Thursday, August 5, 2010

Poor man's panini

My sister-in-law is coming for dinner tonight. And, wouldn't you know? Our heroic Lincoln Street re-paving team is working overtime, getting ready for the Big Pour this weekend.

Unfortunately, unbeknownst to those of us planning to eat Salade Nicoise on the patio tonight, getting ready for the the Big Pour involves one final sand-blasting of the street -- all 12 blocks or so. It's like sitting smack-dab in the middle of a Saharan sand storm right now

Oh, and it's 91 degrees out at 6 p.m.

So, of course in the midst of all this, I had an inspiration: What better night for mini-paninis -- cooked on the grill? Don't ask me what street sand-blasting has to do with paninis. It just does.

So here are Poor Man's Paninis, if you will:

Fake aioli (mayo, pre-minced garlic from a jar - hey, cut me some slack: It's 91 degrees outside and I'm in the middle of a sand storm -- and a spritz of lemon juice). Note: Please ignore the lemon's sad state of affairs -- it was used for zest the night before.

Left-over duck prosciutto from Sante. I get weepy just thinking about this.

Left-over (sensing a theme here?) Fontina cheese

Left-over Artisan Bread (I used whole wheat, but I think the traditional white bread is crispier when toasted. But then again, who isn't?)

A dash of sand-blasted street dust (optional)

Spread two sides of bread with aioli, assemble sandwiches, close 'em up and brush with olive oil (I actually mixed the olive oil with the little bit of aioli that left over. Hah! Waste not, want not, I always say.)

Plunk on the grill and cook till bread is toasted and cheese melted. I used our panini press for effect. A good, healthy, sustained squash with a spatula would work just as well.

Nosh as you grill the ahi tuna and assemble said salad.

Oh, did I mention? The Poor Man's Panini fulfills your daily nutritional requirements for street dust. Sweet.

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