Sometimes my passion for creating decadent suppers succumbs to my need for simple goodness. I usually go for a chunky chowder or rich lentil soup. This time around, I decided on a crispy panini.
The term panini refers to any pressed and toasted sandwich. They can be made on the stovetop or with a special panini press. In the spirit of simplicity, I choose the stovetop method using my cast iron grill pan.
Ingredients for two panini:
2 slices of San Francisco-style sourdough bread
½ pound lump crab meat
¼ cup Oregon pink shrimp, pre –cooked
½ cup mango, diced
½ cup sour cream
½ tomato, diced
Two slices of Swiss cheese
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon preserved habenero pepper, minced
Sea salt and white pepper to taste
Cooking spray or grape seed oil to cover the pan
Add all of the ingredients together, save for the lump crab. Gently fold the mixture to blend. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. This is an important step because each producer of tinned or previously frozen Oregon pink shrimp adds varying levels of salt to their finished product – you don’t want to serve a salty sandwich. Finally, fold in the lump crab meat.
To a large, medium-high grill pan add a thin layer of oil. Add the slices of bread and toast for 30 seconds on each side. Remove them from the heat onto a cutting board or cookie sheet.
Add a scoop or two of the crab and shrimp mixture to one side of the bread and place one cheese slice on the other side of the bread (you may want to tear the cheese in half for even melting. Join the sandwich slices to create two stuffed sandwiches.
Next add a touch more oil to the grill pan and add the sandwiches. Grill on one side for 2 minutes, then turn each sandwich to the other side for crisping. Turn down the heat and cook for another 2-3 minutes. This will help ensure that the crab mixture is heated all the way through and the cheese melts. Once the sandwich is toasted and the cheese is melted, plate the panini and serve hot and crispy!