Peppers, Stuffed Peppers

Peppers, tomatoes, squash, zucchinis; all things that can be stuffed with greatness and made to perfection on the panini.  Like many of my recipes, this one is extremely versatile.  Stuffed peppers I thought originated in Spain, ‘pimientos rellenos’, however I’ve learned that many countries and cultures have their own variation of the stuffed pepper.

India- Bharwan Mirch

Arabic- Dolma (kousa, sometimes called mahshi is stuffed squash– and it’s amazing!!)

Mexico- Chille Relleno

Greece- Yemista

Egypt- Mashi Phil-Phil

Romania- Ardei Umpluti

USA- Stuffed Pepper

 

My recipe for the panini version of a stuffed pepper:

Ingredients:

Yellow, Green, Or Red Bell Pepper

Breadcrumbs

Olive Oil

Egg (optional*)

Chopped Onion

Chopped Zucchini

Salt

Pork Sausage (optional*)

Chopped Mushrooms

 

Assembling:

1. Wash the pepper and cut off the stem end of the pepper (the ‘hat’) to save for later

2. Clean and remove the seeds

3. Rub olive oil and salt on the outside of the pepper

4. In a bowl combine the desired ingredients

5. Fill the pepper and grill on the panini

6. Have something at the bottom of the panini to catch the juices that will ooze out to pour over the pepper when it’s finished

7. Grill on the panini for 8 minutes

8. When finished, take off and pour the sauce over it

9. For presentation purposes, but the hat back on top

 

*Breadcrumbs and eggs are added to thicken the stuffing

*If you are using meat, cook the meat on the panini before mixing with the other ingredients

 

Raid your fridge and see what you can incorporate into your stuffing with these suggestions:

-Mexican: combine cheese, tomatoes, chorizo, bread crumbs and top it with salsa and sour cream; serve on a bed of shredded lettuce

-Meat Lovers: combine pork sausage, chorizo, mushrooms, mix in your favorite cheese

-Cheesy: combine ricotta, marscapone, feta cheese and breadcrumbs

-Veggie: combine chopped/shredded zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, spanish onions, and garbanzo beans

-Asian: Water chestnuts, bok choy, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, tofu, and chopped peanuts (or meat of your choice)

 

Don’t you just love versatility 🙂

 

Enjoy,

Sani

 

 

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Ratatouille

One of my favorite movies is Ratatouille, not just because I’m a foodie, because it’s just the greatest.  The title was clever, the plot was cute, and the location was perfect.  The ambiance and theme made me absolutely fall in love with this movie.  This also sparked my interest in Ratatouille…  What exactly is Ratatouille and how can this be made in a panini?

Ratatouille, which I assumed was French, actually originated from Occitania.  Occitania is a historical region in southern Europe which includes Monaco, parts of Spain and Italy, and the southern half of France.  This dish is a small representation of each these regions.  Usually, this dish is prepared by cooking each vegetable by itself and then layering it.  Over time, this dish has adapted to many different versions and methods of making.  The most modern approach to making ratatouille is by grilling it, which is how this relates to Sani Panini…

Ingredients:

Small Eggplant

Zucchini

Spanish Onion

Tomatoes

Garlic

Peppers (your preference of red or green bell peppers)

Olive Oil

Salt

Basil

Assembling (salad or layers):

1. Peel the eggplant

2. Cut the eggplant and zucchini into thin circles, relatively the same size

3. Drizzle olive oil and salt over the eggplant and zuchinni

4. Grill on the panini for 2 minutes

5. While they are grilling, start cutting the peppers and onions in slices and then cut in half.  So that the length of the peppers and onions are similar to the diameter of the zucchini and eggplant.

6. In a bowl, mash the garlic and add peppers, onions, olive oil and salt

7. Take the eggplant and zucchini off of the panini and add the peppers and onions for 2 minutes

8. Cut the tomatoes into slices (doesn’t matter if you are using cherry tomatoes or regular tomatoes)

9.  Take the peppers and onions off and cook the tomatoes for 1 minute

10. You can add all the ingredients to the panini now, just to warm them up, but leave the panini open

11. Chop some basil

12. Take all ingredients off of the panini and either mix together in a bowl with the basil OR you can layer them on a plate

*If you are making this into a salad, you can cut the veggies into thick cubes rather than slices.  I also like adding a touch of balsamic, just a little!!

**This makes great for leftovers!  You can add this into your eggs in the morning, or fry an egg and place on top.  You can also eat the salad cold, room temp, or hot.  While layering the veggies is best hot!

Enjoy,

Sani

Vegan Panini

For all you Vegans and Vegetarians out there- I have a great panini for you! This recipe includes a major flavor booster: hummus!   My favorite type of hummus is one with extra lemon and lots of garlic.  Hummus is extremely easy to make.  It simply consists of using a food processor to blend garbanzo beans, lemon, tahini, garlic, salt, olive oil, an optional jalapeño, and paprika for looks!  If you are unfamiliar with the ingredient tahini, it is a grounded sesame seed paste that originated from the Middle East.  On the other hand, store-bought hummus is also a great option because of the various flavors!  You can leave it as is or make it your own by adding more lemon, crushed red pepper, etc.  Roasted garlic, jalapeño, and roasted red pepper are amongst my personal favorites.

Depending on your tastes and veggies you want to add into this panini, you can alter the type of hummus you use too!

Ingredients:

Your favorite vegan bread or lavash wrap

Any hummus you’d like

Lettuce (or Spinach or Arugula)

Cucumbers

Tomato

Red Pepper

Onion

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Assembling:

1. Cut and clean your red pepper and onion into slices

2. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper

3. Grill on the panini for 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables become tender

5. Cut tomatoes and cucumbers into slices

6. Wash and chop lettuce

4. Spread hummus on both slices of bread or lavash wrap

5. Add the grilled red pepper and onion to bread or lavash

6. Add cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce

7. Wrap your lavash or add your second piece of bread

8. Grill in the panini for 3 minutes

9. Cut in halves and then serve

The colors in this panini are fantastic!!

Enjoy,

Sani

TIP: Before adding the veggies inside the sandwich, grill them on the panini to enhance their flavor!

Salad Panini

Salad? On a panini? What??  Usually the response I would expect to hear, but after reading this post I’m hoping you all would reconsider.  A salad on a panini is actually very delicious! 

Ingredients for Salad:

Romaine Lettuce

Bacon

Olive OIl

Salt

Pepper

Assembling the Salad:

1. Take slices of bacon and grill on panini

2. Once it’s the desired texture (firm, but not too crunchy) take it off the panini

3. Cut the romaine length-wise, right down the middle to form two large pieces

4. Lightly spread olive oil to the open, face-side-up of the lettuce

5. Sprinkle with salt and peper

6. Grill on panini until warm and when the lettuce gets those nice grill marks

7. Meanwhile, crumble the bacon

8. Take lettuce out and put on a plate

9. Drizzle dressing on top of the grilled lettuce, then add the crumbled bacon on top of that

 

Dressing:  Most dressings would work great with this, homemade or pre-made.  Depending on your dressing, you could add different types of cheese.  Caesar is a great option, with parmesan cheese.  Or a balasmic dressing with bleu cheese, or even just a simple bleu cheese dressing.  The opportunities are endless!!

 

Enjoy,

Sani