We were given a Villaware Panini Grill as a gift years ago and every so often I pull a chair into the pantry, remove it from the top shelf, dust it off, and put it to work. I think we’ve had it for nearly 10 years and I’m not sure if the newer model has the same design or not. It’s easy to use and produces a sandwich with a nice, crisp crunch on the outside, but I find it to be a bear to clean.
It comes with a plastic tool for scraping the gunk out of the ridges, which are both too deep and close together to clean with about anything else. What you’re supposed to clean it with if you’ve lost said tool, I’m not really sure. Best I can come up with is to press a paper towel into the ridge with the tip of a knitting needle and drag it down the ridge. But this must be done one ridge at a time and after you’ve done about 3 ridges, you’ll be convinced that there are at least 200 more to go.
At which time you’ll tell yourself that if you just heat it for a long time the next time you use it, all bad things will be killed and your health and that of your family will not be in any danger.
It’s probably safe to say I won’t be having any guests for paninis anytime soon.
If it was easier to clean, I feel sure I would use it much more often than the once every 6-9 months I use it now.
I do kind of have my eye on this Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler which has removable plates you can put in the dishwasher. For extra, you can buy waffle plates to go with it and use it as a waffle maker. In our house that would probably get more use than the panini part.
Do you have a panini grill or do you cook your panini-type sandwiches the old-fashioned way?
Chicken Bacon Panini with Chipotle Mayo
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
- 1/3 cup mayo
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- chicken from 1 rotisserie chicken
- 8 slices bacon, cooked
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
- 1/2 cup shredded monterey jack
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 8 slices Italian bread
- For the mayo- mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. (Best done ahead of time so flavors have a chance to meld.)
- Spread butter on 1 side of each piece of bread.
- Spread mayo on non-buttered side of 1/2 the pieces of bread.
- On remaining pieces of bread, evenly distribute cheese, chicken, bacon, and avocado. (Cheese should be the first thing you put on the bread so it will melt easily.
- Place mayo coated slices on top, buttered side up.
- If using a grill pan, place a heavy pan on top and cook 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Alternately, cook in a panini grill until desired degree of doneness.
Yield: 4 sandwiches
More Panini Recipes