Cookstr.com

Italian Ham and Cheese

Updated February 23, 2016
4.00

0 Comments

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Fontina cheese is rich and creamy, making it a perfect melting cheese. Although you can use the more readily available Danish Fontina, I highly recommend you seek out Italian Fontina—it's a far more flavorful cheese.

4 sandwiches

Cooking Methodgrilling

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Recipe Coursemain course

Equipmentgrill, panini press

Meallunch

Taste and Texturebuttery, cheesy, crisp, rich, savory

Type of Dishgrilled sandwich, sandwich

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large leek (about 6 ounces), white and light green parts thinly sliced, then rinsed and patted dry
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ pound pancetta, cut into 4 paper-thin slices (or buy it presliced)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 8 slices sourdough bread, ¼ inch thick (or for a nuttier flavor, use rye)
  • 6 ounces Italian Fontina cheese, coarsely grated

Instructions

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are limp but not brown, about 7 minutes, then add the salt. Transfer the leeks to a bowl and let cool.

Increase the heat to medium-high and add the pancetta to the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes, or until brown. Turn and cook about 2 minutes more, or until the pancetta has turned deep golden brown. Transfer the pancetta to a plate, and when cool enough to handle, chop it into bite-size pieces. Wipe the skillet with a paper towel, but do not wash it.

To assemble: Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place 4 slices on your work surface, buttered side down. Distribute the cheese evenly over the 4 slices, followed by the leeks and pancetta. Place the remaining 4 bread slices on top, buttered side up.

STOVETOP METHOD: Heat the same skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Put the sandwiches in the skillet (in batches if necessary), cover, and cook for 2 minutes, or until the undersides are golden brown and the cheese has begun to melt. Uncover, and turn the sandwiches with a spatula, pressing firmly to flatten them slightly. Cook for 1 minute, or until the undersides are golden brown. Turn the sandwiches again, press with the spatula, and cook for 30 seconds, or until the cheese has melted completely. Serve immediately.

SANDWICH MAKER METHOD: Preheat the sandwich maker. Follow directions for sandwich assembly, and cook according to the manufacturer's instructions.

GAS GRILL METHOD: Brush the grill rack with oil and preheat the grill to medium-high. Follow directions for sandwich assembly. Put the sandwiches on the grill and follow directions for the stovetop method.

YOUR RECENTLY VIEWED RECIPES

Reviews

Include a Photo Include a Photo

Click the button above or drag and drop images onto the button. You can upload two images.

Cancel Reply to Comment

Thanks for your comment. Don't forget to share!

Close

Report Inappropriate Comment

Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.

Thank you for taking the time to improve the content on our site.

Sign In to Your Account

Close Window
Sign In with one of your Social Accounts
Facebook
Google
Twitter
OR
Sign In using Email and Password