Sunday, November 27, 2011

From Drab to Fab - The Panini Press

On a recent trip to Europe, we enjoyed the foods, especially the panini.  Panini are sandwiches that are toasted in a press.  Panini are also known as "grilled Italian sandwiches".  The best panino I had was in Paris, France.  You can take a regular (drab) sandwich, put it in a panini press, and out comes a delicious, toasted panino.  Our press is made by Hamilton Beach.  There are many different types and we chose one in the medium price-range.

It takes only a few minutes to heat up the panini grill and then you put your sandwich in and tighten the lid so it "presses" and grills the sandwich on both sides at the same time.  The ingredients I used to make my panino:

- ham (sliced thinly from the deli)
- cheddar cheese (white, by Balderstone)
- basil pesto of Genova (by Classico)
- sliced sun-dried tomatoes (by President's Choice)
- 9-grain ciabatta bun (cut in half)

I used the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes to oil the bread on the outside, both sides.  You can also use olive oil.

It only takes about 5-7 minutes to heat up the bun and its contents.

Voila!  The grill marks are perfect.  The bread becomes crispy, and on the inside, the cheese melts and everything is warm.  Serve with soup, salad, or veggies and dip.  Or just have it on its own.  Clean up is really easy, just wipe off the grill with a damp clean cloth after is has cooled down.

My favourite meat is chicken.  You can also add mozzarella, red peppers, spinach, black olives.  Anything that you would love on a sandwich.  From drab to fab. The possibilities are endless.


~ Angela Gentile

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