"It's the company, not the cooking, that makes the meal!" ~Perilee 
(Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mozzarella and Ham Panini

This is a quick simple and delicious panini. I love that there is no sauces but olive oil and salt and pepper. It comes together and is ready for the table in around 35 minutes. I tore this recipe out of a Martha Stewart Everyday Cooking magazine years ago.

Mozzarella and Ham Panini

1 Large Loaf of Italian Bread (I use hard rolls or sub rolls. A crusty bread works well)
8 oz Fresh Mozzarella thinly sliced (Regular deli Mozzarella is all I have used fresh is hard to come by in these parts!)
4 oz Shaved Deli Ham (My favorite is Black Forest Ham)
2 oz Baby Spinach (2 cups, loosely packed)
Coarse Salt and Ground Pepper
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Split bread horizontally. Layer one side with cheese, ham, and spinach beginning and ending with mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper as you go. Close sandwich (making sure mozzarella is in direct contact with bread on both sides--its what holds the sandwich together as it melts).

Brush a large baking sheet with some of the oil. Place sandwich on sheet; brush top with remaining oil. Place another baking sheet on top (cover bottom of sheet with aluminum foil-makes for easy clean-up!), press down firmly. (I personally like to put my rectangular pizza stone on top of the cookie sheet to add some weight for the "press")

Bake panini, press down top sheet once or twice during baking (unless you have used my pizza stone idea or a brick would work too), until cheese had melted and sandwich is golden, 20-25 minutes.

If using a loaf, cut into four pieces and serve with salad.

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