Paninis and Apps

May 10, 2013

Rose 4

I know this may sound weird coming from a cook's kitchen, but we have a love-hate relationship with food at my house. With three children, four palates, and lots of opinions, there is hardly ever a dish that everyone likes.  There are a few dishes we can all agree on at times. Grilled cheese sandwiches have been big in my house for a long time but with my children getting older, we've had to mature things up a bit. The panini has now taken its place!  These sandwiches can be tweeked to fit the tastes of everyone in my family...leave out any meat for my vegetarian daughter, Sarah. Keep the meat but leave out the spice for my mild paletted son Jake. Keep the spice but nix anything too exotic then add lots of Tabasco for my heat loving son Zach.  Make sure there's plenty of cheese for everyone!  That's how it all rolls out in my kitchen when my family is around the table.  Yes, I know, I sound like a short order cook.  Hey, if the toque fits...wear it!

This month brings lots more fun new recipes to our kitchen.  We're introducing our new Small Plates & Appertizer Menu for Spring-Summer 2013 and there's a great panini recipe from it below.  I'm also sharing a wonderful tip on how to press a panini without a fancy appliance. Read on and don't forget to become an LAFW Facebook Fan. Click Here to get daily updates on the happenings in our kitchen. 

Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies!  Hope your families will be making lots of fun and delicious dishes for you or....taking you out somewhere really yummy! 


LA Food Works
Spring-Summer 2013
Small Plate and Appetizer Class Menu

LA Food Works presents its new Small Plates & Appetizer Menu for Spring-Summer 2013.When you host an Appetizer Event with LAFW, you and your guests will work with our chefs on a multiple cooking stations creating these fun and filling bites! This event is great for larger groups and we have venues that can accommodate up to 150 guests!

5.13An LA Food Works Event Includes

* Hors d'oeuvre and beverage reception on arrival

* Seasonal Menus

* Fun and knowledgeable chef instructors to guide you through your recipes

* A private cooking and dining experience at one of our charming venues

* Chef aprons to use while you are cooking

* Recipe packets for everyone to take home

Savory Selections

Aritchoke Tapenade with Tomato Coulis on Crostini
Steak Picadillo Soft Tacos
Shrimp Cakes with Chili-Lime Crema
Beef or Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Bites with Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce
Italian Caprese Sliders
Spicy Salmon Tartare with Avocado Relish
Grilled Polenta Rounds Topped with Onion-Fennel Marmalade
Camembert, Chicken and Pickled Onion Panini Squares
Caesar Salad Spears
Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Ricotta and Parsley Dumplings with Basil Infused Olive Oil
Spicy Tuna and Vegetable Sushi Rolls
Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Peanut-Lime Vinaigrette

Sweet Selections

(Hand-made Peanut Butter Candies Dipped in Chocolate)
Spiced Sugar and Honey Glazed Pastry Twists
Waffle Brownie Bites with Whipped Cream and Hot Fudge
Fuji Apple Egg Rolls

Camembert, Chicken and Pickled Onion
Panini Squares

Paninis are great to serve at parties.  Assemble the sandwiches ahead and grill them as the party is going or grill them all before and keep them in a warm oven.  We cut ours in fours and serve them as finger food on our new Spring-Summer 2013 Appetizers and Small Plates Menu. Whether you want the whole sandwich for yourself or plan to share with others, you'll love this twist on a classic grilled cheese!  It's a wonderful combination of rich cheese, tangy pickled onion, creamy chicken salad and sweet fig jam. If you don't want to make your own pickled onions, head on over to a gourmet deli or market and pick up a pint there. Grocery store rotisserie chicken works really well in this recipe and fig jam can be found at most Trader Joe's these days. And don't worry if you don't have a panini press...have a look below on how to make a panini without one. See how easy it is to make a fancy little dish for family and friends at your next event!

      Pickled Onions
red onion - sliced very thin
1 1/2                           teaspoons pickling spice mixture - placed in a square of cheesecloth then tied into a sachet with butcher's twine or in a loose tea leaf infuser ball
cup white wine vinegar
cup water
cup sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds roasted chicken-coarsely chopped into bite size pieces. 
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
1 teaspoon smoked salt
16 slices sourdough bread
3/4 cup fig jam
8 ounces Camembert Cheese-sliced into thin slices







Pickle the onions: Add the onion slices to a large, heat-safe bowl. In a large square of cheesecloth, add the pickling spices, then use butcher's twine to secure the ends into a sachet. In a medium saucepan, add the vinegar, water, sugar, the spice sachet and the kosher salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar and salt are dissolved, about 3 minutes. Turn off heat and let spices seep for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the spice sachet and pour the liquid over the sliced onions. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 45 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and the remaining pinch of salt and pinch of pepper.

Add chicken to a large bowl along with the mint, mayonnaise and smoked salt. Stir to combine.

Assemble the sandwiches: Spoon chicken salad onto 1/2 of the slices of bread and top each with some pickled red onions. Top each sandwich with 3 slices of the Camembert. Schmeer another slice of bread with fig jam then place on top of the cheese. Toast using a panini press until the cheese is melted and the slices of bread are browned, about 5 minutes. Cut each sandwich into 4 squares and serve hot.

Makes 8 sandwiches, 16 Servings, Per Serving: 152 Calories; 9g Fat (56.1% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 28mg Cholesterol; 505mg Sodium.

Panini with out the Press

Improvised Panini PressYou don't need a fancy panini press to make the great sandwich above or another combination you can think just need a couple of hot skillets.  Simply heat up both a skillet or grill pan and an additional skillet to medium heat (not too hot).  Butter both sides for your sandwich and pop it on the first hot pan.  On top of the sandwich side that is facing up, place a piece of foil then the other hot skillet. If the second skillet doesn't seem heavy enough, weight it down with a can or two of tomatoes from your pantry.  If you're using a grill pan, flip it after a few minutes, remove the sandwich to a cutting board to let the cheese set and the flavors meld, then cut. Voila!  Panini with out the press!!!!

WANT TO USE THESE TIPS AND RECIPES IN YOUR E-ZINE, BLOG OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you do not alter the information in any way and include a credit that reads "by Rose LeBoeuf,, Interactive Cooking Classes, Parties, and Corporate Team Building Events for Groups Looking for a Fun and Unique Dinning Experience." 

 LA Food Works Events 

Ideal for Team Building, Summer Outings, Client Entertaining, Birthday Parties, Showers and Private Gatherings. 
Let LA Food Works make your party one which your guests will not soon forget!
No previous cooking experience required!
Just willingness to put on an apron,
get your hands a little messy,
indulge in some great food
and have lots of fun playing in the kitchen!
We also happily design Custom Cooking Parties. If you have a group of 10 or more foodies who love great food and playing together in the kitchen, contact us and we will design a custom menu or theme class for you and your group.

Our interactive cooking parties both unify and entertain...perfect for any occasion that requires great food, interesting activities and lots of fun!


For information or to book your event, contact Rose LeBoeuf at 310-288-0100 for an event planning kit, pricing and availability.