Roasted red pepper and grilled chicken panini

Panini-headerI don’t do too many cooking recipes on the blog, primarily because I am so fixed in my ways with the handful I have in rotation and we’re pretty happy with it. As much as I like to be adventurous in the kitchen, it’s not me. I’m still making that lemon pepper chicken stir fry often, along with the good ol’ staples.

Two chefs in the family and one of them isn’t me. I leave it up to my Mom and Brother, who can take out everything in your pantry and fridge, whip something up in no time and have it taste like something from a restaurant. My Dad and I like to cook some boiled eggs and call it a day. My trick is when I taste my family’s home-cooking, I adopt their recipes to bring back to my kitchen and call it a day. Then friends come over thinking I’m the awesome cook. I do let them in on who actually came up with it though.

When Lori was here visiting, she noticed the abundance of sandwiches I consumed. Each time we went to a restaurant, I picked out the sandwich on the menu. I never noticed that I did it, but it all makes sense now — because they are SO good. And I can be really picky about my them too, you know they’re not all made equally.

Paninis are particularly my favourite. So that’s what I’m showing you guys today on my new Cuisinart Griddler that I got off O.co. I mean, you technically don’t need me to tell you how to make a panini since it’s pretty straight forward. That’s the great thing about sandwiches, you can add whatever you want!

CuisinArt-GriddlerAfter heating up the grill side of the plate, I waited until the grill reached its temperature before putting the chicken on. Always want those grill marks on chicken, perfection. They ended up taking about 13 minutes to cook since they were pretty thick to start with.

roasted-tomatoesLet the chicken cool and turn our attention to the cherry tomatoes (with salt and pepper on top) which I baked at 350º for 15 minutes to really give them some more flavour.

Trader-Joes-ciabattaI picked up some freshly baked ciabatta buns from Trader Joes since I spotted them there earlier last week and had it in mind to make this meal for the weekend, because when I went there last time to do my regular grocery shop I noticed they were sold out. So yesterday morning I headed into the store around 9am and they were stocked with plenty. I picked up two not really knowing how big they’d be once I removed them from the bags. Nothing to complain about, I love a nice hearty piece of bread.

mayo-spreadSlicing the cibatta buns in half, and add on some chipotle mayo. Oh, and be generous. I can’t stand a dry sandwich. We could get fancy over here and add some pepper jack cheese to give it a nice punch, but I had some colby jack in the fridge. Now don’t skimp on the cheese either, we want it to ooze goodness. Unless of course you’re dairy free. Then I feel really bad for you. I’ll have an extra piece for you.

making-paninisGo to town with whatever toppings you like on your sandwich. Spose we have to add some greenery to it too, we had spinach. I picked up some dill pickles and roasted red peppers also from Trader Joe’s — I hadn’t tried them before, they sounded like they’d pair well with everything else to go on the panini.

Panini-in-cuisinartFold’er up and add a drizzle of olive oil on top and pop it into the medium heated grill. Our old faithful grill/panini press kicked the bucket a while ago, it was a high end brand and I was sad to see it go. But they all get old and need to be replaced eventually. It was my Moms and she handed it down to me, plus the plates weren’t removable and not super easy to clean. The Cuisinart Griddler is a little lower end and the top handle feels a bit flimsier than what I’m used to. However it has many more options since it’s so much newer. You can use it as a grill, panini press, full grill, full griddle or half grill/half griddler. And the best part about the whole thing is that the plates can be removed and put in the dish washer!

CuisinArt-PaniniMy panini skills may need a bit more work. I pressed on it a little too firmly and a bunch of my overstuffed ingredients tried sneaking out. It may not be pretty, but it sure tasted amazing.

holding-paniniI give myself a pat on the back for this creation. If you’re really hungry you can add a side but we thought this was enough for us. I’d either have a sliced up honey crisp apple, a side salad or maybe some sweet potato fries. All the carbs. Don’t judge me. That’s what exercise is for.

Angle-of-CuisinArtThe only thing that bothers me about the panini aspect of the cuisinart griddler, is that the top has a fixed angle as you can see from the side view. Where as my other grill/panini had allowed for a flexible top plate and squished it flat rather than angled, making a more even flat panini. I rotated the sandwiches half way through so they wouldn’t be flat on one side and puffy on the other.

behind-the-scenesOh and a little sneak of the mess behind the scenes of the blogging world. Keepin’ things real.

What are some of your favourite foods?
Mine are: asparagus, carrots, potatoes, chicken, popcorn, candy, sandwiches and pizza. Ha!!!!

What are some foods you hate?
My husband and I both cannot eat or touch anything with onions on/in it.

What do you like on sandwiches/paninis?

Disclaimer: O.Co aka Overstock kindly sent me the Cuisinart Griddler for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

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85 Comments

  1. That sounds phenomenal! I have never made a panini at home, but I would love to get a panini maker one of these days :)

  2. I keep wavering on whether to buy a panini maker or not. I think you’ve convinced me to go for it. I usually just use my grill pan. My daughter and her husband are the same way about onions. They can’t stand them. I don’t like them raw, but I love stir-fry or grilled onions. Your panini looks amazing!
    Alli recently posted..Dessange Paris California Blonde ReviewMy Profile

  3. These look DELICIOUS. We bought a Panini press a few years ago and I’m so glad we did. I especially love your recipe because I am a huge fan of roasted red peppers…they always give dishes an extra flavor kick. Pinning!
    Amanda recently posted..Adventure PlaylandMy Profile

  4. This looks super yummy! I am not very adventurous in the kitchen either, just give me a detailed recipe including a very detailed ingredient list and I’m good. I would love to hear about how that lemon pepper stir fry turns out if you ever make that. :)

  5. i don’t like dry sandwich too that’s why a little mayo and cheese always work for me. I liked what you did with the cherry tomatoes – I don’t usually bake it but I will try it next time. This recipe is so easy-to-do and seems perfect for those impromptu get together a at home.
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  6. I love a lot of foods but dislike olives and mushrooms. That Panini looks awesome! I would love to try that.

  7. Oh my Panini sandwiches are totally love! I’m totally into roasting bell peppers now. I love the scent it gives to my sandwiches and pastas!

  8. I have a panini maker and I love it. I don’t use it often enough but it’s a great small appliance to have in the house. Your grilled chicken w/red peppers looks amazing! Gotta try that out!

  9. Oooooo I haven’t had a good panini in forever. Yours looks pretty delicious. Might just have to make one! Yummy :)

  10. I love this panini press! My mom has it! This Panini looks really good. I just ate dinner, but looking at this is making me hungry!

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