Quick and delicious panini sandwiches

June 11, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Discover the recipes for three delicious panini sandwiches you can make in less than 20 minutes. Marisa Churchill, "Top Chef" alumna and executive chef of Napa Valley's G.L. Mezzetta, shares these recipes.

Recipe: Mezzetta? Cuban Panini
Active Time: 15 min
Total Time: 20 min
Serves: 1

  • 2 slices French bread (1/4" thick)
  • 2T. honey mustard
  • 1/8c. Mezzetta? Brand Deli-Sliced Jalape?o Peppers
  • 1/8c. Mezzetta? Brand Deli-Sliced Mild Pepper Rings
  • 1 slice Swiss cheese
  • 1 slice fontina cheese
  • 2 slices black forest ham
  • 1 slice roasted pork
  • Mezzetta? Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pre heat the panini grill according to the manufacturer's instructions. Place one tablespoon of mustard on to each slice of bread. Sprinkle the peppers evenly on top of the mustard. Place the slices of cheese on top of the peppers, and top the cheese with ham. Press the sandwich together and brush a light coating of olive oil on to the slices of bread. Place the sandwich in the panini grill and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese has melted.

Recipe: Mediterranean Panini
Active Time: 15 min
Total Time: 20 min
Serves 1

  • 6" piece of foccaccia (plain or rosemary, sliced ?" thick)
  • Mezzetta? Brand Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Mezzetta? Brand Julienne Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • 2 slices mozzarella
  • 1 slice fontina
  • 1/4 cup Mezzetta? Brand Marinated Artichoke Hearts
  • 1/8 cup Mezzetta? Brand Roasted Red Bell Pepper Strips
  • 1/8 cup Mezzetta? Brand Pitted Calamata Olives (cut in half)
  • Fresh basil

Preheat the panini grill according to the manufacturers directions. Brush the inside of the foccaccia with olive oil, so that a thin layer is coating the inside of the bread. Sprinkle the sun dried tomatoes on top of the bread. Place the cheese on top of the tomatoes. Top the cheese with the artichokes, peppers, and olives. Place 4-5 leaves of fresh basil on top of the vegetables and press the sandwich together. Lightly brush the outside of the bread with additional olive oil. Place in the panini machine and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the bread is crisp, golden, and the cheese has melted.

Mezzetta? Kicked Up Turkey Meatball Sandwich
Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 20 min
Serves 4

  • 1/2 c. Mezzetta? Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 C. prepared turkey meatballs
  • 1 jar Mezzetta? Napa Valley Bistro Pasta Sauce?, Tomato Basil
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 4 soft sandwich rolls
  • 1/2c. Mezzetta? Deli-Sliced Hot Jalape?o Peppers
  • 4 oz. provolone cheese, sliced

Preheat oven to 400?F.

Heat 1/4 c. olive oil and prepare turkey meatballs according to package directions. Add Mezzetta? Napa Valley Bistro Pasta Sauce? and simmer on low.

While meatballs are cooking, slice onion and cook in a skillet on medium high heat with remaining olive oil until edges are caramelized.

Open sandwich rolls and place on a baking sheet. Place onions on one side of the sandwich rolls. Place Mezzetta? Jalape?o Peppers on the other side and top with provolone cheese. Heat in oven for five minutes, or until cheese melts.

Remove pan from oven and add turkey meatballs to sandwiches. Serve with remaining sauce.

Spanish-Style Grilled Cheese
With Smoky Paprika Roasted Pepper & Tomato Topping
Active Time: 10 min
Total Time: 20 min
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices French bread
  • 3 cups shredded Manchego cheese
  • 4 oz thinly sliced Serrano ham or prosciutto

Smoky Paprika Roasted Pepper & Tomato Topping:

  • 1 cup Mezzetta? Brand Roasted Red Pepper Strips
  • 1 cup Mezzetta? Brand Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Mezzetta? Brand Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoons Mezzetta? Brand Crushed Garlic
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro

Directions:

For Topping: Whisk together vinegar, paprika, 1 tablespoon Mezzetta? Brand Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Mezzetta? Brand Crushed Garlic in bowl. Add Mezzetta? Brand Roasted Red Pepper Strips, Mezzetta? Brand Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and parsley (or cilantro); tossing to coat.

For Sandwiches: Sprinkle 4 slices of bread with half the cheese. Top with Smoky Paprika Roasted Pepper & Tomato Topping and ham. Apply the remaining cheese as another layer. Top with a second piece of bread and press together.

Brush sandwiches with remaining Mezzetta? Brand Extra Virgin Olive Oil and heat in a panini press or skillet until lightly browned on both sides and cheese has melted. Serve hot.

Celebrity chef Marisa Churchill teams up with Napa Valley's G.L. Mezzetta
Accomplished "Top Chef" alumna becomes the company's Executive Chef

(PRESS RELEASE)

Specialty food producer G.L. Mezzetta has hired Marisa Churchill to serve as the company's Executive Chef. Recognized in the San Francisco Bay Area for her work at acclaimed restaurants Rubicon, The Slanted Door, LuLu, Ame and Yoshi's, Marisa adds an impressive culinary background to the G.L. Mezzetta team. In addition to her solid experience in the kitchen, Marisa is also well-known for competing in the second season of Bravo's "Top Chef."

"Marisa has a unique blend of experience, passion and creativity. She is an ideal fit, and we are delighted to include her as part of the Mezzetta family," says Jeff Mezzetta, company president and a fourth generation Mezzetta.

Previously working as a consulting chef for G.L. Mezzetta, in her new role as Executive Chef, Marisa will oversee all of G.L. Mezzetta's brands and ensure the company's specialty products, sauces and marinades are continually produced with exceptional flavor, quality, and consistency. As an executive chef would do in a restaurant, all Mezzetta products will receive Marisa's stamp of approval. Furthermore, Marisa will help innovate new recipes using Mezzetta products as ingredients, and make sure consumers understand the many ways Mezzetta products can be used in everyday dishes.

"I love to create innovative flavor combinations using healthy and seasonal ingredients; it is part of my heritage, just as it is for the Mezzetta family," says Marisa. "I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with my Greek grandmother, and from a young age learned to cure my own olives, make homemade breads and pastas, and a cook a wide variety of Mediterranean dishes. Mezzetta's authentic products include many of the ingredients that give the Mediterranean diet its heart-healthy fame, making it especially easy to create a tasty - and wholesome - menu."

G.L. Mezzetta's many varieties of olives, roasted peppers, pasta sauces and other specialty items offer convenience to busy lifestyles, while also adding freshness and flavor. In addition to traditional Mediterranean specialties, Marisa will develop a variety of approachable and enticing recipes that reflect a global influence.

"We take pride in offering consumers high-quality, delicious products, and in her role Executive Chef, Marisa will continue to expand the options for home cooks to create exceptional combinations and flavors." says Mezzetta.

About G.L. Mezzetta:
With a tradition that began in 1935 in San Francisco's historic North Beach, G.L. Mezzetta is a specialty food producer best known for being America's favorite brand of domestic and imported peppers and olives. Now based in the culinary capital of the Napa Valley, the G.L. Mezzetta family includes four distinct brands which represent a wide variety of regional culinary specialties made from wholesome, quality ingredients and authentic recipes. Based on a rich Italian-American heritage spanning four generations, G.L. Mezzetta is committed to delivering flavor, convenience, and value to today's health-conscious consumers.

For more information, visit www.mezzetta.com


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