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This sweet and spicy ham and cheese panini is a tasty, quick, and easy dinner that only takes five ingredients. It’s great for weeknights!
Sometimes I feel like life is just a whirlwind and I am caught in the middle of it. Do you ever feel like that? I am sure that you do. One of the things that I have been working on in earnest this year (not a resolution – I don’t make resolutions – but a goal) is to be a little more mindful. I don’t want to turn 40 next year (!) and wonder where the last 20 years of my life went, and I certainly don’t want to be asking that question when I’m 50, or 60, or so on.
That’s a little bit easier said than done. We tend to live a “more is better” kind of life here in the States, right? More stuff, more activities, more jobs (ahem, that finger is pointing right back at me). I am learning that it’s okay to let go of some things. I’ve cleaned a lot of stuff out of my house (just trying to have some empty surfaces can be a challenge at times) and , as I’ve added a few things to my plate (who’s interested in a cooking class???), I’ve taken a few things off (like paying my sister to do Pinterest for me…might I mention that she’s way better at it than me?).
Another thing that I’ve let go of is the need to make fancy and intricate meals. With Philip’s job we’re often eating dinner at 9 p.m. and I do not need the stress of a dinner that takes about 35 steps and every pan in my kitchen. We ate sandwiches for dinner three nights last week, but my sandwiches have to be special sandwiches. This sweet and spicy ham and cheese panini fits the bill. With Pepperidge Farm®, Hillshire Farm® Thin Sliced Honey Ham, and Hellman’s® Real Mayonnaise, it’s pretty easy to throw together a sandwich that’s a little (well, a lot) more special than your standard lunchbox fare.
I picked up my ingredients for my ham and cheese panini at the Walmart Neighborhood Market near our house (I’ve been regularly getting my groceries through their grocery pickup, which is ??? by the way). Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse™ Hearty White has been my go-to sandwich bread ever since I heard America’s Test Kitchen talk about how awesome it is, and this bread, crafted from small-batch ingredients, tastes every bit as good as what I bake at home – and it’s sturdy enough to build a great sandwich but still soft and fresh. Hillshire Farm® Thin-sliced Honey Ham is slow roasted so it always tastes great, and it has no artificial flavors or by-products. And, of course, Hellman’s® Real Mayonnaise is just the best…who doesn’t love it (hush, you mayo-haters). The squeeze bottle makes it simple and mess-free.
Now, I used my new panini press (I bought it to use for my classes) to throw this together, but it would be just as easy to make using two cast iron skillets. I piled my Hillshire Farm® Thin Sliced Honey Ham on to the Pepperidge Farm® bread with some sliced Gouda cheese, then instead of brushing my bread with olive oil or melted butter, I spread some Hellman’s® Real Mayonnaise on it to make it crispy and brown. After pressing the sandwich, I spread on some Jezebel sauce (which if you guys will recall, I baked on some Brie last week) to add that sweet and spicy flair (if you don’t have Jezebel sauce, just whisk some prepared horseradish or brown or Dijon mustard with some apple jelly or pineapple preserves). It was so good!
I could eat this sweet and spicy ham and cheese panini at least once a week! I hope you’ll try it out!
Check out Sandwich with the Best for more great sandwich ideas using these products!
Yield: Serves 4 moderately hungry or 2 very hungry people
10 minPrep Time:
8 minCook Time:
18 minTotal Time:
- 4 slices Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse™ Hearty White sandwich bread
- 8 slices Hillshire Farm® Thin-Sliced Honey Ham
- 4 slices (or 4 ounces grated) Gouda cheese
- 2 tablespoons Hellman's® Real Mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Jezebel sauce
- If using a panini press, preheat the press to 350 degrees. If using cast iron skillets, heat and 8-inch and 10-inch or two 10-inch skillets over medium-high heat.
- Divide half of the cheese between two slices of bread. Follow by dividing the ham between the two slices of bread, and top with the remaining cheese. Top with the remaining slices of bread.
- Spread the top of each sandwich with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the mayonnaise, then flip and spread the remaining mayonnaise on the other side.
- Press the sandwich on the panini press for 7-8 minutes or until light golden brown, or reduce the heat under the 10-inch skillet to medium-low then place the sandwiches in the skillet and top with the other skillet, pressing down using an oven mitt, and grill for 5-8 minutes, until golden brown.
- Remove the sandwiches from the heat. Remove the top slice of bread and spread 2 tablespoons of Jezebel sauce on each sandwich. Replace the tops and cut the sandwiches. Serve immediately.
If you do not have Jezebel sauce, whisk 3 1/2 tablespoons of apple jelly or pineapple preserves with 1 1/2 teaspoons of prepared horseradish or Dijon or spicy mustard.