It’s hard to believe that I haven’t blogged about panini yet. I make them almost once a week and it’s usually a way to use up leftover steak or chicken, so this is a quick and easy dinner.
Ben is becoming quite the master at marinating and grilling New York strip steaks. It’s almost disappointing to eat steak at a restaurant now. He usually buys 2 strips and I almost never finish my entire steak, so we’re left with half of a great cut of meat that just cannot be thrown away or given to Ginger. As much as I love that dog, I don’t think feeding her a piece of meat worth $5 is justified.
Panini is plural form of “panino” meaning “small bread roll” in Italian. Italian panini that are toasted are usually filled with prosciutto and cheese…and that’s it. Americans, it seems, have done their darndest to complicate this sandwich. While I believe this to be a mistake, I have made several different variations of the panino with more than just meat and cheese. I hope, someday, to try a real panino in Italy to discover the gloriousness that is a simple Italian panino.
I don’t overstuff my panini…anymore! I learned my lesson more than once. Melting cheese all over the place is OK most of the time, but not on a panini. I have a Krups panini press, but a panini can be made easily with 2 hot skillet type pans. A panini is essentially a pressed grilled sandwich, so a hot pan paired with another heavy skillet will do the job. Here are some other options for creating your very own panini without a press. I will put in a plug for Krups here and say that I love my press. I’ve even grilled vegetables with it. It may seem like a uni-tasker, and I guess it is, but it is a great one to own. It will prove itself useful.
Steak and Provolone Panini
- 3-4 slices provolone cheese
- 4-6 ounces thinly sliced cooked steak (or roast beef)
- whole grain mustard
- 1 tomato, sliced thin
- French, sourdough, focaccia, or other hearty bread of your choice
- olive oil
- Slice your bread into 1 to 2 inch thick pieces, then slice horizontally.
- Spread mustard on the top slice of the bread.
- Place some cheese on the bottom of each piece of bread.
- Layer sliced steak on top of the cheese.
- Top with a tomato slice (or two depending on the size of your tomato) and another thin slice of cheese.
- Place the tops on the sandwiches, and brush a bit of olive oil on the bottom and top of each sandwich.
- Place on the panini press, or heated skillet. Cook for 3-7 minutes or until all ingredients are warmed through and cheese is nice and melted.
- Serve and enjoy.