Do not call my sandwich a ‘McPanini’!

Do not call this an ‘Egg McPanini’ or I’ll kick you in the bum! This panini is a culmination of all the things I craved yesterday and is not my interpretation of a McDonald’s breakfast sandwich.

The sandwich consists of fresh herbs, cheese, veggies, and eggs on a strong chewy bread. I used my freshly made ciabatta and it worked perfectly. The sandwich turned out to be a whole basket full of adjectives … sweet, savory, soft, salty, crispy, crunchy, juicy, creamy, etc.

And, I love that paninis make for such an easy to make meal, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner! Here’s a photo of my chubby sandwich before it hit the grill:

As you can see, the goal is to slice your bread in half, then begin layering in the ingredients. Paninis do require the use of a sturdy European style bread, so don’t attempt this with Wonder Bread. Ciabatta is the traditional bread for panini and it does work the best.

When layering the panini ingredients, I only have one main rule. I think of cheese as the melty glue that holds everything together as it cooks. Due to this, I place half the cheese on each slice of bread. After this point, it’s a free for all on how you wish to stack it up.

I have a hard time calling a sandwich a ‘recipe’, so here are the ingredients I used to construct my panini:

Breakfast (or anytime) panini
2 eggs
1 green onion
2 slices bacon, cooked
8 fresh basil leaves
4 cherry tomatoes (or a few tomato slices)
6 slices mozzarella
1 tablespoon grated parmesan
1/4 cup roasted red peppers (in oil)
1/2 cup fresh greens (arugula, sprouts, spinach, etc.)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 4″ wide section of ciabatta, sliced horizontally
Salt and pepper to taste

To create the egg omelet, I beat two eggs with a fork and added a chopped green onion. Fry in a skillet until cooked. You can flip it like an omelet or scramble, just try to keep it in a few pieces at most. If you scramble it into small pieces then it will be hard to stack in your panini.

Before closing the sandwich, I sprinkle with salt and pepper, then give a good drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil – about 1 tablespoon. Slap the two sides of the sandwich together and prepare to grill it up.

The secret here is that you don’t need a panini maker. Yes, I have one but let’s face it, this isn’t rocket science. A panini is a pressed, grilled sandwich. You can place the sandwich in a skillet while using another heavy skillet to place on top of the sandwich while it cooks, you can use a bacon press if you have one, or you can even exert force with the back of your spatula.

I preheated the panini maker, then drizzled the top of the bread with a tablespoon of olive oil before shutting the lid. Sometimes, I sprinkle the top with fresh rosemary or minced garlic before closing the lid. I pressed down for 30 seconds to flatten the panini. Juices that aren’t captured by the bread run out and sizzle on the grill — from the sound, you know it’s going to be good. It took about 3-4 minutes to get all melted and crispy. Remove, slice and EAT!

The panini started off as a quick dinner idea last night, but the end result caught me off guard. It tasted so much better than anticipated and that’s why I’m writing about it here. The combination of flavors and textures were gratifying after a long day of work. My favorite toppings are the basil (it’s a must-have) and the roasted red peppers. These two flavors worked so well with the egg and cheese.

Unfortunately, last night’s panini was the last of ciabatta bread. Sad. I need to make a grocery run before I can make any more bread — maybe, I’ll do that tonight, so I can make more paninis!

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Peter M March 5, 2008, 1:56 pm

    Allen, that’s a ‘mo-fo of a panini!

    FYI, I found my useless George Forman grill to make great paninis….phew, I was about to throw it out.

  • a. March 5, 2008, 2:19 pm

    that looks so good! i love eggplant. and i love panini. now i need to go make this. i need a grill press…although i guess i can just fry it a little in a pan but that’ll create too much oil. hmm, i’ll figure something out.

  • Paula March 5, 2008, 3:05 pm

    I’ve heard rumors of George Forman grills being used as panini makers. I really should try that out!

  • Erin March 5, 2008, 3:06 pm

    The “pre-cooked” image with the basil and cherry tomatoes is gorgeous!

  • KC March 5, 2008, 4:27 pm

    My that looks delicious! I sometimes buy a vegetable sandwich (not grilled)from Terra breads that is a bit like yours but now I’ll make my own, using two cast iron frying pans.

  • Allen March 5, 2008, 6:13 pm

    Peter: Hooray — a George Forman saved from the landfill!

    A.: Thank you! Eggplant (and zucchini) is an excellent choice — you’d want to precook/roast it first before putting into your sandwich. I love eggplant roasted with a mix of herbs d’provence, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

    Paula: Sounds like you’ll be heating up the George Forman soon :-)

    Erin: Thank you!

    KC: Thanks! I’m sure it’ll be cheaper (and better) to make them at home. :-)

  • Manggy March 5, 2008, 7:38 pm

    That looks absolutely perfect. It’s almost completely Italian-inspired but I think they would put the egg in unbeaten :) I’ll call it an Egg McPanini because I think I need a kick in the bum, haha! That reminds me, I should take out my sandwich maker as well!

    When you said you needed to do some shopping, did you mean to buy more ciabatta or to buy more flour to make ciabatta? :)

  • Joe March 5, 2008, 8:29 pm

    Manggy – I totally agree with you. I prefer my eggs fried with the edge browned but the omlette last night was very good, too.

  • Allen March 5, 2008, 8:52 pm

    Manggy: Ha! I no longer buy my ciabatta, I make it myself :-) I’m down to whole wheat flour and rice flour … so need to do shopping.

    Joe: Glad to see you reading the blog … and even commenting :-) For those who don’t know, Joe is my other half … the one who has to suffer through all of my cooking (and subsequent mess)!

  • Ben March 5, 2008, 9:06 pm

    Allen, that looks so McDelicious! LOL
    I would like to have a bite of that panini right now. Yums!

  • Kevin March 5, 2008, 9:47 pm

    Whatever you call it, it looks good! And pretty healthy.

  • Núria March 6, 2008, 2:03 am

    Wow Allen! This sandwich was made with LOve!!!!
    This is my first time in your blog but won’t be the last :D

  • Patricia Scarpin March 6, 2008, 7:57 am

    I would never offend such a wonderful creation by comparing it to anything “Mc…”, Allen! :)

    This looks fabulous. I love paninis too (when I was in France, I had so many paninis it freaked my husband out). ;)

  • kat March 6, 2008, 9:25 am

    I agree there is nothing like a homemade panini! I’m so glad we decided to get the press to go with our grill pab.

  • Geggie March 6, 2008, 11:07 am

    I love panini! My gave is simple- fresh mozz with basil, tomato, tapenade and a slice of prosciutto.

  • Anonymous July 24, 2008, 11:57 am

    WOW! That really looks good. I think you’ve done a great job with this site. Keep up the good work.

  • Peter January 22, 2009, 10:00 am

    This sandwich is too beautiful to look at to add ‘Mc’ to it in any way shape or form. It is not manufactured assembly line food.

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