Bacon, Cheese and Peach Paninis

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Bacon, Cheese and Peach Paninis are sweet peach slices sandwiched between thick-cut ciabatta bread with creamy fontina cheese, salty bacon, and tangy honey mustard, then pressed until crispy, and crunchy.

Not to get all Paris Hilton on you, but – it’s hot.

Not to make fun of Paris Hilton, (we’ve all got our issues) but lately Ben and I have been pretending we’re uber-versions of Ms. H by sticking our tongues out of our mouths and croaking, it’s haaaawlllcchht, because, well, it’s really hot outside (plus Ben does a wicked Paris Hilton impression.)

85 degrees by 5:30am, hot.

Spoon from a distance, hot.

Even the ACs sweating, hot.

HOT! HOT! HOT!

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I can’t remember a hotter summer in Iowa (it was actually in 1936, which is probably why I don’t remember) and I seriously dread the thought of turning the stove or oven on these days. Not even for a single break & bake, which is really saying something.

A girl can only survive on salads and raw cookie dough for so long, however, which is why I got crafty in the kitchen today and used countertop appliances to heat up a meal, and not the house, of Bacon, Cheese and Peach Paninis!

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Sweet peach slices are sandwiched between thick-cut ciabatta bread with creamy fontina cheese, salty bacon, and tangy honey mustard, then pressed until crispy, and crunchy. The best part is that the fontina melts through the whispy ciabatta bread to create a mouthwatering, cheesy crust on the outside. It’s ridiculous!

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Plus the sandwich can be made with just the microwave and a panini press which means the stove stays off, and the house stays cool…unlike our friend Paris. (Sorry, that was mean!)

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Start the Bacon, Cheese and Peach Paninis by assembling & prepping zee ingredients. We’ve got:

  • Ciabatta bread
  • Peaches
  • Bacon
  • Fontina cheese
  • Honey
  • Mustard

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First, slice a loaf of fresh ciabatta bread into 1″ slices on the diagonal. You could use any thick-cut, hearty bread, but I love ciabatta’s “holes” which allow the cheese in the panini to sizzle through and create that aforementioned crust!

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Then cook a couple slices of thick-cut bacon or center-cut bacon in the microwave.

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Cooking bacon in the microwave is kind of my favorite. The microwave doesn’t emit extra heat into the kitchen and the bacon doesn’t splatter everywhere like it does when you cook it in a skillet on the stovetop.

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Simply line a microwave-safe plate with a double layer of paper towels, then lay your bacon strips on top. Place another double layer of paper towels on top and microwave in 1 minute increments, rotating the plate 90 degrees (1/4 turn, y’all) every minute until the bacon is cooked through and crisp. I usually cook and rotate at 30 second increments towards the end so the bacon doesn’t burn.

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Next slice a wedge of melty, creamy fontina cheese into thin slices. I chose fontina because it melts beautifully, but mozzarella or even brie would be wonderful in here too.

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Slice a sweet and juicy peach into 1/2″ slices next. This was my first peach of the summer – an organic white – and it was seriously worth the wait. I could smell it’s sweet fragrance from across the kitchen!

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Finally whip up an easy honey-mustard by combining honey with mustard in a 1 1/2-1 ratio. You could totally use prepared honey mustard, btw, I just try and keep the varieties of mustard in the house to a minimum as it is Ben’s #1 most hated food. I know.

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Assemble the panini by layering slices of cheese onto each slice of bread, then placing the cooked bacon on one half.

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Lay the peach slices on the other, then spoon some honey mustard on top.

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Close the sandwich, then brush the top and bottom with extra virgin olive oil.

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Place it onto a panini press or Griddler, which is what I use, on medium-high for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.

(If you don’t have a press or Griddler, go ahead and heat a skillet on the stovetop over medium-high heat, then add the sandwich and place a piece of foil on top. Place another skillet on top and weigh it down with a couple cans of beans, etc. When the first side is golden brown, flip the sandwich, then replace the foil and weighted skillet.)

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Let the sandwich cool on a cutting board for 2-3 minutes, then slice and dig in!

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Bacon, Cheese and Peach Paninis

Print this recipe!

Serves 4

Ingredients:
8-1″ thick slices ciabatta bread (or other hearty bread)
5oz fontina cheese, cut into slices
2 ripe peaches, cut into 1/2″ thick slices
4 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked
3 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons mustard
Extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Heat a panini press to medium-high heat.* Stir together honey and mustard in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Lay out bread slices and place fontina cheese on top of all the slices. Place a slice of bacon on half of the bread slices, and peach slices on the other half. Spread honey mustard over the peaches, then assemble the sandwiches. Brush the tops and bottom slices of the assembled sandwich with oil, then press in the panini press for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown.

