Castello Moments Paignets — A cross between panini and beignets…

Yum

Disclaimer: Thanks to Arla Foods USA for sponsoring this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.

I am so excited to have the opportunity to develop a recipe for Arla, a global dairy company with production facilities in 12 countries, and the largest organic dairy company in the world.

For the creation of this post I received a package containing 3 premium cheeses under the Castello brand Alps Selection: Hirten, Classic, and Weissbier.  Each of the cheeses has a unique taste and texture, and is crafted through intricate artisanal techniques from milk produced on small farms in the Alps.

CASTELLO ALPS SELECTION HIRTEN

This premium hard cheese has a deep orange color, a rich complex taste, and crumbly texture (similar to a Parmesan).  It is ideal for pasta dishes, as well as for sandwiches with savory ingredients.  It pairs well with red wines such as Rioja, Tempranillo or even Sauvignon.

Castello Alps Selection Hirten

 CASTELLO ALPS SELECTION CLASSIC

This premium cheese has a firm texture and smooth consistency, slightly smoky aroma, and spicy taste, and melts when heated.  It is ideal for cheese boards with artisan breads and prosciutto or sun-dried tomatoes.  It pairs well with full-bodied red wines, white Bourgogne, or any brown ale of your choosing.

Castello Alps Selelction Classic

CASTELLO ALPS SELECTION WEISSBIER

This premium comfort cheese offers a smooth buttery texture and mild taste with a hint of nutty sweetness.  It melts quite well when heated and is wonderful with figs, poached fruits, and also grilled vegetables.  Absolutely my favorite of all three cheeses!!!  It pairs with Reisling, Gewurztraminer, and other white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc.

Castello Alps Selection Weissbier

Creating a recipe with a focus on the American market was rewarding– it was a unique chance to put to use what I have learned about American cuisine both from culinary school and by living in the USA for the last 11 years.  Although given the option of choosing any one of the three cheeses to develop a recipe upon, I decided to make use of all three of the high-quality, delicious cheeses.  I drew inspiration from one of my favorite regional American cuisines — Creole!!!  But my goal was to create something to highlight the cheeses, the real stars of our dish…

Since figs pair so well with the Castello Alps Selection Weissbier cheese, I made a Fig Foster filling instead of using the traditional bananas, and added to it praline pecans to accentuate the nutty sweetness of this cheese.  A German contribution to Creole cuisine, black pepper, was also incorporated into the filling along with rosemary, in order to highlight the herbal and spicy notes of the Castello Classic.  Bearing in mind both how ideal Castello Hirten is for sandwiches and the Italian contribution to Creole heritage, I decided to make panini.  But the dish simultaneously ended up becoming a fruit dessert due to its fruity sweet filling.  And to bring out the influence of NOLA’s cuisine even more, I covered the top of our panini with powdered sugar– just like a beignet. :)   This is how we ended up with our Castello Moments Triple Cheese and Spicy Fig Foster Paignets with Praline Pecans, a.k.a Castello Moments Paignets!!!

This dish immediately became a family favorite, but above all, we just couldn’t keep ourselves from noshing on the cheeses all by themselves.

Three Cheese and Spicy Fig Foster Paignets with Praline Pecans -- a.k.a. Castello Moments Paignets (A crossing between Panini and Beignets)

Oh, and that’s not all!!!  Did you know that you also have the chance to win a Private Cheese Tasting in your own home?  To enter, click on the banner at the bottom of this post.

I hope that you enjoy my paignets as much as my family and I did, and wish you the best of luck in winning the wonderful Private Cheese Tasting sponsored by Arla Foods USA… Bon Appétit!!

 

Castello Moments Triple Cheese and Spicy Fig Foster Paignets with Praline Pecans

(Castello Moments Paignets)

Yield: 2 Castello Panini/Paignets

Segment: From My Table To Yours

Three Cheese and Spicy Fig Foster Paignets with Praline Pecans -- a.k.a. Castello Moments Paignets (A crossing between Panini and Beignets)

Ingredients:

For the Fig Foster:

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (1-1/2 ounces)
1 cup light brown sugar
6 fresh large figs, halved lengthwise and quartered
A pinch of black pepper
1/3 cup dark rum
2 tablespoons praline pecans, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped

For the Panini/Paignets:

Non-stick cooking spray or oil to brush griddle pan
4 slices from a French bread loaf
2 thin slices of Castello Classic cheese
2 thin slices of Castello Weissbier cheese
Castello Hirten cheese crumbs, to taste
Powdered sugar to sprinkle

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar, mix thoroughly, and reserve.

2. In a  large skillet, combine the butter and brown sugar; then, place the pan over medium heat.  Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts completely and the mixture caramelizes to a creamy, rich brown color.   This process requires approximately 4-5 minutes.

3. Add the figs quarters to the skillet, sprinkle pepper on top, and cook for approximately 1 minute, stirring gently every now and then.  Remove pan from the heat, pour rum into the pan, return pan to the heat, and carefully ignite with a long match, or just tilt the skillet to ignite.  Note: Never pour the alcohol straight from the bottle if the pan is on the stove; any splash back can ignite, and the flame can travel into the bottle.

4. Scatter the cinnamon-sugar mixture directly over the flame.  As the flames die,  stir gently to combine all the ingredients and add both the chopped praline pecans and rosemary.  Use the warm Figs Foster as a filling for the paignets.

