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 & Peach Paninis!
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!
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!)
Start the Bacon, Cheese & Peach Paninis by assembling & prepping zee ingredients. We’ve got:
- Ciabatta bread
- Fontina cheese
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!
Then cook a couple slices of thick-cut bacon or center-cut bacon in the microwave.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Assemble the panini by layering slices of cheese onto each slice of bread, then placing the cooked bacon on one half.
Lay the peach slices on the other, then spoon some honey mustard on top.
Close the sandwich, then brush the top and bottom with extra virgin olive oil.
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.)
Let the sandwich cool on a cutting board for 2-3 minutes, then slice and dig in!
Bacon, Cheese & Peach Paninis
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
- Heat a panini press to medium-high heat.* Stir together honey and mustard in a small bowl and set aside.
- 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.
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.
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?