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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Panini Press Lessons Learned

The Great Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day has come and gone. AND as always, there were lessons to be learned. Since this was the first time making Panini’s i of course over stuffed the sandwich. I realized this as i closed down the press and the tomato went one direction while the avocado went the other. I’m sure your picturing this, and laughing. Well at least smirking. Even a snicker will do.
Rescuing tomatoes, avocados, and cheese from a hot panini grill was not a fun time. There were burnt fingertips, a few words mumbled, and of course some panicking as i watched eminent disaster unfolding right before my eyes.
Next lesson was that round toped Ciabatta Rolls DO NOT work well in a panini press. Something about the “Roundness” of the top caused the top to wobble a little and not make good contact with the buttered top. (Yes the butter was melting right down onto the grills….. I love that smell..) 
So the rescue entailed grabbing the round top of the roll off the sandwich, slipping the tomato and avocado out from between the two cheeses and off the hot grill, then placing the round top back on. As i said above, the Panini Grill did not close flat at this point.
By now i had opened the grill enough times to reduce the heat to a point of not grilling. Pressing down didn’t help either. Round top still caused a wobble, lack of heat slowed down the melting of the cheese, and those nice burned grill marks never appeared.
BUT never fear. After grilling just the two cheeses, and roll, i popped them onto a plate. Round top came off nicely, and the tomato and avocado slipped back on. It was time for a beer. 
SOOOO next time there will be no overloading. No slippery items to spurt out. AND finally, NO ROUND TOPS on the bread. A nice tuscan loaf sliced thick might be nice.

Thanks to all who chimed in and to those who might have even celebrated with us.

Chef? Grenville

12 comments:

Lynn said...

Well you definitely deserve an A for effort for that hard-won sandwich. And sounds delicious anyway! I'll bet there was some laughing involved, which made it even more fun.

My father had one of those presses. I was on my way down to visit once to go to an appointment with he and mom and asked if he could make me a sandwich before we left - I had not had time to eat lunch. He had it waiting when I got there. Oh - it was a beautiful thing - what I think of as a Cuban sandwich. Ham, swiss cheese, dill pickle chips, mustard and mayo on some flat bread. Yum. I said, "It's a panini!" "A WHO???" I always think of that when I hear the word "panini".

Anvilcloud said...

" a few words mumbled"

I would have done much better than that.

Sandra said...

I have not eaten or even seen a pannini and now i know what they are and what not to do if i want one... i did laugh at the squirting tomato. i love a pressed cuban sandwich, but that is the only pressed i have had.. they don't press wendy's burgers or hungry howies pizza.. he he he

Linda said...

Your panini looks good! It has been a long time since I have had a panini.

gigihawaii said...

Sounds like a great sandwich.

Connie said...

Oh well. Next time it will be perfect! :)

Denise inVA said...

Okay, so I can honestly say I have never had a panini or a panini machine, though a good grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of tomato soup is a favorite in this house. Always used a frying pan though. Your sandwich with all its trials and tribulations looks good and was no doubt a learning experience. It will go easier next time :)

William Kendall said...

Consider it a lesson learned!

Emma Springfield said...

I wondered about how you were going to navigate the press. Seems like you solved the problem nicely.

Ludwig Keck said...

Next time wrap bacon tightly around girth of sandwich to hold it together then press down mightily to flatten stack.

Country Gal said...

Ya win some and ya loose some looks good though ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

Pat Ball Morrison said...

Not sure why you had difficulty with the ciabat bun, I have uses those often in our pannini grill/press and works good, maybe too much filling in the sandwich as you suggested? I buy the ciabatta buns at Sam's and they are not that big and round on top, flatter than what you had perhaps. Is this new for you? We have had our Cuisinart for several years, combo grill plates on one side, pannini on other with ridges.

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