 5. For the panini/paignets: Heat a large cast iron grill pan over medium-high heat and either spray on the non-stick cooking spray or brush pan surface with oil.  Place 2 slices of bread in the pan and let crisp and acquire grill marks, about 3-4 minutes (on just one side of each slice of bread).  Remove slices from the pan and set aside. Then, place the other two remaining slices of bread in the pan, and top each with one slice of Classic cheese and then one slice of Weissbier cheese.  Reduce heat to medium, cover the two slices of bread  on the grill pan with a larger, inverted skillet, and let cheeses melt, about 2-3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and transfer to individual serving plates.  Spoon half of the warm Fig Foster filling on top of the melted cheeses, top figs with crumbs of the Castello Hirten cheese, and place one slice of the reserved grilled bread on top.  Sift powdered sugar on top of each slice of grilled bread and serve immediately with a glass of red wine.  Bon appétit!!

Three Cheese and Spicy Fig Foster Paignets with Praline Pecans -- a.k.a. Castello Moments Paignets (A crossing between Panini and Beignets)

 Win a Private Cheese Tasting in your own home – enter by clicking on the banner below.  Castello Moments and this post is a collaboration between the blogger and Arla Foods USA. 

 

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33 Responses to Castello Moments Paignets — A cross between panini and beignets…

  1. SallyBR July 15, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    My gosh, this made me drool… what a FANTASTIC LOOKING PANINI or whatever you want to call it, I don’t care, just give me one…. or two! ;-)

    • Denise Browning July 15, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      Thanks, Sally! Those were very delicious bites…We were all hooked by these paignets…:)

  2. The Café Sucre Farine July 15, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    You’re so very creative Denise, these look amazing! I love the convenience of paninis but you’ve certainly added a gourmet touch!

  3. Ash- foodfashionparty July 15, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Painetes, awesome, this might be the next big thing….looks DeLICIOUS.

    • Denise Browning July 15, 2013 at 10:55 am #

      Oh, Ash! Thanks so much. Not only my hubby and I loved these paignets but my 5 and 6 year-old children as well. Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

  4. cquek July 15, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    So so delicious! And the photos are so bright and beautiful!

    • Denise Browning July 15, 2013 at 11:19 am #

      Thanks a lot! I am very glad that you have enjoyed both the dish and pictures!!! Have a great week!

  5. Little Cooking Tips July 15, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    Amazing job Denise! Thank you for sharing!

    • Denise Browning July 15, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

      Thank you, Little Cooking Tips for stopping by!!!

  6. Deb July 16, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    What a scrumptious selection of enchanting cheese! The Paninis are just luscious!

    • Denise Browning July 17, 2013 at 9:33 am #

      Thanks, Deb! Yes, they were delicious!

  7. Anne@FromMySweetHeart July 16, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    Oh WoW Denise! My jaw is on the floor right now! What a perfect hybrid! A great way to showcase the cheeses you tried, which sound incredible on their own! I can also think of a dozen uses for the Fig Foster, too! I love figs and cheese and savory sweet sandwiches. Your photos are just beautiful, too!

    • Denise Browning July 16, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

      Thanks a lot, Anne! I am happy that you liked both the dish and pictures.

  8. Juliana July 17, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    Denise, this look so luscious…and delicious combination of the fabulous cheese and fig foster…
    The pictures are gorgeous!
    Hope you are having a wonderful week my dear :D

    • Denise Browning July 17, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      Thanks, Juliana! Likewise. It has been a busy week so far but a very blessed one as well.

  9. Nami | Just One Cookbook July 17, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

    My friend introduced me the combination of fig and cheese! Now that I see you made these paignets with the combination, I’m VERY curious to give it a try. I can see my family will be hooked to this. YUM!

    • Denise Browning July 17, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

      I hope you give it a try. It is quite delish!!!! I also love to pair cheese and fruit as you see, especially fig.

  10. Coffee and Crumpets July 17, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    Great recipe creation Denise! I love figs with cheese and this is a very creative use of them! They look so good!

    Nazneen

    • Denise Browning July 17, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

      Thanks, Nazneen! We all loved this recipe. Even Hannah who doesn’t eat figs, took a bite of these paignets. She made my day!

  11. Abbe@This is How I Cook July 17, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

    I just got here but i am sure glad I didn’t miss i! This looks mouthwatering good! Great photos! And the rabbit catcher loves figs.

  12. Kate@Diethood July 17, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

    I am about to drool on my keyboard…that looks amazing!!

  13. Daniela July 18, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    Wow, that’s a very creative and wonderful looking recipe ! I love the combination of different flavors in total harmony with great cheese!

  14. Nik@ABrownTable July 18, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    This looks and is drool-worthy! So delicious!

  15. Wizzy July 18, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    These look AMAZING! I would totally gobble these up and not want to share.

    • Denise Browning July 18, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

      That’s how I felt eating them, Wizzy!

  16. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com July 20, 2013 at 12:13 am #

    Whatever you want to call it, just hand me a couple of this deliciousness :D

  17. cquek July 20, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    gosh i want i want

  18. Mi Vida en un Dulce July 20, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    I’m iamgining eating that bread very warm, with the cheese melting in my mouth…!!!

  19. Laura (Tutti Dolci) July 21, 2013 at 12:03 am #

    I love dessert panini and these flavors are mouthwatering!

  20. Julia | JuliasAlbum.com July 22, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    These will make such cute little appetizers!!! You’re such a talented chef – what a great combination of flavors in this recipe.

    • Denise Browning July 22, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

      Thanks, Julia! So good to hear from you again.

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