Posts Tagged ‘fontina cheese’

Chicken & Bacon Panini with Sun Dried Tomato Aioli

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Our first wedding or engagement gift of any kind was a panini press that David’s mom picked up for us. It’s cast-iron/enamel, similar to this one. We actually use it quite a bit. Often, our panini are just glorified grilled cheeses (and there’s nothing wrong with that!) but last time, I created something a little more special.

Chicken & Bacon Panini with Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli

For each sandwiches:

  • Two slices of good quality bread (We like this sourdough)
  • 1 tablespoon of whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato aioli (recipe follows)
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced deli or leftover chicken breast
  • 2 slices crispy bacon
  • 1 ounce fontina cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 ounce sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil

1. Preheat a panini pan and press over medium high heat.

2. Spread one slice of bread with the aioli. Top with fontina cheese, followed by chicken, bacon, and cheddar cheese, in that order. Spread the remaining slice of bread with mustard to complete the sandwich. .

3. Brush the outside of the sandwich (both slices of bread) with extra virgin olive oil.

4. Place in panini pan and top with press. The sandwich is done when the bread is crisp all around and the cheese is melted all the way through. Slice in half and serve immediately.

Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli
Makes enough for 4 sandwiches

  • 1/4 cup of mayonaise
  • 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes (oil packed), drained
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Turn on your food processor and drop garlic cloves into the bowl through the feeding tube to chop. When the garlic has been minced, scrape down the sides andadd the other ingredients. Pulse until combined, about 10 times.

Italian Stuffed Peppers

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Bell peppers are not my favorite vegetable. I’ve gone most of my life avoiding them completely. No peppers, no onions was a kind of motto of mine.

Then, while visiting David’s family in Wisconsin, I was tricked (TRICKED!!!) into eating bell peppers on a salad. They were red peppers, and they were diced like tomatoes, and I didn’t realize my mistake until it was too late. Only…I kind of liked them! Go figure.

Roasted red peppers followed, first in a dish at the Olive Garden, then in the form of hummus. And once in this roasted red pepper aioli I made, but I guess that’s another story. Even though I’ve eaten Pepper Steak for a long time, I’ve picked around the peppers themselves for as long as I can remember. But as it turns out, David likes peppers a lot, and sometimes, you learn to like things for someone you love. I guess.

Stuffed Peppers seemed like something David would really like, and that’s ultimately why I started making them. I mean, I’m happy with the insides, and when it’s a whole pepper, it’s easy enough to pick around the pepper. Even Leah, who shares my general dislike of all things pepper has become a fan of these. I find myself liking the peppers a little more each time, though, so I suppose eventually, I’ll eat the pepper themselves, instead of treating them like a bowl or wrapper. Probably not just yet, though.

Italian Stuffed Peppers

  • 4 large bell peppers, cleaned, with the tops cut off and the seed pod removed. (We usually use green, but red was on sale this time around)
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup of rice, prepared according to package directions (Brown rice is what I prefer, but use what you like, even if that’s instant)
  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 6-8 ounces of cheese, either shredded or thinly sliced (think white, Italian, and melty, like provolone, mozzarella, or fontina. Again, use what you like.)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add sugar and bell peppers and cook until peppers soften at the very edges but are still firm and crisp throughout, about 3 minutes. Remove from water and place into a baking dish with deep sides.

2. In a large skillet, brown ground beef over medium high heat. Drain beef and return to skillet. Add spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, italian seasoning, and garlic, and cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble.

3. Turn heat to low and add prepared rice. Stir to combine. Scoop the beef & rice mixture into the bell peppers, filling them completely. When we have extra of the filling, I put it into the baking dish around the stuffed peppers, but the amount left over depends on the size of the peppers I use.

4. Once in the baking dish, cover the peppers and any remaining filling with the cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes, until the filling is hot all the way through.

Note: I like the cheese to get crispy, but if you don’t, you can bake the peppers without cheese, and add the cheese for just the last 10 minutes. If you want to go crazy with the cheese, you can sprinkle parmesan over the top as well. I call these Italian Stuffed Peppers, because those are clearly the flavors I use, but I’ve heard of Stuffed Peppers being made more like meatloaf (think breadcrumbs and ketchup) or with cheddar cheese. All I can say is I like them this way, and so do David and Leah. If you like green peppers on your pizza, I’m sure you’d like this dish as well.