*If you don’t have a press or Griddler, go ahead and heat a skillet on the stovetop over medium-high heat, then add the sandwich and place a piece of foil on top. Place another skillet on top and weigh it down with a couple cans of beans, etc. When the first side is golden brown, flip the sandwich, then replace the foil and weighted skillet.

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These sandwiches are wickedly good, you guys! Sweet, hot, cheesy, salty, and crunchy. Plus, they only take minutes to make and, most importantly, do not heat up the kitchen.

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Plus how ya’ gonna hate on the combo of bacon, cheese & peaches?! ;)

In other news…

Bellabyte Print Giveaway

Thanks for all the kitchen inspiration, guys! August is looking to be less crazy than July, so hopefully I can put some of your good ideas to use and actually plan a weekend to paint my oompa loompah space. Until then, the winner of the Bellabyte Print Giveaway is:

Sharon: My kitchen is apple green. Cheerful and I really like it! Added some roller shades to replace the awful mini blinds. Get lots of compliments.

Congrats, Sharon! Email IowaGirlEats@gmail.com and we’ll get your print picked out, and out to you! :)

Have a great (cool) night, everyone!

~~~~~

What’s your favorite kitchen appliance? Microwave, toaster oven, Kitchen Aid, etc?

Would you rather be extremely hot for the rest of your life, or extremely cold?

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Comments

  1. Lindsey 07.18.2012

    My favorite kitchen appliance is definitely the Griddler. So many uses! Although I couldn’t live without my food processor either…
    I suppose i would rather be hot the rest of my life than cold. At least if it’s hot outside you can still have a garden and enjoy some activities outside. Not too much to do in the winter.

  2. Kaelin 07.18.2012

    I think we need a video of Ben’s best Paris impression!! ;)

    Anyways…. I am feeling the heat down here in southern Iowa too. We have been grilling our meals a lot lately. Or just eating tons of fresh veggies in different ways for sides – caprese salad, salsa, cucumber and onion salad….

    We have taken refuge on the lake every weekend, there is no place else to beat this heat!

  3. Mandy 07.18.2012

    Thank looks ridiculously good! Can’t wait to give it a try!

  4. Can. not. handle. how good these look. YUM!

  5. Nicole N 07.18.2012

    My favorite kitchen appliance is my Breville electric kettle. I seriously use it everyday (mostly for coffee and tea, but it works for quick cous cous too)!

    I love my panini press too, and I can’t wait to make this sandwich! Peaches on sandwiches are the best

  6. Tiana 07.18.2012

    I have a panini grill and i LOVE it!! It was the first wedding present that I used first! We have been pretty hot up here in Minnesota but we can escape to the north country and cool down a bit! You guys should take a roadie to the north shore! It gets nice and cool with the lake affect!

  7. Lindsey 07.18.2012

    My favorite as in most used – my Vitamix but my favorite as in most pretty – my red Kitchenaid mixer :)
    Hot hands down!

  8. mollie 07.18.2012

    Did u brave the crowds at whole foods today for your mustard?!? I can’t wait to go!

    • jennyv 07.18.2012

      WF was a zoo!! Lines down the aisles… I’m looking forward to shopping there weeks from now when it’s not so wild. That said, it’s so nice seeing everyone embrace healthier options!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 07.19.2012

      I did – it was NUTS!! I can’t wait to go back and explore when it’s not so crazy!

  9. Ashley 07.18.2012

    My favorite is the griddler! Love it!

    I would much rather be cold (can keep layering up vs. you can only take so much of your clothing off!)…plus, there aren’t as many bugs or allergy issues for me when it’s really cold. Win!

  10. love this idea! i’ve never had fontina though, so i’m curious as to how it tastes (sharp? salty? creamy? sweet?) i may have to make these this weekend before hitting the pool!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 07.19.2012

      It’s very mild and creamy. I’m not a big “big flavored” cheese gal – ie sharp cheddar is about as sharp as I’ll go – which is why I love fontina so much!

  11. jennyv 07.18.2012

    VitaMix!! Love it for my morning smoothies… or for making fun mixed drinks!

    Love being cold — you can always cuddle up.

  12. These look super yummy! What a good idea, I never would have thought of it!

    I would rather be cold, so I can wrap up in blankets and sip on hot cocoa.

  13. You, are a genius.

  14. Bronnie 07.18.2012

