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Monday, November 26, 2012

How to make a Panini without a Panini Press

My husband makes fun of me because when we go out on a casual date to grab lunch, I always want to go grab a good sandwich. Maybe it's because I have love affair with good bread.
One sandwich I absolutely love is a panini. I mean, what's not to love, right? Crusty, chewy ciabatta bread, melted cheese; and if you make it at home, you can have whatever fillings you want.
I like to make my own ciabatta, so I can't really recommend anywhere that has superior ciabatta bread, but I do know that City Shop has them.
For this panini I cut up a chicken breast really thinly and sauteed it on the stove with just a bit of oil. If you are lucky enough to have roast turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving (and I do!) then your sandwich would really rock!
Here is how to make a panini without a panini press.

Ciabatta roll
Filling of choice: I used basil mayonnaise, chicken breast, tomatoes, caramelized onions, and two layers of mozzarella cheese.

Layer filling on your sandwich. I used basil mayonnaise to add some amazing pesto-like flavor to my panini.

I like to put two layers of cheese. #1 layer of cheese is under the tomatoes.
Caramelized onions
#2 layer of cheese.
Cover with other half of the ciabatta roll.

Once your panini is assembled, place on a preheated  skillet. Make sure the stove is set to medium.

Place a heavy pan or stockpot over your panini. Place a heavy can or glass jar in the pot so that it is weighted down.
Let it cook for 5 minutes. Flip the panini over and replace the weighted pot back on the panini.

Cook for another 4-5 minutes until the cheese is completely melted.

Enjoy your panini while hot!

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