Spicy Grilled Vegetable Panini

My husband is a carnivorous individual… His idea of a balanced diet is meat, meat, and meat, with maybe the occasional potato. So, needless to say, I was nervous when I decided to make a vegetable panini for dinner. But then I remembered where I got the recipe; The Pioneer Woman… and I thought to myself, “If this is good enough for Ree and the Marlboro Man then it is good enough for us.”

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INGREDIENTS (Makes 4 Sandwiches):
8 slices Sourdough Bread (or Crusty French Toast)
1 Yellow Squash
1 Zucchini
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Yellow Bell Pepper
2 cups White Button Mushrooms
2 Tomatoes
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Creole Seasoning, to taste (optional)
6 tablespoons Butter
1/4 cup Real Mayonnasie
1/4 cup Red Pepper Jelly / Hot Pepper Jelly
12-16 slices Pepper Jack Cheese

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The Step-by-Step, aka. INSTRUCTIONS:
Start by firing up the grill, or preheating the oven to 400F. Then chop all of the vegetables; cut the yellow squash and zucchini into large diagonal slices, seed the red and yellow bell peppers and cut them into large chunks, then slice the button mushrooms and tomatoes.

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Now, you’ll need to make a maranade for the vegetables. Start by pouring a 1/2 cup of olive oil into a large bowl.

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Then add a 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar to the olive oil.

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Add salt, pepper, and Creole to the oil / vinegar mixture, to taste…

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And stir together your marinade ingredients…

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Add the yellow squash, zucchini, red bell peppers, and yellow bell peppers to the bowl and toss them, coating them in the marinade. Set the bowl aside.

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Now it’s time to sauté the mushrooms. So, in a skillet over medium-high heat melt 1 tablespoon of butter with the remaining 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.

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When the butter has melted, toss in the mushrooms…

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and cook the mushrooms until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes.

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Then remove the mushrooms to a plate and set them aside.

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Now, remove the yellow squash, zucchini, red bell peppers, and yellow bell peppers from the marinade so they can be put on the grill. But don’t discard the marinade; the tomatoes will need it!

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Put the tomatoes in the marinade.

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Grill the vegetables on both sides until golden brown and tender. (VARIATION: If you don’t have access to a grill, roast the vegetables on a baking sheet in a 400F oven, until brown.)

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Now, spread the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter on the outside of each piece of sourdough bread.

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Now, it’s time to make the panini spread. So combine 1/4 cup of mayonnaise with 1/4 cup of red pepper jelly…

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… and stir well.

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Flip the slices of bread over (to the unbuttered side) and cover the inside of each piece of bread with the spicy panini spread.

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Place a generous amount of pepper jack cheese on each slice of bread… (BEWARE: Dogs come running when they smell cheese. Say hello to Charlie! Look at those eyes!)

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Layer grilled vegetables on four slices of the bread (aka. the four bottom slices); yellow quash, zucchini, red bell peppers, and yellow bell peppers…

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Then add some mushrooms…

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And tomatoes…

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Carefully put each sandwich together and transfer them to a stove top / panini press. (VARIATION: If you don’t have a stove press you can grill them in a skillet. One at a time put the sandwiches in a hot skillet, and then place a second (heavy) skillet on top of each sandwich, the weight of the heavy skillet will act as a panini press. Just flip the sandwich half way through.)

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Grill the sandwiches until golden brown and crispy. Remember to flip the sandwiches half way through. You can even rotate them on the panini press… if you want stylish grill lines.

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Remove them from the heat…

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And Enjoy! I like to cut them in half… But however you cut them… they are pure awesomeness!

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Also, in case you were wondering… My husband, the “meat eater” absolutely LOVED his Spicy Vegetable Panini! He actually loved it so much that he took the leftovers to work.

SERVE WITH: I served the Panini alone, but if you want a side item I recommend; Creamy Yet Spicy Mac and Cheese from The Uncustomary Housewife.

REFERENCE: Spicy Grilled Vegetable Panini, from the Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier.

Cook Long and Prosper! Love, the Uncustomary Housewife

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