Paninis are the contemporary grilled cheese. They’re the adult name for one of our favorite child hood comfort foods, and the combinations are often as modern and forward thinking as we are at this point in adulthood. Embrace the best of both worlds with these Chipotle Chicken Bacon Ranch Paninis. Crisp bacon, strips of grilled chicken, sliced tomatoes, and a spread of ranch dressing are sandwiched between two cirsp layers of grilled sourdough bread and secured between layers of chipotle seasoned cheddar cheese.
The hubs had several days off this week, and combined with the weekend– it meant it was almost like he was on vacation. This meant he did one of his favorite things– movie marathon with the kids. Today’s pick? Tolkien’s The Hobbit. We all thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the 6 year old who’s now eager to plow through our pile of Summer reading books to get to none other than my hard back special edition copy of said story. And while he thoroughly enjoyed the picture, it did lead to some question and concerns on his part. Mot notably– despite all the scenes in which the troupe is eating– the lack of some of his favorite foods. At one point he turned to me and announced that he could never make it as a hobbit because they don’t have bacon. I’m sure they did, but he wasn’t so easily convinced.
One thing I’m sure those tiny little foodies did know about is how to blend spices with different foods to make epic combinations. They may not have had access to chipotle peppers, but if they did I’m 100 % certain that a hobbit would have discovered how perfectly said seasoning pairs with cheese long before I did. And would you like to know what else goes hand in hand with chipotle cheddar cheese? Bacon. Tomatoes and ranch dressing too. On sourdough bread, crisped on the outside with everything secured in a melted layer of cheese in between. Any hobbit would have been proud of this creation!
- 2 slices of crusty Sourdough bread
- 1/2 tbsp butter, divided
- 4-6 strips of grilled chicken breast, depending on the size
- 2 thin slices of tomato
- 2 strips of crisp cooked bacon, patted dry of grease
- 2 thick slices of Chipotle seasoned cheddar cheese
- 2 tbsp Ranch dressing
- Allow the Panini press to preheat whipe you prepare the sandwich.
- Use a butter knife to spread a layer of butter onto one side of each slice of sourdough.
- Lay one of the buttered sides of bread down flat onto the panini press. Working quickly, layer the ingredients as follows: one slice of cheddar, chicken strips, tomato slices, bacon, a smear of ranch dressing, and finally the last piece of cheese.
- 4. Top the sandwich with second slice of bread (buttered side facing up) and close the Panini press.
- Cook the sandwich for 3-5 minutes, or until the outside is golden brown with grill marks and the cheese is melted nicely inside.
- No panini press? No worries. Use a stove top grill pan and set a heavy skillet on top of the sandwich to press it into the pan as it cooks. After half the cooking time is elapsed- flip the sandwich, replace the skillet and all it to finish cooking.
- Can't find chipotle cheddar or want to use the cheddar you already have at home? You can season your ranch dressing with chipotle pepper seasoning or sprinkle it straight onto the sandwich before closing it and grilling.
“If most of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold it would be a merrier world.” –J.R.R. Tolkien
Share this yummy sandwich with a friend or two, or make a batch for your nearest and dearest. Amazing things have started with something as simple as a grilled cheese sandwich. With a grilled cheese this special? Something special is sure to be indeed.