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Simple Italian Sandwiches: Recipes from America's Favorite Panini Bar Hardcover – August 15, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
I first fell in love with panini during an escorted tour to Italy two years ago that involved several hours in the bus on alternate days. The highlight of the bus trip was the mid-day stop at the ubiquitous roadside restaurant chain known as AutoGrill - far more varied and satisfying than the typical fast food chain restaurant choices that you find on the interstate in the U.S. Every AutoGrill featured fresh-made panini, assembled with just a few fresh and simple ingredients, quickly melded together by a press in the hot grill. I tried unsuccessfully to find comparable sandwiches back in California. Many delis offered sandwiches billed as "panini" but they lacked the authentic flavors and construction of their Italian namesakes.
I received a panini grill as a Christmas gift so that I could try my hand at making panini at home, but was disappointed with the meager cook book that accompanied the grill. I researched specialty cookbooks dedicated to the subject of panini and discovered that "Simple Italian Sandwiches" fit the bill exactly. I was delighted to read in the foreword by Mario Batali that his favorite place to eat in Italy is also the AutoGrill which he called "temples of gastronomic magnificence".
The authors, Jennifer and Jason Denton, also fell in love with the little toasted sandwiches during a trip to Italy and established a tiny Greenwich Village restaurant called `ino that featured the foods they had come to love in Italy. Their recipes offer "maximum flavor and minimal cooking" allowing the cooks to spend more time with their guests.Read more ›
The best source for appreciating this book is an episode of the Food Network series of a few years ago entitled `Mario Eats Italy' starring our favorite clogged Italian chef visiting various high points of Italian cuisine. One episode happens to feature the `fast food' available at Italian rest stops along their version of the Interstate / Autobahn. What you can get there is a wide selection of these simply great grilled sandwiches and other bread-based snacks called Panini, bruschetta, crostini, and tramezzini. The first and the last dishes are two different kinds of sandwiches. Panini, the more familiar sandwich style, is typically made with a crusty artisinal bread (the authors always use Ciabatta, after slicing off the domed top crust and cutting the remaining loaf in half horizontally). By definition, a `Panini' is always grilled, generally on a grill dedicated to the task and called a Panini press. `Tramezzini' is a new word for a seemingly un-Italian style of untoasted sandwich made with bread from a Pullman style loaf, very similar to high end supermarket white bread marketed by Arnold Bakers and Pepperidge Farm, with the crusts cut off. They are most similar to what we would call `tea sandwiches'. The discovery of this little corner of Italian cuisine alone is worth the price of this book.Read more ›
Just to add my own few additions: it is a small tome, but well done in content, written, photographic and recipe coverage. Its focus is limited to Italian with accompanying condiments and is only about 1/3 concerning panini. So for those looking for only panini, 2/3 will be irrelevant. But do not overlook possibilites of the brushetta and tramezzini here exhibited.
Ingredients are easy to obtain if sufficient deli/bakery source for Italian bread/meats available. Would have been nice additon to show some sources online for ingredients and panini presses, etc.
Truly good, simple delicisio foods to make, serve and enjoy.
In addition to the great recipes there is a chapter called "The Basics" in which they explain all the different breads, cheeses, meats, oils and vinegars they use in their recipes. It is quite informative.
I think this would make a great gift for anyone interested in cooking or eating :o)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great sandwich cookbook, and one of our favorites!Published 12 months ago by The Mittmorphosis Failed
I am starting to make some of these for dinner and I know I love it!!Published 13 months ago by Leslie
Very simple and incredibly good recipes. Just following simple instructions, makes you feel like a chef. Would definitely recommend even if you haven't cooked at all before.Published 21 months ago by Viviano Cantu
There are some new panini recipes and some old favorites in this cookbook that combine different breads,meats and condiments to make a sandwich a mealPublished on October 22, 2013 by norma j fox
I am opening a cafe and will be serving panini's.
I got a lot of great ideas for my new cafe.
I give this book, along with Cuisinart's panini maker as a frequent housewarming gift. Great reference book, but I tend to find so many of my recipes on line.Published on March 2, 2013 by Sue M