I'm lucky enough to have a panini press to play with at home. What I don't have are enough great ideas for how to make more than the usual sandwich.
So when “The Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook” by Kathy Strahs arrived on my desk this week, I was excited to put the book (The Harvard Common Press, $19.95) to good use.
The first recipe to catch my eye: the Spicy Elvis Panini, a play on the peanut butter, bacon and banana sandwiches the King of Rock 'n' Roll once enjoyed.
Strahs writes that a friend introduced her to the idea of adding sriracha Thai hot pepper sauce into peanut butter.
“It's completely up to you just how spicy to make things, but that little kick of heat in combination with the sweet, salty and smoky flavors in this sandwich is definitely enough to get your taste buds 'All Shook Up,'” Strahs writes.
Marsala to try
Ages ago, Robin Rogoff asked for the recipe to make Circles Bistro's chicken Marsala with rice pilaf.
No one handed over the secret stuff, so I found an alternative at Epicurious.com.
Beth Mainello of Tampa wants to make the salad dressing that was made tableside at Tio Pepe's restaurant in Clearwater. She also wants to know what type of lettuce was used.
Susan Stevens wants to make the spaghetti sauce and salad dressing recipes served at the now-closed Gus' Italian restaurants in Tampa.
Eva Ebert wants the recipe for the mixed greens salad with vinaigrette and grilled chicken she used to enjoy at the now-closed El Pilon Restaurant in South Tampa.Spicy Elvis Panini
Makes 4 panini
½ cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
½ to 1 teaspoon sriracha or other hot pepper sauce
4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, at room temperature
8 slices rustic white bread, sliced from a dense bakery loaf
2 ripe bananas, thinly sliced
8 strips cooked bacon
Heat the panini press to medium-high heat.
Mix the peanut butter and sriracha in a small bowl until well combined.
For each sandwich: Spread butter on two slices of bread to flavor the outside of the sandwich. Flip over both slices and spread 1 tablespoon spicy peanut butter on each. Top one slice of bread with sliced bananas and 2 bacon strips. Close the sandwich with the other slice of bread, buttered side up.
Grill two panini at a time, with the lid closed, until the ingredients are warmed through and the bread is toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.Chicken Marsala
1¾ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 fluid ounces)
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (2 pounds total)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons dry Marsala wine
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Bring broth to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan over high heat, then boil, uncovered, until reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 20 minutes.
Cook shallot in 3 tablespoons butter in an 8- to 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until shallot begins to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms, 1 teaspoon sage, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated and mushrooms begin to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
Put flour in a wide shallow bowl. Gently pound chicken to ¼ inch thick between 2 sheets of plastic wrap using the flat side of a meat pounder or a rolling pin.
Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour, 1 piece at a time, shaking off excess. Transfer to sheets of wax paper, arranging chicken in 1 layer.
Heat 1 tablespoon each of oil and butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté half of chicken, turning over once, until golden and just cooked through, about 4 minutes total. Transfer cooked chicken to a large heat-proof platter, arranging in 1 layer, then put platter in oven to keep warm. Wipe out skillet with paper towels and cook remaining chicken in same manner, then transfer to oven, arranging in 1 layer.
Add ½ cup wine to skillet and boil over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, about 30 seconds. Add reduced broth, cream, and mushrooms, then simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons wine and ½ teaspoon sage.
Serve chicken with sauce.
Recipes Lost & Found runs every other Sunday in Baylife. Seeking a recipe? Email [email protected], or write to Jeff Houck, The Tampa Tribune, P.O. Box 191, Tampa, FL 33601.