I had a DMV appointment with my dad this morning so I was back at my parents' house. I decided the best way to perk up after a long morning in the recycled air of one of my least favorite places was to make a really good lunch. There was half a loaf of stale baguette lying around, as well as some avocados and goat cheese. These gave me the idea of a panini.
The ingredients: I also used half a yellow bell pepper which is not pictured.
The first thing I did was revive the baseball bat masquerading as bread. I splashed it with water. Okay, i ran it under the faucet for a second or two, then popped it in the toaster oven and set it to 350. A few minutes later, when the water evaporated and the bread was hot, I was left with something resembling a fresh loaf of bread! Of course, you could just use fresh bread, but not all of us have that luxury.
Then I minced a clove of garlic and threw it in a microwave safe ramekin thingy. A bowl will work fine. I covered it with a few tablespoons of olive oil and microwaved it for 30 seconds. This essentially makes garlic oil.
I used a fancy silicone pastry brush and brushed it on the bread. Pouring works just as well. Just don't have a pile of garlic. Spread it out a bit. Then i drizzled (read: dumped) some balsamic on too.
Then i layered the bread with some chevre (aka goat cheese), avocado, and sliced bell pepper.
Next I added a handful of spring mix and a good coupla grinds of black pepper. In retrospect, I should have added a pinch of salt too.
Then I grilled it on the panini press I bought my dad one Christmas. Here is where I went wrong. You can't tell, but the bottom of the sandwich is Cajun-style. I heated the pan a bit too much. On my stove this wouldn't be a problem, but on an eighteen BTU (it's hot!) burner, it was. Next time I'll heat it at a lower heat and for less time. But whatever, knives were invented for a reason. You think cavemen didn't have to scrape char off their mammoth chops every once in a while?
And ta-da! a melty, warm, soft-but-crispy sandwich ready for your consumption. Actually no, me and my dad already ate it. But you can make your own!