    good god those look delicious!! I’m a big fan of mixing sweet fruit with salty meat. And cheese? well that just goes on EVERYTHING!

    I envy your heat, it’s cold here in lil’ ol’ NZ.

  15. Niki DeRogatis 07.18.2012

    My favorite appliance would have to be my margarita machine…..especially in the summertime! It gets used ALOT!

  16. Just so happens I have tons of peaches and fontina cheese. I’m making these babies!!
    Not very glamerous, but I’d have to say my microwave is my favorite kitchen appliance. It’s just so convenient. But my food processor comes in 2nd. oh yeah….my keurig! ;)
    I’d rather be hot because I’m already so cold natured.

  17. Courtwhit 07.18.2012

    VERY intersting combo!

  18. Kristin B. 07.18.2012

    Those look so good. It has been so miserably hot out. It needs to rain and drop 20 degrees. I have always said I’d rather be hot as I hate the snow in winter but after the last however many weeks of high 90s/100s I’m just not sure. Probably still rather be hot. Can I just live somewhere that has fall-like weather year-round? Iowa in September/October is amazing.

  19. Heather 07.18.2012

    I love my little knife! Simple yet perfect.

    I do not miss the iowa winters so i would rather be hot.

    I use my george foreman as a panini press to reduce appliances, works perfect!

  20. Amanda 07.18.2012

    Yummy! I love fruit in sandwiches, especially apples! I’ll have to try a peach sometime. Oh Paris Hilton…haha

    My favorite kitchen appliance is my crock pot. Especially in the Summer! I hate Winter, so I’d rather be hot. Coldness just gets so depressing after a while!

  21. Somehow, I doubt you’re the only one who’s mean to Paris Hilton. :-)

    And I would much rather be extremely hot – I don’t mind overheating but I absolutely hate it when I’m cold.

  22. I LOVE my vitamix. Use it at least once a day right now with the heat. I love the idea of this sandwich. Last summer I was really into the nectarine, cheddar combo with a little nutmeg sprinkled on. I’ll have to try adding bacon and honey mustard.

  23. Bek @ Crave 07.18.2012

    That looks so tasty and refreshing! Even though it’s winter here (although we have a warm sunny day atm) I’d still like to try that in this cold climate! Haha.

  24. The addition of peach into this is genius. I will have to try it out.

  25. Cheryl 07.19.2012

    My fav kitchen appliance is my Kitchenaid mixer. I recently got a freezer bowl attachment to use it as an ice cream/sorbet maker! The person at Kitchenaid who came up with that was a genius!

    Check out the peaches at the Iowa Orchard stand at the farmer’s market. They are awesome!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 07.19.2012

      I def will! It’s been so long since I’ve been able to go – hoping to get back in a routine in the next couple of weekends! :)

  26. Kiki 07.19.2012

    I can’t handle how delicious that sandwich looks.

  27. Alison 07.19.2012

    I’m not sure this can really be considered an appliance, especially after reading some other posts, but I love my coffee maker! I’m a coffee addict and I can’t imagine life without having one! Plus, I LOVE the smell of coffee. It does something magical to me!

  28. Lauren T 07.19.2012

    This looks incredible! I can’t wait to try it! As much as I hate this horribly hot weather, I’d rather it be like this all the time than how cold it can get in the winter. I HATE the cold!!

  29. Susie Q 07.19.2012

    My favorite appliance is my Electric Skillet. Very little I can’t cook in it and it keeps the heat down. Also wanted to let you know I’m into the Flip Flop Wine! Good and cheap!

  30. Sara 07.19.2012

    I LOVE my food processor – I don’t know how I lived without one for so long! One of my next purchases needs to be a KitchenAid stand mixer! That would make my life so much easier!

  31. Kristin from MN 07.19.2012

    I would have to say extremely cold because I hate being hot and sweaty. My favorite “appliance” right now is my infrared grill. I have it right outside my kitchen on our deck and I have been cooking everything on it from pizza to homemade cottage fries to my latest favorite supper – grilled tomato & cheese (emphasis on grilled). I slice open a (take-n-bake) ciabatta bun from Hy-Vee and fill it with farmers cheese, cojack, and tomato slices. I wrap it in foil and put it on my grill over med-low for about 8 minutes. It’s crusty on the outside and melty on the inside – sooo good!

  32. Sheri 07.19.2012

    My all time favorite appliance is my Kitchen Aide Stand Mixer. We received it as a wedding present 23 years ago and have used the Heck out of it. Still going strong! I don’t know what we would do without it!
