Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Panini: it's what's for dinner! (a WFMW post)

My husband and I were in London when we first met the panini, a glorified relative of the humble (but tasty!) grilled cheese sandwich. It had never occurred to me to make them at home until I saw an idea in an old issue of Real Simple. No fancy panini press is required; in fact, all you need is a plate and a heavy can or two.

A loaf of Italian or French bread, or something similar probably works best. My husband requested turkey, pepperoni, colby jack cheese, and green pepper in his sandwich; mine contained the same minus the pepperoni, and with the addition of fresh tomato slices. I also added a "splash" of raspberry vinaigrette dressing, which we agreed greatly enhanced the flavor.

On medium heat, I placed the sandwiches side-by-side in a greased saucepan and set the plate on top, weighting it down with two large (28 oz.) cans. Each side was grilled for 3-4 minutes.

In addition to tasting great, the panini meets all my requirements for a winning meal: nutritious, quick, inexpensive, and easily-"customizable"!

Bonus idea: Because my husband likes to order grilled burritos at a local fast food joint, I thought I'd try the same plate and can technique for those, too, and it worked great for us!

Want some other ideas? Click here.

8 comments:

Sarah @ Ordinary Days said...

How funny! We are right next to each other in line at Shannon's and we wrote very similar posts! For more ideas on how to mix up your average grilled cheese, be sure to check out my WFMW. :)
http://methemama.blogspot.com/2007/08/adding-some-oomph.html

Susan said...

Sounds wonderful!

Anonymous said...

I remember eating these in Paris! :) I seem to remember seeing something about them in Real Simple, but never tried them. Now I am motivated!

Love you, Mom

April said...

Sounds like a great idea!

Mary Ann said...

Yum! I haven't had a panini yet but my mom was just telling me how good they are! Thanks for the tip on how to creatively make them at home!

mer said...

Hi Carrie,

I make panini sandwiches from time to time, but I use my George Foreman grill. I like to drizzle olive oil on the bread instead of using butter...so yummy. Cold sandwiches aren't for me, but a warm panini on a cold day...YUM!

ellen b said...

We wanted to try a cubano sandwich and we don't have a fancy sandwich smasher so this method sounds real good to me... thanks...

Amy said...

I love paninis! We eat them a lot over here. I do have the Cuisinart panini maker, but only because our George Foreman grill broke down and we needed something to grill our meat and such.

We keep packets of meat and cheese combos in the freezer and bust those out to make sandwiches on nights that I don't feel like actually cooking :)

Great ideas!!