I’m back on a panini kick lately. Yesterday I wrote about the glazed doughnut bacon and egg panini and today I’m going to tackle another popular fad that’s going around the internet lately. It seems like everyone is making burgers or sandwiches using ramen noodles as the bread. And my motto is that a sandwich is always better as a panini, so this past weekend I fired up the panini press and made this Ramen Panini Burger.
Replacing the bread with ramen noodles wasn’t too challenging. All you need to something to bind them together so that they hold the bun shape while you eat your burger. I used an egg. After cooking the ramen noodles as I usually wood, I drained away the soup and beat an egg then added it to the bowl. Also add a teaspoon of soy sauce. Using my hand I mixed the ramen, soy and the egg together. And then with the panini press already hot I grabbed a handful of noodles and placed them on the press. You want round shapes for your ramen buns to match the burger patty, so adjust the ramen as necessary. It doesn’t have to be perfect just go for roundish. Cook for about 3-5 minutes and set aside.
To make your burger patty, mix your chop meat with bunch of chopped green onions and about 2 tablespoons of soy. I also added about a tablespoon of garlic powder and some salt. Mix the meat up good with your hand again. Your hands get a decent workout with this ramen burger recipe.
Cook your burgers in the panini press for about 4-5 minutes depending on how thick you made them.
Next you just have to put it all together. You really don’t need an additional press once the sandwich is all together because there’s no cheese to melt in this recipe. Just stack it up, top with some lettuce and you’re ready to go.
Making a ramen burger is a lot easier when you use a panini press. I probably should have added a chapter on ramen panini in my Panini Press Cookbook. And by the way, it tasted really good. Definitely going to make it again.
Here’s a great panini recipe to try the next time you have some leftover baked ziti. Left overs always make for great panini. In fact, I included a whole chapter of recipes for panini made with leftovers in my book (The Everything Panini Press Cookbook).
Now if I remember correctly, I think I put a spaghetti and meatball panini sandwich recipe in my book but today I’m making it with ziti. Ziti is a better bite sized pasta but really you can use any pasta variety that you’d like. The choice of bread is more important. You’re going to want something hearty and it should be sliced thick. Plain sliced bread will not hold up well with all the weight and moisture content of pasta and sauce. Go with Italian bread or a big ciabatta roll.
Also if your leftover ziti is not baked ziti you can cheese it up with some mozzarella. The cheese is what helps this panini hold itself together. Plain ziti will taste good but will fall out of the sandwich. Put the ziti in a bowl, add a handful of mozzarella and mix it up. You can even give it a quick 30 seconds in the microwave if you like to get that cheese melting. Real baked ziti not only has mozzarella but ricotta cheese also. Add it to the bowl before mixing if you have some on hand.
Another option would be to add meatballs. It really all depends on what you have leftover. But I’d cut the meatballs into bite sized pieces before adding them to the panini.
Ziti Panini Recipe
Cut 2 slices of Italian bread at least 3/4″ thick
Add a layer of baked ziti to one side of the bread and place in a preheated panini press
Top with the other slice of bread and carefully close the panini press lid so that the ziti is pressed between the bread and not oozing out of the sides
Cook for 3-5 minutes
Serve with a bowl of tomato sauce for dipping
If you’re looking to buy a panini grill with a quality pedigree, then you need to look no further than the Cuisinart brand. Cuisinart has been making quality kitchen appliances for years. If you’re like you me, you’ve probably have memories of your mom showing off her new Cusinart food processor to her friends. Cusinart has been around a long time and besides those food processors, they also make a great line of panini grills.
Cuisinart GR-1 Griddler Panini
The Cuisinart GR-1 Griddler Panini and Sandwich Press is the least expensive panini maker that Cusinart sells but just because it’s not high priced, doesn’t mean that you can’t make high quality panini sandwiches with it. It’s got all the features that you’ll need including a great looking brushed stainless-steel body, nonstick 11″x7″ grill plates and a floating hinge that will adjust to fit even really thick panini sandwiches. So if you’re on a budget or need a grill to use in a college dorm, the GR-1 is a good choice.
Moving up in the Cuisinart line will lead you to the Cuisinart GR-2 Griddler. This model is a little more expensive but it’s worth it because not only if the cooking surface larger (12”x9”) but it also has three temperature settings. More control of the temperature means more control of your sandwiches. Another great feature they added is a drip spout in the grill plates. This comes in handy when you’re cooking something really greasy like a patty melt. You can just put a small container or sometimes I use a coffee cup next to the drip spout to catch the greasy runoff.
