Stuff a panini with pork, peppers, eggs, chicken--it's all good.
Remember the manwich . . . when a sandwich was a sandwich, but a manwich was a meal? Enter panini—the new manwich. Panini (pronounced pah-NEE-nee) means “little breads,” but these toasted Italian sandwiches pack B-I-G flavor.
Originating in Italy as a humble cafe snack, they have crossed the Atlantic to become a complete and easy light meal worthy of dinner. Something about crisped bread with melted oozy fillings elevates the sandwich to a meal.
You can put just about anything on a panini, but hearty breads and pungent fillings work best. Cheese is a must—it melts and holds the other fillings together. You may also want to invest in a panini maker. We’re not big on kitchen gadgets, but we fell in love with the panini grill, whose pressing action makes the sandwich a unified, yummy package–and the fillings stay in, no matter how full you stuff the sandwich.
As most paninni presses are nonsitck, you can skip the oil or butter, although brushing a touch of oil makes them extra crispy. Best yet, you can buy a panini maker almost anywhere.
By Sharon Saunders, CCP, a cookbook author. www.simpleitaly.com
A garlicky, pork panini with olive tapenade gives "pigskin" a new meaning at your Super Bowl party.
Egg sandwiches are so satisfying, especially when grilled with melty cheese.
With leftover rotisserie chicken or grilled boneless chicken breasts on hand, these delightful sandwiches come together prestissimo!