Monday, March 5, 2012

Prosciutto, Fontina Cheese, and Fried Egg Paninis

Dust off your panini press or bring out your cast iron skillet and whip up a couple of these fantastic sandwiches. They are really grilled cheese sandwiches at heart, but for tonight's dinner they're all gussied up Italian style. What's better than buttery and golden brown sourdough bread grilled to perfection with melted cheese and fried eggs oozing out from between? The flavor combinations for this kind of sandwich are limitless, so try experimenting with different ingredients. When I'm really feeling Austrian, I bring out smoked Black Forest ham, Emmentaler cheese, good grainy mustard, and a little bit of sauerkraut. Piled high between two slices of hearty rye bread and grilled until crispy on the outside, it brings back memories.

Ingredients for 2 sandwiches
4 slices of sourdough bread
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons mustard ( I used Trader Joe's Aioli Garlic Mustard)
1 cup Fontina cheese, grated
4 ounces Prosciutto 
4 slices roasted red peppers (either homemade or Mezzetta's Roasted Bell Peppers in a jar)
4 thick round slices sweet onion, grilled
1/2 cup arugula
2 eggs

Preheat panini press according to manufacturer's instructions and lightly grease with cooking spray. Grill onions until nicely browned and set aside.
Arrange bread slices on work surface and spread inside with half of the butter and mustard. Divide remaining ingredients, except for eggs in half. Put prosciutto, grilled onions, red peppers, and arugula on one slice and cheese on the other. Close sandwiches and spread tops and bottoms with remaining butter.
Place on panini grill and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
In the meantime cook eggs on both sides in a large frying pan. 
Remove sandwiches from grill, open them and top each one with a fried egg. Close the sandwiches and serve immediately.

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