Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hot off the Press... [Buffalo Chicken Panini]

So... one of my most favorite Christmas gifts this year was a panini press. I am now the proud owner of a Cuisinart GR-3 Griddler Junior! 

Beautiful grill marks!
If you can remember, in the past, we've had to get a bit creative when trying to make paninis... (Think bricks stacked three high inside pasta pots.) So this little appliance is super nice! It also folds open to a flat grill, to grill meats & veggies. We haven't tried that yet.

Yesterday afternoon, I stopped by Panera Bread to get a nice loaf of crusty bread for panini-making. I was hoping for some sort of cheesy bread, sesame bread, ciabatta, or focaccia... something unique. However, they only had two loaves of bread left. Two! And it was only 3:30 in the afternoon! My choices: country or whole grain. (Aka boring or boring.) 

I ended up getting the country. It also happened to be a huge loaf of bread. 20 biiiig slices... for the three of us. (No, we have not gotten a dog or had a baby; my Business Man's brother just got a new job close to us and is staying with us for a few days until his apartment becomes available.) 

Since we have so much bread, we are eating panini's like they're going out of style. Last night, we had Hawaiian BBQ Pork Paninis. Pulled pork, onion, barbecue sauce, pineapple, colby cheese, & provolone cheese. Heck yea, they were awesome. So awesome that I scarfed the whole thing before I could take a picture.

So tonight, I was able to contain myself a bit as I prepared Buffalo Chicken Paninis. Grilled chicken breast, with a creamy spicy spread, diced celery, and sliced colby cheese. Pressed to perfection, with a crisp exterior and gooey cheesy filling. Yum.

Here's the goods:

The spread is a mixture of cream cheese and buffalo seasoning mix. I used Tastefully Simple's Buffalo Bleu mix, but I'm sure you could find something similar at the grocery store.

Then comes the chicken and diced celery. Yes, celery sounds weird on a panini, but the little crunchy bits add a nice texture in every bite.

Then the most important part - the CHEESE! Can't skimp on the cheese; calcium's good for you.

A few minutes on the grill and here's dinner!

So, I'm thinking that since I'm no longer doing a Pumpkin Recipe Challenge, or a Christmas Cookie Challenge, I will be starting the Panini Press Thursday Challenge!

Every Thursday I will post a new panini recipe. This challenge might last awhile, considering I also received a panini cookbook for Christmas - 200 Best Panini Recipes. So stick around for about 4 years and we'll get through 'em all! Hehe...

[Click to PRINT]

Buffalo Chicken Paninis

  • 4-oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons buffalo seasoning mix
  • 2 chicken breast halves, grilled & diced
  • ½ cup finely diced celery
  • 4-6 oz. sliced colby cheese
  • 8 slices crusty bread


To prepare spread, combine cream cheese and buffalo seasoning mix.

Spread cream cheese mixture onto four slices of bread. Top with chicken and celery; add a dash of hot sauce if you dare. Top with cheese slices. Top with remaining slices of bread.

Grill on high 3-4 minutes until toasty.

Source: Sara Anderson

And on a completely random side note, I stopped at the local grocery store to pick up a few things today, and they gave me these for absolutely free!

I guess since they are 'holiday' they probably didn't think they could sell them. It totally made my day! And green 'holiday' frosting could totally work for St. Patrick's Day... right?


Angie said...

That looks delicious!!! I love the bread at Panera, isnt it wonderful?? :) Nice job scoring free treats that is awesome!

Alissa said...

I had completely forgotten about Panera Bread. Does Lima have one? We are so coming on vacation to your house some year :) I want to try out your new cupcake gadget and panini press! And make cinnamon rolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (p.s. I say all of this to say, I miss you sweet friend!)

Have Your Way said...

I LOVE Panera!!! Its my favorite place!!! MMMMM

UH your sandwich looks amazing!!! I only live like 2ish hours from Lima. AKA I may have to drive and meet you sometime!!! :) :)

YAY for FREE stuff!! Also, those Pillsbury Chocolate peppermint cookies are the BOMB! I made them during Christmas time and they were FLYING off the plate!

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