“Can you find a use for this?” Nick, more told me than asked me, as he ditched two leftover baguettes at me and market manager, Rebbie, as the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market was closing up.
I slathered goat cheese on the baguette when I got home, topping it with a tomato, for an easy after-market lunch before a good deal of napping took place. The next day I had plenty of baguette left. It hardened by then.
How could I use it: croutons, french toast, bread crumbs… Nothing excited me. I then remembered the panini press that’s been sitting in my apartment unused for about, well, since I moved into my apartment 4 years ago.
I wanted to squeeze a fried egg into this breakfast panini. Because really, how could I eat a sandwich before noon without an egg? The sandwich turned into an elaborate kitchen mess: sauteing garlic scapes with spinach, browning sun gold tomatoes, tearing basil, shredding smoked cheddar and baking bacon.
The problem I realized is the width of the baguette. There was no fucking way all of this would fit.
I tore out some of the bread inside and tried to flatten it without snapping it in half. So I stuffed all of the above in the crevices. I also slathered a seedy Dijon mustard on one side. And of course, I slathered the bacon grease on the outside of the bread.
I also wanted to add in a fried egg. I fried the egg (in the bacon grease) and then tried to slide it on the sandwich. It was a mess from the start. It wouldn’t fit in the sandwich. The yolk was everywhere. And then I smushed it in between the slices. And smushed it again in the press.
And well. It was fine, with the yolk mostly cooked after about 7 minutes under the press’ heat. A total mess to eat, unlike the perfectly compact paninis purchased from lunch counters.
But now I’m wondering if it’s actually my fuck up – is a fried egg panini even possible in the land outside of a Williams-Sonoma magazine?