Ham, Brie & Peach Panini

So...we will be leaving upstate NY in about 5 weeks.

Sad day.

I lied. Not really - I'm not sure that I would ever want to move back here...

No offense to the Navy, but they couldn't have picked a more obscure place to have a training facility. Okay, okay, perhaps I'm exaggerating. But only a little.

Seriously though. We're nowhere near the ocean. There are no beaches - and, I'm sorry, Lake George does not count. Half the local population doesn't even know that the Navy is here. The other half doesn't fully understand why. So at least I'm not alone.

There are a few things that I will miss about this place:

  1. Saratoga has some pretty awesome (gluten-free friendly) restaurants
  2. Our farmer's market is pretty fantastic - and I will definitely miss our CSA
  3. My very best friends, and the place I grew up, are only a couple short hours drive heading southeast
  4. The friends we've made here
  5. Being so close to NYC...and Boston...and Philly
  6. You can take the girl out of New England, but you can't take New England out of the girl - I will completely and totally miss the Autumn foliage

There's also a pretty substantial list of things I will not miss. But I'll keep those to myself for now...

From here we move back to the great state of Washington...but not before getting through a 6-month deployment and a temporary stint with my parents on the Gulf coast of Florida. So fairly soon I will be broadcasting to you live from the sunny beaches of Southwest Florida. Amen.

This delectable looking sandwich is a tribute farewell to the Empire State and all the local deliciousness I am giving up by moving away. The recipe is a replica of my favorite sandwich at my favorite restaurant here in upstate NY. I order it pretty much every time I go to eat there - and it is delicious every single time.

This home prepared panini is every bit as delicious as the original version - but I tweaked it a little bit. They serve theirs with the addition of bacon. I always order it without, so this recipe doesn't include bacon - but feel free to add it if you so choose. I imagine it adds a bit of texture and saltiness/smokiness. I have also made a version of this with raspberry peach preserves (I couldn't find apricot jam at the time) and it turned out GREAT! So experiment with different jams, you might be surprised!

Ham, Brie & Peach Panini

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5-6 minutes
Yield: 2 sandwiches
  • 4 slices Gluten-free Bread (use store-bought or homemade, whatever is your favorite and will hold up well to grilling)
  • 2 Tbsp Butter or Margarine
  • 1/4 cup Apricot or Peach Preserves (Raspberry Jam also works really nicely)
  • 1/2 ripe Peach, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 2 oz. Brie cheese, paper removed and thinly sliced
  • 3 oz. lean deli Ham, thinly sliced

  1. Pre-heat your grill pan or panini press. I use a cast iron griddle pan pre-heated over Medium heat.
  2. Slather one side of each slice of bread with 1 to 1 1/2 tsp butter or margarine. Slather opposite sides of bread slices with 1 Tbsp of preserves each.
  3. Place two slices of bread, buttered side down, on your grill pan or press. Begin layering ingredients on top of the preserves, splitting the ingredients evenly between the two slices of bread. Begin with the peaches, then the ham slices, then add the brie slices.
  4. Place the remaining two slices of bread atop each sandwich and press down with either a grill press, the top portion of your panini press, or another heavy object (like another cast iron skillet or pan). I do not have a grill press, so I use another cast iron pan, but I layer a piece of wax paper between the top of the sandwich and the pan to avoid a disastrous mess, I recommend you do the same if this is your only option.
  5. If using a griddle, grill sandwiches for 2-3 minutes, until nicely golden brown. Flip sandwiches over and repeat on other side. Wait 2-3 minutes until opposing side is also golden brown and cheese has melted. If using a panini press, griddle sandwiches for a total of 5-6 minutes, being careful not to burn. The preserves and/or cheese will likely leak out the sides of the sandwich and cause some sizzling. This is to be expected - it may even coat the bread, giving it a nice sweet crunch!
  6. Remove grilled sandwiches and slice in half. Serve while still warm with your favorite green salad or, in my case, the rest of the peaches!

Happy gluten-free cooking!

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