Easy Weeknight Panini

Prosciutto and havarti panini

Juggling too many projects at the moment!  I haven’t been cooking anything too complicated or time consuming recently.  Our dinners have been very E.A.S.Y.  Check out this post for what I am talking about!  Luckily, my guys are OK with it.

A new 5 minute worthy dinner I started making recently is panini.  I use Tuscan Pane from Trader Joes, but any good, hearty artisanal bread would work.  All you have to do is heat a grill pan (I have a cast iron one), brush some olive oil on the outside slices of the bread, make a sandwich with it using whatever filling you like, and grill it.  You’ll get a fabulous panini — you know the kind that costs upwards of $7 (Panera) and $10 – $15 (Le Pain Quotidien) for a fraction of the cost — maybe a couple dollars each?  Serve with a salad or soup, and you’re done.

I made Denis’ with prosciutto and havarti.   Jamie’s  was with prosciutto, shredded Monterey Jack and olive tapenade.  Mine was with roasted turkey, Monterey Jack, roasted cauliflower, and olive tapenade.   That’s the other great thing about panini:  It is easy to keep everyone happy.  🙂

Easy Weeknight Panini

olive oil for brushing, about 1 tablespoon depending on how many sandwiches you are making

Good quality sliced bread – I used Tuscan Pane

Fillings:  sliced meats, cheeses, spreads like hummus, sun dried tomato, tapenade, roasted vegetables, arugula, caramelized onions, marshmallows… (just kidding!  Although, a sweet panini with marshmallows and chocolate chips and pb doesn’t sound bad — hey, that might be in another post!)

1.  Heat grill pan on medium heat.

2.  While grill pan is heating, brush olive oil on the outside sides of two pieces of bread.

3.  Make a sandwich with said bread.  Place on grill pan.  Weight with a heavy object, like a cast iron skillet.  If you don’t have one, put a baking sheet on top and weight with a pot or two.

I weight mine with a cast iron skillet placed right on top.

4. Grill for about 40 seconds to a minute depending on how crispy you want it.  Remove weight, and flip panini with tongs (you need them to grab it quickly).  Place weight on again and grill for another 30-40 seconds.

The panini is crispy on the outside and chewy and creamy with the melted cheese in the middle.

 

See full post here: The Hungry Artist2014-01-17.

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