Grilled Fontina Sandwiches with Prosciutto and Pear
September 25, 2002

From Williams-Sonoma's online recipe database

8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter
12 slices firm white bread, brioche or challah
3/4 to 1 lb. fontina cheese, sliced
6 slices prosciutto
1 ripe pear, such as Bartlett

First, clarify the butter: Melt the butter in a small, heavy saucepan over very low heat, watching carefully so it does not burn. Remove from the heat and let stand briefly, then, using a spoon, skim off and discard the foam from the surface. Carefully pour off the clear yellow liquid into a bowl. Discard the milky solids left behind in the pan.

Lay 6 slices of the bread on a work surface and top evenly with the cheese, 1 slice of prosciutto and the pear slices. Top with the remaining bread.

Brush a wide sauté pan or stovetop grill pan generously with the clarified butter and warm over medium heat. When it is hot, place as many sandwiches as will fit in the pan without crowding and weight them down with a pan lid. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown, about 4 minutes. Adding more butter as needed, carefully flip the sandwiches, replace the lid, and cook on the other side until golden brown, about 4 minutes more. The cheese will have melted. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches. Cut each sandwich in half and serve warm. Serves 6.

Keckler's Komments:

The saltiness of the prosciutto is perfectly matched with the sweet freshness of the pear and both are pleasantly spiked by a sharp cheese. The recipe also notes that any easy-to-melt cheese would work in this recipe, Emmenthaler or Gruyere, for instance.

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