Friday, June 22, 2012

Innovative Leftovers Part 1–Hamburger Panini

This is the first in a series of fun and creative ways to use the leftovers in your fridge.

You've all had that moment. You look in the fridge and go, "Yes! There's still a hamburger leftover from dinner! And some cheese, too! Sweet! This will be the best lunch EVER!"
But then you realize two things:
1. You're way too excited about a hamburger.
And 2. You don't have a bun, just some frozen sandwich bread, and the only condiments you have are mayonnaise and barbecue sauce.
As you stare, devastated, into the fridge, and resign yourself to a lunch of frozen bread with mayonnaise, a revelation hits you.

Hamburger Panini:


1/2 leftover hamburger
2 slices sandwich bread, frozen

Barbecue sauce (or sandwich spread of choice)
Mayonnaise, butter, or olive oil
Lettuce, tomato, and/or pickles (optional)


Turn on panini press or place frying pan over medium heat. Spread thin layer of mayonnaise, butter, or oil on the outside of both slices of bread.
Spread preferred sandwich spread over inside of bread.
This is a mango-pineapple barbecue sauce.
Cut hamburger into slices and place on bread with cheese and any other toppings.
I gave the extra piece to my dog.
Arugula and provolone
Cover with second slice of bread and place in a panini press or hot frying pan. Place lid on frying pan.
Cook until cheese is melted and bread has golden brown grill marks.
Immerse yourself in my burger panini!

I love paninis! The cheese is so gooey and delicious and you can stuff pretty much anything inside them. In this panini, the sweet barbecue sauce I used cut down in the arugula's bitterness perfectly. Because of the oil (or mayo or butter) that is spread on the outside of the panini, the bread is amazingly crispy. I recommend that you start with frozen bread because the oil is easier to spread on a frozen surface. This panini is really adaptable; you can use any cheese, veggies, and condiments in your fridge. I especially love a spinach/mozzarella combo.

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