Thursday, October 18, 2012
Rustic Farm Panini
As a child, some of my favorite memories occurred right in our kitchen. It's where my mom would make her simple spaghetti with peas, where my dad would bring in a massive bouquet of flowers that he gathered from our yard, and where my brother and I would usually do our homework in the evening.
I remember cold, rainy October nights in our kitchen; our family's collective energy low, lulled to a slow pace by the steady rain outside. It was nights like these that my mom would make us grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. She would put me in charge of cheese duty (I almost wrote "I would cut the cheese..."), making sure to slice it in the perfect width. I loved watching the cheddar melt and ooze from in between the bread, sizzling when it met the pan. I liked my sandwiches plain- no ham, nothing.
We'd reconvene at our little, round table in silence, preoccupied with eating our sandwiches and sipping our soup. There's something so satisfying about a hot bowl of tomato soup and a warm sandwich. It became our family's comfort food.
The sandwich that I am going to share with you is supposed to evoke those same feelings as I experienced when I was young: ultimate comfort in food form. Save this one for a rainy day, you'll be glad you did.
Rustic Farm Panini
1 loaf Italian or potato bread
1 package of applewood smoked bacon
2 oz. basil leaves
1 dozen eggs
1 bar creamy Havarti cheese
5 tomatoes on the vine
Heat 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a panini press, or pan, over medium heat. In a separate pan, begin cooking the entire package of bacon. When completed, set aside on a plate and cover with a paper tower.
When bacon is cooked, fry the eggs in a pan. You can cook them how you prefer: sunny-side up, over easy, etc. I prefer my eggs cooked completely so I cooked them over medium.
Meanwhile, layer basil leaves, sliced havarti cheese, and sliced tomatoes onto a slice of bread. Finish by layering a piece of bacon and the fried egg. Cover with another slice of bread and transfer to the panini press. When crispy, flip and heat the other side. When the cheese is visibly melted, remove from heat.
Repeat for as many sandwiches as you need/want!