Thursday, October 18, 2007


Last night I was looking for a quick but interesting dinner. It was a bit blustery outside, and I settled on carrot soup and panini. I haven't really made panini before, but our sandwiches were full of flavor and very filling, and I remembered at almost the last moment that I should take a quick picture. Thus the blurry bite to the left.

Carrot soup, if you haven't made it, is very smooth and rich, even though I don't add any cream, and I didn't want too much food to serve with it, but just bread didn't sound quite filling enough, especially since I questioned who would finish their soup. It turns out Mark, Kate, and I finished our soup. Actually, Kate ate all but two bites of Emily's (the first two), and David didn't even try it. Oh, well.

The panini was splendid, and very easy, as all sandwiches are. All the work was in going to the grocery store. This is how I layered them:

slice of rosemary olive oil bread (or something equally nice)
slice prosciutto
slice rosemary sundried tomato ham (or just a really good ham, but nothing sweet)
Comté (any Gruyère will do)
thinly sliced tomatoes
salt, pepper
baby arugula leaves
slice of bread

Just lightly butter the outsides of the bread and grill it one of three ways: panini press (I don't have one of these), on a griddle covered with foil and two baking tiles or stones (my first method), or a George Foreman grill (our second method, which also works very well, though it doesn't really press the sandwich if you're looking for that kind of a result).

So, I'm curious. Have any of you made panini, and what do you put on it? How do you cook it?

Also, I'm headed out of town for a few days. Just me and little Kate (for a wedding), so unless I can convince Mark to write a post, you won't hear anything from me until the middle of next week.


Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

It's no wonder that sandwich presses are so common on the store shelves down here! There's a large eastern european and eastern mediteranean (italian and greek) population down here and now I realise why sandwich presses are everywhere --I always wondered about that...

The way I make my panini (as opposed to grilled sandwiches) is to have the grill hot plate on a very high heat, then turned down to low for a minute. Panino (layered however you'd like with whatever you'd like) goes on the hot plate and the lid closes. A minute or two later, press the panino with a spatula for 10 seconds. Turn the panino over, close the lid, and after a min or two press the panino a second time (or panini if you have several on the hot plate) for ten seconds.

Remove and serve --I like mine piping hot. As you know, the best bread is a thick, herb type bread; lightly buttered on the outside before pressing.

I'm guessing that a sandwich press is not very common up there? I never saw one in Fairbanks, AK; but we weren't exactly on the cutting edge of culinaryism (is that a word???).

Heidi said...

Awww...Kate is so cute! Hope you have had a great time at the wedding and seeing your fam!

Dan Metcalf said...

I make my panini by preheating a heavy skillet on another burner until it's quite hot. Then the sandwich goes into a larger skillet on low heat, aluminum foil on top and lastly the hot skillet. If you want it cooked evenly on both sides the you'll have to flip it near the end of the toast cycle.

A small cast iron skillet would work well for this, but I use my thick carbon steel pan.