Friday, February 20, 2009

Grilled mini paninis

     When panini makers first came out I had to have one. The idea of having a hot grilled sandwich at any time of the day immediately became my new food food obsession. There have been many, this just happened to be the most recent one.  I  would start my day with a grilled panini with apple wood bacon, cheddar and  sauteed cherry tomatoes.  Soon lunch would follow, grilled veggies with fresh mozzarella, panini of course. Dinner grilled flank steak, horseradish sauce and caramelized onions on what else but a perfectly grilled panini. Dessert? Marshmallow with nutella  grilled to a perfectly gooey crispy mess.   I was becoming a panini princess. I fantasized about opening a panini drive thru .  I would call it  The Panini Palace. It would be a small shack  in the middle  of a parking  next to small strip  mall.   Everyday the line would get longer and longer  as word got out about my delicious paninis.   Before making my fantasy a reality I decided to have a panini party, about 20 people, I would make the panins, they would eat the paninis, drink and be very happy.  There I stood  making panini after panini . The crowd soon got demanding, "can I have one side with brie and ham and the other with grilled veggies. ?" AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH After about an hour I was done.  There I stood  holding down the panini maker as my guests sipped mojitos and chatted about my crazy neighbor with numerous cats, cats which she cant have inside  due to allergy's.  I just kept making those paninis, one after another. I wanted my panini maker to over heat, catch fire anything.  The party wrapped up, everyone but me had a fabulous time, telling me that can't wait for The Panini Palace open. Not happening in this life time.  Soon after this party, my dear panini maker went into storage for a very long time. It took a very long vacation with my bread maker and rice maker, they became the best of friends. But just last week, like an old friend that you call after not remembering why you stopped being friends, I dug out  my panini maker.  This time we don't plan on spending quite so much time together, perhaps a once a month fling. This time no gargantuan sandwiches, just tasty little grilled wedges that will be the perfect app to your next gathering.   

Grilled Paninis
 Good bread is the key ingredient when making paninis.   I prefer to use a large circular panelle, my baker refers to it as a Hoboken Panelle, any round French  or Italian country bread  should be fine.  These are two Paninis that are frequently requested in my house.

Roasted Turkey with strawberry jam, yes strawberry jam

  • 2 large slices of crusty bread
  • 2 Tablespoon cream cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons of your favorite strawberry jam
  • slightly less than a 1/4 pound of freshly sliced turkey breast
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
This may sound strange to some of you, but try to remember how much you enjoyed the cranberry sauce and  Turkey combo  on Thanksgiving.  Spread one slice of bread with the cream cheese, then top with the strawberry jam. Place the turkey on top of the jam, try to keep it in the center. Cover with the other slice of bread. With softened butter, lightly butter the entire outside of the sandwich. Heat up your panini maker, or skillet with a press on top. Cook the sandwich until crispy  and lightly brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Slice into four bite size pieces  and enjoy this unique and yummy treat.

Chocolate, banana and Hazelnut Panini

  • 2 slices of  of crusty country style bread
  • a handful of dark of milk chocolate chopped
  • 1/2 a sliced banana
  • roughly chopped toasted hazelnuts (about  1/2 as much chocolate that you have used)

Sprinkle one slice of bread with the chocolate chunks, then add sliced bananas and finish with toasted hazelnuts.  Top with second slice of bread.  Grill sandwich 2 to three minutes, till  bread  is crispy and golden and chocolate has melted. Serve right away.


  1. I want a Panini Maker now! Well, maybe not ... that chocolate, banana, and nutella panini would be the downfall of my waistline (what's left of it, lol).

  2. I would love a panini maker. Right now I make do with a grill pan and a pot on top to hold it down, but you still have to flip. You have very creative ideas.

  3. You sure know how to fill a panini!! Yum!!!

  4. Chocolate, banana and Hazelnut Panini...Sounds absolutely sinful.

  5. I too have a panini grill and went into panini overdrive.....but I never thought of banana and hazelnut combo. It's a natural! I especially like the hazelnuts at the end. Bravo!!! Now I just have to get that panini grill out of storage! Thanks for the inspiration. Pam

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