July 01, 2012

Recipes From The Road- Panini Sandwiches

There are a million ways to make a panini sandwich. If you think about it, a grilled cheese sandwich qualifies as a panini, so really, we've all been making panini sandwiches since we were children. There is nothing new about this recipe, I just really enjoyed making this set of sandwiches the other day, so I thought I would share it with you.

I've found that to make an awesome panini, you really need to start with good bread. A fresh sourdough loaf really does the trick, as well as rustic French bread or slices of Jewish marble rye. The choice of cheese and meat are the next biggest factors. I prefer really sharp cheeses, something like Aged Cheddar. Ham, pastrami, turkey, roast beef and baked chicken breast are all good choices of meat in my book.

But, the final touches, meaning sauce and added ingredients, are really where you can make your panini special. Basil is an awesome addition; it adds that basil smell that just make your mouth water. Generally, we end up making panini's for one of two reasons, we either have fresh basil from the farmer's market (and we haven't used it all up for the Thai Spicy Chicken...), or we've bought a fresh loaf of really good bread and we're looking for excuses to eat it up.

So, without further ado, here is what I made the other day. I started by sauteing mushrooms and onions, and warming up some tomato slices on the skillet.

While they were cooking, I spread mayo and sweet and spicy mustard on sourdough, and got out the ham and Cheddar. When the onions and mushrooms were tender, I added them to on top of the Cheddar (to get it to start its melting process). I added the warmed up tomato slices to my sandwich only, Skyler doesn't eat tomatoes (I KNOW..WHAT IS THAT? I've told him time and time again that he's missing out on some serious goodness...) I also added the fresh basil leaves.

I spread some olive oil in the warmed up skillet, and then used a brush to spread olive oil on one side of the sandwiches. I placed the non oiled side of the sandwiches in the skillet, and let the skillet do its magic.

In about 5-7 minutes (depends on your skillet and heat source), I flipped over the sandwiches onto their oiled side. Then I cooked them another 3-5 minutes.

When they were done, we enjoyed them with fresh cucumber slices. Num!

Happy Panini-ing,


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