Cooking on Vaca!

grande bucket of beer on the beach!

Matt and I just spent a lovely 9 days in Mexico.  We go to Puerto Vallarta each winter.  I started going around 15 years ago with my mom and some friends of my mom (which are now my friends too :).  Eventually our annual trip grew to included Matt and last year we also brought Matt’s mom Elaine.  This year we invited our friends Rob and Jen!  Matt, Jen, Rob and I rented condos in a new building in the romantic zone.  Each of our condos came complete with gorgeous kitchens.

The next book in line was 200 Best Panini Recipes and the recipe tagged was for Super Veggie Panini.

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The condo wasn’t equipped with a panini press so I improvised and heated a skillet on the 6 burner range (fancy!) and used another heated skillet to “smash” the sandwiches.

But something the condo did come with was a blender.

blender!
blender!

I am pretty sure the blender was mainly meant to mix up margaritas but I needed to make a vinaigrette so the blender came to good use.  To make the vinaigrette I blended 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar (though you can also use rice vinegar or lemon juice), 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Then with the motor running I gradually added in a slow stream 1/2 cup of olive oil.

btw the cookbook also says you can use this vinaigrette drizzled on salads or steamed veggies so since the recipe for the vinaigrette yields more than you need you can keep in the fridge for up to a week.
btw the cookbook also says you can use this vinaigrette drizzled on salads, sandwiches or steamed veggies so since the recipe for the vinaigrette yields more than you need you can keep in the fridge for up to a week and use some whenever you want.

I then took a french bread and cut a 3″ piece and cut that in half (well technically I cut 2- 3″ pieces because this was mine and Matt’s breakfast one morning).

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Then I brushed the outside of the bread with olive oil and spread mayonnaise on the inside faces.

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One the bottom parts of the bread I layered thin slices of cucumber, thin slices of tomato, thin slices of avocado, spinach, a few drizzles of the vinaigrette, and then the top piece of bread.  The recipe also called for swiss cheese which would have been put on the bottom piece of bread before the cucumbers but we omitted the cheese.  Then I cooked the sandwiches in my make-shift panini press for 3 minutes.

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The Verdict:  Pretty tasty!  I ended up remaking these at home after we returned in the panini maker and it kind of fell apart a bit, all the slippery veggies made the bread slide apart.  So then I tried on just toasted bread and I think that is the best format for this sandwich!

But a bit more about Mexico…here are some pics!

grande bucket of beer on the beach!
grande bucket of beer on the beach!
Bakery where we picked up the bread
Bakery where we picked up the bread
bread!!
bread!!
inside view of the bakery...can I work here?!
inside view of the bakery…can I work here?!
shopping for veggies!
shopping for veggies!
beautiful!
beautiful! or should I say bonita!
my basket of veggies
my basket of veggies
walking though the market
walking though the market
I also bought meat! A lot of meat!! (Jen and I grilled up a feast of meat and veggies at our condos for all our friends one night)
I also bought meat! A lot of meat!! (Jen and I grilled up a feast of meat and veggies at our condos for all our friends one night)
meat store...if you are in PV and want to also make your friend a meat feast I highly recommend this shop.
meat store…if you are in PV and want to also make your friends a meat feast I highly recommend this shop.
here's a close up of the sign
here’s a close up of the sign
view from our balcony. How did that Cowboys in Cardigans sticker get there?!
view from our balcony. How did that Cowboys in Cardigans sticker get there?!
Jen and I and our ginormous margaritas!
Jen and I and our ginormous margaritas!

 

 

 

 

 

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