Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ham Panini

For Christmas, my parents gave me a panini maker.  I didn't have a chance to get it out for a while with this and that going on in my life.  I got it out a couple of weeks ago and love it!  There are so many possibilities for meals with it!

Here is a basic recipe for a Ham Panini.  I've added some notes at the bottom of the recipe on ways that you can dressed it up a little and make it really yummy.

  • Olive Oil
  • Bread
  • Brown or Dijon mustard
  • Sliced ham
  • Swiss cheese
  • Preheat panini maker to the medium heat setting.
  • Brush one side of each slice of bread with the olive oil.  Put the olive oil side of the bread down on a clean surface.
  • Put a thin layer of mustard on a slice of bread.
  • Place 2 slices of ham on top of the mustard.  Make sure that the ham does not hang over the sides of the bread.
  • Add the Swiss cheese on top of the last layer.
  • Place the top slice of bread on top with the oiled side up.
  • Place the sandwich(es) on the panini make and cook until golden and crispy.  This should take about 5 minutes.
To dress up this basic ham panini:
  • Instead of using Swiss cheese, use grated Gruyère cheese.
  • Between the ham and cheese layers, add a layer of Béchamel sauce.

Basic Béchamel Sauce

Béchamel sauce, or white sauce, is a simple sauce to make that is used for a variety of sauces and dishes.

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • In a small sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  • Add the flour, whisking constantly, until the mixture is a pale golden.  This should take about 3 minutes.
  • Next, slowly add the milk, still whisking constantly.
  • Simmer the mixture while whisking constantly, until it is smooth and thickened.  This will take about 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Stir in the remaining ingredients, to taste.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chipotle Sauce

I saw this recipe in a magazine and thought that it sounded yummy so I gave it a try last week.  It was served in the magazine as a sauce for corn on the cob, but I used it for chicken.  It turned out really well.  My husband loved it.  I think that the next time that I make it, I'm going to use it as a dip for tortilla chips.


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 c. cottage cheese
  • 1/4 c. loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c. plain yogurt
  • 1-2 tsp. adobo sauce from can


  • Place garlic, salt and chipotle pepper in a food processor and process until minced.
  • Add the cottage cheese and the next 3 ingredients.  Continue processing until the mixture is smooth, stopping when necessary to scrap down the sides.
  • Stir in the adobo sauce.
  • Cover and chill until you are ready to serve.  This sauce can be stored for up to 24 hours.