Friday, February 29, 2008

Panini Perfect

Fridays in Lent offer a great opportunity to explore meatless cuisine. If you and your family have not yet tried grilled Panini sandwiches, you are in for a treat. A Panini maker is a great investment and offers the opportunity to turn your mother’s grilled cheese sandwich into a culinary adventure. Your family will love it and making these delicious sandwiches on the Panini maker is a fun way to get the kids engaged in the dinner preparation. Challenge yourself to be creative. Certainly, the melted cheddar cheese sandwich is always a winner but consider some fun alternatives. Pair these options with a warm bowl of your favorite tomato soup and you have a delicious dinner that is destined to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. All grilled cheese sandwiches require bread, cheese and heat. The art is in the details. Always start with fresh ingredients and plenty of butter or olive oil for the grilling. We use the Hamilton Beach panini maker pictured. It has been reliable and is reasonably priced.

Here are some fun suggestions to liven up your grilled Panini!

1. Experiment with different breads.

French or Italian,
Whole wheat,

2. Try different cheeses and fillings

Brie with thinly sliced granny smith apples, or Brie with olive tapenade
Cremini mushrooms, pesto and Fontina cheese
Fontina, mozzarella and asiago topped with grated Parmesan and scallions
Sharp cheddar cheese, chopped fresh basil and sliced roasted red bell peppers
Asian Pear and Gouda cheese

Enjoy your Leap year panini Friday.

Menus tomorrow!



1 comment:

Jessica said...

Nice Julia. I love my panini press as well! My favorite panini is Brie and dried figs, with butter.