March 14, 2011

Is There a Panini in the House?

The Maine House has received a dinner request from the Texas boys! "Help! We need an easy, breezy, but healthy dinner that can be served fairly quickly for those busy weeknights!" Work schedules, after school activities, soccer practice, golfing, and baseball games for five people in the household, in addition to homework projects
seem to leave precious little time to be creative in the kitchen. Well, precious....take out your Christmas gift of the Breville Panini Duo and these ideas should make it easy to whip up a yummy dinner ya'll can enjoy on those late weeknights!! These are pretty tasty when served with a side salad of fresh veggies and fruit!

Ham and Gruyere Panini
2 T. butter,  room temperature
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
8 (1/2-inch) thick slices country-style white bread
1/2 cup whole-grain mustard
2 cups shredded Gruyere
8 slices Black Forest ham

In a 12-inch skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the apple slices and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are slightly soft, about 4 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes.
Preheat a panini press. Spread each bread slice with 1 tablespoon mustard. Arrange 1/4 cup of cheese on each of 4 bread slices and top with 2 slices of ham. Divide the apple mixture evenly on top of the ham. Add the remaining cheese and cover with the remaining 4 bread slices. Grill in the panini press until the cheese has melted and the tops are golden and crispy, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Salami Mozzarella Panini
cup sundried tomato paste
2 large slices panini bread
10 slices genoa salami
1/4 cup fresh buffalo mozzarella
1/2 cup marinated mushrooms (in vinegar  garlic)
1/2 cup roasted yellow peppers
1/2 cup fresh spinach
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Spoon the sundried tomato paste evenly on both pieces of panini bread. Place salami evenly on one slice. Lay mozzarella slices on top the salami. Slice the mushrooms and place on the mozzarella. Place the roasted peppers and spinach on the mozzarella cheese. Drizzle well with the extra virgin olive oil. Place the second slice of pita on top and grill in Panini press until golden brown. Cut sandwich in half.

Tuna Melt Panini
2 (6-ounce) cans tuna in water, drained
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh spinach leaves
tabasco sauce
garlic and herb spread, (I used Allouette)
Slices of Swiss, Provolone or American Cheese

Gather your ingredients for your tuna fish and combine them all in a small bowl.
Then its time to assemble the sandwich. I bought herb loaves I found at SuperTarget. They are so delicious especially when used for paninis. I slathered a garlic and herb spread that I just love on both sides of the bread.

Layer half a slice of swiss, provolone or american (your preference) cheese, tuna fish, the other half of your cheese, spinach leaves, and sprinkle with tabasco sauce.
Once the sandwich is fully assembled place the top of the bread on top and slice a teaspoon of unsalted butter. Cut that in half and place half on bottom of sandwich and the other piece on top. Close panini griddle and allow it to cook.
A nice golden crispy crust and melted insides should be the result.

Chocolate Strawberry Panini
1/4 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (Nutella)
12 slices pound cake, each 1/2-inch thick
6 fresh strawberries, hulled and very thinly sliced
Butter-flavored cooking spray
Heat a panini grill to medium heat, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Spread the chocolate-hazelnut spread over one side of all of the pound cake slices.
 Arrange the sliced strawberries over 6 cake slices.
Cover with the remaining cake slices, chocolate side down.

Spray grill with nonstick spray and grill each panini until the pound cake is crisp and golden and the filling is warm, about 2 minutes. Cut each in half and serve.

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