Panini have been around for centuries, and these days they’re being grilled up in practically every kosher lunch restaurant. The popularity of grilling Panini at home reached an all time high when Oprah Winfrey featured a Panini Press among her 2007 “favorite things” (I bought mine after that I admit!). As I mentioned in Great Products they are the ultimate traveling machines for kosher families. Why? Real food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner while you travel (get one for summer in our shop). We toast bagels, grill sandwiches, grill fish and so much more. Here are a few gourmet Paninis to try but simple grilled cheese Panini, Pizza Panini, tuna melts and mashed bananas with nutella (family travel favorite) work just as well and are super easy and very family-friendly.
Here are 7 tips that will ensure that the Panini you make at home are as scrumptious as can be.
1. Experiment with a variety of breads and fillings. Just because Panini originated in Italy doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to foccacia, mozzarella and other Italian ingredients. Or even just savory ingredients. If it’s got bread and fillings and is prepared on the grill, it’s a Panini!
2. Go for the crunch. What separates Panini from “regular” sandwiches? It’s the grilling! Grilled bread is the hallmark of Panini – make the most of it by brushing olive oil or melted margarine on top for a crostini-like crunch.
3. Be careful with “wet” ingredients. No one likes a soggy sandwich. Many of the great fillings we enjoy on “regular” non-grilled sandwiches, such as tomatoes and juicy meats, sometimes aren’t ideal candidates for Panini, where crispness is key. Seed tomatoes before using them and brush fish with panko before grilling in the sandwich. Also, add the wet ingredients to the center of the sandwich.
4. Cut with a straight-edged knife. A sharp, straight-edged knife, rather than a serrated one, will ensure a smooth separation for your finished Panini.
5. Greens go last. Greens, like lettuce or spinach get wilted when grilled. Food Network’s George Duran (aka “Ham on the Street”) offers a great solution: add them in last. Grill your sandwich and then insert anything you’d like to keep leafy – lettuce, spinach, arugula, and cilantro to name a few – right before serving.
To purchase a Panini press go to our shop and get ready for delicious food even when there are no kosher restaurants for miles.