This is one of my husband’s favorite panini, and he likes to eat it as a dinner upon getting back home from work. It is a comforting and filling “double meaty” panino, in which the wholesome texture of the mushrooms works in harmony with the energetic flavor of the smoked ham. This is a good source of energy and replenishment during the winter season: it’s a nutritious “winter warmer,” which delights your senses and fuels your body.
Up until now I have never posted about my dining and nightlife experiences in Chicago. There is a simple reason behind it: I just haven’t gone out much lately! I remember the first year after my husband and I came to Chicago: We used to meet on Michigan Avenue and go to concerts, visit museums or watch movies at the various theaters downtown. Those were the days when Chicago and its all enchanting magic drew us in – and hardly let us go. Sadly, this past year we have been very busy with work – so busy that we’ve forgotten all about the magic and vibrancy of our city. Isn’t that a shame?
Making the Méro cake has inspired me to cook more with apples, so last week I bought a few from the grocery store, and I decided to use them in panini. I remembered a recipe for an apple and celeriac salad my mom used to make when I was little, and I thought it would be great if I used it in my panino. On paper, apples and celeriac sounds like an odd combination for a panino, but I assure you it works. The apples make the panino light and refreshing, while the celeriac provides a touch of assertiveness – and lots of healthy fiber.
It all started last week, when I bought some Granny Smith apples from the local grocery store. Initially I wanted to use them in a salad, but then I got very busy with work and school, and time flew by like in a dream. On the plus side, those extra few days gave me the chance to reflect more on my options, and in the end I changed my mind completely – for the better, I think. I decided that I should try to make a special cake – a cake that meant the world to me when I was a child: Méro.
This soup is a tribute to cheerful, vibrant colors. I love it because it is quick and easy to prepare, the ingredients are simple and widely available, and the energetic colors of the veggies put me in a good mood instantly.
You may find my enthusiasm exaggerated – after all, it’s just another soup, right? – but I assure you it’s not. If you compare my deep, richly nuanced present with my almost colorless past, my love of colors becomes easy to understand.
I made this panino a couple of days ago because I wanted to use up a can of tuna from my pantry. It was also yet another way to make use of my beloved peppadew peppers. (I wrote a bit about peppadew peppers here) Most of the other ingredients were readily available as well. The only ingredient I had to buy was a bunch of parsley, which was a welcome addition because it brought freshness and extra flavor to the panino.