I’m not even going to lie, when it comes to kitchen appliances and gadgets, I’m like a kid in a roomful of toys or a teenage girl in a roomful of mirrors. G- to the i- to the -ddy. Giddy!
One of my favorite toys is my Cuisinart Panini and Sandwich Press. I absolutely delight in finding new combinations that work. I love to bring home bags of bread, vegetables, cheeses, and meats from the grocery store and set to work finding the best combinations. Avocado, pesto, and stone ground mustard are also items that can kick a sandwich to new heights. Not only is it incredible, creative fun, it’s also a healthy way to eat.
Since I use a lot of wheat bread, olive oil, vegetables, cheese, turkey, and chicken – my paninis turn out to be as healthy as they are delicious.
Yesterday, I broke out some of my favorite staples: Sara Lee Whole Grain White Bread, Sara Lee Cracked Pepper Turkey Breast, slices of Mozzarella cheese, Classico Traditional Basil Pesto, Olive Oil, my pepper mill, coarse-ground mustard, and Miracle Whip. (Note: This isn’t at all an advertisement for any of these companies or brands – they’re simply brands I use and use and use and use…. In fact, I’m naming my next pet Sara Lee.)
Classico Traditional Basil Pesto is something that you should keep on hand. I love the stuff to distraction. It’s heavenly on garlic toast and, obviously, paninis. But one of my favorite things to use it on is Boca Burgers and other protein patties. Boca Burger has a few new varieties that are just perfect with pesto.
I heated my Panini Press. I poured a little olive oil into a small plastic tray and ground black pepper on top. I used my beloved silicone brush to slap some of the pepper-y olive oil onto the press. Check your grocery aisles for flavored olive oils – I use them frequently as well.
Then I layered each sandwich like this:
First slice of Bread
Thin layer of Miracle Whip
Slice of Mozzarella cheese
A generous layer of Basil Pesto
Slices of the cracked pepper turkey
A thin layer of coarse-ground mustard (I use the Wal-Mart brand, I like its attitude)
Another slice of Mozzarella
Another thin layer of Miracle Whip
The second slice of bread
After I cooked the little beauties on the Panini Press, I finished each one with a layer of sliced tomato. The basil pesto, cracked pepper turkey, Mozarella, and tomato combination made me glad to be alive.
Something I saw recently that I’m DYING to take for a Panini test drive is Creole Mustard. The mind boggles at the possibilities.
If you don’t have a panini press yet, I strongly urge you to pick one out. The one I link to below is the one I swear by. Get jazzy with it – try out different cheeses (You’ll never go wrong with Provolone, Swiss, or Mozzarella ), meats, vegetables (tomatoes, onions, avocados, thinly sliced cucumbers, thinly sliced red peppers, etc), and spreads. Come up with combinations that put smiles on the faces you love.
Another favorite around our house is Chicken Bacon Ranch paninis. with slices of grilled chicken breast, Swiss Cheese, bacon, tomatoes, and Ranch Dressing. Mmmmm.