There are some tricks to making good panini. Use a traditional panino roll or a good country white bread; cut into slices of even thickness.
Make sure whatever filling you use -- cured meats and cheeses, grilled vegetables, marinated tuna, even chunks of bittersweet chocolate -- is arranged evenly between the two pieces of bread.
Bring the ingredients to room temperature before you grill: If the ingredients are cold, the bread will brown long before the interior of your panini is heated, much less melted.
Once you have your sandwich assembled, simply put it on the hot grill. You don’t need to butter the bread first or grease the pan, as the bread won’t stick to the surface.
Press down the top for a minute to make sure that everything is firmly in place, then let the sandwich cook until it’s golden and crispy.
Grill an autostrada, a traditional Italian panino made with Italian meats and cheese and marinated peppers, or a glorious croque-monsieur, a French bistro-style ham and cheese sandwich.
With rich slices of Black Forest ham and nutty Gruyere cheese, you don’t even need the traditional sauce Mornay on top: Just sprinkle on some chives instead.
With the right pan -- and a little electricity -- you can make a terrific panino out of just about anything. That would be panino, singular. I guess the manufacturers of these “panini pans” assume you won’t ever make just one.