Panini Press Files: Spicy Labor(less) Day Sandwich
Lessons learned yesterday:
1. Sandwiches are infinitely better when you call them panini and squish them between two hotplates.
2. It is impossible not to buy cheese from the cute cheese vendor at the farmers’ market.
3. Always listen to a lady who insists you buy these certain wonderful cucumbers. Any lady who cares that much about you or about cucumbers won’t steer you wrong.
4. Horseradish cheese and jalapeno jelly are a win-win combo.
The morning’s weather in Chicago was perfect yesterday. Breezy and sunny and mild. It was a lovely morning to walk around the farmers’ market, even though summer is clearly on its way out. The peppers and the eggplant were nearly past their prime. There were more apples than anything, and even a small batch of winter squash.
I came home and cobbled together this sandwich, er, panino. I have more elaborate recipes to share with you, but it’s Labor Day weekend, and I’m sure that you are as little interested in laboring this weekend as I, even if cooking is among the more pleasurable labors known to man (or, me). So, here’s an ode to feeding yourself creatively, deliciously, and laborlessly on this holiday. Everything but the avocado in this concoction is a farmers’ market item: wheat bread, horseradish cheddar, cucumber, and a fantastic sweet jalapeno jelly that I bought at a farmers’ market in Oakland a few weeks ago. It’s kind of like ketchup doing kung fu. You could use Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce as a substitute.
Spicy Labor(less) Day Sandwich
2 slices wheat bread
salt and pepper
6-8 thin slices of cucumber
1 slice horseradish cheddar
1 tsp. jalapeno jelly
optional: sliced peperoncini
Spread the jelly on one side of the bread and smoosh the avocado into a layer on the other side. You’ll want a nice ripe one in order to do this. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over the avocado. Add the sliced cheese and slices of cucumber, and peperoncini if using. Close the sandwich and pop in the panini press or pan. Grill until the cheese is melted and both sides of the bread are a nice golden brown color.
Serve warm. Then do no more labor for the day. Except maybe for dinner.