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Roast Beef, Bleu Cheese and Caramelized Onion Panini

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I owe you an apology. I have no idea how I’ve gone through almost a hundred posts without making caramelized onions. I’m so sorry. It was neglectful, thoughtless, and downright irresponsible of me! I’m going to make it up to you today with a caramelized onion photo guide and an easy panini sandwich recipe featuring the sweet oniony goodness.

Yesterday, after baking the first two loaves of peasant bread with rosemary, I decided to bake two more loaves, using honey instead of sugar, olive oil instead of butter, and a bit of sea salt instead of rosemary. Just because I like to play with food. Now we’ve got more bread than any family could need. This leaves me with a few options. I could freeze the bread, but that would take up space, which is at a premium in my freezer. I could try to find a poor wandering cathedral builder and his family to donate it to, but I haven’t seen one of those in years. Lastly, I could make sandwiches for dinner. Sandwiches it is!

The large flat loaves of peasant bread scream panini to me. A panini is essentially a pressed sandwich, often grilled or toasted until hot and melty. You do not need any special equipment to make panini. A heavy pan or foil-wrapped brick will do the trick. You can toast the sandwich in a skillet or grill pan with the foil-wrapped brick on top to ‘press’ the sandwich. Flip the sandwich after a few minutes to toast the other side. Another alternative is to cook the sandwich on an actual grill with a heavy pan or foil-wrapped brick on top. Today, I’ll be wrapping my sandwich in foil, placing a cast iron skillet on top, and baking it in the oven until it’s hot and melty.

You can use any type of bread for panini sandwiches, but something flat and dense will work best. Popular panini breads are ciabatta or focaccia. If you have the time, bake a couple loaves of my peasant bread recipe. It’s easy and delicious! You can fill your panini with any combination of meats, cheeses, spreads, and vegetables. My sandwich fillings were inspired by the leftover bleu cheese I had in the fridge. Bleu cheese got me thinking of roast beef, which led me to the caramelized onions. I’m also adding a bit of shredded mozzarella for flavor balance and extra meltiness.

To see my photo guide on How to Caramelize Onions, click here.

Roast Beef, Bleu Cheese, and Caramelized Onion Panini

Ingredients

  • Roast Beef, thinly sliced
  • Caramelized Onions
  • Bleu Cheese, crumbled
  • Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
  • Loaf of flat, dense bread

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Slice the loaf of bread in half.

Place the roast beef in an even layer on the bottom half of the bread.

Sprinkle caramelized onions on top of the beef.

Sprinkle with bleu cheese crumbles.

Sprinkle with some shredded mozzarella.

Place the top half of bread on top.

Tightly wrap the sandwich in foil.

Place the sandwich on the middle rack of the oven. Place a heavy skillet or foil-wrapped brick on top.

Bake for about 20 minutes. Then, unwrap and enjoy.


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