Next we have, the Cuisinart GR-3 Griddler. This one has removable dishwasher safe grill plates. Easy cleanup is a huge plus, so if you plan on using your panini grill a lot, then it’s probably worth the investment to buy this model. There’s nothing better than finishing your panini sandwich and then just putting the grill plates in the dishwasher. And it can also open up flat to be used as a regular grill. One last bonus is that is comes with a drip cup so you don’t have to fill all of your coffee cups with patty melt grease.
Finally the Cuisinart GR-4 Griddler is the big daddy of the Cusinart Panini Grill line. It’s includes all the features of the above grills and adds even more cooking space.
You really can’t go wrong by picking any one of these models. Cuisinart is a brand name that you can trust and I very highly recommend that you choose a Cusinart panini grill.
If you’re only using your panini maker to make sandwiches, then you’re missing out. A panini maker is basically an indoor grill and a Panini Burger Recipe is a great way to prove it.
A patty melt is a hamburger with fried onions and swiss cheese on sliced bread (usually rye) that’s cooked grilled cheese style. Anything that’s cooked grilled cheese style makes a great panini sandwich.
Do you have to cook the onions and the hamburgers on the stove and then make move everything to the panini grill for the final press? The answer is no. You can fry up your onions and also cook the hamburger patties directly on your panini grill. It is a grill after all.
And timing wise, it’s a lot easier too. You don’t have to worry about cooking everything at once like you would usually do to ensure that nothing gets cold before you serve it. When you cook panini style, everything heats up during the final press, so it’s actually less important to worry about timing.
I usually like to cook my onions first and put them aside. Then grill the hamburger patties. Grilling hamburgers creates a lot of grease so you may want to wipe down the grill before the next step. But remember to always be careful when handling a hot grill. A big wad of damp paper towels held in your hand while you’re wearing an oven mitt is a good way to wipe down your grill safely.
Once you have your fried onions fried and your hamburger patties grilled, you’re ready to put it all together. Like I said before, most people will make a Patty Melt with sliced rye bread but since I’m not a big fan of rye and this is a Panini Burger Recipe, I like to use a hearty sliced Italian loaf or sliced sour dough bread. Add a generous helping a fried onions and Swiss cheese to the bread then add the hamburger and put it back in the panini maker to grill it all together.
Making a Panini Burger could make a huge mess in your kitchen unless you cook all the ingredients in your panini grill. It’s a good recipe that will help you get the most out of your panini maker.
Panini Burger (Patty Melt) Recipe
1 sliced onion
1 hamburger patty
2 slices Swiss cheese
2 slices Rye bread or sliced Italian bread
Add sliced onion to the pre-heated panini press and close lid. Cook for 3 – 5 minutes and set aside.
Cook hamburger patty on panini press for 2 – 4 minutes and set aside.
Add grilled onions, Swiss cheese and cooked hamburger patty to bread. Close sandwich and place in panini press for an additional 2 – 3 minutes or until bread is is nice and crispy and the cheese is melted.
The Monte Cristo is another great sandwich recipe that you can easily convert into a panini. I used to love ordering a Monte Cristo as a late night snack at my local diner. The combination of the sweet French Toast style bread and saltiness of the Ham and Swiss Cheese is great at any time of the day.
Monte Cristo Panini
2 slices Bread
3 slices Swiss Cheese
3 slices Ham
In a bowl, add the egg, milk, vanilla & cinnamon. Whisk until well mixed. Arrange the Swiss Cheese and Ham on a the two slices of bread to create a sandwich. Dunk the entire sandwich into the egg mixture to coat the bread slices.
Place onto a preheated panini grill and close the lid. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with a bowl of maple syrup for dunking or a serving of fruit jelly.
The Count of Monte Cristo is a classic book that was written by Alexandre Dumas and he had absolutely nothing to do with the Monte Cristo Sandwich. But if I was locked up in prison for years, the first thing I’d do when I got out would be to fire up the panini grill and make a Monte Cristo Panini.
As usual, there are lots of options when making a Monte Cristo. Starting with the choice of bread. Since the bread will basically become French Toast you might way to try a nice egg bread like you’d get on Easter. Or to make it heartier, go with a sour dough loaf and slice it thick.
Now it’s time for the sandwich part. Ham and Swiss Cheese are the usual ingredients but it can also be made with Turkey. Sometimes I have leftover gruyere from when I go on a fondue bender and so I’ll use that for Monte Cristo Panini the next day. Gruyere is even better than regular Swiss.
Here’s the tricky part about making this sandwich in a panini press. You can follow the instructions above to coat the entire sandwich with the egg mixture or you can coat one slice of bread and place it on the hot panini grill. Then quickly add the ham and cheese and then coat the top piece of bread and place it on top. Cook it until it looks nice and crispy.
You can follow this Monte Cristo Recipe or come up with your own. Either way, it’ll be great.