    I would rather be extremely cold for the rest of my life because I am a apinner and a knitter and there are only so many clothes you can remove and remain decent! :)And I hate being hot and sweaty!!

  33. Awesome panini!! I just got a kitchen aid mixer and a bread machine for my wedding… I think I’m going to fall in love with those two.

  34. Megan 07.19.2012

    Yum!

    How can that be your first peach of the season!? :)
    We’ve been eating them like crazy for weeks. And my personal favorite, as in, I will probably never bother with any other kind of peach, is Missouri peaches (found at Fareway). I can’t help but put a few in my cart every time I shop.

    This nudges me to throw some peaches on the grill sometime this week! Thanks!

  35. Tiffany 07.19.2012

    Have you ever used your panini press to make bacon? We do it ALL the time! Cooks both sides of the bacon at once so it takes 1/2 the time as on the stove (with no grease splatters). And then – your panini press is already warmed up to make your sammies! YUM!

  36. andrea 07.19.2012

    This sounds crazy delicious!! Any sweet & salty combo wins me over instantly :)

  37. jane 07.20.2012

    My sister and I both follow your blog(which we love!) and decided that we had to try the paninis, because we were thinking-bacon, peaches, and fontina?! So we packed up food & kids and met at my mom’s. Strangely enough, between us we had all the ingredients! ( mom had the fontina- I was impressed!) ok- YUM! Wow, what a delicious combo. We all decided this was our new fave, move over tomato, basil,& mozzarella! Well, lunch went so well and the kids were playing so nicely ( hadn’t heard a peep from them -which as a parent is also a bit scary) We decided to extend our visit and stay through dinner. We decided on the corn blueberry salad, which had also caught our curiosity. Off to the store and voila! another great meal! We add shrimp, too and LOVED it. BIG THANK YOU to you! It was a great IGE feeding frenzy on Cape Cod! (not to mention quality family time :) !)

  38. KARA 07.20.2012

    I am new to this blog…but I can’t get enough. I envy your cooking, working out and all together healthy living!!! I have a question though, what about if/when you have kids. This is where I struggle with 2 little ones…I don’t have the time for hours in the kitchen or hours working out!!!

  39. Nicole 07.21.2012

    Made this panini and fell in love!!! So yum! I used turkey bacon instead of real bacon (lower in fat… unfortunately, it doesn’t get as crispy). I don’t have a panini press, but I do have a stove top grill pan so I used that, put a heavy frying pan on top, and loaded that up with heavy cans for weight. Got the lovely grill marks on my sandwich too. Fontina is an AMAZING choice because it’s so tasty when it’s melty. Yum!

    Love all your recipes and ideas. Too addicted to your blog!

  40. Tara 07.21.2012

    Just made these wonderful paninis and it made my evening!!! Thanks so much for this simple, delicious recipe. I now have a house of happy faces!!!:)

  41. Deborah 07.23.2012

    I tried a different version of this recipe and don’t own a panini machine – so I used the old George Foreman grill and it worked perfect! My husband loved it. I used Fontina Cheese (first time used and loved it) with Ham and tomato. Sandwhich was so gooooood! Thanks!

  42. Kelly 07.23.2012

    I just made this and it was SO GOOD!! thx!

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  46. Peg 08.30.2012

    I make almost everything from scratch–mayo, salsa, pickles, yogurt, tortillas, etc. So I use all my tools at least twice a week. If I had to choose one, I’d choose my Cuisinart immersion blender, as it also comes with a small food processor attachment, as well as a whip attachment. With that and my cast iron skillet, which is older than I am, I could probably continue to cook to my heart’s content. Love, love, love your blog. Never been to Iowa, but hope to one day. I live in AZ, so I know heat. Hope you and Ben are staying cool as cucs!

  47. Peg 08.30.2012

    BTW–am so going to make these bacon bites tomorrow–love fruit and grape tomatoes–and what doesn’t bacon make better? I actually made mayo with bacon fat–every southern girl keeps a jar of bacon grease in her kitchen.

  48. Peg 08.30.2012

    They say it’s easier to warm up (clothing, heaters, etc.) than it is to cool off, but I grew up in the tropics and Tennessee, so I have to choose extremely warm. I just don’t cotton to the cold!

  49. Olivia 09.16.2012

    Ive made this instead with granny smith apples and substituted olive oil mayo for the honey!!! Delish!!!

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