Available throughout the foodie blogosphere, on restaurant menus, and in cookbooks are countless varieties of panini fillings. What there’s not a ton of variation on is the type of bread used to sandwich those ingredients.
Why is that?
I had a bunch of leftover Loaded Cornbread squares waiting patiently in the freezer for inspiration to strike… and strike it did!
I had just received a sample package of Cabot‘s new Snack Packs, which are individually wrapped, outrageously flavored lower-fat cheeses. The package contained a bag of both the 75% Reduced Fat Habanero Cheddar and the 50% Reduced Fat Garlic & Herb Cheddar. The habanero cheddar was begging to be sandwiched between two slices of cornbread and pressed into a melty panini, and I wasted no time setting to work.
I’m happy to report that my Cornbread Panini experiment was a success! The slightly sweet cornbread was the perfect vehicle for the spicy cheese, and it crisped up beautifully in the panini press. Although the cornbread was a bit crumbly, it held up well to the pressing; and by cutting each cornbread square in half, the bread layers were thin enough for the heat to melt the cheese.
I have a few pieces of cornbread left, and am already envisioning other panini creations: avocado slices & jalapeno cheddar, black beans smashed with spicy seasonings & monterey jack, and/or fajita-style chicken and veggies with pepperjack.
Ah, the possibilities.
- 2 generous squares of baked cornbread (I used leftover frozen & defrosted Loaded Cornbread)
- sliced cheese, (I used Cabot 75% Reduced Fat Habanero Cheddar), 2 if using pre-sliced cheese, 4 if using block cheese
- cooking spray
- Cut each piece of cornbread in half around the “equator” to make 4 thin squares.
- Place cheese slices on 2 of the squares and top with the other 2 squares.
- Lightly coat each side of sandwiches with cooking spray.
- Heat a panini press or a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
- Press sandwiches in press or place in skillet and weigh down with a panini weight or heavy pot/skillet.
- Cook until browned & crisp on both sides and cheese has melted.