As I wrote in a previous post, the most rudimentary kitchen tools can be put to use to make panini. All one really needs is two pans, one pan for cooking and the other to place on top as a weight, to make the Italian pressed sandwiches. But, with the addition to my kitchen of a panini grill, a recent gift, I am now able to take the art of panini-making to the next level.
I gave the new appliance a trial run by making a panino very similar to the one I wrote about earlier, back when I was using the two-pan method. I layered focaccia with prosciutto cotto, sopressata, pecorino fresco, and arugula, brushed the top and bottom of the bread with olive oil, and placed it in the press. The heavy weight of the top part of the grill pressed the sandwich to perfection. The resulting panino was grilled to a crisp golden brown on the outside, while the pecorino just began to melt into the thin layers of the cured meats.
Test run: successful.