My husband lived in Italy when he was younger. On New Year’s Eve as we reminisce with friends, I make these panini as appetizers to celebrate his favorite Italian snack, bruschetta. This recipe is simple to make and ideal served hot.
New Year’s Eve Party Panini – Serves 6
3/4 cup unsalted butter
12 slices of white bread
8 oz. Mozzarella, sliced
fresh basil leaves
6 small tomatoes, thickly sliced
6 eggs, lighly beaten
5 cups Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Use approx. 1/2 cup of butter to lightly butter one side of bread slices.
2. Divide mozzarella, basil, and tomato evenly among the buttered side of 6 slices of bread.
3. Place remaining slices of bread on top of mozzarella stacks, placing the buttered side down.
4. Pinch the edges of each soon-to-be panini together.
5. Place flour, egg, and breadcrumbs in separate bowls. (Pie tins work well.)
6. Brush each side of the sandwiches with a little milk using a pastry brush.
7. Coat by dipping first in flour, then the beaten egg, and finally in the breadcrumbs.
8. Place remaining butter and olive oil in a frying pan and toast each side for 2 or 3 minutes – until golden brown. (This is the traditional way to cook these sandwiches: For parties, I cut the fat – and cooking time – by utilizing my George Foreman Grill. You don’t need to grease the plates and you cook both sides at once. I suppose if I had a fancy panini maker, I would use that instead.)
9. Serve cut in quarters and enjoy.
You can cook these a few hours ahead of time and keep them hot by wrapping each whole sandwich in foil and placing them in an oven set to 160 degrees. Cut them in quarters and arrange the Party Panini artfully on a tray when ready to serve.