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Panini: Caramelized Mushrooms & Onions with Armenian Braided String Cheese


I happened to be at an Armenian bakery last week to pick up some dessert for my kids’ doctor.  I wanted to thank her for her last month’s generosity –by taking her office some sweets and to thank her for treating my cold last month free of charge.  Can you believe it?  She did not want anything for her time and service.  I could not swallow the favor easily so I told her I will return the favor with sweets for her office.   I wish I could have taken a picture of what I took… I did not have my camera on hand.    But since I was already at the bakery, I decided to pick up some freshly baked Matnakash bread.  Its texture is soft and fluffy on the inside and crusty on on the outside… It’s a bread that I grew up having everyday when I lived in Armenia.

matnakash bread
When I brought the bread home that evening, I wanted to make sure whatever I was going to cook up, would include the fresh baked bread.  So I thought of making a panini like sandwich with lots of mushrooms and onions simmered in red wine with Armenian braided string cheese, tomatoes and basil.
I don’t expect anyone to be go searching for Matnakash bread or Armenian braided string cheese.  You can definitely use any fluffy bread such as focaccia and mozzarella cheese for the string cheese for alternatives.  You can also add some salami to the sandwich… I just was going for more vegetarian.  I feel that mushrooms satisfy my meat cravings just fine… but I also think the added protein will definitely intensify the flavors.


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  • http://twitter.com/eatgreeknet eatGREEK

    mmm…. yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Frombuenosairestoparis

    Ohhhh Adelina!! There is only one word for me…Amazing !!! You know? I would prefer eating this dish than one from an “étoilé” restaurant!! Now my problem is that bread…I started thinking where in paris there is an Armenian traiteur…I will find one !!!
    Now, you’ ve made me hungry!!! and it’s only 9am!!!

  • Turkey’s for Life

    That just looks like one amazing dish. Fresh bread like that should be treated with the respect it deserves – and it looks very respected judging by your photos. :)

  • Tes

    Your panini looks so yummy. The pictures look amazing and really make me wanna make this soon :)

  • http://anniesdish.com Annie

    Wow, that looks really delicious!

  • RavieNomNoms

    That looks pretty fantastic!

  • http://twitter.com/HappyWNHungry Kara Lawlor

    This looks amazing!!!!! Thanks for sharing :-)

  • http://www.mission-food.com Victoria

    I love matnakash! It’s one of my favorite breads :) And I of course grew up on Armenian string cheese too, but I’ve never used it in a sandwich before! Fun idea!

  • http://twitter.com/DishByTrish Dish By Trish

    Wow, this bread looks so good – just wanna bite right into it! It’s all my favorite ingredients in one dish – yum!

  • http://www.bostonfoodrules.com Jazz Rules

    Yes!! That looks amazing! Your pictures are a little out of focus though. Depending on your lens there is a certain distance that you have to be from your subject to catch the focus. Try backing up a bit and zooming in if you want tighter cropping!

  • http://eatingportland.blogspot.com Loren

    That looks amazing! What a fantastic looking combo.

  • http://www.mytastyhandbook.com Adelina Badalyan

    Thank you Cristina! I am not familiar with France, but I know there are lot of French Armenians. Good Luck! Let me know if you find an Armenian bakery.

  • http://www.mytastyhandbook.com Adelina Badalyan

    I agree on the pictures. Thanks for your recommendations and tips. Much appreciated! I am still learning… I also need a better camera.

  • http://anecdotesandapples.weebly.com Monet

    I have never seen or heard of this bread before…and I wish that I lived near an Armenian bakery. I would love to give it a try! But I imagine that this panini would be delicious on any soft flat bread. I adore caramelized onions, so I know this would be a hit! Thank you for sharing, dear. I hope you have a wonderful Friday!

  • http://www.orangeblossomwater.net Dimah

    This looks great! The flavor combo sounds amazing!

  • http://www.oilandbutter.com Rich

    Oh my. I would say something complimentary or witty right here, but my tongue is hanging out of my mouth and it would sounds like I just got out of the dentist’s office. That. Looks. Spectacular. That’s just about as simply as I can put it.

  • http://themomchef.blogspot.com The Mom Chef

    I haven’t eaten lunch yet and my mouth just started watering over this. I LOVE caramelized mushrooms and onions. I could eat this whole thing without feeling bad about not sharing!

  • http://www.saltyseattle.com saltyseattle

    beautiful, thoughtful, all the makings of a great post. looks fantastic too.

    you’re a great person and a great blogger. xo, linda

  • http://www.thesweetsensations.com Sandr

    It really looks good; and filling.

  • http://twitter.com/BoulderLocavore Boulder Locavore

    Could this look any more delicious?! It is goregous and sounds to be a perfect cool weather soulful dish! Thank you for such a beautiful post. http://boulderlocavore.blogspot.com/

  • http://dreamaboutfood.blogspot.com fooddreamer

    That is one beautiful, big sandwich. I love the onions and mushrooms, it must have been so good!

  • http://www.tasteofbeirut.com tasteofbeirut

    I just had a lot of braided cheese for dinner and love how well it melts; I would love the recipe for this Armenian bread; are you planning to make it at some point? I am in awe of all Armenian baked goodies. Looks wonderful, Joumana

  • http://www.cooksbookblog.com Marisa

    This sounds amazing. The bread on it’s own is incredible, and then you filled it with all that good stuff! And that string cheese is too cool. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it. If I ever do come across some, I’ll have to buy it and try it out for sure. You are so sweet to repay your doc with sweets!

  • http://twitter.com/chackoskitchen abraham sunu chackoF

    wow.. wonderful one for lunch boxes….susan http://www.chackoskitchen.com

  • http://torviewtoronto.blogspot.com Torviewtoronto

    delicious panini

  • Cookincanuck

    Oh my goodness, this bread is gorgeous. And that filling…well, let’s just say it wouldn’t last long in my presence.

  • http://lakocinera.blogspot.com Kocinera

    This looks seriously delicious! Between the veggies and the fluffy bread, this sounds so wonderful. You’ve definitely inspired me to search out my nearest Armenian bakery to get my hands on some of this bread!

  • http://twitter.com/RosasYummyYums Rosa May

    OMG, that looks so delicious! I love your choice of filling.



  • http://chefwanabe.com Anna

    Hi Adelina, you are a lucky, lucky girl. The bakeries around my place are despicable…lol…
    This bread looks already amazing…and after you made your magic it looks even better. Delicious. Have a great Thanksgiving.

  • http://www.mytastyhandbook.com Adelina Badalyan

    Thanks Anna! If you’re interested in dropping by, this specific bakery is located in Glendale, called Paradise Bakery. Have a great Thanksgiving too!

  • http://www.mytastyhandbook.com Adelina Badalyan

    Thanks so much Joumana! Since I am not much of a baker, don’t know the recipe for this bread… I will see if I can find it for you.

  • http://www.mytastyhandbook.com Adelina Badalyan

    I wanted to add a note here that this sandwich does not need to be prepared with this Armenian Bread to taste good… Any fresh baked bread will do the job :)

  • http://www.blackbookkitchendiaries.wordpress.com Blackbookkitchendiaries

    this looks amaizing! thanks for sharing this.

  • Silvia

    Oh this bread looks divine. I am not familiar with Armenian specialties, but I would love to try something like this! mouthwatering



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