Ham, Brie and Pear Panini by Kathy Gunst

Description

Savory ham, creamy Brie, and thin, crunchy slices of raw pear combine to make an unforgettable hot sandwich. I refer to it as a sophisticated, new-wave grilled cheese. If you have a panini grill you can make this delicious, creamy, cheese sandwich in no time. But it's no problem it you don't have one: simply heat a touch of olive oil in a skillet and cook the sandwich for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown using a full tea kettle to press it.
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Ingredients

At a glance
Cheeses
Course
Soft-Ripened Cheeses
Occasions
Serves
2
4 slices bread *
4 ounces ripe Brie, such as Ile de France, rind removed and cut into 12 thin slices
4 ounces cooked ham, sliced fairly thin, about 4 slices
1 small pear, preferably Bosc, almost ripe, peeled, cored and cut into very thin slices
2 teaspoons olive oil, if needed
* I love to use good sliced multi-grain bread, but you can also use slices of a crunchy baguette, ciabatta, sour dough, or pre-sliced rye, white, or pumpernickel.

Methods/steps



    * Place all 4 slices of bread out on a work surface. Add 3 slices of Brie to each piece. Top 2 slices of bread with the ham, doubling the ham over if necessary so it doesn’t stick out beyond the bread. Place the pear slices on the other 2 slices of bread. Place the slices of bread with the cheese and ham on top of the slices of bread with the pear and cheese.
    * Preheat a panini grill to the highest setting. Place the sandwiches on the hot grill, close the grill, and cook for 2 minutes. Gently flip the sandwich and cook another 2 minutes, or until the bread is grilled and the cheese is totally melted and bubbling. Remove from the grill and cut in half or quarters and serve hot.
    * Alternately, heat the oil in a large skillet over moderate heat for about a minute. Add the sandwich and use a can of beans or a full tea kettle to weigh the sandwich down (The idea is to press the sandwich). Cook 2 minutes and gently flip the sandwich over, press it down again, and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbling.
    * Serves 2.

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