Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Last Night's (Ham) Dinner

First of all, thank you to everyone who has written with concern and even alarm about my recent ham-based diet. Let me assure you that I have been alternating ham dinners with nitrite-free meals. Two nights ago we ate tofu and rice. I swear. But yesterday, it was back to the ham. One child had to eat early, to make a dance class at Studio 3 (43 Foster Avenue, Bridgehampton; 537-3008). So I assembled these ham and cheese panini, made with a baguette, Gruyere, and chopped cornichons from Cavaniola's (89 Division Street; 725-0095). I grilled one of them at 5pm in my trusty panini press (bought several years ago at Williams-Sonoma and worth every penny), and then grilled the others later when the rest of us were ready to eat. The recipe is adapted from Panini Express, a book I highly recommend since for every copy purchased I will earn about 20 cents. Here's the recipe:

Ham and Gruyere Panini
Serves 4

1 large baguette, sliced lengthwise in half
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
6 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese
12 small cornichons, chopped
6 ounces thinly sliced smoked ham

1. Heat a panini or sandwich press according to the manufacturer's instructions. Spread the bottom half of the baguette with the mustard. Arrange the Gruyere on top of the mustard. Sprinkle the cornichons over the Gruyere. Arrange the ham on top of the cheese. Top with the top half of the baguette. Cut into four sandwiches.
2. Put the sandwiches on the press (depending on the size of your machine you may have to grill them in two batches) and cook until they are browned and crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Carefully remove form the press and serve immediately.

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