Are you as jazzed as I am for the new season of “Top Chef”?! I didn’t realize how much I missed it until last night’s premiere – all the creative culinary stylings, the drama. I mean, they kicked it all off with a quick fire about deep dish Chicago-style pizza – what could draw me in more??
I’ve also already learned something from the show. In case you missed the first episode, the chefs’ first challenge was to prepare classic dishes – eggs benedict, chicken piccata, duck a l’orange and the like. The point, as head judge Tom Colicchio explained, was that you have to get grounded on the classics in order to appreciate the newer dishes that are created today. That idea really stuck with me.
For the past few months I’ve been brainstorming and kitchen-testing all kinds of panini concepts, but it occurred to me that perhaps I ought to take a step back and revisit classic sandwiches. PB&J, BLT, grilled cheese, reuben, croque-monsieur, monte cristo, cuban – they’re tried and true. Of course, I’ve already tackled one classic, the club sandwich. Over the next few weeks I’m going to do a series: Panini Happy Classics. I’ll aim to capture the essential elements of these iconic sandwiches and reinterpret them as panini. Many of them have been done before, but I’m going to enjoy the opportunity to put my spin on them.
Panini Happy Classics:
- A Little Breakfast Panini Party (Bagel & Lox)
- An Ode (Or Two!) to California (BLT)
- This Panini is “In Da Club”! (Club Sandwich)
- The Taste of Childhood (Peanut Butter & Jelly)
- In Search of M. Croque (Croque-Monsieur)
- Cheeseburger Panini, Animal-Style (Cheeseburger Patty Melt)
- Yup, I Grilled Cookies! (Ice Cream Sandwich)
- More to come – stay tuned!