Sunday, 13 July 2014

Mushroom, Caramelized Onion and Swiss Panini

I don't know about you but where we live there has been a ridiculous amount of rain this year.  After the winter we had to endure we were hoping for 4 solid months of great BBQ'ing weather. 

Sadly, this overabundance of rain means that, in the Baking Bookworm house, BBQ'ing is put on the proverbial backburner.  We are diehard grillers (or at least lovers of grilled foods) but seeing Brad donning his big yellow rain suit with rain pouring down on him just so he can grill up some chicken breasts or hamburgers tugs at the kids and my heart strings.  Not enough to get my own sorry butt outside (let's not be silly!) but I do feel for my guy. 

Because we don't want Brad washed away in a torrential downpour we've often opted for more easy yet yummy suppers of sandwiches with sides of soup and/or salad.  A hearty 'sammy' and a great side dish are great substitutes for a big meal.  And while I do love a traditional grilled cheese sandwich now that I have my Panini maker we often opt for a fancified version of the iconic sandwich.

This sandwich has three of my favourite things: mushrooms, caramelized onions and Swiss cheese!  Just the idea of these sandwiches made my kids' noses wrinkle up (they are mushroom and onion haters) but it was realllly tasty for Brad and I.  And the upside is that we didn't have to share any with the kids.

Mushroom, Caramelized Onion and Swiss Panini

2 tsp butter
1 medium onion, sliced
8oz white button mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter, softened
3 tsp Dijon mustard (optional)
4 pieces of bread (preferably thick-sliced)
butter for spreading on bread
1 1/4 cups Swiss cheese, grated

Optional additions that I wish I would have added: chopped baby spinach, baby kale

In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tsp butter and saut√© the onions and mushrooms.  Add brown sugar and cook until they are no longer crunchy and onions are opaque.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Meanwhile, heat your Panini grill to medium-high heat on the Panini setting.  Butter one side of each piece of bread.  If you choose, spread the Dijon on the unbuttered side of two of the pieces of bread.

Place two pieces of bread on your Panini maker (or do one at a time) butter sides down.  Sprinkle some Swiss cheese onto the bread, top with mushroom mixture (and baby spinach or kale, if using) and more Swiss cheese.  Putting cheese on either side of the veggie mixture will help keep all the onions and mushrooms in place when you're eating it!).  Top with the two remaining pieces of bread (Dijon side down/buttered side up) and close the lid of the Panini press.

Cook until tops of the bread are golden brown.  Allow paninis to sit for a few minutes.  They will be hot!  Cut in half and enjoy with a green salad or soup.

Note: Here are some links to other easy sandwich ideas from my blog ...

Simple Stromboli
Totally Tricked Out Tuna Salad Sandwiches
Chicken, Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas with Avocado Sour Cream

Source: The Baking Bookworm

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