Panini, an exemplary grilled sandwich, is found in the menus of restaurants, cafes, and bistros. Panini is an Italian plural word which translates to "small breads." The singular term is "panino." By tradition, Panini sandwiches are made of small breads. In English-speaking places, Panini is an Italian grilled sandwich.
Panini sandwiches are grilled that's why its outside texture is crunchy and the inside texture is chewy. These sandwiches are loaded with an assortment of meats, melted cheese, and vegetables. Pressure is put on the sandwich while being grilled so that the ingredients will meld.
Here's the basic recipe to follow when making a Panini grilled sandwich.
Italian breads such as cibiatta and focaccia – Other kinds of breads can be used. Denser breads are preferable to get a crispy crust when toasted.
Fillings – Anything that suits the taste buds and diet. Examples of good Panini sandwich fillings are the following:
– Salami, extra virgin olive oil, roasted red peppers and balsamic vinegar
– Dry salami, fontina cheese and arugula
– Grilled mushrooms (portobella) and assagio cheese
– Goat cheese, mortadella and balsamic vinegar
– Smoked Gouda, provolone, basil leaves and pesto
– Turkey, cheddar, bacon and roasted red peppers
– Turkey, Swiss cheese, bacon, lettuce and avocado
– Turkey breast, roasted ham, cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomatoes
– Roast beef, horseradish mayonnaise, mozzarella, onions, caramelized onions and tomatoes
– Pulled chicken, provolone, mayonnaise, chopped basil, red onion and tomatoes
– Prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, plum tomatoes, basil and olive tapenade
– Jerk chicken, chipotle aioli, red leaf lettuce, roasted red peppers and sautéed onions.
The steps in making a Panini sandwich are so simple. First, start with the bread. Lay down two pieces of bread. Then, brush lightly with olive oil (preferably extra virgin) one side of each bread. This would result to a crispier texture. Then, put on top of bread the fillings for the sandwich. Anything can be added. Good quality meats and the remaining of the feelings between two yummy layers of cheese is the usual arrangement.
Lastly, toast the sandwich. It is preferable to have a Panini grill when making the sandwiches. A Panini grill is an appliance that looks like a waffle iron. The heat is used by pressing the sandwich from below and above. The grill feature of the sandwich can be seen after toasting because of the ridge plates in the Panini grill. The Panini grill gives pressure to the sandwich, thus, allowing the ingredients to meld and create an appetizing and compact texture.
In case a Panini grill is not available, a typical electrical contact grill or a grill pan can be used. Pre-heat the grill pan. Then, place on it the sandwich. Afterwards, place a heavy material, such as an aluminum foil wrapped brick, on the top of the sandwich. After toasting one side, flip over the sandwich and repeat the toasting process.
There are hundreds of recipes on how to make a Panini grilled sandwich. All recipes use the basic steps. The difference would be on what kind of bread is used and what are the fillings used to stuff the sandwich.