I think the planning for the cooking can be as much fun as the cooking and the eating. It takes really good planning to pull even the simplest of recipes together. Experience is a great teacher and learning that certain flavors go together well makes the result very satisfying. Also, knowing the things you like, helps too. You have learned that my family loves smoke. I have never personally smoked my own cheese but I think that is in the cards one day.
The other key to a really good sandwich is the bread. I actually bought this roll at the grocery store. The objective is a reasonably crusty roll with a tender middle. When you go to make a panini you need a firm outside that stays together when you press it down. I actually did this in a pan and applied a press to the top and not my panini press. Same result but you need to complete the cooking by covering the pan with a lid to get a melt on the cheese.
Ingredients (for 1 sandwich):
4 pieces of hard salami
6 slices of smoked gruyere cheese
1 tbsp canola oil
Heat a skillet on medium high. Add the oil (you really do not need to add any oil). Let the oil heat for a minute or two. Meanwhile, assemble the sandwich by layering the salami and then the cheese and finish with the cheese. Put the sandwich in the pan and take your press and press firmly. You want the sandwich to flatten and as much surface area of the bread to touching the pan surface. Grill for 3 minutes and then flip. I grilled the 2nd side for 5 – 6 minutes and added the pan top for the last few minutes. Enjoy!