Usually, when I’m too lazy to go grocery shopping or so strapped for cash that I need to forego my weekly supermarket impulses, I find myself gravitating toward an all too familiar habit – standing in front of the refrigerator and staring. C’mon, don’t deny it. You too have fallen victim to the inexplicable comfort of cold air hitting your face as food gawks back at you. For me, it’s always the same staple ingredients that return my gaze. It’s those staples that you buy but never quite use up at the same rate as everything else. The last lonely ingredients that occupy my refrigerator are jam, Brie, and the occasional veggie. I usually also have olive oil and bread in my cupboard and fruit ripening on my counter. Apart from these items, my kitchen is empty. Last week when this cycle started and I was once again greeted by cold air and an audience of food, I challenged myself to make something with what I had left. So, as it was lunchtime, I went for a simple Panini – sweet and savory and only 5 ingredients!
Candice Allouch is a junior at American University but abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland during the spring semester where she loves to try out new and intriguing tastes, from gastropubs to traditional restaurants (where Haggis is a must).
1 pear, thinly sliced
Brie cheese, thinly sliced
Jam (I used apricot, but anything is fine!)
2 slices of bread
Olive oil (for drizzling)
Slice your pear and brie slices so that they will comfortably fit on your bread and are of comparable sizes.
Drizzle a bit of olive oil on your two bread pieces (this just helps ensure that the bread wont stick to your grill/pan/Panini press). Put half of the brie slices on one slice of bread, then lay as many pear slices as will fit on top of the brie, add the rest of the brie on top of the pears, and then spread jam on the other piece of bread (only on the side that will meet the rest of the sandwich). I like to be generous with the jam since it tends to be overpowered by the cheese. Close your sandwich.
Put the sandwich in the oven on med-high heat for about 2 minutes until the bread begins to toast and the cheese to melt. Then flip the Panini and allow the other side to toast as well. Take your Panini out of the oven and enjoy!!