Paninis – Grilled Cheese for Grown-ups

S-more PaniniDena Price at the Old Bridge Public Library used the Griddler in a hands-on workshop.. and by “hands-on” she means attendees were able to get their hands on 5 different versions of paninis.

Notes:

1. although certain breads are mentioned in the recipes, pretty much any type of bread can be used. However, paninis look better with a thick bread or flat roll.
2. for speed and ease of cooking in front of a group of people, olive oil was used in my program instead of the butter called for in several of the recipes.
3. If you use cooking spray in place of bottled olive oil, lightly spritz directly on the bread instead of the grill to help prevent an oily build-up which can be difficult to clean off afterwards.

Menu:
Gilled Cheddar with Sage and Preserves
Capresi Panini
Roast Beef & Swiss with Swiss Chard
Rosemary-Chicken Panini with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
S’Mores Panini

Grilled Cheddar with Sage and Preserves
Adapted from: ohyoucook.blogspot.com
Yield: 2 sandwiches

4 slices thick hearty bread
2 Tbl. unsalted butter, softened
4 slices (3-4 ozs.) quality sharp cheddar cheese
2 Tbl. peach preserves (or your favorite quality jam or preserves)
1 Tbl. chopped fresh sage

Heat griller to medium-high.

Meanwhile, lightly spread butter on one side of each of the bread slices. Flip the slices over and spread jam on other side. Cover half of the bread slices with 2 slices each of cheddar, then sprinkle evenly with sage. Top with remaining bread, jam-side down.

Place sandwiches in griller and close cover. Cook until sandwiches for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown with grill marks and cheese has melted.

Cut each sandwich in half on the diagonal and serve immediately.

Grilled Cheddar with Sage and Preserves
Adapted from: ohyoucook.blogspot.com
Yield: 2 sandwiches

4 slices thick hearty bread
2 Tbl. unsalted butter, softened
4 slices (3-4 ozs.) quality sharp cheddar cheese
2 Tbl. peach preserves (or your favorite quality jam or preserves)
1 Tbl. chopped fresh sage

Heat griller to medium-high.

Meanwhile, lightly spread butter on one side of each of the bread slices. Flip the slices over and spread jam on other side. Cover half of the bread slices with 2 slices each of cheddar, then sprinkle evenly with sage. Top with remaining bread, jam-side down.

Place sandwiches in griller and close cover. Cook until sandwiches for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown with grill marks and cheese has melted.

Cut each sandwich in half on the diagonal and serve immediately.

Roast Beef and Swiss Panini
Various sources
Note: Use purchased horseradish spread or make your own by mixing 2 tablespoons mayonnaise with 1/2 teaspoon white horseradish. Focaccia bread may be substituted for the ciabatta rolls
Yield: 2 sandwiches

2 Tbl. Horseradish-mayo spread (or spicy brown mustard)
2 ciabatta rolls, cut lengthwise
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 thinly sliced Swiss cheese, divided
6 thinly sliced deli roast beef
1 loosely packed cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (or arugula or Swiss chard, coarsely chopped)

Preheat griller to medium-high.

Spread butter evenly on outsides of ciabatta rolls. On the insides of the bottom halves, spread horseradish spread (or mustard).

Top each with 1 slice of Swiss cheese, followed by 3 slices of roast beef, basil (or arugula or Swiss chard), then another slice of cheese. Cover with roll tops. Place on grill and close cover.

Grill 2-3 minutes or until cheese melts. Cut each sandwich in half and serve.

Rosemary-Chicken Panini with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Adapted from: Cooking Light magazine January 2012
Yield: 2 sandwiches
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
6 slices thinly sliced deli chicken breast
2 Tbl. chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomato
pinch crushed red pepper
1/2 (of a 6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach, torn
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
Cooking spray
pinch ground black pepper
4 slices country-style Italian bread
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
Heat a griller to medium-high.
Brush 4 bread slices evenly with olive oil. Sprinkle evenly with rosemary, then top with1/2 of the cheese, chicken breast slices, spinach leaves, sun-dried tomato, red pepper and remaining cheese. Brush remaining 4 bread slices with olive oil and place on top of sandwiches, pressing down lightly.
Arrange sandwiches in griller. Close cover and cook 3-4 minutes, or until cheese melts and bread is browned with grill marks.
Cut each sandwich in half; serve immediately.

S’more Paninis
From various sources
Yield: 4 servings (1/2 of one Panini per serving)

4 slices thick white bread
2 Tbl. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 small milk chocolate bars, each broken in half
1 banana, sliced (optional)
4 large marshmallows, halved (or 1 handful of mini-marshmallows)

Heat nonstick griller to medium-high.
Lightly spread butter on one side of each bread slice.
Flip 2 of the bread slices and sprinkle each evenly with half of the cinnamon. Top with 1 piece of the chocolate bar, a few banana slices (if desired) and half of the marshmallows. Top each with remaining bread, buttered side up.
Place in griller and close cover. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until sandwiches are golden brown and have nicely browned grill marks. If chocolate or marshmallow starts to ooze out, remove panini immediately from filler.

Serve immediately.