The beauty of this little panini lies in its simplicity: just four main ingredients. Of course, when you’re working this close to the margin, each element should be perfect. Choose only the porkiest chorizo, the richest, darkest chocolate (more than 70%, please), the zippiest, creamiest chèvre, and the freshest, crustiest bread. Then let them wallow in their co-dependence: The citrusy chèvre appeases the fiery ’tude of the chorizo, and the mellowing tannins of dark chocolate hit high-toned chèvre like a sweet kiss. They all make each other better, which raises the question of why you didn’t introduce them sooner. I love this as an easy lunch, or, when I’m feeling indulgent, a late-night snack.
Reprinted with permission from Short Stack Editions Vol. 33: "CHÈVRE," by Tia Keenan (shortstackeditions.com). —Food52
olive oil, divided
fresh chorizo sausages (about 1 pound)
chèvre, at room temperature
finely grated lemon zest
dark chocolate, finely chopped
demi baguettes or 5-inch pieces of baguette, split lengthwise
In a medium pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat until it’s fragrant. Add the chorizos and cook, turning every couple of minutes, until they're browned and cooked through, 7 minutes. Set aside.
Schmear the chèvre on each piece of baguette, sprinkle the lemon zest over the chèvre, and sprinkle the chocolate on top of both. Split the chorizos lengthwise and place one inside each baguette.
Reheat the pan from the chorizo over medium heat. Warm the remaining tablespoon of oil until it’s shimmering and fragrant. Place the panini in the pan and weight them down with a sandwich press (if you don’t have one, a tea kettle filled with water works just as well). Wait. The unspoken ingredient in this panini is time. Let the panini get hot and toasted slowly, about 4 minutes on each side, and then it’s ready to serve. The chèvre won’t melt, but it should be warm and creamy. The chocolate won’t liquefy, but it should be soft and melted. When you take a bite, the sausage juices will bring everything together.