Actually, just kidding, this is probably one of the first things I made.
So, I have pretty much moved around my whole life, and as a result there are certain songs, scents, and foods that remind me of certain places and times in my life. One such food that reminds me of the summer I moved back to the Bay Area looking for a job is this.
I lived in India for a few years (gasp) and though it was fun and amazing and a life adventure and I learned about life and myself and family yada yada I was bored at work. So, I decided to head back home to Cali Cali Cali and find a job. Luckily for me, I have a family that tolerates me and will love me for me and they said I could stay with them and I love them for that. While I was looking for a job, I stayed at home with my lovely Aunt and Uncle. You will most likely hear lots about said Aunt because she is an A-Mazing cook. Honestly, her home cooked Indian food singlehandedly is the reason I like and crave Indian food.
Thing is, she has two boys, and they were/are two growing boys. I’d say her cooking and style of entertaining has been heavily influenced by Europe since they lived there for a few years. Whenever she hosts you can be sure to find a beautiful cheese platter with amazing bread. But coming back to the Paninis. One way for her to make sure that the boys had their vegetables was soup. Spinach Soup, Tomato Soup, Celery Soup – soup soup soup. But, along with the soup would be amazing signature dishes. One such dish was the Panini. I don’t think I ever realized the worth of a panini press until I started eating those paninis.
If you make this for someone, they will fall in love with you. I have made them for roommates, and friends and they have fallen in love with me (all over again)
Trader Joe’s Pan au Rustica – you can try other bread but honestly, I can’t speak for that bread
Pesto – because it’s the besto
Red Sauce – I use Trader Joe’s but I’m sure any will do
Fresh Mozzarella – can’t stress the importance of FRESH cheese more. If you use the generic Sargentinos or Kraft stuff I can’t speak for that panini.
Crushed Red Pepper – because come on
Panini Press/George Foreman Grill
– Cut the bread into about 2 inch slices – and slice that in half
– Apply pesto to both sides of the bread and a dollop of red sauce onto one side
– Place cheese on bread
– Sprinkle or douse with red pepper flakes (based on taste) and cover
– Apply butter on both the top and bottom slices of bread and place in Panini maker
– Anticipate when it’ll finally be ready (when there are marks on top)
– Enjoy and fall in love, or be fallen in love with