For lunch today I cracked open an unusual bottle of Tempanillo rose (“Flamenco Rojo”) from a so-so Paso Robles winery that I have an unusual history with (which is a story we’ll save for another time). I paired it with a panino and a friend; Ga Eul came by while I was sauteeing some red onions and the final result was crusty puglese bread sandwiches hot from the oven (a substitute for the panini press I don’t have) stacked with roast beef, carmelized red onions, black truffle oil, shaved parmesean, and arugula. If you have a panini machine, I trust you can figure out how to put this together: my only warning is to not use too much truffle oil, or you WILL ruin your food. If you don’t have a panini machine, here’s what I did from start to finish:
For sandwiches to feed 3-4 people you will need:
block of parmesean
loaf of puglese, medium to small size, or other non-sourdough bread
1/3 to 1/2 lb roast beef
enough arugula for one salad
truffle oil (I prefer black for this sandwich) or truffle spread
two red onions
olive oil, salt
Peel & chop two red onions, heat about two tablespoons of olive oil in a preferably nonstick pan on low-medium heat, add onions. They can be in half sphere slices. Once they are sizzling, turn heat to low. They need to cook on low or they will only brown and the sugar will not carmalize and give it the nice flavor and texture you’re looking for. It will take at least 30 minutes. The onions are done when they become soft and worm like but still have some red color and the thicker pieces will have some snap to them, some moisture. Be sure to season the onions while you’re cooking, liberally with salt.
Slice your bread into fairly thin slices as we aren’t using a press to make them thinner. Heat your oven to 400 degrees. You will need foil.
Toast the bread to a golden brown. Cover one side of the sandwich for each one in a drizzle of truffle oil, or a brushing of spread. Next, a slice or two of roast beef. Then, warm carmelized onions (or you can make the onions before and leave the sandwiches in the oven longer). Then, parmesean shavings, quite a lot. Arugula, just a nice handful, and salt–a good shake per sandwich. Wrap each sandwich or pair two sandwiches in foil, airtight. Place them in your 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.
Slice in half, plate. Consider more salt, depending how salty your meat was. THe truffle oil and onions won’t stand out as well without the salt, so this is important.
And enjoy your pseudo-panino, a nice satisfying hot sandwich without a panini press, and with less fat.