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Old 10-26-2004, 05:09 PM   #11
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I've used a GF grill and it works well.

Fact is a Panini is a grilled sandwich. You can do it in a frying pan, just takes twice the time.

It's not worth the money to buy such a specialized piece of equipment.

BTW, back in the late '60s, I used a waffle iron to make toasted tuna melts. I loved them, but my mother didn't like the idea of using the waffle iron to do that. Sometimes, I wonder if she didn't slam that idea I had would I have eventually come up with inventing the GF grill and the electric panini grill?
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Old 10-26-2004, 05:59 PM   #12
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I'm not into "uni -taskers" (like a Foreman grill or a panini maker) for both the cost and the storage requirements.

A panini, like a Cuban sandwich, is just a pressed grilled sandwich. All you need is a skillet, a grill pan if you want the grill marks, or a cast iron reversable grill/griddle and ... a BRICK wrapped in aluminum foil.

Just heat your pan/grill - add your sandwich ... put the brick on top. Halfway through - take the brick off, flip the sammi over, put the brick back on until done. I've seen Tyler Florence, Alton Brown, Bobby Flay, Emeril, and 2-3 more others use the brick in the past couple of months.

Not a bad way to convert what you have into a panini maker for under $3!
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Old 10-26-2004, 08:25 PM   #13
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Unless you have growing kids, I do not see the average person using a panni cooker. You can use the GF grills as recommended or any indoor contact type grill with a lid. I still use my old fashioned cast iron frypan for melted sandwiches.
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Old 10-26-2004, 09:26 PM   #14
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If you don't have a brick, as Michael suggests, use a frying pan. Cast iron is best. Just put a layer of foil between the pan and the sandwich. If you don't have cast iron, just use cans of food in the pan.

I guess what we're saying is try using your frying pan for the present and see if you make enough of these sandwiches to justify the purchase of a panini, GF, or reversible waffle iron.
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Old 10-26-2004, 09:58 PM   #15
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I'll let you all know in a few days.. I'm a sucker for a bargain I guess and love kitchen "toys"... I had bought some stuff from Kohls awile back and got on their mailing list.

The other day I got notice of another great "SALE" that they claimed was too good to pass up.. so I clicked on their kitchen electric section and saw a Krups Universal Panini Grill they claimed was normally $99.95 or something for $22.95... yeah,, not a type.. twenty two ninety five...

I usually go to Amazon to check on things 'cause most of the stuff there has testimonials and it gives me *some* idea of what to expect.. so I did a search and found this one http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...n&n=507846

and my mouse did a triple take... on sale for $79.99??? and Kohls had them for $22.95??? Something was wrong with that picture.. then I noticed that the Kohls one was white and the Amazon one was chrome... but I figured for a savings of $55.00 I could live with white :)

Anyway, I ordered it and got e-mail that it was shipped today.. but the funny thing was, right after I ordered mine, I called my daughter-in-law to tell her about it and see if they wanted one.. I went back to the Kohl site and "poof".. they were all gone.. So they didn't last long.

A couple of testimonials at Amazon claim they fall apart rather quickly so we'll see what shape mine comes in and how long it lasts.. but I figured that it would be better than a GF grill (which everyone but me has I guess).. and it might do okay on a boneless chicken breast and maybe some halibut too... I have no idea what I'm going to do with it though... color me one of those newbie idiots that buys stuff impulsively.. I'll figure out what to do with it later.. or donate it to Goodwill :)

But I'll let you all know of my experiences next week I hope.. stay tuned.
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Old 10-26-2004, 11:15 PM   #16
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I have a panini grill and I love mine!!!! It's good for sandwiches (of which I will give you a great recipe), is good for grilled cheese (don't have to use the butter or as much on the outside), is good for grilling vegetables, steaks, chicken. I think you will love it.

I have the De Longhi. The lid is heavy which is what I was looking for and it adjusts to differeng thicknesses (which I'm sure most of the do anyway). I love it!!

Do you eat a lot of sandwiches? It really does offer a nice change from the usual sandwich or one grilled with butter. There's something very comforting about a panino - it's warm, sort of flattened together, yummmm.

EDITED TO SAY: If you can get to a Bed Bath & Beyond or a Linens & Things you can look at a variety of them and test which ones have a heavier lid - that is going to be the key - you want it to have some weight to it. You can also squish gently while cooking too because I just saw what a great price the one was you were looking at!!!!!!!
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Old 10-27-2004, 12:59 AM   #17
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Yes, elf... it seems I do things "bass ackwards"... I buy the equipment THEN hunt around for something to cook on it :)

I doubt I would have merely bought a panini grill (or GF or whatever) per se'... but I had looked at them and priced the GF grills and read reviews, etc... and I do enjoy "toasted" sandwiches.. and I'm not big on wrapping a bunch of bricks in foil and/or stacking cast iron pans on top of my sandwiches.. so I'm hoping this Krups will do the trick.

I'd love to have any recipe you have.. doing a net search for panini and cuban sandwich recipes is on my "to-do" list...

On this Krups grill... a friend of mine has a Villaware (sp?) and she said it's 1,400 watts and this Krups is 1,500 watts.. so "theoretically" it should get hot enough to melt cheese at least. The whole thing, including shipping cost me less than $30 so if it falls apart, or I end up giving it to Goodwill or Salvation Army. .it's no big loss.. but I'm kinda excited about it...

I have a lot of undercounter storage space so even though it won't be on the counter, I'll keep it handy. I know from experience that IF I put something in the closet or whatever, I'll NEVER get it out to use it... so it has to be kept handy or I might as well not have it.

I might even try hamburgers on it... they don't need the "sear" like a steak (I do my steaks outside on a Weber kettle with lump charcoal.. cooks at about 600+ degrees to sear the steaks)... anyway... it's my only "folly" this month.. but then again. there are still some days left :)
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Old 10-27-2004, 02:47 PM   #18
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Here's my favorite panino - I make an antipasto salad, had some left over so used it in this sandwich. It was great!

Basil Olive Oil

1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove (or more)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Sandwich Innards
fresh strips of roasted red pepper
thinly sliced prosciutto
fresh ball of water-packed mozzarella cheese, drained, thinly sliced into rounds
large tomatoes, thinly sliced (or Roma for this time of year)
Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives, pitted, coarsely chopped
mesclun mix

I use ciabatta bread for this. Cut in half lengthwise (just enough for 1 sandwich), spread basil oil on both sides of bread then on the bottom I put the mozzarella cheese to give it the best chance to melt some then I just pile everything else on top. If you put the lettuce somewhere in the middle it has the least chance of getting warm.

(I came home one time to find ALL the prosciutto gone - about $12.00 worth - when my son walks into the kitchen and says "wow, I made the best ham sandwich" )

The misconception I keep having about a panini grill is that the panino will come out too hard - but every time it is soft and really, really yummy!!!!![/b]
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:26 PM   #19
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lutzz, you'll have to log back on to tell us how you like your grill.

I don't truly "need" the grill, since I've heard of the brick option and have a spare brick laying around :)...I've tossed the idea around for a while because I just love kitchen gadgets. It's the only thing I love to plurge and have lots of is cooking/baking equipment...though I should probably find a new hobby since my kitchen is really small.
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:31 PM   #20
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lol htc - I have absolutely no more room in my kitchen for anything! But the thing I do like about a panini grill versus a brick is the cooking on both sides at the same time. OK, I'm lazy :roll:
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