While on holiday in Disneyland last week, we were able to ease into each morning with the Today Show. One day they were focusing on New Year’s parties and they had a segment with the fetching Giada De Laurentiis suggesting some appetizers for the New Year’s Eve shindig. One of them really caught my eye; it was for a panini with chocolate and brie, and this reminded me of one of my most favorite snacks. Grilled chocolate sandwiches.
Giada made these unique panini sandwiches using chocolate, basil and brie. Not the first thing that jumps out as ingredients for a sandwich, but as mentioned on these pages, salty, sweet, and savory flavors are great in balance with each other. The richness of the chocolate plays nicely with the bite of the brie. Couple this with the freshness of basil and you have a fun sandwich.
Not all of us have brie at the ready in our kitchen however. So here is my recipe for an awesome snack that is perfect for any time of day. I first learned of this recipe in, of all places, a Williams-Sonoma catalog. They were talking about a panini press and included a recipe for chocolate sandwiches. I loved the idea of this and knew I had to try it. Glad I did because it’s definitely in my eating arsenal.
Here is how it goes; you take some bread, preferably a country white. I like Grand Central’s Como. Great flavor and structure, this isn’t the white bread you grew up with. It’s so much better. Then you get some chocolate. I’d do semi-sweet or dark, but if you have a voracious sweet tooth, milk chocolate could work. Hershey’s is nice, but if you really want to treat yourself, go Schokinag or Guittard. And you don’t need a panini press, just use a pan and you’ll be good to go.
To make it, you get a pan nice and hot and put in a pat of butter, throw on bread with the chocolate and treat it like you would a grilled cheese sandwich. Done! Williams and Sonoma suggested sea salt; of course this is good, salt is a flavor amplifier! I look forward to giving this a whirl with the Vanilla Salt from our friends at Secret Stash Sea Salts.
Yup, another ‘weird’ food idea. We’ve touched on a ton of odd combinations here (bacon ice cream, chicken and waffles, hot dogs with cream cheese, etc), but all were about highlighting ingredients, flavors, and how they all play well together. While your mind might have some reservations, your tastebuds won’t. They’ll welcome these flavors and enjoy them! Give a chocolate sandwich a shot, I’m sure you’ll love it!
Photo from Real Simple