Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Portabella & Smoked Gouda Homemade Panini's - Panini Press Not Required!

Let me start off by saying I am against sandwiches for dinner, I don't know what it is but I hate the idea. I am however, okay with having breakfast for dinner, circular logic, yes, I know. 

Something about having a sandwich for dinner takes me back to grade school when I would have a turkey sandwich with a mustard happy face packed in a sandwich bag for lunch. Definitely not good enough for dinner. But these panini's may just be, they are so creamy, rich and delicious. A perfect sandwich, that I can   admit (with little guilt) I had for dinner. 

The best part? No expensive, heavy panini press required! 

Serves 2
First split two Ciabatta rolls in half, through the middle. 

 Next you will need both Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs spread and Italian Mascarpone cheese.

Mascarpone is a delicious Italian Cream Cheese that is to die for! I LOVE Mascarpone.

Spread the Boursin Cheese mixture on both sides of the rolls, then spread the Mascarpone cheese over that.

The Boursin cheese may be hard to spread so I like to do that first, the Mascarpone is easily spread so it seals in the Boursin.

With a damp towel clean two large Portabella Mushrooms and slice off the stems.
If the mushroom is too thick you may want to slice it into thinner strips (through the middle, horizontally) for faster cooking.

You will need cheese, I used smoked gouda here but you can use Mozzarella as well. I used two slices of smoked gouda per sandwich.

I love the mushroom mozzarella combo, it is classic and delicious!

Assemble your sandwiches. Pile the mushrooms then the cheese and top with freshly sliced tomatoes.
You can also add fresh basil and red onions if you like.

Coat a nonstick pan with olive oil on medium heat.

You will need another, smaller pan. Make sure the bottom of the pan is clean, wash if necessary and set aside.

Place your assembled sandwich in the pan, top with the clean pan and add a heavy canned good in that pan to weigh it down. This can and pan will act as your "press".

This is a balancing act so take your time to make sure the items are balanced before stepping away from the stove.

Your sandwich should begin to flatten. To help the process along press down on the sides of the pan with the palm of your hands (and pot holders, of course).

Remove your "press" and flip sandwich over when browned.

Repeat the process on the opposite side

Remove from heat when cheese has melted and mushroom is cooked through.
 Serve hot.

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