How to Make Restaurant-Style Panini Sandwiches Without a Panini Grill

You may live in the city, where space is limited, or maybe you don't need another electronic appliance cluttering up your counter - either way you can learn how to make restaurant-style panini sandwiches without a panini grill. It's much easier than you think, and it's a really fun way to jazz up a boring old sandwich. The supplies you will need are simple:

  • A heavy-bottomed frying pan or grill pan - such as cast iron.
  • A heavy heat-safe object like a slightly smaller frying pan. (Here it is fine to improvise. Aluminum foil and a big rock can even do the trick.)
  • Olive oil or butter to coat both sides of your favorite sandwich.
  • A solid heavy-duty metal spatula

The Panini Method

It's most important to press and flatten your sandwich over moderate heat. The sandwich can be made on any good-quality roll or bread. The sandwich filling may also be varied. It's always advisable to use a cheese or other gooey binder and to season the sandwich well with salt and pepper before grilling. Feel free to get creative with leftovers, cold cuts and fresh or grilled veggies to construct the perfect filling. Italian themes are traditional but French flavors and good old ham and cheese can be sublime when pressed crisp and warm in the panini style.

Once your sandwich is constructed, spread oil or butter on both sides. Place in your preheated pan. Layer the foil or the additional heavy pan - which may be preheated in the oven to eliminate the need to flip the sandwich - and press the heck out of it. You will only need a few minutes of some serious muscle to get that sandwich nice and squished. Give the entire process approximately seven minutes on a medium heat (about 350 degrees Fahrenheit for the sticklers) and voila - a perfect restaurant-style panini sandwich without a panini grill.

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Panini are sandwiches in Italy, served cold or hot. A good panino is made from the freshest ingredients and top-quality meats and cheeses with sweet or savory fillings.

In recent years, these pressed sandwiches have exploded in popularity. Applying pressure to the outside while you cook them creates a crispy exterior, and a warm, gooey interior.

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In recent years, these pressed sandwiches have exploded in popularity. Applying pressure to the outside while you cook them creates a crispy exterior, and a warm, gooey interior.

Learn how to make panini with this collection of tips and recipes.

Learn how to make panini with this collection of tips and recipes.

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