Some time ago I asked a “panino pro” for tips on creating the perfect panino, and here’s what he said: 1. Use quality bread; 2. Don’t put too many ingredients in the panino because it will fall apart. I fully agree with tip #1. Inspired by the artisan bread I tried at the recent National Restaurant Association Show (you can read my review here), I have been exploring local bakeries in search for tasty and nutritious bread to use in my panini and sandwiches, and some of the culinary discoveries I have made have been nothing short of amazing. When it comes to tip #2 however, I don’t think that’s true in all situations. As long as you handle the panino carefully and choose a good foundation (aka a sturdy quality bread), the panino will hold up beautifully even if made up of more than a couple of ingredients. To support my case, I’m bringing you this delicious three meat panino 🙂
The key to making this panino a success lies in the alternation of the meat with the cheese and the veggies. You need good bread to support that many ingredients, flavorful proteins to make the panino satisfying as a lunch option, and fresh veggies to provide lightness and crunchy texture. Careful panino building is required – and the effort, in my opinion, is well worth it.
2 slices sunflower seed bread
3 slices Polish ham
3 slices Canadian bacon
6 slices smoked Gouda
1/2 cup shredded roast chicken
3 round slices red bell pepper
2 round slices beefsteak tomato
Put 2 slices of Gouda on the slice of bread which will make up the bottom of the panino. Add the following ingredients, in this order: shredded chicken, 1 tomato slice, 2 slices of Gouda, the Polish ham, 2 slices pepper, the Canadian bacon, the remaining 2 slices of Gouda. Finish off with the other slice of bread.
This is how the panino building process looks like:
The panino in the works looked so delicious that I couldn’t help myself: I had to take more pictures, from all possible angles!
Put the panino on the preheated grill to cook for about 30 seconds or until the bread is golden-brown and there are nice grill marks all over it.
Serve the panino warm, with the remaining slices of pepper and tomato on the side. This looks – and is! – so yummy 🙂
Once you taste this panino, there is no way back: The delicious combination of meat, cheese, veggies and quality bread will stay with you, and you will want to make this panino again, and again, and again. The crispiness of the sweet bell pepper and of the toasted sunflower seeds in the bread goes well with the melted goodness of the Gouda, while the freshness of the beefsteak tomato makes the panino burst with satisfying flavor. Served on its own or alongside a summer salad, this protein-packed delight proves that a multitude of ingredients can make a great panino.