I just had playdate with Michelle and her lovely daughter, aka the Boss. We usually do a simple lunch and finger food for the kids. I made a cream of mushroom soup from a Barefoot Contessa recipe and grilled sandwiches. The soup was pretty darned good and it was a combination of cremini, shitake and portabello mushrooms, all of which I adore.
I also made some paninis, my favorite of which was a grilled ham and cheese with Granny Smith apples. Here is the basic recipe:
-2 slices of whole wheat bread
-2 tablespoons of olive oil
-2 slices of Swiss cheese (I used Amish baby Swiss)
-3 thin slices of Black forest Ham
-1/2 Granny Smith apple, sliced thinly
-5-6 whole basil leaves (I didn't use it for our playdate, but i used some today and it completely transforms the sandwich)
-whole grain Dijon mustard
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Simply stated, you heat the olive oil over medium heat in a grill pan. Spread the mayo on one slice of bread, to taste and the mustard on the other. On each slice of bread, place a slice of the Swiss cheese. Then layer the ham, apple and basil onto one piece of bread and place the other slice of bread, cheese side down onto the opposing side. Place the entire sandwich on the grill pan for 2 minutes for each side, or until golden brown and then place the entire pan in the preheated oven until the cheese starts to melt (about 3 minutes). Slice and serve. Makes 1 sandwich.
I added the basil on a whim today and it totally transforms the sandwich. It is yummy! It would be great with a glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. This meal makes a very nice cold weather treat!