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Test Kitchen: Bleu cheese and apple pair well in panini

By Jessica Rodrigo
Dec. 18, 2013 at 6:18 a.m.

The bleu cheese is salty, and the apples and spinach add a nice contrast. If you don't have a panini press, use a waffle maker, grill pan or hot skillet. Just butter the bread a little bit before heating it in waffle maker or skillet. When the cheese begins to melt and the bread begins to brown, remove and serve hot.

Luke and I bought a Calphalon waffle maker a few weeks ago. Since then, I've been experimenting with ideas of what to make in the waffle maker other than waffles.

So I thought I might try it as a panini press.

If you don't have a waffle maker, you can also use a grill pan or a hot skillet. But the trick to a good panini is to get the outside nice and crispy while keeping the inside gooey with cheese or vegetables. House of Bread has a sandwich with artichoke hearts stuffed inside it. Yummy Finds even has one with pancetta and peanut butter.

I had some bleu cheese in the meat drawer that I needed to finish off before it expired, so I thought a panini would be a simple way to reuse the waffle maker.

Just throw any of your favorite ingredients in between two slices of bread, and you're good to go.

The bleu cheese melts to make a nice glue for the sandwich, and the apples make for a nice contrast to the salty cheese. I only had regular sliced bread, but a hearty, thick-sliced bread would do well for this. I used a little bit of melted butter to toast the bread and ensure it came off the waffle iron.

And the sky is the limit for grilled sandwiches. Mix and match ingredients and experiment with different flavors.

How do you use your waffle maker? Send a message to jrodrigo@vicad.com or tweet @EatsEatsEats. I'm always hungry.

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