VANILLA LATTE is a blog dedicated to food & travel with occasional random stuff thrown in. It is managed and written by me, Maggie Ha.

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Pressed Caprese Sandwich 31Dec08

pressed caprese sandwich

Last post for 2008! It’s New Years Eve and this year we decided to stay in, make some of our favorite sandwiches in our new panini press. One of my favorite of all time is the classic caprese sandwich. I used to get them all the time at Le Dijonaise in Culver City – they never grilled theirs though. Urth Cafe also does a great caprese but they add an olive tapande – sometimes a bit too much. I prefer the classic caprese, it’s pretty simple to make, I hope you enjoy!

2 slices of thickly sliced artisan loaf bread – olive, onion or sourdough rye works really well
3 bocconcini cheese balls – sliced OR 1 buffalo mozzarella – sliced
(it depends on where you’re at and what they call their cheese, bocconcini = mozzarella just smaller)
5 basil leaves
3 slices of tomato
1 tablespoon of pesto
balsamic vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
fresh ground pepper

Step 1: Assemble
Spread about a tablespoon of pesto on the inside of one slice of bread. Then layer the bocconcini slices on top of the pesto. Then on top of the bocconcini, layer with fresh basil leaves and then top off with tomato slices. Drizzle a little be of balsamic vinegar on top of the tomatoes – just a little bit so it doesn’t soak the bread too much. Finish with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Cover with the other slice of bread, and we’re ready to grill!

Step 2: Grill
If you have a panini press, brush on very lightly some extra virgin olive oil on the outside of the sandwich (both sides) and throw that sandwich on the press for about 5 minutes.

If you don’t have a panini press, we grill this on a pan with the help of a cast iron pan for the “pressing”. Heat a regular sauce pan and a cast iron pan separately. Make sure cast iron bottom has been cleaned well and very hot. Place your sandwich in the regular pan after brushing with extra virgin olive oil on both sides. Place hot cast iron pan on the top of the sandwich to press it. Should be ready in about 8-10 minutes, you’ll know when it looks toasty and the cheese is melting.

You can also do this without the cast iron press – just grill it on a pan on medium heat on both sides for about 5 mintues each.

That’s it! Hope you like it. Happy New Year!!! There’s lots to expect in the upcoming 09 – like a redesign!



Latest Latte

Ground Support

My local favorite is currently Ground Support in SOHO. I go there almost every day for a smooth creamy soy cappuccino or if it’s hot out an iced soy latte. When I’m not in a hurry to run out, I try to take a few extra minutes to enjoy the coffee in the shop… you know, chat with the staff, catch up on some calls and best of all… people watch. Always some interesting characters in NYC!

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