Special Message

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gourmet Ham and Cheese Panini

Costa Coffee's Ham and Cheese Sourdough Panini was the first ever panini that I had in life. Knowing nothing about panini, I remember how enticing the sight was as the barista was getting it neatly pressed behind the counter. That was probably close to five years back, one of the rare precious moments to be out for a good and smooth cuppa with my housemate, Chuey Ee at the St. Enoch Shopping Mall back in our final uni year. And there I think I was instantly hooked on these melty stackers. As much as I love sandwiches, subs and wraps, there always is something extra about panini that I have always adored. Unlike hot sandwiches with the bread toasted before assembling, panini is about getting all the ingredients laid out readily, assembled and pressed. So yes, I would think with the extra care and patience needed on top of the basic creativity, making a perfectly browned and crisped up panini is almost like an art itself. It's about stacking them firm and steady, neat and elegant. And yea, you will have to limit and reserve the idea of having an overflow filling to the classic sandwiches and spare the panini.   

Just like how my first ever panini made and left its impression to me back then, there really is nothing quite like the comforting ham and cheese duo. Sliced ham with a perfect balance of flavor and texture with a slight hint of heat coming from the melting gooey pepper jack cheese, this panini is made complete with the creamy avocado and earthy, crunchy sprouts that complement each other really well. And with a dollop of dijon mustard scattered here and there bringing in a tangy flavor to the panini, together they make an incredibly scrumptious combo, totally hearty and healthy.

Gourmet Ham and Cheese Panini
Serves 1 (~550cal a serving)
2 slices light rye bread
3 to 4oz Frick's hickory smoked gourmet ham, sliced
1 leaf iceberg lettuce
1/4 extra large avocado, pitted and thinly sliced
a handful mixed brocolli and clover sprouts
2 slices tomatoes
2 thinly sliced onion rings
1 slice American cheese
1½ tbsps shredded pepper jack cheese
1 tbsp honey dijon mustard
butter for spreading bread

1. Preheat the panini press. Butter both sides of the bread slices and place them side by side on a work surface. Evenly layer on a slice of bread with cheese, ham, honey dijon mustard, tomatoes, avocado, sprouts, lettuce and onion rings. Cover with the other slice of bread and gently press to pack them up slightly. 
2. Carefully lift and transfer it onto a panini grill. Press down gently to let it set and cook until the bread turns crispy and brown with the cheese looking slightly melted. The time needed before the grill marks show may vary. Mine took about 3 to 4 minutes before the panini looked golden brown on the whole. 
3. Remove from panini press, secure each half of the sandwich with a toothpick right down the center, slice in half and serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...