Saturday, January 5, 2013

Panini Porn

I've been such a slacker of a blogger in the past year that I have a huge backlog of food porn and other cool photos to share. And as I sit here on a Saturday morning, trying desperately not to get sick (it started with the scritchy throat yesterday and I have been in full battle mode ever since), I have been inspired to put something up.

And I'm sorry for this part, dear reader: what I'm about to share with you is something that you simply can't make at the moment, unless you live in the southern hemisphere. You see, I've been inspired by  The Shiksa's History Kitchen post about the history of the sandwich, and I'm going to share with you my favorite kind of sandwiches: panini. But you can't make this particular version in winter, because you need fresh-from-the-farm ingredients.

Here's what I'm talking about -- these photos date back to this past July, when I was recently back from the farmers market, where I'd picked up our weekly CSA share. In the photo below, you see a fresh sliced tomato from Tant Hill Farm, basil leaves plucked from our backyard garden, some cheese from the Sequatchie Cove Creamery, and some whole wheat bread made by Maria at Sonrisa Farm.


That spread on the bread is just some plain greek yogurt, topped with a few grinds of fresh pepper. What you don't see in the above photo are the onions (also from Tant Hill Farm), which were caramelizing in a nearby skillet. But here they are, at the top of the panino, as it's getting ready to go on the panini press (we use a cast iron griddle and press from our nearby Lodge outlet store).


And voila!! Here's a panino, hot off the grill, with a side of sauerkraut made from Tant Hill Farm cabbage (and some expertise from Sandor Katz, a semi local guy who's become a worldwide fermentation guru thanks to his excellent series of books, the latest of which is The Art of Fermentation).


Stay tuned, though! I'll have more to say about the panini in a later post. I've since -- inspired by a number of wonderful cooks, including Kathy Strahs of Panini Happy, and Dan Leader and Lauren Chattman, authors of Panini Express (and the also awesome Local Breads) -- been tinkering with the panino and have come up with my own recipe for whole wheat panini bread that can be cooked on the grill. But more on that later...   ;-)

2 comments:

tut-tut said...

I love the Sequatchie Cove Creamery. And I have a jar of homemade sauerkraut lurking in the back of my fridge. I know this is a post of pix from this summer, bu I can't believe that the Main Street Farmers Market is still going strong in January!

alice said...

I've been very impressed with the turnout at the Main Street Market, even on very cold days. And I'm thrilled that the Tants are about to start up a Deep Winter CSA in a week or so -- six baskets of winter greens and roots that will (hopefully) get us almost all the way through to the spring veggies.

My garden was a big disappointment this winter (last year, it kept me in greens all winter long!), so I'm especially grateful that the pros were able to keep the market going through these short days.