Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ponce Panini and Honey Matcha Bread

As part of my partnership with Good Cook, I was sent a set of their nonstick knives. The blades are high-carbon steel with a brightly colored nonstick coating, and each one comes with its own color-coordinated knife guard.

So far, I think my favorite of the group is the bread knife, although the red utility knife is going to be very handy for tomatoes.

Now, don't get me wrong - these knives are no substitute for that hand-forged knife made during a full solar eclipse and quenched in unicorn tears that you picked up on your last trip to Atlantis.

These are affordable knives. You can take one to the neighbor's barbecue and you won't have to file an insurance claim if Crazy Aunt Sally packs up your knife along with her left over potato surprise salad.

These are the knives that you pack up and take with you to a picnic or to a potluck. They're nice to use, but not tragic to lose. The least expensive knife is $14.99 and the most expensive is $29.99, so they're budget-friendly. 

Maybe these wouldn't work for slicing sashimi, but they're great for slicing sandwiches. And the little serrations are great for cutting tomatoes. I'm still testing to see which knife I like best for slashing bread dough, which is something I do a lot around here.

The splash of color is nice, too. I'm sure you'll be seeing them in photos on my blog, just because they are so colorful. 

Ponce Panini
See, I think that red knife looks good back there!
I'm using "panini" in the American sense of the word here ... and while you're at it, this is a sandwich, so I'm listing ingredients but not specific amounts for each item. I'll leave that to your excellent discretion.

Brown mustard
Thinly sliced ponce (recipe here)
Tomato slices
Baby spinach
Smoked mozzarella

Butter the sides of the bread that will be the outsides of the sandwich. Layer the ingredients. I like to have the cheese right next to the bread, and since I wanted the spinach to wilt a bit that was right next to the cheese.

Use a sandwich press to cook and smash the sandwich (don't smash too hard or you'll have spurting tomatoes) or grill the sandwich in a pan as you would for grilled cheese, until the bread is toasted an the cheese is melted.

Slice and serve while hot.

Honey Matcha Bread (in the bread machine)
Since that was a simple recipe, here's another for the bread I used for the sandwiches. I liked the flavor of this bread a lot, but the color was a little odd. Not quite green, but not quite any other normal bread color either. Like you'd look at it and say, "what color does that want to be, anyway?" I think the color would actually have been better if I had added more matcha to make it more obviously green.

1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon honey powder
2 1/2 cups (11 1/4 ounces) bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon matcha tea
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup water

Add all the ingredients to your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Some want the yeast on the bottom, some suggest that it be on top. Some want water poured in first; some want you to pour it over the flour. So follow their recommendations.

If you have specific settings, set the machine for a medium loaf, light crust. Press buttons as appropriate. When the bread is done, remove it from the machine and let it cool on a rack before slicing.

This post was sponsored by Good Cook.