Welcome back! It’s a new year, so I usually make a big list of resolutions that I intend to stick to but usually forget about come March. This year, I did this exact thing. But, I’m making the vow to stick to them all year. One of them is to no longer neglect Jenna Can’t Cook! I missed it. So I’m here to stay. I’m starving, let’s cook and probably fuck it up.
Today, I went to Goodwill. Goodwill is pretty much the only place you can buy a weird half dog half lady statue along with chili seasoning and somebody’s old pants. All for under 12 bucks. And that is the reason I love Goodwill.
Goodwill blessed me with a panini cookbook today. It had a yellow tag, so it was half off TODAY ONLY. It was only $1.49 to begin with! It ending up being like 75 cents or something! FUCKING GOODWILL PEOPLE.
Anyway, I was inspired. This panini cookbook was a sign (it probably wasn’t a sign I was just looking for an excuse to make something other than eggs and toast for dinner) that I should obviously make some gourmet grilled cheesy delicious sandwich creations.
The problem? I don’t have a panini maker. Or a grill. What makes a panini a “panini” is those unmistakable grill marks on that miraculous crunchy bread. So, my “panini” is really going to be more like a fancy grilled cheese. But, I’m calling it a panini because fancy grilled cheese is way too much to type. Okay?
I actually created the recipe I’m using today in the grocery store. I tend to day dream about food…..
So! That’s what I’m putting in this “panini.”
Now that you have a visual of my thought process, you will be able to understand my quest for “fancy bread.”
Jenna and the Quest for Fancy Bread!
You’re probably asking “What is Fancy Bread?” Well, I asked three different employees and nobody in the grocery store seemed to know what fancy bread was except for me. I found myself wandering around the bread in the bakery section for a solid 20 minutes. Picking up different loaves, poking the crust, even smelling some of them, mumbling “fancy bread” to myself… I was possessed. What I mean by “Fancy Bread” is the kind of bread that has a really good crust and when you toast it, it gets nice and crunchy??? You know the kind of bread I’m talking about. Wipe that look off your face.
I was getting really stressed out because the grocery store had lots of fancy breads, but they didn’t have THE Fancy Bread. I was about to have a conniption in front of the pumpernickel.
Lo and behold, all I was really looking for was Italian bread, but I was so hypnotized by the idea of MY Fancy Bread that I walked past the Italian bread at least 5 times. I ended up buying some Italian bread.
Now that I have my Fancy Bread and the rest of the stuff that didn’t matter nearly as much, WE CAN PANINI!
To clarify, the “panini” ingredients are spinach, ham, mozzarella cheese, store bought basil pesto (which I am lovingly nicknaming basil snot) tomatoes and the almighty Fancy Bread.
Step One: Butter one side of two slices of Fancy Bread!
Step Two: Put the basil snot on the other side of one (or two depending on how snotty you want this “panini”) slice of Fancy Bread.
Step Three: Easy part, layer cheese, spinach, ham and tomato in any way you want. Keep in mind the sandwich has to stick together so make sure you use plenty of cheese. Maybe you don’t have to use plenty of cheese if you don’t want to. But if you know me at all you know I love cheese. So be sure to use plenty of cheese.
Step Four: Get ready to cook!
Step Five: Spray a pan with non stick spray and heat the pan over medium heat. Put the BUTTERED SIDE OF THE FANCY BREAD on the pan! DO NOT PUT THE BASIL SNOT ON THE PAN! Snot will burn. Lesson learned.
Step Six: Dance break while monitoring “panini.” Do not forget about panini. Again, lesson learned.
Step Seven: oh my GOD
This is pretty much the most beautiful sandwich I’ve ever created. I might cry.
The reason the panini is so magnificent is you can put whatever you want in it! BBQ chicken! PB and J! Eggplant, parmesan and zucchini! The souls of children!
Get creative! Panini forth, my friends.
(Is panini a verb now? I guess so.)