Artichoke, Salami and Fontina Panini
Post #6 in the Serious Sandwich Cookalong
Wandering around the same four grocery stores that I have been going to for more than a decade and feeling a little bit lost because I’m looking for an ingredient that I’ve never used before is becoming the norm in my cook along project for “Emeril’s Cooked-Up Sandwiches.” My naiveté sometimes surprises me. Looked up “fontina” to figure out what it tastes like in case I couldn’t find any. Turns out that Trader Joe’s has it. Etc. The rest of the ingredients were pretty obvious. The vinaigrette used on this sandwich was simple and very tasty. Fresh herbs make all the difference.
The recipe called for using a “panini press” but I don’t really have one. I decided to try it with my usual go to press when I’m doing sandwiches: a waffle maker. It’s a little bit intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll love it. Emeril, if you’re out there, I hope you approve of my little tweak to your recipe. I think the picture validates the process myself.
The trick to using a waffle maker as a sandwich press is to avoid making your sandwich too big and to turn the sandwich around the other way about halfway through the cooking. When you turn it around, you need to get the holes/ridges in the sandwich lined back up with the waffle iron. It’s pretty simple. You just push the flipped around sandwich around until it locks into the waffle pattern. If you don’t switch the sandwich around, you’ll get kind of a sloped thing, or that’s what I suspect happens anyway.
Fontina, salami, and marinated artichokes make an amazing combination, especially with balsamic vinaigrette. Try it, you’ll like it.
Sandwich 3 in the cook along project
For my first “Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches” post, I dug out the mixer and made brioche. For the second, I used our trusty old blender to make French onion dip. I suspect that this blender was a wedding gift *to* my parents, but it still works even though most days it gathers dust. For this sandwich, the “Rachel” I broke out my mandolin to slice all of the stuff for the slaw. This book is proving to be an adventure!
A Rachel is kind of a healthy cousin to the Reuben. It’s also one of the very first recipes in the book. It looked simple enough, bread, Swiss cheese, sliced turkey, Russian dressing, and slaw. Leave it to Emeril to kick it up to notches previously unknown! The dressing was made from scratch (I posted a pic of most of the ingredients) and so was the slaw (also posted an ingredient pic).
I learned that jicama isn’t too hard to find, but a chayote, or merliton, is more difficult. That’s the pear looking thing on the right in the slaw pic. More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chayote Basically, it’s in the gourd family and is slightly sweet. It’s a native of Brazil but it is grown in many places in the Americas now.
The Rachel itself was excellent! I had one the next day and it seemed even more delicious. Perhaps the flavors in the slaw had a chance to get to know each other better, who knows.
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30A EATS is Cooking with Emeril Lagasses’s newest Cookbook Kicked-Up Sandwiches and Giving away a copy this week! Check out the Chicken Salad #SeriousSandwich!
Roast Beef Sandwich with French Onion Dip and Crispy Shallots
This one is from Emeril’s new “Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches” book. It is TASTY! The french onion dip is pretty easy to make and could be done a few hours ahead of time. The shallots are covered in hot sauce and then breaded with flour before being briefly fried. In my opinion, the french onion dip could easily be augmented with things like chives or maybe rosemary, or thyme if you are so inclined, but it is great as is.
I would dare say that it is a perfect sandwich for serving people while watching a football game. You could make the dip ahead of time and then fry up the shallots at halftime right before serving. It goes well with a nice lager. I know because I tested it myself.