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Mushroom, Goat Cheese and Truffle Oil Panini: Sandwich Love for Tyler Florence Fridays

Posted Jul 24 2009 12:00am
I am sure there are better panini makers, photographers and food stylists than me that have the ability to make a mushroom panini look pretty and delicious, but since I don't have those skills, you will just have to take it from me that this sandwich is really good. Really, really, really good as a matter of fact. If you love mushrooms like I do, you will be in heaven with this one. There is some alchemy between the mushrooms, thyme, goat cheese and truffle oil that just works. Earthy and satisfying, especially on crispy focaccia bread with peppery arugula, Tyler's Mushroom, Goat Cheese and Truffle Oil Panini is the best kind of vegetarian sandwich--one where you won't miss the meat at all. Simple to make, the hardest part was not eating all the mushrooms on bits of the focaccia while waiting for it to cool. 

The recipe is from Food 911 and can be found on the Food Network site here.

Mushroom, Goat Cheese and Truffle Oil Panini
Tyler Florence
(Makes 4 Sandwiches)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 pound mixed mushrooms, such as button, cremini, shiitake or oyster
1/2 pound fresh goat cheese, or other soft fresh cheese
2 tablespoons truffle oil*, optional
1 small focaccia loaf
1 small bunch arugula
*Can be found at gourmet and specialty food shops.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and 2 tablespoons thyme and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until they are browned and soft, about 10 minutes. 

Remove from the heat and let them cool for about 15 minutes. Put the mushrooms into a food processor and pulse a few times until they are finely chopped. (Alternately, you can chop them on a board with a knife.) Scrape them into a bowl. Crumble in the goat cheese and add the remaining thyme. Pour in the truffle oil, if using, and mix well to combine.

Cut the focaccia into 4 pieces, slice them horizontally, and drizzle with some olive oil. On the bottoms place 1/4 of the mushroom mixture and top with some arugula. Put the tops on and gently press each sandwich to flatten it slightly. Drizzle some more olive oil over the tops.

Place each sandwich on a preheated panini press and grill until the bread is toasted and the cheese begins to melt, about 5 minutes. Alternately, preheat a dry cast iron or non stick pan. Place the sandwich in the pan and weight it down with another pan or a clean brick wrapped in foil. Grill 5 minutes, turn the sandwich over, re-weight it, and grill for another 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Notes/Results: I received a little bottle of white truffle oil as a gift and this was a great way to use some of it. If you don't want to spring for truffle oil, it still tastes delicious without it, (Says the girl scarfing down all those mushrooms before they were chopped and then after they were chopped and blended with the cheese before the truffle oil was added, then again after the truffle oil was added...). I used a combination of oyster (from my CSA box), crimini, shiitake and button mushrooms. The focaccia bread I used was a bit thick and although I cut it down a bit, I think next time I would use a thinner bread just to get it even more crispy. I did cut down the oil a bit for this and since I don't have a panini maker, I used my George Foreman Grill which worked just fine. This is a good one, with a salad it makes an easy and yummy lunch or dinner and I will make it again.

You can see what recipes our other Tyler Florence Friday participants selected and what they thought of them by going to the TFF site here.

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