Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pear and Brie Panini

I am lucky enough to enjoy the "chore" of cooking.  Something even non-chefs can enjoy, though, is cooking with your comrades.  Grab a beer, a glass of wine, or an ice cold chocolate milk, and share the responsibility.  Everyone has a good time, and if the food tastes rotten, it's everybody's fault!

Some friends recently invited us over to cook dinner with them.  They are both FABULOUS chefs, with specialties ranging from coffee cake to seared tuna.  Anyway, this time they had a killer idea for heating up cold dinner.  I am still dreaming about this meal.

Without further ado, hot, hot, hot dinner...

Pear and Brie Panini
Serves: 4

4 ciabatta rolls (or your favorite bread), sliced in half
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped fine
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces brie cheese, softened
2 cups arugula
8 thin slices pancetta
3 pears, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper

Preheat panini press.  Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small skillet.  Saute onion with rosemary, salt and pepper (to taste) until softened, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, spread each slice of bread with softened brie.  Top one slide of bread with arugula.  Layer two slices of pancetta on top of the arugula, then sprinkle with sauteed onions.  Top onions with pears.  Place the second slice of bread on top to close up your sandwich.  Grill sandwiches in your panini press until the rolls are crusty and the cheese is melty.

If you don't have a panini press:

  • Wrap sandwiches in foil and bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.
  • Use your George Foreman grill just like you would use a panini press.
  • Place sandwiches in a heated skillet.  Put a heavy pot on top of the sandwiches to weigh them down.   

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