I came across this recipe in my March 2012 issue of Cooking Light magazine. Since it’s Lent, I’ve been looking for a few new meatless meals to add to my arsenal. I can only eat so much seafood during this time of year (sad, isn’t it?). I made this tonight and made a few slight adjustments, based on what I had in the house today.
Manchego & Mushroom Paninis – adapted from Cooking Light
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 clove minced fresh garlic
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 2 (8-ounce) package presliced cremini mushrooms (also known as ‘baby bellas’)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 8 slices sourdough bread
- 6 ounces shaved Manchego cheese
- Cooking spray
- 1 garlic clove
1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add shallots, thyme, garlic, and mushrooms. Season with salt & pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and liquid almost evaporates, stirring frequently.(You may think, what liquid?! After about 5 minutes, the mushrooms begin to release water.) Add vinegar; cook until liquid has almost completely evaporated.
2. On four slices of bread, place some pieces of cheese, followed by the mushroom mixture and a few more pieces of cheese (try to make all 4 pieces as even as possible). Top with remaining bread slices.
3. Coat a grill pan or both sides of a panini press with oil. Grill the sandwiches, two at a time, until each side is golden brown & cheese has melted. *If using a grill pan, place a cast-iron or heavy skillet on top of the sandwiches so that they flatten.*
4. When sandwiches are done, rub the top and bottom of each with the garlic clove.
Manchego & Mushroom Panini, with sweet potato fries on the side
After dinner this evening, Mike asked me if I would save this recipe, to make again. While my husband does enjoy most of the dinners I prepare, it’s not very often that he asks me to save one.
This dish was very easy to prepare – an added bonus for if it had been a long day for the both of us. I also liked how much flavor the mushrooms had. The bread was nice and crisp, without being too greasy; we bought the bread from a local baker and sliced it on our own, to keep the loaf as fresh as possible. The garlic oil (from rubbing the clove on the warm bread) was a nice touch as well. This sandwich was enjoyable and I’m looking forward to making it again!