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Friday, October 16, 2009

Easy Weeknight Paninis

Need a dinner that takes 15 minutes or less to prepare? Paninis are one of my go-to meals for busy nights when I dont feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen but still want hot food.

Cheddar Chicken Panini with Roasted Red Pepper Spread
8 slices of French Bread (about 1/2" thick)
2 chicken breasts
1/2 jar roasted red peppers
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup mayo (I used light)
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1 T olive oil
Salt and pepper

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with olive oil. Slice chicken breasts in half horizontally and cut into 4 peices. Pound to equal thickness. Generously salt and pepper both sides and sprinkle with ground mustard. Add chicken to the pan, cooking about 3 minutes on each side until cooked through. While chicken cooks, crush and peel garlic clove, add to a food processor with red peppers and mayo. Pulse lightly until combined and mostly smooth. If you have a panini press, heat it now. Spread onto each peice of bread. Top 4 peices of bread with cheese, breaking the slices so they fit. Add cooked chicken and top with remaining bread. Place sandwiches on a panini press and cook until bread is golden and toasty (about 5 minutes).

If you dont have a panini press, you can use a grill pan with a slightly smaller heavy lid to press down the sandwiches. Alternatively if you dont want to dirty another pan, wipe out the pan for the chicken with a paper towel and use it.

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