How to Make a Panini (sans Press)

by Heather on June 10, 2010

There is a certain turkey sandwich that I am addicted to in Hollywood Studios in Disney World. It is only served at the Backlot Express, and since I’m not going to Orlando anytime soon, I’m starting to experiment on paninis at home to come up with something similar. The one above is different than my favorite sandwich, but I didn’t have all the ingredients for that, so this will  definitely suffice. One day, I’ll make that sandwich in all its gloriousness, I promise :)  Alex was quite impressed with my makeshift panini press! I can’t justify buying a real panini press, as they are kind of pricy and take up a ton of space.

Instead of the press, you can use a grill. We have the Wolfgang Puck Cafe Collection that we found at Costco a few years back. It’s great because the reverse side is smooth- perfect for pancakes! Anyway, just take your first slice of bread (no need to butter it!), spread some dijon mustard on it,  add some sliced turkey and cheddar cheese, and place it on the preheated grill. I heat my grill to 300 degrees. Place the other slice of bread (also spread lightly with dijon) on top of the sandwich, then put a paper towel on top of the sandwich. The paper towel keeps the sandwich clean. Then, find something heavy to put on top of the paper towel and press down moderately hard with your hand for about 3 minutes.

Remove the heavy object (the quiche pan, in my case) and the paper towel, flip the sandwich over with tongs or a spatula, and do the same thing on the other side for about 3 minutes. It should look like this when it’s done:

Place the sandwich on a pretty plate, slice it in half and garnish with a few strawberries, and there you have it- a delicious panini made all on your own!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Bonnie June 10, 2010 at 5:52 pm

An old fashioned cast iron skillet makes a good weight for your panini sandwiches and eliminates having to hold it in place. Martha Stewart also suggests wrapping a brick in heavy duty foil and using it as a press.

Love your site and the recipes!

Sevgi June 10, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Thanks for the tip! There’s no need to spend a lot of money on a special panini maker!

Jamie June 11, 2010 at 2:55 am

Great tip. Also a George Foreman grill (or the like) works well to.

Sues June 12, 2010 at 9:29 pm

This sandwich looks fabulous and your photos are absolutely beautiful! Your blog was recommended to me from Raquelle from Thoughtful Eating and I’m so glad she let me know :)

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