Upscale Grilled Cheese

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Whether I am going out to eat, thumbing through cookbooks, or flipping through magazines, my mind is constantly on the lookout for new ideas and inspiration. In addition, many of my clients share recipes they would like me to try, and so does my mother—as I have mentioned numerous times.

I also get magazines passed along to me, especially cooking publications. One of the most recent magazines I received was the October 2014 issue of Bon Appétit. In it, I found several recipes I wanted to try, including these delicious grilled cheese sandwiches for adults.

I served these at an event recently, but they would also make a good appetizer for a holiday party at home.

Prosciutto, Fontina, and Watercress Toasties
Serves about 8
 thin slices of prosciutto (about 3 oz.)
8 slices of bread, sliced ½ inch thick (I found a nice locally made brioche loaf from Macrina bakery that worked well)
8 ounces Fontina cheese, thinly sliced
¾ cup trimmed chopped watercress (I am blessed to have watercress growing in my garden, but you can also find it at higher-end grocery stores.)
¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Spread prosciutto slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until they darken and shrink slightly, 6–8 minutes. Let cool (meat will crisp as it cools).
Top four slices of bread with half of the cheese, the prosciutto (breaking the pieces to fit), the watercress, and then remaining cheese and the other four slices of bread. (The cheese will bind the sandwiches as it melts). Butter the tops of the sandwiches.
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Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Working in two batches, cook the sandwiches, butter-side down, pressing firmly, until bottom is golden brown.
Butter the top sides, turn, and cook until the other sides are also golden brown and the cheese is melted, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool slightly. Remove crusts and cut each sandwich into 4 triangles.
Tip: Sandwiches can be cooked 2 hours ahead. Store uncovered at room temperature. Reheat before serving.

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