Super Simple Sandwiches: The Panini
The Panini is a true Italian staple. I learned about them while living in Florence, Italy. They have been brought to America and tinkered with to make so many different varieties that they are great for any occasion and almost any taste preference.
Panini literally means little bread. It is derived from the Latin word Pan, which is used by many different cultures, such as the Mexicans, Spanish, Italians, and even Filipinos, as the word for bread. They can be made from a variety of different breads such as Focaccia, French, Sourdough, Wheat, or White Bread. However, I have found that French bread in a baguette form, or Focaccia are the best. However, that is just my opinion.
We will review some simple and easy to make classic and no so classic recipes for Paninis that can be used for everyday meals or great ideas for Super Bowl parties.
Meats, Veggies, Cheese, & Toppings
There are a wide variety of meats, veggies, cheeses, and toppings that can be used to make your panini. The most common are the classic ones such as tomatoes, prosciutto, salami, mortadella, pesto, and mozzarella.
There are many others that people have experimented and been highly pleased with. Some of these include chicken, turkey, ham, eggplant, and a variety of other cheeses and veggies.
One of the Most Classic Paninis
The Prosciutto, Pesto, Tomato, and Mozzarella Panini
One of the most classic paninis is the prosciutto panini. Prosciutto is a thin smoked slice of ham. For this recipe you will need some focaccia or french bread that has been sliced. You will also need some sliced tomatoes, pesto sauce, and some mozzarella cheese. Once you have these ingredients you are ready to go.
The best and easiest thing to use to make a panini is a panini press that can be found at many stores. They usually run between 30 to 50 dollars depending on their quality. However, if you don't want to purchase a panini press, then you can make them in a pan. Although, making them in the pan, won't allow them to look as cool, as a pan will not make the grill lines on both sides of the bread as a panini press will, but they will still taste the same.
Once you have your ingredients and your cooking gear, then you simply place them and spread them on the inside parts of the bread, heat up whatever you are using to cook them and allow the cheese to melt and the bread to toast.
Then you can slice them to your desired size, but be sure to use a larger sharp knife so you don't push the ingredients out of the sides of the panini.
Now, they can be placed on a plate and served. Yes, it is that simple and, oh so delicious!
The Chicken and Pesto Panini on French Bread
Grilled or baked boneless chicken breast, pesto, tomatoes, mozzarella or white cheddar, and french or focaccia bread.
Wheat bread sliced, sliced eggplant, mozzarella or white cheddar cheese, and a mixture of blended tomatoes, garlic, and basil. Do the latter part in a food processor or blender unless your supermarket sells this mixture.
The Most Classic Panini of Them All
The Basil, Tomato, & Mozarella Panini
Here is another great vegetarian idea that even vegetarians will love. This panini's ingredients include mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, and sliced french or sourdough baguette.
More Photos of Various Panini Ideas
With Super Bowl Sunday just around the corner and many people gearing up to host or attend various Super Bowl Parties this great food idea can be a real party maker. Along with great football, the panini is sure to make your friends and family enjoy the day. They are super easy to make and can help fill your guests or please your hosts when you bring paninis to the party.
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