Monday, November 22, 2010

The Home Cook: Swiss, Ham & Spinach Panini

What's this?!? A new post!

Tonight kicks off the intensive preparations for Thanksgiving at our house. It sounds a little crazy to start cooking on Monday, but Tuesday is knit night and many things must be accomplished between now and Thursday morning. And since I don't like to spend ALL DAY cooking on Thanksgiving, I make almost everything a head of time...mostly so I can watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in peace.

So while I make brine, jellied cranberry sauce, potatoes, rolls, pie and the like over the next three nights, I also still need to feed myself and the husband. It's unfortunate that our kitchen is so small or I'd just stick him with the nightly task of getting us fed, but we're not that fortunate. It's not really a two person kind of kitchen, or possibly, I'm just bad at sharing my work space. But lets not get picky. And since I'm not the only person in this conundrum, I thought you'd like to hear about what is going to save my butt tonight.

Panini - the single best invention to hit the sandwich since cheese. We eat pressed french dips, grilled cheese, grilled rubens, tuna melts, sliced ham and smoked cheddar, cranberry and turkey and many many others. Lately I've been on a swiss, ham and spinach kick. For me the secret is to grill the sandwich then add the baby spinach. I cannot abide the texture of wilted greens and this splits the difference. The heat of the sandwich warms the greens but not enough to make them clingy and disgusting. Best of all? I can have supper cooked and eaten in less than 30 minutes, leaving time to work on all those Thanksgiving 'To Dos'.

Swiss, Ham and Spinach Panini

Thinly sliced home style bread (farmer's bread, sour dough or ciabatta)
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
Thin sliced swiss or baby swiss cheese
Shredded or thinly sliced ham
Softened Butter
Baby Spinach

Heat stove top grill pan and press top or panini press to medium heat.

Spread an even layer of mayonnaise on one slice of bread and an even layer of pesto on the other; top one side with a slice of swiss cheese. In a small bowl warm ham in the microwave, drain and pat off any liquid. Top cheese with ham and press on top of sandwich. Butter one side and place in grill pan or press butter side down. Butter top, press sandwich with even pressure with the press top or in the press; grilling each side until golden. Remove to a plate and remove top of sandwich and layer with baby spinach. Replace top, slice in half and serve.

1 comment:

Mariah said...

Yesterday I made buns and pies. Tonight is cheese ball and I think we're set for things to take to Grandma's. I'm glad it is out of the way.