My Special Panini Sandwich

( I have finally returned home and I am in no mood to cook anything except my special sandwich. My vacation has made me temporarily lazy and joyfully dumb. I will be eating out for awhile still. But I have gotten some new awesome recipes that I will “eventually” be trying out and will post them if they turn out good. So until then, below is my favorite sandwich that I have been eating for almost 10 years. )

My condiment mixed in a ramekin:

Squirt of lemon
Mayo
Pesto
Original Dijon mustard (from Dijon France)
Hot sauce
Cream cheese
Puréed garlic
Pepper

Building the sandwich:

I spread the condiment on both pieces of cut sour dough at 3/4 inch thick slices from a dome loaf.

I fry 4 strips of bacon in a pan with a dime sized dot of olive oil. Then after the bacon is done. I fry turkey (in the bacon grease) in shreds with a pinch of salt to caramelization. Then I roll two “cold” slices of ham-off-the-bone deli slices together (in the form of a tight cylinder) and section cut them in quarter inch slices.

I evenly place all the meat on the bottom slice of bread.

I then take 2 quarter inch thick slices of marinated mozzarella cheese that has marinated in olive oil, sprigs of rosemary, sun dried tomatoes, onion powder, basil, chipotle peppers and Italian seasoning for two or more days in a Tupperware container, and place them on top of the meat.

I place 8 FRESH full leaves of spinach on top of the cheese.

I then close the sandwich.

From here I put it in my panini maker. But not before I spray my homemade seasoned butter oil (that I keep in a generic spray bottle) over the exterior of both slices of bread so the sandwich doesn’t stick to the panini maker.

I wait just a few minutes until the cheese starts to melt over the edge of the bottom slice. Then I take it out and consume.

(This sandwich I eat ONCE a week or 2 weeks. (For reasons of my health.) It is one of my DEEP pleasures that make my culinary life worth living. I have been making this sandwich for almost a decade and will never get tired of it.)

Warning: this sandwich will make you gain TONS of weight if you do not regularly exercise. I have first hand knowledge of this… Well… first, second and third to be literal.

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Small Dish of Absinthe Delight

1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup whole milk
2-1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin dissolved in 2 tbsp of water
1-1/2 tbsp absinthe
Your favorite berries for serving

In a medium saucepan, combine the cream with the milk and sugar and bring to a simmer. Now take off the heat, whisk in the gelatin and absinthe.

Strain the mixture through a fine
sieve into a pitcher, then pour into six
4-ounce ramekins, bowls or small deep valley dishes. Press a piece
of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the puddings and refrigerate until set, at least six hours. Serve with your choice of “fresh” berries.

Now prepare for a trip to heaven… or hell; depending on if you are being naughty I guess. 😉

(side note: I had an idea after all of them were consumed… If you are feeling adventurous, you could sprinkle a thin layer of sugar over the top of one of the puddings as they are ready to be served, then quickly torch the sugar to a light caramelization, like a brûlée.)

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