The trick is to smoke the meat and not make the meat smoke
Date:January 19, 2013 Viewing:Click on THUMBNAIL to bring up larger image with captions. There will also be controls for manual or self running slide show. LearnMore:ClickHERE to jump to additional Info about this recipe.
The mariara sauce used: Italian seasoing, petite diced tomatoes, onion & garlic, salt & pepper
The first step was to sautee the onions & garlic
After sauteeing the onions & garlic, the other ingredients are added to the pan & mixed.
The sauce was brought to a boil & then simmered for 20 minutes.
The meatballs were next. Once again they started with sauteed onion & garlic.
I had some Portuguese rolls which were at there sell-by date whic I used to make my own breadcrumbs. They were cutinto strips & heated in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Then they were coarsely choppped.
The meatballs used the sauteed onions & garlic plus: Italian seasoning, oregano, salt, olive oil, milk, pepper, parsley. homemade breadcrumbs, eggs, milk, ground beef & ground pork.
The breadcrumbs are mixed with the milk…
…and are allowed to soak for 5 minutes. Then the milk is strained out.
The soaked breadcrumbs are added to a large bowl with all of the other ingredients except the ground meats.
The ingredients are mixed and the ground beef & pork get added next.
the meat mixture gets portion out using a 1/4 cup measuring cup & gets formed into meatballs.
I was going to put the meatballs on a skewer, but they were too soft without a few hours in the fridge. So I grilled them directly at 375 for 5 minutes per side.
I should have oiled the grill grid better because I did havesome”stickage”issues. I didn’t sweat it since the meatballs get sliced up when placed on the panini.
The ciabatta bread was sliced up into equal width portions, then cut in half & the exterior sides were brushed with olive oil.
The ingredients are gathered: The homemade marinara sauce, diced pepperonchini, the meatballs which were halved & mozzarella cheese.
The cut sides of the bottom pieces of bread were brushed with half the marinara sauce.
The mozzarella cheese went on next…
…followed by the meatballs…
…which were topped with the remaining marinara sauce…
…which was in turn topped with the diced pepperonchini.
Time to head out to the grill which was stabilized at 375 with the BGE Half Moon Cast Iron Grill Griddles inside and then preheated for 30 minutes.
The paninis are on the grill. It was a tight fit on the half moon grill griddle.
The upper grill griddle is now in place, ridged side down, on top of the paninis. I pressed the grill down to compress the paninis & weighed the upper grill griddle down with foil wrapped fire bricks.
Six minutes later & the paninis are done. I gave them a little extra time because they were extra thick.
The meatball panini were served with a fresh garden salad.
These paninis were certainly a handful to eat.
We had arguments regarding the marinara sauce. Some felt it was bland & other talked about a wide range of subtle flavors.
There were no arguments about the rest of the panini. Everyone loved the flavors of everything else.
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This panini from Perfect Panini wasn't perfect and was a little controversial, but it still was still very, very good.A panini version of the classic meatball sub, this panini sounded good on paper. It had side recipes for making your own marinara sauce and meatballs. It also suggested using fresh bread crumbs in the meatballs. I took the meatballs a step further by grilling them, as opposed to browning them in the oven as the recipe suggested. I will let the pictures tell the story and cut to the chase: How did it taste? From the start I was worried about the marinara sauce, which looked a little too simple. I used onions, diced tomatoes, salt & pepper to which I added Italian seasoning and garlic. Everyone loved the meatballs and the panini in general, but three of us thought the sauce was bland and two loved it and said it had wonderful subtle flavorings. I will call that a tie, because while I was in the bland camp I also had been out breathing in the smoke from the grilled meatballs. I've found even a little exposure to smoke dulls my sense of taste. So I will recuse myself as a judge. Even though I call it a tie, I will make a different sauce the next time I make this. The fact I said next time I make it, should tell you how good the rest of the recipe was.