Pear, Dark Chocolate and Munster Panini

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Don’t you love those times when you get inspired to cook something totally delicious, find you have everything you need, and then just cook it? That’s how this sandwich was for me.

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Sitting in the fridge was a beautiful, organic red d’anjou pear that, I admit, I had let go a bit past its prime. I was in the mood for a grilled cheese sandwich, but with a bit of sophistication. Seeing several recipes online that paired (NPI) dark chocolate and pears in panini form, I decided to give it a try.

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Here are my ingredients assembled: good butter, Munster cheese, crusty bread (this recipe), sliced pears and chopped dark chocolate.

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It was absolutely amazing. The melty, mild cheese with soft pears and chocolate was just wonderful.

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I don’t have a “recipe” for ya’ll today, just a method. You can easily substitute ingredients (different kinds of pears, cheese and chocolate).  Use whatever you have on hand!

Pear, Dark Chocolate and Munster Panini | Printable Page

Recipe by Erica Lea | Cooking for Seven

Ingredients:

  • Crusty bread
  • Good butter
  • Dark chocolate (I used bittersweet)
  • Ripe pears, thinly sliced
  • Mild, soft cheese (I used Munster)

Directions:

1) Butter two slices of bread on only one side. Place the pears, cheese and chocolate on one slice and place the second slice on top. Repeat with however many sandwiches are desired.

2) In a cast-iron skillet, melt some butter over medium heat. Add the sandwich(es) and place something heavy on top (I used a heavy bowl + a pot) to weigh it down. You could also use a panini grill if you have one.

3). Cook until browned on one side (a few minutes), flip, and cook until browned on the second side and the cheese and chocolate are melty. Enjoy!


Chicken Salad for Sandwiches

We first tried this recipe about five years ago, for a tea party. It was a hit (at least among the female tasters), and it has been our chicken salad of choice ever since.

This recipe is creamy, yet not too greasy; rich, but balanced with fresh vegetables, sweet fruit, and toasted nuts.

It is excellent all on its own, but it makes a special little treat when served on buttered and toasted bread.

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:: Waldorf Chicken Salad ::

Adapted from The New Best Recipe

Ingredients:

Chicken

  • 2 large whole, bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (for the best taste) or boneless, skinless chicken breasts (for ease of preparation)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt

Salad

  • 2 medium celery ribs, cut into small dice
  • 2 medium scallions, white and green parts, minced
  • 1 large crisp apple, cored and cut into medium dice
  • 6 tablespoons chopped, toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Directions:

1) For the chicken: Heat the oven to 400 °F.  Put the breasts in a foil-lined lined baking sheet. Brush with the olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt to taste. Roast until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 160° F, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool to room temperature. If using bone-in skin-on chicken breasts, remove the skin and bones and discard. Shred the meat.

2) For the Salad: Mix the shredded chicken and celery, scallions, apple, walnuts, mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, and parsley together in a large bowl.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve. Can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 day.

Serves 6 as a main course

To make the sandwiches:

  • Your favorite bread for toasting, cut into triangles.
  • Butter
  • Lettuce
  • Waldorf Chicken Salad (see above for recipe)
  • Chopped green onions, for garnish, optional

1) Toast the bread, either in a toaster or under a broiler. Spread with butter. Allow to cool slightly.

2) Place a piece of lettuce on each triangle. Carefully spoon a portion of chicken salad on top of each. Garnish with green onions. Serve immediately.

Note: The sandwiches can be covered and refrigerated for a short while. The longer they stand, the soggier the toast will become.

A Party

Last Friday us girls hosted a party for a few friends. It was so much fun to quickly throw a menu together. Join me for a look at our splendid little party.

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:: The Menu ::

Lunch

Appetizers:

Piped Deviled Eggs

Cheese and Crackers

Soup:

Creamy Onion Soup with Croutons

Sandwiches:

Chicken Salad Sandwiches on Toasted Bread

Salad:

Fruit Salad

Dessert

Vanilla Rice Pudding with Whipped Cream

Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Cream

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Creamy Onion Soup, made by yours truly. 🙂

Janna made these delicious Chicken Salad Sandwiches, served on buttered, toasted bread.

Sister Amanda prepared these cute little deviled eggs. They were seasoned just right.

We decided to serve the fruit salad in tea cups. They looked so elegant.

We played a delightful little game. It is a Scandinavian tradition to place one almond in the rice pudding. Whoever finds the almond is promised to be the next to marry.

Breanna found the almond.

Amanda also made poppy seed cake. We served it with orange cream.

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Are you hungry yet? I promise to give you at least a few of these recipes. For now, I must away and roll out tortillas for supper. How prosaic. 😉

Would you like to see more photos of our party? Stop by my photo blog.

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