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Friday, July 8, 2011

Basque Style Panini

Feel like grilling those vegetables on the BBQ outdoors?   Yeah, me too.   Tonight we put together a yummy Basque style Panini using Basque Chorizo, Cotija cheese, grilled vegetables and an olive salad.   Now are you interested ????    Well this is what I did…

You will need:

4 or more hard crusted rolls
4 or more links from a package of Basque Chorizo ( I used Falls Brand)
3 – 4 ounces from a package of Cotija Cheese  ( I used Cacique)
3 skinny zucchinis – thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper – thinly sliced
1 large red onion – sliced and wedged
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Coarse Ground Salt to taste
Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
1/3 cup mayonnaise
½ cup chopped Spanish olives
½ cup chopped black olives
3 Tablespoons Butter
1 Tablespoon Garlic Seasoning ( I use Johnny’s)

You will want to prep your vegetables about an hour before you serve your Panini’s.   So let’s start there.   Rinse and pat dry the zucchinis and bell pepper.   Slice thin and place in large bowl.   Then cut your onion in half and cut each half into two wedges.  Separate the pieces and toss them in the bowl.   Pour the E/V Olive Oil over the vegetables and season with the salt and pepper -  toss until well coated.

Pre-Heat your BBQ grille.

Next, slice about 4 or more of your Chorizos in two – down the middle.

Place the vegetable mixture in a BBQ grilling container.   Place on the bottom rack of a pre-heated BBQ.   Cook on medium-high.   Toss frequently to insure the pieces on the bottom will not burn.   About 5 minutes into this process place the sliced chorizos on the top grille.   Continue the cooking process for another 5 minutes.   Turn the chorizos and continue to turn the vegetables.   Remove the Chorizos as soon as they get a grill mark and start to get an oily top.   You do not want to over cook them or they will be tough and dry after the extra warming when the Panini’s are cooked.


When the vegetables are a little charred and tender remove them as well.
                                            ***

Pre-heat a Panini press.   While the press is warming, chop the black and Spanish olives.   Place in a small bowl and top with the mayonnaise.  Stir until well blended.  


Next, melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave oven.  Mix with a Tablespoon of Garlic Seasoning.  Then slice your bread rolls in half from top to bottom.  Brush the outside of each with the butter mixture.   Place on the Panini and bring down the press.   This will pre-flatten the top of the roll so when the sandwich is assembled it will be more manageable.


Next, assemble your Panini with the vegetables, chorizo, and cheese - placing the olive mixture in the middle.


Lay your assembled Panini on the grille vertically.  This will help keep the top grille flat rather than tilted over the Panini.   When you turn the Panini after cooking for about 3-5 minutes, you can then place it horizontally.   This will give you cross marks and also an even cooking.


Remove when both sides have a toasted finish, and the cheese is melted.


Place on a plate and allow it to rest for nearly a minute before cutting.   Serve with some of the grilled vegetables on the side with a dollop of the olive mixture and an herb garish (I used sage and rosemary)

    Enjoy!!!


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