Thursday, July 23, 2009

a good friend

Thinks that sandwiches are a perfectly acceptable thing to serve a guest for dinner.

Doesn't mind that you opened and drank half of the wine intended for tonight's dinner the night before.

Will eat olives straight from the plastic container, saving you a bowl to wash.

Doesn't mind that there are several gnats trapped in the apartment, circling around in the most maddening way.

Provides an extra set of hands to help make the sandwiches while you assemble a salad.

Doesn't mind polishing off the dregs of a pint of gelato, and calling that dessert.

Always brings good conversation and laughter to the table, which naturally makes any meal, however thrown-together, taste better.

Thursday night dinner with Mindi
Prosciutto, ricotta, and pesto panini
Arugula with mustard vinaigrette
Gelato (Key lime-graham cracker from Ciao Bella)

Dear friend, I'm going to miss our weeknight dinners (and drinks on the stoop, and holiday candy-making sessions, Sunday brunches, and picnics, and pedicures) so, so much. I always knew our friendship was a fortuitous thing, but I never realized how lucky I was that you've always been just a few subway stops away. It will be hard to get together for sandwiches on a Thursday night when you are living in another state, but we'll find a way to try.

Prosciutto, ricotta, and pesto panini
I don't own a panini press (my little kitchen can barely contain my essential pots and knives, let alone single-use gadgets) but I created the same effect with a makeshift press: heating the sandwich between two heavy pans.
(Serves two)

1 baguette, sliced lengthwise and in half
1/2 lb. prosciutto
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup pesto
olive oil

Coat the bottom of a large frying pan with a bit of olive oil and heat on medium-high heat. Assemble your sandwiches by spreading a layer of pesto on each piece of bread, then adding prosciutto and ricotta in between. Assemble the sandwiches, then place one in the pan. Place a large, heavier pan (like a cast iron skillet) on top of the sandwich, and press down. Don't press too firmly, or the sandwich will spill out its contents. Yuck. Hold the pan down for a few minutes, or until one side of the sandwich browns. Flip the sandwich and repeat the process. Then repeat the process again to make a second sandwich. Serve immediately.


Color Me Green said...

good friends are the best and lately i've learned that friends can be nearly just as close via the internet even when living far away.

Mindi said...

Thanks for the morning tear. I'll do my gushing later, but know that you mean the world to me. Thanks for the post in honor of high feasts and casual gatherings. I'll miss everything about our lives together in Brooklyn.

The Single Gal said...

Do we share a brain or something? Ok, Key Lime Graham Cracker is in my (very near) future.

You seem like a fun girl, it doesn't surprise me one bit to find out you have cool, fun friends who eat sandwiches- lucky you to have such a great friend & you guys will have amazing inter-state adventures from now on!

Lisa said...

Julia: Thank you. You're totally right. I have a lot of faraway friends whom I communicate with. It's just not the same as popping by someone's house for dinner, you know?

Mindi: [Sob.]

TSG: Aw, thanks. We will. And yes, I feel so lucky to have so many great friends right here in New York. Otherwise, this blog (and my social life) wouldn't exist!

And yes, please try the Key lime flavor ASAP.

judy said...

Okay, you made me cry too.

Zoe said...

Hi Lisa, you have a great blog here! I love the idea of the panini press with two pans. Genius!

Lisa said...

Judy: Sorry! Yikes...emotional post for everyone.

Zoe: Thank you! I like your blog very much.

Pink of Perfection said...

oh, this made me sad. i don't want mindi to leave, for your sake...and the sandwiches!

Daniel said...

All this wistful talk! We're spilling out our contents like a sandwich that's been pressed too hard between two skillets.


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