5/31/11

Calphalon Panini Grill: Caprese Panini

Guess what I won at the Eat Write Retreat? A Calphalon Panini Grill!!! I was thrilled. It took me about a week to open the box, and I decided to start with something simple: Caprese Panini.

I did not want to make just a simple Caprese Panini though: that would be boring. I remembered that I had a bottle of Chimichurri steak sauce in the refrigerator left over from one of the recipes I made for Robyn Webb's blog.

I decided to use the sauce to marinade fresh mozzarella in order to infuse it with the flavor of herbs and garlic. Simply cut a mozzarella ball into slices, pour chimichurri sauce on top, mix everything together and leave in the refrigerator over night.

You will also need French bread (I used a loaf of bread I had in the freezer from my Paul Bakery baking adventure), slices of fresh tomatoes, basil leaves, thinly sliced red onion, and a drizzle of olive oil. Of course don't forget salt for tomatoes!


What I like about this panini grill is that it has temperature control AND allows you to adjust the height of the top panel: this way your food is not going to be completely squeezed. What I wish this grill had are the following two features: the ability to remove the grilling plates and the ability to make the top plate unfold completely. These features, however, are only available for the larger models.


To build my panini, I drizzled each piece of bread with olive oil and put sliced mozzarella, tomatoes, red onions and fresh basil in between the slices. It only took 5 minutes on medium heat to get the results I wanted.



The bread was crispy and golden brown with beautiful grill marks. The cheese just started to ooze out, while the tomatoes still retained their texture.


I was really happy with my first attempt and can't wait to come up with more creative uses for this panini grill. In fact, I was tempted to grill some peaches, but alas had no ice cream to accompany them.


Have you made paninis at home? What's your favorite combination?

14 comments:

Wendy @ Celiacs in the House said...

Congrats to you! I am having so much fun with mine from Eat Write Retreat. Thanks so much for all the gorgeous photography you took and shared from our weekend in DC. Your panini pics are just as beautiful.

Maris (In Good Taste) said...

These pictures are excellent. I feel like I could reach out and grab that tomato!

Paula - bell'alimento said...

Swoon! That looks fabu Olga!

Lauren@LittleYellowKitchen said...

This looks mighty tasty! I love the simplicity of it.

Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom} said...

The sandwich, the ingredients, and the grill are all gorgeous! Congrats on winning such a fabulous prize and thank you for such mouth watering pics!

Rachel @ NotRachaelRay (formerly Rachel's Recipe Reviews) said...

I was drooling over this when you posted it on Twitter. It looks amazing!

Alejandra said...

This looks so good! I love caprese and the idea of using the sauce was fab. I haven't tried out my new mandoline yet...definitely will soon!

Ben said...

Oh I'm so jealous! Of the panini too :D

The Duo Dishes said...

Nice win! You're going to have a summer of sandwiches. The only grilled sandwich we've made for our blog was actually a pb & j--with homemade pb and j of course--on ciabatta. It was pretty awesome though!

sally said...

I love the mozzarella marinade and I am also a little jealous of your new panini grill!

5 Star Foodie said...

Congrats on winning the panini grill! These caprese panini sandwiches look so awesome!

Christina said...

Mmm, this looks so good! I am dying for a panini press but have yet to justify the extra cabinet space that I don't have for it!

Glad to have found your blog, I love finding other DC bloggers!

Erin said...

Wow. This looks so delicious. Beautiful. Wish I had the chance to meet you at Eat Write Retreat!

Megan said...

Perfect way to break in the grill. I just saw a recipe for pressed veggie paninis (maybe in Martha Stewart) and they sounded amazing... lots of squash, peppers, and some pesto...