Fresh Off the Grill

Jul 3, 2014

We’ve been doing a bit of traveling lately, which means lots of highway driving, and eating lunch on the run. A quick stop for a sandwich fuels both driver and navigator for the rest of the trip. Although sandwiches are not my usual choice for the midday meal, they are easy to pack in a cooler and simple to eat.

In contrast, my husband, just like Dagwood of the Blondie comic strip, loves a good sandwich. Building the layers of meat, cheese and dressing unleashes the culinary creativity in some folks, and makes for wicked good eating! The recipe for Smoked Rabbit and Brie Panini was his inspiration.

Panini is the Italian word for “small bread”, referring to a sandwich or roll. Here in the United States, a panini sandwich is typically grilled between 2 hot surfaces on a “press.” Although you can purchase a panini press from glossy cooking catalogs like Williams Sonoma, a waffle iron or a flat top with a bacon press work just as well.

Thin slices of bread work best as they brown evenly and nicely heat the fillings. We used pieces of a focaccia baked by Yellow Birch Farm and sliced them in half horizontally. The smoked rabbit was from our farm, but smoked chicken or turkey would be equally delicious.

The flavor key to this sandwich is the smokiness of the meat combined the richness of the cheese and highlighted with a fruit sauce. Sliced fresh strawberries would be good, and for those that enjoy spicy food, try a hot pepper jelly.

Now that I’ve enjoyed this type of sandwich, I’m intrigued to try some other combinations. Fresh basil leaves with grilled veggies and goat cheese, Greek shrimp with pesto and tomatoes, spicy tuna with spinach and cheddar…..what’s your favorite combination?

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