How many grilled cheese sandwiches does the average kid eat before reaching adulthood? Regardless of the number, American kids have grown up on the grilled cheese sandwich. Typically, it's a simple recipe: two slices of store-bought bread -- the kind pumped full of air -- and a slice or two of processed American cheese, grilled dry or with a little butter. Sounds appetizing, doesn't it? Well, if you've passed, let's say your 16th birthday, it may no longer hold that "I-could-eat-this-every-day-of-the-week" allure. Lucky for many of us, there's a grown-up version, too.
The store-bought bread gets replaced by artisan bread, and the processed cheese makes way for a variety of real cheeses. And the linguistic transition from "grilled cheese" to the Italian panini has enabled a worldly price when ordering this tasty sandwich in a restaurant.
Paninis are easy to make at home, taking only a few minutes to prepare. Don't let the lack of a panini maker stop you from making your own. The only hardware required is a frying pan or electric grill and a plate. Ingredients include the bread and cheese of your choice, along with optional meat and spread selections. The secret to making a great panini is generous portions of cheese; you need the tasty, melted, cheese to glue the sandwich together. Lightly butter both outside sides of the bread, and press down on the sandwich with a plate. When browned, turn the sandwich over and repeat until golden on the second side and cheese begins to ooze out of the sandwich. Serve with a side of childhood memories.