Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Increasingly Smaller Circles

Piccoli Panini di Festa alla Brace
Little Party Rolls from the Griddle


Summertime, sun and fun and party time! In any case it should be a time when we are not stressing ourselves unnecessarily in the kitchen after the rigors of a hot and tiring day at work!

But even on our free days and at the weekend, or any time we may be celebrating with friends, we should also take it easy and keep to simple things that work well and spread smiles.

Like these little improvised rolls, made on a griddle or even on the grill in just 9-10 minutes and guaranteed to have everyone smiling at your next celebration... Including yourself!


You know that I always make sure to have an emergency roll of pizza dough in the fridge by now... Surely you do? And I hope that you have too! Because as much as I detest the vast majority of "convenience products", the 2 exceptions I make are pizza dough and puff-pastry.

These truly can be life savers and both allow you to do infinite numbers of amazingly creative things with them... If you are that way inclined... And fortunately... I am!  


I got a yield of 7 little snack-sized panini from 1 roll of pizza dough... And as you can see, it didn't take much in the way of ingredients to fill them wonderfully either. It took just 1/2 of a cucumber, 5-6 cherry tomatoes, 1 spring onion, a little fresh rosemary, a little dried oregano, just 1/3 of a small, hot and spicy salami (my preference this evening) and hint of salt and pepper. Of course, this is all about the idea of using the pizza base and the griddle and you can put whichever filling you like into your little sandwiches... But let me just tell you what I made. I think you will like it.


You're right... Those really aren't a huge amount of things to top those sandwiches with, right? Wrong! Just take a look! You seriously and absolutely have more than enough on here... If you think you need more... You are on the wrong blog! Begone with you! But if you like what you see... Read on!


Slice up your ingredients thinly... Especially if you choose to use a really hot and spicy salami like I did... That way it will become deliciously crispy later on!

And as for the rosemary... That needs to be chopped up as finely as you can...


...because you are going to sprinkle that, along with a little salt, onto your discos of pizza dough- as soon as you have cut them out that is! You can use a cookie cutter, one of these metal serving rings... Or failing that, simply use a glass or cup with a narrow edge.

You can obviously stamp out your dough in whatever size you prefer, but these were between 3 a 3 1/2" and made for perfect, easy eating.


Place your cut-out circles of dough, face-down onto a very hot griddle and don't touch them until you see the dough puffing up, just as they are here. Resist temptation if you can, as the scorch marks both look lovely, plus they give good flavor... And furthermore, for your information, you will find that first side of the dough that bakes becomes pretty with scorch- marks, and the "other" side... Not so much! I don't know why... That's just the way it is!


But as you can see... It's worth being patient... And worth having that rosemary side facing down, when you see the result!


As soon as you have all of your pizza-base rolls done, whilst your griddle is still scorching hot, pop in your salami and spring onion and toss and stir them together. Nobody wants to eat raw onion... And everybody loves crispy bacon or salami... So this gives you the best of both worlds!


Here they are, all of those little rounds of "bread", ready to be all dressed up and transformed!


Begin with the cucumber and mozzarella and season with a little salt and pepper... The mozzarella will thank you for it!


Next, add the cherry tomato slices and sprinkle with a little salt, pepper and dried oregano.


Finally, top with a little of the crispy and wonderful salami the savory onion... And you have a perfect and wonderfully delicious snack, ready to be sealed up and squeezed together and enjoyed!


Small, sexy, colorful and delicious! And no, I am not going to add, "just like me!"... But you can feel free to think it, if you like!

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