Hot Sandwiches

1. Simple hot sandwiches consist of hot fillings,usually meats but sometimes fish, grilled vegetables, or other hot items, between two slices of bread or two halves of a roll.They may also contain items that are not hot, such as a slice of tomato or raw onion on a hamburger.

Hamburgers and hot dogs and all their variations are the most popular hot sandwiches.

2. Open-faced hot sandwiches are made by placing buttered or unbuttered bread on a serving plate, covering it with hot meat or other filling, and topping with a sauce, gravy, cheese, or other topping. Some versions are browned under the broiler before serving.This type of sandwich is eaten with a knife and fork.

3. Grilled sandwiches, also called toasted sandwiches, are simple sandwiches that are buttered on the outside and browned on the griddle, in a hot oven, or in a panini grill (see sidebar). Sandwiches containing cheese are popular for grilling.

4. Deep-fried sandwiches are made by dipping sandwiches in beaten egg and, sometimes, in bread crumbs, and then deep-frying.This type of sandwich is often cooked on a griddle or in a hot oven instead, as deep-frying makes it greasy.

5. If wraps are classified as cold sandwiches, then hot burritos, quesadillas, and filled enchiladas could be considered hot sandwiches. Pizzas could be considered open-faced hot sandwiches, and we can define them as thin sheets of lean bread dough baked with a topping. In fact, one could classify any food made with a dough product filled or topped with another food product as a sandwich. Dough products, whether breads, puff pastry, tortillas, or egg roll skins, make useful and versatile bases or cases for foods, whether or not the result resembles something we might think of as a sandwich. Several of these items (enchiladas, quesadillas, and egg rolls) are considered in other chapters of this book. Pizzas are included in this chapter for convenience.The recipe on page 752 gives the basic procedure for baking pizzas. For other flavors, vary the toppings as desired, using the same technique for baking.

Panini grill

PANINI

The basic meaning of the Italian word panino (plural: panini) is "roll," as in bread roll or dinner roll—literally, "little bread." By extension, panini are sandwiches made of small rolls plus fillings. The filling for a typical panino is a slice or two of cured meat, such as salami, mortadella (Italian bologna), or pro-sciutto. Cheese may also be used, as well as a variety of other items, such as sliced tomato and canned tuna. In summary, Italian panini are most often small, simple, cold sandwiches.

Outside of Italy, panino has come to mean something quite different. It is usually a hot grilled sandwich, often with a fairly substantial filling. What distinguishes panini from other grilled sandwiches is that they are made on a special griddle called a panini grill or panini press, which grills the sandwich on both sides at once while compressing or squeezing the bread and filling together. The griddle surfaces may be smooth or grooved. Grooved griddles toast grill marks onto the bread for the typical panini look.

Grilled panini often contain cheese as one of the filling ingredients. The melted cheese as well as the crisp toasted crusts are part of the attraction of this type of sandwich.

If a sandwich press is not available, you can create a similar kind of sandwich by toasting it on a standard flat griddle or grooved griddle, putting a grill brick on the sandwich to compress it and turning it over when heated halfway through to toast both sides.

For pressed sandwiches, avoid making the fillings too thick. Unlike for grilled sandwiches, it is not always necessary to butter or oil the outside surfaces of the bread. The moisture and fat in the filling may be enough to moisten the bread as it grills. Adding more sometimes makes the sandwich too greasy.

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