I found this recipe from Wicked Good Barbecue while looking at the recipe for the Wicked Pulled Pork and I have been drooling over the thought of it for two weeks now. I made it last night with a couple changes. First off I wasn't planning a party, so I reduced the recipe to 1/3 the original size. Secondly when time came to start it was absolutely pouring out, so I decided to roast the peppers on my stove in a grill pan. Yes I have a grill gazebo but getting out there in that rain would not be pretty. I also figured doing these on the stove allowed me to start my other prep while being able to keep an eye on the progress of the peppers. The third thing I did was to grill the sandwich on the raised ridges side of my half moon grill griddle. The ridges on the grill griddle even look like the spacing of the ridges on a panini press, but the half moon griddle is much bigger in size than a home panini press. The last change came at the last minute when I left off the lettuce, which I hate with a passion. Onto the pictures...
Two peppers were roasted on the grill pan. After they rested and cooled for 30 minutes the skin came right off in large pieces.
The ingredients for the veggie topping & marinade / dipping sauce were Roma tomatoes, red onions, shallots, fennel (the bulb thin sliced), red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes, dried oregano, Kosher salt, black pepper, finely chopped Italian parsley and EVOO.
Here are the veggies after being prepped. The tomatoes were sliced 1/8" thick, the red onions 1/4" thick, the fennel bulb 1/16" thick, the roasted peppers had the skin peeled and got cut into 1"x1" pieces and the shallot was finely chopped. My mandoline slicer gave me nice uniform slices and made quick work of the slicing chores.
The balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, EVOO, shallots, parsley, oregano, salt & pepper were mixed together until the oil & vinegar came together.
The sliced and diced veggies were tossed in the marinade and allowed to rest for 10 minutes. They were tossed again to mix and rested for another 10 minutes. While this was resting I gathered the meats & cheese for sandwich.
The veggie topping for the panini is done and the marinade is being strained out. It will be used as a dipping sauce for the finished paninis. The other toppings were: Provolone cheese, mortadella, Genoa salami, hot capicola, roasted red peppers & sliced pepperoncinis. The Italian bread was brushed with olive oil.
Some assembly required: First was the Genoa salami....
...hot capicola topped with the provolone cheese.
...roasted red peppers...
...and finally the drained veggie topping. Now after this Romaine lettuce was supposed to be the final topping. Well I had the lettuce, but you know what? I HATE, HATE, HATE lettuce and I decided I liked everything else on the sandwich, why top it with something I hated? I couldn't think of a good reason. So we are done.
This was a beast of a sandwich and, believe it or not, I reduced the quantity of ingredients!!
The Egg was pre-heated to 350 degrees at the grate. There was an apple wood chunk mixed in with the lump. The raised ridges of the half moon grill griddle look a bit like those in a panini press, particularly if you compare it to the s/s grill grid which was the other choice for a grilling surface. Another advantage here is the half moon grill griddle caught a good deal of the spilllage.
The sandwich was topped with a foil wrapped jelly roll pan and that was weighed down with two foil wrapped fire bricks. This was a VERY tight squeeze closing the lid. But I had pre-tested this solution on a cold grill with some bowls substituting for the panini. So I knew it would fit without resorting to grease, but very close quarters.
The panini is done. I cooked it for 5 minutes a side at 350. In my prior experience 325-350 allows you to cook paninis or quesadillas so the fillings are heated through without the bread or tortillas burning. It worked well here on the Egg too. I had a crispy toasted (but not burnt) panini with all of the toppings heated through.
The panini was sliced into manageable (but still huge) portions.
The reserved marinade was used for a dipping sauce.
Let me just say this sandwich lived up to my expectations after drooling over the recipe for two weeks now. It was definitely "drool-worthy".