isn’t he a beaut?
Over the holidays, I purchase a panini press, one of those sandwich makers with grooved metal plates. This one is from 3D, and it costs me just under P1,500. Sweet. For the more serious, there are pricier, fancier ones available from Krups and DeLonghi, starting from P6,000.
For me, the best food on earth aside from dessert is bread. If butter’s around too, then all the better. Bread and butter, butter and bread. Life is good. But a sandwich is even better. Breaking in my new toy requires some serious ingredients, so I pull out the smoked meats that Ricky (Morelos) has given me. I’ve talked about Ricky before on this website, describing him as the smoked meat god. He has an incredible touch with meat, smoking it for almost a day to coax out its beefy goodness. Ricky also makes his own barbeque sauce, a vermilion, peppery affair with just enough kick to make the sides of my mouth pucker. “Don’t forget the caramelized onions, Lori,” he reminds me.
When making a pulled pork sandwich, Ricky insists that it be made with caramelized onions. Essentially sliced onion rings that are allowed to cook slowly, the low, slow heat brings out the inherent sweetness of the vegetable. I add them to the pulled (shredded) pork that I’ve layered onto a panino (singular; panini: plural). Then, because I have some in the house, I layer some provolone cheese onto the meat along with several squirts of Ricky’s barbeque sauce. Onto the panini press it goes!
Now, I’m not a fan of crunchy sandwiches. I prefer a lot of my food soggy ”“ gross, I know”” and that includes french fries, pizza crusts, and yes, sandwiches. So my panino is pressed for just under three minutes, enough time to give it those attractive “striations.” While it heats, I’m tempted to press down on the upper plate. As the seconds pass however, I see that its weight bears down enough on the sandwich, successfully flattening it. (Now if only the same can be done to my stomach). Despite what I think to be an excessive amount of pulled pork, my panini press has ironed my sandwich flat. Well, it’s not called a press for nothing, no?
I move on to the smoked roast beef that Ricky has also given me. It’s a bit pale in the center so I give it a good pan-fry just to wake it up a bit. Then I layer slices of it onto a soft baguette (an oxymoron, I think), smear some horseradish mustard on as well as thick slices of rosy hydroponic tomatoes. After its time in the panini press, I serve it with a side of green salad and cherry tomatoes. I always try to get my greens in, you know. (wink)
Ricky Morelos (smoked meat god)
36 Times St.
West Triangle, Q.C.
374-2165 / 67