Have I ever expressed to you how much I love our panini press? It is one of my favorite appliances of all time. When you own a panini maker, it’s like you’re eating at Panera every day. We go through phases where we use this brilliant piece of machinery every day. And then it finally gets put away (I’m afraid it is stored as far from the kitchen as possible in our apartment, as we only have one closet), and we don’t think to drag it out again for a month or so. But the weeks that we remember we own a panini press are awesome.
This was one of those weeks.
I felt inspired by a block of Gruyere cheese in our fridge (left over from a delicious pasta recipe that I’ll share with you someday…). I always like to say “Gruyere” in a sort of whisper with an accent. Partly because I want to sound fancy, and partly because I don’t really know how to pronounce it. But it is quickly becoming one of my favorite cheeses. And what pairs well with cheese? Apples. And what pairs well with apples? Red onions. And what pairs well with everything? Bacon.
So, with a fresh loaf of wheat berry bread from Whole Foods (on which I am currently enjoying a peanut butter and jelly sandwich), I combined all of these awesome ingredients for a meal enjoyed in the backyard. It is my belief that all food tastes better when eaten outside on a beautiful day. Really, everything is better when you’re outside on a beautiful day. Except for bugs. Bugs are much worse. Last night’s dinner did leave me with two bug bites.
Anywho, back to the panini. It’s awesome (but what do you expect when bacon is involved?). I recommend serving it alongside a champagne mango, which is my fruit obsession of the moment. And I do mean obsession. I bought 6 of these little guys yesterday. They are that good.
- 2 slices wheat bread
- freshly grated Gruyere cheese (you can find a block of it in the fancy cheese section of the grocery store)
- 1 apple, thinly sliced (you'll have leftover pieces to snack on)
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 slices thick cut bacon
- Turn your panini press (or skillet, if you're lacking the tools) on medium heat.
- Cook your bacon (I cooked mine in a skillet over medium heat) and place on a paper towel-lined plate when finished.
- On one slice of bread, sprinkle grated cheese. Top with apple slices, covering the whole slice of bread. Add your red onion slices (as few or as many as you like, depending on your taste for onions). Add your bacon. Top with more grated cheese.
- Put your sandwich together and place in your panini press. Cook until cheese is melted and bread is browned. Cut in half for easy eating.
We’re always looking for new panini fixings around here. Any ideas?