It’s been hot again lately. Really hot. Because the air conditioner is no longer functioning. And it’s been in the high 90’s outside again, therefore it’s been in the mid-80’s to low 90’s inside. Sigh. Summer sucks. So I’ve been trying to keep meals on the cool side of the spectrum. But I also know perfectly well that “cold” meals all the time gets tiresome quickly. So there are times when I have to use the stove. One of the things I’ve taken to making in this situation is pressed sandwiches. They’re technically hot sandwiches, but making them doesn’t heat the house up too much. You don’t have to have a panini or sandwich press to do them either. I was recently given one by a dear friend but up until then I made do just fine without one. They are fun- and useful for several things besides pressed sandwiches- but in this post I will be showing you how to make a go of it without the actual press.
All you need is a skillet and a pot big enough to cover the sandwich you’re making, but small enough to fit inside the skillet. Assemble your sandwich(es) and heat the skillet on medium-low. While the skillet is over the fire, fill your pot with water. Not enough to slosh over the side, but enough to give it some heft. You see where I’m going with this, don’t you?
Indeed; you’re going to use the pot to press the sandwich while it cooks on each side. So brush, spray, or otherwise add lubricant to the skillet. Add the sandwich, then put the pot of water on top of the sandwich and press down- thusly:
Depending on the bread or roll you’ve used you may need to stand there and hold the pot of water on the sandwich. Even if you don’t have to hold the pot in place, don’t go anywhere. With the added weight the sandwich will cook faster than a non-pressed sandwich so you really have to keep an eye on it. Once it’s browned on one side, brush (or spray) butter or oil on the uncooked side and flip the sandwich over. Put the pot of water back on top and check the sandwich after 30 seconds to minute, depending on how dense the bread or roll is; this side will cook faster. Once the second side is browned, move the sandwich to a plate to cool for a minute and then enjoy! If you need to do more than one sandwich you have a couple of options; one being to just cook them and not worry about keeping them hot. If you’re only doing 2 or 3 you don’t have to worry about keeping the cooked ones warm because it won’t take that long to make the rest so long as you have them assembled & ready to go before you start cooking the first one. And if you have a skillet & pot big enough you can do at least 2 at a time. Problem solved. But if you’re doing more than a few, or you really feel like you HAVE to keep ALL of your sandwiches piping hot, then your only real option is to go ahead & turn the oven on to “warm” or the lowest setting it has and keep the pressed sandwiches on a pan or tray to keep warm. That will heat the house up more (soon that won’t matter, but as it’s still hot here that’s what I’m trying to avoid) but your sandwiches will stay hot.
Here is what I made for breakfast this morning…
Sausage, egg and cheese- yummy! I was fiddling with taking pictures so I let it cook a little too long on the first side (the bottom), but it still turned out well. It only needed about 30 seconds on each side- so it’s a fast option too! In the time it takes for the panini grill to heat up you can already have your sandwich done when you do it this way! This is a great way to make a fast, portable dinner for those (hopefully rare) nights that you have to be running at dinnertime instead of sitting as a family and enjoying a meal. Just make up some pressed sandwiches, wrap them in paper towels or parchment, grab a drink, and you’re out the door.
So we’re down to a week & a half of summer. 10 days. It’s finally coming to an end. As I write this, it’s dark, rainy, and cool, and I’m in heaven! It’s supposed to stay like this for the rest of this week and then heat up again going into next week. After this wonderful little break in the weather I think I might just make it through the next bout of hot weather before the first hard frost. I do hope it comes soon though!