Do you like panini sandwiches? I do. However, I do not own a panini maker. I have this philosophy that I don't own things that can't be used for more than one purpose, it has to serve at least a dual purpose. We received a Belgian waffle maker for our wedding, 12+ years ago, and have used it sporadically over the years, but only for...waffles. Yesterday I was craving a panini and since I had planned to stay planted at the house and not leave, I knew I was stuck to finding something else. Finding something else when you taste buds are screaming for one thing is no fun. That's when the thought hit me~~I have a waffle iron hmmm... Fundamentally the machines are the same, with just a few adjustments. Not enough to make owning a panini maker I assure you.
I broke the waffle iron out, then set up the station. Light bread, buttered on one side, ham, cheese, hot waffle iron. How bad can that be? It wasn't. I enjoyed a ham and cheese panini-at home!! The design was a little different, my brain was seeing a "waffle" but ate a panini. Kendra had taken Titus to karate and to get his hair cut while this whole experiment was going on. She came home right as the panini was finished.
"You made a grilled cheese with our waffle iron?"
"It's a panini? try it."
"That's delicious, I want one."
That's high praise, let me tell you. Titus enjoyed one too. We have a new use for our seemingly single use machine.
Just a few tricks. First, don't press the waffle iron down and shut the clasp. There is quite a bit of steam that escapes and the cheese will squeeze out of the sandwich, it's much better on the inside. Second, spray the iron with non-stick. Even though I did butter the bread I had one stick, just a bit. Third, sandwich the cheese between the ham slices, two slices of cheese was just a little too much.
I'm planning to play around with this new direction for my waffle iron. Oh yeah, I have a Belgian waffle iron, perfect for two slices of wonder bread.
If you try it, let me know what you think.