Panini sandwiches are a relatively new and very popular menu item at many American restaurants. Italian in origin, these grilled sandwiches are usually filled with meats and / or vegetables and cheeses, which are pressed tightly together, causing the ingredients to interact, which produces an intensely flavorful sandwich.
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:
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.