The French call it Croque-Monsieur and make this hot ham and cheese sandwich with either emmental or gruyère cheese. It became very popular in the 70's and almost every one had a sandwhich maker at home. My mother still has hers which at the time weren't electric, they had long handles and we put them over the flame on the stove top and still makes fantastic grilled sandwiches. Then came the electric ones and mine is over 15 years old. It makes perfect grilled puffy sandwiches because it has extra-deep pockets and raised edges that seal the ingredients. I find the panini makers don't work because they flatten the sandwich and squeeze all the contents out. This is my take on the classic Croque-Monsieur. I use Taleggio without the rind. Talleggio cheese is made in Lombardy (north Italy), from cow's milk, it's thick and creamy, strong aroma but mild taste with an orange-colored rind. The ingredients are for 2 because my sandwich maker makes 2 at a time.
—Maria Teresa Jorge
slices of sandwich bread, crustless
Taleggio cheese - rind removed
slices of high quality ham
In This Recipe
Place 4 slices of crustless sandwich bread on the countertop. Butter 2 slices of bread. On top of each buttered slice put one slice of high quality ham (I use Negroni's Fiordistella Oro which I know you have in the United States).
On the other two slices of bread spread about 2 tablespoons of Taleggio (rind removed). Turn the slices on top of the ham so the cheese is on top of the ham.
Pre-heat the sandwich maker on medium temperature.
Butter the top and bottom of the bread slice of each sandwich so the bread in contact with the sandwich maker has some butter and turns golden and crispy. Put the sandwiches in the sandwhich maker tucking the bread and contents in the pockets. Lock down the lid and let cook until bread is golden and crispy and cheese is melted. Keep the temperature on medium otherwise the ham will remain cold.