Funny story about this panini maker. My husband told me he'd gotten me a surprise for Christmas. Did I want to try and guess what it was, or did I want to be surprised?
Just as long as it isn't a panini maker, I groaned.
Well, I guess you know how it turned out. It seems my husband had tried a panini for the first time ever at Go Roma restaurant and was so overcome with toasted sandwich goodness that he declared his wife MUST have one of these. I, on the other hand, had not been with him for lunch on that fateful day, and had recently tried my own hand coincidentally with making paninis only to be very unimpressed.
So after agreeing to keep the panini machine, hubby took me out to Go Roma so I could try one of their life-altering Italian smashed sandwiches, and write down all the ingredients. It's the ingredients that really count, I learned. Time to head to the grocery store for: fancy Italian bread, pesto, provolone, basil, sun dried tomatoes and chicken.
|I smile and yet have no clue how to use this. Does this thing do shirts?|
|Loaded up with $20 worth of sandwich ingredients. Is it cooking???|
|I swear I smell smoke.|
Ok, to be fair, the sandwiches were excellent. Really. How can you screw up toasted good bread and yummy fixings? Even my kids liked it. I did learn that pesto contains pine nuts (a no no for our tree nut allergy kid) which is a shame because pesto really does make this particular sandwich sing. Are my panini's as good as Go Romas? No, but anything you don't prep, cook and clean up is gourmet in my book.
This weekend we went hog wild. I grilled roasted red peppers on it and then made paninis with them and with some Boursin goat cheese. Oh my, how elegant we've become.
Roasted Red Pepper Paninis
Makes one large sandwich to share
1 large red bell pepper, sliced into sections, cored and seeded
3 T good olive oil
1 container Boursin cheese (cheap at Trader Joes)
2 slices Pane Turano italian Round bread or other good quality loaf that will toast.
Coat peppers with olive oil and generously salt
Grill on panini maker set to high (400F) for about 6 minutes
Then, spread generous coating of cheese on both slices of bread, add peppers, and grill on panini maker for about 6 minutes or until toasted and warmed throughout.
These were so yummy I ate mine before I could take a photo of it!