Perfectly Practical #200 - Panini Without the Press
|Strawberry Turkey Panino|
Estate sale-ing is one of my very favorite pastimes. I love looking at the houses, sifting through someone's history, and imagining what that person's life was like. (If they have fabulous hats then I know we would have gotten along famously.)
Aside from hats, I always look in the kitchen for cast iron, unusual dishes, local cookbooks (especially if they are dog-eared and written in) and other neat kitchen-y items.
One particular estate sale I went to was at what one may call "Pary's Dream House." It was built for entertaining from the foyer with the winding staircase to the large open formal spaces and the cozier casual spaces to the entire back of the house looking over the lush landscaping around the pool. To give you some perspecitve, there was a good sized bright room off of the first kitchen with built-in bookshelves just for cookbooks!
Did you notice that I said the first kitchen? Yes, there were two large fully furnished kitchens back-to-back; one was for the lady of the house to use and the other was for caterers.
Off of the second kitchen, there was a large pantry for gadgets. Not to mention the several rooms upstairs that were dish and decoration rooms for all of the party stuffs.
Seriously. D-R-E-A-M H-O-U-S-E.
I like kitchen gadgets as much as the next girl. But here's the thing: I don't have infinite amounts of space and I only have one kitchen.
I know. Tragic.
With that in mind, I can't justify having surplus gadgets that only serve one purpose and will only be used once in a blue moon...like a panini press.
Instead, I use what I have on hand - two cast iron skillets.
Again, cast iron is just about the most versatile bit of kitchen paraphernalia. I can use it to cook on the stove, in the oven, or on the grill, and as "Tangled" has shown us, it makes for an invaluable weapon against assailants.
To make a panino (the singular of panini) without a press:
- Heat up two cast iron skillets with one being slightly smaller than the other. If the larger of them is a griddle pan, all the better.
- Place the sandwich in the larger pan and use the bottom of the smaller skillet to press down on the top of the sandwich. Make sure you are using something to protect your hands since the handles get hot.
- Once you feel like the first side has been cooked to your liking, remove the top skillet and place it back on the burner to get hot again.
- Flip the sandwich and replace the small skillet on top.
- Voila! You have a panino!
I don't use anything like butter or oil in my skillets to cook these but if your sandwich is sticking to either of the skillets, use a little cooking spray or put a tiny bit of oil on a paper towel and wipe down the skillets' surfaces that will be touching the food.
This is part of WFMW.