Success! The inaugural, non-hardware experimental panini were created and enjoyed today!
A few slices of munster, a few slices of soppressata and my impromptu green olive "tapenade". A thin layer of mayo for an extra tang, a few extra-super-thin onions and some red pepper flake rounded out the flavors.
To make the green olive tapenade I took about ten pitted olives (the herbs de provence ones from the whole foods olive bar), juice of half a lemon, a few TBS of olive oil, and some basil leaves (thanks Jan!). Buzzed them up in the blender and voila!...tapenade. It will keep for about a week or two in the fridge, I only used about half for our three sandwiches today.
The panino press is so easy to use. I put it on the back burner and heat it up atop medium heat, while also heating the grill pan. After a few minutes the panini go in and in a few more minutes we have perfectly pressed panini!