Friday, February 3, 2012 / 46 Comments / , ,

Panini Party: Winter Edition

The Super Bowl. Everywhere I turn people seem to be chattering on about it. I have to admit, I could not care less about the Big Game. Are you still reading? Or have you furiously slammed your laptop closed at that blasphemous statement? Okay good, you're still with me. I have absolutely no clue who is even playing, but I'm pretty sure it's football. On the upside, I'm all for any occasion to get together with friends and eat. And I always loved those Budweiser commercials with the Clydesdale horses. Do they still run those commercials for the Super Bowl? 

Although I'll probably take the girls swimming, or bake cookies, or do something a toddler and preschooler would find more enjoyable than football this Sunday, I thought this the perfect time to share one of my favorite easy dinner "recipes" - Panini Party night. It would be great Super Bowl fare.
The secret is that everyone creates their own panini and therefore everyone is happy. A panini bar is made by assembling ingredients on a platter with a loaf of sliced bread. I even have B (4) make her sandwich and then I grill it for her. It's a big step up from the average grilled cheese, but still very little work, and some veggies can even be sneaked in. Great for busy nights and for cheering soccer tennis football fans. What are your plans for this weekend? Are you making anything special for the game?
Marina's Panini: fig jam, pears, white cheddar, arugula. 
Our panini bar was filled with winter ingredients: pears, avocados, prosciutto, sage, fig jam, arugula, onions, and white cheddar. In the summer I would use tomato, basil, zucchini... 

Extra fillings? Use them to top a salad. 

Panini "Recipe" 

Sliced bread
sliced cheese 
pesto, fig jam, etc. (optional)

Assemble sandwich. Heat grill pan over medium heat, or heat a panini maker if you have one. Brush  outsides of bread with olive oil. Grill until panini has golden brown grill marks and cheese has melted.

Go...... Team!
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