Pepperoni & Olive Panini Sandwiches
By Shannon O'Donnell
One of the 'problems' you take on once you get married is that you've acquired too much of a good thing...all of those fancy food processors, blenders and ice cream makers that you just HAD to register for during the dizzy bliss of your engagement tend to gather dust in the cupboards, post-nuptials (that is, if you end up having ROOM in the cupboards for them at all). While I still don't drag out the food processor very often, I HAVE found a pretty sweet use for my waffle iron.
Rarely does it encounter any breakfast batter, but it DOES come in handy when making panini. Who needs another $90 pressin-style grill from Williams Sonoma when you probably already own one? A waffle iron works JUST as well as any panini press for making these trendy toasted treats...your grill marks will be patterned a bit differently, but your hot sandwiches will be just as delicious!
I love panini sandwiches, but my little boys turn their noses up at most of the more 'adult-friendly' fillings. However, it you make the sandwich look and taste more like an 'inside out' pizza, chances are that your kids will enjoy these as much as mine do. You can use any pizza fillings you like, but here is the recipe for a classic version with pepperoni and black olives (based on a recipe featured in Country Living Magazine in May 2010).
PEPPERONI & OLIVE PANINI
8 slices of sourdough bread
Brush waffle iron with olive oil to prevent sticking, and heat the iron to medium heat. Spread a thin layer of pizza or spaghetti sauce on the 8 slices of bread. Top four of the slices with pepperoni, olives, cheeses, and salt & pepper. Make four sandwiches using the remaining slices. Press sandwiches individually in waffle iron until cheese melts and bread reaches desired golden color. Cut and enjoy!
When she's not forecasting, Shannon O'Donnell enjoys putting together tasty, season-appropriate meals and goodies for her friends and family.