*****Baguette and brie, doesn’t that sound perfect? I thought so too, but by definition you cannot improve on perfection, and Prosciutto, Brie and Apple Panini with Scallion Butter is a definite improvement on one of my favorite snacks. This sandwich is so good that if PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk took one bite she'd make an exception for cured pork and dairy products.
With some recipes I have a bit of initial skepticism, but there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that this would be delicious. It had me at "prosciutto”... then at "brie”... then again at "scallion butter.” This recipe all but guarantees goodness, but I wanted that and more. I wanted this to be the best (non-pastrami) sandwich I’ve ever had, which meant that I needed some elite ingredients. Fortunately, a few Berkeley spots helped me on my mission to assemble an all-star sandwich. My first stop was the previously mentioned Ver Brugge for some prosciutto, then next door for sweet baguette from La Farine bakery. If you’re ever in Oakland, go to La Farine and buy a sweet baguette. You won’t regret it. Finally, I took a trip across town to one of my favorite places: Cheeseboard. Most students know this place for their daily pizza, but their original operation is slinging wheels of gourmet cheese, or any cheese, for that matter. If there’s a cheese you’re dying to try, chances are they’ve got it in stock. If you mention a cheese, before you know it they’ll hand you a piece of paper with a smear or shaving of the previously mentioned cheese (try it, it’s like magic) and the history of the cheese. Also, they’ve got a discount for "food conspiracies,” so if anyone wants to start one I’d be more than happy to join up. I mentioned my sandwich and they suggested Camembert, which is not technically Brie but is very similar because it was invented by a farmer from Normandy with the advice of a priest from Brie (unless Wikipedia is messing with me). Assembling this sandwich is easy: scallion butter first, then prosciutto, then cheese, then apples. The tricky part (if using a baguette) is ensuring an even distribution of weight on the sandwich from above. If you’re cooking multiple sandwiches at the same time that are of different heights the weight won’t be evenly distributed, so if you take that route make sure to hold the weighted pan appropriately. Worst case scenario, some of your cheese spills out and becomes delicious burnt cheese (remember to pick it up with a spatula), so it isn't that big of a deal.
Recipe from Olga’s Cup & Saucer in Providence, Rhode Island, as published in Food & Wine Magazine.
- 4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 scallion, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 4 soft hero or ciabatta rolls, or 1 long baguette, halved lengthwise
- 3/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
- 1/2 pound Brie, rind removed, cheese cut into 4 pieces
- 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- In a bowl, beat 4 tablespoons of the butter until creamy. Stir in the scallion, lemon juice and mustard until smooth.
- Preheat a griddle over low heat. Spread the scallion butter on the cut sides of the rolls. Lay the prosciutto on the bottom halves; top with the Brie and the apple slices and close the sandwiches. Lightly spread the remaining 2 teaspoons of butter on the outside of the rolls (it will be a very thin layer).
- Put the sandwiches on the griddle. Cover with a heavy skillet and cook over low heat, turning occasionally, until toasted and the Brie is melted, 10 minutes. Cut the panini in half and serve.
Recipe Source: LickMySpoon.com.
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