Turkey and Swiss Panini (December 18, 2006)

we had a pseudo-christmas dinner about a week early today, consisting of some cranberry sauce, stuffing, and turkey ‘n’ swiss paninis, topped off with an oliver winery gewurztraminer. of course the cranberries came from a can (the best kind) and the stuffing was stove top (not really the best kind), but it was still very nice.

turkey ‘n’ swiss panini
(four sandwiches)

4 rolls (we went with a wheatish, seedy version)
1 lb. turkey, sliced (we went with oven-roasted from the local deli)
4 big slices of swiss cheese (mmm)

we also added a little secret sauce to the paninis prior to their insertion in the panini maker…

secret sauce:
ranch dressing (the base)

add the following, to taste:
cayenne pepper
chili powder
garlic powder
worcestershire sauce (not too much! i might have put in too much.)

we put a little bit of this on both the tops and bottoms of the rolls.

then we rocked them in the panini maker…and voila!

david – a nice little meal. the paninis actually turned out to be rather wonderful. i think we had the right amount of cheese, and the sauce was just enough to make things interesting, but not so much as to overpower me and make me cry. i was pleased – A-.

carla – um…it was good, and most importantly, it was quick and easy to put together. the sauce on the paninis was good – just enough to taste it, not too overpowering. a good complement to the swisss cheese. A-.

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BBQ Chicken Paninis (November 5, 2006)

dinner last night. panini night started strong, and then school and life took over. but we came back strong with a panini vengeance. no recipe for this one, we just made it happen. so here’s how it went down:

4 chicken breasts
4 delicious wheat-type rolls
4 slices tasty cheese (we used colby-jack)
1 bunch of bbq sauce
sundry spices (i used garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne, salt ‘n’ pepper…)
a bit o’ oil

1) cut up the chicken breasts into tiny little bits
2) heat ’em up in a frying pan with the oil. add in some spicy goodness and anything else to make them flavorful. i even tried a touch of soy sauce for salty goodness.
3) once the chicken won’t give you a disease, pour in a bunch of that there bbq sauce. mix it all up and let it get all good and warm.
4) spoon equal parts onto your bread, put on the cheese, and set your panini maker to go!

david – very nice. simple and easy to make, a very satisfying and tasty meal. we had just the right amount of cheesyness, sauciness, and breadyness. thrilling. A.

carla – it was very yummy. i want another one right now. A.

Eggplant Panini (August 30, 2006)

For this week’s panini night we created one ourselves. We used eggplant (that we got from the farmer’s market) and breaded and fried it. We then put the cooked eggplant on to a panini bread topped it with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese and then cooked them. We also had spaghetti with sauce and salad. There is not a recipe for this one, per say; we breaded the eggplant with egg and seasoned bread crumbs and that was the most intensive part of the process.

David: i had high hopes for eggplant paninis, but i was brought back to earth when we tasted them. they weren’t bad, but they were certainly nothing special. i think that the bread ended up soaking in a lot of the red sauce we had put on them, and in the process, a bit of the
flavor was lost. the end result was a little bit bland. in the future, red sauce as a dipping agent might be a better idea, or perhaps more dramatically spiced eggplant, as we put very little on them. a C

Carla: I liked the idea of eggplant panini. I am picky about the meat that I eat which limits the panini ability a bit. So the idea of using an eggplant seemed really good. Unfortunately, it did not turn out as well as we had hoped. The bread seemed to soak up the spaghetti sauce a bit too much thus causing there to a be a lack of flavor. I think we should try them again some other way. C

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Panini (August 24, 2006)

Panini night moved to Thursday for one week…

1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper (we used a whole pepper)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 portobello mushroom caps (we used sliced portobello)

1. Preheat grill for medium heat (we used a skillet)
2. In a large bowl mix the red bell pepper, garlic, oil, onion powder, salt, and ground black pepper.

We now deviate from the recipie a bit…we placed Kaiser rolls (wheat) on the panini maker and topped them with the portobello mixture. We also added some greens, a tomato slice, and mozzarella cheese. We sprayed balsamic vinegarette on the tops of the buns, as well. We grilled them for a while (5-7 minutes) and served them with a salad and broccoli.

David: It was very tasty. It could have used more cheese and fewer peppers. Maybe more spiced. The mushrooms should be more featured. B+
Carla: Tasty, but I think it needed a bit more sauce (we used balsamic vinegarette). I liked it. Different than chicken or some other thing on the panini. B

Panini Night One (August 16, 2006)

David and I decided to make Wednesday Night Panini Night. This is the one we tried tonight

Chicken and Artichoke Panini with Olive Tapenade

8 slices peasants’ bread
4-8 tablespoons olive tapenade (we used Sun Dried Tomato salad dressing)
4 pieces chicken, grilled
8 slices Provolone cheese (we used shredded mozzarella)
4-6 oz. sun-dried tomatos (not used because of the dressing)
2 (6 oz.) jars drained and sliced artichoke hearts

To creat a golden finish when grilled, brush each slice of bread with olive oil, one side only. To build the panini, start with one slice of bread, olive oil side down. Spread a generous portion of Olive Tapenade on the top, dry side of the bread. Layer with chicken breast, cheese, tomato, and artichoke hearts. Top with remaining bread, making sure that the olive oil side is facing up. Place assembled sandwiches on the Panini Maker. Cook until golden brown, approximately 3-4 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted.

David: The first bite was really good. The bread choice could have been better, but it showed a lot of potential. B
Carla: I liked them. Bread choice needs to be flatter. Not bad for the first time. B+