It’s Panini Doody Time, It’s Panini Doody Time (Again)

Ok, so that doesn’t fit well with the old Howdy Doody theme song does it? But I get credit for trying right?? Right? Cause I’m adorable and all that kind of stuff.

I think it has been noticed by now that I like paninis. I even like the word. It’s fun to say :-P. Not as fun however as Machu Pichu, Beijing and Monkey which are my favorite words.

Why are you all looking at me that way? I’m perfectly normal. Honest. Monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey. *giggle snorts*

Ummm, yeah. I like paninis. What’s weird is that I don’t really care for cold sandwiches. I like the IDEA of them but the reality never seems to measure up. The best part always ends up being the tomato and the mayo. I guess I just don’t like lunch meats much and they are the typical ingredient on sandwiches. I like REAL meat, not something that was formed from chicken lips, cow brains, piggy paws and llama testicles and then soaked in 352 pints of a salt brine. Yes, you can now thank me for helping you to never look at your lunch meat quite the same way.

So when I make a panini, unless I am in a really weird mood and needing a quick sodium lift, I use real meats… real ingredients in general. Tonight I had some duck left over from one I made the other night. I wanted to use it for something a little different and a panini sprang to mind. So duck it was. But can I leave well enough alone?? HA! Come on now, you all know me better than that! So I added Sopressata Italian salami, Havarti and Asiago cheeses and then topped it all off with a quickly put together mango-apricot chutney I spiced up with ginger and red pepper flakes.

This was delicious! You have the rich taste of the somewhat fatty duck, the saltiness of the asiago and the Sopressata, the creaminess of the Havarti, the crispy bread and the sweet spice of the chutney all combined into a major taste explosion. It tastes like something that would cost you ten dollars at a restaurant but is nowhere near that price to make at home. So if you want a decadent treat in sandwich form, give this a try. I think you’ll like it. 🙂 You’ll have leftover chutney. Just put it in a covered container and store in the fridge

Duck, Sopressata, Asiago & Havarti Panini

With Spicy Mango Apricot Chutney

  • 8 ounces sliced cooked duck
  • 4 thin slices Sopressata salami
  • 2 slices asiago cheese
  • 2 slices Havarti cheese
  • 1 jar major grey chutney
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 slices good bread (I used Pepperidge Farms Potato bread)
  1. In a small pot, combine the chutney, preserves, ginger and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and heat over medium heat until bubbly while you make the sandwich. Turn the chutney off when it is heated so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  2. Preheat your panini press.
  3. Layer all of your ingredients except the chutney on two slices of the bread. Spread desired amount of chutney onto the other two slices of bread and make the sandwich.
  4. Cook on the preheated press, pressing down some if needed, until the sandwiches are crispy and nicely browned.
  5. EAT!

Is It Permissable To Marry A Panini?

And what do I do if my husband protests the union? Can we all live in gooey panini sin together?  How do we put the sandwich on our health insurance? And would said insurance cover bite marks in the panini? Can I be hit with domestic abuse charges for the bite marks? I don’t even want to THINK about the issues surrounding procreation and paternal rights!

I like Paninis aka smooshed up crispy sandwiches. I have posted paninis before. Because I like them.


I like.


Or something.

Shutting up now.

I lied. No shutting up.

I, like most people who didn’t live in whatever city they originated in, hadn’t heard of paninis until fairly recently. Maybe 6, 7 years ago? When I was a kid, crispy sandwiches were old fashioned grilled cheese. Preferably served with tomato soup (though I actually had never heard of that either until I got married the first time at 20). Now though, grilled cheese has given way to paninis, which, if we are to be honest, are really grilled cheese with grill marks and fancy ingredients. Not that I mind. I tend to like fancier ingredients on sandwiches. I grew up in the era of Oscar Mayer bologna, processed cheese food (you hear that Chef Dennis? 😛 ) and because I am a product of the Chicago public school system, ham sandwiches on mushy white bread that has been spread with butter. I am shamefaced as I admit to still having a certain fondness for that last one.

But I love paninis. Mentioning that in case I didn’t make it clear earlier. I especially love them with “fancy” ingredients. The following is one I created tonight when I realized I had some Brie I needed to use (I ALWAYS forget it and find it somewhere in the back of the fridge and have to smack myself). I had also bought some white peaches today and had some thin sliced chicken breast to use. Add in some bacon and a couple of other assorted yummies and it made one hell of a sandwich. So go… make this. Eat.

