Kindergarten Cop Panini | This is a dish for the kiddos. It’s a simple grilled sandwich, with a touch of sweetness and mixed with a smudge of technique. If you’ve ever wanted to look across the table to see little smiling faces gobbling up crispy bread and perfectly melted cheese, then you’re in the right place…
In this recipe, we smear our bread in butter, mayo and yellow mustard to make it super crispy once it hits the grill. Then we stuff our panini with honey ham and some kid-friendly kickstarters – onions, cornichons and yes, a pinch of horseradish. Trust us on this one.
* Make the mayo in advance to get a head start.
* You can easily scale this recipe up for bigger crowds.
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- Mayonnaise - 5 tablespoons, store-bought
- Sour Cream - 1½ tablespoons
- Peppadew Peppers - 1 tablespoon, finely minced
- Dijon - ½ teaspoon
- Horseradish - 2 teaspoons
- Onion Powder - ⅛ teaspoon
- Sugar - ⅛ teaspoon
- Salt - ⅓ teaspoon
- Butter - 2 tablespoons, softened
- White Bread - 4 slices
- Honey Roasted Ham - 6 thin slices
- Fontina Cheese - 2 thin slices
- Muenster Cheese - 4 thin slices
- Pickled Red Onion - ¼ cup (or use raw onion)
- Grape Tomatoes - 4, thinly sliced
- Cornichons - 3, thinly sliced (or use dill pickles)
- Mayonnaise - 2 teaspoons
- Ketchup - 3 tablespoons, optional
- Yellow Mustard - 1 teaspoon
- Black Pepper - ⅛ teaspoon
- Salt - ¼ teaspoon
- Air-Tight Container - small
- Whisk - small
- Grill Pan - with cover
- Mixing Bowl - small
- Start by finely mincing the peppadews. Get them real small.
- Then toss them in the air-tight container with all the remaining ingredients, stir well, and season to taste. That's it! Store in the fridge until you're ready to make the paninis.
- Put your butter in the bowl and let it come to room temperature.
- Then stir in the mayo, yellow mustard and a tiny pinch of salt. Mix it all well.
- Slice your tomatoes and cornichons.
- Now go ahead and lay out your slices of bread.
- Spread some of the horseradish mayo on two pieces. These will be your sandwich bottoms.
- Then to each one, lay on one slice of fontina and two slices of muenster.
- Top the cheese with three slices of folded ham.
- Then add a few slices of tomato and cornichons. Also add a few pieces of pickled onion.
- Finally just add the pepper and last of the salt.
- But wait, we need a top! Take a butter knife and spread the butter/mayo/mustard mix on the other two slices of bread, crust-to-crust.
- Lay the slices, buttered-side up, on top of the sandwich. Now you're good to go!
- Put the grill pan over medium-high heat and let it get really hot - about 3 minutes.
- Now carefully pick up each sandwich, flip it, and add it buttered-side down to the pan. Give them space.
- Grill them for 1 minute and butter the top bread piece while they cook, crust-to-crust again.
- Then flip them with the spatula, drizzle 1 tablespoon of water around the pan, and quickly cover it (this will create steam and help melt your cheese).
- Cook the paninis for just 1 more minute covered the whole time.
- Take them out of the pan and let them cool slightly. That's it!
- Cut each sandwich into triangles.
- Serve them warm with a side of ketchup. Enjoy!
* The sweetness of the honey ham is important in this one - especially if you have kids!
* You should be able to find peppadew peppers at your grocery store's salad bar. Their sweetness balances the spice of the horseradish perfectly.
* You don't have to use pickled onions or cornichons - you can just use dill pickles for a little sour bite.
* Mixing the butter with mayo will help keep the bread from burning. It's a little trick!
* These make an awesome lunchtime treat for kids.
If you’ve read this far, then you need to check out Meatball Superhero Sub and The Republican Quesadilla.
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