I am not a big appliance gal. I hate the clutter on the kitchen counters, much preferring simple food that doesn't take much gadgetry to prepare. However, when I received a panini press as a gift a few years ago, pressed sandwiches became a pretty big deal. I made them often.
Panini presses can transform rather ho-hum ingredients into something that seems much fancier. If you have a few leftover slices of tomato and a nub of good melting cheese, you've got a crispy delightful sandwich in minutes. That being said, you don't need any appliances to make this sandwich — or any pressed sandwich, for that matter. You can easily cook them on the stove top in a skillet just like you would a normal grilled cheese.
I thought of the ingredients for this particular sandwich after I took a marmalade class and realized I had more marmalade than we could reasonably eat on breakfast toast or scones. We started spreading it on crackers and swirling it into yogurt, but I began to think that the tart marmalade would be wonderful on a sandwich with a creamy brie. And good bread and ham. And of course, that leftover arugula that was just begging to be used. The result was a sandwich we'll make again. Often.
Ham, brie, marmalade and arugula panini
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
4 slices rustic country bread, sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 ounces brie, cut into 1/4-inch slices (about 6 slices)
8 ounces sliced cooked ham (about 8 slices)
2 tablespoons marmalade
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup arugula
1. Spread 2 bread slices with 1 teaspoon mustard each. Layer each with 3 slices brie, 4 slices ham and pepper to taste. Spread one side of each remaining slice of bread with 1 tablespoon marmalade; place slices marmalade-side-down on top of the sandwiches.
2. Brush both sides of sandwiches with olive oil. Set the sandwiches in a panini grill set on high; cook until bread is golden brown and cheese has melted, about 5 minutes. (Or cook in a cast-iron skillet on the stove, 3-4 minutes per side.) When done, remove tops of sandwiches; sprinkle with arugula. Smush bread back down on top; serve warm.
Per serving: 717 calories, 36 g fat, 15 g saturated fat, 105 mg cholesterol, 66 g carbohydrates, 33 g protein, 1,623 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.
Megan Gordon is the writer for TheKitchn.com. Distributed by Tribune Media Services