Crab & Lemon Goat Cheese Panini

Berbere is an Ethiopian spice blend that is a welcome addition to your pantry beyond these delicious sandwiches. Made from ingredients like coriander, fenugreek, coriander, chili, cumin, allspice and cinnamon, it’s a powerhouse of flavor that in this dish accentuates the sweetness of the crabmeat and fresh goat cheese. It can be found in specialty groceries and online, however, if you cannot locate it, use your favorite chili powder.

Crab & Lemon Goat Cheese Panini

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Berbere is an Ethiopian spice blend that is a welcome addition to your pantry beyond these delicious sandwiches. Made from ingredients like coriander, fenugreek, coriander, chili, cumin, allspice and cinnamon, it's a powerhouse of flavor that in this dish accentuates the sweetness of the crabmeat and fresh goat cheese. It can be found in specialty groceries and online, however, if you cannot locate it, use your favorite chili powder.
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Servings 4

Ingredients
 

  • 4 small ciabatta loaves with soft crust
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 8 ounces soft goat cheese
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon berbere spice blend, or substitute chili powder
  • 8 ounces crabmeat, drained of any liquid
  • 20 or so medium basil leaves
  • zest of two medium lemons
  • 1/3 cup pickled jalepenos, drained of any liquid

Instructions
 

  • Zest the lemons using a fine rasp grater or microplane. Place into a small bowl and add the goat cheese and salt, mixing until combined.
  • Warm your panini pan, large cast iron skillet, or grill. If not using a panini pan, it will be helpful to use a heavy skillet or pot to weigh down the sandwich as it cooks.
  • Split the bread lenghtwise, and smear the goat cheese evenly over the 4 bottom halves. Top equally with the crabmeat, then sprinkle the berebere spice or chili powder evenly over top. Next layer the scallions and basil evenly over each sandwich, and finally a few sliced. Finish it with freshly cracked black pepper and close the sandwiches.
  • Lightly oil your pan and cook the paninis for about 3-4 minutes a side over medium low heat. They should have enough time to warm through without getting burned, but enough heat to create a crunchy exterior crust. If not using a panini pan, make sure to press down on them with something heavy while they cook to flatten them out. When toasted and warm, cut in half and serve.

Notes

*Berbere is an Ethiopian spice blend that can now be found in many supermarket spice aisles, however substitute a basic chili powder or even an ancho chili powder if you cannot find it. It adds a nice, subtly smoky heat to the sandwich.
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