Making Paninis

Cooking with Kids

There’s no reason kids should only eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. Step it up a notch and take a few extra minutes to make them warm paninis this winter. The warm grilled sandwich combinations are almost limitless. And you don’t have to only use ordinary, boring white or wheat sliced sandwich bread. Try using sourdough, foccacia, ciabatta, baguette, English muffins, and flat breads (such as Naan and tortillas) when making paninis. Simply combine ingredients like those suggested below and heat each sandwich until golden brown.

What to Do

Using a Panini Maker:
1. Preheat the press.
2. Add your sandwich and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions until golden and crisp about 3 to 5 minutes.

On the Stove:
1. Preheat a skillet with butter or oil to medium low.
2.Add your sandwich.
3. Press a heavy pan on top to weigh it down. Cook until golden and crisp for about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Basic Grilled Cheese: Place yellow or white American cheese between wheat, white, or mult-grain sandwich bread. You can add tomato as well.

Three-Cheese: Brush the inside of a split ciabatta roll with pesto. Fill with a few slices each of mozzarella, fontina, and asiago cheeses. Add a few basil leaves.

Breakfast Burrito: Roll up scrambled eggs, shredded pepper jack cheese and salsa in a flour tortilla. Press and cook until golden.

Tuna Melt: Mix tuna and mayonaisse and but on seedless rye bread. Add a slice of American cheese and a slice of tomato.

Canadian Bacon: Butter a split English muffin. Fill with 2 slices sauteed Canadian bacon and some sliced Swiss cheese.

Roast Beef: Spread dijon mustard on 2 thick slices of sourdough bread. Layer shredded gruyere, sliced roast beef, and more gruyere between the bread.

Grilled Veggie: Brush the inside of a split ciabatta roll with pesto. Fill with slices of grilled eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and roasted red peppers. Add 2 slices fresh mozzarella and a few basil leaves.

Italian Melt: Drizzle the inside top half of a split sub roll with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Layer sliced provolone, salami, ham, turkey, pepperoncini, and more provolone on the roll.

Reuben: Spread Thousand Island dressing on 2 slices rye bread. Layer sliced Swiss cheese, corned beef, sauerkraut, and more cheese between the bread.

Fajita Melt: Brush the inside of a split sub roll with olive oil. Fill with sliced grilled chicken, sauteed peppers and onions, and shredded pepper jack cheese.

Apple-Brie: Spread dijon mustard on the inside of a split piece of baguette. Fill with sliced brie and thinly sliced green apple. Press and cook until golden.

Caprese: Bruse the inside of a split sub roll or Italian bread with olive oil. Fill with 2 slices of fresh mozzarella and tomato. Add a few basil leaves and season with salt and pepper.

Eggplant-Mozzarella: Make the Caprese above replacing the tomato with grilled eggplant slices.

Pesto Turkey: Make Caprese Panini above but brush the inside of the roll with pesto instead of olive oil and add 3 or 4 slices roasted turkey breast to the sandwich.

Chicken Saltimbocca: Brush the inside of a split ciabatta roll with pesto. Fill with sliced grilled chicken, fontina and prosciutto, and chopped fresh sage. Press and cook until golden.

Apple-Manchego: Brush the inside of a split soft roll with olive oil. Fill with sliced apple and manchego cheese. Season with salt.

Chorizo-Pear: Make Apple-Manchego Panini above with sliced pear instead of apple and add sliced Spanish chorizo to the sandwich.

References 
Many of the sandwich combinations were found at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/50-panini/index.html?oc=linkback

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