Sandwiches are great for lunch and perfect when you need a quick dinner to tide you over when you don’t have time to make a traditional meal. To make that quick dinner a little more exciting, opt for panini - sandwiches that are grilled so that the ingredients meld together to create a delicious combination of flavors.
Panini are easy to make if you have a panini press, but if you don’t have the space or resources to procure fancy kitchen equipment and appliances…
Tip #1: Use What You Have. If you don’t have the budget or counter space to afford a panini press, you can still whip up a delicious grilled sandwich. Kathy Strahs, author of the popular sandwich blog Panini Happy recommends using the appliances you already have on hand, like a pan or appliance in your kitchen, to make the perfect sandwich.
Tip #2: Oil it up. When you’re making panini, be sure to treat both sides of the bread with a brush of olive oil. As your sandwich cooks, it will develop a golden-brown color and enhanced flavor and texture.
Tip #3: Be a bread snob. In many sandwiches, bread is simply a vehicle for the meat and fillings, but in paninis, bread is a shining star. Use a high-quality (or homemade) bread, like a country whole wheat or sourdough. If you can use bread that’s at least a day old, it will be less likely to fall apart during the cooking process.
Tip #4: Shop in your fridge. Use the uneaten pork from last night’s stir-fry or the excess mozzarella cheese from a caprese to make a fabulous panini. Pop your favorite extra ingredients between two slices of bread to create a great dinner with the ingredients in your pantry.
June 1st, 2011