Friday, May 25, 2007

Ham and Manchego Panini with Dipping Sauce

Most of my cookbooks and cooking magazines are boxed up and ready to go into my storage space next week (and the following week...and the week after that...), but while sorting and packing them, I started flipping through a few issues of Everyday Food from 2005 and 2006. I came across a lot of yummy-looking and easy-to-make recipes that I missed the first time around. I came across this recipe for Ham and Manchego Panini with Dipping Sauce in the October, 2006 issue, and I knew that I had to try it. (This sandwich had me at dipping sauce.)

This is a really good sandwich. I liked the slightly salty, slightly sharp taste of the Manchego cheese. There were three different maturities of Manchego cheese at Whole Foods...3 months is the most mild, 6 months is more sharp, and 12 months is the sharpest. I bought the 6 months (middle-of-the-road) Manchego, and I would do so again. I also used Boar's Head Deluxe Ham. It would be really easy to adapt this sandwich with your favorite kind of bread, sliced meat and cheese. I really liked the dipping sauce with it. However, I'd like to make this again (sans dipping sauce) and add either some sliced dill pickles (for sourness) or rings of red onions (for zing and a slight crunch) to the sandwich. I think the taste of the sandwich could definitely be kicked up a notch (Emeril, anyone???) by adding either of these.

I ate this sandwich along with Cucumber Salad with Rice Vinegar Dressing from the current issue of Cooking Light. The recipe is here. I'll review the recipe and post a picture tomorrow. (Hint: It was a yummy, too!!!)

Ham and Manchego Panini with Dipping Sauce

Source: Everyday Food – October, 2006, p. 158

4 slices country bread
4 ounces thinly sliced ham
2 ounces Manchego cheese, coarsely grated (1/2 cup)
4 teaspoons olive oil
3 tablespoons apricot jam
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Top each of 2 bread slices with ham, Manchego, and remaining slices. Brush tops of panini with 2 teaspoons oil.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-low. Place panini in skillet, oiled side up. Cover; cook until golden brown and cheese has melted, 5 to 8 minutes per side, pressing down with a spatula 3 to 4 times during cooking.

Meanwhile, make dipping sauce: In a small bowl, mix together jam and Dijon. Serve panini with sauce on the side.

Serves 2.




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