We’ve already told you what you need to do to create the perfect sandwich. You’ve mastered the art of stacking ingredients within two slices of bread in such a way that you get a taste explosion without causing the bread to get all soggy.
We’ve made that sound more complicated than it really is, haven’t we?
Nevertheless, it’s time for you to graduate to something new. You’ve had your fill of sandwiches and you want to try something else.
You want a Panini.
These beautiful morsels have been around for centuries and they come from (where else) Italy. Those Italians just have a certain way with food, don’t they?
With this article, you’re going to master the Panini so that yours taste as good as any that you’ll find at an Italian bistro.
Let’s get cracking with…
Tip #1 – Choose the Right Grilling Method
How you grill your Panini will have an effect, both in terms of the taste of the dish and the amount of effort that you have to put in.
You could choose to use your oven’s grill to make the Panini. This is the classic way of doing it, but it also takes the most effort. You’re going to have to put in a lot of work to make sure the Panini gets grilled evenly.
At the other end of the scale, you have the special Panini press that you can find in many home and kitchen stores. These cost quite a lot but they also make grilling your Panini super easy. If you’re planning to eat a lot of the things, this may be the option for you.
Then you have less specialised grills and presses, such as the Foreman Grill. These provide you with a happy middle ground between the oven and the Panini press.
Think about how much effort you want to put into your grilling. And remember that it’s crucial that you grill your Panini as evenly as possible.
Tip #2 – Don’t Overfill
Yes, the idea of a Panini that’s absolutely loaded to the gills with all of your favourite meats and ingredients may sound appealing.
But when you try to make the thing, you’re just going to end up with a mess of stuff that practically explodes out of the bread.
You don’t want to eat your Panini with a knife and fork, do you?
If that’s the case, don’t overstuff. Have a nice and compact set of ingredient layers that leave plenty of room to breathe inside the Panini.
By the way, overstuffing causes another problem. It makes it much more difficult for you to evenly cook your Panini. You might pull the thing from the grill and take your first bite, only to discover that you’ve got a bunch of ingredients that are still cold mixed in with some that are piping hot.
And while we’re on the subject of the Panini falling apart, there’s something else you can do to stop this from happening…
Use the right kind of bread!
A regular loaf isn’t going to do the job here. You want some quality Italian bread, like Ciabatta, to make sure everything holds together.
And as a final tip…make clever use of cheese. You can almost consider cheese to be the adhesive that holds all of your other ingredients together. When it melts inside the Panini, it binds everything inside to it. And of course, cheese tastes amazing too.
Tip #3 – Crispiness is Key
Some of the ingredients that you’d use for a regular sandwich simply aren’t going to work for a Panini.
Take tomato as an example. In a sandwich, a tomato gives you a nice bit of juice to add to the mix, as well as a bit of crunchiness. But in a Panini, the tomato will just get grilled into a gooey mess that could leave your Panini all soggy.
The same goes for some of the juicier meats that you might use. If there’s a lot of juices running, that means there’s plenty of moisture available to ruin the consistency of your Panini.
The key to a good Panini is to achieve a certain level of crispiness.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have any juicy ingredients. Just don’t get too liberal with their use or you could end up with a whole lot of soggy bread.
Tip #4 – Greens Go in Last
You want your Panini to have the tasty crunch that only the freshest of greens can provide. You love the idea of adding lettuce, cucumber, and any number of other veggies into the mix.
The problem comes when you start to grill.
Much like with tomato, any greens that you add into your Panini will just get cooked into mush. You lose that tasty crunch and the freshness disappears.
The key is to not add your greens before you grill. Instead, prepare the Panini without them and then slice it open. You can then stuff your greens fresh into the Panini so you don’t get that mushy texture.
And speaking of slicing the Panini, we have a bonus tip…
Don’t use a serrated knife.
You’re aiming for as smooth a slice as possible here. A serrated knife could end up breaking the bread apart, which defeats the entire purpose of the Panini.
Tip #5 – Find the Right Meats
Of course, it’s ultimately going to be your ingredients that make or break your Panini. You could get the entirety of the cooking process right only to end up with something that’s still disappointing because you didn’t use the right meats.
That’s where Najma Foods comes in.
Our large range of halal chilled meats are absolutely perfect for Paninis. In fact, we have several traditional Italian and Mediterranean meats that you’ll absolutely love.
And best of all, every single one of our meats can be recooked and is suitable for a Panini.
Check out our range today and then head to your nearest store to grab your meats. The tastiest Panini that you’ve ever made awaits!