If you saw my post about Sandwich Wednesday, you know that the Grill-Meister is also a whiz at panini-making. We’re at our cabin in the Rocky Mountains right now, and panini are definitely on the menu.
First-night food when you’re traveling and have landed at your destination needs to be easy. Right? That’s why we settled on the Hearty Ham and Sharp Cheddar Paninis. We brought the last of the Christmas ham with us on our cross-country driving trip, and picked up some wonderfully spicy jalapeño-cheese bread on our requisite road-snack stop at the Czech Stop in West, Texas. (There’s an upcoming blog about the Czech Stop – it is legendary.) The Grill-Meister figured that sharp cheddar would compliment the bread and the ham perfectly, and he figured right. He’s smart that way.
This recipe is so easy it hardly needs to be typed out. I bet you could make it easily just from these directions: 4 slices of bread, enough ham for two sandwiches, sliced red onion, and a bit of sharp cheddar. Assemble, brush with olive oil or butter, and press on the panini press, or cook like a grilled cheese. That is all.
But I’ll be a little more prescriptive, just in case.
Ham and Sharp Cheddar Paninis on Jalapeno-Cheese Bread
- Four thick slices of jalapeño-cheese bread, or other specialty bread of your choice; make sure the slices are of even thickness if you’re using a panini press
- 1/4 lb of sliced ham (we used spiral sliced ham leftover from holiday entertaining)
- Enough sliced sharp cheddar for two sandwiches
- Thinly sliced red onion
- Olive oil or butter for
Heat the panini press to medium. Lay out the four slices of bread on a cutting board. Put a small amount of olive oil in a saucer or small dish, and then brush it on one side of each piece of bread, then turn over. Alternatively, put a thin spread of butter on one side of each piece, then turn over. Assemble the sandwiches:
- Place a layer of cheddar on two slices of bread, reserving a small amount.
- Top the cheddar with the ham.
- Add the sliced red onion.
- Top the ham and onion with a bit more cheddar. This will help the fillings “stick” to the top slice of bread and prevent the sandwich fillings from falling out.
- Place the remaining two slices of bread atop the filling on each sandwich.
Put the sandwiches onto the panini press, close the lid and press gently. Cook until the filling is hot and the bread is golden brown. If you don’t have a panini press, cook the sandwiches like a grilled cheese, first on one side in a large, flat skillet, then on the other, pressing down slightly.
Voila! You have a tasty, main-course sandwich that only needs a salad or fruit. On our just-arrived-at-the-cabin-weary-from-traveling-day, we just had clementines on the side. It was just fine.
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