If you haven't had a panini you're missing something incredibly awesome (totally not correct grammar). If you don't have a panini griller at home, that's really too bad! We all love that griller to death in this house and love making paninis-any day, any time.
Some history: Panini-grilled sandwich in Italian. Meaning, two slices of bread with anything you want in between. Panera bread is famous for these sandwiches. But, you can pretty much find them anywhere nowadays.
The best part is you can put whatever you want to in them. I just wanted to share some of our favorite combinations.
Bread: we use store-bought, sandwich wheat bread, bakery sourdough, bakery Italian or foccacia, it really doesn't matter. The best is the panini ciabatta rolls Wegmans makes (rectangle) and just the right size for one sandwich! We also do regular grilled cheese and quesadillas in the griller.
Meat: typically we use turkey or chicken. but, that's just our faves. My mom makes a great veggie/cheese panini (squash, mushrooms, peppers, onions, all sauteed before grilling). Any type of cheese will do.
Today I made turkey on wheat with avocado slices, tomato slices, a slight spread of ranch dressing and sharp cheese. delish! (ps ranch and avocado are awesome together! Even Ruby Tuesday's knows that and makes a special avocado ranch dressing.) After thanksgiving I used leftover turkey and Swiss cheese with cranberry (jelly and whole) spread on the bread. Exquisite. Grilled wraps are great too. We've done refried bean and cheese burritos. Quesadillas with or without chicken. Chicken breast with mozzarella, pesto and tomato or skip the pesto and go for fresh basil. Sun-dried tomatoes and roasted red peppers go great with everything, on any panini.
Wegmans sells their fresh-made cheese spreads in varieties like pesto, herb & cheese, artichoke & cheese (they use various sharp, cheddar, asiago cheeses from day to day). Those melt best-and-fastest-on bread. Mayonnaise doesn't taste so well on there, but any salad dressing, cheese spread, sliced cheeses, pestos, jams, whatever you can think of to spice it up a bit, is like magic.
Kevin does the grilled cheese with pepperoni. Ham and cheese (with mustards, with tomatoes, with onions, you name it). Tuna melts. There's no end to what can go between those 2 slices of bread. It's really up to your imagination and no matter what, it's always delicious. I'm feeling kind of hungry again...