Saturday, July 31, 2010
August is National Panini Month!
A panini is basically a grilled sandwich made on Italian bread.
A traditional panini is made with two slices of dense bread filled with meat, cheese and vegetables. The outsides of the bread are usually brushed with extra virgin olive oil to give it a crispier texture and then the sandwich is grilled on a two sided panini/sandwich grill. Paninis are usually made with a Panini Press but if you don't have one, you can get around it.
You can place the sandwich in a pan and cook it like you would any "grilled" cheese sandwich, using a spatula to press down on the sandwich , of course you won't get those lovely grilled lines, but the sandwich will still be good.
Both How to Make a Panini without a Panini Press from eHow and, PaniniHappy.com have good suggestions on making paninis without a press.
Types of bread that work well for paninis: foccacia, ciabatta, sourdough also thick cut italian or french
All types of meats are good on a panini but they have to be cooked before you put them in the sandwich.
Feel free to experiment with your cheeses...try mozzarella, asiago, provolone, brie, goat cheese, cheddar, etc.
And don't forget the veggies! Roasted peppers, tomatoes, basil, spinach, red onions, eggplant....whatever comes to mind. Oh, you can also try fruit...some sliced apples, pears or strawberries might be delicious.
Oooooo.....I almost forgot the absolutely fabulous dessert panini. A Chocolate Strawberry Panini made with pound cake for bread and using nutella as the chocolate....yummy! The video on how to make this treat is at the end of the blog.
For some interesting ideas for paninis, check out this Page A Day Recipe Calendar that Sargento cheese put out in 2009 to honor August as Panini Month. It's packed with 31 yummy recipes.
Okay, I am soooooo hungry! I guess I'll go make something to eat.......hmmm I wonder what??
This is a fab video from Food Network. Giada makes a couple of delicious looking Paninis.
And here is Giada's yummy Chocolate Strawberry Panini.