Believe it or not, these Turkey, Bacon Lattice and Havarti Panini are the first sandwiches I’ve grilled in more than 7 months. I have been waiting for the right inspiration, and I got it this weekend when a fabulous new bakery, Manresa Bread (the first retail outpost for the two-Michelin starred restaurant Manresa), opened near me. I want to devote a whole post to Manresa Bread soon, but in the meantime, just gaze at the gorgeous levain I bought there on Saturday morning:
This levain was better than any I’d ever tasted. It’s my favorite type of bread for panini, because of its chewy density and crusty exterior. I felt like the time had come for me to pull out the ol’ panini press and grill something with this incredible bread.
And there was one more ingredient I was eager to try out on a sandwich…
So many booths, so many dreams! Imagine the world’s largest Whole Foods on a Friday evening…plus sales reps…and speed dating. At the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco on Monday, I was overwhelmed — dizzied, even — by the sheer volume of specialty food products and people looking to buy, sell, package and promote them.
Meeting Nancy Silverton (see above) was definitely a highlight of the show for me. I’ve long admired her success as a chef and businesswoman and was extra proud to let her know that I used La Brea Bakery bread throughout much of The Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook. She actually was at the show to debut a new venture: gelato! I had the chance to try out four flavors of Nancy’s Fancy — my favorite was the Coconut Stracciatella with Bittersweet Chocolate Strands, which is actually a dairy-free sorbetto. The coconut flavor, from coconut milk, was so pronounced and refreshing!
Nancy’s Fancy shared a booth with L.A. Creamery, which had one of the most decadent treats I have dared to taste in recent memory: salted caramel cheesecake sandwiched between two cinnamon-sugar dusted sugar cookies, aka Cheesecake Sammies. Ohhhh my goodness. I took three bites (ok, big bites) of this insanely delightful sandwich before I had to move it away from my own reach. I still had a lot of tasting to do!