Thursday, January 29, 2009

Superbowl again....

So I continue to muse on the Superbowl. I'm back to the Paminti Brothers and their gi-normous sandwiches. I am not rethinking huge slabs of bread or french fries in the middle of the sandwich. I am thinking panini. Panini - Paminti sounds close don't you think?

Several years ago, Josh gave Jen a panini press for Christmas. That started a panini fest that went on and on. The permutations and combinations evolved and they became a frequent player in what Jen and Josh called Diamond Dinners. Every other week, they invited friends to their home for a potluck. Jen and Josh would create the central dish and folks were invited to bring their contribution. I think it was panini potluck because they offered breads, meats, cheeses a variety of condiments and people could express their culinary creativity. Sometimes there was just another family. At other times about 26 or more. Picture cozy home, welcoming couple, happy little boys and greetings for anyone who wanted to come. Kids playing upstairs and parents creeping up the stairs to check when the noise level from above dropped to nothing. Lots of laughter and warmth and creating a family from people whose families were often far away. Delicious and fun, combining conversation, laughter and cooking.

Lee and I aren't having a potluck but I've been investigating some worthy options. I have some prosciutto and home roasted chicken. I have olives and garlic to make a tapenade. Perhaps some roasted peppers or roasted eggplant with a quick tomato sauce. I'll pick up some cheese - fontina, or gruyere - and some special bread at Dorothy Lane Market's Artisan bakery. I don't have a panini press but I do have a grill pan and after I place the panini on the grill pan I'll take a small skillet and place it on top of the panini with a large can in the skillet to weight it down. The panini trick is to grill the sandwich slowly at a lower temperature to build a nice crust on each side and long enough to allow the cheese to melt in the panini. I think about 8-9 minutes on each side.

I'll forego chips but will make a slaw with brocolli slaw, green onions, shaved fennel and some dried cherries. To dress the slaw I'll make a rice wine vinegar dressing that is simply rice wine vinegar with a bit of sugar or honey, a touch of garlic and a little salt and pepper. I can make the slaw after breakfast and let it marinate in the fridge until we eat. I'll make the Oh Henry Bars Saturday so all we'll have to do is figure out the paninis, assemble them, spread a light coat of unsalted butter on the bread and toast on my home made panini press. I will sprinkle some toasted sunflower seeds over the slaw just before serving.

We're ready to celebrate!


  1. One of the foodies on the Food Channel uses a grill pan with a brick wrapped in aluminum foil as a panini press. Menu sounds fab....wish I could come!

  2. what michelangelo did for sculpture, you do for food.....