Thursday, March 31, 2011

EMERGENCY DINNER FROM THE PANTRY

Tonight I came home expecting to have stuffed cabbage rolls for my dinner.  I'd thought ahead enough to take the package of rolls out of the freezer where I'd parked them several weeks ago when I made them, but for some had reason totally forgot that they were uncooked.  So when I opened the package while cooking up a potato for mashing, I realized something was terribly wrong.  The cabbage rolls were still raw.  Ooops!

So back in the fridge they went until tomorrow when I may or may not remember to put them into the slow cooker on my way of the house in the morning. The potatoes are cooked so just need reheating and the process of mashing can pick up where it was interupted today. 

The problem then was what to fix for dinner NOW. 

A deep look into the refrigerator netted the chipotle cheddar cheese and a fig spread that I purchased last week from West Point. Along with a few slices of deli ham and some good bread I decided to try a new combination.  The gal behind the cheese counter at the store mentioned that she used the Chipotle Cranberry Cheddar with ham to make a terrific sandwich so I determined to take that a step or two further.  The panini I ended up with turned out wonderfully and I'll remember this in future.  I'm not naive enough to think that anyone reading this will have this same combo of ingredients hanging around, but if you happen to please give this a try.  You won't be sorry.

FANCY HAM AND CHEESE PANINI
The amounts used here are totally up to your tastes.  Just don't get too heavy handed or the sandwich will take too long to heat through.  The fig spread lends a sweetness to this panini and the chipotle cranberry cheddar gives it a bit of a bite. 

2 slices bread
fig spread or fig preserves
chipotle cranberry cheddar cheese
deli ham

Heat a panini press or heavy skillet over medium-high heat.

Spread a thin layer of fig spread or preserves over one slice of the bread. Cover with a layer of deli ham. Cover the ham with thin pieces of the cheese. Cover with the other slice of bread. Drizzle the outside of the sandwich with olive oil and cook on the press or skillet until the cheese begins to melt and the bread is toasted golden brown.



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