Panini are the new black at our house. We have tried so many variations I hesitate to even post another one. I’m trying to only post ones that are very different to avoid making you run screaming from each post. But this one is the one where I admit I finally read the booklet that came with my super duper Panini press. I was making them wrong.
Well darn, who would have thought to brush oil on the bread instead of butter? Frankly I don’t even like butter unless it’s on toast or lefsa. But it never occurred to me that all Panini wouldn’t be buttered before grilling. I think it would make a huge difference in how they cook!
The burning point of butter is way lower than that of oil, so a Panini with buttered bread will brown much faster than one that is oiled. So then the sandwich is cooked shorter and the cheese might not be as melted? That’s not true, I’ve had cheese running and oozing and burning out of Panini many times now when I’ve buttered the outsides of the bread.
I think it boils down to preference. If you want the flavor of butter on your Panini, use butter on the outside. If you don’t care and want a traditional one that doesn’t leave your fingers all buttery, brush the bread with oil.
Years ago, when I was younger, I would look at the pictures in my 3-ring Betty Crocker cookbook and try to make everything that had a picture. I was a bored stay at home mom who was learning to cook still. I found a recipe to make pita pockets and they were so fun and turned out well the first time, so I made them one of my signature dishes (that wasn’t a thing back then, but in hindsight I can say it).
I mean to make them again some day, just to see if I still can, but for now my P.S. brought home a couple of packages of kangaroo pockets and I couldn’t resist making them Panini. Stuff and grill, super simple.
He’d picked up thinly sliced roast turkey and we had sliced Swiss and fresh spinach. Plain and fast. I tore the Swiss slices in half and tucked one half on each side inside the pockets. I tucked the sliced turkey and spinach leaves between the slices of Swiss so the cheese would remain on the outside, nearest the heat.
I used a brush and brushed a spare coating of oil on the outside of the pockets then placed them on the heated Panini griddle and closed the lid. I peeked occasionally and when the cheese was oozing out and there were browned marks on the outsides of the pockets they were done.
I served them for lunch with a side salad and they were good. The pockets didn’t get very crispy, and I wondered if that was due to the oil. This was the first time I’d used oil since reading the manual, so I can’t compare them to anything else. I had used the ridged griddles at first, then switched them mid-fry to the flat griddles to see if they would brown more. They did, but as I said, not so crispy.
The fun of a Panini for us is the crispy effect the grill gives to the sandwiches, so this was slightly disappointing. I have many more pockets left and will try again to see if I can get them to have a little more crunch, then update the post.
Turkey Spinach Swiss Kangaroo Panini
4 Kangaroo pockets (halves)
4 slices roast turkey
4 slices Swiss cheese
handful of fresh spinach
Oil for brushing on pockets
Tuck slices of turkey into pockets, then several leaves of spinach. Tuck pieces of Swiss cheese down into the outsides of the pockets.
Brush pockets with a thin coating of oil and place on heated panini press.
Fry until browned on both sides.