Monday, November 28, 2016

Sourdough Panini of Poached Greek Chicken and Potatoes with Cypriot Halloumi

     Gourmet Panini!
     Every Greek diner seems to offer potatoes that are flavored with garlic, lemon and oregano.  Garlic, lemon and oregano is also used to flavor Greek style chicken.  Potato and chicken Mexican torta sandwiches are somewhat popular, so I figured that combination would work for a Greek style panini. 
      I purchased a small block of Cypress Halloumi Cheese at a Mediterranean market.  Cypriot Haloumi cheese originated in Cypress over 1,000 years ago.  Halloumi from Cypress is made with a combination of goats milk and sheep milk.  In modern times, cows milk is often part of the mixture.
     The Halloumi Cheese process involves layering the fresh cheese while it is warm, then it it packed in brine.  The result is a semi hard cheese that has a milky flavor.  Cypriot Halloumi has high melting point, because this cheese has a low fat content.     
     A Greek spice mayonnaise spread was made for this sandwich, to give it an extra kick of flavor.  Hints of cinnamon and cumin can be tasted in the sandwich spread.  

     Greek Spice Mayonnaise:
     This recipe yields about 1/3 cup.  (Enough for 2 to 3 sandwiches)
     Step 1:  Place 1/4 cup of mayonnaise in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 tablespoon of tomato puree.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Step 2:  Add 2 pinches of oregano.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of garlic paste.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of cumin.
     Add 1 pinch of Hungarian Paprika.
     Add 1 pinch of cinnamon.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 3:  Mix the ingredients together.
     Place the sandwich spread in a container. 
     Chill the sandwich spread for 30 minutes, so the flavors meld.
     Greek Poached Chicken and Potatoes:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.  (Enough for 1 sandwich.)
     No tricky cooking techniques are needed for this recipe!  The chicken breast is not roasted or sauteed.  It is poached with the boiling potato slices.  Boiling or poaching is probably the oldest cooking technique of them all and it is a good technique for when strong roasted flavors are not desired. 
     Step 1:  Place a 4 ounce chicken breast in a sauce pot.
     Add 5 to 6 thin potato slices that are about 3/16" thick.
     Cover the ingredients with water.
     Step 2:  Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
     Add 1 chopped garlic clove.
     Add 2 pinches of oregano.
     Add 1 pinch of Hungarian Paprika.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 3:  Place the pot over medium heat.
     Gently boil, till the chicken is fully cooked and the potato slices are tender.
     Step 4:  Drain the excess liquid off of the chicken and potatoes.
     Cut the chicken breast into thin slices.
     Keep the Greek Poached Chicken and Potatoes warm on a stove top.

     Sourdough Panini of Poached Greek Chicken and Potatoes with Cypriot Halloumi:
     This recipe yields 1 sandwich.
     Traditional panini are cut into triangle shapes!
     Step 1:  Brush one side of 2 slices of California Sourdough Bread with virgin olive oil.
     Spread a thin layer of Greek Spice Mayonnaise on the other side of the bread slices.
     Step 2:  Layer the Greek Chicken and Potatoes on one half of the sandwich.
     Place a few thin slices of Cypriot Halloumi Cheese on the sandwich.
     Place the second slice of bread on the sandwich.
     Step 3:  Heat a panini grill to a medium temperature.
     Place the sandwich on the panini grill.
     Lower the top of the panini grill and gently press.
     Grill the sandwich till it is toasted golden brown.
     Step 4:  Place the sandwich on a cutting board.
     Cut the sandwich into 3 triangle shapes.
     Place the sandwich on a plate.
     Garnish with Italian Parsley sprigs.

     A simple panini made with poached ingredients is like a sigh of relief, when the tummy desires bar snack food that is not is grilled or fried.    

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