Ever picked up an iron and wondered, “How could I make lunch/dinner/second breakfast with this delightful contraption?”
No? Really? That’s just me?
Well, even if you’ve never had such bizarre, bizarre thoughts, you may want to give this handy food hack a try. It’s a lot faster than fighting for use of the communal oven, and you don’t have to dirty a bunch of pots and pans. Even though I now have the luxury of my very own (albeit painfully petite) kitchen, I still use this method of panini-making, just because it’s so much faster than dealing with a pressing machine and all those other gadgets.
For a quick tutorial, check out the video below.
Utensils required: baking sheet, aluminum foil, paper towel (or marinade brush), iron, oven mitts
Ingredients (makes one sandwich):
- 2 slices of bread
- olive oil (about a tablespoon or two)
- shredded cheese (parmesan-mozzarella blend makes this over-the-top amazing)
- sandwich toppings (I chose sliced turkey, sundried tomatoes and a couple cilantro leaves)
- Pepper (optional)
Time commitment: 5 minutes or less
1. First, make sure there is no water in the iron. (There will be no need for the steaming function.) Then, plug it in and turn it onto the cotton/linen setting, which should be the hottest setting. Set the iron out of your way, so you won’t accidentally bump into it, and make sure you can see the metal part — the metal part should not be resting on the table (or any surface) while it’s heating, otherwise the iron will burn it.
NOTE: Unsure of how to set up the iron? See the video.
2. Place the baking sheet on top of the table. This will prevent the iron from burning or damaging the surface beneath it while you cook.
3. Next, grab a slice of bread and place a few drops of olive oil on one side. Use a paper towel or marinade brush to smooth the olive oil around, coating one side only. Then, grab the other slice and do the same. You can sprinkle on some pepper for added flavor if you’d like.
4. Roll out the sheet of tin foil and place one piece of bread on it olive oil side-down. Then, sprinkle on some cheese and layer on your toppings. Finish with a little more cheese and some pepper, if you so desire.
5. Top the sandwich with the other side of bread, this time with the olive oil side up. (Essentially, the olive oil should be coating the outside of the sandwich to aid in the grilling process.)
6. Wrap the sandwich in aluminum foil, then place the iron on top. You don’t need to move it around — just keep an eye on it for about 30-40 seconds.
WARNING: Never leave the iron unattended. We don’t want any accidental burns!
7. Pull on your oven mitts and carefully peel back the corner of the sandwich to see how toasted the top is (watch out — the foil will be hot!). If it’s lightly golden, wrap it back up and flip it over on the other side, placing the iron on top and watching it for 30-40 seconds as the other side toasts. If it isn’t golden enough — or if there’s a section that wasn’t toasted as thoroughly as the rest — wrap it up and reapply the iron for another 15-20 seconds.
8. Once the sandwich has been toasted, peel back the foil, plate it and enjoy!
(BTW, isn’t that an attractive face I’m making? All the menfolk can’t resist it.)