Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Perfect Panini



Have you ever had a Panini? This Italian sandwich is similar to a grilled cheese sandwich. Typically the sandwich is pressed on a grill to melt the cheese and toast the bread. I'll show you how I make a Panini.




First off, I don't own a Panini press. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have one. I do what I can with what I have on hand. Cast iron pans are my press. I have 4 cast iron skillets including a grill pan. Cast iron is inexpensive, wears forever, heats evenly, is made in the USA and will give your wrist a workout. Start off by pre- heating your skillet or grill pan on medium heat.



Next use a uncut loaf of bread. Use any kind you like. Italian, Sourdough, Foccacia and Ciabatta. Make sure you pick a dense bread. I wouldn't use a white bread. I love the look of a rustic sandwich. Cutting your bread thick is the trick.



Roasted peppers taste wonderful melted in between the layers of meat and cheese. You can roast them yourself on the grill. For this application you can cheat like I did and purchase them already roasted and peeled in the can.



I've tried making the Panini's all different ways. I played with all of the different ways to toast the bread. Using butter, olive oil and just plain naked. All work well. Of course butter spread on the outside of the sandwich tastes the best. If you are watching your fat and calories naked is almost just as good. Layer your bread, meat, peppers, and cheese.



This sandwich is made with roasted turkey,cranberry mustard, peppers and provolone cheese.



Now for the fun part! Add a skillet to press down the Panini. I normally use 2 skillets to press the sandwich. Press for about 4-5 minutes each side.



A perfect Panini. Someone even told me that my Panini was better than Panera Bread's Panini. What a compliment. I encourage you to dig out your iron skillets, throw caution to the wind and create a sandwich all your own.

14 comments:

Renna said...

What a useful post, Barbara! I have never eaten a panini, though I have heard of them. I do own several cast iron skillets, including a grill pan like yours. I never thought about using them in that manner, though!

I also never heard of cranberry mustard-yum! I hope I can find some locally, as I sure haven't seen it on the shelves when buying regular mustard. I also didn't know you could get roasted peppers in a can. Either our local grocery stores have less selection than where you shop, or I just lead a very sheltered life! I am really anxious to try these sandwhiches, and it doesn't help that I skipped lunch today. ;-Þ

susan said...

i had a panini type sandwich...with the raspberry jam with turkey and provolone. it was so good. i love the grilled bread. that is one thing i cannot eat too much of, bread, and boy, do i love bread. drinking lots of smoothies and i think i am going to clean up my juicer and get some carrots...so much calcium. its just getting enough protein...

susan said...

oh...it was called a monte cristo

Grace said...

love panini have had several varieties including one with scrambled egg, cheese and sausage patty on a croissant and then grilled, and turkey stuffing cran sauce and brie on hearty bread and grilled Yes love paninis!!!

Tea said...

Oh, I love food posts, and this is a good one! I love all my cast iron and use at least one piece everyday so your panini will be fun to try. Thanks so much for sharing the how-to!

Wool Winder said...

Looks delicious! The grill marks make the sandwich authentic.

Butterfly Works said...

I have had so much fun browsing your blog...It's a wonderful blog and I look forward to visiting with you again. I hope you will come over and visit me...
Hugs and Blessings,
Nancy

stitching under oaks said...

that sandwich looks wonderful! and you photographed it perfectly...thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend!

Debra said...

I've always loved your recipes. Now I must have one of those cast iron grillers. I use cast iron only for frying-no Teflon in this house!
~Debra

LeAnn said...

I love paninis and have thought about buying a press, but it seems like such a waste of money for something that is only occasionally used. What a great idea you've come up with! I have cast ironn pans already!

elizabeth said...

Nothing better than panini sandwiches! I also do not have a press, so I used our George Foreman grill and it worked! I did have to stop about halfway and turn it around since the slope made the top half brown quicker, but I was quite happy with the results.

Marsha said...

Beautiful staged meal. Great color!!

LeAnn said...

Visiting your blog always makes me hungry!

I've tagged you with a Sunshine Award (see my blog), for adding sunshine to my life and blogosphere.

Estella said...

hmmm..it looks sooo good.