Saturday, August 19, 2006

Vichyssoise; Panini

My Dad always loved Vichyssoise and he made a wonderful one from a recipe in The Joy of Cooking. So when I saw that there were beautiful leeks in the grocery store, I knew I had to make some.

adapted from The Joy of Cooking
(non-dairy version below)

1 large leek, white and light green parts only, minced
1 medium onion, minced
2 tablespoons butter
4 medium potatoes
4 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups milk (can use cream)
Salt and pepper
Chopped chives

In a medium soup pot, sauté the leeks and onion in butter for 3 minutes. Skin the potatoes and slice very fine. Add the chicken stock to the pot along with the potatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes or until vegetables are very tender. Puree the mixture, using an immersion blender (or you could use a blender or food processor). Add milk (or cream), salt and pepper. Serve piping hot (you can chill it, but we always ate it hot!). Garnish with chopped chives.

p.s. for those of you going the non-dairy route, the cookbook mentioned a second version, prepared the same up to the addition of cream. Skip adding the cream, then chill it and, before serving, stir in shredded cucumber. Sounds good to me! (I'd use olive oil instead of butter, too)

You can choose whatever meats, cheeses, veggies that you want, but our faves are:

sliced pepperoni
thinly sliced tomatoes
lots of fresh basil
mozzarella cheese (we also like provalone)
butter and/or olive oil
crushed garlic
Italian bread

If using butter, melt it in the microwave. I like to use a 50/50 mix of butter and olive oil. Crush the garlic into the butter/olive oil.

Paint one slice of Italian bread with the oil/garlic mixture and lay down on a grill pan. Layer cheese and other toppings, then top with more cheese. Lay second slice of Italian bread on top and paint it with garlic butter, too. When you have all the sandwiches assembled on the grill pan, put a cookie sheet on top and top that with several bricks to smoosh down the contents. (I'm sure you can also use a panini press, but I don't own one!)

When cheese is melty and bread is crusty, flip and do the same process with the cookie sheet and bricks.

Serve immediately
potato chips

p.s. I ate some of the leftover vichyssoise cold and it was good, too :)

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