheese that my family is addicted to. (I'm not exactly sure crystally is really a word but you catch my drift.) The bell peppers, sundried tomatoes, and artichoke hearts were all canned (and usually a staple in my pantry), and the pesto was storebought (the refrigerated kind). I made the horseradish mayo by whirling together some mayo, a large clove of garlic, a bit of horseradish to taste. (I just serve that on the side because not everyone likes mayo.)

So, as summer winds down, leave the oven off and make an easy dinner of Panini! A little fruit or veggie platter on the side, and you've fed your family very easily.

1 comment:

sjensen said...

Yummy! I will be panni-ing for dinner tonight. Yes, I recently found the Cabot cheese and cannot live without it. Those crystally things I heard are the little salt crystals that the good cheese makes over the aging process. What kind of roast beef did you use?