Sourdough Panini With Caribbean Jerk Chicken,

Brie, Bacon & White Peaches

  • 2 slices sourdough bread (preferably the square loaf)
  • 1 tablespoon peach or apricot preserves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced uncooked chicken breast (I used Tysons thin cut chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon (more or less as desired) of your favorite brand Caribbean Jerk seasoning (I used McCormicks)
  • 4 to 6 slices crispy bacon (depends on how gluttonous you’re feeling & whether you’re sharing 😛 )
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced Brie, rind removed
  • 1/2 of 1 white peach, thinly sliced
  1. Preheat the panini press.Over medium high heat, heat a medium (lots of medium here) sized pan on the stove until very hot. Add your chicken slices, doing one at a time. Quickly cook on one side until golden brown then flip over. Sprinkle seasoning on chicken and cook other side until it is brown. It probably won’t be cooked all the way but that’s what you want. It will finish in the sandwich cooking process.
  2. Spread one piece of bread with the preserves. On top of that, layer the brie, chicken, peach slices and bacon.  Slap on (yes, you have to slap it on. Just cause.) the other piece of bread. You can lightly (and I do mean lightly) butter the bread on the outside to increase crispiness if you want but really in panini presses there is usually no need.
  3. Toast…grill…cook…. dry fry… call it what you want the sandwich until it is nice and toasty and golden brown. Cut in half and it will serve two people; one if they are starving to death.

I have NO idea how my camera "messed up" and focused on that bag of cheetos in the background! I plead the fifth!!

Panini AKA Smooshed Up Sandwich


Hey there! Get me a sammich! And don’t forget the beer! Well, maybe a glass of wine or some Baileys. But make it quick! I’m hungry! And thirsty!

Ahhh, shades of my past there lol. Except it was beer and I was on the receiving end of that 😛

Do you ever mentally look back at the younger version of yourself and think “OMG… what WAS I doing? What was I thinking when I did that…said that… LIVED that?” Yeah; me too. Some of the choices I made and those I let be made for me were pretty atrocious.

Many that I can’t regret however. Even with two failed marriages behind me (yes, two… I was young and naive both times though I get along with both exes now; time and maturity heals a lot of wounds plus life is too short for hating) I can’t regret them because of my children. Plus, as cliche as it sounds, you grow from the stupidity. My regrets stem more from choices I made that hurt others. You know what I mean? You don’t get to middle age without having done things that made life difficult for others.

What DO I regret however?

I regret not going to college.

I regret the times I missed with my kids when life was busy because they are the best kids on Earth.

I regret anger.

I regret the time I didn’t buy the strawberry cream filled Twinkies. (C’mon you expected ALL seriousness out of me?)

I regret letting myself be hurt by other, emotionally and physically.

I regret giving up my eleven mile a day walks

I regret times I have inadvertently hurt my husband because he is the best man on Earth.

I regret that I don’t have a better relationship with my stepchildren though I know that is more them than me.

I regret that third glass of wine each and every time I’ve done it 😀

Last (but certainly not least but I had to stop somewhere… ) I regret not having started this blog sooner because it has been a gateway to meeting so many wonderful people. Yeah, I’m lookin’ at YOU over there squinting at your computer screen. Put on your glasses for petes sake!

I don’t however regret inventanating (yes, that is now a word because I again said so. I like having the “Janet Vocabulary”) this panini (aka Smooshed Up Sandwich). It is quite tasty if I do say so myself.

When we grilled last night, I also made some boneless skinless chicken thighs (yes, you can sub chicken boobies in here. I used thighs to maintain moistness if reheated) to try to play with. Ok, that sounds wrong on more levels than I want to contemplate. I wanted to make them so that I had some meat to work with later.

Sigh. I give up.


This is pretty versatile. You could use chicken breast, a sliced up rotisserie chicken, different bread, what have you. The only components you would need to keep the same to have the same basic sandwich is the aioli and the specific cheese (though if you absolutely hate Brie just use another soft creamy cheese). But I’m going to post it the way I made it and the version that my husband gobbled up. Also, if you don’t have a panini press, you can make this in a non stick pan by pressing down hard on it with a heatproof plate using a pot holder. The effect isn’t quite the same but it works.

Grilled Chicken Panini

With Caramelized Onions & A

Sundried Tomato, Basil & Garlic Aioli

  • 2 small grilled boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 sub roll (I used an Asiago cheese one)
  • 2 ounces sliced brie
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup good quality mayo
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  1. Make the aioli- mix the mayo with the sun dried tomatoes, basil, garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice. Refrigerate for about an hour so so to let the flavors blend.
  2. Make your caramelized onions- put your sliced onions in a pan with the olive; stir to coat. Over medium heat, cook the onions until soft and limp. Turn heat to low (about 3 to 4), add salt and slowly cook until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar if using. You’ll have extra onions; just put them in a covered container in the fridge and save for another time.
  3. Slather the inside of one half of the roll with the aioli. Layer on the chicken, caramelized onions and cheese. Put in a preheated panini press and press down hard. I had to hold one side in with the side of a butter knife to prevent it from sliding out at first because it’s a thick sandwich. Press down hard for about 2 minutes.
  4. Take out, slice in half, eat and drip juices everywhere. Write me a thank you note 😀