|Blue Cheese Steak and Red Onion Jam Panini|
Meal planning for me sometimes includes a plan for tomorrow night's dinner while cooking tonight's. Very often this includes a great hearty panini as a meal in itself, like the great Turkey Dressing and Gravy Paninis that always seem to be on the menu the night after a roast turkey dinner; find that recipe here: Turkey Dressing and Gravy Panini. I swear we sometimes roast a turkey just to have those.
During the summer grilling season, one of my very favorite ways to use this meal strategy is to make sure there is leftover rare steak so that I can make these great paninis; I usually throw on a couple of extra steaks to make sure. Now I know blue cheese is not to everyone's taste, so feel free to substitute some good cheddar if you like; aged white cheddar is fantastic on this sandwich. The onion jam is what elevates this recipe to a higher level and although it takes only minutes to make, you can make it in advance and bottle it. It makes a great condiment for roast beef too.
Red Onion Jam
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to season
3 large red onions, sliced or chopped
1 large shallot minced
1/2 tsp ground dry thyme
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1/2 cup red wine
In a small pot or saute pan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Throw in the onions and shallots, season with salt and pepper and saute until the onions are completely cooked and caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. Add the brown sugar,thyme, nutmeg, balsamic vinegar and red wine and simmer together until the red wine reduces and the mixture comes to a thick jam-like consistency. Remove from heat and serve or bottle in mason jars for later.
sliced rare beef steak
red onion jam
crumbled blue cheese
Split the ciabatta bread horizontally and lightly butter the OUTSIDE of the bread. Spread the inside of the bread with dijon mustard, add a layer of red onion jam followed by the sliced beef and crumbled blue cheese. Place on a preheated panini press and cook for about 3-5 minutes or until the outside is golden and crispy and the cheese begins to melt.
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