Friday, April 07, 2006

Panini - Desi Style!

This is my entry to Anthony's curry mela this weekend!

I had some extra cooked extra mashed potatoes leftover from another meal and was trying to use them up. I was also thinking of something creative to make and I started looking around and found a loaf of french bread that I had bought for some soup. Never got to make the soup (most of the times, I have something in mind when I go buy groceries and then I come home and make something totally different with the ingredients I had bought).

So, I decided to make a desi style panini! A lot of people say that panini is just a fancy name for a fancy grilled cheese sandwich. I feel it is partly true myself. Usually very thin meat and cheese is put as a sandwich between some crusty Italian bread and the sandwich is then put in a panini maker for the panini. A lot of food network chefs do not use the panini maker and make the paninis in their own innovative ways. Although, I am a sucker for kitchen gadgets, there are a few things that I would never - the panini makers and quesadilla makers top the list :). I know a lot of you may disagree with me ;-).

Here's how you jazz up the coarsly mashed potatoes, desi style!

  • 1 cup coarsely mashed potatoes
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced
  • 1 small tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 1/4" inch ginger, finely minced
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp chat masala (I used MDH)
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • One small saucepan for the potatoes
  • Put a small saucepan on medium-high heat. Add the oil.
  • Add the shallots, garlic and ginger, fry until translucent.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, cook until they are slightly soft.
  • Add the mashed potatoes, the coriander powder, chat masala, salt. Stir until everything is blended and mixed together and heated through. Turn off the heat.
  • Add the cilantro and the mint. Mix.

Preparing the paninis

  • 5-6 baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese or small chese slices (I used what I had on hand - a mix of montery jack and pepper jack)
  • One large skillet/grill pan
  • One small skillet
  • One heavy object (read the method below)
  • Cut the french bread into about about 1/2" thick slices. The french bread I used was not crusty so I toasted it on both sides on a grill pan so it became a little crunchy and lost the "softness".
  • Build a sandwich - take one french bread slice put some cheese, a couple of baby spinach leaves, some of the potato mixture and cheese in that order. Top the slice with another french bread slice.
  • Now carefully put that sandwich on a greased skillet/grill pan (I used a grill pan), put a smaller skillet over on top of the sandwich, and put a heavy object on the smaller skillet so it weighs the sandwich down completely - recommendations are foil covered brick, a huge flour/sugar sack, some canned food etc. I used a big flour container I had.
  • Cook for about 1-2 minutes then turn the sandwich on its other side and repeat!
Enjoy them as is or cut the sandwich into 4 pieces so they were bite sized. I did the latter.

After I typed the entire entry, I thought this would make a good entry to V.K.N's cooking competetion. But I haven't decided yet if I am going to submit this or not. It all depends on whatelse I am going to cook up with over the weekend!


RP said...

Looks great. I love fusion cooking. I think I am visiting your blog for the first time, not sure. Glad to see lots of yummy recipes and pictures.

Santhi said...

neat pics and great recipe as usual.
good job L2C and thanks for answering the meme