Friday, February 3, 2012

waffle grilled panini

Living in a 900 sf. condo has it's perks, but one thing I had to learn is how to be creative in a small kitchen with limited space for appliances. When I was registering for wedding gifts 2 years ago, a panini maker was not on the list [though I really wanted one]. We just didn't have room for it! However, I did get a Belgian waffle maker that not only makes amazing waffles but doubles as a panini press.

All you need to make a delicious panini is:
2 slices of bread
Butter or margarine
Season salt [optional]
Cheese of your choice, shredded or sliced [sliced is less messy]
Sliced deli meat of your choice
Veggies such as tomatoes or avocados [optional]

1. Spread a very small amount of butter or margarine on one side of each slice of bread. I used about 1/8 tbsp. for each slice. Sprinkle lightly with season salt for extra flavor.

2. Once the waffle maker is at desired temp [I set it on the highest temp because it cooks faster and gets super crunchy], place one slice of bread butter side down on the grill. Add a slice or two of meat and a slice of cheese, then put other slice of bread butter side up on top of the sandwich. If using shredded cheese, sprinkle a little in the middle of the sandwich so that when it melts, it will not go over the edges and get all over your waffle maker.

3. Close the waffle maker and let the sandwich sizzle in there for about a minute or two. You can open it up periodically and check to see how "done" it is. I like mine pretty brown, but if you don't you can take it out sooner.

4. Turn off the waffle maker and remove the sandwich with a fork or tongs. Lift up the top slice of bread and insert sliced tomato, avocado, etc. if you'd like [it would get kind of messy to add those in before cooking.] Serve with ranch to dip in if desired.

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