Last weekend I wandered down to Hyde Park to check out Antonelli's, Austin's newest cheese shop. I'd met owners Kendall and John Antonelli at a cheese and beer pairing workshop put on by Tasty Touring last December at Independence Brewery. These newly weds have a great story that Addie Broyles captured in the Austin American-Statesman.
Walking in, the store was somewhat crowded with three customers, so I had to wait about 5 minutes to be served. No problem there, however, since John remembered me from the cheese and beer pairing workshop and greeted me - so nice to be remembered!
I told him I was looking for a good melting cheese to use on a panini, and he let me sample the Prefere de nos, which had the consistency of brie but the taste was stronger - delicious! I also mentioned I wanted a good snacking cheese, and after a few samples, I walked away with a Clothbound Cheddar from The Cellards at Jasper Hill. I think next time I'll be a bit more vague about what I'm looking for so I can sneak more samples :)
Since the shop is small, their selection isn't the largest in town. But the service they offer and the constant update of their cheese selection is well worth the visit. Go check it out next time you're near Hyde Park!
Of course I had to try out the melting cheese immediately, so here's the panini recipe that was DELICIOUS:
Turkey, Bacon and Pesto Panini with Melting Cheese
1 loaf ciabatta, sliced in half horizontally and sliced into fourths
4 ounces Prefere de nos (or brie cheese), sliced
8 ounces turkey
8 slices cooked bacon
4 ounces pesto
4 ounces lettuce
Preheat a grill pan or panini press on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.
Place a few cheese slices on the bottom pieces of the ciabatta loaf, then top with turkey, bacon and lettuce. Spread about 1 ounce on the inside of the pieces of the top loaf and place on top of sandwiches.
Grill sandwiches about 4 minutes, then turn (if cooking on a grill pan) and cook addition 3 minutes or so, until nice grill marks appear on bread and cheese is melting.