(Warning: This recipe should not be considered "health food" or "healthy" in any way, shape, or form.)
This. was. decadent. Ooey-gooey, melty, saucy, sandwich-y perfection. My friend, Claire found the recipe on a website we both love called Panini Happy. She made this sandwich a week or so ago; and once she reported back on the sheer deliciousness I knew it had to be ours, too. The husband and I fed the kids first, and then oohh'ed and aaahh'ed over each bite.
Grilled Mac and Cheese with BBQ Pulled Pork Panini
From: Cooking Claire via PaniniHappy.com
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
4 cups prepared macaroni and cheese, warmed
2 onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup barbecue sauce
2 cups prepared pulled pork
8 slices sourdough bread
12 slices sharp cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)
Spread the macaroni and cheese in an 8-inch-square baking dish to about 3/4 inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 45 minutes. Cut the macaroni and cheese into squares that are slightly smaller than the bread slices.
Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Combine the barbecue sauce and pulled pork in a saucepan over low heat and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
Preheat the panini grill to medium-high heat.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and brush on one side of each bread slice. Flip over half of the bread slices; layer 1 slice of cheddar, 1 macaroni-and-cheese square and another slice of cheddar on each. Top each with one-quarter of the pulled pork and caramelized onions and another slice of cheddar. Top with the remaining bread slices, buttered-side up.
Working in batches, cook the sandwiches until the cheese melts and the bread is golden, about 5 minutes.
In a word...YUM!
(PS- It may be a good idea to consult a Cardiologist before consuming this sandwich.)