What can you do that’s new with a panini? Good question. Speed up the delivery, perhaps? Experiment with flavours? Or how about selling one that doesn’t dislodge your fillings?For such a well-established product, too many operators continue to get it wrong. “What tends to happen is the bread gets over-cooked, it goes really hard and, inevitably, you end up biting through a hot brick,” says ex-Pret A Manger food consultant Nellie Nichols. This is not helped if it has spent days in the cabinet staling.While some chains have gleefully charged £3.95 or £4.25 for eat-in, getting the product right in times of recession becomes more important. “It’s about not ripping people off,” says Sean Coughlan of Munch/Coughlans, former winner of the sandwich awards’ (Sammies’) Bakery Sandwich Maker of the Year. “I’m amazed at how much some people get away with. You see so many poor breads. Nowadays, you have to give value for money if you want a daily sale.” Coughlan insists freshness of ingredients is often neglected among his high street competitors, although they are cottoning on to the importance of seasonality. For example, for Christmas, Costa Coffee launched a Brie and Cranberry panini.Seasonality is not just about event peaks. “We’re looking at more fish fillings this month, as people are fed up with meat after Christmas,” adds Coughlan.The problem innovating with paninis is they take so long to grill to a core temperature, and law dictates that high-risk products, such as fish and meat have to exceed 70?C. “People think of exciting things to put in paninis, but the more you put in, the worse it is,” says Nichols. “Cheese, as it is so dense, slows the whole process down, so you’re slowing your average transaction time.”While speed is not necessarily a barrier to sale, especially if they are pre-made in the bakery – Coughlans’ customers will happily wait up to four minutes for a take-away panini – is it possible to speed up the process? Wholesaler Brakes has targeted cafés in particular with ready-filled pre-grilled paninis (below), such as a three cheese and red onion variety. The trick is that they can be microwaved while giving the perception that they have been grilled due to the grill markings.Another possible tack is super-sizing the bread with a rustic-looking ciabatta. Ooze, an Italian risotto restaurant in the new Westfield shopping centre in London, does a nice line in paninis by sourcing a traditionally baked mammoth sourdough ciabatta from London’s Ticino bakery. This sells for £4.50. “The breads are airy, and though they look rather overpowering on display, a good panini should be impacted and moist and these breads make nice paninis,” says owner Will Gregg. The bread is pre-filled, grilled to order and drizzled with olive oil. The fillings are simple but authentic – for example, Panino Caprese (mozzarella, tomato and basil) or Toscano (Parma ham and mozzarella).But creativity need not mean blowing the budget on top-end ingredients. Starbucks’ Cheese and Marmite breakfast panini strikes a chord of homely familiarity and could be a winner – so long as it doesn’t taste like a Marmite-smeared brick.
A new Ripley County Sheriff will likely be named within the next two weeks. A caucus will be held to replace Tom Grills who officially stepped down from the position April 1.Election officials will hold the caucus on Tuesday, April 15 at the Courthouse Annex in Versailles.Those interested in filing candidacy for the temporary position can do so up to 72 hours prior to the special election. Ripley County Republican Chairman Ginger Bradford said it is important to remember that it is not a permanent position and job duties will be over December 31.According to Bradford, an interim sheriff will not have an opportunity for another position within the office, unless he or she is already employed there.Retired Indiana State Trooper Rodney Stratton and Ripley County Chief Deputy Rob Bradley are currently the only candidates for the caucus. Stratton retired two months ago and possibly becoming interim sheriff is an opportunity for him to give back to the community. Bradley has assumed sheriff duties after Tom Grills retired.Grills had seven months until his end of term limit when he retired. The position is on the ballot for the May Primary and General Election in November. The individual voted in during the election will become sheriff.Republicans Rob Bradley, Jeff Cumberworth and Joe Mann have filed for the election while Democrats Tim Sutton and Josh Thompson have also entered the running for the sheriff seat.
Aaron Bendickson scored twice Friday night against Alaska Anchorage. They were his first two goals of the season.[/media-credit]The WCHA may be one of the most competitive college hockey conferences in the country, but during the week, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team experiences that level of competitiveness inside its very own locker room.It’s the daily battles among teammates that go a long way in determining who will face-off against those conference foes.Before head coach Mike Eaves prepares for the weekend’s opponent, he must set his own lineup — something that’s been made increasingly difficult due to the depth on his hockey team.Eaves continually takes advantage of the options he has, and as a result, UW’s fourth line has had a number of different players take the ice in recent weeks.“Without question our depth has been one of our strengths all season,” Eaves said. “The guys that haven’t played up to our expectations thus far we’ve been able to put other guys in because the competition every day in practice is at such a high level.”Cracking the UW lineup has proven to be no easy task. Regular contributors like John Mitchell and Patrick Johnson have been removed when they failed to meet the coaches’ standards, and Johnson is well aware that his spot on the bench is by no means guaranteed.“There is a little bit of added pressure because you have to perform otherwise you’re not going to be in the lineup,” Johnson said. “It keeps you focused and on top of your game all the time, because if you’re not, someone will step in and replace you.”Johnson responded well this past weekend, notching his first goal of the season while adding an assist playing on the fourth line. But according to Eaves, the Madison native is now bringing much more to the table than goal-scoring ability, and that is keeping him in the lineup.“That was the Patrick Johnson that we need to see all of the time,” Eaves said. “He gave us energy, he was a leader on the bench and in the locker room. It’s nice to see him play good hockey again.”But Johnson wasn’t the only fourth-liner who made an impact this past weekend.Aaron Bendickson, a senior forward who has established himself as the fourth center, ended the weekend with two goals to his name. But while Bendickson has started all 10 games for UW, it’s the wingers to his left and right that regularly change.Fortunately for UW coaching staff, that’s not something that phases Bendickson.“It’s not too big of a change for me,” Bendickson said. “I’ve gotten to know a lot of the guys on the team pretty well, so it’s not a big deal and I can adapt to it.”So what does Eaves expect from the fourth line that displayed such a strong performance this time around?“Just what you saw this past weekend,” he said. “Every time they came on the ice they gave us energy, and they chipped in offensively. We don’t ask them to carry the weight offensively, but they chipped in and did their job to almost perfection.”Wednesday, Eaves and his staff will determine the lineup for the upcoming series with St. Cloud, but after a solid performance against Alaska Anchorage, it will be difficult for the head coach to make any significant changes. Each player will need to make his case in practice to earn playing time on this talented roster.“We have to make a decision tomorrow about who is going with us on the road trip,” Eaves said. “Guys are playing for that position. We sat down with every young lad here and we talked about what they need to continue to do to get back in the lineup.”One of those players looking to get back in the lineup is Podge Turnbull, a junior who has seen action in six games this season. Turnbull is working tirelessly to get himself back in the mix, and according to the junior forward, it is his work ethic during practice that he hopes will makes the difference.“Everybody feels a little pressure to get into the lineup,” Turnbull said. “We’re really deep and every day you’ve got to come to work. I always come to the rink ready to compete.”Turnbull works to refine his game and steadily improve during the week of practice, and despite the limited playing time, he and the rest of the Badgers fighting for a spot on that last line know they play an important role on this team.“When, you know, you’re sitting out, it can be tough to get over, but for the good of the team you have got to come out even harder,” Turnbull said. “It’s your job to make sure everyone is ready to go even if you’re not in the lineup.”