Monday, January 3, 2011

Caprese Paninis

Happy New Year! It's always so anti-climactic after the holidays end. It was such a fantastic week filled with time for painting, family, friends, and of course, food. We had our neighbors over one night during the holiday break for a last minute dinner. Since I didn't have much time to prepare, I just decided to make something that is on my "regular" menu that I knew were infallible, my CAPRESE PANINIS (along with salad, grilled vegetables and cheddar potatoes). They have become a routine dinner for Scott and I, and I almost forgot how phenomenally and simply delicious they are. Our guests seemed to love them. As I am fairly new at cooking successfully, it is still thrilling when people love my cooking. These are so easy to make, yet so amazing! A few special ingredients like freshly baked bread or basil make such a quick and simple sandwich a treat. I just love these things so much, I wanted to share!

Fresh Mozzarella
Bread- (I found "Portuguese Rolls" at the market that work perfectly, but you can substitute a lot of other kinds of breads, like Italian or Ciabatta bread)
Olive Oil
Fresh Basil
Balsamic Vinegar

Cooking Instructions

  • Cut bread and brush outside of bread with olive oil 
  • Stuff bread with a few slices of mozzarella, tomatoes and 2-3 basil leaves
  • Brush with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • Sprinkle on just a little salt and pepper to taste
  • If you have a panini press, could sandwich on each side on medium heat for 4-6 minutes. I use the Calphalon Panini Press and it's pretty awesome. It's very easy to clean.
  • If you do not have a panini press, you can cook on a large nonstick skillet, and top with another heavy skillet. 
  • You can get creative with your panini and make some additions like grilled chicken or peppers. I do think the beauty of these paninis is the short list of ingredients so each flavor really shines!!

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