When I can’t bear to actually ‘cook’, a hot panini is one of my favorite lazy dinners. Warm, gooey, melted cheese is hard to resist. This version I whipped up has swiss cheese, pastrami, caramelized onions, and a fried egg right in the middle of it all. Yum!
You don’t have to have a fancy panini press to make these at home. I use my George Foreman Grill for panini’s, and it works great. You could also use a handheld panini press, pared with a nonstick pan or grill pan. Or, if all else fails, just use two cast iron or nonstick pans. Place your sandwich in the larger one, and set the smaller one on top of the sandwich to ‘press’ it (stick a can on top for more weight if needed). If there’s a hot sandwich with melted cheese on the line, I will find a way to make it work!
Pastrami & Swiss Panini:(serves 2) 4 slices rye or dark honey wheat bread 4 slices swiss cheese 2 fried eggs 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced extra virgin olive oil safflower oil salt & pepper butter zesty aoli (recipe below)
Zesty Aoli:3 tbsp mayonnaise 1 clove minced garlic 1 tsp honey 1/2 teaspoon creamy horseradish cracked pepper
Combine the mayonnaise, minced garlic, honey and horseradish for the Zesty Aoili. Mix well and season with cracked pepper. Set aside.
In a nonstick or cast iron skillet, heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and season with salt and pepper. Toss them in the oil and heat until caramelized. Set aside.
Prepare your nonstick or cast iron pan with safflower oil over medium/high heat. Crack the eggs directly onto the hot oil and fry the eggs to your preferred doneness, adding salt and cracked pepper to taste. To assemble the sandwich, spread the zesty aoli on both slices of bread, next add the swiss on both slices, pastrami on both, and finish with caramelized onions on one side and the fried egg on the other.
Close up your sandwich and coat the outside of the bread with a thin layer of butter or oil. Place on the panini press and let the melting magic begin! Remove the panini once the cheese has melted, it is heated through middle, and the bread is toasted to a golden brown.
I couldn’t wait another second to take a bite! The one thing with panini’s is that you MUST eat them while they’re hot! Pair this with tomato soup and you have yourself a perfect week-night meal.