I'm a sandwich girl. Not a dainty eat-with-your-hands type of sandwich girl, but a thick, loaded, fork-and-knife type of sandwich woman (that's right!). I love to fill two pieces of homemade bread with all the creative vegetarian fixings I can think of: grilled or sauteed veggies, avocado, roasted red pepper, tempeh, sauerkraut, baked sweet potato slices, and the list goes on.
Today's post is an ode to one of the most insanely delicious sandwiches I've sunk my teeth into this summer: The Grilled Apple Panini at the Quiet Storm in Pittsburgh. A few weeks ago, Adam and I headed up to Pittsburgh for a day trip (we wanted to check out the Carnegie Museum of Natural History--relaxing afternoon entertainment if you're in the area), and of course did an extensive online restaurant search before leaving. We decided on a the Quiet Storm, a funky little coffee shop that specializes in vegetarian dishes and organic baked goods.
Well, let's just say I had my Meg Ryan "in-the-diner" moment from When Harry Met Sally when I tasted their Grilled Apple Panini.
Last night, I tried to re-create that delightful dish for dinner, and unfortunately it didn't turn out near as tasty. Most likely because I was far lighter on the cream cheese and the cheddar than they were in the restaurant. Regardless, I've posted the sandwich fixins' below. If you're going for a healthy option, by all means go light on the condiments as I did. But if you're ready for the party-in-your-mouth that I had a couple weeks ago, load it up, my friends! Or, just head up to the Quiet Storm and taste the sandwich insanity for yourself.
What's your to-die-for sandwich?
Grilled Apple Panini (inspired by The Quiet Storm)
- Your favorite homemade bread, thickly sliced
- Cream cheese (I use Neufchatel 1/3 reduced fat cheese)
- Apple butter
- Sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
- 1 apple, thinly sliced
- Prepared vegetarian "sausage" patties (I used Morningstar, original variety)
- Smart Balance spread (or, if you're Adam, real butter!)
1) Spread a thin layer of Smart Balance (or real butter for those no-substitute folks!) on each of two slices of bread.
2) On the non-buttered side of one piece of bread, generously spread cream cheese and apple butter. Top with apple slices and vegetarian "sausage" (we crumbled our "sausage" patties, like the restaurant did). Place one slice of good cheddar cheese on top of the "sausage." Top with the other slice of bread, butter side up.
3) Cook sandwich over low-medium heat on a skillet liberally coated with cooking spray (or Smart Balance...or real butter!). Cook on each side until golden-brown.
4) Grab a fork and knife, and revel in the fact that you're not a dainty eat-with-your fingers type of sandwich girl (or guy) :)