Well it had to happen eventually. I couldn’t put it off any longer. I broke down and attempted my first panini sandwich… with mixed results.
I gave up on trying to find the perfect bread (for now) and settled for something a little less exotic. Then I threw some chopped steak, onion, mushroom, and green pepper in a frying pan and warmed everything up. While this was going on, I grated some cheese, spread some Miracle Whip on the bread, and warmed up the panini grill. Good times!
Now here is where the lesson starts… there is a tightening knob on the grill which increases (or decreases) the tension on the lever. I didn’t realize this. I wondered why on earth it was so difficult to actually open the grill, but I figured that it must simply be stiff from not being used before. So when it came time to put the sandwich together and on the grill, I basically had to slide it in, rather than place it squarely in the middle of the grill.
The little booklet that comes with the panini grill states that you do not need to add and butter, grease, or whatever else because it is a non-stick surface. So that’s how I tried it. I agree with the non-stick part, but if you want your bread to brown like a real panini, I think you’d better put something on it to help that along.
Because I couldn’t open the grill very much, and it didn’t have anything added to help the bread brown, all I essentially created was a very flat, slightly dry sandwich, which reminded me more of a quesadilla than a panini. It tasted ok, but the presentation was less than stellar.
But that`s ok. I`m not prepared to give up on it yet. Now that I know how to open it up properly, and to toast the bread, I`m looking forward to trying my next one! I think that this one will be with chicken, not steak.