My husband and I don't do much for our anniversary. I may make a favorite dinner, or perhaps we will go somewhere simple to eat, but that is really about it. One year my husband took me to a fondue restaurant because he was told by a co-worker that it was a romantic thing to do.
While some may go to fondue restaurants for the romance, I think really what it comes down to is the experience. Each course gets presented with such drama and flair; it's really like no other dining experience. That being said, here are three reasons why we never went back; it's a time commitment. This meal takes planning. You cannot rush through this meal. If you are doing dinner and show, leave yourself time. Have a babysitter? Warn her. This could literally be a three-hour meal. I don't know about you, but I cannot sit that long.
Second, it's not cheap. I see no need to elaborate on this. And last, your small bites add up. This meal convinces you that you are merely nibbling on your food, when in actuality; you've eaten enough food to feed your entire family. Good thing you didn't make plans after dinner because now you need a nap.
Still, fondue cheese is so, so good! If you are a fan of fondue, then this panini sandwich is for you. This sandwich starts with French bread that is stuffed with Swiss, Gruyere, and Parmesan cheese. The combination of the three yields perfectly, creamy, melted cheese. French bread is often served with cheese fondue, and in this sandwich, its thickness surrounds the cheese and helps hold everything in place.
I do not own a panini press. Don't worry; you don't need to own one either. Once you assemble your sandwiches, rest them on the hot grill pan and place a heavy skillet over the top of the sandwiches. That skillet will do an excellent job of pressing your sandwich down into the classic panini shape.
A word on the cheese: if you use a block cheese from your deli, be sure to slice it as thinly as possible. The thicker the slice, the longer it will take to melt. The last thing you want is melted cheese on the inside but burnt bread on the outside!
- 1 loaf french bread, large
- 3 ounces gruyere cheese
- 3 ounces swiss cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons butter
- Cut the baguette in half, and then slice each half horizontally.
- Preheat a grill pan over medium heat. Spread a half-teaspoon on the outside of each piece of bread. Lay the flat pieces of bread, buttered side down on the hot grill pan.
- Layer the Gruyere cheese and Swiss cheeses; sprinkle each half with Parmesan cheese.
- Place remaining pieces of bread on top, buttered side up.
- Place a cast iron or other heavy skillet over the sandwiches and lightly press down.
- Grill sandwiches for 2-3 minutes or until golden, turn sandwiches over and place the skillet back on top.
- Heat sandwiches for an additional 2- 3 minutes or until cheese has melted.
- Serve immediately.
KitchenIQ V-etched Container Grater
Le Creuset Skillet
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet