*Sorry about the photo…erg.
You will find a theme with me, especially when we are talking about quick, weeknight dinners: many of them are paninied. It is about the quickest way I have found to create a handheld pocket of goodness that you can eat as you are running out the door for your next appointment. Last week I told you about Pita Pizza Paninis and I got to thinking, though I won’t have a bum finger forever, it might be fun to share more of my quick dinner ideas.
Often when I get home from work midweek and have another activity scheduled that I have to go to I don’t want to cook. This can frequently lead to eating out. Not only is this taxing on the budget over time, it is taxing on the waistline as well. So I have developed many quick dinners that take a little pre-planning, but only a little time to execute the night of.
The key with this dish is to cook up the chorizo ahead of time, it only takes about 15 minutes to cook up a pound of it and throw it into the refrigerator for use all week. If you are feeding more mouths, you may need to scale the weight up, but for two people, this will tide us over with a plethora of chorizo laden dishes all week.
Chorizo Wraps. (makes 4 wraps)
2 medium/large potatoes, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces and boiled for 10 minutes
1 T olive oil
Your choice of veggies, chopped (I like to use whatever is on hand like red onion (1/4 cup), a little zucchini (one small one), and green cabbage (about 1/2 cup shredded))
4 oz cooked Mexican style chorizo
2 eggs, scrambled
1/2 C shredded cheese
Preheat your panini pan.
Throw all of the ingredients, except the eggs, cheese and tortillas into a sauté pan heated over medium-high heat with olive oil. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to get an even seer on everything. Turn off heat and mix in eggs. Scoop one quarter the ingredients onto each tortilla, top with cheese, fold and panini until golden brown.
Serve with cilantro, arugula, sour cream and hot sauce.
As a side note, if you cook up rice or other whole grains at the beginning of the week to use in dishes this would be a great dish to add it to and you could save time not having to cook up the potatoes. You can also skip the panini part to cut down on the time a little…we just really like to panini stuff!
What do I cook when I don’t feel like cooking? All kinds of creative stuff! Since I injured my finger I have not really felt like cooking, it is just too much effort. And as much as the hubs helps, it is more work instructing him than it is to struggle through doing it myself. I guess this is me telling you that I am not teacher! So we are making quick weeknight dinners. Last evening we made this easy, out of the fridge dish that can be adapted to fit your desires.
Pita Pizza Paninis. (serves 2, just multiply by the number of mouths you are feeding)
2 flatbread pitas
1/2 C of shredded cheese
2 T pizza sauce
a handful of your favorite toppings (we used pepperoni, red onion, olives, and artichoke hearts)
Preheat panini pan. Spread one tablespoon of sauce on each pita. Place 1/4 cup of cheese and half the toppings over the sauce. Fold the pita in half and panini until golden.
While I am on the subject of comfort food these days, it reminds me that while most comfort foods are gravy based….not all of them are. Sandwiches are one of my most beloved foods. Keep in mind this is composed foods. My favorite stand-alone foods, in order of nearness to my heart are 1. Cheese, 2. Mushrooms, 3. Crab. However, sandwiches take the cake for being the best whole dish or meal, and of course as the most perfect vessel, a sandwich can, and should contain at least one of my top three favorite foods at all times.
The other most wonderful thing about sandwiches is that they, like pizza dough, tortillas, masa, potatoes or any other blank canvass medium, are one of the easiest vehicles for getting food into the mouth. You can make a sandwich with just about anything. They are as nutritious as you want them to be, or perhaps they are not, perhaps they are your dessert, containing marshmallow fluff and Nutella!
Sandwiches are also quick. Today was the first day this week we have been home before 10pm. It was also the first time we have mowed the lawn! So after getting a little post work workout in and not feeling motivated to cook a whole lot we needed something easy, fairly quick, and delicious. Pizza paninis it was!
This was such a delightful mouthful. Sure it required some slicing and some cheese grating, but those are relaxing tasks that I enjoy. There was no slaving over a hot stove or standing in the kitchen for longer than 20 minutes. I think I could just panini anything! Have fun, be creative!
Sliced artisan bread (2 pieces per sandwich)
Granulated garlic and dried oregano
Shredded cheese (we used mozzarella and parmesan)
Toppings of choice (we used pepperoni, sausage, green peppers, black olives, red onions)
Slather as much sauce as you would like on each slice of bread. Sprinkle with garlic and oregano. Put half of the cheese on one slice of the bread. Pile on the toppings you want, taking care to keep the surface level.
Top with the rest of the cheese and other slice of bread.
Cook on a preheated panini pan, medium if using the stove until desired doneness.
Last week we had some sausage biscuits for breakfast at a local bakery. The biscuits were amazing and buttery and made you want to eat more and more and more. The idea was awesome, the sausage was more like a burger than an accoutrement to the larger and greater good. It was good, moist, and delicious, but it overpowered the biscuit, cheese and egg enough that I removed it from the sandwich.
That said, the hubs thought we should try this one out at home…and so we did. We used the Como bread from the same bakery that had the original on hand! The bakery is called Grand Central Bakery and it wonderful and all over Portland and Seattle. Their Como is amazing, a standard artisan bread, but oh-so-much better and as described by the bakers themselves, “an Italian-style white with a golden, nutty crust and chewy interior”!
This recipe is for two sandwiches.
1/2 lb bulk breakfast sausage (I used sage pork sausage)
4 slices artisan bread (use the highest quality you can find)
4 slices cheddar cheese
2 T chives
Set out bread slices and place one slice of cheese on each slice. Form the sausage into patties that replicate the shape of your bread. Cook patties in sauté pan over medium heat and remove from pan when no longer pink. Place patties on one slice of bread for each sandwich. Keeping pan at medium heat, crack eggs into pan and cook over easy. Cook the eggs in the sausage fat, or remove with a paper towel and use cooking spray. Sprinkle half of the chives over the eggs while they cook. Put one egg on each sandwich. Sprinkle the rest of the chives over the sandwich sides.
Preheat panini pan over the medium heat of the burner. Put the sandwich sides together carefully, so as not to break the yolks. Place on the panini pan and put down the lid. Take care not to push to hard as the weight of the lid will crush the yolks on their own. Cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side (depending on how hot your burners are).